You’ve got the business of content all wrong.

It’s the business of an audience, not that of content.

In the last six months, I have used the words “a business of content” way too much. To an extent that I realised that it doesn’t really mean anything unless you’re literally charging people for writing content. That standard job of a freelance content writer.

Apart from that, if you’re a publication, or a media house, or writing for the heck of it on a blog you think people would care about (case in point, yours truly) and hope to make any money out of it, you might want to rethink what business you’re really into.

Content is king. This is a phrase thrown around by every other bloke in a shirt and a tie who hasn’t really tried every other way to expand his business but is sure content is the key because his friend, who recently closed a round of funding, thinks so.

Most of the times, content is regarded as king for all the right reasons. Good content has been the primary driver of platforms across the internet and it’s good content that makes people tick. Irrespective of what business you’re into, if you can’t tell people the things they need to know, you’ve pretty much lost the battle before even starting it.

However, in true business sense, for a publication, the trade is not that of the content to begin with. It’s a trade of the audience. With every single piece of writing, audio, or video that you put out there, there are some people you choose to talk to and a lot of others that you chose to ignore. That’s a choice that is sometimes conscious, sometimes unconscious, and most often, for a lot of people, not recognized at all.

Understanding and being conscious about the audience that you talk to, the real, living people who read, listen, and watch what you publish, is essential to the business of content or as I call it, the business of an audience.

Now here is where I want to make it clear that I am not in the favour of letting your audience drive your content. No one should even be in for that. In part because it’s not in the right spirit and in part because there is no way in which you could know what your audience wants. Each one is a free thinking individual with varying choices and your content only represents a part of their brain share.

Click baits work, but only for a while. Eventually people see through your bullshit. Sometimes it takes a while, and you’re lucky if you’re in that sort of a market but don’t expect everyone to respect you in that case.

The audience is a constantly shifting and morphing unicorn, an abstract idea, the thing of dreams and it craves to be heard but it also craves ignorance, it also demands to be surprised with new things each day. Your audience is there because you don’t give them the same stuff that everyone else does, or at least, you make it look better.

An audience remains because it knows what you think, and that the way you look at life is their ambition too, or their thought process already.

So wake up and realize you’re not in the business of content, you’re in the business of an audience. Content is what brings you and your audience together, and what keeps them there.

Content is king. The audience is your empire. Keep your content’s vision and reach out to as large an empire as you can.

If you liked what you read, do take out a second and click on that little heart down there. Also, like most other people who write, I could be wrong, so if you don’t really agree, do leave a comment so I could be less stupid the next time I put my fingers to the keyboard.