Leave a comment

A grumpy post on why, given the model that Forbes, HuffPo, and others use, it makes perfect and logical sense that marketers/contributors are dropping backlinks in pieces. The publications try to get "free lunch" to lower their content production costs, the barrier to entry is super low, so you have easy marketing opportunities. This post covers the economics of this transaction and some possible solutions for those who want better content.

  • ML

    Mark Lindquist

    about 1 year ago #

    This speaks to something I've thought a lot about. What are the incentives of the person writing the article I'm reading? A precious few people are writing great stuff out of the goodness of their heart or to share their infinite wisdom with the world, but most people are writing to support a business goal.

    This isn't necessarily a bad thing. If, for instance, someone is writing to sell you consulting services, it's in their best interest to write content that establishes them as an expert, which means they'll open up their process, strategies, and tactics and you can learn from them. But as you mention in this, Forbes writers are often only writing to build links to clients or put 'Forbes contributor' on their personal website.

    Digging into incentives has definitely changed the way I read marketing and business content.

    • AB

      Alex Birkett

      about 1 year ago #

      Follow the money! Like you said, obviously incentives - objectively - aren't bad. We all publish content for some reason, most here to get customers or clients. But it's transparent and the model seems to make sense. It's only when trustworthy publications try to get free lunch that motives for writing become obfuscated and the reader gets burned. Oh well, there's too much good content out there to waste time reading Forbes, anyway.

  • RF

    Ryan Farley

    about 1 year ago #

    Yup, this sums it up.

    One thing I'd add is that there's a cost to Forbes, Huffpo, ect - eventually, people stop taking them seriously. Contributed content is often pretty terrible, and it reflects on the brand. Same goes with probably 75% of the companies doing content marketing - they cheap out and it gets traffic in the near term, but shows in the long term.

    • AB

      Alex Birkett

      about 1 year ago #

      Definitely! Once you lose trust, it has a cascading effect that is hard to measure, but certainly not a good thing. I'm not one to link out to Forbes anymore, probably due to their questionable content but also their annoying user experience.

Join over 70,000 growth pros from companies like Uber, Pinterest & Twitter

Get Weekly Top Posts
High five! You’re in.
SHARE
14
14