The greatest writers in the world had to start somewhere. Stephen King wasn’t born famous, nor was Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, or George Orwell. Gaining the attention of the masses is the dream of many writers. The task of attracting readers is not easy, but it can be very rewarding. In order to gain the attention of readers, the good writer will often find that if they believe in their work, so will others.
Writers specialize in a wide spectrum of content in this day and age, so readers are able to be incredibly diverse in their interests. To gain a following of even modest size it is important to know what type of reader your content is geared towards. Here are a few important tips to remember when trying to gain, and keep, the attention of your intended reader.
Get Your Work Out There
Seasoned writers and newbies both know this is the most important step in attracting readers. You could be sitting on a Pulitzer-winning work and never know it unless you find a way to place it in the public eye. There are many different venues that can be used to display your work, and it pays to be choosy. Finding the right fit for your work takes time and effort, and can be a very trying ordeal. The important thing to remember is not to get bogged down in the details, and accept any rejections while still moving forward.
Your work needs to make sense to you. If it doesn’t you will need to go back to the drawing board and sort through your information once again until the words form a cohesive unit that you can understand. If you have trouble sorting out the meaning of your work there is little chance that a reader will be able to. In order to bring greater understanding and pull readers into the meaning of your work it is important to reach that “aha” moment that many people will admit to feeling when they finally come to understand the meaning of your work. The more questions you can answer in regard to your work the more secure and engaged you will make your readers feel.
Make Your Content Relevant
Many readers won’t continue with a piece that doesn’t interest them. If you write a horror novel for an avid lover of romance or mystery the chances of the reader sticking around are slim to none. To keep the attention of a reader your work must be something they are interested in. Learn who you are writing for and how best to present the material rather than going by personal interest. Some might call this pandering to masses, but in truth it is a very direct and effective way to make your voice be heard.
This is a repetitive, never-ending lesson that even seasoned writers still need to remember from time to time. No matter how perfect your writing might seem, no matter if you’ve mastered grammar in its entirety, you will make mistakes. Good writers will always go back and read their own work to insure that it is the type of quality that most readers demand. In doing this you not only increase the validity of your work, but the chance that readers will believe that your works are worth following.
Be Honest in What You Do
Such a statement in regards to writing might seem a little vague. When applied to the many different types of writing that exist however it makes perfect sense. Be honest when you are writing a novel, an article, a blog, or even a small blurb that acts as a product description. Honesty in writing involves citing sources, giving credit where it is due, and always producing your own work, in your own words. Don’t copy and paste your way to recognition. Good writers will continually utilize outside references to make their own writing flow, but they will always be responsible in how they cite their sources.
Writing is not a means to overnight success. There is nothing easy about stepping into this industry or gaining a following. If you are looking to gain a following with one article then perhaps writing is not for you. If you are ready for hard work and long hours spent attempting to first gain and then keep the attention of your readers, then you’re ready for the first step. Writing is about the long-game as so many veterans know. If a writer is ready to sacrifice time and effort to build a following and increase their brand, then they are on the right track.
I’ve been a writer for over a decade now and have experienced success and failure alike. One of my proudest moments came when my first novel was published. Up until then I’d suffered rejection after rejection after many an attempt to make my works known to the general public. I found out that people are willing to listen, but are also extremely critical in many regards as to what they are offered. Answering questions about my work not only allowed me to look at it from a different perspective, but it also allowed me to realize just how much editing I needed to do. I had to take a long look at what I was doing and force myself to be patient before I landed my first success. From that point on I have succeeded and failed time and again, and I have grown to be a stronger writer through each experience.
You will never be able to satisfy every reader with your work, so don’t try. Instead, aim for those who read the type of work you do, and you will stand a much better chance of making your voice heard. Recognition is what you gain for a few seconds. A following is what you gain for a lifetime.
John Cabrera is writer, web content writer, editor, blogger, content strategist, and ghostwriter. He is the co-founder of Freelance Writer Opportunities, a blog dedicated to writers’ financial growth. Want to know how to create passive income from your exiting writing? Download the free digital guide Create Passive Income From Your Writing.
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