If there’s one thing I’m quite the expert on, that’s alienating a large, engaged audience.
I started my first blog back in April 2012. By November the same year, I had over twenty thousand readers. I was earning about $100 every single day, and my articles were read by close to a thousand people within the first 3–4 hours of an article being published.
Somehow, in my quest to increase my numbers, both in terms of readers and income, I lost friends and alienated a lot of people.
Just take a look at this statistic:
Here’s how you can do it as well in a couple easy to follow steps.
“Solitude or working alone can help a creative person develop and refine their work, but it is certainly not the only way to nourish creative projects,” so states Douglas Eby in his new book. Well, to each his own. Some creatives prefer isolation while others seem to strive amidst a collective. Both environs serve a purpose. It depends, I think, on how you’re wired.
Many artists acknowledge the value of academies such as Juilliard, and less formal artist retreats and workshops, like Idyllwild. Others give credit to formal education at a university’s marketing and communications school or a structured curriculum at, say, the International Center for Studies in Creativity.
Eby points out that much of the writing and advice on creative expression and enhancing creativity focuses on the inner journey of the individual. Furthermore, creating happens in a social context, and often depends on inspiration and support from others, on finding an audience, and getting financing from publishers and producers.
On the 22th of April, 2012, I signed up for a WordPress.com account. The same day I wrote and published my first blog post.
I didn’t know how to write an article, what a headlinewas, or how to properly format a blog post. I didn’t know who my ideal reader was, I wasn’t sure of my niche or main topic, I didn’t have any social media accounts, and I didn’t have any money.
It took me a month to purchase my first domainname, and for a long time that was the only money I invested in my blog.
I didn’t know how to write an introduction, how to make my content engaging, or how to add value to my readers. In fact, I didn’t even know about many of the principles of blogging I learned along the way.
All I knew was that I needed an audience. And I just wanted to blog. And I knew that I wouldn’t give up, no matter what.
I remember blogging hell. The 0 attached to most of my blog posts. Zero comments, zero likes. No shares.
I remember clicking the publish button as if to send my articles to die an undignified death.
I also remember the effort it took to go from 0 to 100readers: taking massive action when networking, commenting on dozens of different blog posts daily, replying to every single comment.
I remember who it all felt unfair somehow. How it felt like a battle that I could never win.
Learned a lot during my nine years of blogging. I also figured out that the most important aspects of blogging are some of the least talked about, which is why I am sharing these lessons with you today.
Oscar Wilde once said that, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”
There’s a lot of truth in that statement, and I do strenuously believe that we must experience blogging ourselves, try and fail and develop our own frameworks and strategies, but at the same time we must understand that someone else’s rules can also help us on our journey.
There are no maps to guide us, but some of these books may point you in the right direction.
Here is a compilation of 25 books about writing well, marketing, and building an audience.