We write because we love to write, and we all dream of the flexibility to when we want and about what we want. Unfortunately, that type of writing only pays the bills for a lucky few. If you are interested in writing as more than a hobby, you will inevitably have to face a few harsh truths.
Learning these lessons and implementing them will have a profound impact on your writing career.
Marketing your writing is a necessity. In the world of digital content, you may well spend more time marketing your writing than you actually writing. That is why the internet is full of mediocre writing, with a few gems interspersed amongst the mediocrity.
The cold, hard truth is that it doesn’t matter how great your writing is unless it reaches a broad audience. With digital content, you have to find traction for your work before it is irrelevant or someone else has done it better.
The days of great articles organically finding a broad audience are forever the good old days. Even less palatable is that those who excel at marketing are not necessarily the ones who excel at writing. Platforms for writers have some of the most talented writers on the planet but often fail miserably at matching those writers to the appropriate audience.
Algorithms determine who sees your work, and they are almost impossible to escape. I, for one, am tired of algorithms telling me what to read. Unfortunately, I do not have time to sift through hundreds of articles, blogs, and boolean search strings to find the talented writers I want to read.
I am dependent on the algorithms created by Google and other sites that curate work to provide me relevant content. You have to learn to play the algorithm game to succeed in writing, and that is more than a little frustrating as everyone is pretty closed-lip about how algorithms work.
My theory is that, because of artificial intelligence, few understand how the algorithms work. Thanks to such frightening progress as machine learning, the algorithms themselves learn and change faster than we can adapt.If You Are Not Afraid of Big Data — You Should BeExperts sound the alarm in The Social Dilemmamedium.com
Audiences are fickle. I do not mean that as an insult to readers. It only means that in the information age, brand loyalty to a writer is a thing of the past. We are so accustomed to having our information and entertainment delivered instantly that building, and keeping, an organic following is more challenging than ever.
Search engine optimization is the only way to get your work in front of the people who want to see it. There are no shortcuts here. Writing high-quality, SEO-friendly content is the only way for your writing to reach the masses.
Even with terrific SEO practices, the competition to make it to the first page of Google’s search results is fierce.
Marketing is a necessary evil if you want to be taken seriously as a writer. On a more positive note, excellent writing is required for excellent marketing. In a perfect world, those of us who love to write would be paid a small fortune by those who excel at marketing. Together, we would make a perfect team.
There are plenty of people who do both marketing and writing exceptionally well. However, like any trade or craft, I think most people do one or the other best. Content marketing has become a serious business as marketing firms use professional writers to craft custom content to generate more traffic to the websites they manage.