Help! I Don’t Have An Audience.
You write something. Then you hear the worst sound ever.
No, it’s not the sound of someone booing or heckling you.
It’s the sound of silence.
You know you want more results from your writing. You may even want to become a full-time writer. (Here’s my story here.)
Sure, there is a little traffic surge here and there, but nothing that is sustainable.
Over time, the frustration makes you question everything.
You start to get a little angry and cranky. Maybe even a little bitter.
Eventually, you get burnt out.
Thankfully, I’ve got some good news for you.
Every writer has felt this way at some point (probably in the last week or two).
But… Here’s The Real Problem
Let’s talk about the giant elephant in the room. I’m willing to bet you have a confidence problem. You suddenly get shy when someone asks you about your writing, right? Or, maybe you even feel a bit like an impostor or even a fraud.
Building up your confidence is the number one way to improve your writing dramatically.
This means you know it is a matter of when you’ll be successful, not if.
How can I make such a crazy bold statement?
Your attitude dictates your direction.
Writing is more mental than physical, right? When you’re confident, you will have higher levels of mental energy.
So let’s dive into a few ways to boost your confidence (and your audience too):
1. Do Your Homework.
Let’s be honest: no one ever said writing is fun all the time. At times writing may feel dull and boring. You still gotta do it. When you do this, you pay your dues. You build character and develop discipline. It’s tempting to skip these writing sessions that feel like slogging around in a swamp filled with words— but you can’t.
The cool thing is you can always reward yourself. Gamify your writing. Set a timer and see how much you can accomplish in a specific amount of time. Write with a friend at a coffee shop or the library. Just like going to the gym, when you show up, you’ll start to see results.
2. Experiment on your own.
Quit worrying about everyone else. There is an unhealthy obsession — probably one of the downfalls of social media — on what everyone else is doing. STOP THIS. It only makes FOMO worse.
Instead, only compete with yourself. Improve a little bit every single day, and you’ll win. Some days you will fall on your face. That’s okay. It comes with the territory.
3. Do Something Worth Writing about.
Copying what someone else is doing is boring. However, when you take a bunch of influences and combine them together, you can then come up with something original.
That’s how Quentin Tarantino writes and makes movies. Each of his films is inspired by many, many other movies. That’s how he even found his voice. You could even say that Tarantino “steals like an artist.” You can say a lot of things about Tarantino, but no one can ever accuse him of playing it safe. Why is that?
Playing it safe ultimately wastes your time and also the reader’s time. You must be entertaining and/or informative to keep your reader’s attention.
4. Don’t Create In Isolation.
Often artists think that they can create a great piece of art alone. While this happens every now and then, it is definitely not the norm — especially if you are a writer.
You need the additional outside perspective from someone you trust to give you feedback.
Someone needs to say things like:
“This isn’t clear.”
“This is really solid — what if you added an example here to make it even better?”
Until you have this input, you could be just a few tweaks away from having great content.
Pretty good content doesn’t cut it.
Your writing is competing for attention with Youtube, podcasts and a million other websites. Now keep in mind that I don’t say this to discourage you. Rather, I say this to encourage you to put out the best possible content you can.
Swing for the fences. Don’t settle for content that is you know is a B or a C when you know you want an A.
A Simple Plan For Audience Building
When it comes to standing out more and building up your audience, you’ve got two real choices.
Option 1: Keep doing what you’re doing. (Even though you know it isn’t working well.)
Not the best option, right? It sounds a lot like just hoping for the best. Let’s move on to option 2.
Option 2: Mix things up and start testing things out intentionally. (While tracking your progress.)
Best of all, option 2 doesn’t have to be complicated. It can actually be really easy. Here’s an example for you:
Step 1. Write 3 blog posts a week for a month (12 posts). Then assess which got the most traction.(You could gauge traction by the read thru percentage, number of shares or even number of claps.)
Step 2: Then write 6 posts over the next month digging deeper into the posts that got some traction. (Don’t forget to include helpful links from other writers and influencers in your post. Tell them that you featured them in your work. This is a great way to network and build your audience.)
Step 3: After you’ve written 18 posts, compile the best posts together of the same topic to put the content on Amazon as a perma-free ebook. (Seriously, no one does this! Just set your price to free on Smashwords and then tell Amazon to price match it) You can also put it up on Noisetrade where you get an email address in exchange for the ebook. (Need some help with implementing this plan? Just fire me an email.)
If you are struggling with a lack of clarity in your work, this experiment above is a great way to find your focus. There is a direct connection between having an audience and your confidence. Best of all, when you’re confident, you know your strengths and be able to capitalize on them.
Ready to take things even further? I’m creating a free 5-Day Write First Challenge that will help you move past your fears and put more words on the page.
You’ve got this. You can be a confident writer. Keep in mind that even confident writers face fear on a regular basis. It’s just that confident writers know they can slay that dragon when they put words on the page.
Do you think there is a direct connection between having an audience and your confidence?