Be the writer who built an audience

In today’s column, we argue how writers can professionally distribute contents without looking as horrendous marketing geeks.

Not an easy challenge!

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Where are your readers?

This is the question.

As we all have different target audiences, I can’t answer. The only way to find-yours-out is by making some researches and tests.

It’s definitely easier than you think! We only need to follow Harry Dry’s method. The guy is not a guru but grew his newsletter to ~20k subscribers in one year.

According to his experience, you should:

  1. Find out all the different places where [your readers] hang out.

  2. Wow [your readers] on the platform they're already using. Or get ignored.

  3. Share Long-forms according to the platforms (properly formatted), and politely ask to join your email list.

  4. Reply to comments and interact.

This should bring you from A to B.

And if you don’t have an Email List, please consider what Harry wrote:

Email subscribers are gold bars in the bank.

New media rise and fall. Email isn’t going anywhere. It’s been around longer. It will survive longer. Medium can't paywall it. It's the best place to build an audience online.

Platforms to consider

So, you want to find out all the different places where your dear readers hang out. Here are some possibilities:

Twitter. It’s still working! If you read Harry’s piece above, you’d have noticed the vast majority of his subscribers came from Twitter. Sceptics can check David Perell, a writer who leverages the power of threads with mastery.

LinkedIn. It’s where copywriters thrive: see Great Eddie or Funny Dave. Users continue to grow fast, but a few of’em actually post: there isn’t much competition. Also, consider the top-performing contents are written posts (no pictures or video).

Medium. I’m going to invest in this platform massively. Their user base grows at a cosmic speed (see the graph in here). If you can get into a major publication (as I did here), you’ll see good results in terms of audience growth.

Reddit. It’s a nice place to build a reputation. Marketers love it, and some writers leverage it pretty well. Give a try to r/writing channel: it’s very active.

Tik Tok. For those who really are into content creation. It’s not the writer’s first choice, but you can experiment creative stuff. Look at what writer Baron Ryan is doing (here, for example).


Slaughter your story

This headline is a reminder: you don’t have to build your communication from scratch. It’s already there.

As you’re a writer, so you let’s assume you produced a single compelling piece, 1000 words. As our goal is to get subscribers, here’s a communication micro-plan format you can apply now:

A. Post your story on Medium.

Remember to add a comment below your story inviting people to your email list (or add a link to your profile bio).

B. Chop your story into 5 smaller contents.

Summarise the main concepts, quotes, and tips. Each of’em should provide value alone.

C. Post the chopped contents on your social platforms (where your readers hang out).

You have two choices.

A. Posting one piece per day, Monday to Friday.

B. Posting a single content which highlights all the 5 components.

Strategy “B.” is ideal for Twitter threads (here’s a nice example).

D. At the end of each post, politely remind readers about your Email List.

It costs nothing to ask.

It’s easy!

This simple strategy gives you the power to keep the focus on writing long-form pieces — but gain the flexibility to post with a good frequency too. Writers tend to focus only on writing and forget about the promotion of their contents.

Big mistake.

On the other hand, each platform requires time and effort: you should be careful in picking only the needed ones, or you risk to lose focus.

You want to respect a balance which looks like this:

Writing should always be the priority.

See you next Wednesday,

Lorenzo Di Brino

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