The title of this post sucks, it really does. Unfortunately, it is true, especially when applied to web media properties.
The “Field of Dreams” scenario of build it and they will come is very comforting, but it is total hogwash in the real world. Whether it be web media, a retail outlet, a grocery store, whatever, if it is not promoted properly, no one will come, ever. The fact is people have to know you exist, then they have to actually care, then they need to know that you are filling a need in their life. That is much more work and sweat than build it and they will come.
The People, or should I say, gurus or rock stars, that say different are feeding you a line of bull. If they want to charge you for telling you that bull, run very fast.
“But,” you say, “I created a production of real quality.” Well, it doesn’t matter, not one bit. Quality has little to do with anything. What matters is what I wrote above. Do people know your media exists? Do they care? Does your media bring something to or fill a need in their life? If the answer to the above, any one of the above, is no, you will not be a success.
There are tons of great, and just as many, if not more, mediocre, media properties out there that have achieved what could be called success. This simply means they are known, the have many people that consume the media, and they are talked about. The key is, the producers of this content are always talking about, promoting, and making sure their media is in your face. Good or not, that is what works.
The problem comes up that producers, the creative types, are often not natural promoters. Creative types often feel that they are stepping over boundaries when talking about their media. They talk down about their own product to make sure they don’t seem cocky. They may feel that self promotion robs the art aspect of their work. Whatever the case, the need to learn to self promote is necessary if you want to get your media out to the world.
Of course, producing a great, high quality product is what we should all strive for, whether it be a blog, a podcast, video, animation, whatever. A quality product will go much further with your promotion than a mediocre product, but face the facts, the number of sub par media properties that are popular is proof that quality is a distant second to quantity. Quantity of promotion, that is.
Remember the old adage, there is no such thing as bad press. So go and promote, and be proud of your work. Yes, there is no such thing as bad press, but their is nothing worse than no press at all.