That’s how I felt when I first started writing regularly over a couple of years ago. I had such fantastic ideas and what business did the world have besides stopping in their tracks and be amazed.
But it did not happen that way. There was deafening silence in the beginning. And then a trickle started. Followed by a slight uptick in the followers. And a few (gulping) mini-hits along the way. And a few spectacular misses that routinely brought me back to reality.
But this is not about my journey. But rather three principles that the school of hard knocks taught me along the way about what makes people want to read your article or not. And hopefully, for the aspiring bloggers, you can fast track your way to other learnings by picking up a few tips here.
Principle #1 – T aka Trust – If they routinely allocate time for reading your 5 min article, it is because you have garnered their trust. How? By consistently and constantly delivering value to them. Not by tooting your own horn but allowing them the possibility to have a horn of their own. And my own way (I am sure these are not exhaustive) is to show my vulnerability, humanity, humor and brevity in writing. It takes courage, resiliency, self-awareness and constant course correction but the feeling of building trust with your readers is immensely fulfilling.
Principle #2 – R aka Resonance – What is it about your blog that strikes a chord with the reader instantly. Note that this can happen without Principle #1 because you hit a homer (or a sixer for cricket fans) right off the bat. I know this feeling because it happened to me recently – 107 comments, 370 likes and over 9000 views. HUGE by my standards at least. And it was for a short 4 sentence post on LinkedIn. What was that resonance? People stuck in their jobs realizing that life’s timer is ticking away and either dreading when they kick their bucket OR taking a risk and choosing a path they actually want – went viral. But, don’t make the mistake of chasing this rocket ship. Write with your heart, and when the time comes this will happen.
Principle #3 – W aka Whackiness – Full disclosure – I have never (nor will I ever) try this for the sake of getting followers. But for some, this is the path. A title of a book like “The 4-hour workweek” – well that got Tim Ferriss into the big league. The book is a great read but the title is the bait. Who doesn’t want a 4-hour workweek? It is Ok to have a whacky title in order to rise above the noise but the blog needs to deliver. Otherwise, you have lost that reader likely forever. Sometimes in the quest for instant fame, this path seems attractive. Compared to Principle #1 – which takes time and effort. But if you ask me, I would recommend #1 every time.
That’s it. My three principles to garner an audience for your masterpiece. Let me know if it works or not. And worst case, if writing does not work, you can always try releasing a karaoke album. Can’t you?