If there is one thing I’ve learned in six years of blogging, it’s that the pieces I enjoy writing the most are usually read the least.
Often, the most boring pieces to write are the ones that perform best. The articles you labor over, pour your heart and soul into, resonate with just a few.
Publishing is difficult. To survive, you have to give your audience what it wants. And what your audience wants isn’t necessarily what you want. Just look at the state of journalism today. Even the long-standing newspapers, founded on integrity and quality, are publishing listicles and gossip. It’s what the people click.
Unless you’re publishing solely for pleasure and you’re unconcerned with readership, staying true to yourself, your vision and your values is hard:
Pandering is insulting to yourself and your audience.
Publishing blindly with no awareness of your readers’ interests is fruitless.
It takes restraint, dedication and constant self-evaluation to run a publication you can be proud of. You’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. You’ll develop an instinct for what resonates with your audience and what goes right over their heads. You’ll find the balance between readership and restraint.
And hopefully, in between, you’ll still publish the stuff that got you writing in the first place.