If a new competitor enters the market and succeeds where other businesses are failing, they have two options: either close up shop or compete.

The Victorian Government is considering a third option for taxi drivers who have been losing money to uber, placing a $2 levy on all rides to compensate taxi drivers for the disruption to the industry.

I’d suggest a levy on all digital ads to bail out newspapers, but I’m worried the Government would actually take me seriously.

Businesses don’t get bailouts if there’s someone doing something better than you. There isn’t one for publishers, and frankly, there shouldn’t be.

While news reports signal the fall of the publishing industry, the fact is that all business is challenging.

Have publishers actually been hit harder than anyone else?

If you’re selling a car ride service and someone else comes along offering customers exactly what they want, you can’t just sit there and complain about what’s happening, you need to figure out how to make your product the one that people want.

You have to go back to basics.

For publishers, this means creating quality content that is actually useful to readers and then delivering it directly to the targeted audience.

Think about what people want to know and provide solutions to their problems or information that will interest them.

It doesn’t matter what platform you publish on–print, websites, social media–it all comes down to providing information that someone actually wants and making sure it’s getting to the intended audience.

Businesses can post all the content they want on Facebook and Twitter but if it’s not relevant information to the reader, it won’t matter what platform it’s published on, they won’t read it.

By stripping back to what actually works and focusing on the quality of the content, publishers will then have a strong base to build everything else around.

No one knows what the industry is going to look like in a few years but if publishers are succeeding in these core principles, it will drive marketing opportunities and help publishers stand out, regardless of the state of the industry.

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