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Anne Moss on Evolving SEO Trends and AI’s Role in Content Creation

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Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Anne Moss on Evolving SEO Trends and AI’s Role in Content Creation

In this insightful interview, we delve into the world of Anne Moss, the visionary behind Yeys.com, a dynamic web publisher’s blog. Yeys.com serves as a hub for aspiring and seasoned web publishers alike, offering a wealth of resources spanning tools, content creation, traffic generation, and monetization strategies​​​​.

Our conversation with Anne uncovers the inspirations driving the inception of Yeys.com, explores the intricate portfolio of sites under her management, and discusses the ever-evolving landscape of SEO. Anne also sheds light on her strategies for tackling Google’s algorithm updates, diversifying traffic sources, and integrating AI tools like GPT-4 into the SEO and content creation realms.

Her insights are not only a reflection of her expertise but also a guide for those embarking on their journey in web publishing.

Anne Moss

The Genesis of Yeys

SBS – What was the inspiration behind Yeys, and what was your primary focus when you started it?

Anne – I was in an interesting stage in my web publishing journey when I started the site. I began publishing websites as early as 1999, and I was at a point where I had an established website. It was a forum website, but I did many things online. I’m from the generation before Google, so I have this long perspective.

Around 2016, some things changed in the web publishing industry. The change came when a new technology came about. It’s called header bidding. The key thing about that change beyond the technology is that the payment for banner ads went up very much. Before that, we would be getting paid maybe $1–$3 per 1,000 pages, and with that new technology, advertisers began to compete over the ad space. A market opened and became an open market with a bidding system, which drove the prices up because publishers were now paying what it was worth for them. That drove the prices up at least ten times more than they used to be.

Creating websites became more lucrative, so, in addition to my other website (a forum website), I decided to join in again and create more content, as it became a viable business opportunity. When I started, it wasn’t easy (it never is), but I decided to start Yeys as a way to do several things. For me, it was accountability. It’s very difficult working from home. I didn’t have a company then, so I was a solo entrepreneur. Accountability is important because it’s very easy to just give up and say something’s not working.

If you go to Yeys, there is a report section. Those are revenue reports, and I started that as part of that accountability process. For about two years, those reports show that this part of the business at least was not making money. I was in the red. I kept investing and investing and investing without generating a profit. Eventually, it happened because it was also a question of a long-term investment. It took time to get there, and I had to take a leap of faith (I have a post about that, too).

The good thing is that I already have the experience of many years working online, and I already have one established website generating revenue. So, I knew it was possible to make money online by working on sites. It was just a question of figuring out how this particular model would work. So, I kept at it, and eventually, it did generate a profit. 

Networking and becoming part of this community of the web was another thing I wanted to achieve, and so much networking happened thanks to that site — because I was sharing. I am still getting a lot of feedback; people are writing to me, sharing things they are doing, and I’m just connecting with people. I connected with so many people, and that’s like my calling card. People can just take a look and know who I am and what I do.

Today, it’s a bit different, but I couldn’t see many women in the industry back then. It’s very much male-dominated. I thought it would be a good idea for a woman to be out there and for other women to be able to see that. Today, I’m seeing many, many more women publishers. I’m not saying it is thanks to me; I’m just saying the industry is changing, which is great because everybody can have a shot at this. You work from home, and you can do whatever you want. So, those were the reasons why I started that particular site.

Managing a Web Portfolio

SBS – Can you describe the portfolio of sites that you manage? How do you select niches for the new sites?

Anne – That changes from time to time. We just added five new sites last month, so we keep growing. At the same time, many sites we started a few years ago failed, which was okay. The way I see it, not every website can succeed.

I tend to take some risks when choosing niches, and they work for me because I have an established business. I know that I have the revenue coming in, and I have the ability to take the losses. Sometimes, I deliberately experiment with niches, knowing it may not work. It doesn’t always work, and that’s okay. For me, if even one in five sites works, it’s still a very good investment.

How do I choose the niches? It also depends on the type of model we’re going with at the time.

Let’s just take a step back to view my whole business and vocation. I am a web publisher. Like I said, I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. I create content that is intended for people to consume. I want people to visit my site to read my content, and that’s also how I make money (they get to the site, view the ads, etc.).

So the question is, how do you get people to your website? Because a website is not a store on the road. You can’t drive on the road, see a sign, and get into the store. You have to find it on your computer or your mobile device. The answer to that big question of how to get people to see your site is that there are many ways to do that. One of them is through Google Search, or search traffic in general, and then other ways are through social media or maybe your newsletter.

For me, these are all channels, and, from time to time, those channels change because it’s a very dynamic industry, and they are controlled by very big companies to a great extent. So it’s Google, Facebook/Meta, Pinterest, and even mailing lists are today controlled by Google because Gmail is the email that most people use (and if Gmail wants to, they can suffocate mailing lists in a heartbeat).

My job as a publisher is not only to create the content but also to make sure that I find the right avenue to get people to see my content. Different hives and different channels respond differently to different types of content. That is something that is always on my mind.

In 2018, 2019, and even 2020, Google was the main traffic driver to our websites, and they responded very well to specific kinds of informational queries. So, my choice of niches was also influenced by that. For me, it was great because I love creating informational content. I chose niches that were very varied, but they all boiled down to the fact that we could provide people with information about certain topics, and it could be helpful, viable information.

However, things have changed. Google is going through a lot and is constantly changing. The bottom line for us as publishers is that right now, Google favors very big sites, so small publishers like us get less and less traffic from Google. Also, competition in Google has become much worse. More and more people are getting into this game. Producing content using AI is also much easier and cheaper, so competition is high. Google traffic has gone down significantly, so we need to switch to other avenues to get our readers to the sites, which affects our choice of type of content and, therefore, of niches.

Today, we focus more on social media traffic, specifically Facebook and Pinterest. For Facebook traffic, it means niches where people are not just seeking information but are more passionate about the niche. It needs to be something like a hobby or something very close to people’s hearts. For example, if before we could go with something very informational, like something is wrong with your fridge and how to fix it, that kind of content does not work. It’s boring. It works for people who have this specific problem, and they will search for that answer. That’s where we have a good match, but we can’t use that on Facebook, so we must go through to other niches. For example, it could be dogs, or something like that, where people are invested in it, and when they scroll on their mobile looking at Facebook, and something comes up, and it’s a really cute puppy, and it has information on how to care for puppies, they’re more likely to click even though they were not looking for it. If it’s enticing enough, they will click through because they love puppies. That’s the change we’re going through as we start new websites and look for niches where people are more emotionally invested.

Business is always about change. I said it on a forum a few days ago. Actually, life is about change. If you are afraid of change and don’t want to change proactively, you should not own a business. You should go and get a job somewhere. Even then, there’s no guarantee there won’t be any changes, but it means you will not be the person in charge. I think psychologically, it’s less stressful because you’re not the person in charge of making the changes. But if you own a business, especially in this industry, you must be very comfortable psychologically with change because the only constant is change. I promise you there will be more changes. I think five years from now, ten years from now, it will be so different. I don’t think there will be websites anymore, but that doesn’t scare me. That’s okay. As long as there are people and people consume information and entertainment, I’m fine in this business because I will adapt to the market. I will adapt to the industry just the way it is.

Challenges Faced and SEO Projections

SBS – What were the most challenging things that affected you? Also, can you predict what will happen next year regarding SEO?

Anne – I don’t consider myself an SEO expert or an SEO-oriented person. My SEO, or my search engine strategy, was limited in many ways. I figured in 2019 that long tail queries, very specific questions that people ask Google, are underserved. There weren’t many of them being answered directly on the internet, and I saw that as my niche. That was where I could fit into the greater scale of things, and we pursued these very specific questions, created helpful content, and provided answers to people.

It was not necessarily fantastic content because I didn’t think that was necessary for those questions. I felt that for many questions, if we go, for example, “the red light on my specific model of fridge is beeping,” that person does not necessarily need an expert-level article explaining all of the mechanisms of the fridge. It doesn’t matter. They need to know what button they need to push to stop that light. They need to know what’s wrong and if they should call in a professional. It’s a straightforward answer. There’s no need to go overboard. I can do the initial research and just help them with that question in a way that’s easy for them to follow and understand. That, for me, was always the key, and that’s it. There’s no need for more than that, and it worked well.

As a company, we never pursued the SEO trends, whatever they were. People always go crazy optimizing for Google. There was this metric with all of those numbers about your page’s speed and all of that. People went crazy when Google did that update. They were preparing for it for months, investing thousands of dollars in each website to try and optimize for that. We did not. My thinking was that if my site is fast enough for users (and it is because I make sure I use very good hosting), then I don’t care what Google thinks. I don’t think it matters much whether we can improve speed by a few milliseconds. It’s pointless. So, we did nothing about that update.

I remember watching forums and seeing that people were investing so much, and I was scared. I admit it. I thought they knew something I didn’t. It didn’t make sense to me, but everybody was doing it, and it ended up meaningless. In the end, that update did not change anything on their website. Websites are already fast enough. It doesn’t matter if you save two milliseconds. That’s not what the user needs. This is just an example of an SEO trend that was happening that year that I just refused to play. I said, “This isn’t for me. I don’t care about it.”

Also, there’s the whole E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trust). So, Google has those guidelines for their Google raters, and people read them like the Gospel. They go into them and try to reverse-engineer the Google algorithm based on those guidelines. But in my opinion, those guidelines have very little to do with how the algorithm works. So, I don’t care about the Google guidelines for their raters. They do not apply to me. I only care about user experience for my sites, and I don’t think it should be perfect. That doesn’t interest me. I’m not looking to create the perfect user experience. I’m looking to create a user experience that is good enough and helpful enough for whatever the user needs. So, if they’re coming from the search for an informational query, I need to provide the answer in a way that’s easy to follow. That’s it. I don’t need to do more than that. Then it’s up to Google. 

For as long as the competition was low, that worked well. At some point, more and more people started doing the same thing. I would like to give an example of this specific query, “How to groom your golden retriever dog.” I compared that specifically so I had the data. In 2019, there was maybe one web page about grooming golden retrievers. Everything else was either about grooming dogs in general or about golden retrievers in general. Almost nobody answered that specific question except for a single page. That page ranked at number one because that was what the user wanted. The user did not care how to groom a poodle or a chihuahua; they only cared about how to groom their golden retrievers and only about grooming. So, that page was the winner because it did match the user intent in the best possible way.

Then, more and more people got into this game. Everybody went to Ahrefs and other SEO tools and figured out what those long-tail questions were. I was still doing it without Ahrefs because I found many of these queries for the first time. Nobody was going after them, and I figured people were asking them, so we created that content, and they were very successful. But then many other people came in, and they started pursuing the same questions, and now you have 30 pages specifically on “how to groom a golden retriever.”

If you search for it today, you will get dozens and dozens of pages, and there is no way for Google to determine which page should rank because they are roughly the same. That’s one reason. The other reason is if somebody were today to say, “No, I’m going to create the best possible page about grooming a golden retriever in the sense that I will get three professional, no, twelve professional groomers and ask each one of them on how to groom a golden retriever, get pictures of how they brush golden retrievers, have expert roundups, create the ultimate resource, and there won’t be a question about grooming a golden retriever that won’t be answered on my page,” I argue that this is not a good search result for the user because the user doesn’t care about all that when they’re asking how to groom a golden retriever. Just tell them what kind of brush to use and how often they should brush the dog. That’s it. Period. It doesn’t matter. You can go crazy investing in that content. You will not be helping your reader. 

Now, we have 30 pages that deliver a decent, helpful answer. So, how is Google supposed to decide who will rank at number one? They can’t. It’s a roll of the dice at this point. We’re seeing it with our websites. On some queries, we’re still ranking number one or top three. Some rankings are down there, not because the content is different but because it’s random. It’s a roll of the dice. It doesn’t matter which article gets ranked in terms of the user intent. Again, it’s all those trends in SEO that I don’t follow. I don’t think they matter. I don’t think they matter because they don’t matter to the user.

For the Google algorithm, it has become a monster of an algorithm. I don’t think even Google engineers know for sure how it works. There are so many parameters. Some of these parameters are AI algorithms. You don’t know how the AI will respond to all kinds of things. So, it’s unpredictable to a great extent. It’s not a bad thing to have an unpredictable algorithm. It doesn’t matter. What matters is you can see case studies of sites that do very well. But in my opinion, there’s a very strong survivor bias there. Some sites will succeed, some sites will not succeed, most sites will be somewhere in the middle, and the people whose sites are very successful will just push those and say, “Hey, look at my site. It does well,” and it does well until another update, and then it drops (or not, doesn’t matter). It’s not something you could replicate with your sites. There’s no formula you can follow that will guarantee your site will succeed in search in that respect.

It’s the same with any algorithm. It’s the same with Facebook, and it’s the same with Pinterest. There are no guarantees in this business. You can go and see what works now, but specifically SEO, I don’t care. I don’t care what Google will do. What happens when everybody is delivering good quality? It doesn’t have to be fantastic. It has to be good enough. And then what happens? Then it’s a roll of the dice. You will succeed to some extent.

In 2018, 2019, 2020, and even some of 2021, it was like the El Dorado of long-tail queries. It was very easy. We scaled our business and got a lot of rankings because we just played a big numbers game. We would produce up to 1,000 posts across our portfolio, and not everything succeeded. That was okay. We knew not everything would succeed, but the rates were such that enough of it was very successful. It’s not the case anymore just because the competition is much higher and also because of Google. 

Adapting to Algorithm Updates

SBS – How do you respond to major Google algorithm updates to improve your site rankings?

Anne – I don’t. It’s not that I do nothing. Sometimes, I have this idea and say, “Okay, let’s test this.” I have so many sites. So, I take a site, not a bunch of big ones. For example, I tried pruning content and deleting or de-indexing content that Google didn’t “like,” and it didn’t help. We move on. It was an experiment. So, it’s not like I completely ignored it because we could get a lot of potential search traffic. It’s not like I’m giving up on that, but I’m also not going crazy trying to do everything. 

Structuring Website Development

SBS – Do you think people who have just started their website should follow some guidelines to structure everything properly?

Anne – I find it very difficult to give advice in general because I think people should follow their own paths. I think I would be even more careful these days with following SEO advice because it’s all over the place. I would say — use your common sense and know that there is no silver bullet. There is no one formula that works for everyone. You have to figure out what works for you. Experiment with different types of content. See what resonates with your audience. I would also say — don’t rely on Google. Diversify your traffic sources. Try also to get a Pinterest account.

Diversifying Traffic Sources

SBS – Can you describe strategies you use to diversify traffic sources?

Anne – These days, we are exploring Facebook and have seen a lot of success in the last couple of months. My challenge right now is scaling Facebook. We’re doing very well with a couple of sites, but we’re working on adding more sites to the mix. Pinterest is another avenue that we’ve always had. We’ve always, on some sites, worked a lot on Pinterest traffic, but we’re doing more of that.

We also do newsletters and mailing lists. We establish mailing lists across our websites, and I want to explore more. I have a list of potential sources of traffic. There are all kinds of them out there, but these are the ones we work on the most right now because they are the largest in terms of potential. This is where most people hang out, so this is where we focus.

YouTube could be a possibility. I haven’t done it myself, but I’m thinking about things that would drive traffic back to the sites. With YouTube, what a lot of people are doing is generating additional revenue, which is not a bad thing. That’s why it’s on my mind, but we’re not there yet.

Then maybe Twitter and Flipboard. There are many other ways. I have a post on Yeys listing about 40 different potential channels of traffic.

SBS – Do you also consider Instagram since it also belongs to Meta?

Anne – It’s possible, depending on the niche and how you do it. With Instagram, it would be primarily reels and not Instagram posting necessarily because it’s harder to get traffic from Instagram posting. There are also many Facebook stories, reels, groups, and pages. There are multiple strategies within Facebook. We’ve only explored pages so far. So, there is a lot that people could do other than focus on Google.

SBS – Since some people say that Facebook is now more the network for 40+ and 50+ people and that young people are not coming that much to Facebook, how does it affect you?

Anne – I think it’s wonderful! It means that the RPM is higher. These are the people with money. People in their 20s don’t spend that much money. They haven’t made their money yet. I think it’s much better for us as publishers to market to older people. I can see that in the RPM. The RPM from Facebook and Pinterest is much higher than the RPM from Google traffic because it’s a better audience. I’m in my 50s, and I don’t feel old. We’re a pretty integral part of the world. If you’re 20 years old and think you’re unsure how to approach people because they’re in their 40s and 50s, then the problem is not with Facebook.

AI in Web Publishing: Impact, Tools, and Future Insights

SBS – What are your thoughts on using AI, especially tools like GPT-4? Do you believe it matters? Also, what do you think of the possible future Google AI update?

Anne – Look, GPT-4 is excellent. I love AI. I love GPT-4. Specifically, I love ChatGPT. It’s not me thinking; it’s a fact that it is the very best AI out there. I haven’t done GPT-3.5 in so many months. I don’t know what it’s like today, but GPT-4 is excellent.

We create content using AI. We don’t let AI take over, and it’s not one click. We don’t go to ChatGPT and say, “Generate an article for me,” and just take that. We use Koala AI, and we use it with GPT-4. We pay extra money to get the content from GPT-4, not 3.5. Koala does a lot of the heavy lifting of organizing the article. We also use ChatGPT directly, but then it’s multistep, and eventually, a person is in the loop, checking everything, adjusting the text, editing, fact-checking, and all of that.

I use it personally all the time in my life. It’s embarrassing. The list of conversations that I have with it every day is very long. But that’s good for us as publishers. In November 2022, when they launched ChatGPT, I said, “This is so good.” When, in March 2023, they launched GPT-4, I was sure everybody would switch to that.

I switched over to that. I don’t search the internet using Google almost at all. I only go to Google if I need an image search or the spelling of a word. I type that into Google and see what it gives me because it’s faster. For everything else, I go to ChatGPT, and I know when to trust the ChatGPT answers and when to ask it to verify online. If it’s something that I think Chat GPT might hallucinate on or just be inaccurate about, I say, “Go online and check for me in an authoritative site like the CDC” (if it’s health-related). I only use Chat GPT because it’s more convenient. The answers are better, definitely today. Google just doesn’t get the search right, but ChatGPT does. They use Bing.

More importantly, it’s a better user experience because I have my custom instructions there, so the answer is formatted, and the style and everything is suited to me. It knows me. If I go to ChatGPT now and ask a question, because of the custom instructions, it says, “Yes, Anne, this is the answer,” but it’s delivering it in the style that works for me. It knows my style, and it’s customized to me. If I have follow-up questions, I just ask them. I do everything on voice. I don’t even type. I just switch it on with the app and talk to ChatGPT. I get my answers, and that’s it.

I thought everybody would do that because it’s a much better user experience. But fortunately for us as publishers, this has not happened. 99% of people don’t do this, maybe even more, and that’s great because it means that as a publisher, I get to talk to ChatGPT, get that really good content that ChatGPT knows how to do, wrap it up for people and deliver it on a web page.

I still think that, ultimately, people will transition to AI just because it’s much better than searching a website for a website, but it will take a long time. Now, whenever I see people of all age groups, I try to introduce them to this. I take my phone and show them how wonderful it is to work with ChatGPT. They don’t convert; they stick to their habits and search Google, Facebook, or whatever. They don’t switch over to AI, which is great news for us as publishers because we can be that element that helps. I feel like, in many ways, I’m the person who negotiates between the AI and the people.

Also, most people use the free version, and they use GPT-3.5, and then they have a lot of complaints. I can’t believe that we are given access to the best AI in the world for $20 a month. I would pay ten times as much, higher even because it’s so good. We’re given that for $20 a month, and people are still not using it. They use the old version and then complain about the answers. I tell them, “Okay, what do you want? It’s not a good AI.” It’s like using Google Bard. It’s not bad. It’s something that even two years ago would have been unimaginable, but it’s not at the same level. 

Now, for how AI can affect Google updates next year. Well, Google’s algorithm is AI-driven. It was always AI-driven. It’s just not a large language model. It’s not an AI in the sense that GPT or GPT-4 is an AI. It’s a totally different system. My car has multiple AI systems in the car, and it doesn’t mean that they can talk to me. So, the AI that drives search is one thing; it doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. I would ignore it. AI is a buzzword. It has been an AI algorithm for years and years. You cannot blame the AI for what’s going on.

So the big question is, will Google transition into becoming an answer engine? People would go to Google because they rely on the Google brand name, and instead of getting search results, they will get the answer directly from Google. That is possible. Right now, Google’s AI is not good enough because it’s not even as good as GPT-4, and GPT-4 is not good enough. Like I said, you still need to fact-check. You must still be very careful and understand what an AI can and cannot do.

I’m assuming we’re talking about the option of Google using something like Gemini or Gemini Ultra that they just talked about for their answer engine. By definition, that is not a good enough option. Now, it is a large language model. Large language models have their built-in limitations.

I tested Bard with Gemini Pro. The limitations are there. For example, it cannot count, but the problem is that it thinks it can. So if you ask it and say, “Bard, can you count?” it will say, “Yeah, sure, I can count. Counting is easy.” Then, I give it an image with three or five blue circles on a white background and say, “How many circles are there here?” Bard gives me the wrong number, but it says, “I counted carefully, and I am confident that this is the number.” That’s the problem. A large language model can easily make mistakes without noticing and be very confident in how it delivers that wrong answer.

What I love about OpenAI is that they found all kinds of workarounds to make sure that the answers are better, but also to make it less confident. One of the problems I have with Bard is that it’s overconfident. It’s like Bing, and that has to do with the persona of the chatbot, not with the large language model abilities. 

My point is that nobody has the technology to be a reliable answer engine. I hope that Google will be responsible enough not to release an answer engine to the general public, understanding that the liability is too high for them as a company because if their AI gives people the wrong answer, they might be held accountable. I hope they will be responsible enough, but I’m not sure because I think OpenAI is pushing them very hard. Everything that we see that they’re doing now with Gemini, that terrible release product release that they had, shows me that they are panicking. If they release an answer engine, I don’t think it will be good enough.

As a person, not as a web publisher, I think it’s dangerous for our society if a large company monopolizes search de facto. Right now, when people say search, they say Google, which means that when they need to look for something, they go to Google. To have that same company not only give you 10 or 20 results that you can choose from but actually give you one definite answer and then monetize, that’s the other side.

Google controls a lot of internet advertising today because they have the Google Ad Exchange. Everything that you see from Mediavine and Raptive goes through Google. For one company that controls the traffic, the answers, and the monetization, that’s way too much power in the hands of a single corporation. I hope that either Google will be responsible enough to avoid this kind of situation, or if they’re not, then that legislators will step in and stop this. I don’t know where it’s going to go.

I like how Microsoft Bing handles it when they give you the option to use an AI chatbot, but they also give you search results separately, and you can choose if you want to do this or that. Their search results are, I think, better than Google’s right now. I would like to see a simple search result option for people and then an AI option.

But as a society, we need to figure out a way to ensure that people using the AI option understand its limitations. I think a lot of it will depend on the AI itself. It’s possible to train the AI to understand its limitations, communicate with the users, and let them know, but we’ll see.

Anyway, I just don’t rely on Google for my business model anymore. So, from my business perspective, I don’t care. I will keep on adapting to whatever happens. I just have my concerns more like a member of society, and I think that as web publishers, we have a unique perspective because we see these things. If you talk to the average person on the street, they don’t know how the internet works, let alone how Google works, and they don’t know anything about what we just talked about. This just goes under the radar for them. They have no idea. It’s not on the news, and it’s not on the major newspapers. Nobody knows these things. As web publishers, we should step up and communicate with the general public more.

That’s why I took the initiative. These days, we’re making progress with the initiative of establishing a Web Publishers Association, which could do many things for publishers and also help voice those concerns from our perspective about the general state of the internet (especially now with AI coming). We’re very close, I hope. We already have our potential board of directors, and I hope we’ll be establishing the Web Publishers Association in early 2024.

Boosting Site Traffic Successfully

SBS – Since we see many websites drop in traffic because of all these core updates, can you share some successful strategies that you use to boost some of your sites’ traffic?

Anne – It’s just the diversification of traffic sources. Not all of our sites were hit by the updates. Some were, but some were not, but we boosted our traffic from Facebook. We’re at almost a million views a month from Facebook traffic, which we did not have before. Because that traffic has a higher RPM, it makes up for the traffic loss from Google, which I’m very grateful for. 

Diversification was not easy. I don’t want to give the wrong impression. We started diversifying when ChatGPT came out. It took us months and months to figure out how to do this right. It was lucky because people did not transition to AI, but search traffic died out for other reasons.

The Future of Web Publishing

SBS – What are your thoughts on the future of web publishing?

Anne – I think for the next few years, definitely a year or two, we will still have websites, and we will still have a very important role in the ecosystem of the internet as website publishers because, as I said, the public, the audience wants information and entertainment. AI cannot give them that yet (at least not in a good, reliable way), so we still have that role to mediate between the world, including AI, and what people want to get.

I’ve always seen that as our role because we have this internet, this huge technical thing, that people don’t want to know and don’t need to know how to operate, and the information or the entertainment needs to be digestible. Take that massive amount of information out there and translate that into something that people enjoy consuming. I don’t see that changing in the next couple of years.

Eventually, like in a decade from now, I think what will slow it down would be the way people react to it, not AI itself. There will likely be customized AI agents for each one of us who will do that process of digesting the world around us for us, but it’s not going to happen in the next two years. In that respect, I’m very optimistic.

And as for a decade from now, who knows? Who cares? We’ll figure it out in ten years. The world is a very volatile place in general. We should be realistic. Too many people in this industry obsess about what’s going to be the future of the industry, and I don’t think that far ahead because life, in general, is so complicated and so volatile.

Let’s enjoy what we have now. Right now, I have a good business. It’s working. I can see my strategy for the next year or two. That’s great. This is what I’m focusing on. That is what you need for it to be working.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

SBS – What advice can you give future entrepreneurs who want to start web publishing? 

Anne – Be careful of people, solutions, or courses telling you they have a formula that works and is easy. It’s not. It’s a business. I love this business. I think it’s fascinating. I think the potential is huge. For me, I think it’s like a bug. Either you have it, love it, and then you can do this forever. No matter what happens with the market, you will continue because you enjoy this game. I think nothing is certain in any business.

You have to not go into this thinking you can make a lot of money or that it’s easy money. It’s not easy money. Very few people make it work. This is like any business venture. Most businesses fail. So, if you’re new to this, make sure you don’t take out loans and don’t risk what you don’t have. This is not a sure thing.

You should invest in courses and stuff like that. Learning from others who made it work is important, but don’t think it will guarantee anything. Take into account what worked for some people may not work for you and will probably not work for you. This is just the way it works. There are so many moving parts. There is a certain element of luck as well.

Do this if you love it. I think the potential is still there. If you’re passionate about it and feel that this is your calling and something you enjoy, then do it. I love this business. I don’t want to deter anyone from going into it. But at the same time, be realistic. Understand that it’s not passive income. It’s not easy money. It’s a lot of work and dedication, and it takes a long time to make it work. Just be realistic with your expectations when you enter this.


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