If you’re one of the 3600 plus people who follow me on Instagram, you already know what’s going on. If you’re not one of them and want to see what you’re missing, scroll to the bottom of my home page to see my most recent Insta-posts.
The thing is, for the past couple of months I have been micro-blogging on Instagram almost every day. That’s right: every day I write a brand new 2000-word story, Nethervoice style.
Why on Instagram and not on my own blog, you may ask. Simply put, I wanted to reach a different audience. Instagram attracts a younger (25-34-year old) and more responsive crowd. 37% of adults in the U.S. use Instagram. On average they spend 29 minutes a day on the platform. It’s the second largest platform after Facebook. Instagram has one billion users every month (worldwide), and Twitter “only” 187 million.
I think writers should always be mindful of their audience. They have to meet their readers where they are, intellectually, but also literally. You can write the most impressive prose, but if no one ever sees it, let alone reads it, you make as much noise as the sound of one hand clapping.
For me, the main attraction of Insta is the lack of negativity and rudeness I often experience on a platform like Facebook. Perhaps I’m just following the right people, but I absolutely love seeing Instagram pictures of cats, dogs, nature, and of smiling folks with microphones. There is very little snark and snobbery. Just pretty pictures.
So, I decided to combine my love for storytelling and interesting images, by offering a daily diet of musings on freelancing, voice overs, and on life itself. When I started doing that, my number of Insta-followers increased rapidly from 800 to over 3600 (and counting).
Compared to a Kardashian that’s by no means an earth shattering number, but it’s an accomplishment I’m nevertheless proud of. It tells me that I am offering something people continue to be interested in.
Now, here’s the question I asked myself:
What would happen if I were to take these daily stories, and publish them on my website instead? Would people care enough to subscribe and keep on reading, or would they say:
“Forget it. I’d rather heart your photo on Insta, and move on.”
After all, it’s human nature to do what’s most convenient and what requires the least amount of effort.
WHAT WAS I THINKING?
The real question behind my question is: why would I want to move my stories from Instagram to my website? I’ve got a good thing going. Why make it more complicated?
Well, wouldn’t you like your website to get more visitors? Imagine what that would do for your SEO? Search engines love and reward relevant content and visitor interaction.
Instead of guessing what my followers would think, I decided to ask them point blank if they would mind me moving my Insta-stories to my blog.
As expected their answers were all over the place. Some were very candid and said they never read blogs. Others wouldn’t mind me moving. One smart person suggested I should do both: publish the same short story on my blog and on Instagram. Problem solved.
That was yesterday.
Today I still don’t know what to do.
Thanks a bunch people!!!
But seriously, I truly appreciate the honest feedback. Important decisions should never be made in haste, so I will take my time to figure out what to do.
In a weird way, not knowing is much better than knowing because all the options are still wide open.
- Not knowing means you still have hope that you might win that award.
- Not knowing means the clients may still say YES to your proposal.
- Not knowing means there could be a pleasant surprise waiting around the corner.
Everything is still on the table, but once the outcome is clear, it’s game over. The mystery has been revealed. There is no wizard behind the curtain. Prayers are answered, or hopes are dashed.
SEARCHING FOR CERTAINTY
You and I spend a lot of time searching for certainty in a world confused by unpredictability. “The most important decisions,” a wise person once said, “are always based on insufficient information.”
Think about that for a moment. No matter how much data you take into account, you will never be able to cover all the variables. What seems to be a good decision today, may turn out to be a huge mistake the day after.
I once married the wrong person and paid for it for over two unhappy years. If only I had known…
Well, I should have known because looking back, all the warning signs were already there. I just chose to wear my rose-colored glasses thinking that people can change for the better. They can, but they have to want to.
One of the reasons we can never be certain of a certain outcome has to do with human nature (or is it nurture?). If only we were logical, rational beings, basing every decision on hard facts.
But facts have to be interpreted, and people are emotional beings making most important choices based on fuzzy feelings.
“It just felt like the right thing to do…”
“My gut told me to go for it…”
“My head was yelling “NO,” but I had to follow my heart.
As much as we’d like to think we are the director of our own lives, we still have to deal with a whole cast of characters messing with our plans.
Living life to the fullest means embracing the fact that what’s unknown, will always be greater than what’s known.
That, I am almost certain of.
PS The ONE VOICE CONFERENCE 2021 will take place in both the U.S. and in the UK. On Monday April 26th, tickets will go on sale at 3.30pm BST / 7.30am PDT / 10.30am EDT.
Click here to register for the big launch event.
Joshua Alexander says
That was THE. PERFECT. CLOSER. FOR. ANY. OF. YOUR. BLOGS. TO. DATE.
Ha! So good. Almost certain of the unknown. Nicely put my friend. I love your musings and look forward to them weekly, wherever they may appear! Wasn’t that you in the National Enquirer the other day?
Paul Strikwerda says
I will have to enquire to see if it was me, Josh!