Content wants to be profitable

Apr 17, 2013 | Profit

When Roger Ebert died he was praised in dozens of articles and posts. I thought that the most interesting one came from David Carr, the media columnist for the New York Times. The title was “Roger Ebert as a Builder of an Empire.” Here’s the money quote.

“Long before the media world became cluttered with search optimization consultants, social media experts and brand-management gurus, Mr. Ebert used all available technologies and platforms to advance both his love of film and his own professional interests.”

That “Information Empire” concept isn’t new. Gordon Burgett was promoting it three decades ago. He even wrote a book about it, Empire Building by Writing and Speaking. Long before “the self-publishing revolution” and long before almost anyone else, Gordon was reminding us that content can make the cash register ring.

If you’ve got something to say and you can say it well, this is your age. David Carr, the author of the piece on Roger Ebert has said that the only thing that has remained true as the digital revolution has ground on is the phrase that “Content is king.”

Don’t stop with the book you’re writing. Plan to create information products around it. It’s not that hard. Just think about Roger Ebert’s example

How can you use all available technologies and platforms to advance the things you care about and your own professional interests?

Personal Note

This blog piece was fun to write, in part, because it’s homage to two men who’ve shaped my thinking. Gordon Burgett opened my mind to the possibilities of an information empire and David Carr is my go-to source for what’s happening in the world of publishing and information entrepreneurship right now. Thanks, guys.

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