How do I build an audience?

It’s a very frequently asked question.

But you don't often hear the full question. The full question, which many of us are thinking right now, might be: "How do I build an online audience that begins earning me money right now?" or "How do I go viral so I don't have to gather email addresses one by one?"

Well, unless you're scamming people, you probably don't. Going viral is not a business strategy. Why?

Because not every person who shares an article has read it. Sometimes, the picture is nice.

Because not everyone who shares a song has heard it. Sometimes, they just want to be accepted.

People share things all the time without caring about the consequences because the cost of sharing something is zero.

Then they move onto the next thing. The next business. The next trend or fad.

If you want to build an audience online, deliver the goods to people who care about them enough to stick around.

Parents need time off. Teach their kids pottery. Teenagers need social credit. Make a rude song they can send to their friends. People who love the ocean hang pictures of sailboats on their walls. Paint sailboats.

It’s not about making what you want and then paying Facebook to cram it down their throats.

It’s about one person who loves the ocean turning to another and saying “there’s a woman online who paints your sailboat photos and ships them to you for $100.”

Give one person a reason to care.

-- Johnny

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