I started my writing career as a ghostwriter.
While, it was great financially, I hated it. I hated writing things for other people and watching people get credit for my writing.
But, that was the name of the game and it was what I signed up for.
However, a couple years a ago I wanted to make a change. So I started looking for ways to get my writing out there.
One thing lead to another and I found myself writing a blog for a new blogging site. They needed creators and really didn’t care what I wrote as long as I got views.
(Also if the complete hands off approach seems a little weird. It was. They were not the best business to be working for.)
And like a lot of websites, I was paid for views.
So, getting views became my mission.
It was the beginning of the year and I set the goal to get a million views by year’s end.
So, I got to work.
First, I Wrote Like Crazy
I wrote at least two posts a day. Each one I wrote was another chance to get views. Each one was another opportunity to hit it out of the park.
I’d write one in the morning and one at night.
And I wrote about everything. I left no stone left unturned. I wrote about movies, and television. I wrote about finance and writing. This of course made it easier to get some views because I was writing about popular things at the time.
I wrote travel stories. Fiction. Anything.
If there was a subject to write I wrote it.
The varied topics allowed me to get my work in front of a lot of people. I could appeal to movies fans, fans of different TV shows, as well as starting to develop my own following.
I Bought Advertising
Mostly, I bought Facebook ads. Not very much, and I had no idea what I was doing.
To be honest, I bought a hilariously small amount of ads. So little, I’m confident that it made no difference in the amount of views.
But, I wanted to try everything. I don’t think it had the biggest impact, but I was also investing time and money now and that helped push me to keep going because I didn’t want that money to go to waste.
I think it was more important to be willing to try anything than what the actual ads brought. When you have a big goal you need to pull out all the stops.
I Used Social Media
Now, none of this would have been possible without social media. And, I had been laying the ground work for this for over a year. In my spare time, I grew Twitter accounts. Mostly because it was fun and I liked making jokes on Twitter. It started as a hobby, but fairly quickly, I had some accounts with a significant following.
Also, because I had large accounts, I was able to make contacts with other people with large followings, some much larger than mine.
So, when I got the opportunity to start getting paid for views on the blog I wrote. I knew what to do.
I could send thousands and thousands of people to my blog.
With social media, only a tiny percentage of people will click a link, but 1 percent of 5,000 and 1 percent of 150,000 people are two different things.
Also, this was the heyday of social media. It worked a lot better a few years ago. I don’t know if I’d be able to do it again. It’s a lot harder to grow.
And, I must add the only reason I was able to do this was because I had the social media following already. If I was trying to grow the social media accounts at the same time this whole thing might have taken a lot longer.
I Used Reddit
This is the biggest reason that I was able to get the views.
Reddit is very tricky to use and if you overdo it with self promotion you will fail and you will get kicked out of subreddits.
But, if you use it right and strike a decent balance of participating and promoting it will drive a lot of views to your blog or website. I only needed one thing to take off on Reddit each month and I would hit my goal.
This was especially useful because I was writing a lot of pop-culture stuff and movie and television reviews. Most fandoms have a dedicated subreddit that you can add your articles to. Some of the subreddits have millions of users so if one of your articles takes off it can do insanely well.
I Didn’t Give Up
I didn’t stop when nothing happened for the first two weeks. I knew it would take a while for the readership to grow.
Actually, I got lucky. One of early posts took off and helped build momentum. I saw that just when I was about to give up.
That gave me the confidence to keep going.
I started in February, and I did everything mentioned in this article. I didn’t make it by year’s end. But, in the first week of January I had crossed the million views mark.