4 Fake Assumptions Content Creators Have From Building an Online Audience
Having an online community is about resonating with others and do what offline communities do
A couple of days ago I listened to Sinem Günel giving an interview to The G&T Sessions Podcast. When Sinem explained the reason why her articles about philosophers and global leaders quotes are her most popular post, she said:
That is what my audience loves reading most.
What a confident affirmation. -I thought.
Just before I ended listening to the interview, I put hands-on to figure out who my audience was. What do they want to read from me and what are their interests.
I used to write in hopes to catch some eyeballs and not really thinking about my audience and my community. From searching my stats, I observed the following:
- My audience is interested in my Mexican culture.
They are interested not just because I facilitate them to have an immersion through my content. I mean, I approached my culture to them, and they picked it.
2. My audience engages when I share a personal life story.
This happened when I stopped sharing my personal experiences in a vulnerable way. Now my audience hub identifies with me. I know this because they follow a conversation with me in the comments.
For example this one: Fun Facts About France You Should Know Before Studying Abroad
After having this evaluation, I got to discover online writers and content creators often fall into misconceptions when it comes to creating an online community.
For the first instance, one of the biggest mistakes a content creator can make is the same I did. Not getting to know your audience, and just try to guess what they would feel is interesting reading.
As a content creator you produce the content you think your audience will enjoy.
The thing is that if you want to make this writing journey into a writing business you don’t have just to guess and to think what your audience could be interested in reading from you.
To create or write your content, you should know the qualities of the people you are directing to.
One of the biggest challenges as content creators is indeed to get to know your audience and produce content that resonates with them.
In my case, I wanted to be a jack of all trades.
Some of the pieces I considered as masterpieces didn’t get enough synergy from my audience. Instead, content about life lessons, life experiences and travel experiences got the most views.
From there, I understand that regardless of if I write a masterpiece, my audience will not feel identified if I write other topics that are not related to travel and living abroad.
This is in fact a blessing because it is what I thought to write in the first instance.
The main purpose of online writing and creating content online is not to have an incredible number of followers.
You can create fake accounts that follow you on all your platforms, however, this will not help you achieve the only purpose of producing content online: CREATE A COMMUNITY.
Creating an online community is about resonating with others and do what offline communities do:
- Engage with a conversation
- Get to know each other
- Know each other’s point of view
I have seen content creators on Instagram commonly that frequently ask in Facebook groups “follow for follow". If you follow me, I will follow you back.”
As a content creator and as an online writer you should get rid of this misconception of building a community online.
The fewer followers you have, the more opportunities you have to screw it up and none notice. This is one of the biggest advantages of the nature of starting an online community.
In this article, I mentioned why you need to create high-quality content before trying to desperately get more followers.
You don’t want to write and publish random words in order to have something new to offer to your scarcity audience, in hopes to resonate with them and barely a few others.
You just need to be seen and heard by the correct ones. Because you want your content to resonate with others and that help others solving the specific needs your content covers.
Having a tiny audience is a privilege you will have for not too long. Make the most of it!
Why do you need more followers if you haven’t got to know the ones who trust the quality of your content?
If your community is as smallish as mine, you and I have an advantage that will not last forever.
As long as you keep producing high-quality content, it will intrinsically increase the number of people who will resonate with you and will start following your writing journey.
Now that your audience is not too wide, this is the moment you can have the privilege to get to know all your fans in a more personal way.
Remember that the final purpose of an online community is quite the same as an offline one: Connect, engage and follow a conversation.
Contrary to what new online writers and content creators may think, having a tiny audience is not a detractor that is stepping back to your achievements.
Learn how to take advantage of your smallish community to make the most of it. I am writing a series about how to build a community online. Stay tuned.
You probably haven’t noticed but, you are the creator of your audience.
HorslandFilms is my partner’s project. This is a Facebook page with more than 200K followers who are interested in cinema.
To this day Joshua is proud of the community he has built with his content, although this wasn't always like that. It took Joshua two years to mould the community he wanted to have.
One year ago Joshua got committed to partially get rid of casual and memes in his content to incorporate classic, art-house and international movies.
HorslandFilms community engaged the most with movies Joshua didn’t identify himself nor was a super fan. For example, Pulp Fiction, The Shining, and The Professional. And despite the stats, Joshua stood firm with his decision.
Now, one year from there the content Joshua wanted to promote the most, is the kind of content that frequently goes viral. Posts and galleries from Akira Kurosawa, Murnau and silent films are the most popular, contrary to one year ago.
HorlandFilms content is an example that your audience will consume and engage with whatever you offer to them, as long as you feel identified with it and it makes sense.
To get to know your audience you don't need to be a marketer or hire one.
You need to deeply study your content and to get the relationship between your most commented and liked.
When I listened to Sinem’s affirmation: This is what my audience liked the most. I got encouraged to get to know what my +400 followers liked the most from my content. And this is what I found:
- The pieces that I thought were the most relevant, most of my audience didn’t notice the piece.
- Content I thought was meaningless, got to be the most popular in views and money earned.
- Comments are always appreciated but if people engage and follow the conversation means that you are one step forward to have a community.
Remember that regardless if you produce a masterpiece, if it doesn’t have an impact on your audience you are wasting your time. You want your content to be effective and to be consumed.
Final thoughts: Get to know your audience ASAP
I needed to listen to Sinem’s interview to resonate with the idea of getting to know my audience. Is this article of mine resonating with you?
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