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I have been waking up around 5 am for the past few days, possibly due to the sun, but I feel there is something else going on that I cannot yet name.

Two days ago, I discovered that ConvertKit had unchained my account from Facebook, resulting in my custom audiences no longer being populated. I was unhappy and contacted their support immediately, only to be told it was my mistake, which I believe is utter shite.

I have been considering moving to Klaviyo, as it is more suited to an ecommerce business. ConvertKit, designed for content creators, feels like it has lost its way by moving into offering paid newsletters to counterattack Substack. This is insane, as Substack blows ConvertKit out of the water when it comes to starting a paid newsletter. The fact that subscribers are free until they become paid is a massive plus. Despite Substack’s 15% fee, including processing fees, it offers a streamlined flow, allowing users to upload videos, audios, text, and images, lock down certain posts, and offer discount coupons. It is a platform that just works straight out of the gate.

Substack, even after chasing funding, sticks with what it knows, while companies like ConvertKit and Podia try to game the market by appearing to be all-in-one solutions while mastering nothing. This happens time and again.

If I were starting out again, I would use Substack and position myself as a curator. In a sea of noise, it is extremely hard to find resources and sites that are not all trying to game the search engines. Niche knowledge that truly serves the public is valuable.

I found that one of the big upsides of following Seth Godin’s advice was that, because the internet is so vast and there is so much expertise in the world, teachers and authorities do not have to appear as all-knowing. The future of teaching (writing self-help, etc.) is to stand on the shoulders of giants and not be afraid to do this, while at the same time growing into a giant that others will eventually reference.

This happened in this year’s spring cohort when, instead of taking photos of the plants we were studying myself, I simply used Wildflower Finder’s awesome photography. I didn’t steal their photos; I linked to them, which is, after all, what the internet was meant to be about: networking together.

Instead, the internet has become a place of walled gardens and fortress content, which is what paywalling content does. Yet, I believe in the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the content is gated, and 20 percent is open access.

I have learned the hard way that, regardless of the lip flapping and ideological virtue signalling, humans, underneath all the good intentions, are self-interested, mercenary bastards. Kill or be killed is the way of the world, and as I learned in India, might is right. It’s sad, but that’s the reality for 90 percent of the world, and I don’t care anymore, as Johnny Rotten screamed from the stage, “AND WE DON’T CAAAARRRREEE!” If natural altruism arises, great. If it does not, great.

I am currently sitting down, wrapping my head around Klaviyo, which is a beast of a marketing machine. It can track people around the web, and if someone visits my store, even if they do not buy anything or add a product to their cart, if they have visited any other Shopify store on the web and at some point entered their email into that store (provided the store uses Klaviyo), an email will be sent to them asking them to return to my store and purchase something. That is totally insane, and that’s just the start.

Compared to ConvertKit, Klaviyo is a giant, and ConvertKit is a hobby business. However, ConvertKit is not set up to integrate with ecommerce systems, so I am being a little unfair.