I love blogs and podcasts. You all know that. I’m a huge content consumer and I feel passionately about all my favorites.
Recently, Gimlet Media, producer of three of my favorite podcasts, announced a new membership program. Why? Because they don’t want to just make revenue from advertising. Because they want to make content that is purely enjoyable for their listeners, and so diversifying their revenue means they can do that with greater leverage.
So they created a membership program and I rushed to join. It’s cheap. $5/month. But you get some goodies and behind-the-scenes access, which is great.
But I didn’t join for the goodies. I joined because it’s become incredibly apparent that we all need to get used to paying some small something or pro-actively doing some small something for the content we love.
Because content is not free. Unfortunately, there’s so much of it, we take good content for granted.
But then, when favorite blogs or podcasts go silent, we are upset.
I’m ranting today not just as a producer of content, though, surely, that informs a lot of my strength of opinion on this topic. I’m more talking to you as one consumer of content to another. One podcast listener or blog reader to another. Honestly. I have no other agenda, I’m just really soap-boxy on this topic.
The truth is, as consumers, we need to do more. Or we’re going to lose a lot of what we love.
Because, again, content is not free. It takes time and effort and resources to produce it.
But, more than that, it takes the will to produce it. It takes hearing from, and feeling the support of, your audience to marshal that will.
And sometimes, in today’s “content overload” media world, it’s easy for us consumers to forget that.
We scan our Facebook newsfeed, glancing at posts from our favorite blogs, but not stopping to “like” them. We skim our Instagram feed, but don’t doubletap everything we enjoy. We’re busy. We’re moving fast. I am more guilty of this than anyone.
As a consumer, I need to do more than just following/subscribing if I want my favorites to stay in play. I need to consider myself partly responsible, in tiny ways, for helping the brands I love to grow.
Here’s what we need to do more of:
- If you read through a post on Facebook from a favorite blogger, like it. Even better, comment. We all know that Facebook is only serving posts organically that get this “engagement”. Engage, so that blogger doesn’t have to spend tons of cash just to get the post delivered to more than 26 of her thousands of followers.
- If your favorite blogger has written a book and you can afford it, buy it. That $25 will make a huge difference. It’s more than the cash, it’s a show of support.
- If you see a post in your social media feed and you want to read it in its entirety, click through to that website. Those clicks matter.
- If your favorite blogger has a shop or is selling a product, consider making a purchase as a gift for a friend. Target won’t miss a few of your dollars. But that blogger will be so heartened by your support.
- If you love a podcast, leave a review on iTunes. I bet you could do that in less than 3 minutes. And it will really, legitimately help them to rise in the rankings and be found by new listeners.
- Finally, if you love a blog or website or podcast, take the time to recommend it to a friend. Tag in them in a post on FB or Instagram. That is enormously powerful. I know for a website like ours, and for many others, shouting us out to like-minded Penelopes is an absolutely huge show of support.
I realize that I’m asking you to do more in a world where you’re already doing so much. But many of these things take just a second or two. A few minutes at most.
And by our accepting our responsibility as content consumers, we make it so much more possible for amazing content to come our way for many years to come.
OK, rant over.