Probably the best advice I could ever give anybody is not to write about what nobody cares about. So I was happy to see that the writing cooperative mentioned that in this article.
https://writingcooperative.com/stop-wri … 09567c04f0
The difficulty, of course, is knowing what people want to read, because what they want to read is very different to what we may want to write about.
My question to you is how do you figure out what people want to read about?
I write about topics nobody is interested in. But I mostly write for therapy, so it doesn't matter. Well it does matter because I would like to find some people that are interested in what I'm interested in. But writing for other people is not my first goal.
A lot of people write in order to give voice to the soul. To some extent, most writers do that - even those of us who write for money!
I do it for the same! It kinda feels like getting a load off the mind.
I write under the theory that somewhere out there is someone looking for just about everything. The key is getting your article to the top of the pile
Exactly! They say the articles have to be one of a kind and you don't want the copyright argument either!
Great point! If I write about something it's because I at least found the topic interesting. Some of my best articles are on obscure topics that don't have a lot of Google searches. However, due to their obscurity the few people who do search for that topic end up on my page instead of someone else's.
I was just thinking I wrote a poem about music/dance. Now its not about how to reach/learn how to play or create dancesteps or music but I love the effects of music on how it deepens connections in relationsips and I believe it communicates a part of our soul and spirit. So then does that give me the expertise to write from a preacher's perspective? No. But music and dance I love and I did that through showing how it strengthened the relationship connection between my parents.
You come across insensitive and autocratic Tess. Be mindful.
"You come across insensitive and autocratic Tess."
Thankfully, I don't specialise in ad hominems. I suppose, though, that people who are autistic could come accross that way to some, especially those who are an 'F' in the MBTI asssessments.
I make it a point never to guess at someone's character until I've known them personally for a very long time. That would demonstrate ignorance.
I find the concept of mindfulness both interesting and useless. Some recent research showed that it was useful to women - but not so much to men. As most women (73%) are an F on the MBTI scale and only 23% of men are, that would explain it.
Thank you for your comment, anyway.
Its okay Tess.
I was upset with you and now its okay. Please dont continue to label yourself. Labels are limiting, can be hurtful and dentrimental to life. Dont use that given label to yourself Tess. And you never know authourities make a living out of labelling people. There can be cultural and social trends for one time period and then becomes nullified in the next x,y, z time period.
Were the findings in your MBTI liberating rather than restricting? I hope so. I found it was for me. It made things clearer and more understandable. But remember it too is assigning a personality type that could be limiting for some. I say, take what you can relate to and leave the rest behind. Take care Tess.
Why did I upset you?
I upset people for most of my life and it destroyed me because I tried so hard not to upset them that it sent me into a perpetual state of anxiety for most of my life. When I discovered I was an INTJ, I cried for two weeks because we don't do well with people. Now, funny, enough, my article on being an INTJ does okay! It's mostly illuminating because in all the about-150 comments so far , virtually all the women were deeply distressed at the fact that other women contantly criticized them. So while knowing that I was an INTJ didn't exactly set me free, after I wrote about it and all those other INTJ women had a very similar experience to me, it absolutely did set me free!
Finding out I was autistic (Aspergers Syndrome) finally led to acceptance in my mid 60s. I sort of knew from my mid 40s, but didn't want to accept it because it as such a terrible thing to accept about oneself. By the time it was confirmed, I had made peace with it. Then I found that simply explaining to people upfront that I was austistic tended to make my verbal transactions more peaceful and the person I was speaking to more helpful.
Since then, while it has messed up my entire life and my talents and abilities have been for naught, I have realized that at least I have been alive and witnessed the stars and the oceans and learnt a great deal (a microdot in the universe), and made a few friends, gained some admirers along the way, and if I have peeved a great many people, it was never intentional. While I deeply feel the loss of so many people I would have loved, I can no longer lay blame at my door.
It is the best I can do.
Yes.All we can do is our best with what we have.
Im happy that you found like minded people through the Myer Brigs. My face to face Myer Briggs group meet up group is 1000 kms away. Maybe I need to relocate?
You are great with facts and figures Tess. Its a weak point of mine.
Yes. Autistic people normally are good at facts and figures. It's our link to reality because we find this business of connection to others so difficult. It's not because we don't want to connect to others, it's because the mechanism inside ourselves that is supposed to do that got biologically mislaid.
So we try to understand things intellectually.
I read because I love to read. I have scoliosis, and had my first surgery when I was 6. I missed a whole year of school, but had a tutor, so was all caught up when I returned. But I couldn't do a lot of physical things other kids my age could do. So I found refuge in books.
When I was 10, I began my lifelong love and study of Astrology, which later branched into all kinds of metaphysical topics. But I love good suspense books and thrillers too. And as I said, sometimes I just read to learn more about something that I've been wanting to learn more about, but finally take the time. It's helped me here, because you can't be a good writer if you aren't a good reader.
It's still my refuge and also my form of escapism when I need it.
No. As someone who has known me for years publically stated when I hit back at someone about two years ago... "Tessa never, never, never attacks - until she is. You started it. Tessa finished it."
So, no, I don't specialize in Ad Hominems, but if someone wants to start with me, I will finish it. In the past I was a victim. That changed four years ago.
I think about this often especially when I read opinion pieces. Unless you're Glenn Greenwald probably nobody wants to read your opinion piece. And especially if it has no facts to back up claims and is just badly written.
Which is interesting because the common advice is to write about you "passions", which is really just rhetoric. The fact is, you have to find out what people are searching for and give it to them.
How I find out what people want to read is by doing keyword research.
I gotta admit, I just do not agree with this for the most part. I think that before anyone even thinks of getting into writing, they need to clearly define their exact reasons as to why. What is it that they hope to achieve? If the answer is "catering to everyone else" or "just to make money", you may want to reconsider your career choice.
Anyone who chooses to write for either of those stated purposes, I can promise you, is not going to produce anything of merit whatsoever. Readers can feel a Writer's passion by how they convey their message. And believe me when I say, your audience isn't stupid. They know immediately when you produce content for the sake of producing content rather than speaking from a place of raw passion and love for the craft.
Passionate Writers tend to wind up making money by default, as they are excellent Writers in the first place. They are able to tell a story, and if you can tell an excellent story that will captivate your reader, you can write about ceiling fans or toilet paper for all it matters. It's how you do it that will keep your audience interested. They also invest a great deal of effort into self-development and actually learn how to structure, format, proof read, edit, et all.
In the cases where "nobody wants to read what you are writing about", so what? You may not wind up as the most sought after Author on the planet, but I can guarantee that someone, somewhere, will share similar interests as you. And if only 1 person ever reads it? I say well done.
J.K. Rowling once produced a book (yes, that book) and was denied by every single publisher who she approached with it. Why? Because nobody believed that she would ever find an audience, and that nobody wanted to read about Wizard kids named Harry Potter. Can you imagine if she would have took your advice?
My point is, if your goals are to write in accordance to key words on topics that you have little experience with-but the topics are "popular", you will not last long as an Author.
Speak your truth, and do it with flare. The second that it becomes about popularity contests and financial gain, is the second that you lose your credibility and probably should pursue other ventures.
I don't mean to come across as aggressive here by any means, but it does touch a nerve I will admit, when I hear this type of attitude regarding writing as a whole. It is asking Writers to be dishonest for the sake of people pleasing or making money. We have far too much of that as is right now I feel.
No amount of passion will ever substitute for that combination of talent, skill, and education required by a good writer. And no amount of passion will ever draw readers to one if one cannot write, and if one does not write what interests the reader.
When one makes a career choice, one considers the following a) It is relatively easy for one to do b) One is good enough at it for one to be employed in the field c) there is sufficient work in the field to enable one to earn a good living. If 30,000 people want the same job, and there are only 5 openings, it's a poor 'career' choice.
You say "What is it that they hope to achieve? If the answer is "catering to everyone else" or "just to make money", you may want to reconsider your career choice."
One doesn't necessarily need to make writing a career - such a strange concept that - in order to just want to make money out of it. Think about that. What, exactly, is a career? The same job for 50 years? What about doing something different every 5 years? Is that a career? Are some ways of earning money a career while other ways of earning a money are not a career?
I write for money, as do many other writers. I started writing for money because it was easy and I hate working in the corporate environment because I find office politics incredibly stressful. I write for specific market places because otherwise I won't earn money. If you think that means I will never achieve anything as a writer, you might like to google my reviews.
Sometimes writing is about creating awareness around topics people should care about but don't - because nobody is talking about it.
I write about topics I care about. I think that if I care about them there must be other people who do.
I think there's wisdom in that. To some extent, I do the same thing, but I have yet to find someone who is interested in readers. By that I mean what makes some people read anything from a couple books a week to two or three dozen a year. Most people don't read at all. I've never found anyone who is interested in that.
I read two or three books a week, and think you are a reader too. I often get ideas about writing from what I read. But I agree it's a dying activity. Sometimes I just surf around to see what things are trending. But then those topics won't be evergreen and only would get traffic sometimes.
You could look at the current Bestseller list and see what others are reading. Usually that can trigger an interest. I write about Astrology and Metaphysical topics for the most part. But every now and then I just want to learn about something new, read about it, and write an article about what I learned. I like to pass on what I learn, even if everyone isn't interested.
People like to read about personal experiences too, but we have to be careful what we reveal about our private lives.
But why do you read?
Do you read for information, i.e.you have a problem you want to solve?
Do you read for entertainment, i.e. it gives you a high or amuses you?
Do you read because you have to - part of your job or something?
I read for both entertainment and for information. Mostly I read as a form of escapism.
I write on topics I feel deeply about for the most part, but I always check to see if there are longtail keywords in that arena because it would demonstrate that other people are interested in them as well. If here are no longtail keywords I know it's dead duck in the water.
How on earth would you or any body else for that matter know what nobody cares about. I read the article you linked to but wasn't very impressed. It didn't make me want to read more from that writer. It was a lot of bla bla about writers and readers but in the end it didn't make much sense to me.
Writing from your heart and your own experience is still the best starting point I guess.
When I first started writing for a content site (Associated Content), I never got any traffic, and I could not understand why. Well, one piece had mass of traffic, but for the most part, things just hung there. What was more frustrating was the number of people who were semi-literate and got a mass of traffic. In my first incarnation at hubpages, I started learning a lot about SEO, but I still didn't get what people preferred to read about.
Then, for a couple of years, through sheer luck, I was very successful on social media, and I couldn't help noticing the kind of thing that most people like to read about. The funny thing is that while I started haviing a gutfeel about it, I still can't define it. So that means that at some deeper level, I have worked it out, but it hasn't come to front of mind yet.
Well said, Titia. Why should anyone assume to know what everyone else on the internet is interested in? There are some really weird sites out there catering to niches that you wouldn't dream people would care about but they do. I don't think people should avoid writing about topics they're passionate about just because they think no one else would care.
On a planet with a billion people, it is impossible for one individual to be interested in something no one else is interested in. In my opinion, creative writers just need to write keeping in mind the fact that they are writing for others. That's it.
Yes, and no. You're right. On a planet of 7,5 billion people, someone has got to be interested in what you are interested in.
I assume, however, that if you're writing in English, the billion Chinese and the other billion Indians won't be able to read in English, etc.
And I also assume, to some extent, that there are more people are interested in one thing than another.
And as I know that you're interested in raising traffic to your hubs (I still have to go fix up my Dengarden hub that you so kindly gave me some input on), wouldn't it be better to focus on what a greater number than a lesser number would be interested in.
The problem is that if it's something that lots of people are interested in, lots of people are likely to be writing about it! So while I normally write evergreen "How To" or informational guides about topics I know plenty about and apply to everyone, sometimes it's like throwing mud at a wall and it just won't stick. I've been lucky with several articles that are on the top page of SERPs and feature as a Google snippet, whereas others get minimal views even though they've got a high word count, lots of relevant keywords used naturally and I've written them using the same layout as that of the successful articles.
I would agree with that if my experience wasn't that I get no traffic to articles on subjects I'm really into. My worst traffic is to articles about subject matter I know back and forth because I cared about it so much. Bottom line is you have to find out what people are looking for
For instance, I'm pretty sure no one is passionate about how to tie a tie; however, a lot of people search for that keyphrase. Granted it's a saturated keyphrase, but let's say hypothetically you could still get traffic to an article on that subject: You might be passionate about fashion but not really on the intricacies of tying a tie: You compromise and write on how to tie a tie because you can't get traffic to your very specific fashion interest.
I would sooner (fill in the blank) than write an article on how to cure your acne. Have you noticed how all the noobies come on here and take this type of advice and then write about those subjects?
I write about what I want. If someone does not want to read about my Pionus parrot or my Tamandua I figure it is their loss.
I think you also need to ask yourself if the failure of those articles you are interested in are because of lack of interest or poor page rank? Is someone out there searching for those subjects, or do you have the number one ranking on Google and still get no traffic? (Yes, I know that does happen.)
You happen to be lucky enough to write on a fairly popular subject. I do not. It is as simple as that. If you either were in the same situation or had empathy, you'd understand.
I know how to get page rank. That's not the problem. Believe me, considering how much money you make and how happy you are with it, you'd not want to just write what you like and not get traffic. You are talking big because you got lucky. You'd be singing an entirely different tune if everybody and his cousin wasn't on the Net trying to figure out how to get rid of their dogs fleas or whatever. Made myself laugh with that one.
That, by the way, is how I answer arrogance and someone getting insulting and condescending.
Wow, I was just trying to ask you a question to find out why the article you are talking about is not doing well. I have had some do well and some that do not do so well. It was an honest question, and there was no "talking big" involved. If you see it that way, that is coming from you.
I am sorry you seem to be having problems and feel that you need to reply in such a nasty negative manner.
You are actually lucky enought to want to write about something that garners traffic because there is a lot of traffic for that topic.
If you were interested in Chinese dynasties, for instance, you might find that you had absolutely no traffic.
Would you then be so keen to say that you write about what you want to write about?
It's fine to say that one does what one wants when what one wants fits the status quo. It's when it doesn't fit the status quo that it becomes problematic.
You happen to be a vet, and you are therefore qualified to write about your topic. You got to be a vet because somewhere along the line you had the help and suport (whether from your parents, a government grant, or whatever).
If one is passionate about celebrities and comes from that strata of society where one interacts with them, and because there is such a large market for gossip about them, one is bound to be successful. It doesn't even matter overmuch about the quality of one's writing.
If one happens to be interested in bioflora, the traffic for that topic isn't so dense, and if one has to make a living through writing (I am autistic and it is one of the few things I can do), then one does not focus on what one wants to write about, but on what gets the traffic.
That's a huge assumption. How do you know Dr Mark didn't put himself through college? Dr Mark got to be a vet because he CHOSE to become a vet. In the same way we all get to choose. He didn't 'happen' to be one.
People keep saying he's 'lucky' to have a good niche topic. It's not luck, it's good judgment... and the result of extremely hard work.
Do you understand what it means when you say there is a lot of traffic for that subject? It means there is a lot of competition.
I also saw a comment from someone on here stating that he would not even bother writing for a subject that had less than 5000 searches per month. Do you know all the searches related to dogs have less than that? The real traffic is in subjects like acne and how to knot a tie correctly, not in dogs.
I do not choose to write about those subjects. It is not because I "happen" to be a vet.
You would be surprised. My husband only wore a suit and tie to weddings and funerals. He used to keep directions about how to tie a tie in the pocket of his one suit.
Once my next door neighbor had to go to court, and appeared desperately at my door, asking if I could tie his tie! Thankfully I had the handy directions in my husband's suit pocket, and sent my friend to court looking appropriately dressed!
I don't really give a hoot what "other people" want to read about. I write about stuff I like, and if other people wanna read it, hey, that's great. If not... (shrug) oh well. Maybe I'll get you with the next one.
I have always written for my own amusement. I know I'll never get rich or get millions of page views with the topics I write about; I'm OK with that. I treat my HubPages as a hobby - something to have fun with in my precious little free time. I gave up all illusions of being a highly paid, jet setting rock critic type long ago.
I have to admit that just looking at the titles of what you wrote about, my mind went completely blank. So I had to investigate to find out what those things were.
After I clicked on a few, I discovered it was music.
Unfortunatley, I discovered the reason why I dropped out of listening to popular music in 1969, and why it had been an increasing trend in my life from about 1966.
Three major elements of music (there are seven, in total, I think) are harmony, rhythm, and ,melody.
Old style music used to have two of these elements in the background and one of them louder than the other.
Somewhere in the mid to late 60s, this was dropped by bands and all three elements were equally loud. I hated it. I found it discordant.
By the early 70s, I'd turned off my radio. My music now is strictly along classical lines and, of course 40s, 50, and early 60s...
Years later I discovered I had an auditory processing disorder which affected the way my brain translated sound (including conversation).
Not so good, but it explains why I would know nothng about what you write about. Sorry about that.
So when you said that you gave up on being a rock critic, I was immediately fascinated. Didn't know such a thing existed, but I'm madly interested in geology, so I had to check it out...
It's true for those who are writers by profession, but it doesn't really apply for those who do it as a hobby or just to get things off their chest.
HubPages really isn't a place where people write to make their primary income, so this wouldn't really apply to most people here.
Oh it is for quite a lot of people, and getting better month-by-month
I have to agree, I am making enough here now to count on it to pay specific bills, at a time when I really need it. And I like to write. Win-win.
So in other words... you used to be "with it," then they changed what "it" was, so now what you're "with" is no longer "it" and what's "it" is weird and scary to you?
(that's a classic "Simpsons" reference by the way)
I can relate. I'm the same way. All the good s*** came out in the 70s and 80s in my preferred genres. I haven't paid attention to the mainstream in decades. I'm un-hip and proud of it.
Nope. I have an auditory processng disorder. I started disliking certain types of 'hip' music by the time I was 14. My brain finds it discordant. It become more and more fashionable. There actually is a difference in the elements of music.
I love the music of Andre Rieu, for instance, regarrdless of which 'age' it came from. It adhere to classical music theory. It is not discordant or disorganized.
I first heard salsa music and mariarchi music in my mid 50s. I liked it.
One cannot do any sort of regular dance (ballroom, swing, Latin, etc) to band music, because the beat of the music changes at any time, so one cannot do a repetitive step.
You can't dance to it either! I still like a lot of classic rock, but I once had a friend who said similar things to what you are saying here. The sounds were so discordant to her, but she didn't have your level of intelligence. She said it was "too screamy." But I was out with her a few times and by the way she reacted to what music I had on seems as you describe this. I let her choose music or we just talked.
That describes it exactly, Jean."Too screamy!" I wish I had thought of that!
I also love the music of John Williams (Star Wars, Indiana Jones,, etc). I have seen movies where the score utilized the current fashion of disorganized sound, and I have had to walk out of the movie. It nearly drove me nuts!
I don't think intelligence has anything to do with it. I think brain rhythm might have.
Our brain has different rhythms.
Beta (which is normal, in which we talk and interact with others). It is the fastest brain rhythm there is.
Alpha (slower) This is where one's imagination functions best
Theta -(even more slowly) the state between wakefulness and sleeping.
Delta - (slowest brain rhythm) when one is asleep
Most people function in Beta all the time, and they have to learn meditation or use brain entrainment methods to get into alpha.
I am in Alpha all the time. I discovered that by accident when I complained to a guy who sold me brain entrainment equipment. He measured my brain and told me never to use it because it took years for people to reach what I do naturally, but by the same token, It would slow my brain down to such a degree if I used the equipment that I would be in a daze and become non-functional. On the other hand, I struggle my butt off in conversation. I cannot hear the sound quickly enough.
I think the fact that I am in Alpha makes me allergic to music (or disorganized noise in general).
That might be true for your friend.
And I'm thumbsucking this. It might also be because I have 'processing' disorder when it comes to sound. I don't know.
Everyone needs a voice. Writing is one way to do it, music is another. Are you caustic, gentle or boring or interesting? Find your voice and do it without insult or harm. Insult or harm is a huge spectrum, just like finding your voice is.
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