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When You Can’t Please Everyone, Please Yourself

Two months ago, marketing expert Seth Godin blogged about a “culture of clickers”, people who are constantly seeking the next best thing online. He argues that content creators should try to appeal to a small, appreciative audience rather than a mass audience. Godin writes:

Culture has been getting faster and shallower for hundreds of years, and I’m not the first crusty pundit to decry the demise of thoughtful inquiry and deep experiences. The interesting question here, though, is not how fast is too fast, but what works? What works to change mindsets, to spread important ideas and to create an audience for work that matters? What’s worth your effort and investment as a marketer or creator?

When you blog, do you care about building a loyal, interested readership, or are you simply seeking attention?

The Internet can make you believe that you have a potentially limitless readership, but that concept is simply a false lure that can mess with your ability to produce quality work. Some people succumb to greed, others to lust; don’t be the one who breaks under the weight of wanting to be an Internet celebrity.

How can you write thoughtful blog posts? Here are some tips for writing insightful, interesting posts that will help you earn the loyal following you deserve.

1. Don’t think twice about writing something. If you really want to write something, don’t doubt yourself for more than one second. The people who appreciate what you write are the people you want as readers. Even if your readers disagree with you, at least you got them to think! Consider that in itself a success.

2. Respond directly or share something that truly moved you/made you think. One of the best ways to connect with the readers you want to attract is to share what delights and repulses you. By sharing articles, music, videos, quotes, etc., you are revealing aspects of your personality and allowing your readers to bond with you on a more intimate level. Your interests paint your personality.

3. Consider writing in a way that mimics your everyday, casual speech. Forget writing for school or work; your blog is your place to write however you want to write! I highly encourage experimenting with different voices until you find one that works for you. Most readers perusing blogs expect a casual, friendly tone so leave the formal writing in the classroom. Don’t be afraid to curse, use slang, make up your own words, or express yourself in other languages.

4. Imagine your audience. Who would you like your ideal audience to be? If you could read your blog posts out loud to a room full of people, who would be in attendance? Do you want to read to a group of female bodybuilders? Do you want to read to eight-year-old boys? You have the power to attract the people you want to attract.

5. Use a recurring phrase, image, or idea. Do you have a friend who wears a certain accessory all the time? Is your friend known for a special necklace or a specific pair of shoes? Your blog is a place for you to wear your custom-made Nikes or nameplate necklace. Find an image or phrase that works for you and work it.

(Photo by Anosmia)

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