content-writersOur thanks to business consultant and writer Nick Rojas for this insightful article. Weigh in with your comments below, and from all of us at WWW, Happy New Year!

The term “content shock” was coined by author Mark Schaefer in an online article back in January of 2014. He questioned “the hottest marketing strategy around” wondering if content marketing can continue to be sustainable in the 21st century. With over sixty trillion web pages generating millions of pages of new content daily, it seems next to impossible for an author to make their mark in this seemingly infinite marketplace.

The concept of reaching a bigger and better online audience seems to be even more unattainable, but garnering a better readership on the world wide web isn’t impossible.

Here are some clever ways that wordsmiths can effectively promote their material and better hone in on the internet wanderlust of today’s online audience:

Identify Readers

Just exactly who is your reading audience? Young or old, more men than women, readers of science fact or fiction, lovers of outlandish fairy tales or those who view real life scenarios based purely in fact. More importantly, why is all of this so important?

You’ll never effectively reach your true readership unless you know exactly who they are, where their interests lie and then you can connect with them on a much deeper level. Rather than thinking, “I wrote a great children’s book and every kid is going to love it,” authors need to dig deeper.

The same way writers expand on characters and plotlines, in this particular case, young readers may be more interested in dinosaurs and not dolphins, robots rather than rabbits, stars in the heavens while lacking any curiosity about creatures in the ocean.

This is an age-old, successful marketing technique; truly understanding your audience puts you in a better position to target them more effectively and make better choices about the many methods of marketing available to you.

Expand Understanding

As an author, you already have a complete understanding of the importance of character development, so now you will apply this same concept to reaching your audience. To expand on this type of connection, try these exercises in your writing unique:

  • Children’s Books – Make a Love and Hate List: Inside your youthful story, do your potential readers love construction, like Lego ® blocks and Lincoln Logs ® or do they seek a more fantastical interest in unicorns and mythological castles? Do they hate taking naps, doing homework and chores?
  • Romance and The Women’s World: If you’re a man writing romance novels for a female audience, or a woman who already understands this vital connection, the importance of why many pairs of different shoes are a “must have” accessory in any wardrobe, the vital necessities of everything in her purse, why applying makeup is such a drag and at the same time, an absolute necessity.
  • Spend Some Imaginary Time With Your Readers: If you were going to “hang out” with your audience, where would you go and what would you do? What are some of the special places and spaces you would share, will you be going out or staying indoors, what other interests and activities would you have in common?
  • The Manly Minute: If writing is geared more towards the men’s reading playground, do our manly readers want to see more sports info (football, basketball, baseball, etc.) or are they more keen into the latest info on dude’s fashion trends or maybe extreme sports?

Social Matters

Saving the best for last, the importance of marketing aboard social media channels cannot be understated or overemphasized. Combining all of these tools together and recognizing the important trends aboard these many platforms, these are all great opportunities for online success. Remember a couple key points:

  • Engage First, Sell Later – with all the important knowledge gained, be friendly and not forceful on these platforms.

  • Start Small, Dream Big – Connect, associate and advise your potential audience first. When coming out with a worthy title, great online content, an awesome new book, cultivating these online relationships first will pay off in the long run.

Be patient, engage and understand your online audience first, before attempting to conquer the unending traffic on the internet. Connect with your readers before you attempt best-seller status and you will watch your readership blossom.

Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at


2 thoughts on “Content Shock in the 21st Century: What Writers Need to Know

  • December 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm


    Thanks for sharing these important tips to help us and our readers avoid the overwhelm brought on by “content shock” , I especially like the idea of engaging with our reading audience first and selling later. It’s during this engaging process that we learn about our readers and build worthwhile connections.

    • December 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks, Flora! Expect Nick will weigh in too but just wanted to say Happy New Year and thanks as always for your insightful comments. Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

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