Growth without connection means nothing. What do I mean by that? Well, I am speaking in regard to audience.
When we think about this whole writing world through blogs, one of the biggest buzzwords constantly is audience. If we are going to write, it helps to have people that will actually read it, right?
No one wants to create great work that no one sees. And so we have seen an influx of different services and courses that claim to help you grow your audience exponentially in comparison to what you have already been doing. I am not here to help you do that at all. But I do understand the importance of actually having people that will come to your events, read your blogs, purchase your books, etc. Something that will never change at the crux of building an audience is great writing.
Here on the blog, we focus on the writing aspect of blogging. There are tons of people that blog about blogging, but not specifically to those of us that still consider themselves writers as well. Quite honestly, for us, I feel that growing an audience is a lot slower of a burn.
Initially, when I first started out, I wasn’t thinking about an audience at all really. I took some professional photos, had a friend help me set up my online platform and I was off to the races. It wasn’t until I released my first book in 2013 that I actually realized people cared about what I had to say. It was at that starting point, piece by piece, that I grew my audience literally step by step. It started with evaluating what an audience even entails. Then, once I knew my audience, it was making sure I found ways for my authentic voice to connect with them.
There are easy ways to get a lot of followers like posting pics of puppies or sharing your favorite Outfit of the Day posts. This is not to knock another niche, it just doesn’t work if you’re a writer using tactics in another niche. When you are a writer, you just have to get a little more strategic about it. Does that mean there are not writers with huge followings? Duh, of course there are like Nayyirah Waheed, Rob Hill Sr., Alex Elle and many more. But for many of us and for them also, it doesn’t just happen overnight.
It takes diligence, creativity, and stretching beyond the mold to really stand out in such a crowded lane on the interwebs. But I promise you that building your audience piece by piece will result in a lot more engaged, fruitful audience. PLEASE NOTE: A large following without engagement is worthless! Seriously. If you just have the numbers but no influence or impact, you are wasting your time.
CLICK TO TWEET /// It takes diligence, creativity, and stretching beyond the mold to really stand out in such a crowded lane on the interwebs
So, how can you entice people with the weapon of your choice – words? Here are a couple of the things that I did where I saw growth in my audience that was noticeable.
- I created a social campaign. My book Dear Love was literally the summation of love letters that I posted on Instagram. Once people began to take to them, I decided to put them together into a book.
- I participated in The Prayer Project. I was initially just interested in the general idea. I thought it was a great opportunity to improve my prayer life. But I also noticed that this shared interest and participation made people want to check out who I was as well.
- I partnered with Black Girl Fly Mag to do a Self-love social campaign based on my Dear Love campaign. This really again garnered awareness and momentum for what I was doing based on their robust following.
The important things to note here are that these opportunities all came organically. Nothing forced or contrived about it. But being an active participant in the community that I wanted to attract produced attention for my own platform.
CLICK TO TWEET /// Being an active participant in the community that I wanted to attract produced attention for my own platform
These things are just scratching the surface and so I am really excited that I will get the opportunity to talk more about this topic on May 22nd for the Writer Squared webinar that I will host alongside GG Renee of All the Many Layers. We are going to give you an in-depth look at some of our tried and true tips on growing your audience in an authentic way.