Publish or Perish 2017

The other day, something I wrote here almost seven years ago started picking up traffic from Twitter. It was a piece about where people looking for attention on the Internet should publish. And it got me thinking: what does the old phrase publish or perish mean, anymore?

I was kind of amazed at how little my thoughts on the matter had changed since 2010. The wisdom of Publish or Perish isn’t in question; what matters is what it means; most important, the issue driving publish or perish more and more is where you publish.

But the application of where you publish has changed. The reason that seven-year-old post got legs was that I’d put a link to it on my Twitter account. More accurately, software running here had posted it for me, automatically. So: had I published on Twitter, or had I used Twitter to re-publish something that lives here at Answer Guy Central?

The answer is “yes”.

The wisdom behind “publish or perish” has only become stronger as your need to control and self-publish has grown. What’s changed—or maybe stayed the same—is the need to understand how that publishing works.

I’m about to talk about Search Engine Optimization. Strap in.

No, I’m not pitching SEO services; except as part of something bigger we stopped selling SEO years ago. But SEO still matters and it ties, simply, into that publish or perish thing. The more you write, and when your writing lives at your web site, the better your marketing works.


We recently overhauled and updated one of our client’s websites. It’s truly beautiful, befitting her position in her field. But the purpose of the overhaul wasn’t just about looking great. We’ve preached it for years, and she’s finally come to understand that her stellar SEO doesn’t pay the bills.

The reason for this is that even though most small business success comes from narrowcasting, more and more “going narrow” is not enough. Let’s use that same client to illustrate why.

Publish or Perish, 2017

When people search Google on the correct phrases, they find their way to this woman’s website—and that’s great. But she provides hands-on education in her field and far more people go to an education site and then search. Google and her great SEO mean nothing.

Are there SEO tricks she can use to take advantage of what she’s come to realize in this area? You bet. And they bring together that SEO-isn’t-a-standalone-service point and the “where do you publish” issue.

And—among other things—they bring “publish or perish” back into focus.

Not quite sure what to publish and where? Want to ensure your business doesn’t perish as a result? Get business help from the Answer Guy.

Share This