Why nobody reads my blog posts

Every now and again I lament, “Nobody reads my blog posts.” Then I ponder, reflect and remind myself of the following:

Nobody reads my posts because my writing reflects how I feel in that instance. Well, who cares! I must write what others may be interested in.

What crosses my mind first, makes for my headline. But why do I forget the phrase, “Sleep over it.” or “Think about it.”? Shouldn’t I dwell upon what I have written (or am about to write). How about conveying that in the shortest, sweetest little headline! Next time, I’ll write up a few; then will pick either the zaniest, or the smartest or even the simplest. Perhaps I should even test each one, then go with the one that brings the most readers.

In a rush, I spill my guts; driving away even my stray, occasional, random reader with an overdose of bitters. Yikes! I needn’t rush into a 30-second elevator pitch every time. Warm up, build a rapport. They’ll listen.

Since I said it all at once, what’s left to say now? Rambling further with another 500 words or more! Nah… I have to learn to pace my thoughts. Keep them crisp, keep them short. Gee, you folks may even be reading on your mobile devices.

Shouldn’t I have mini titles to each of my paragraphs? For those who speed read, they get the gist right away. Okay, for now, I’ll bold my main idea for each paragraph.

Now I know my posts are very dense… but you are smart. Of course you won’t be wasting time on this lengthy, wordy post when there’s the entire world wide web to scour… so, I’ll let you go, while I collect my thoughts.

If you find something in cyberspace, or have your own two bits, I’d love to hear from you. Ciao. ;).

Our failures stem from fear… but surely someone succeeds?

Yesterday, I blogged about the basis of our fears. Today I’m thinking of other issues related to fear. Think of the personal consequences, and think of who benefits from one’s personal fears. You and I may not even consciously view these as fears or as the demons you must battle against.

When danger looms ahead, we are alarmed, filled with fear, dread the consequences e.g. in an exam for which you did not do quite as well as you should have, you dread the results – that sense of anticipated failure. Now if the exam is critical, the fear gets compounded. Think of it, if you fared poorly, and your job promotion had depended upon it, you will be anxious. But if   you were without a job for months, and if this exam was your singular ray of hope, the consequences of failure may be even more severe. Anxiety, worry, tension aside, you may actually stand in cold sweat, fearing the worst consequences, while you await the results.

Fear also causes:

angst, anxiety, concern

despair, dismay, doubt, dread

horror, jitters, panic

scare, suspicion, terror, unease

worry, abhorrence, agitation

aversion, awe, consternation

cowardice, creeps, discomposure

disquietude, distress

faint-heartedness, foreboding, fright

funk, misgiving, nightmare

phobia, pre-sentiment

qualm, reverence, revulsion

timidity, trembling, tremor, trepidation

bête noire, chicken-heartedness

cold feet, cold sweat

recreancy or defection

Why so many words? Well, there are subtle differences. Some of these are more pronounced than others, depending on the cause and/or consequence.

Have you ever considered that much to their own advantage, companies across the board feed off customers’ fears. In direct contrast to the variants of fear, they offer “value additions” along with their products. We, as their customers, buy into their reassuring ad campaigns, which more often than not offer a combination of these:

calmness, cheer, confidence, contentment

ease, encouragement

faith, happiness, joy

trust, comfort

like, love

bravery, courage

heroism, unconcern,

fearlessness

Through their social media marketing, or advertising messages, when brand or corporate ad campaigns do not reinforce these positive emotions in their audiences, the campaigns are deemed to have failed. Little or zero impact on customers’ psyche leads to fewer conversions, and thereby a failed media campaign. All the hi-flying numbers, communication strategy etc means nada, if social media marketers or corporate leaders do not get this basic idea right.

In closing, think of all the insurance companies, beauty products, health-related brands/services, funeral services, real estate, transportation, education, political campaigns, or then even social media… Beneath all the sweet words of wisdom is an underlying message – If you don’t buy into our brand, the chances are you will lose out. They subliminally evoke latent fear.

Lose out from being part of a larger social circle, or a club, or a group, or from your family… the “affiliation to something desirable” or sought after. That causes fear, which could then lead to personal failure; “If I don’t buy into this pricey club membership, my circle of friends will think I’m uncool and folks may begin to alienate me.”  This notion of failure is daunting for all of us… hence this business strategy propagates, companies funnel their offerings through the media you and I are likely to use; and we feed through it consuming their whole nine yards.

Who are you? A Sobbing Sucker, or a Stoic Writer?

In either case, you’re the one losing out. If you’re crying out aloud because you’re being exploited, thereby letting the world hear about those who exploit you, you’re soon out of work. If you silently suffer the hurt, but keep writing for those who’ll suck you dry for pennies, you’re helping them make money with your talents, while you get squeezed out of your apartment! Yeah, when will you ever make enough moolah – yeah, yeah that’s $$$$ (not the ‘mullah’ you reach out to when ‘Allah’ refuses to listen to your woes). Now, in case you’re wondering, and just to get the record straight –  I’m neither an Allah worshipper, nor am I a fanatic mullah-follower… even when I’m in dire straits. For that matter, I don’t lean towards any priests, pundits nor power-healers for health or holistic support. This is just a statement of fact – neither right, nor wrong.

So… why this rant? Well, here’s why… because all is not well. Here I am, away from WordPress, Facebook, Twitter or any social networking site, but busy seeking positions (a.k.a. job search) in Social Media Marketing, Content Writing, Web Content Writer, Marketing Coordinator, so on, so forth… yes, from entry level positions to mid-level to senior; from on-site real jobs, to remotely-employed sort of positions.

For every job, the requirements are getting not just stringent, but downright ridiculous, and for obscenely low $. Here’s an example of one that takes the cake… and I’m not sure if this is the last one I’ve seen on this elusive job market scene. Those with jobs are unlikely to read this post; those seeking jobs may — every now and again — peek to read this post that speaks about the plight of those in a similar situation as theirs. Terrible sentence construct… yes, I’m aware. Do I care?

Here’s what I received in my mailbox yesterday in response to an application for ‘freelance copywriter’. I received  a PDF file that is nine-pages long. It details the company background referring to its partnership with the Who’s Who in residential and commercial real estate, nationwide (and even internationally). It also raves about its business association with premier luxury car brands. Furthermore, there’s an element of latent pride in that their articles have featured on trade publications, or leading vertical search engines. A list of types of work one can expect to write about is also enumerated. All good thus far. In fact, even the list of expectations (from potential copywriters) seems reasonable on the face of it… well-researched, grammatically accurate, error-free writing… fair enough.

But now, when it comes to money, or the credit for your writing, expect to be paid peanuts — around $15 for a 500 words article, and this includes one round of revisions at least! As for the credit, you aren’t allowed to even feature an article written by you in your personal portfolio — sorry, the nature of ghostwriting. Then again, zero credit for your article when it is published. Somebody else takes credit for your hard work. Oh yeah, the company will be kind enough to put in a good word for you, should you ever make a request for a reference.

I’m very curious – are all these A-rated auto makers, and A-rated realtors so cheap, that they will even suck the copywriters dry? Or are creative service providers headed by greedy (and lazy) chieftains, who, under the guise of creative genius just out to scam both, their clients, as well as those who write for them? Which of these is true?  In case you thought, my post ends here, I’m sorry.

There’s another attachment – a three-page document a.k.a. a sample of writing. Based on the style of this article, the potential copywriter/ghostwriter is required to write and submit a new article (500 words) for a given topic. This will demonstrate writing style, command over language, research skills, timely delivery etc. Of course, plagiarism is disallowed (No self-respecting writer would stoop low in any case).

If this was not enough, another article is required. In 500 words again, write from a selection of topic options. One glance will indicate that it is research intensive. No, for neither of these articles will the applicant be paid.

In my mind, these are like shell companies reeking of scams. I searched for a legit website for the company. There was none to be found across the web. It is important to remember… we are writers, not suckers. I believe in my ability. I won’t succumb to crappy scams like these. I’d rather spend time writing this post for myself. Cheers.

P.S.: To write a decent, well-researched article (500 words)… to proof-read, revise, submit and provide at least one revision to the client will take at least 3-5 solid hours of work. That’s more than half a day’s work. If you write even 10 articles over a 5-day week, that’s plenty. People claim that writers submit 100 articles… can anyone believe this?