How to escape from the Google Trap and enter the land of freedom?

I hope that yesterday’s article had brought in some reality check for those who dream of becoming a professional blogger (or a creator of some other types of free content). Indeed, the tyranny of the Google Trap has pushed down the price of content all the way to zero, creating a bonanza for two classes of people/businesses—big-boys aggregators (e.g. Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix) and 6 billion consumers. Individual content creators have the raw end of the deal, battling intense competition, miniscule sales and fleeting attention of potential customers. So, if you are one of them, is there a way out?

Yes, there is!

The first step is to escape from the limits of a mindset subconsciously imposed on you through years of brainwashing by the Google Trap. To be able to open your eyes to see that limit, think about what I wrote yesterday,

I can tell you, if you want to be able to make a living writing blogs (or producing free content like music, photos, and illustrations for that matter), you need a colossal amount of traffic for that to happen.

Let’s zoom in on the word “colossal”. It implies attracting the attention of a gazillion eyeballs. In a world where content is abundantly free and everyone else is trying to do the same, I can assure you that, your chances of doing that successfully is NEXT TO ZERO, especially if you’re just starting out. Yes, you’re read it correctly. It’s NEXT TO ZERO. Maybe a lucky few will manage to slip through the Google Trap net and write books on how they did it. But for the vast majority who tried, chances are they will fail.


To please a gazillion eyeballs, you are, in effect, trying to please everyone. You know what happen if you try to please everyone? You end up pleasing no one.

So, what is the alternative? How about you narrow your focus and try to please only a small subset of the gazillion eyeballs. Say, perhaps, just a thousand of them. And you please them so well that they adore you and become your True Fans. These are the die-hards who will buy any work you create, drive for hours to see you on stage, follow your every move on social media, want your signature on their sweaty t-shirt, queue up for days to buy your first release, treat every stroke of your pen as gold…

What about the rest of the world? You can ignore them for that matter. But I can tell you, you will find it difficult to ignore the other gazillion eyeballs who are not your True Fans. Why? That’s because you will inevitably piss off some of them. Among those whom you piss off, you may even receive some hate mail.

But they don’t matter. What matters is your True Fans. Once you found your core base of True Fans, that’s when you will see that you’ve escaped the Google Trap and enter the land of freedom.

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  • Darren Smith

    That’s very much like the patronage model from hundreds of years ago. Back then, composers are sponsored by their rich patrons who enjoy their music. Today, instead of one rich patron, we have lots of small patrons.

  • pure

    umm… Terence. Your  article is titled “How to… ” but then does not explain “HOW” for me.
    So we have awareness.  Google Trap exists.
    Got that.
    Then the post ends with “What matters is your True Fans”.  So I agree with this point, . True Fans are you focus. Laser light focus on generating true fans. 
    Then you further say having true fans is your INDICATOR your out of the GT

    So am I being a complete twit, where did you write about the “How to… escape from it”
    How to not be a part of the Google Trap

    Even better, if you could show me, how we could leverage off the Google Engine. Like in Aikido use your counter-parts/opponents force against you, on them.

    am v. curious to know…. how?

    • How about you become my client instead so that I can help you try to achieve what you intend to achieve?

  • pure

    Have you read Chris Anderson’s book, The LongTail?
     I ask, as one way I see, to avoid the suck-into the Google Trap, is be niche.
    The LongTail speaks to this.
    here for what LongTail Market, LongTail Consumer or LongTail Marketing: