How To Get Your Work Read: Finding Your Audience and Writing For You

A short guide to getting people to read your work and writing stuff that they actually want to read in the first place.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Define your target

The first thing you need to figure out is what your goal is. If you want to write for you, write for you. Find a blogging site that allows you to post long-form blogs to your friends and the general public. Write whatever makes your heart sing. You may accumulate an audience that likes your work, you may not.

  • Find Facebook groups where you can share your work and get feedback. There are loads of them for bloggers, short stories, poetry, factual articles, Amazon e-books, whatever. No matter what you write, there’s probably a Facebook group for it.
  • Find places to post your work in the public sphere that increases the odds that it will be seen. Tag people on Twitter with an opinion piece. Post your articles to Pinterest. Share your work on Tumblr or Reddit.
  • Submit your work to publications. There are a lot of resources out there for finding a publication that will accept whatever genre you have chosen. If you write for a place like Medium with internal publications, submit to those. Publications have a built-in audience, and you get the bonus of feeling accomplished that your work was published.

Work on your substance

Once you have determined your audience, figure out the best way to target them and get clicks. One of the easiest ways to do this is to work on your titles. Nothing turns off readers more than a bland title. I’ve clicked on atrocious articles that had great titles, and I’ve read great articles that had horrible titles. The difference is that I’m more likely to click on a good title, even if the piece sucks.

Kick it into high gear

Okay, so you have an audience, you’ve refined your work, you write killer titles, and you’re ready to really get going. Find your venue and get going. If you’ve been publishing slowly, maybe pick up the pace. If you haven’t built your audience but have analyzed them to within an inch of their lives, start implementing the above tactics to build your audience quickly.

Do it for you

Most importantly, write for you, too. If you are regularly posting stuff and have an audience, you can post things that are only for you. They may not get many views, but they may also go viral. Don’t pin your hopes on them, and know that they’ll probably not get many views, but if you’re writing them for you, that shouldn’t matter.

Living with and talking about mental illness in an open, honest way to help break down stigma. I was one of those suicidal kids you read about. He/him/his.

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