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How to build an audience

in 743 difficult steps
@RianVDM
Step 1

Pick a URL that
no one can pronounce
Okay
let’s

back
up
Why

blog?
The

art
of

public
thinking
“The process of writing
exposes your own ignorance
and half-baked assumptions”
— Clive Thompson
Source: The art of public thinking
The

new
resume
Nothing will impress more
than an individual who has
taken the time to craft and
share their perspectives about
either the industry that they
serve or what inspires them.
— Mitch Joel
Source: The new resume
Let’san
build

audience!
The lure
of the

easy
will get you
“If you share, all I ask
is that you credit the
source. I can send
visitors to your site
as a thank-you if you
would like.”
“are you sell link
ads at insert article ??”
“I currently have a client
interested in placing
simple text link ads on
sites like yours.”
“I would primarily be
sending you paid content
for publishing on your
site…”
Source: How to get more Facebook likes
Why are we so
unwilling to work
hard for the
things that we
want?
A

different
way
The

longhard
stupid
way

Source: Frank Chimero
“Just because we're a casual
restaurant, doesn't mean we
don't hold ourselves to fine
dining standards. We try to do
things the right way. That
usually means doing things
the long, hard, stupid way.”
— David Chang, Momofuku restaurant
Source: David Chang gets a cameo
The hard way brings
An endless cycle of growth,
learning and mastery

The easy way brings
Learning how to play the
part without substance or
continued growth
Okay, fine.
But

what does it

mean?
How to build an audience

in 743 difficult steps
How to build an audience

the long, hard, stupid
way
Lesson

1
nobody

wants to

read your 💩
Nobody — not even your dog or your mother —
has the slightest interest in your commercial
for Rice Krispies or Delco batteries or
Preparation H. Nor does anybody care about
your one-act play, your Facebook page or your
new sesame chicken joint at Canal and
Tchopotoulis.
!

It isn’t that people are mean or cruel. They’re
just busy.
!

Nobody wants to read your shit.
— Steven Pressfield
Source: The Most Important Writing Lesson I Ever Learned
This
is

liberating
Writing is a transaction
Reader
Time
&
attention

You
Something
worthy
If we are going to ask people, in
the form of our products, in the
form of the things we make, to
spend their heartbeats on us,
on our ideas, how can we be
sure, far more sure than we are
now, that they spend those
heartbeats wisely?
— Paul Ford
Source: 10 Timeframes
Lesson

2
some

things aren’t

worthy 💎
“Yahoo tests more than
45,000 combinations of
headlines and images
every five minutes on
its home page.”
— Tom Chatfield
Source: The attention economy
1,000 words
938 comments

300 words + 200 word excerpt
>7,000 comments

Source: Transfer of Value
“Once they are swallowed by
the HuffPo’s clever trafficgeneration machine, the same
journalistic item will make
tens or hundred times better
traffic-wise.”
— Frédéric Filloux

Source: Transfer of Value
Obsession
Voice
x

=

💎

Source: Merlin Mann & John Gruber at SXSW
This is why I prefer to

follow people
rather than topics
…while I know what to expect 90% of
the time, I look forward to that 10%
which I’d never have predicted, but
which I still enjoy reading.
— Callum J Hacket
Source: Reading the unexpected
Lesson

3
Writing
is one thing

Publishing

is a whole different thing

📰
Publish

anyway

(It’s the only way
you’re going to get
better at it)
“There is no
avoiding the
deliberate
strain of real
improvement.”
— Cal Newport
Source: The Father of Deliberate Practice Disowns Flow
So, how’s
that

working out

for you?
Average monthly

page views
Slowly
going up
and to the
right
But

it also turns out

Who
your
readers
are

>

How
many
readers
you have
But perhaps

most importantly…
So…
Find your obsession
Find your voice
Publish more
(and do it the hard way)
“The danger of creating a path
instead of following one is far
more important than the feeling
you get resting at the apex.”
— AJ Leon
It’s going to

make you happy
Thanks!
Connect on
Twitter at @RianVDM

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How to build an audience in 743 difficult steps