|Dita said it best. Be the best peach you can be.|
You need to know, who is your market? Your audience. Even if we like to think of ourselves as purely writers and artists, marketing matters because we want to reach people.
Apart from the cold, hard, money-hungry strategy, there's a more emotional lesson to learn: Who do you appeal to, and who isn't going to like you. Because not everyone is going to like you, no matter how hard you try. Those are the people you must not engage and walk away from.
Sound familiar? I feel like this is something parents tell us as children, and at one point we may have believed them. But as soon as you're working on something you are passionate about, we seem to forget this lesson. We hate the idea that someone disagrees with our thoughts, our art, with us. The childhood lesson is lost, and through the anonymous magic of the internet, our haters' voices are stronger and meaner.
But it is a good thing that not everyone will like you: because you should remain you, not a vapid people pleaser. Edges and opinions people disagree with spark commentary, middle-of-the-road waffling bores people.
You shouldn't twist and conform to appeal to everyone--that's how politicians get elected and then verbally crucified for being ineffective and disingenuous *cough OBAMA cough*. Or how we make fun of Miss America contestants for their non-answers to simple questions.
I'm writing this because I see many bloggers I know revamping their content to try and attract new readers. While it's good to grow, if you are rewriting yourself to attract a different readership, your content is probably not as true to you, and therefore less marketable.
As a woman blogger who writes about sexual health, or plus size content, I get a few "You must be an ugly, insecure, daddy-issue having whore. I can't believe you write about that."
It hurts my feelings in the moment I read it. But then I realize I put out something that inspired someone so much they felt the need to take time to write me. So, ha, I won. You read my work. I'm not sure what happened to you to make you such a judgmental troll, but Jesus loves you. I'm sure your mom does too, perhaps you should call her.
So, to my blogger friends: Don't change. Be weird and bold. Ruffle some fucking feathers. Because people will love your content. They will identify with your words and pictures and the stories you paint, nothing needs to be watered down. It's your house -- if they don't like it, they can leave.
For some reason, much of my displeasure commentary comes from Kansas. So, to the state of Kansas -- let's be friends, bro. I'm lovely once you get to know me. Promise
Hugs and Kisses,
P.S. Once upon a time in a moment of great sadness, as one of my articles was ripped apart and I was called every mean name you can think of by people who I didn't know, I actually emailed the Bloggess and asked her how she handles the hateful trolls who cast shade her way. I find her blog inspirational, because that lady is fucking amazing and quirky AND funny, which is sadly a mix that is sure to rub some uptight people the wrong way. Yet she does it with grace.
You know what? She emailed me back. She took time out of her day from writing and loving Hailey and driving Victor and their army of animals crazy to write me a lofty email about how I should delete negative comments, go with the positive, and know my blog is my house and I run this how I see fit.
So, Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess. Thank you for being as genuine and kindhearted as you are funny and sharp witted. You're a great woman.