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The Hungry

My predictions for 2024

Published 4 months ago • 6 min read

I've grown fond of people sharing their annual predictions and reviewing them the following year to see how they panned out. I almost always cheer for them to be correct, but there's also a little schadenfreude involved because as much as I like wins, there's a bit of wicked joy when they get things wrong.

And because I want it to give others that potential joy, either for the wins or the bombs, I'll share my predictions for creative business in 2024, and this time next year, we'll review and see how wrong I was.

Also, if you read these predictions and think I'm nuts, message me back and share your takes. I'd love to hear them.

In no particular order, here are my non-comprehensive predictions for creative business in 2024...

Social Media

As politics and demagoguery continue to try to divide us, people's tolerance will wane, and they will spend less time on platforms that foster that division with suggested content to further the divide.

Short-form videos will continue to be popular, but more from larger accounts as a form of entertainment, and small accounts will lose their patience as they see their engagement numbers decline further.

Threads will continue to grow, but it will never get to the popularity of its sister apps (Instagram and Facebook) because the platform will introduce advertising, and many users will lose interest. Threads still have tons of potential for creative businesses because you can engage with others on a level that people on Instagram will not.

Pinterest is already gaining popularity with Gen-Z and will continue to grow as creatives see the opportunity to share their content on a reinvigorated platform. Most of those users will get it wrong, and the more diligent users will find ways to use the platform to build a substantial following.

Closed Loop Platforms

Because of Apple's privacy standards, Google, Amazon, ByteDance (TikTok), and Meta took a significant hit to their advertising efforts. 2024 will be the year those platforms fight back more aggressively by finding ways to keep users within their ecosystems.

The Threads app was created to compete with Twitter, close the content loop, and keep users on one of their platforms as long as possible. Why would you ever consider leaving if they can keep you reading, watching, interacting, and shopping in their spaces?

In April of 2024, all shops that sell through Instagram and Facebook will now be forced to maintain their commerce within the Meta ecosystem or lose the chance to sell there.

Google, ByteDance, and Amazon will do the same, finding ways to keep users on their platforms and forcing sellers to use their exclusive systems to sell products. This will likely overwhelm many people, and they will choose one platform over others.

Blogging/Newsletters

Many sources have already predicted the rise of blogging in 2024, which will also be true for newsletters. The more people realize they can connect directly with fans in a more meaningful way, the more those who put their blogs on the back shelf will either re-engage that audience or start fresh with a new outlook. This will spur others to do the same.

People will start blogging for SEO purposes again once they notice they're getting traffic from organic search sources. They will abandon most social media for the opportunity to grow their influence with writing.

Meta will also lean into more long-form written content and newsletters. They may even allow people to export their email lists with some reservations. I'm unsure what those reservations might be, but I don't see Meta giving up their data that easily.

Choose Your Words, my course on writing and newsletters for creatives is filling up. The deadline is approaching, and I'm limiting the number of people participating. Don't let someone else take your seat—Join Today!

Retail

Temu and Shein will continue to gain traction with buyers, while Etsy will lose ground with sellers. Perhaps you wouldn't put Etsy in the same category as the other two. Still, even though Etsy maintains many shops featuring handmade goods, the amount of mass-manufactured and drop-shipped products on Etsy has been on the rise for years.

As brick-and-mortar shops continue to close due to a lack of in-person sales, those shops will put more effort into their online sales. Likewise, independent creatives will move away from marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon and spend more time growing their online business.

Shopify will continue to be the leading platform for independent sellers, but Squarespace and Wix are building on their technology much faster and will give the e-commerce giant a run in 2024.

Teaching and Private Communities

Online education has continued to increase in popularity year after year, and 2024 will be no different, although the increasing number of independent educators will continue to muddy the waters.

Skillshare recently lowered its annual subscription price significantly, likely because it got a little too greedy in the post-Covid era, where people flocked to the site to learn new things. Still, now those students have moved on to other platforms or have learned enough not to need the service any longer.

Instead of subscription-based services like Skillshare and Udemy, people will turn to more just-in-time learning, where they take a single course to solve a single problem (like newsletter writing) and then move on. More individuals will share their first courses online and earn additional income outside their creative work.

The standard course-driven services like Thinkific and Teachable will either lower their ever-increasing pricing or become less prominent in online learning as apps like ​Kajabi​​ continue gaining traction while adding more value.

Additionally, private communities will continue to be a place where creatives come together to grow and share their experiences under different banners. Patreon is the go-to name for these individual communities, and Discord (with limited functionality), but ConvertKit, Kajabi, Beehiiv, and many others have joined the fray, allowing individuals a lot of choices.

These individual communities will allow creative people to learn, grow, and commune with others in a way that feels more personal and natural to them than the larger branded communities driven by algorithms. Members/subscribers will lean more into groups where they feel a stronger connection and will eschew anything that no longer resonates or serves them.

Politics of Art

I don't want to discuss politics too much, but this election year in the US will be another contentious one, and more artists and creatives will make their views known by sharing them in their work. We'll see more protest art and more people protesting that art.

Everyone should be able to show their views in their work. I also believe that many will end up on the wrong side of history, affecting them for years to come.

For what it's worth, don't expect me to share a lot of political viewpoints unless it involves the liberty of others.

Hungry Future

Although the world's future seems a bit cloudy, I have a bright outlook for The Hungry in 2024. The past year was filled with experimentation, honing what works and expelling what doesn't.

I mentioned this in a previous message, but here's this specific plan for The Hungry, at least for the first part of 2024.

  • Building a full-fledged website with a blog and a space to share information and courses in a more visually cohesive way. I also want a space for people to reach out about contributions and sponsorships.
  • Move back to a once-a-week schedule, publishing the newsletter only on Fridays. I saw a significant decline in subscriber retention in the last few months, likely because of the frequency of what I was sharing.
  • This will be the last deep-dive article sent out as a newsletter. Future articles typically shared on Tuesdays will become blog-only features and will be linked to within the Friday newsletter.
  • I will use Google and Meta advertising to grow The Hungry's subscriber base. As it grows, I will seek out both sponsors and contributors.
  • The current iteration of Choose Your Words featuring live instruction will be closed for the first quarter and will return in April as pre-recorded instruction. The goal of the live instruction is to share my knowledge while also taking in participants' perspectives and then create the best course I possibly can in the future.
  • I have an additional product offering coming shortly after the closing of the first course. I'm not ready to announce it publicly yet, but it will be a tool to help people find inspiration for writing about their creative work.

My long-term vision of The Hungry is to turn it into the defacto space for news and information for creative business owners, including training in various business and marketing areas.

Because I don't know everything, I will bring in new voices with specialized experience to help others with their more nuanced problem areas.

Outside of all that, I'm focused on creating the best content possible to help others with their creative business. If you're not growing, I'm not doing my job, and refuse to leave you hanging.

The future looks bright, though, and I'm happy to be along for your journey.

Happy New Year!


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The Hungry

By Dave Conrey

The Hungry serves up practical and actionable creative business news, information, and insights twice weekly. Join thousands of other artists, designers, and creative professionals looking to demystify marketing, strategy, selling techniques, and the technology necessary to run a thriving business.

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