Use Your Assets
If you’re reading this, it means I’ve gotten the website back up and running.
Currently, the website is sitting in the dog house. It’s broken, and whilst I was smart enough to keep numerous backups in the event that this should ever happen, it’s hardly an easy ride:
- I keep a backup via RSS sent to my Evernote
- I keep an actual website backup using a backup piece of software that saves everything
- I also keep every article I write in one folder and all of the images in another.
This is all automated, and so you’d hope that when things go South, they were there to protect you.
On a scale of helpfulness, which of the above systems worked for me?
The least helpful one.
This site outage wiped out all of my stats (two years’ worth) and I’m having to rebuild everything from a mix of RSS feeds and my Word documents.
The site is back by the time you’re reading this, but it’s back because I copied and pasted articles for hours a day for three days straight.
Make sure your backups are in working order, people.
Now, that’s not the subject I’m talking about today. The subject is much more positive.
Use Your Assets
What I’ve Discovered
This site has well over 500 articles now.
I felt it when I had to copy-paste them all into my new WordPress install.
But you know what?
I couldn’t remember a lot of them. That’s a shame, because there’s some great information in nearly all of the articles I’ve written.
Chances are, you’re in the same boat.
Once something is done, finished and completed, we forget about it.
However, a key rule of this site and of professional writing is that every word is an asset.
I mean that literally; each article you write is a piece of intellectual property. It has a tangible value and it can be used to store or generate income.
If you’re like me and you leave your words to rot then you’re not treating them like the assets they are.
You’re basically like a real estate investor who lets houses fall into disrepair, empty and generating zero dollars.
The Simple Fix For Intellectual Property Assets
There’s one big mistake I’ve made with this site.
It’s not what I thought it was; allowing it to be disorganised, although organising it would help.
It’s not something complicated like upgrading servers or turning it into some massive commercial machine. (Although again, why not?)
The problem that I’ve allowed to occur with this site has a simple fix which is true of all intellectual property.
You NEED Eyeballs On It.
There’s no doubt that the greatest song ever written has been lost to time.
Some guy probably strummed it on his guitar, thought, “That’s catchy” and went back to his day job.
Similarly, there are millions of artists working in coffee shops while their work sits at home in their bedroom.
Or writers with novels sat in manuscript form on their hard drives or in desk drawers.
The only way to treat your creative work as an asset is to get eyeballs on it.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re free eyeballs or paying eyeballs.
If you want to see maximum asset value, your work has to be out there.
It’s Heinlein’s rules for writers and everyone else.
Put your work out onto the market and keep it there.
What That Doesn’t Mean
That doesn’t mean hit “Publish” on your blog and leave it there.
My blog articles hate me for that neglect.
Circulate your work to accumulate eyeballs.
Really, if you’re a blogger, it’s never been easier. You can link from new to old posts, you can set up IFTTT and Buffer schedules and Tweet out your links every so often. Nobody is going to think you’re a spam lord if you send out a couple of links a day.
(Even if they do… who cares? If they’re adult, they’ll understand that promoting your material is a cost of doing business.)
Incidentally, a few months back I did an experiment on Twitter. I posted eight links to my articles every day.
Did anyone call me a spammer? No.
Did anyone block or boycott me? Not that I can tell.
What did happen?
Engagement went up. Traffic went up. The amount of comments and other activity both on Twitter and on the site went up.
In short, the more you get eyeballs on your assets, the better your life gets.
It’s all about eyeballs and treating your assets correctly.
You wouldn’t buy a cute puppy and leave it locked in a cupboard all day, would you? I sure hope not.
Your intellectual property is the same. Create it lovingly, show it off to the world and keep it in circulation.
There will be big dividends if you follow this route.
By the way, this article also serves as a promise to all these articles I’d forgotten I wrote. I’ll keep you circulated once I get this site back up and running.
Speaking of which… I’ve got to go. I have more copy-pasting to do.