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Why should anyone want to read what I write?

writing tipsThis question has a two-fold approach. It is associated with those sceptics that either say there’s too much rubbish written on the net so why should they add to it, and with those filled with a lack of self-confidence who wonder why would anyone be interested in what they have to say.

Sceptics aren’t helping

The first group need to be made aware of the value of blogging and what it can do for their businesses and to make them realise that adding excellent content to override the rubbish that appears to be everywhere should be their main goal.

Remember that Google has adapted its algorithms to reward and give credibility to good writers, especially through its Authorship system. Spiders are trained to crawl new content that provides excellent value for readers, with or without search engine optimisation (though that certainly helps). Subject matter, timing, following trends, being individual in your point of view and encompassing a conversational style that is thoroughly readable definitely needs to be taken into consideration.

Good content does help

Writing good quality online can build up credibility until you become a thought leader in your niche or industry. If you have lots of knowledge in your area, why not share it so that many people can become aware of your expertise? If you’re worried about giving too much away, follow the 80/20 rule, such as giving away up to 80% of your material either for free or for a reduced amount, and retain the most valuable 20% you can charge big money for. Even though people buy from people, they like to ‘try before they buy’, especially if the resulting outcome may be large.

Lack of confidence isn’t helping

Now for those fading flowers who worry about other people think of them and what they write, this is mostly due to lack of confidence. The remedy can be built up over time with the right amount of encouragement, which can be gained by posting in places where there is a majority of nice people who will respond and reciprocate appropriately.

But if you are going to cultivate a thick skin blogging-wise, sometimes it’s necessary to grit your teeth and get on with it. The main thing to be aware of is that many people out there will want to read your stuff, content or comments, tweets or updates, and you’ll find that they will answer back telling you so. The resulting gratification should be taken advantage of: try stepping a little out of your comfort zone and see what happens!

A little every day does help

Start slowly by leaving a few comments to other people’s posts, continue a conversation on Facebook, or retweet something that appeals to you. Let that feeling of having accomplished something rush over you, and do it again! The more you practice, the better you’ll get, and soon you’ll be leaving your valuable content all over the web – and watching your web traffic stats rise!

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
Sarah Arrow - 24 September 2013

The sceptics should be banned from the conversation. They are frequently people who do not create or write anything and thinks that makes them an expert.

Reading is just one part of the creative cycle and not the majority of it. It’s too easy to criticise others when you have no idea what it takes.

Very few people have zero readers. They may have one, they may have ten, but they are not calling into an empty void even though it may feel that way.

Your advice on starting gentle is great, and that’s how many of us start out. The next thing is to be consistent and disciplined, and that’s harder

    Alice Elliott - 24 September 2013

    Thanks Sarah. It’s a pity all these silent and invisible readers are not willing to express their satisfaction to the post they have read, it would make such a difference to the author (not to mention the search engines). Building up a community on your blog takes time, but it is definitely a worthwhile pursuit.

Aedin Collins - 24 September 2013

Great advice-that sentence regularly goes through my head whenever I publish a new blogpost-there are just so many great blogs out there-it’s hard to think your will stand out from the crowd. Commenting and linking up with other blogs is a great way to get noticed I find.

    Alice Elliott - 24 September 2013

    Thank you Aedin, it certainly is a great way to get noticed. There’s no need to be a silent fan that slips past in the dead of night, when the author would be very pleased to know that you have appreciated what has been written.

Rosemary Nonny Knight - 26 September 2013

It is a question I have asked and asked myself since setting up the blog about 2 years or so ago. And yet, I keep writing! I feel I must write so I do. Maybe no one wants to read me but I must write. I have gone through phases when I felt like giving up and long periods when I wrote almost nothing on the blog at all but I am back and I am here to stay.

I must try harder with the online networking, methinks if I want to get a more broad readership. I have a broad facebook readership but certainly not enough on the blog. Maybe, people prefer me in bite sizes :-). Who Knows? I will just keep on writing.

Great Post. Thanks.

    Alice Elliott - 26 September 2013

    Hi Rosemary, thanks for contributing. Why not transfer the methods you use in your Facebook updates to your blog? If you like writing short, sweet updates, then provide similar posts in your blog. They don’t have to be long articles that take an age to write, just somewhere to dump your latest rant, make an observation or state the obvious. Some of the most popular blogs have achieved success through short posts that provide extra value or really hit home. But remember your blog followers will be different from your Facebook fans, so adapt what you say accordingly.

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