Throwback Thursday: Getting Attention

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Every Thursday, I’m going to post a previous article from my blogging past. This week’s post was originally titled “Look At Me!” and appeared on The Texts of Madness in October of 2012.

Everyone on the internet wants attention. That’s just how it is, right? Whether you’re an author scrounging for an audience or just some random person posting your thoughts somewhere, it’s all turned into a complicated popularity contest. Luckily, it’s perfectly fine–even a good thing–to share victory. Now, I don’t exactly have any victory to go around, but we all start somewhere, right? Maybe it’s the same for you. Either way, I think we can all learn something from each other if we just share our thoughts on the matter. So here are mine.

The way I see it, attracting people who consistently look at your content, time after time (the most valuable kind of attention you can ask for) is a bit of a balancing act. Yup, time to roll out the three-point system, bane of essays and speeches everywhere.

First, you have to have some kind of general subject matter that you stick to pretty consistently. In my case, that’s writing, specifically sci-fi and fantasy (what else do you expect?) It’s a continuous look at what influences my work day-to-day and how I respond. I pretty much never deviate from that. That’s the easy part, to me at least.

Building on your subject, you then need to offer content that’s either useful orentertaining in some way. Entertaining might mean you have a short story or video every week or two that keeps the people’s attention (this is how most YouTube channels get their followings.) As for being useful, I think that’s the thing that a lot of people have trouble with. They think they don’t have any new or interesting information to present to the world. I certainly haven’t done a good job at this aspect up until now, but I think that because everyone has a unique take on everything, it’s a matter of getting creative.

Finally, make sure to add a personal touch. Nobody wants to read something written by a faceless robot (except maybe to see how faceless robots write, but once the novelty wears off they’ll lose interest.) If you’re a writer and you have a developed voice in your work, by God please use it. I’ve had enough boring reading. Yes, think about how you write, and also, find places where you can hint about other aspects of your life.

Okay, now in case you’re not exhausted of all blatantly working too hard to take my own advice, it’s example time. In fact, this is what got me thinking about this topic. I was reading my philosophy textbook for college, and all of a sudden the author brought up his dog. Apparently the dog’s growing and shedding of fur perfectly illustrated the theory we were talking about. We were still on the topic of philosophy, it turned out, so he didn’t violate that. Not only that, but it helped in understanding what I was trying to learn. And, of course, I now know a little bit more about the textbook author (who I didn’t really think of as a person before.)

Funnily enough, I pretty much did the same thing by citing that example, didn’t I? But if I bring that up then I have to point out that I’m still doing it and now we start getting into an infinite loop and okay I think it’s about time to wrap this up! It was kind of a long post but I wanted to not only tell you guys what I think but also have lots of chances to use those techniques myself. Thanks for being so patient, and for actually reading my blog in the first place for that matter. I’d love to see what you guys think about this, too, so please feel free to comment.

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