These days I wonder less about my readership than I used to. While my numbers are nowhere near the popular Jackie Collins who succumbed to breast cancer yesterday, I continually run into people who read my online work and provide positive feedback.
It’s not an income source, but it could be the start of something.
My Autobiography in 1,000 Words, has been the most popular post on On Our Own.
Some of my newspaper work gets more page views, and of course there’s the print version, but still, the autobiography post has gotten lasting attention through the almost two years it has been out there.
When a person writes, having an audience is an important part of it.
When he was in Cedar Rapids, Al Gore spoke about raising readerships and its importance in the post-Internet adoption era. He used Finnegan and Jackson Harries, identical twin brothers who developed the YouTube channel JacksGap: A Story Telling Project Inspired By Travel, as an example. The site has over 4 million subscribers.
Finn Harries sat at my table, and while I was supposed to be his mentor, he offered a lot more for me to learn than I him. When Finn Harries posts something, in any medium, people read and respond. They have been able to commercialize what they do, and that’s important to sustainability.
The limited amount of paid writing I’ve done has served my craft more than my wallet. What is a suitable goal for someone like me to generate income from writing?
It seems more important to work on readership. There may someday be enough readers to support formal publication of my writing, or lead to a paying gig. Gaining a readership is more important than an accumulation of posted pieces that get a couple thousand page views, which is where I am today.
That means continuing daily writing, and posting some of it on this blog. Learning my craft is important, but less so than understanding why people read me and mining that vein. Going forward that’s where I plan to spend my writing time.