If you’ve ever heard an ad for Squarespace, you know it’s easy to create a website. A simple, beautiful single page all your own has become a must have for any emerging designer, artist, entrepreneur, or brand. And for good reason. It’s a modern day business card.
If you’re like me, you set one up, paid your monthly fee, and forgot about it while you tried and figured out how to build an audience and social media following — something that’s getting harder and harder to do for just about anyone outside of the Kardashians.
If only you could make social media work better for you. You could grow faster, get in front of more people, and maybe sell more products, tickets, or subscriptions. If it was easier to get attention from more people in social media, you’d grow virally, stop having to pay for ads, and spend less time in Facebook’s Thunderdome fighting for attention.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Turns out you’re sitting on the answer.
It starts with rethinking your website.
Rather than approach it as a static placeholder for fans and followers that happen to click through one of your posts, you can use your website to take advantage of the biggest opportunity this side of the Internet: creating your own deep interest social network. It’s a newer, better, and — most importantly — easier option for creating a thriving, community-powered brand your audience will opt into faster and love more deeply than anything you can create via even the most modern website.
Success changes everything.
In 2004, the first quick, easy, and cheap ways to start a website or a blog appeared on the scene. Before this new era, you needed to be an engineer with your own server or a company with millions of dollars of investment to start a website. Now anyone could start a website and grow an audience. And, man, growing audiences they sure did.
Fast forward to 2017, and now these same website builders have generated 4.5 billion web pages.
That’s some steep competition for your website, especially if you’re just starting out.
Today is noisier and people’s attention spans shorter than any other time in history…and things are only getting worse. Facebook counts a “view” as 1.7 seconds and we have 84,600 of those in a day. Your new website isn’t equipped to compete in this new attention-deficit-disorder Thunderdome.
And that’s just the attention social media is sucking up. There are entire companies dedicated to ensuring your website never sees the front page of a Google search. If you’re lucky enough to get someone to your website and they join your email list, you may be able to build an audience, but that’s a lot of steps between when someone sees your brand for the first time and your email list.
If you’re anything like the entrepreneurs we meet every day, you love the hustle — but the hustle doesn’t love you back.
Enter a way to delight your audience (and get next level engagement to boot).
If you have an idea, unique take on the world, or desire to start your own business, your 2017 “website” needs to be mobile, social, and valuable from day one. It’s no longer about lecturing at your audience, it’s about hosting a party where people want to meet each other — not just listen to you.
Welcome to the world of deep interest networks.
Deep interest networks — native mobile *and* web communities branded for *your* purpose and interest — are rapidly overtaking blogs as the most effective way to reach an audience, grow that audience, generate revenue from that audience, and allow that audience to build relationships with each other around the things that are most important to them.
Simply put? A deep interest network is the fastest, easiest way to create or grow a community-powered brand people absolutely love.
A deep interest network is:
- Organized around a single purpose or interest. Think people who are living and thriving with Type 1 Diabetes, craft hairdressers, digital small business owners, professional photographers, and feminist productivity badasses.
- Much, much more than a website. In a deep interest network, you and your members are sparking conversations, answering each other’s questions, and driving the kind of deeper discussions that just aren’t possible skimming an email newsletter, or worse, navigating spam in a comments section.
- Native mobile *and* web. While the web remains a key source of discovery, if you want people to stick around and build valuable relationships with each other, that’s only happening on a native mobile app in 2017. You’re beating the barrage of email your audience gets on any given morning for the power of mobile push notifications.
- Immune to overload. In a world of data overload, personalizing the experience of every member to deliver the most valuable information possible is a service in itself. With an emerging crop of software built for the instant attention spans of mobile natives, deep interest networks are ahead of the curve with personalized feeds for every member — showing someone only the most relevant people and conversations in the topics they care about.
- The reason you launched your website in the first place. You’ve probably launched your website to make your mark on the world. There’s likely a deep interest, curiosity, or desire to meet people who share your same sensibilities and values. A deep interest network means you can spend more time talking to people and less time pushing out new posts in social media in hopes of getting a few likes and views. I promise you that with a deep interest network, you’ll not only grow a brand, but meet some truly amazing people along the way.
A deep interest network takes advantage of network effects — the simple interactions between people that make a brand stickier, more engaging, and, ultimately, more valuable — to organically grow a new and even bigger audience.
Network effects mean more bang for your hustle. Those ads you’re spending on driving traffic to your website or long hours you’re investing in trying to figure out SEO or get attention on Twitter may just go away with a deep interest network.
See, with a deep interest network, you won’t be the only person promoting your website.
Your members can become your growth engine. They’re invested in sharing their own perspective, which drives them to share more on their social channels. And with each new share by a member, you have an opportunity to reach a larger audience without lifting a finger to update your website.
But that’s not the only reason you should replace your website with a deep interest network. The best part? A deep interest network can generate revenue starting day one.
Your idea is valuable.
Beyond all the good stuff that keeps your members coming back daily — great people to meet, message, and learn from — a deep interest network allows you to instantly start generating revenue. This could mean funding your idea through member subscriptions, or using rich (and real-time) analytics to attract a sponsor.
Let’s take a simple example. Say you have an email list of 1,000 people. After you move them from your static website into a deep interest network at the same URL, your real-time analytics help you attract a $5,000 per month brand who wants to reach your unique audience with, say, a survey they’ll pay you for. Plus, you’ve added $30 per year from 500 members who want subscriptions to your premium content. And because your members want to meet each other in-person, your first national tour is oversubscribed. This is uniquely possible with a deep interest network. You’re engaging people in both one-to-many and many-to-many connections without having to settle for a simple website or hire a developer to add plugins and integrations that create a mess.
Think about it. As ad spending shifts to mobile, where and how do brands get involved? Outside of Facebook and Instagram, there’s not enough quality mobile advertising inventory to be compelling. By providing sponsored native posts and advertising in a web and mobile deep interest network where 65%-70% of members are active and contributing, brands can be part of organic conversations they can’t be elsewhere.
All created by you.
The time is now.
Deep interest networks you can launch on your own branded mobile apps are young, powerful, and rapidly growing. They thrive on a platform three billion people have in their pocket. And they are the engine behind the next generation of community-powered brands like Airbnb and Houzz.
Sure, you can still choose to start a simple, static website and leave this opportunity to others, but why? There’s simply a better alternative.
You can invest the same time, energy, and passion in a deep interest network that you own and control to take advantage of valuable network effects and generate revenue as quickly as you can get it set up.
Only one question remains.