I’ve been thinking a lot about how to get an audience. In fact, it’s probably the cause of the majority of my anxiety about the work I do.
It came together a bit recently when I watched Becoming Youtube episode 5. Becoming Youtube is a great pseudo-documentary about vloggers and the state of the Youtube community, and I highly recommend you check it out.
This video, along with the interview with John Green that comes after it, talk a lot about fandoms, and their power to be good and bad, the lack of control over them, and the perhaps chaotic way of acquiring them.
Specifically, it’s interesting to me that what a lot of the featured vloggers did to get a large audience…isn’t really possible any more. In an age where gatekeepers are falling by the wayside, anyone can get a following, but as that playing field gets more and more crowded, it becomes harder and harder. You need to be really good to get noticed. Quality needs to be high. No more bedroom-and-webcam.
All of which comes back to me. I’m at a really weird place right now. I’ve had enough career success to believe that what I do has value, and yet I hardly have any real audience outside of my peers.
So I look at the potential of things like Youtube and Wattpad to grow an audience, and see that to really make it work, I’ll have to put in a lot of time and effort, make something really high quality.
And then I think, if I’m going to spend all that time and energy and end up with a great, high quality product — shouldn’t I be trying to sell it instead? If it has value, shouldn’t I capitalize on that?
I’m constantly trying to find the solution, find the easy way to do it — Youtube flash fiction series? New story on Wattpad? Serial fiction project? More regular blogging? — but I’m never sure of the answer.
I think it’s something a lot of creatives are wondering in today’s rapidly-changing world. I welcome your thoughts.