For those of you that may not know, I am the founder of NullTX. This site has been live for almost 5 years and today I wanted to share with you guys what I learned from running a crypto media business for half a decade. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the lessons learned but it will cover some of the more important learning points for me. Some of these lessons apply to all media businesses and some are specific for crypto, let’s get started.
Triple Check Your Facts
I can’t count the amount of times an anonymous source will send me an email claiming to have dirt on a certain cryptocurrency project or ICO and claiming that it’s a scam. In my early days I would quickly jump on the opportunity to inform the community about a scam without doing due diligence. While most of the time the anonymous source’s information would check out, there were a few instances when the “source” is simply a disgruntled ex employee or a competitor. As such, not only do you risk discrediting your own media site, but you also face liability for a defamation lawsuit.
Don’t Give Into Extortion Threats
Following up on my previous point, when you know something is true you need to stand behind your words and fight for the truth! I have received numerous cease and desist letters and threats when exposing a scam. Here’s one such letter back from 2017 when we exposed the “Ethereum Project.”
— Null TX (@nulltxnews) June 7, 2017
Keep Your Content Original
There is no point in regurgitating the same content over and over again. Unless the news is extremely major it’s always better to publish original content not posted on other sites. Some of our best performing articles are what I like to call: Top X, VS, and What is pieces. These are entertaining and educational pieces that can really draw the reader in. Sometimes people get tired of reading about crypto developments, price trends or other generic content. More entertaining topics can not only help you go viral but can also draw higher engagement on social media.
Don’t Promote Scams
This would seem like an obvious lesson but one that seems to be overlooked by many crypto media sites. Without naming any names, many sites blatantly promoted scams back in 2018. While in some instances it’s honestly hard to distinguish what is a scam or not, in other instances when a project claims guaranteed returns anybody with half a brain can tell that investing in this project is a ticking time bomb. If you do end up promoting scams, that will really hurt your reputation long after the scam is gone. It’s best to avoid promoting any questionable projects and instead put your marketing efforts into quality clients.
Be Honest With Your Readers
I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before: “honesty is the best policy.” This applies to any media site as well. Our lead writer JP, who has been with us since the very start does a great job at always staying honest with his writing. Reading his articles you will always find a hint of cynicism, this goes a long way in crypto as most projects are simply vaporware.
Staying honest with your readers is one of the most important qualities in keeping your audience and reputation in such a relatively small industry. If you are promoting a project that paid you to write content, make sure to disclose that with a disclaimer. Otherwise, if you are hyping up a project because you are invested in it, simply disclose that in the article, there’s no shame in disclosures.
Adapt Your Content Strategy
It’s important to stay malleable and be able to adapt to the market around you, this is especially important for crypto media as cryptocurrency is a highly volatile industry. Back in 2017, our best articles were “What is” articles that educated our readers about various cryptocurrencies out there. As the crypto hype died down in 2018 people stopped caring as much about the random altcoins and were more interested in their prices. Being able to adapt your content strategy to your ever changing audience is the key to keeping your traffic and engagement high
Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Voice
While there is a time and a place for professional journalism, don’t be afraid to use phrases such as: I think, I believe, I agree, etc. By having a voice you are able to connect more with your readers which will increase engagement and attract a more loyal audience. Breakermag does a great job having a critical voice in their articles which in turn makes the articles not only more interesting to read but also invokes emotion from the reader.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have Fun!
Imagine how bored you can get just reading some articles, imagine how much more bored the author is writing them. After being in the media business for over 5 years what kept me going was being myself and more importantly, having fun. Have a topic that you have a strong opinion about? Write it right away and your audience will appreciate it. Not everyone will agree with your opinion but that will at least spark a debate with will increase your engagement. There is a time and place for everything, and having fun is a must if you want to last in the media business.