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Relatively influential person in our space recently started blogging and found some frustration with his apparent lack of popularity (snipped for focus):
“.. where is my audience? .. I get some traffic but no comments and no feedback.”
First of all, you are thinking about this way too hard.
Blogging, and all sincere communication, is easy. Just talk like you would to any of your friends, family, coworkers and partners. Some people will choose to listen to you, others will not. Do you get angry or frustrated in the lack of friends and associates that want to spend time with you during weekdays? Of course not. So why change it for the web?
Sincere communication is easy. It’s just you. Insincere communication (marketing, PR, deceptive copy writing, provocative stunts for sake of attention) is hard, and more often than not they will backfire on you. So just don’t bother. Think about it, what do you do when the sales people bug you in the retail store? You thank them for their time, say you’re just lurking and walk around/away from them. How about the jerks that only talk about themselves and their conquests? It’s amusing for a little while but eventually you ignore them.
Same with the web. People subscribe and follow people who can captivate their attention and offer up an opinion. If you don’t happen to have an opinion, then why should I bother listening to you? Imagine if the homeless guy in front of your office blocked you from your office in the morning and insisted on reading the newspaper to you, out loud, all while mispronouncing the words. Imagine getting stuck for an hour on the highway behind a car with 8,000 bumper stickers – My honor student, my Chevy, my political views, etc.
Blogging, conversations, sharing in general is an act of putting a spotlight on an issue – personally – because you have something more to add. Another angle, more facts, explaining the circumstances. That is why we talk to one another in real life, the web just enriches and makes the communication medium more effortless and accessible.
Write to enrich yourself and you may do well. Write to gloat and selfpromote/sell and you will certainly fail. If you are so concerned about your audience, what it may think of you, and how you could make money off it then stop stabbing in the dark, just ask. Remember that the most important opinion is that of the people that already care about what you have to say.