Do You Write to Get Attention, or to Help?

28 October, 2020

There are many, many ways to draw eyeballs to your blog. Some are good. Some aren’t. And some, to be blunt, are just downright sleazy.

Sadly, far too many (and one is too many) writers take the latter route. They’ll write click bait headlines and write (often halfheartedly) about controversial subjects. All in the hope of driving traffic to their sites and, perhaps, picking up a bit of revenue from advertising.

Doing that doesn’t raise the level of conversation or argument online. It doesn’t teach. It doesn’t really inform. It doesn’t help anyone.

Why waste your time and effort dancing for a few nickels? Why not write something that’s worthwhile? Why not write something that helps people, something that teaches them, something that inspires them?

The goal of writing isn’t just to make money. That’s a huge part of it; I’ve been earning my living through words for ... well, longer than I care to admit. And while making money is my prime motivation, it’s not the only one. I want to share information, share what I’ve learned, and to tell interesting stories that some people might not otherwise hear.

How do I do that? Not by writing click bait. Not by being controversial. OK, controversy can create cash. But if you’re going to be controversial then you should be honest. You should believe what you’re writing. You should be able to back your opinions and ideas up with facts. Don’t create controversy just to annoy people or herd them to your site. If you do that, they won’t come back.

If you write, or if you want to write, be serious about it. Try not to write simply to get attention. Write to help, to instruct, to inform. That way, you’ll build an audience and help ensure your longevity as a writer.

Scott Nesbitt