I’ve noticed a mantra circulating through the blogosphere about how to build an audience. People say it’s simple to build an audience: all you have to do is “Write Epically.” Or sometimes they phrase it as, “Write Epic Shit.” And, like many other trendy phrases, the mantra gets repeated over and over again by bloggers, to everyone’s detriment because it’s such bad advice about building an audience.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with writing epically. However, people are incredibly confused about the concept and seem to be blindly citing it as “The Answer” to building an audience.

It’s a small part of the answer. But there’s something much more important (and definitive) than writing epically. More on that in a minute.

What Write Epically Means

When people advise you to Write Epically, they mean you should do some content marketing to build an audience.

Here’s how it (supposedly) works:

  • Step 1: You write a huge, smart, long, “epic” post about some topic and hope that, because it’s so useful and “epic,” people who are in your audience already will share it
  • Step 2: You bank on all those shares (that you may or may not get) to drive traffic to your website
  • Step 3: You hope that (and again, you may not get this) a minuscule fraction of that traffic will decide to come back later, or subscribe, or join your mailing list.

Yikes. There is a big, big problem with this logic. Because Epic Content by itself does the *exact opposite* of what we want it to do. Epic Content *satisfies* the reader. Epic content gives the reader *the answers he was looking for.* Epic Content *relieves tension.*

BUT the reason people decide to come back later, subscribe, or join an email list is because they still want something more. They still want their questions answered. They still want more help with their problem. They still want to understand the writer or follow the writer’s journey.

For the most part, one-time readers *won’t* come back later, subscribe, or join an email list if the writer has already given them everything they need. They’ll only do that stuff if these two conditions are present:

  • if the writer has *created* tension
  • if the only way to relieve that tension (that the writer created) is to come back, subscribe, or join an email list

Now we’re finally getting somewhere.

The “Write Epically” Myth

“Write Epically” is a fun little feel-good myth. It was intended to be helpful, but in my belief, it is perpetuating some pretty bad advice. “Write Epically” implies that if you write epic stuff, you will build an audience.

This may sound a bit like another phrase you might have heard: If you build it, they will come. And we all know how well that works.

What *actually* builds an audience

The thing that *actually* builds an audience is not nearly as sexy-sounding as “Write Epically.” Because the thing that actually builds an audience can be summed up in one word: TENSION.

See, not nearly as sexy 🙂

Don’t You Write Epically Already?

Your content is great, right? It’s smart, it’s useful, it’s helpful, it’s displayed stunningly on your website. And it’s 100% free for the taking, so that anyone can access it.

But if writing epically is all there is to it, where oh where is your audience, then?

Your audience is… (find out when this series continues tomorrow)

If you are ready to build your audience, I encourage you to grab my free 7-Day Get Your Book Selling Quickstart. There are several tips to help you build your audience, and several more that will help you get your book selling now, if you have one. Plus, did I mention it’s free?

Here’s the two-step process:

You can also start at the beginning of this Audience-Building series here »

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