By: Jennifer Sensenich
For almost 4 years, Susan Apel has been writing about the arts and culture in and around Vermont and New Hampshire on her page ArtfulEdge. From performances to art exhibits, local eats and new businesses, Susan always seems to have her finger on the pulse of what locals want to know. Recently, one of her most read posts was about how she discovered a local donut shop. (And yes, what we do need more of in this world is great donut shops. I dare you to disagree.)
Just last week Susan shared her 500th post on HereCast thanking her readers by expressing, “A profound and heartfelt thank you to each and every reader and subscriber. It’s been quite the ride.” As a local content creator, this is a big milestone. It’s one thing to write, but to write consistently & authentically while building your audience is a gift.
So how does she do it?
Love what you do, do what you love
First of all, she loves what she is writing about. It’s a whole lot easier to write about something that is already a big part of your life. If you’re looking to write more, immerse yourself in what you love to do. Get out in your community and start talking to people, attending events… discovering.
And most importantly...
Yes, really. Walk. Susan explains how she has discovered so much about her community on accident. “There is a raft of other stories that fall right into my metaphorical lap as I simply walk, run, or dance through what would otherwise be just an ordinary day.” Whether it’s discovering a new restaurant she never noticed, or coming upon an archeological dig, there is so much going on around us that we might not notice otherwise. I give you permission, put that computer down and get outside.
Bookmark your resources
Have a Facebook page? Be sure to follow pages and groups that relate to what you want to write about. Many businesses, organizations or people post regular updates on their Facebook pages that can lead to inspiration for posts. (Pro tip: When you go to follow a page be sure to click “See first” in your newsfeed so you don’t have to wade through cat videos to get there. Well, unless of course you want to.)
Sign up for local newsletters. Become an expert on what’s going on around you by getting relevant info delivered straight to your inbox. Whether it’s a local business, organization or new source, if they’ve got a newsletter, click subscribe.
As content contributors for our communities, sometimes we might feel like we are waiting for the perfect post idea that will get ‘enough reads’. Boy is that a lot of pressure! There is a reason why Instagram has started hiding likes from users’ posts. Our world has become so obsessed with getting more likes, more views, more comments that we’ve left our authentic voices behind to simply get “more” whatever that might be. So, I’m just here to remind you that whatever you write about matters. It matters because you care about it. Be authentic and you will find your audience. You might even find yourself like Susan, 500 posts in with so many more stories to share.
Happy 500th post, Susan! All of us at HereCast would like to thank Susan for her contributions. All thanks to her, local readers are 500 posts richer in knowing things they might not have known before. You can read Susan’s 500th post here.