"Should I write for an audience or should I write for myself?"
How do you find the right balance? How do you grow your audience while also giving yourself permission to follow your curiosities?
Every online writer struggles with these questions.
Here are 7 tips to help you find the sweet spot:
1. Only write about things you're completely obsessed about.
Online writing is an endurance sport.
And forcing yourself to write about trending topics you don't really care about is not sustainable.
So the only way to keep at it over a long period is to write about things you're genuinely interested in.
2. Write selfishly. Then, make it all about the reader.
The best writing is the product of a paradoxical mix:
Self-indulgent curiosity and empathetic packaging.
Go down your favorite rabbit holes to find ideas.
Then, give people reasons to care about them.
3. Optimize for width first. Then, build audience density.
Having millions of views is cool (and it can definitely be helpful).
But if you overdo it, you'll end up with a huge following that doesn't really care about you.
Just like those Instagram pages that can't sell $100 worth of products.
4. Create your own depth metrics.
Today's social platforms only have width metrics: likes, retweets, comments.
So if you want to optimize for audience density, you have to come up with your own metrics.
DMs, emails and sales, for example, are much better indicators of audience depth and density.
5. Deconstruct your good taste.
One thing all great writers have in common:
They're active consumers.
Every time they find something interesting, they dissect it and try to understand why it works.
Then, they apply that to their own content.
6. Curate (but add your own spin to it).
Idea arbitrage is an effective way to grow quickly.
But producing work you're proud of requires creativity and originality.
Great writers are great at leveraging other people's ideas while also remixing them with their own views and stories.
7. Build your own algorithm.
Great writing is a by‑product, not a result.
Consuming great content is the 1st step to creating great content.
But if you rely on the algorithms, you'll just see what everyone else's seeing.
If you enjoyed this post, I highly recommend you watch the video below - it's full of insightful nuggets & actionable tips: