Social media has provided writers with so many great opportunities. We can reach a global audience, connect with new people, guest post for other companies and do so much more to build a credible reputation.
Social has, however, done some damage to the quality of the content that we come across.
As soon as you hit publish, there’s an overbearing anxiety to have your work approved by the world that it is now subject to. Everything from likes to shares, shout outs and comments act as a form of social proof. The mentality that’s been adopted says: ‘this is a great post because X amount of people say so’.
But this eagerness for instant gratification has steered people away from the more selfless reason to write – to provide people with valuable insight. It’s becoming less about the audience and more about the glory that the writer receives.
Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m all for giving credit where credit it due. Your content needs to be shared in order to reach the right people. You should leave comments to continue the conversation with both the author and other readers. That’s all part and parcel of being a member of any online community. But we, as writers, need to focus on producing work that is genuinely insightful, actionable and informative. Not writing for the sake of SEO – regurgitating what is already out there, and just adding to the noise.
If your writing has a purpose, if you’re genuinely trying to provide people with knowledge that can better them in some way, then you will get recognition for quality.
Stop looking for the vanity metrics and remember why you started writing in the first place. Let’s begin to go back to basics and remember, while praise is great, it’s not everything. Use your skill as a means to help educate others.