Are you writing for your audience?

in rant •  last month 



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This is something that I have noticed for quite awhile and while it's been the topic of discussion lately, I don't think it's very popular to say... but hey... I say lots of things that aren't popular.

So as "content creator" are you writing for your audience? Are you writing things for engagement? Or are you simply writing a post to get those autovotes you are so accustomed to?

I have seen many authors lately complaining that they don't get noticed.. even if their posts get $5 or more religiously due to their auto votes. They say it's not fair people make more than them, and then I go and look at their posts and they are absolute garbage. Yes, I said it.

If you are making a dtube video everyday just to do it and get that vote and NO ONE IS COMMENTING, then people don't like your content.

If you are taking a photo of your cat and posting it to get those auto votes (or no votes at all) and NO ONE IS COMMENTING, people don't like your content.

I see many posting many times a day, with little to no comments or engagement.. and still they complain that it's not fair that post with 30 plus comments are making more than them. Someone needs to look out for the little guy... With no personal responsibility for the content they are creating.

I won't go too much into the entitlement and just pure rent seeker mentality of many "content creators" here which quite frankly is one of my pet peeves, instead I want to focus on a very important part of "content creation" in general that many seem to be missing here -

Are you producing content your audience wants to see?

It sounds simple, but are you? Are you paying attention to what gets engagement? Or here is an even crazier thought - Are you writing content that could bring eyes and engagement from a new audience to Steem?

As content creators this is something we should really be considering.. whether it's the audience here already on Steem or the much needed audience we need to bring here.

Many times I see these complaints, and 9 times out of 10 it seems the author is writing content for god knows who but no one seems to be engaging, and while it is really easy to blame other people for this... it seems quite strange that one would not look at themselves and the content they are producing for the possible cause.

I mean if an individual makes a video on YouTube and no one likes it.. does the creator blame the viewers? How dare you not watch this!!

When a production company makes a new series or movie and no one watches it.. do they blame the audience? How dare you not watch my show, you wankers!!

No, instead they say - Well holy hell it seems no one liked that.. my bad.. let's try something else.

It goes for the "little guys" too

I see many times things mentioned here on Steem like - This author is trying so hard for their 20 cents and just can't get any support.

Well... News Flash... maybe no one likes their content. Maybe, just maybe.. the audience see's no value in what they ate today, even if they did include blurry cell phone photos of that food. Maybe, just maybe, they need to work to write for their audience or I don't know.. attract one, and not think that they are entitled to attention that clearly their content is not attracting.

Now it is important to note that sometimes on Steem content is not found easily (due to lack of tools) and sometimes that means content doesn't get engagement (even if it maybe deserves it).. and until someone uplifts it to be seen, it may not get that engagement. That's fair and not really what I am talking about here. This is also why I think manual curation is so important and spend many hours a day doing such.. as helping authors find their audience is important.. but they also have a responsibility to help attract their own audience as well.


Sometimes "Quality" has nothing to do with it

I also can say that sometimes the audience may not know (or care) what the hell "good quality" is... I think looking at trending on YouTube or watching an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians can make that super clear. Pew die pie anyone? I mean... what is that crap?

BUT engagement (and therefore an audience) is valuable, and sometimes things that may not be traditionally amazing in quality get a ton of engagement, and therefore add value.

If I write a post and get very little engagement, that is a clear as day sign that my audience didn't find it particularly valuable.... mind boggling, I know.


Time for a change?

Maybe we need to take some time to ask ourselves who we are writing for.. or if it is just for ourselves.. before we start complaining that those damn readers don't like our stuff.

You are not entitled to anything, and in fact it is your job, as a "content creator", to attract and engage your audience.

There are so many apps and trails that cast votes no matter what the content is, or how it was received and it has developed a culture here where people feel the need to post daily, whether that content is anything anyone wants to see or not. I think this is something that we really have to change if we ever want to actually attract an audience to Steem. Which as "content creators", should be your number one goal.

Some times great content has nothing to do with the "quality" of a post, sometimes it has everything to do with the engagement, and therefore readers, that it attracted.. just something to consider.

All in all, I think our "content creators" need to work harder to attract an audience both inside and outside of the Steem echo chamber. And I think our stake holders need to stop autovoting garbage that no one wants to read...and instead support what is adding value, both inside and outside of Steem... otherwise what is the damn point.



So.. who are you writing for? Your audience? Your future audience? Or just shitting stuff out to get a vote?


And even more than that - What are you doing to grow your audience?



Just some food for thought.


-- end of rant --


Justine



All opinions and snark are my own.

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#engagement

I'd give you some of my token but the bot is offline - a growing trend it seems.

Well I'm in agreement, so much so I've been kicking out links to posts paid well but with 0 engagement as possible downvote targets. Buying your way to trending and getting 0 commentary, hello? Something isn't working - maybe your content?

And then there are the 35 post a week types, and with almost 0 exclusion (I can think of one author), no-one is kicking out 30+ posts a week of high standard/quality/interest.

#newsteem should mean that quality over quantity is the way to go now.

Yeah I agree.. posts on trending (especially when the author put them there) with no engagement whatsoever ever makes it look like no one is here... and shows that work is clearly not something that the crowd wants to see.

I mean I get if people are just writing for themselves, many times my freewrites are just for me, and that’s fine.. but it’s those that then complain about lack of support or engagement who seem to not be writing for anyone.. or are clearly just spamming for a vote. Meh.. I just don’t see how it’s the community’s fault that they produce content no one wants to see 🤷‍♀️

You are maybe one of the few, that is still hanging around here.

So the no comment issue, means nothing. :) or only for you? :)

Lol well you just proved I’m not the only one here 😜 and no.. I don’t generally complain about lack of engagement or support on my posts but I do very much take into account what gets engagement and what doesn’t.. and take that into consideration when making content. But then I don’t even consider myself a content creator really 🤷‍♀️

Not Quality though, INTERESTING.

Engaging and Interesting. No need for Quality

Yes, Interesting over quantity, that could scupper a few people :)

Yes, you said it very well.

I don't care how many hours you spent writing it.
I don't care how "Quality" it is.
Is it interesting, does it spark thought or conversation? Does anyone want to engage with it?

I realize it is subjective, but what you write has to be interesting to someone that is here.

I have a trollish friend, who loves to stop by my posts and tell me his/her posts are better than my crap. So, of course I went to check it out.

The most recent post was a 2000 word walk-through of her local museum. Personally, I found it extremely boring and based on results everyone else did too.

I'm not saying it wasn't a great post and that no one would appreciate it, I'm saying it didn't have an audience that is here and available to see it.

Anyway, good food for thought.

And for the record, my least favorite "Quality Content" is plastic rewrites of topics that have been covered a 1000 times. "How To Improve Your Self Esteem". Etc.

Yes great point as how much time a post took has no reflection on whether it was liked or not.

Now I will say there is content that isn’t rewarded on Steem much that I do think has an audience elsewhere... but at some point it is then that content creators responsibility to work to bring that audience in if that’s the content they want to produce.

This doesn’t mean everyone needs to change what they produce to what the “crowd” wants at this time, but they sure shouldn't be complaining about it if they are putting no effort in.

Yeah.. the self esteem style ones are just boring.. tell me a personal story of how you are working on your self esteem or something to pull me in and that’s fine... but just writing static stuff for no one and then getting upset it’s not raved about is just silly.

Attention is everything in social media in my opinion. The content I usually post are just documenting my life and my thoughts.

I don’t see a lot of people complaining on Instagram when you see a butt shot from the ladies that gets a million likes a post. 😂

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Got a link? :P

Lol oh Asher.. if you can’t find ass on the web, you are doing something wrong 😜

I have my source locations, but it's always good to expand horizons isn't it? 😜

Yeah good point.. @stackin get this poor boy some ass links!

Gave him a good one lol

Got Asher a good one lol

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😁👍🏽

Sure 😂😂😂

https://www.instagram.com/sommerray/

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🔥 🍑

  ·  last month (edited)

Yep and while think sites that include just “likes” are a bit different then using a shared inflation pool to support something, BUT I think sometimes what draws an audience has nothing to do with the quality of the content whatsoever. And we really need to accept that.

With that being said we have creators here who get big ole votes who posting photos of their ass and then milk those autos with posts that don’t have an audience at all. crazy little family we have here lol

I’m going to do more selfies with no content and see what happens jk 😂

I made a joking post with a selfie and random thoughts once.. it was one of my most commented posts lol. Sometimes what the audience likes may make no sense to us 😂🤷‍♀️

Humans are weird creatures 🤣

or it could be that you have a lot of followers with low-attention spans. I know that for me if an article is over 500 words (and most of my own tend to be) There isn't much chance I am going to read it all. For example, i didn't read all of this one :P

I see this a lot with music producers over the last 8 years on all social media where a simple "new track, listen link" post doesn't get much of a response and in the end a load of spam messages appear in my DM. Safe to say, I either block, ignore or forget the message was sent by that person.

A lot of content creators do struggle with the marketing side of it. But marketing, branding and all that stuff are skills that can be learnt IF you want to.

For some I know, and I can only speak for those I have come across in music communities not just on steem but elsewhere, the just make music as a hobby, churning out tunes and dropping links everywhere.

Fine.

But then don't go complaining to me that you're not making money from it and no-one is listening and labels are shit because they don't promote and blah blah blah...

You can't have it both ways.

I get the difficulties content creators have with marketing though. It's tough when you spend hours and hours in the studio (for me, weeks and months sometimes) to create a track that you just sometimes want to post and then you don't do any hype, no clips, you just want to get it out there.

But I learnt blogging by coming to steem, joined a great community to see if I could improve story telling to help my music travel... Turns out, there just isn't as big an interest in Drum & Bass music as I had hoped so what it forced me to do was make a change...

I started doing travel blogs and embed a track at the bottom of mine with a little story behind it... Turns out that was a good move and went through a HUGE rebranding on my socials, now I'm getting noticed a bit more which is cool.

I'm sure there was a point to what I started saying - maybe to be a bit more open to change of how you portray yourself and think about what's important to you as a content creator but I mostly agree with what you're saying too!

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Yep I fully agree with you here and know it depends on each person’s goals. It your goal is to get noticed then you have to write (or produce) something an audience wants to see. If your goal is to write and produce just as a form of self expression and don’t care about being notice - that’s totally good too.

But then don't go complaining to me that you're not making money from it and no-one is listening and labels are shit because they don't promote and blah blah blah...

This.. such this. As that is what I see a lot - people upset they aren’t getting the response they want without attempting to actually make anything anyone would want to see. OR to go out and find the audience that would want to see it.

I respect those that are creating for their own fulfillment and for them an audience may come naturally at some point.. but those expecting (and complaining) about the attention have a responsibility to put some effort in.

I love how you combine your music with your travel blogs btw

It's SO simple. If you want to make money from it, you're making a business out of it. If you don't, it's a hobby and something of passion and anything that comes from it should be considered as a bonus, not "income" in the traditional sense.

If you go for the former, well, there's a whole lot of things to learn about setting up a business such as goal setting, you as a brand, your product, market research (who do you sound like), the kind of people who will buy your music, what makes them tick... That's just to get started, maybe 5-10% and it's a forever evolving thing.

I respect those that are creating for their own fulfillment and for them an audience may come naturally at some point..

This is where I am at (the latter - serious hobbying). I did entertain the business element, purchased a few music marketing courses and found out a lot about my own goals, motivations and what's realistic (arguably being realistic was the most humbling experience that I had!)

The realisation I had was, "I make music to escape so if it becomes my sole source, what am I going to do to escape?"

I've loved being on steem and meeting loads of different people, forever learning, as well as the chance to earn something from what I still consider to be a hobby but something I put everything into (gotta love perfectionism sometimes)!

So I'm with you on the complainers and have wanted to vent about it myself for sometime so reading your post prompted it 😂

And thanks a lot for the support you guys in the c-squared community have given me btw

(and sorry for an outburst on a previous post where I was supporting the leader of another community I am in. I since found out the full story and saw you had replied to me but then removed it)

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I don't know where to start as I believe several factors play a significant role in why there is not a lot of engagement.

  1. Let's have a look at Steemit (Keeping it basic not about the technology). It's similar to Reddit and Quora as actual people are writing those posts, and you only find them on Google if you google something that someone wrote based on your question or title. This is how it pops up, and this is how creators are getting an audience and attention. What's missing on Steemit is a search engine (of course not Google!) so that people who are browsing are finding our content!

  2. Of course, there are content creators who are just posting for upvotes and don't care what they post as long as they get the money but guess what it's similar to the centralized world the only difference is, you won't see it as it isn't transparent.

  3. Not much engagement? Hmm, first let's take Youtube, this is a good example of buying comments and likes etc...so ''real'' people think that they have a lot of engagement so, it has to be good right? If you have lunch at the restaurant and no one is there, would you go in or would you have a look at one where people are sitting and enjoying their meals? I guess, you would like to join them as it seems to be good and you aren't alone..same with the engagement, no one wants to be alone or be the first one to comment as you don't know what's going to happen.

  4. Just because no one is engaging with your post, doesn't mean it's wrong or no one is interested in it, this also could mean that what you wrote is correct, but they don't want to add something as it's okay or you could help them.

  5. Guess what, gossiping or negative posts/comment, complaints, etc. are always more engaging and entertaining than a post that tells just good news or facts or just gave you the answer to what you wanted to know. (In my case) It doesn't mean that people aren't watching the video they do, and I assume they aren't engaging when they find the correct answer. At least that's what my analytics tells me so far. And have a look at the news, if they only would spread out good news, those people wouldn't have a job!

You did a nice job, as you got me as well. It's fun to read all those posts where people are complaining that no one is engaging, but then you find the most comments under those posts haha 😂 Instead of complaining, support people with their posts!

Thanks for your post @justineh 😊

i'm my own audience

I like that spirit!

I agree, and I think it's something that we can all be guilty of at times. I sometimes feel more censored on Steem than I do on Facebook and I am not really sure why.

I often think in terms of the eyeballs viewing my content before I submit it, but I also know that it's not always going to be appreciated or convey the effort that went into taking the perfectly timed photo or the time behind editing and applying markdown code. Some stuff might really need a rethink altogether and maybe be submitted at a later date, in a different context.

It's a work in progress.

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I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, how I measure my success in Steemit is by engagement in the comments, not by the value of votes. I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve been mentally checked out of Steemit and it really shows. Everyone likes a pretty picture but if there are no thoughs to go with it, it gets boring real fast. Doing my best to get back into everything cause I miss the action of constant back and forth in both my own comment section and in others.

Nice little rant right here @justineh - As always. legit ranter.

So, I agree with all you said. Nothing more to add really. Well, that wouldn't be my style so here goes...

I tend to write for myself, not necessarily to get votes of appease my [many and loyal] fans. I have turned this into an enjoyment rather than a job, a vehicle to earn money. Sure, I get disappointed when, what I see as a great post [great to me], only get's a small return but worse to me is the lack of engagement. You're right, tells me I missed my mark, however if I enjoyed writing it have I really?

It's just a different way of looking at it I guess. I know I need followers and so I try to write well, good spelling, punctuation, and only post after a proof-read. [Still make mistakes though]. I hope that, and some interesting topics, generate some interest and sometimes it does, others not. A bit of a lottery sometimes I think.

Now I'm curating for curangel I'm seeing much more content and disappointingly much of it is rubbish, and I discard it as such - I hope for that to one day turn around. Posts like yours will help.

Anyway, the feeling of entitlement is a plague in society these days and its prevalent here too unfortunately. I hope things turn around and in the mean time I'll just keep on keeping on and hope the pebbles I throw in the pond create some ripples.

Full disclosure: I know you're busy but I miss ya. :)

Silly Justine lecturing people when most of them, including me, are just here to shitpost. lol

On a more serious note,

Depending on what a person is seeking, it can be a great time or a bad time. For example, if you are looking for large voter support, now might not be a bad time as much of the crowd has left the chain. If it's audience someone is looking for, I don't think the current state of the platform can offer much more than it does.

As for the lack of engagement, sometimes it's hard to have meaningful interactions. Take some of the tutorial videos or stat posts, what am I supposed to say to those? They are useful info I will clip away for sure, but there's not much for me to say besides the "no shit, Sherlock" comment on the numbers. Okay, maybe I will ask questions if certain parts aren't clear. But yes, a lot of stuff are just not interesting at all.

Take some of @berniesanders' posts, for instance, people engaged. I'm sure many were just there for the votes, but the point stands. Many "content creators" don't create anything for people to interact with.

Attention span has already been mentioned here, so I won't say anymore.

Quality isn’t just objective measures of the mechanics of writing.... it also refers to how it delivers a message to the audience, which presupposes knowing the audience, as well as adding value to the reader in some way.

Also: start using what I call ‘outward-looking tags’.... if you’re just using tags to capture tokens or a Steem audience then you’re missing an audience off blockchain.

Think you’ll find most of us operate here based on the posting = mining STEEM mentality. 🤷🏽‍♂️

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I like to think some of my posts are for my readers and others are for me. I have a decent idea of which posts will get more attention.

It is not just about interesting. It is about what others agree with. I noticed some posts that earn more rewards, despite taking just as much effort as 'boring posts'. Tagging newsteem now and writing about how awesome Steem is gets votes, but writing about this every day gets boring.

People need to diversify and experiment. Or the audience moves on. Truely creative stuff cannot be pumped out daily, especially videos.

I rarely watch videos on Steem, because it is usually just people reading their blog or worse rambling. Maybe they are podcasts, but again, haven't found a good on I want to listen to regularly.

i am triyng specially the farming and foraging topics, i think maybe have a little audience.

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Agree with everything you wrote and your use of the word "wankers" made me feel so proud.

Tnx for this!

Thanks, I write what I feel inspired to and hopeful this resonates with some out there. I not really on here for the money although more would be nice mainly the community and the connection, an exchange of information. If I can add to someones awaken then thats a bonus 💯🐒

Totally agree and to each their own. I just feel that if individuals are writing for the rewards or responses and they aren’t getting them, it’s up to them to attract that audience.

That's right some people just need the attention and feeling of being liked the sad social media driven world we live in today 💯🐒

Well i can speak for myself, I write to blend to what my audience love, sometimes it's about the consumption, and I tilt my niche a bit

I don't have a niche and I use steemit to write rants like this. It's nice when one or two steemians chime in to give me second opinions. I might attract different kind of crowds but yeah my page is super nicheless. I've been trying to have a certain kind of niche but, my interest changes like I change my underwear.

That’s a great plan to have if your ultimate goal is to attract an audience - change your content based on their likes and wants.

Exactly, it's imperative however what hinders this is that people are busy trying to make steem rather than consuming and engaging with others contents

I think people are in general lazy, me and my friends also won't comment much these days on social media, that's why instagram lately introduced some quick emoji replies, making it easy and quick to engage. I agree with your point tho, nobody is entitled to anything, especially on steem where you get rewarded for content.

Interesting. I was just wondering how I could capitalise on engagement after seeing your post on neoxian and it had like 1000000000 comments. I was thinking to myself, how the hell do I get THAT!! My content is good, I'm a published author -- but I don't get much engagement. I always wonder why.

This post helps me answer that, thanks for that -- maybe I'll start looking at which stuff gets the most comments and then build on that!

Am surprised to see a post like this and am interested in this!
I wanna be like you in future !
But would like to request to follow me back and to support my community childrens because they are too risky to their lives!

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I actually really like Pewdiepie, but I agree with everything else you wrote :)

Thank you, I will take what you have shared here into careful consideration. I'm obviously doing something wrong. Hopefully, I can figure out how to improve my blog somehow.

I think you're absolutely right, if almost no one votes, and almost no one comments, it means whatever I am posting is just not that interesting.

It's bitter medicine, but I have to take it. That's reality!

I see nothing more to be said than agreed 👌

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  ·  last month (edited)

:) i just vote on stuff that gives me value -usually.

a thing with auto voting - it takes courage to stop it, i.e i have been voting for you for a yr with 20c now i'm going to take that away. fks with your head for awhile. did for me anyway