Every company has an origin story. Some are fascinating. Some are simple. In Adpulp.com’s case, my colleague Shawn Hartley and I both saw an opportunity to create a micro media business that covers the ad industry in a fresh, knowledgeable, and irreverent way.
For sure, this web resource for marketing, advertising, PR, and media pros has grown and changed considerably since October 2004, when Shawn and I started posting here. To get our bearings in digital time, there was no Twitter and no YouTube in 2004, and Facebook was active on elite East Coast campuses exclusively. So, we have deep roots in the digital space.
For what it’s worth, I have made more than 9000 posts on Adpulp.com in the past 15.5 years and our featured and guest writers have made hundreds more. I estimate that 500 or so of the articles I have published here are worth noting, keeping, or repurposing in some form. As the creator of 9 out of 10 of these articles and editor and publisher of 10 out of 10, I admit I find it hard to keep track of my best efforts. The editor needs an editor, and the aggregator needs and aggregator.
That’s one lesson learned. Here is another…
Surround Your Best Content in Product and Service Offerings
Content, no matter how well written or produced, is not an online money maker. Yes, people will line up to pay for a Hollywood film or attend a live concert, but online, people expect free and easy access, or they’re on to the next. We’re playing by different rules here.
Alert: Content Does Not Convert. Not on its own, not without advertising support. The best-made content in the world isn’t going to move anyone if they never see it.
I’ve advocated that a brand’s content must help support its advertising and vice versa. Now, it’s past time to update that to a brand’s content is its advertising.
Adpulp.com Is 99% Ad-Free
The content I write, edit, and make available to you on Adpulp.com supports the best work that ad agencies and clients make.
I recognize the level of difficulty involved and I consistently honor the effort to get it right. When I do offer criticism, I make it about the work, not the people doing the work. In advertising, practitioners fail more than they succeed, but there are no awards given for enduring a mountain of failures. There ought to be, because the ability to survive the ups and downs is essential, along with thick skin, real humility, and a keen sense of humor.
Adpulp is not advertising any of the above, and there are no ads on top of this content. As you can see, Adpulp.com is 99% ad-free. The site is ad-free because I want the reader’s experience—your experience—to be optimal.
How To Become An Adpulp Customer
Provided that a brand’s content is its advertising, and Adpulp is the brand, what is the product being advertised here? I am the product that’s being advertised. My knowledge of the field and my passion for work that raises the bar is at the heart of this site and on display for all to see.
I’ve always thought that the most obvious way to support Adpulp is to hire me to locate and amplify your brand truth, or to lead a live skill-building workshop at your office. I show you who I am, what I know, how I think, and how well I write every day. Like all copywriters, I rely on my portfolio. Unlike all copywriters, I have another of-the-moment means by which potential clients can measure me.
Information products and services that you can buy, right now:
- Buy a Leo Burnett, Ad Legend t-shirt and wear it proudly around campus or the office
- Buy a Lee Clow or Adpulp Chainsun logo laptop sticker(s)
- Traveling to Austin? Experience Adpulp’s new concierge-level introduction to Austin, TX
- Already in Austin? Let’s Walk & Talk! (we can also do it over the phone)
- Become a premium sponsor of Adpulp.com and place a series of articles here for readers to act on
No programmatic ads are running on Adpulp.com and no paywalls or subscriber-only content. I don’t ask you for much. I do hope to earn your attention and in the best of cases, your continued interest and respect. If you also become a customer or friend, that’s a huge bonus.
Puttin’ Some Bread in the Breadbox
Adpulp has presented many opportunities for me to learn how to develop content for an audience, and how to make this website into a sustainable small business. I’ve made mistakes along the way, but I keep on keepin’ on because I believe in this project, and I enjoy the work I do here.
Recently, a few friends (who all want the best for me) have suggested to me that Adpulp is past its prime. That no one reads anymore, and that trading on advertising criticism isn’t worth a dime in today’s clickbait marketplace. I admit that I had to pause and look within for an answer. Sadly, doing so causes a torrent of other doubts to pour freely. Like: Am I talking to myself here? Is anyone out there? What am I doing wrong? And so on…
Here’s what I’ve learned. Self-doubt is not erased by success or experience. Rather, you manage self-doubt by placing the challenges inside of your cosmology. In other words, you open the doors of perception where you can see past the limits of ROI, and other MBA-minded framings. I know that Adpulp.com has real value. I value it and so do hundreds of readers and fans. Yet, the site isn’t big enough to pay my way in the world. That’s okay. Adpulp is an important part of my work whole, and I hope it is now, or soon to become, a steady part of your media diet.
Finally, there are several ways for you to participate in the Adpulp community, and I encourage you to speak up. You can leave a comment here, or share this content on the socials. I also manage a private Facebook Group called, “The Internal Creative Review,” where we discuss the work, and issues surrounding our ability to do the work. I’m also looking to add diverse voices to the site. If you’re a student in an advertising program, a client looking for a new agency, a 40-something who is being pushed out, or a COO trapped in a corner office, I want to hear from you.