It is almost a month since I relaunched BLACKPROWRITER and I must say how fulfilled I am feeling as a writer. August 2020 has been a gift to me. In this post, I will be sharing valuable tips that I personally have learned so far on how to write for an online audience.
A writer has to write, true, but most importantly a writer has to be read. And to be read, you need an audience. So how do you garner attention on the internet? Is it just me or doesn’t it feel so lonely on the internet sometimes? As though you are talking to everyone but no one is listening to you?
Regardless of your reason for creating a blog, or a youtube channel, email or a podcast, you need to find people who will engage with your content. These people are your target audience and whatever niche you fall into, you have to accept the fact that you are not hot cake and so you CANNOT please everyone.
It might seem straightforward but for someone who has had two previous unsuccessful blogs prior to this blog, I understand how slow it can feel before you finally grow an online audience. It is a process that takes time but it does not mean it is not impossible. Here is how you can write for an online audience.
There are two stages;
STAGE 1 – Things to do before you gain an online audience.
Create straightforward content
Your content has to be straightforward; no beating around the bush. Obviously, your content is being created and distributed on an online platform so you should always consider this. It takes a second to gain someone’s attention online and a few minutes to lose it before they scroll to something else. Always aim to catch their attention within a short period – your first paragraph/first 60 seconds has to be let them in on what they will be getting from you. Make your content engaging right from the beginning.
Create valuable content
Dear writer, make sure your content ‘’gives’’ to someone who reads it. Most people are looking for content in the form of guidance/inspiration/entertainment/information. The internet sorts of open itself to people to gain from and it has created opportunities for writers like us to be a ‘’giver’’.
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In your little corner of the internet, it is your duty to offer something of value. It is the only way to gain an audience. For example, you are here because the blog title caught your attention, or perhaps because you want to learn how to build an audience. Or maybe you just really like this writer lol.
Let your content be of value, let it mean something. Allow it to spark a conversation. Your content is an action, you have got to let people react to it. Regardless of the niche, you fall into, your content has to provide your reader with something. It is the only way to make them keep coming back because you have established a trust in them.
Stage 2 – Things to do after you gain an online audience.
Have a timeframe and stick to a pattern. Look, anyone can write for an audience. The important part is how to make them remember you. Think of your content as an integral part of your brand. Your brand needs to be consistent; you have to show up for the people who rely on it. So how can you do this? Do not bite more than you can chew.
You should not overdo at the beginning if you know you would not be able to keep up the timeframe in the long run. I know that feeling at the beginning where you are on a roll and you feel like pumping out content on a daily. Fam, relax!
Most writers begin as a one-man team so understand that all the hard work will fall on you. So will you be able to write, edit, publish, and promote a blog post/podcast every day? Is it going to fit into your daily regular schedule? Can you keep up with your schedule for let’s say… 6 months?
These are things you have to think through before you can build an online audience. Why?
Because people will only take your content/brand to heart when they see a chance for more. It is not about the quantity, it is about the quality. If you can only write and create content once a week, stick to it. Once a week is not bad – that is four posts in a month, 52 posts in a year. Not bad at all?
Make all the preparations weekly and post. Your audience will become accustomed to your timeframe and will mentally remind themselves about you before you even send them an update.
Carry your audience along
When you eventually find someone who engages with your content, make sure you acknowledge their presence. Ask them questions, include them in your thought process. Make them feel seen. Use those call-to-action buttons to your advantage. Respond to their comments or their emails. Be kind, eliminate the trolls. And them through your journey as a content creator.
One thing I have noticed is that people want to engage with real people. It does not matter how little your audience is, focus on serving them.
Stay true to yourself
I used to think no one paid attention to my writing, I did not think I could write for an online audience. Until I did an online survey and the unanimous response was that I had the ability to convey a message using simple straightforward words. The survey changed my life. I felt seen and it fueled my decision to rebrand my website and quit downgrading my writing skill as a mere hobby. I stopped acting too ‘’serious’’ and chose to show the world my awesome personality online. The result was the freedom I felt in my core. I was also impacting writers online, just by being myself.
Everyone else is taken, you have to be yourself. Do not try to be like anyone else on these internet streets. The truth is you can’t. People can see right through the fake, they know when writers try too hard or when they copy someone else.
Let your personality shine through every post you write, every podcast you record, every video you make. There is no rigid structure to creating content so be flexible.
I hope this post helps you to learn how to write for an online audience. I cannot wait to see what you have in stock for this new month as a writer. We are doing an exercise right now.
Please state your name and your niche (as a writer/blogger/podcaster) and let me know what your brand is all about. Who knows? You might make a friend or a fan.
Remember that you do not need an English language degree before you can be a writer. As long as you have a voice and you are willing to contribute value to people, your words will reach someone on the internet.
Learn why your small business needs an online presence – http://blackprowriter.com/posts/5-reasons-why-your-small-business-needs-an-online-presence/