Course Creators October 5, 2020

How to not get frustrated when people don't read what you write

Zack Kahn @zben

Content creation to grow your brand is a long term strategy. To gain an audience, you must write high-quality content. Writing high-quality content takes a lot of time. Spending a lot of time only to have no one read your content is frustrating. This makes you not want to continue to write. However, if you don't continuously write, you won't get any meaningful results.

This begs the question: Is it worth creating content at all?

This is the question I have been facing lately with the content I have been writing. Ironically, it seems like I don't have enough time to decide if I should keep writing, so I end up writing once a week to further postpone this decision.

Ideally, I could continually write the content I like and see small but steady growth. However, this is not how it generally turns out. The success of your content more often than not follows a Power Law distribution, where your best pieces perform orders of magnitude better than all your others.

This right here is what I find makes creators frustrated. If you write a lot and no one pays attention, then perhaps you need to rethink what you are writing if your goal is to have a large audience. However, if 1% of the time your content does exceptionally well, you always compare your next articles to this benchmark. Since 99% of the time you won't meet your new standard, you get frustrated. At least, this is what I feel happens to me.

So the question is, how can we avoid this feeling?
I think there are 3 major ways to combat frustration in this situation:

  1. Talk about it. Other people are probably facing the same situation. When you share your experience you could connect with someone who also feels the same way and together you can overcome this frustration.
  2. Understand the Power Law distribution. Every few months, plot the views (or whatever your metric is) for your content. Your goal should be that the sum of your views increases. However, once you begin to see over and over that your content follows the Power Law distribution, you will come to accept it and even be relieved by it.
  3. Write for yourself. I'm not sure how many people will read this article, and that's okay. Hopefully, I've helped one other person. At the very least, I've helped myself better understand how to deal with this issue, and that's enough for me.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have any techniques you use for managing frustration with content creation, please share it in the comments!

  1. 1

    Great post! I identify with point 3 the most. At first you need to enjoy what you're producing. It communicates your aspirations to your reader.

    If they aren't interested in your content then that's honestly a good thing in many cases. It allows you to tailor to a specific audience of readers who have a common interest in your work. Quality over Quantity.

    1. 1

      Thanks Andy, glad you enjoyed it!

  2. 1

    Point number 3 is key for me. At the end of the day, a lot of what I do is out of a desire to teach myself. On the days my content falls flat it can be really frustrating but at least I have the lessons learned along the way which add up to the value I want over time.

    I had the experience of sharing my work with my family for the first time the other day and my parents didn't even read it. Frustrating but in reality - what I write is not for everyone and it takes time to find the right people to join a community.

    In the end - be like this guy, dance for yourself and keep dancing until other people join you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA8z7f7a2Pk

    1. 1

      Hi Doug,
      Thanks for your thoughts. I agree, the value add over time is what's important, well said.
      Don't worry, you are not alone on that front! I have also found getting your friends and family to continually read your work can be challenging, but I do find they enjoy an article every now and then.

  3. 1

    Well written, I certainly know this feeling.

    We know that content is a powerful driver in growth and it can be frusterating not to see immediate results.

    I believe the best way to combat this is being a part of a small group where the purpose is to share ideas, feedback, accountibility and tools.

    The reality is the internet is an ocean of information and if you have an average approach you will get average results. So what makes sense is to start by writing great content for a small loyal audience and figure out ways to get it to organically branch out from there.

    This takes tons of trial and error, good content is not enough, there needs to be a distribution strategy. The whole idea of consistency is correct, but if you do the same thing over and over expecting different results, then that is the definition of insanity.

    So somewhere along the way we need folks to call out our blindsides so we can course correct as our content becomes stronger.

    I am happy to feel it out and do a trial, we can hop on a call, talk about eachothers goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Then we can review eachothers content and share ideas that may help with growth.

    1. 1

      Hi Michael,
      Thanks for your thoughts and well said.

      Sure, I'd be happy to hop on a call, Just shoot me an email whenever you can.

  4. 1

    Thanks for sharing this! I'm just starting to develop a writing habit. In the back of my mind, I know that consistency is the name of the game. But sometimes it can still be discouraging to spend hours working on something only to have it sit out there unread on the internet.

    The Power Law distribution is a great concept to hammer home.

    1. 1

      Hi Tim,
      No problem! Best of luck with your writing endeavours.

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