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Stop only flirting at the edge: be timeless
Are you shipping work that compounds to a better future for yourself and the world? Today is a great day to start...
Everyone continues an unhealthy obsession with flirting at the edge. Obsessed with the latest news. Becoming the trending topic on Twitter. Wanting to trade the newest companies or only interested in the hottest trends. Only caring about what’s new, now. And most of the people doing so probably have no business being there (yet, perhaps for many ever) in the first place.
Getting to the point you are, whether personally or professionally, sophisticated enough to use stream-based platforms to flirt with the edge is of course great and could be a goal, but there are a lot of things you need to lock down first. Not the least of which is in some way, shape or form being timeless.
Timeless in the sense of producing evergreen work that attracts 1,000 visitors a day and gets continued organic shares across platforms whether you produce something new or not.
Timeless in the sense that it deserves to rank highly in search engines by being the most authoritative, useful or interesting page on a subject in your category.
Timeless in the sense that you’ve created a community users have been conditioned to visit you weekly because they know something new that will make them smarter/better/faster/stronger will be there.
Timeless in the sense you’ve built a useful web app that might not be the prettiest thing in the world, but your entire category has it bookmarked because it’s so useful they need it as part of their processes and daily life. As this fun Tweet from my friend Chris sagely notes:
Social media, short term trades and market gains, an obsession of what’s new, now has crippled many in their quest to break through. Your superpower is to resist these things and instead play the long game. It works because almost no one is willing to do it, our culture is now so short-term focused all you have to do is be able to look a bit further out.
Once you’ve done something timeless, you then gain far more leverage than those who just flirt at the edge. Normal people don’t refresh their browsers to see what’s new, or are even so plugged in they see everything. And even those who live at the edge still can’t possibly catch it all.
If you can do something timeless, you can exist outside the ever-quickening churn of the real-time web yet continue to pull organic links, traffic social shares and ultimately outcomes. Do this right and you can escape the machine: being timeless puts you outside the noise and positions you as signal.
If you’re an experienced online marketer, stop and think about the returns brought by engaging in timeless tactics. Pros know they compound. The new gen of amateurs is obsessed with things like creating throwaway threads on other people’s platforms that might only work for a hot minute. For example, remember when we used to flesh out robust FAQs on our own sites? They would net high demand, high quality traffic that would convert like crazy. Smart marketers still do this, while a new generation might only answer that question in Quora or LinkedIn where visitors might never make a connection back to the company and miss out on organic conversions. It’s lost forever in social purgatory, like the famous ark in Indiana Jones. I’m not saying don’t answer questions there. What I am saying is you need to complete the timeless tactics, those that work for you while you sleep first. The order here matters. Clean up your room before you take on the world.
My favorite artists create timeless works. I return to them years later and they bring the same level of creativity and craft they originally did because they put their passion and soul into them vs pandering to the masses. I’m excited to hear what they’re doing next, because I know they are less concerned with being first – instead they are focused on doing something that matters.
How are you focused on being timeless?