Is There More Content Than Readers?

“Is there more content than readers?”

I was reading an e-zine over the weekend where this question was posed. It was one of those questions that smacked me upside the head. And got me thinking…

I also delivered a speech last week, to the Towne Lake Business Association. It was a lot of fun, and a great experience. I so dig hanging out with ambitious and hungry-to-learn business people. And it became clear to me that the people in that room were hungry for learning, hungry for more information, hungry for a new perspective.

So obviously, these two concepts caused a conflict in my thinking.

After my presentation, I was convinced again that there are people out in the market that are hungering for information, more learning. But, every day, I read blogs and online articles, or see literally thousands of books, that do not seem to have an apparent home or readership.

And being a marketing blogger, I realize that I am one of thousands, or perhaps tens of thousands of authors, adding a few cups to a vast ocean of knowledge…

What to do? A few thoughts:

1. I will keep writing. I am building an audience, albeit a small one, that seems to appreciate what I say. And that audience inspires me to keep trying to write, and write better.

2. Despite the endless stream of online content, and crates of unread books piling up everywhere, most people don’t read enough, and learn enough, don’t soak up all the knowledge that exists. I will keep on advocating this as long as people will listen…

3. Even though there appear to be more “experts” on the web than “students” – every writer does have something to teach, something to say, some experience to share…something we all can benefit from.

4. You have a voice, and there is someone out in the world that your message will resonate with. Changing, helping, serving that one person is worthwhile. Because they will tell one person, who will tell another person…

5. Persistence and sustained effort are the rules and reality for most of us. It takes time to build that audience. Read this article by David Meerman Scott about the secret to building 50,000 followers on Twitter…

Yeah, there are days when it feels like no one reads your material. That you wonder why the expenditure of time to create content remains necessary. But I say it matters. It is relevant. And yes, it is necessary.

Necessary, because I learn when I write my own material, or generate my own podcast, and host others on my radio shows. This learning is what makes it matter.

Does the world really need you to write another article on marketing?

I say yes.

What about you?


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[cartoon by @gapingvoid]

  • Barb

    Hey Todd,

    Really great post. Personally, I don’t think there is more content than there are readers per se. Of course, I could be seriously wrong about that! In my world though, I’ve come to realize (having faced this own dilemma with my own blog) that many people will often will read our posts and articles, listen to our podcasts and watch our video’s, and even tell their friends, but they never tell us:). In other words, plenty of people observing and learning, but not physically sending in their written comments. I’m reminded of thoughts that Chris Brogan has shared about his experience as a blogger. Chris likes to say that it took 10 years of nobody paying attention before he become a superstar. I refer to your point #1…you keep writing and building buzz with your audience. That’s what Chris did and eventually he was…well, he’s Chris Brogan:).

    I wish I had a magic answer. How do we encourage people to more freely share their voice? I wish I knew. I think we keep encouraging them. From my own personal experience, I know it took me some time to become more vocal online even though I am a writer. It took me FOREVER to be comfortable getting real on my own blog, in addition to commenting on other blogs. Eventually, I think people do find their voice in this new world. In the meantime, thought leaders like you are needed to nudge us along. So…don’t give it up!

    BTW – you are an excellent radio host, and I so appreciate your interview yesterday. Can’t wait to promote it to the net!

  • Barb

    Darn. My grammar was way off, but I hope your fans will give me some grace. I’m rockin’ to one of my hip playlists after a very long, but awesome day!

  • Todd Schnick

    wow barb – a sincere thanks for the thoughtful comment…

    and yeah, it does take time. and i think you are right, most people don’t tell us. in fact, stats prove that MOST people active on the social web are silent…

    but it is hard to convince others to contribute a verse when it appears no one is listening. but that said, we will keep encouraging, right?

    and thanks again for the stellar interview!

  • Nicholas Thane Haroldsen

    I bet the majority of beginning bloggers feel this way. I know I do as I have barely broken the surface on my blogging venture. I blog, first for myself to get my thoughts out, and second, with the hope that perhaps a few may benefit from what I have learned. I continue in faith that more people will benefit from my words and that my thoughts generate even greater thinking.

  • Todd Schnick

    clarifying your thinking is a most valuable use of blogging. i do the same thing. and make your goal to help one person. when you do that, the second won’t be far away…

    thanks for stopping by!