How to build an audience

in #blog3 months ago (edited)

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While I am the first to admit I am not a fantastic blogger, I think I can offer some advice that should prove helpful.

Most of us here are not likely bloggers and writing content on Hive was the first real experience with blogging. I have quite a few websites, some of which I have contributed to blogging or working with a writer to produce content for the blog.

Every post I write on Hive I try to follow three simple ideas. I consider these three ideas critical to being a successful blogger and building an engaged audience.

I have been asked a few times by new and regular users for advice on how to be successful on Hive and it is really not a lot different than any other social media.

I am a firm believer that you are not entitled to an audience, you need to earn it. A lot of people complain they are not getting any attention or votes and they wrote 1,000 posts.

Let me be clear, no one owes you a damn thing. Just because you did a thing doesn't mean anyone owes you a thing unless you had a contract or agreement ahead of time. The sooner you realize and accept this fact, the sooner you can start offering value and building an audience.

I am no expert, this is all just my opinion and advice. Feel free to take what you like and throw away the rest.

How to be a successful blogger

Here are my three tenants to successfully build an audience.


Offer Value

While all three I believe are equally important, this is critical. Always offer value when you publish content. If you are not offering something valuable, then no one is going to become a fan and you will never have an audience.

Value is subjective and can be interpreted in different ways. To me, value is creating content that helps your reader by entertaining or educating.

I always try to find something I think a good portion of my audience would be interested in. I try to present it in a way that is appealing and easy to digest.

I have a lot of interests and I post on Hive about many different topics. One day I might publish a Raspberry Pi tutorial, another a tutorial on how to use a Hive dApp, another day report on something that happened in the crypto community or post something humorous. I always try to post what I think will provide value to you, my reader.


Don't be self-centered

This one is difficult, everyone has an agenda and wants to promote something. This is what I call the me me me and I try to avoid it as much as possible.

This comes back to the first tenant Offer Value, I am not your mother, I don't want to constantly hear about you and what you want. There are no problems publishing about your life and the things you are interested in and doing, but don't constantly ask your audience for things. (i.e. buy this, use this referral link, check out my this or that).


Respect Attention

You must always respect your reader's time and attention. Neither are free or in high supply.

Don't waste their time, the more you follow this, the more success you will have in building an audience. If every time you being to publish you consider this, you will quickly become a better blogger and build a larger audience.


Final Thoughts

If you follow all three of these tenants, I think you will start to build an audience that cares about what you have to say and be around when you say it.

Building an audience is hard as fuck, and there is no easy way to do it. Get over the fact that no one owes you a damn thing and start earning that audience.

Random Tips

  • Most people like consistency, if you plan on publishing once a month, stick with it. More frequently isn't necessarily better unless you are offering value.

  • Have a list of ideas to blog about, whenever you think of something add it to the list.

  • Learn Markdown and use it well, simple formatting makes reading easier and less overwhelming. I wrote a detailed markdown tutorial a while ago which still works today.

  • Consider series if you are out of ideas, I have quite a few series posts like my Python Tips, NAS Build, Raspberry Pi, and even my Workflow Series. These types of posts are great for building an audience and creating related content that keeps their attention.

  • Install Grammarly plugin so you can easily correct spelling and grammar errors while publishing. The free version is perfectly fine.

  • Respond to your comments, it isn't uncommon to have more value in the comment section than your original post. By engaging with your readers you will build loyal fans that want to hear from you again.


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I am a firm believer that you are not entitled to an audience, you need to earn it.

You're damn right there, I had my share of $0.00's and zero interaction when I started, I suspect you did too?

Funny I was just looking back at one of my old posts (after taking 5 minutes to actually find it - obviously typing in the exact word for word title and various combinations of 'Steem' 'Hive' @revisesociology and so on literally didn't return it in Google) - one of my faves which got $0.21 - I earn more now for lower quality.

Still, at least we're in a good position now to start modifying and recycling some of our old stuff, if we see fit.

Still, at least we're in a good position now to start modifying and recycling some of our old stuff, if we see fit.

Hivewatchers might get on to you if you do that. Saying that.. with my Kwiksave stuff.., I am adding a lot more to it now though.. and @grindle being an ex-store manager adds so much more spice!

Hence why I said modifying!

It's quite easy I think to take something, update it with a twist and avoid just copying.

I did have a lot of disappointment and frustration, I tried a lot of things when I first got here. I used to joke about "posting into the black hole" but I made a promise to myself to post every day, and I've done fairly well sticking to this.

In fact, I am amazed I have managed to write 1,264 posts to this date as someone who isn't a blogger and doesn't particularly like to write.

I post anywhere between 1-3 times daily. Sometimes I'm blogging about a topic and other times, I'm just posting about my life like I use to do on Facebook.

who isn't a blogger and doesn't particularly like to write.

You're in the wrong place with the proclamation! Are you sure about that?

I am but I am enjoying the challenge.

All of what you wrote is very good advice.

More people need to read this. Understand it. Do it.

I came to the Blockchain knowing I wasn't going to make anything. I see each upvote as a gift. That mindset has worked well for me over the years.

I have been blogging for year - before I came to the old blockchain, let alone on Hive - so about six or seven years all told. Your advice is spot on: for every blogging context. And your random tips: far from random - equally apposite.

Yeah man, I agree with a good chunk of the points that you've stated. I think consistency is tbh one of the most important tips that you gotta respect if you wanna have success, especially since if you grow an audience, they are gonna wanna see your content at a certain time and at a constant rate.

A LOT of newbies come to #hive with a sense of entitlement - bang out 200 words and be a gerzillionaire. 😆 I really liked your point that no one owes you anything and also the bit about consistency.

I think having some kind of handle-theme re the kind of content you post helps to grow a sympathetic readership.

I said this yesterday in a tweet in #hivechat - that ultimately we reward relationship and connection through the lens of content. So we'd better make sure we have the first 2 and keep our lens sparkly clean and sharp.

Nice post. Gratitude from Thailand.

 3 months ago Reveal Comment

Well, whether you're a fantastic blogger or not, the intent of this blog content actually brings value to the target audience, I think no matter what, well keep preaching this message especially to new users to also boost user's retention as well.

All good points and while you're trying to build your audience, you have to be "friendly"(with or without sending nudes). Not in a "thanks for coming to my blog way" creepy way, although that helps but I'm takin about engaging in actual conversations with your readers.
Hive may be like other social media but around here, there's also the small factor of Hive power and that's why bigger accounts get more engagement than smaller ones.

I'd say Hive is more of a social media to people on the lower end of the hive power spectrum because we have to actually engage posts and make friends. At least that's what I try to do with people around here because just like in real life, positive connections translates to more people to support and to support you. Lots of "big" accounts don't necessarily have to worry about that because they get their attention through their own means and I ain't pissy about it, because in reality, that's just how things go.

Everything you say is pretty much what I do.

Having longer running themes/ series posts is a great way to write I agree, essential I'd say if yer into writing.

I'm 99.9% sure you don't use an imac?

I don't, custom PC. The image is just a Creative Commons 0 image that I thought fit.

I do have a Mac Book Air and Hackintosh though.

I have some themes I post about such as running and my #FollowFriday posts. On other days something may occur to me from what I have read or seen somewhere. It took a while to build my audience, but it was largely from commenting. I used to be one of the top commenters, and may still be in the top 50.

Adding value is important. I see people do Actifit posts with one or two lines. I try to tell more of a story on my running posts using @Exhaust.

Are you going to do more with Keybase? Did you change accounts there? Ought to at least have a Twitter proof. Getting integration with Hive would be great.

Yes. I changed accounts as my account had "steem" in the name before.

Didn't someone get a Steem tattoo a while back? That's a little more permanent.

I believe more than one did.

I won't be rushing to get a Hive one. A T-shirt will do.

Nice tips ;-)

... and yes... "No One owes you a damn thing!"

I add: try to be unique and creative ;-)

Hugs

Hivelander The Immortal Mannequin

Well yo do pretty alright, so no matter how you consider yourself we tell you you're great. Keep going, love your articles.

Good points all around!
I'm just trying to figure our how to do the nice wordwrap around a picture in markdown. Once I learn that...
Lookout!

Here you go @doctorcrypto and @cmplxty


Don't be self-centered

This one is difficult, everyone has an agenda and wants to promote something. This is what I call the me me me and I try to avoid it as much as possible.

This comes back to the first tenant Offer Value, I am not your mother, I don't want to constantly hear about you and what you want. There are no problems publishing about your life and the things you are interested in and doing, but don't constantly ask your audience for things. (i.e. buy this, use this referral link, check out my this or that).
~@theMarkyMark


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Yes that is exactly it!
Thank you :)

I need to figure that one out too. And posting two columns of content at once. People who use two languages do it often, side by side. That’s really cool to me!

Valid points to gain popularity among the hive blockchain....but everything comes to a point where the contents need to be read.....the other day i was wondering how many of the big stake holders ever care read an article on hive or they simply care about the top authors that goes around the......(my apologize if I am speaking my mind)

If they never care about to read the work of the lower stakeholder or user of low reputation then it never comes down to gaining any audience ...

Very good point. Some of the large stakeholders ive found, don’t get out there to show some support for the newer people. That’s not always the case but often is. It would be cool to have some of them check out new users, after all we all start somewhere.

Thanks for the support ,,..hope I don't get blacklisted for speaking up openly ....keeping finger crossed

Great tips. I just try to keep well balanced abd just do not stress myself out. Being myself works the best

Ohh and i add : READ PEOPLE READ

B

I am a firm believer that you are not entitled to an audience, you need to earn it.

I totally agree

Good morning @themarkymark very good contribution that you just made, it has helped me a lot since I am starting on this platform after passing many dissections with the old one, now I try to upload my first post and I get this error, please I would appreciate of your help ..
Your transaction failed to process
Why? You've run out of Resource Credits
Actions such as posting and voting use computing resources, placing a real cost on the community members who run the Hive blockchain for everyone.
To keep things free, Hive intelligently allocates Resource Credits to each user based on their Hive Power holdings, which can be used to submit a limited number of feeless transactions. When a user runs low on Resource Credits, they will either need to wait for them to recharge, or purchase additional Hive Power. This system prioritizes actions by good community members while limiting spam.
To keep interacting on Hive:

  1. Buy and hold more Hive Power
  2. Wait until your Resource Credits recharge
  3. Wait until the network usage decreases

I think these tips are great for everyone to start building an audience.

Great topic... I fear we believe that our whole audience needs to come right from within Hive. But the best bloggers out there mostly used sites that had a user base of no one and brought people to their content. So I'd say MARKETING is also important. In this case the ability to drive traffic.
Many people on Hive may not be as interested because any outside source doesn't have vote value.
However here are some reasons getting those viewers may still be important.

  1. You want those viewers to comment and therefore they need accounts and new referral codes for fast and easy accounts makes you a 3% beneficiary on their account.
  2. Once that new follower is a hive user they may decide to get vote value or perhaps to TIP you if you promote that option. (hive,hbd,btc,doge and ltc all tipping options)
  3. Probably the most important reason of all of them. Someone who gets lots of views on their content has a lot of potential way beyond votes and tips. No full time bloggers anywhere else require votes to decide if they're a success.
    Number of readers will impact their ability to:
  • organize paid sponsorships
  • get access to companies, guests and access/connection to other industry leaders,
  • Ability to use amazon or other affiliate links.
  • And on many platforms shared ad revenue.

On that last note if there was a successful writer (by the viewcount standards of the rest of the internet) I would think PeakD would be willing to discuss doing something helpful for them. We'll discuss that once we have a writer here who has a few thousand views consistently on their content. (doesn't matter how many hive followers you have... just get a lot of viewers)

.... hmmmm maybe i should turn this into a post... anyway thanks for starting the conversation.

Nothing in life is free, that's always a good thing to keep in mind.

I'm new here, but far from new to social media in general. I've been on so many different platforms over the years that it surprises me that anyone could think that instant success will be theirs from their first post or two. It would be like walking into a hospital and expecting to be a qualified brain surgeon in 24 hours! Life doesn't work like that.

Nice post, and a good reminder for people who expect too much at the start.

Great post

I wonder why people come to Hive and complaints about not having an audience or even worse upvotes from day one, yet you go to instagram or facebook and even twitter and you know you have to work to get that audience why people assume here it comes free with the creation of the account.

Btw the list of ideas omg i have one i always put my ideas there and let them die in oblivion 😂 always forget to check it out when i am about to post.

One tip I would also give is when offering Value make sure you are putting it in the right community, the one that fits your content. If I am looking at the pig community, I want to see pictures of and content about pigs. It is a rather thin niche community, but being a community about pigs it does not matter how well done your monkey post is nor how valuable to the monkey community it is, you posted it in the wrong place, so it has zero value to the pig community.

Great advice!
It's always a struggle at the start! This is not my first rodeo to start with zero and it sure won't be the last! While I can understand a lot of the frustration, it's part of the play right? I mean, I have slammed my head against a lot of walls in to past! Poor walls! They did nothing wrong!
Anyways, thank you for sharing your vison!
Excuse me while I go hunt for my audience.... Again... Toodeeeelssss

I believe in all 3 tenants you just explained and will do my best to follow those, thank you!

I just visited your markdown tutorial post thank you very much, been looking for this and I just found it!

Best Regards,
@long888

Now I know how to make the text small, tnx again!

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Very important topic you discussed about.And i was searching for that kind of blog for long time.
Those three important points you mentioned are the basic to get audience.Thanks for sharing.❤

Great post. You have inspired me to share some tips of my own.

One of the key parts I think is the entitlement that all writers share to one degree or another - the idea that because I put in some work then it should be valued appropriately.

Unfortunately, some of my most popular pieces had the least effort put into them and I wrote with ZERO expectations that anyone would read them. The converse is also true that some of my hardest to write, tailored to an audience's needs content has gotten the least attention.

This is explicit and mind-blowing;

"a freeway to successful blogging"
(Just practicing from the markdown tutorial, lol)

Thanks for sharing

Great advice! I can attest much of these concepts is what got me lifted off the ground starting from nothing with no voting power of my own. I was writing great articles full of excellent tips, and now I attatch my "How to budget travel" ebook link to the end of each post, which continues to help others. Since then I can of ran out of new travel tips to share, but was able change my format around and still offer value in my everyday posts.

Starting from scratch was at first very challenging, but soon some bigger accounts started following and up-voting. If can ad anything else, is that I believe finding a niche and being consistent is a great strategy too. Frankly you @themarkymark have been a huge help to me and it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Keep up the great work! From Hua Hin Thailand! -Dan "World Travel Pro!"

 3 months ago Reveal Comment

Greetings, good advice friend I will take into account !

 2 months ago Reveal Comment