Everybody is talking about social media views. The conspiracy is, views have dropped.
What if your views are down because the quality of your content has massively dropped? Before you get angry, let me say that I am going to hurl this giant boulder of a statement at myself first.
My recurring self-talk as a writer right now is “Your views aren’t down. Your quality has massively dropped.”
Why does the quality of your content drop?
The number of views your contentgets has to do with the quality of your content. No social media platform keeps a high-quality piece of content that resonates with an audience from being seen by a big audience.
I had a story a few years ago that I was sure would do well. I submitted it to a publication. They hated it. The story received no boost or extra marketing. I self-published it. The views came flooding in.
Nothing could hold the story back. The publication ended up coming back to me and asking if they could have a second chance to accept the piece. I said yes. The story reached even more people. Every time I publish this same story again anywhere on social media, it gets a stupidly high number of views.
Quality content can’t be stopped and that’s the truth. Read that again.
You’ve forgotten why you write
The quality of your content falls off a cliff when you forget why you’re writing the stories you publish.
My goal is to use writing to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development. Sometimes I screw up. I accidentally go from inspiring the world, to demotivating readers with a rogue story.
What brings the quality of my content up again is when I reconnect with why I’m writing. I suffered extreme mental illness. I don’t want others to endure what I did. Writing is therapy — for me, and for readers. When I remind myself of that powerful thought, the words my fingers type get better.
I’m writing for eight hours straight today. You know what? For the first time in seven years I couldn’t make it through. I felt really tired. Publishing ten stories a week on a blog can do that to you. What did I do to bump up the quality? I had lunch and took a 20-minute nap. After 20 minutes my writing came back again and so did the quality.
If you’re tired then your writing will suck. Use naps to recover the quality of your writing.
You’re trying to be interesting
You know what I’m talking about. I saw a tweet today of the surface of Jupiter. The photo was taken in the 80s. It was bizarre. I considered writing about the surface of Jupiter. I didn’t though. I don’t write about planets. I’m not an astronaut or a professional stargazer.
When you try too hard to be interesting, you end up sounding boring. You start writing about sensationalist ideas and going completely overboard. A writer who over-tries or looks desperate for attention is exhausting for a reader. The quality of your writing drops when it’s not natural.
Solution: Be yourself. Write what you know.
You’re writing complex instead of simple
It took me seven years of writing online to understand readers love simple. All of my worst performing stories have one common factor: I went overboard and got complex. Taking complex ideas and making them simple is a superpower. Why?
People’s lives are already way too complex. An average human has to process so much information during a single day. If you can give readers awesome insights using simple ideas and language, you’ll go further than 99% of writers. The world is craving simple content.
Aim for simple and the quality of your work will naturally go up.
You’re sitting on the fence
There’s a lot of writers who are fence sitters. Readers hate it. They want you to be clear and confident with your points.
A piece of writing that doesn’t take a side is trying to please everybody, therefore pleasing nobody and becoming low-quality content.
You’re chasing the news
When you write about newsworthy items, you substantially increase your competition. If the president of the United States does something stupid, then you can guarantee writers all around the world are writing about it. This means when a reader sees yet another headline talking about a topic that is all over social media, they’re likely to say to themselves “I’ve already read about this.”
Even if they haven’t read your unique view on a topic, the fact the headline is linked to the news can psychologically trick them into thinking they have.
Chasing news and trends can be exhausting as a writer.
You preach chaos
Humans will be extinct shortly. The collapse of America is coming. Everything is screwed. You’re screwed too, did you know! It makes for stunning headlines.
No one can afford houses. Jobs are being taken by robots. Money is evil. Politics is always wrong. Every leader who has achieved something is terrible. How dare anybody succeed. Throw hot water on Mother Teresa’s legacy too. You could add the cast of the tv show Friends while you’re at it. Why not?
But all this form of chaos writing does is solve nothing in terms of the mess inside the writer’s head. Readers don’t want more problems in their life as they already have enough.
It’s your human nature to see the negatives of the world and call for the end of humanity. It’s survival. But it’s really shitty writing.
You’re literally adding to the downfall of people’s happiness by preaching chaos. You should feel guilty if this is how you write online. And when your views collapse because you’ve taken advantage of reader’s insecurities then, hate to say it, you probably deserve it. Views should be taken away from those committing writing crimes against humanity. Chaos writing is more than likely to be undiagnosed mental illness.
Give readers genuine solutions for long-term, sustainable progress as a writer.
How to increase the quality of your content
(So you can get your views up again.)
- Edit out filler sentences.
- Do proper research.
- Add personal stories.
- Treat paragraphs like tweets. Be ruthless.
- Do a Nicolas Cole and increase your “rate of revelation.” This is the rate at which your story progresses. Many stories progress way too slow. Humans are goldfish with low attention spans. Feed the reader’s thirst by getting to the point — go on, quickly now.
- Insert links to sources and further reading.
- Be fair to the reader in the way you talk to them.
- Sound less angry.
- Be like Genius Turner and insert real-world conversations into your pieces to bring them to life for the reader.
- Throw some humor in your stories.
- Finish your story with a clear conclusion that ties back directly to the headline. It gives your story a nice feeling of coming full circle.
The reason I think about writing quality is because the platform I write on is out of my control. When you choose a solution where you’re in control, even if it doesn’t solve the entire problem, you still perform better than blaming your views problem on a San Francisco tech company.
Takeaway for writers
Your views are the product of your writing. You control your writing, not an app on your phone.
Link your writing back to the reason you started in the first place. Write for the right reason. Then your views will be so high everyone will be wondering what the heck you’re doing differently.
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