A lot of us have figured out ways to get the same amount of traffic with fewer words. Or we have found ways to get more traffic with fewer words. Many of us exploit search engine optimization techniques. Stop cheating your readers and stop trading in those readers that actually want the clarity and depth that comes with a “high definition” article for those with short attention spans that are okay with a “standard definition” piece of work that can be written in one or two pages.
I watch a lot of videos on YouTube and read a lot of articles on various websites on the Internet. There is a lot of fluff out there, now I am not saying that everyone who has made partner on YouTube or that can receive a hundred page views on an article on their worst day is full of themselves. Clearly, a lot of people do well on the Internet because their work is a great representation of the equity in their brand and are delivering great content. At the same time, a lot of people are just cruising by while others are doing a lot of the hard work and cannot receive any page views because they talk about boring topics and are not networking and getting that word out there. It also helps when someone else can get that word out there for you.
One tactic that I use is to pose questions in articles. Some of the questions I attempt to answer, but many I do not. Some readers do not like questions, but my articles are not about telling you something as much as they are to get you to ask questions. When people are presented with questions they find that they have questions of their own. Now you will not make a lot of money with questions, because if people are challenged too much they find your articles to be a lot of work, and there is nothing pleasurable about finding work in places you traveled attempting to avoid work. But you will attract a different type of reader that may be around for the long haul, even when you are discouraged and no longer want to write articles.
One of the tactics I have seen used by the people I like to watch on YouTube is asking people what they think about the topic at hand. That is not a tactic that I have had any success with myself, but it seems to work for them. Engage people in the topic you choose to talk about. There are always those readers that will give their opinions anyway, even though they are unsolicited. That is one of the great things about the Internet. Often, I find that vloggers will disable comments on topics they wish to discuss that are more controversial.
I can understand that they do not want anyone to kill their buzz, ruin their moment or stop their party. But you will eventually have to open up the discussion for comments. You will eventually have to respond to comments. You will inevitably have to take responsibility for the work that you put out there. If you do not want that responsibility you should find a real job as a writer, producer, director or actor and hide behind the mainstream media which does not take comments and does not want direct feedback from their audiences. It doesn’t mean that people will not take to the Internet anyway and create their own blogs or articles about your work. But it does mean that unless you are good and worth talking about, people will not waste their time on you, as opposed to being mediocre and getting into a fight with someone because your point of view was just that inflammatory and disrespectful that people felt compelled to respond. The mainstream media could care less why you support their work just as long as you do. Most times you cannot even contact the mainstream media except for an email some intern is going to read and delete. If you do go off and start up your own site complaining about them they can dismiss you as this crazy, unemployed blogger that is only able to mobilize other crazy, unemployed individuals who are just as angry at the world as you are. Then if you do hit it big they might approach you and before you realize it you have become part of the problem instead of part of the solution. Well I don’t know if anyone really has the solution, but at least you were getting people to think about what the solutions might be.
People will create their own brands around your brand. Brands are not created in a vacuum, and a lot of brands are created as a response to what some other brand is known for. This is true in the mainstream and it is definitely true online; Fox was initially an alternative to what the three major networks had to offer, PBS is a response to how the mainstream is beholden to advertisers. Eventually, as Fox became pretty mainstream themselves other networks popped up. A lot of opportunities opened up after the digital transition. That is just how it works, but you have to be confident in the message that you are conveying and not worry about what someone else is doing. The same people that read their articles, might also read your articles; pick and choose your battles. Fighting against someone else that is hotter than you are at the moment could be a loosing proposition.
Some of the vloggers and writers out there are not making any money do not have the time and resources to shoot high definition video or spend a few more minutes or a couple more paragraphs talking about the subject at hand. But for those that do we should strive to go a bit deeper in our articles. No one expects you to be right all of the time. Most do not expect you to be right at all. But many would like to be entertained just as much intellectually as they are in other ways. There is something to be said for leaving your audience wanting more because you were just that good, and giving them less because you have found a way to glean more revenue from them and started holding back …