in Personal Reflections

Announcing the Journal

I believe work should speak for itself, so this will be brief.

A few months ago I quietly launched my first paid-offering in the 10 year history of this site. The launch coincided with an essay I wrote on permission pricing and in that essay I announced the results of a pricing survey I conducted for this offering.

As much as I don’t like focusing on marketing, I also know that unless I tell you the offer is there, you might not know about it.

So here it is: the Journal.

The journal is exactly that, my journal. It’s where I share everything behind the thoughts and essays on this site. With a subscription to the journal, you’ll receive new entires in your inbox and gain full access to the archives.

The current price is $7.00/month.

I offer a lifetime money-back guarantee.

You can read a sample journal entry and learn more about how I share bits of what inspires me through my Notes.

There’s a full page with more about the journal, or you can subscribe here.

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  1. Great to see this post, not only because I love your writing but because I was hitting publish tonight on a similar offer. I was struggling with the fact that I don’t usually do marketing posts or announcements on my blog. I do agree, the work should speak for itself. But sometimes we have to offer or how will anybody know?

    • I hesitated for months to write this post. Week after week I set the intention to write it, only to succumb to the fear that I would come across as a ‘marketer’.

      During those two months of resistance I spent a lot of time thinking about marketing and advertising and what role they should play in business. As I do with many things, I took myself back a few thousand years to the stall in a bazaar, where the owner shouted at passerby’s to announce what he was selling. Was that advertising or marketing?

      Then I thought about physical stores that sell products: The stores lay out the products on shelves and arrange them in such a way that people who enter the store can see what’s available. If the store owner kept everything in the back room, out of sight, how would anyone know what’s available?

      I realized that basic advertising — the act of making the availability of something known — is practically a necessity. When I publish a new blog post and I send out a tweet announcing the new post, I’m advertising its presence to those who follow me on Twitter. When I write a post announcing my Journal, I’m simply making its presence known to the people who choose to follow my work.

      Marketing, on the other hand, is actively pushing something that’s already been advertised. It’s taking knowledge of things like demographics, traffic, email lists, etc., and actively trying to convince people to pay attention to something they otherwise might not.

      Marketing a blog post would be tweeting it five times a day and then emailing people and asking them if they will help me share it. Marketing my Journal would be creating a strategy to build up anticipation over the weeks leading up to its launch and then asking people to write guest posts about it on launch day.

      I think great work will market itself and as artists and creators, it’s our job to focus on creating remarkable stuff and then sharing it with the world. If we’re all about making money, then yes, marketing will certainly help us make more money. But if we’re about creating and sharing and collaborating with people who resonate with our work, then marketing will be detrimental to those goals because we’re more likely to waste time and attract the wrong people.

      Those are my thoughts, many of which I wanted to share in this announcement post but did not because I wanted to keep it short and simple. Thank you for opening me to sharing this thought-stream, Nicole! I look forward to your announcement post. :)

      • This is an interesting topic because I see so many creative bloggers, writers and artists who shun marketing like the plague. It has its place, but I can see both sides of this because I came from a marketing background. I was trained in online marketing before I really gathered up the confidence to just write and do what I wanted to do. Now I can see how inauthentic it was and how constantly screaming marketing messages has no place in Social Media.

        I tend to now call it marketers marketing marketing to other marketers. It goes nowhere.

        I don’t see your post as inauthentic at all. I merely see it as you called it – an announcement.

        I do think that commerce can be done artfully. Good logo and graphic design just can’t be beat. Getting down to what Leo Burnett called the inherent drama of a product, getting to the essence of what we are trading.

        But yes, the work should speak for itself. I planned on doing my one post about my letter and then from there it is all about perfecting it and focusing on the work.

        I tend to think of being creative in three steps. As artists we get to live three times; We Live, We Notice and We Share.

        It is only in the sharing of our art that we ever really ‘market’ ourselves, but the problem arises when this sharing takes precedence. Artists are natural born marketers. We don’t even need the word in our vocabulary – when somebody tries to teach us how to share our art suddenly we stop living and noticing and stop creating.

        The word has no place. It is like someone telling you to be yourself. It is like trying to bite your own teeth. Anyway, I ramble. Thanks for announcing your letter.

        • Fantastic points. “We Live, We Notice and We Share.” That really struck a cord with me because that’s exactly how I live.

          When I create and offer something like the Journal, I feel influential pressure from how everybody else has launched things and that quickly reminds me how far removed those techniques are from my core: to live, create, and share.

          Commerce can be done artfully and I think in the end it’s actually far more successful than commerce done trying to maximize success by using every tool in the toolbox.

          Great works of art were created (and still are) using a single paintbrush; they did not (and do not) need all of the technology and high tech tools available.

          Just because we can track demographics, analyze the how the human brain works, and collect traffic statistics, that doesn’t mean we should be maximizing the use of all those things.

          We need to come back to the basics and understand that we’re relating (and making offers to) other human beings. They’re not machines that we need to trick and fool into buying things. Let’s create, communicate, and relate with humans as humans.

  2. Love this conversation! This is a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’m too tired to say much about it now, but I’m grateful for this meaningful conversation. I think I am in the middle somewhere.

    Most importantly, I want to say that I’m so happy you announced your journal, Raam. It really is a precious gift to the world. I enjoy it immensely and learn so much from your writing. Thank you for sharing it with us!