MOJO # 46: Should I write for skimmers or deep readers?
Do you need to dumb your content down for the algorithm?
It's easy to feel disheartened when you put effort into creating quality content, only to have it get buried under redundant quotes and irrelevant selfies.
Luckily you don’t have to choose between maintaining your dignity or getting engagement.
Here’s how I do it and what works for me:
- I create for the deep reader first.
This is the core audience that I seek to build trust with.
That’s my weekly video which goes out only to subscribers.
- Then, I occasionally create some pieces for skimmers and scrollers.
This helps me grow my reach/exposure to new audience members.
That’s a good chunk of my LinkedIn posts nowadays, which act as both the attractor and self-eliminator.
By the time they've booked a call with me, they already know and trust me completely, so the conversation is easy, relaxed, and open.
In the realm of content creation, creators who make stuff for the lizard brain give people what they want to consume, but not necessarily what they need.
Most of the time, it’s not malicious. They just haven’t crystalized their creative vision enough to believe in themselves yet.
There's a reason why pop music is rewarded with more attention than any other genre. Musicians who make tracks that appeal to the masses get more opportunities for attention, which encourages more of them to create for the masses, which attracts more people to mediocre, fast-production stuff, and so on.
Now imagine a jazz musician who wants to be successful commercially (i.e. make money) while creating music that’s authentic to them.
One route they might take is to create pieces that mix jazz with other more popular styles — think Amy Winehouse’s most well-known tracks. They never “sell out” or make anything they aren’t proud of, but they’ll be a little more lenient here and there, opening up the door to a wider audience. The key is to know their own limits. What is the vision for their masterpiece, and what are they willing (or unwilling) to compromise on
Not everyone is going to appreciate their music. But among those who do, there will be many who never considered themselves jazz fans until that person invited them into their world.
In bridging that gap, they supported jazz and elevated the collective taste in music more than the artist who sobbed those they deemed beneath them.
There’s no right or wrong way to do this. The only question is: Does it make you feel alive?
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