I have been a subscriber to online forums and social media platforms for quite a while now. People connect online daily. Just as in normal life in dealing with friends and acquaintances, there are always people who “clique” and others who do not. This is just a reality. In trying to do anything new, it takes a while to acquire any level of success at it. There are other times when perhaps you should go back to the drawing board and try something else. Putting forth a good amount of effort and Father time will tell one way or the other.
I have also noticed that with more options comes more confusion at times as well. To be fair, there needs to be many options since not only within the writing industry but within any, there is no one size fits all like a hat. Some things work for some and other things work for others. One thing that I know for sure, in that developing an audience, taking the relationship building approach is perhaps the best model. Generally speaking, people must be interested in what you are doing and finding a method that works in aiding the author in remaining in consistent engagement is key. Said by some to be the best method, e-mail newsletters are one method of remaining in consistent contact with your readers. If the information that you provide is interesting, relevant to the follower and comes from a point of view that the follower desires to follow, this has been said to have been proven to be successful. Many authors do what other authors do and this definitely has some value in it. Anyone entering into any field should learn what others in their particular field is doing and then adopt those same methods according to what their own individual goals might be.
On the flip side of this, I have noticed that while developing a following, some have approached even me for the sole purpose of selling me something without going any further. Some have even reached out to me only once and when, I suppose, I did not bite right away or within a specified amount of time I never heard from them again. I’m not so sure that this will work. But this is just my opinion. In our days of social media and less physical and visible contact, online chatting and e-mailing can be quite impersonal. I am still somewhat old-school in that I desire to have some sort of connection with those that I am following. They do not have to return all of my e-mails right away nor do they have to reply to my online submissions and comments immediately. However, there is a reasonable amount of time that is to be expected if an author or otherwise desires to build and keep the following that they developed. For some authors and writers, in general, this may not be too big of a deal since at the end of the day, content is king. If your content is relevant and what you provide by way of advice actually works, then you will probably more than likely get away with not engaging a good amount of your own audience. I have recognized this from time to time.
One thing that I have learned over the years is that at the end of the day, we are responsible for our own feelings. I, too, at times get in my own feelings and take some things personally. I have to remember that there are perhaps millions of others who feel the same way at times. Another thing that holds true for sure is that I am not owed anything in this life. Value begets value. So, if the authors and others that I am following provide value then my feelings should swiftly be brushed aside. After all, I am benefiting from what they provide whether they engage me regularly or not. I take the position, though, of a middle ground. I would rather at the very least, depending upon who the followers are, engage them quite regularly. Especially if they provide advice, donations, etc. They have obviously recognized value in me, so I would like to in turn provide value in my dealings with them outside of the fact that I sold them something. So, relationship building, and maintenance is what I think may be the key in all of this. Repeat customers, i.e., a customer base, is better than serial customers.
As time marches on, there will be more methods and strategies developed. Some will work for some and others will work for others. Partnering with other professionals is a great avenue for success. Father time, again, is also something that some of us are just going to have to accept. I have learned to not entertain grandiose ideals or allow myself to be engulfed with delusions of grandeur. A good sound practical approach to anything based upon those past and present methods from others is probably the sanest approach that anyone of us could adopt. What works for you, you should do. Advice for one, is not advice for all.