Writing For 10 Good People — Kickstarting An Audience
Finding Your Audience
Writing doesn’t necessarily need an audience. I like to write in any case, I happily write even if I’m the only reader. It’s a great tool for clarifying my thoughts and bringing insight to my emotions. It’s cathartic. It can be rewarding.
When I cut myself loose from other social media platforms, I also gave up that potential audience reach. It was a decent trade, in order to keep some of my personal data private. My previous blog had a reasonably large audience, with much of the readership arriving via my LinkedIn account, Twitter next and a few of my friends on Facebook. That’s all gone now, traffic has dried up. I don’t regret it.
I joined the Medium platform — see here. I like some of the categories and content on there. It’s also a community of like minded writers, many with my challenge of finding an audience. To give some context here, 2 million blog posts are published every day. The global audience is not short of things to read. Let’s be realistic.
I’m aware the conventional wisdom is to specialise in a subject, so you become the authority on it. Then an audience will come to you to learn from the oracle on the subject. Pre-War Postage Stamps Blog, that sort of thing. That’s not going to work for me, I like to bounce around in a range of interests. My choice, so live with the consequences.
Writing For 9 People
So far I’m not doing too well here in my efforts to build an audience for my writing. I have no traffic coming from social media and I decline to specialise. My subscribed audience is currently 10 people. Well nine really, I subscribed myself in order to check the subscription widget and email function works properly.
I’m ok with an audience of nine. If I keep writing what I want to write, maybe every so often one of my nine followers will enjoy an article. Maybe someone on Medium will read it too. I will have still had the enjoyment of writing it. I saw a great comment from Brian Chesky from the early days of AirBnB when they wanted to build a pool of 10 customers and delight them.
Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn discussed building an online business by getting 100 loyal clients and over time building to 1,000 clients. Check out Hoffman’s “Masters Of Scale” podcast by the way, it’s brilliant. A number of very successful entrepreneurs are obsessed by developing a very small base of readers, clients or customers and understanding them deeply.
Refining The Flywheel
There’s a misconception that every blog, publication and business needs scale from the start. It doesn’t. A success model can be worked on and refined at small scale. If it works and it has a very loyal following, then the next step is to slowly start that model working faster; Jim Collins’ Flywheel Effect. Faster, larger follower base, spooling from a small scale refined model.
I digress. That’s not going to happen here. It’s a small non-commercial blog with nine followers. Let’s see if I can get to 10 if my writing is good enough to keep the first nine and entice another one in. I was going to use the number 50, but thought it through and decided 50 was my lofty goal, my Bill Gates BIHAG, sometime five years down the road. Maybe never. But a lot of fun developing my writing and my voice along the way.
If you happen to read this, please subscribe — the subscribe box is over there on the right >>>>. You could be my Number 10. You would be very welcome and I would promise to thank you and send you a very short newsletter. But not often, no-one likes being spammed.
Originally published at Frith Street Post.