Posted on

Audience building: how long can you keep up the charade?

You make things. You want people to know. You yearn for an audience. You hope they appreciate it, and subscribe, follow, comment and share it.

Some of your content gets that desired result. Some does not. Because you want an audience, you continue to double down on the content that works. Slowly, it becomes more and more of your online identity. People know you as the guy who does X. You pay it no mind, it’s working after all. And you don’t mind being the guy that’s known for X. After all, it’s a part of you.

Several weeks of doing X, and X gets stale. It doesn’t excite you quite as much as it has before. You struggle to come up with ideas for X, and you settle on putting X on a shelf for awhile, because you really have an itch to explore Y and Z.

You produce some Y content. But the people who came for X don’t like it as much. It doesn’t do as well. Not as many people subscribe, follow, comment and share it. Some people unsubscribe. You feel like you messed up somehow.

How long can you keep up the charade? Is growing an audience really that fickle?

You think that maybe growing an audience should never have been the goal.

Discussion (4)

amysawyama profile image
Amy Sawyama

I think of content much like this
Content VenDiagram

Optimizing for Audience, Creativity, or Money can pull your content in different directions. While the center says "Ideal", it only means that in the sense of this graph assuming all three are important to you.

What I found that's challenging is usually we as creators start with Creativity, and then slowly we think we need to change certain thing to increase our optimization towards audience or money. We then start to build resentment, grow bored, or feel less creatively fulfilled.

Like OP mentions, you choose what your goals are, and maybe audience growth or money aren't the goal - perhaps only a lucky byproduct.

slipperyshrimp profile image

To further illustrate the Money-Creativity only one (because I struggled with it at first): this can be an NFT, a physical good sold in a shop, or the relationship between you and your employer (such as when they give you a creative task to do, but you can't claim it as yours publicly).

ha_ruh profile image
Hannah Ruth

Humans aren't naturally a niche I believe, so pretending that it's normal to do exactly one type of thing during your whole life feels off. You can of course be doing 5 different things and only posting one of them online - you don't need to monetize every aspect of yourself. I personally am trying to develop things this year that won't be public.

kenshin99 profile image

There has been this general trend of large creators quitting lately, and I suspect that much of it has to do with growing tired and bored of producing the same old thing.

I think this is much like how musicians start new bands/projects because they feel like they want to try other genres. Interviews show that some musicians begin to hate re-playing the same hit songs at their shows, but often do to appease the crowd.