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I knew that once I could get this publication to a point where it was self-sustaining, I would pull the plug on social media. Now, I am happy to say we have reached that point...



March 1, 2024
6 mins
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I’m sure it doesn't surprise you that we’re hoping off social media given the nature of our publication. ETHEREAL.PRESS is something that finds you, not the other way around.

I’ve always had disdain for social media, and in the last few years it’s gotten to the point where using it isn’t even at all enjoyable. 

From conspiracy theories, racism, virtue signaling, deterioration of our public discourse, low effort / garbage content, retention baiting videos, sites deliberately not showing our posts (in the hopes of us paying for sponsored content), hateful rhetoric, AI generated content, and just overall stupidity - social media has become impossible to use. 

To me there’s no better representation of late stage capitalism than the proliferation of influencers, podcasters, and social media content creators. ‘Content’ is a commodity, to be consumed, but unfortunately for most, it’s made for FREE. Have you ever thought about why these sites are free?

I knew that once I could get this publication to a point where it was self-sustaining, I would pull the plug on socials. Now, I am happy to say we have reached that point. 

I needed social media for a while to build some type of credibility in a new field. I have a university degree, but no formal education in journalism. With socials I knew I could build hype around this publication and grow it fast. 

This was beneficial for a while allowing us to land some of our major interviews & attend some major events. I doubt I would have been able to share the festival stages with major platinum artists without social media. 

I want to show you all how I’ve set up this publication without social media and how I garner ‘real’ viewership without it. I hope this will help you to build your websites and businesses without the need to be posting ‘content’ to social media!

1) Backend SEO + Google Analytics 

Setting up your website to rank on Google is absolutely imperative. 

There are a number of SEO tricks I have learned along the way to help generate viewership through Google. Last month our site had 50K impressions & we don’t even have that much content on it, that’s how powerful this tool is.

What you need to do first is set up with a quality web builder.

Webflow to me is one of the best to use, though it does have a steep learning curve. Within Webflow’s settings you can link it to Google console and have them index and verify your site. Once that is set, Google can crawl your site, and start ranking your pages on search engines. 

Before this, I would make sure each page is optimized towards Google Search. For this, I set SEO parameters within each webpage. For optimal search traffic you want to set these pages to 60 characters for a header and 160 characters for a description. 

(Ranked 3rd of 5 million results) - Prior to Domain Change (from COSMOS to Ethereal)

I don’t go crazy with word optimization in my articles, since our connect is more unique and niche. Most of our articles are ranked fairly high on search engines for their respective artists.

2) Embed on Other Sites

One of the most important things you can do with your articles is embed them on other sites. I’ve had a massive jump in viewership from websites like Rate Your Music and Reddit

Interview Index (2023)

For each event coverage set or interview I do, I go to the artists Reddit & Rate Your Music and embed the link accordingly. Most Reddit pages for artists are cool with you doing this, as long as the content is quality. Larger music sharing pages will ban self-promo, so be aware of that.

Tyler the Creator - Camp Flog Gnaw

I hardly use reddit (as social media) and use it as a way to share my articles to a mass audience. I also have a Flipboard page which is generating some additional viewership, though it’s nothing like what Reddit and Rate Your Music does.

You can also add your sites to RSS feeds to boost viewership more. 

3) Building an Email List

I don’t want to spam my audience so I only post to this about 1 to 2 times a month, but having an email list is important for retaining viewership. It goes out to a couple of hundred or so people a month and provides a solid base for those viewing the publication. 

A lot of this email list is industry insiders at major labels and PR agencies. This has led to a lot of great features through the publication. I target a large audience through the first two methods and a niche industry audience through this one.

I use Substack to build and maintain my list.

4) More Sites to Try Out

For our photo and video coverage I think it's important to embed it into a few other places. We use and Behance to share our work. This helps me to garner clients and quickly index my work over the years!

If you're an aspiring artist, please understand social media is not a prerequisite for success. Most of what you see on social media is artificial whether it be engagement or the content itself. There are even a handful of companies that have 'premium bot' accounts boosting the engagement of virtually every public figure you know.

The most talented artists (you've likely never have heard of) are working BTS for major production companies across the globe, producing high quality editorial work. Not posting reels or TikToks, clout chasing the most recent trend.

In my own case, when I de-prioritized social media, that was when I was able to make the jump to being a full time creative.

Please try exploring other avenues - I know it seems counter intuitive...

I know this is fairly simple, but these methods garner a massive amount of viewership for the site. I do use a few other ways to generate viewership, but I will save those for a future article.

In my case, I can’t invest enough time into social media to garner the same results. Social media really is a waste of time and money, the sooner you realize that the more time you’ll have for other work or leisure. 

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