If you write a newsletter or blog and your “list” is growing too slowly, this post is for you.
Toxic advice online
The Internet is packed with bad advice on how to improve the success of your newsletter or blog. So-called content marketing experts focus on things like; the best time to publish your work, how long your articles or posts should be and what kind of images you should use, how to SEO your work, etc.
These generic tips offer the reader no meaningful value. NOTHING that will resolve the actual problem. The reason no one reads Bob’s blog posts or Barbara’s newsletter, is not because they are published on the wrong day or at the wrong time, are the wrong length or lack the right images or SEO.
The reason no one reads their work, is that it offers nothing new. It’s lacking in value. So, when people find it, they are not motivated to return or share what they have found. That type of blog or newsletter will never build an audience.
The actual solution?
It’s as easy and as hard as this:
- Have something worth saying and say it well. (In other words, provide massively valuable information and write it in a way that inspires your readers.)
- Put it where people can see it.
- Make it easy for them to share.
If you do that, your audience will grow. First, just 5 people will read it, but that’s fine. Why? Because they will love what you had to say, then share it with their friends. Some of their friends will value what you have written and they too will share it. Repeat…
To keep that process rolling and your readership growing, you need to focus on regularly having something to say, which people will value and share. This means learning how to write and having the courage to say it in your own unique voice.
So rich. So strange. So new.
I was prompted to share this with you today, after listening to a recording of the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. Before Thomas took to the stage to share his brilliance with a packed, New York audience, he was introduced to the crowd.
The MC then described Thomas’ poetry as: “So rich. So strange. So new”. You can listen to the MC here. (It’s just 10 seconds into the audio.)
And it was. No one wrote like Thomas. He had something worth saying. He shared it with, initially, very small crowds. These small crowds of people then told their friends how amazing his poetry was. The media then discovered Thomas’ work and he became a worldwide success, whose work is celebrated today, 60 years after his passing.
Dylan Thomas didn’t succeed because he only wrote works that were a certain length. He didn’t succeed because he only performed or published on certain days. No. He succeeded because his work was too good NOT to share.
If we want to grow a highly valuable audience for OUR work, we need to strive to do the same. To be too good to ignore.