8: Publishing During Times of Social or Economic Distress

The year 2020 has been quite a year. I believe that in another 5 or 10 years, we won’t consider it unprecedented in its level of challenge and disruption. Instead, I think we’ll think of it as a preview — a training grounds — for future “interesting times”. Times like 2020 challenge our assumptions about what creates reader value. Should we use whatever platform our email list has become to support social justice causes? How should we think about what’s happening in the broader culture outside our narrow area of business focus, and how should we handle that in our emails to our list? This challenging and charged question is the topic of this TEI Talk. 

I mention Chris Ferdinandi several times during this talk. He contributed this addendum to add some detail to what I shared during the talk:

I wanted to add to the discussion in the “Publishing during times of social or economic distress” video, because I found it incredibly fascinating.

  • Back in 2018, I introduced location-based pricing (similar to Amy and Alex, inspired by Wes Bos). It’s automatic, and allows customers to also use sale discounts and such on top of their location based pricing. https://gomakethings.com/location-based-pricing/
  • I also offer an evergreen, honor-system discount to anyone in an under-represented group in tech. https://vanillajsguides.com/underrepresented-group-discount/
  • Both of these moves were driven by a desire to give back to a community that’s given me so much, and expand access to folks for who my stuff would otherwise be too expensive.

Slides | Transcript