Mark Wrote:I do think the pick up guys are a little more hardcore about being active. I think a lot of the new traffic is very much random people just interested in reading some articles. I've never been good at getting my name out there, and I plan on hiring someone this year to help me with that.
Also, I'm going to be running a new survey next week to cover some of this stuff... I've been thinking about it a lot the past couple weeks and is part of the reason I started this thread. The approach product didn't sell as well as I had hoped, and I'm starting to think that perhaps I'm still kind of selling myself to the old pick up crowd that used to read me, rather than the new crowd that reads me.
I feel like the site is really at a crossroads and could become many things right now. Once I get these other products out, I need to sit down and really figure out and create a brand that people can identify with and then push the site as a brand or an identity... not just interesting articles, or some good advice here and there.
Ironic as it is, I could probably take a few pointers from RSD on creating more loyalty and enthusiasm for my brand.
Here's the thing: you're pulling yourself in different directions-- two different directions which may very likely be incompatible (or at best, have a very limited market). On the one hand, it seems like most of the active forum readers are most interested in the getting laid and pickup side of things. On the other hand, you're trying to de-emphasize the pickup aspect, and instead emphasize more general aspects of masculinity.
But the thing is, these two groups have very limited overlap, making for an awkward market. Most pickup community guys are convinced that what ultimately matters most is their "game", and so they hyperfocus on that and hardly care about fashion, fitness, lifestyle, well-being, etc. Or at best, they care about it mainly as a useful periphery to getting laid. The rest (and majority) are "normal" guys-- those who are interested in improving their peripheries and lifestyle in general-- often find discussion of cold approaching, same night lays, and "skill with women" to be unclassy or creepy.
In my opinion, you're the best in the industry at a kind of "holistic health" cold-approach pickup: meeting women in a way that is simultaneously fun, respectful, rewarding, emotionally healthy, and also effective. And I consider this (along with your excellent writing ability) to be your best asset. But it's a really hard sell to most guys who have only done a few happenstance cold approaches in their life, and who prefer to work on their peripheries (fashion, fitness, lifestyle, etc.) and just passively meet women.
I mean, look at this shit:
These are your current competitors before you reach the level that you can compete with AskMen. They very rarely give advice about women, but when they do, it's always incredibly vague, and always about normal, society-approved relationships (never about casual sex or pickup).
My guess is that most guys follow the same path I did. First, they're kind of passive with women. Second, they get fed up with not getting laid and partake in the pickup lifestyle, spending an inordinate amount of time trying to bang chicks to make up for lost time. Third, they realize that most of the pickup advice available is counterproductive and that this lifestyle is unhealthy, so they find "pickup detox": Mark's stuff, or in my case, also http://www.beyondroutines.com/
And I think this third group is where you get your most dedicated readers. Your approach to meeting women is too aggressive for the first group, and two passive for the second. It seems like you're trying to capture the first group at the expense of neglecting the third group and completely forsaking the second group. Personally, I consider this somewhat disappointing because that third group is the one you can benefit most (much more than just another general interest article on how to fix your posture), even if it's a smaller group. I also know that it was largely your articles that saved me from a lot of the unhealthy aspects of pickup, but any guys who are just now finding that they need "pickup detox" wouldn't realize that your site was ever about that.
So, I guess the point I'm making is that most audiences will find either the pickup articles to be offputting or the other topics to be distracting, and you might want to reconsider how much and how quickly you're prepared to dilute your best asset for the sake of broadening your audience.