“You never know what you can do until you try, and very few try unless they have to.” –C.S. Lewis
For a long time, I was stuck in a mindset that I needed to find what worked and stay there. Which isn’t bad advice until everything changes. When change occurs, I find myself forced to leave what worked and find what works.
As writers, I think we fall into this all the time.
We strive for success and once we find a hint of it, we keep doing the same thing over and over again. Each day, we will blog about the same topics and hope for one of those blog posts to go viral.
With no warning at all, the platform changes, or Google’s algorithm changes and we go from having a lot of success to very little. And then, we are forced to change.
But, what if we start changing before we are forced to do so?
Writing Success Looks Different These Days
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” –Walt Disney
With the internet changing at breakneck speeds, we need to learn to change just as fast. We need to be ready to adapt to it as it goes. Otherwise, we will be right back where we started, working from the ground up.
In order to succeed in writing now, we must always be forging new paths.
This is a true characteristic of other writers we know and read on the internet. Many of them have been focusing on trying new things, experimenting, learning other mediums than writing in order to succeed.
And they experience a great deal of success.
Writing Success on Many Levels
Now, I must say there is writing success on many levels. It isn’t only about making money, getting tons of views, and being Insta-famous. These are the ones that are flashy and sometimes trick us into thinking we suck at our craft.
However, we find success in our every day as a writer.
That success is a moving target. Today, it might be simply getting up and writing those 500 words. Tomorrow, your success is sharing those 500 words. Next week or next month, success is developing a product or a book.
Our writing success varies day-to-day. So, we must always be expanding on how to find that success.
Writing Experiments Will Help You Succeed
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” –T.S. Eliot
Over the last three months, I have been trying a series of experiments to better understand how to succeed online as a writer. In my experiments, I have tried to understand what it takes to improve my engagement with my writing.
Suffice to say, my experiments are taking me in every which direction. The great thing about my writing experimentation is that it brought an unexpected amount of fun and creativity to my writing.
In changing things up, I started to find more enjoyment in doing whacky things and trying to see what works. Sometimes these experiments brought about amazing results that surprised me. Other times, I fell flat on my face.
Yet, I found that experimenting is important if we want to grow as writers and want to find success online.
The Right Balance Of Experimentation And What Already Works
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” –Lao Tzu
So, what can we learn from all of this experimentation with writing? To simply put it, we learn that we need to experiment while continuing to do the things that work.
What do I mean?
In one of my experiments, I focused on writing one to two-minute articles. My goal was to learn to write more concisely and to see if it encouraged further engagement with my writing.
What I learned was that it does improve my engagement and I did become a better writer, however, I still needed to have longer articles to improve my overall engagement.
Shorter posts are good because they bring people into the fold. But longer posts keep people around asking for more.
Balance is Key to Writing Success
Ultimately, what I learned was how important balance is for writing success. We cannot focus only on our experiment if we want to succeed. We also need to keep working on the things that work.
As we do this, we can expose our current following to what we are trying out while also growing that following with the same things that what works.
Then, when things inevitably change online we are ready to adapt more quickly, capitalize on the change, and continue to experience success. If we do this, we will continue to grow and do well.
If we don’t, we face the possibility of losing all we have already worked for online.
Your experimentation doesn’t have to be crazy.
When you try new things it can be very subtle too. In fact, this is always a good idea when starting new things out because we don’t want to push people away with our new idea or a new way of doing things.
We want to warm a following up to what we are trying out.
As you see results that are positive, you can bring more and more of that experiment into your new world and begin to see that success grows with new people following you and with your current audience.
And if it tanks and the experiment actually causes negative results, you can just trash can it or save it for another time when it might be better suited. There is nothing wrong with that at all.
It’s the beauty of the experiment.
How have you experimented with your writing online? What has worked lately? What hasn’t worked? Share in the responses below!