In other words, your words aren’t enough. I almost wish they were.
I know plenty of brilliant writers who don’t get the attention they deserve. Will their work eventually get noticed? Maybe. Some day.
But why not now? Why not today? Because we’re believing a lie.
I said I “almost” wished content was enough, because now I know the secret to why some writers flourish while others do not. It has to do with “marketing.” Which is just a fancy word for relationship.
Relationships rule the web
Think about it. This is the Inter-net. The World Wide Web. These are social networks.
This whole stinking thing is predicated on the idea of relationships and connection.
So why in the world do you think little ole you on your couch with a laptop can make a difference — without stepping one foot into the deep, murky waters of relationship?
That doesn’t make sense. Does it?
Relationship is the best marketing
I used to be terrible at this. I thought all I had to do was be a good writer. But I was wrong.
I was scared. And lazy. I didn’t want to have to actually meet people. I just wanted to write.
But that’s not how the world works. So why would I think for one minute the Web would work that way? Yes, even in real life, it’s not just what you know that matters, but also who you know.
And even in business, the best way to promote an idea, product, or service is relationship. We all know this, because in this day of media saturation, we don’t buy what the ads tell us to buy. We buy what our friends recommend.
Relationship is why we write
Without putting yourself out there your work doesn’t get found. You have to connect and converse. You must engage.
While that may feel like a hassle for some of us more introverted writers (which is the majority, in my opinion), it’s actually not a terrible idea. It is, after all, why many of us got started with writing in the first place. Wasn‘t it?
To relate? To make a difference? To connect with a reader?
Well, then you had better get started.
Time to build some relationships and stop believing the lie that content is enough. Sure it’s a good start, but you’re going to need more than content.
Content isn’t king; it’s a prerequisite
Yes, you need to write. And yes, it needs to be good. But that’s only the bare minimum.
Whatever you do with this, I hope you stop propagating the myth that sitting in a corner somewhere with a pen and paper is enough to succeed as a writer. It’s not.
It may be enough to feed your creative spirit (which is completely valid), but it’s not enough to sell books, start a business, or have your words, ya know, actually read by another human being.
What you need is attention. And the only way to do that is to get in front of people, to build relationships.
You are going to have to market.
And maybe that’s not such a terrible, evil thing after all.
What do you think? Is content king? Share in the comments.
By the way, for an alternative perspective on this argument, check out this article that advocates for design being king.
*Photo credit: Kevin Chang (Creative Commons)