Today I want to explore a few thoughts about how to convince the world to watch, pay attention and care about what you do. To some degree it is essential to long term success.
People who care about what you are doing are sometimes called followers, tribes, platforms, lemmings, or lurkers. They are the people that get behind what you are doing. They are watching what you are doing, pulling for you and popping up occasionally to let you know that they exist.
Singing to an empty room can only get you so far. If you want to sing for the queen in the Royal variety show or at the Grand ole Opry, you need to start singing for a an audience.
I’ve been thinking about this from the aspect of the blogging world and the work I am doing to try to get PhotoSiteWP and CorePresets off the ground in an effective way. I’ve only really started working on them at the beginning of 2014. The first few weeks no one noticed. Visits to the site were nonexistent and if someone did show up it was only for a few minutes. Getting people to notice is something that is on my mind. Because if no one notices or cares… what I’m doing there will be unsustainable.
I’ve heard of established musicians telling younger musicians that they need to put in the time, pay their dues and at some point after the foundation is laid, they may be able to get the record deal. The world might notice. However, just because we put in the time and energy doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone will notice. (With the possible exception of our mothers, brothers, sisters and fathers.)
Creating and trying to carve a niche in the world of the interwebs is something of a gamble, but it is interesting.
How to Get People to Notice and Care
The organic growth of a product or service or blog or website or musician is authentic. That authentic, organic growth is important because it will last. If someone discovers your work and finds it interesting they will subscribe and continue to be impressed with what you do. Eventually your blog may be the thing they look forwards to each day or week.
There are a lot of ways to get people to notice what you are doing. Some of these annoy me. Some impress me.
For a while there were a lot of people doing research on cameras and lenses who would completely destroy the lenses and cameras that weren’t the best. For instance they would compare a Canon L series lens to an 18-135mm kit lens. After a bunch of tests the L series lens would be declared the winner while the 18-135mm kit lens was hit like a baseball with a bat. They got loads of views on Youtube. People like to watch other people breaking things. Especially if the thing they are breaking is worth a fair bit of money.
I don’t know if you are on Twitter or not. I am [you should follow me] and I’ve found that one of the most annoying, to me, type of twitter accounts are the ones that tweet 500 times every day about how great they are and why what they offer is the best. If you yell often and loud enough, someone might notice. I don’t, however subscribe to this point of view. I’d rather someone share bits of information that are worthwhile to me a couple of times a day. Earn my respect and then mention their own blog post. If it is something I’m interested in I will read it, and I may subscribe.
The biggest thing that I subscribe to in the world of online marketing is authenticity, and honesty. I am 43 times more likely to follow someone if they are honest with the world. There are some limitations to this. We have to learn how to make a break between the “stuff” we are going through in our personal lives and what we are working on in our “online world.” There may come a time to tell the world about your break up, but please do us all a service and give yourself a little while to cool off and be able to look back with clearer eyes. Then, if the content fits in line with what your blog is about go ahead and share it. But if you are a blogger who writes about how to rock climb… that probably isn’t the place to share your story of broken love. Be authentic. Be real. Be helpful. Know when to draw the line and not share. If your honesty doesn’t fit in your blogs genre, don’t share it. If it’s a personal blog, anything is possible. If it is a business blog, be extremely careful.
A big change I’ve noticed in the last few years is the use of different kinds of media to connect with users, followers and clients. It used to be a well written blog post with a few good images could really impact the lives of those who are following along. That still works, but people are also more “flighty” these days, and they are multitasking. A big change you might notice happening more and more is the use of video. It is easier to watch a video explaining how to do something than it is to read the step by step instructions. Often the video and the step by step instructions go hand in hand, but having the video as an alternative method of consuming someone’s wisdom will, I believe, become more and more prevalent as time goes by. Use video sometimes. Do a screencast, post it to Youtube and embed it in your blog post.
Finally I think it is important to mention the importance of showing up. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve searched for something on Google and found a great article. After reading through the article I decide I like the person behind this article… and I want to subscribe to their blog. When I go to their blog page I am saddened to find that they haven’t blogged for 6 months. I rarely subscribe to them if that is the case. If a blog isn’t actively being worked on and content added to it, I don’t feel like it is worth my time to invest in becoming a follower of it. Seriously, there is little to follow if there is silence all around. Sticking to a blogging schedule is tough. However it is rewarding to go to a blog and find up to date content and more coming down the pipe at specific intervals.
And that’s it guys… those are a few things that I’ve been thinking about when it comes to finding and keeping readers, subscribers and maintaining organic growth.
The Diet Update #2
I do need to update you quickly on how my diet is going. Since last Thursday I’ve had one and a half cheat days [where I can eat anything]. Sunday is my usual cheat day, so I took that. I ate too much. Monday I was working with my sister on a cookbook project. It is extremely difficult to not eat good food if you are forced to take pictures of it all day long. I ate a bit more of that than I was supposed to.
However I have been trying to stick to a fairly strict carb free diet. Breakfast is still a link of Italian sausage, a cup or so of cooked spinach, and an egg. Lunch and supper are generally whatever I can find that fit into the confines of the diet.
Exercise is the one thing I am trying to do a bit better at. I say trying because it’s difficult to find the time to do it. Tuesday I played basketball with some guys from church. That was a good bit of exercise. Last night I spent a bit of time walking on the treadmill in my “front room.” However the treadmill has some serious issues and I was only able to get about 12 minutes in before it decided to take the night off. I also have a weight bench here at home, last night I did a few bench presses. I’ll be doing more of those and hopefully branching out a bit as well.
I do want to remember the whole reason behind my decision to lose weight and get in better shape. That is to get to a better place physically. I don’t need to get ripped. Six pack abbs aren’t really on my bucket list. I can’t help but look better if I lose 30 pounds, but that isn’t the goal… I’ll take it as a “side effect” but I can guarantee the best part of losing 30 pounds will be how I feel on a daily basis.
Well guys, that’s it! I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and a great weekend.