How to build a following and develop a successful personal brand.

You won’t like the answer.

How to build a following and develop a successful personal brand.
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski / Unsplash
What advice can you give me to build an audience and get more views on my writing? -Every Email I Receive

As an administrator for the Writing Cooperative, I am asked this questions a few times a week. New writers are all looking for the fast pass to internet success.

I don’t blame them for asking. The internet is full of advice that makes success seem easy. Publish daily. Only use header photos of yourself. Wake up before 6am and take cold showers. The advice is everywhere and provides great material to satirize.

That type of “advice” is nothing more than a list of gimmicks.

Putting your logo on every image you use won’t bring success or build your audience. You will have a consistent look across everything published, but nothing more.

So when a new writer asks for advice to build their audience, I always answer the same way:

Building an audience takes time. There’s no magic formula. Put in the hard work, improve your writing, and over time people will show up.

Medium has been home to my writing since 2014. While I’m not claiming to be the most successful blogger on the platform, I developed a quality following in that time. It did not happen overnight. The followers and engagement took years to develop. As did my writing.

People don’t become touring guitarists the first time they touch an instrument. They pour their heart and time into the thing until their fingers bleed. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

The same is true with writing. To be successful, we have to put in the time and effort to develop our skills. As the quality of our writing rises, so do the views and the audience.

If any of the gimmicky advice worked, people wouldn’t continue publishing it. Everyone would be as successful as they wanted the instant they hit publish for the first time. Life doesn’t work that way.

Hard work and time builds audiences and develops great writers. It’s as simple as that.