How I Earn People’s Attention
My writing attracted 124,381 views on Medium in the last 30 days.
That’s amazing and made me pause to consider how it happened.
The attention I earned was a result of how I approached earning it.
Here’s what I did and how a similar approach can help you earn attention for your creations— whether they live on Medium or elsewhere.
I value your time as much as your attention.
My two most popular Medium posts share a similar title format:
Sure, the headlines are a little click-baity. But that’s not why they earned so much attention.
They earned attention because they promise the reader a lot of value in a limited amount of time…and deliver it.
It’s not just that they’re short posts —it’s that they tell the reader I value their time. That’s what resonates.
When a million things compete for our attention, a promise to respect our time helps earn it.
I saw a similar effect in last week’s edition of my 10 Ideas Worth Sharing newsletter when the single most-clicked link turned out to be the least prominently displayed — it was a link buried at the bottom of the newsletter.
What did it promise? The most elaborate 4.2 seconds you’ll ever see.
People’s time is scarce. The more you respect it, they more likely you will receive it.
I create out of generosity, not selfishness.
The primary goal of my writing is to help others and provide value.
That’s not to say I don’t receive value from the platform — I certainly do. But that’s not the main goal of my work.
The value I receive only comes as a direct result of the value I provide to others. That’s how attention is earned.
To earn somebody’s attention we must speak to their needs, goals, and fears — not just our own.
That doesn’t mean we can’t create simply to feed our own desires. We can and in some cases should.
But we shouldn’t expect to earn the attention of others for things we only do for ourselves.
I make it easy to give me your attention.
It’s one thing to earn a person’s attention — it’s another to keep it.
When somebody enjoys something I create, I make it easy for them to give me more of their attention.
I make it easy to explore similar work I’ve created and offer readers the chance to connect with me so they can be aware of my future work.
Earned attention grows like compound interest if we enable it.
There’s a reason my posts feature an invitation to subscribe to my newsletter and links to related things I’ve written.
I want it to be easy for people whose attention I’ve earned to give me more of it if they choose.
Many of them have. Thousands subscribe to my newsletter and countless others click links to explore my other writing.
That’s a big part of how you earn attention —make it easy for people to give it to you.
I keep showing up.
Attention is earned through consistent effort.
The views I earned on Medium this month aren’t just a result of the work I put in during this month.
I posted consistently for months, developed my voice, built my audience, and created a library of content capable of earning attention.
Too often people create one or two things, fail to attract the attention they feel they deserve, and abandon the work.
That’s not how attention works.
You earn attention when you continue to show up on a regular basis. In the process, you get better and your work finds its audience.
There is no “making it.” Just because I earn 125,000 views this month doesn’t mean I will again next month. Most likely I won’t.
But I will to continue to show up, to write, and to learn.
Attention ebbs and flows because it has to be earned. Not all of our work will be great. Not all of it will deserve attention.
But some of it will. That’s what these tactics are for.
Because when we do create something worthy of attention, we need to be able to earn it.
I hope I earned yours with this post.
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