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How To Avoid Reader Fatigue In Your Subscribers

Copyright (c) 2008-2019
(See This Article in its Original Format.)

There's some buzz I've been reading about in forums and on blogs about what's known as 'reader fatigue.' This is the condition that happens when you, as an individual, are confronted with sixteen hundred gazillion blogs, email newsletters, forums, and pdf downloads and you just get fed up with it.

I can relate.

Unfortunately, when you switch hats to being a business owner, suddenly you don't want to relate. You want people to read your emails, blogs and pdfs. Each unsubscribe, or ignored feed, or deleted pdf is like a stab to your heart, and a leak in your business.

Oy! Is it hopeless? I don't think so. But first, let me explain something about the last five hundred years or so.

A strange side road in human history.

For thousands of years humans have been social creatures, hanging out in tribes, bands, extended families, and small villages. Then, something funny happened.

In 1493 AD, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Suddenly it became easier to put out content, and you no longer had to rely on person-to-person communication.

Of course, it took a few hundred years for literacy rates and technology to make it truly powerful. In fact, with broadcast media like radio, television, and other moving pictures, large audiences could be mesmorized by another human being.

After a few decades, the thrill started to fade, even though the special effects were getting more intricate and loud.

Finally, finally, in the mid-1990's, technology caught up with human nature.

The internet began to break up the party.

Individuals were no longer trapped by mass media. They took control of other avenues and began to expect what every human being has expected since the dawn of the brain: the ability to talk to one another. Thus millions of blogs are launched. Companies and institutions can no longer hide behind the corporate moat and drawbridge.

That's all fine and good, sure, but what does that do about reader fatigue? And should you even bother jumping into the fray?

What is reader fatigue?

Reader fatigue occurs when truth is absent. What I mean is that when someone combines the expectation of holding a large, mass audience and an intimate conversation at the same time, they trip over their own typing fingers.

By trying to do two things at once, they do neither one well, and totally lose their connection to truth and heart.

Reader fatigue is a bit of a myth. Amazon is still doing a lively business in book sales. People are still reading, perhaps more than ever. But, because we now have more than just three television stations available, people are deciding where to put their attention.

And people put their attention where truth and love are, where connection, support, compassion, and learning are. I'm guessing that's where you put your attention.

The lesson?

Don't let the threat of reader fatigue hide your truth.

Just because there are millions of conversations going on around the world at this very instant doesn't mean your friends don't want to hear what your truth and receive your love. Stand up, speak what you have, and listen to those who respond.

As business owner, you may never reach millions of people. But, by being who you are, and speaking the truth to those who need to hear from you, you'll be contributing meaningfully to your tribe and your clients. You'll be in the conversation.

So how do you step in? Let me give you a few pointers that have helped me.

Keys to Joining the Fray

  • Write like you, um, talk.

  • Many of us were taught to write in elementary school according to archaic and academic styles of writing that leach the very juice of life from your writing.

    Have fun. Say it how you would say it to friend. Forget 'professional.' Sure, spell-check and make sure you're making sense. But, like, y'know, have fun.

  • Speak what you're afraid to speak.

  • It can be scary to speak the truth, especially if it's vulnerable or not popular. Recently I put up a blog post critiquing myself on a less-than-stellar public speaking performance. Because it was a really useful lesson to me, I posted it on my blog. Come and read it here. <http://heartofbusiness.com/wordpress/2008/03/20/yesterday-i-was-in-yakima/>

    Did I have thoughts like: "er... if I post this, will anyone ever invite me to do public speaking every again?" Sure I did. And yet, I'm here to help you, and my commitment to you as a friend and fellow traveller on the path of business is higher than my desire to protect myself.

    So there you go. Do the same, and people will respond.

  • Most people are shy, not angry and judgemental.

  • In my yoga class, the first few days we didn't talk to one another. The faces of my classmates were looking pretty stern. However, I've been on the planet long enough not to trust first impressions, and instead introduced myself and asked their name and wished them a good morning.

    One by one each broke into a pleasant, friendly smile. Fifteen years ago I would've thought they didn't like me. Now I know they're just shy.

    In many cases it's up to you to start the conversation, and to keep it up long enough for people to warm up, lose their shyness, and connect. If your first email newsletters or blog entries don't garner much response, keep at it. People will warm up- they're longing to connect to authenticity and love.

    It's been said a million times in a million ways: show up, be yourself, and offer generously what you have to offer. You may not end up on Oprah with a readership that spans the globe, but you can build a thriving business with a steady clan of people who like to read, and respond, to what you offer.

    The best to you and your business,
    Mark Silver


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your Business: How Money, Marketing and Sales can Deepen Your Heart, Heal the World, and Still Add to Your Bottom Line. He has helped hundreds of small business owners around the globe succeed in business without losing their hearts. Get three free chapters of the book online: http://www.heartofbusiness.com

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