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Every content creator wants people to see their stuff right? And everybody can further agree that it isn’t always the best content that gets the most views, nor the worst content that goes unnoticed. It’s the reality of the internet.

No matter how much the web is touted as a great creative democratizer, the real deal is that it takes hard work and strategy to get even the best content to take hold.

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Some pieces go viral with little effort at all, but these are the outliers. The rest of us have to build our audience person by person. We do this two main ways:

  • 1) creating great content that demands an audience
  • 2) gaming the system with SEO, content syndicators, and a bunch of other tactics.

I’m not here to say that one’s good and one’s bad. In fact, we need both. Here’s how I think about it.

1) Quality.

In a perfect world, you’re a genius. Everything you write, code, or produce is pure gold, a gift to humanity. You throw it up and WordPress and the masses flock to your wisdom and insight.

Short of this, you’re at least pretty good at what you do, and your work merits attention worthy of its quality. This way of doing things is sometimes called “organic growth”.

You earn your audience and customers through the quality of your work, one individual at a time. This method of growth doesn’t usually come fast, but it tends to last. This is the hearts and minds game.

When you authentically convince someone of the worth of your ideas and creations, you win them over in a way that is not insignificant. You influence the way they think, the way they spend their time.

They are much more likely to tell a friend about your thing, the best form of marketing that exists. In a perfect world, this is all you would need to make your endeavor work, to give it legs.

But in the real world, this is usually insufficient. You also need to know a lot about how “The System” works.

2) The System.

Unless you know something about SEO, advertising, marketing, and how professional relationships work on the internet, you will have very little chance of getting people to interact with your work, whatever it is.

You can either learn about how to make your stuff more available by doing your own research or by hiring professionals. Services like Firestarter SEO are devoted to getting eyeballs to your site, or whatever it is that you want people to see. This is the way real people get real careers on the internet, and if you go it alone you probably won’t get one.

Like I said, having a career as a content creator on the internet requires both of these. If your content is rotten, no amount of SEO and other methods will get you a lasting audience. But without recognizing that these methods are how the game is played, nothing short of genius will get you attention. It’s the way of the world, and you’ve got to figure out how to make this balance work for you and your stuff.

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