Don’t Sell Your Soul for a Million Readers. Sell Your Heart for Just One4 min read

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. 

Ernest Hemingway

Darius Foroux wrote this gem of an article, and I want to add my own words.

Blogging is mostly a balancing act. Just like walking on tightrope.

On one hand, you have to write about the things that matter to you. And you have to write them however you feel like it. On the other hand, you have to cater to your audience and deliver them what they want to read most.

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What do most bloggers do?

They sell their souls. They begin to chase the numbers. They give up on a bit of their own souls in order to write pretty words that mean nothing in the headlines and then deliver a poorly executed idea that has nothing to do with said headlines.

The truth is that you find your ideal reader by becoming your ideal reader. Write from the heart about the things you care most about.

If you don’t like to write about personal development, then don’t write about personal development, no matter how successful it is. Don’t sell your soul, because you will hate yourself for it.

Also, don’t write about what your cat had for breakfast and expect to become the best paid blogger on the planet.

Walk on that tightrope by writing about the things that you’d most like to read about. And I bet that your day to day life, the boring bits at least, are not what you want to read about. No one does.

You can’t please everyone, so don’t even try.

And you don’t even need a million followers, or a even a thousand. You need just one, and that one is yourself.

You need to like what you do enough, so you do it for as long as it takes to build the thousands and thousands of words that are required in order to get some readers.

If you don’t like what you write, you don’t feel the itch to read it again, from time to time, if all you do is write, edit, publish, and abandon, you are going to have a hard time building enough momentum to become successful as a blogger.

Look, especially when you’re just starting out, you won’t get the feedback you expect from your readers. Odds are, you won’t be getting much feedback at all. And that’s when you will quit.

If writing a blog post about a certain topic feels like selling your soul, if you’re not punching those keys, if you’d have a hard time talking in front of a wall for fifteen minutes straight about whatever it is you’re writing, stop.

If you don’t stop, if you keep writing what you think is popular, what you think is a shortcut to fame and fortune, you will forever feel that people just don’t get what you’re all about.

Do the hard work to become great without selling your soul. Sell your heart, sell the best parts of yourself, write with tears in your eyes, write your truth, your fingers shaking against the keyboard.

Write about the things that matter to you, whether it’s finance or gardening, it doesn’t matter.

There are no limits to any of this. Your mindset is your limit.

If you don’t write words that impress you, as the writer, then the ideas you express are worthless.

Don’t sell your soul to get as many readers as possible. Write about the things you could read, over and over again, with a smile on your face. Write about them until you manage to make someone else smile.

This is the art of blogging. Writing about a topic in such a way that our readers fall in love with our words. Writing about ideas that are just outside their mind’s peripheral vision in order to bring them into focus, and we develop this skill by spending hours and hours punching those damn keys.

Don’t compromise. Improvise. Learn the rules, and then break the ones that make you feel like you’re trapped within a gold cage.

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

12 thoughts on “Don’t Sell Your Soul for a Million Readers. Sell Your Heart for Just One4 min read

  1. I love love love the way you wrote this.
    I’m not really a blogger, but I’m working on a book (have been for a decade now lol) and this is such a great perspective to keep in mind.

    “If you don’t write words that impress you, as the writer, then the ideas you express are worthless.

    Don’t sell your soul to get as many readers as possible. Write about the things you could read, over and over again, with a smile on your face. Write about them until you manage to make someone else smile.”

    Thank you for this.

  2. Cristian, You keep saying things that are so right. There is so much advice about writing, but this has to be foundational. Interesting, the idea of reading our own creations. What a great way to self monitor. Questioning whether it is meaningful. Without some kind of mission, it would be a very empty vehicle. Thank you.

  3. There’s another important aspect to writing. Though, it can be a thing of being limitless with its extent. It’s about knowing what your readers believe, and even taking that as inspiration.

    There’s a common belief among writers, among painters, among musicians, among so many of the creative types, that only the artist will understand their own work. This dilutes the empathy from reader, viewer, or listener to the work. I believe that this encourages a great depressive loneliness factor in with the artist or creator.

    Not to make it sound as though the artist cannot stand up to their own solitude, as I know us creative types live among that. We feel our greatest passion in with knowing our inner darkness, brought through in great vividness by that isolation.

    Though, from reader to writer, or from listener to musician, or from viewer to painter, the artist should always like to know what the person gifted with the piece, is noticing. It’s like giving your spouse a gift of a work, and not even curious to see what he or she is seeing. If even that curse of an artist to believe they can only understand their own work, is apparent in that example, then that is sad. Even if the reader, or whoever else, notices something different than what is intended for the piece, it was still a grasp of the whole, making it equally as precious.

    I do criticize on my blog that “interpretations” are only defined as obtaining a small fragment of the whole truth. Still, I am realizing that an interpretation is just the empathy of the reader to the writing. I’m starting to believe it somewhat selfish for a writer to blame the reader in not comprehending what they’ve made, in totality. As in, if a writer wishes for only total understanding, then they will be setting themselves up for continual disappointment.

    I believe what you mean by knowing that the writer can only ever be sure of themselves. Though, is it not equally important for a writer to wish to know what the reader is thinking? If solitude is the writer’s home, then they must come out into the light, at least for a moment, to display what they’ve created.

  4. Yeah, I used to think maybe I should write some guides, tips, etc. then I realized that I am not really into it, haha! So, I am writing this blog for whatever I want to write. I do write as a hobby 🙂 Thanks, by the way.

  5. This is really what i needed to bounce back to my blog. Thank you Cristian for this great piece. You always act as a road map for the lost. Keep it up bro. You really created this blog for a reason, and it is doing it bid in every season. Thank you, and God bless you love…xoxoxoxoxo…

  6. Wonderful advice and all of it true. writing is easy if you write from your own feelings. It comes from all those things you’ve always wanted to talk to someone about.

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