Figure out what your visitors want to read and see and create it. It is that simple and that complex.
I agree, but I don't really know what to do, it's so simple in the short term but actually complex in the long term (macrocosmos). I have old articles/publications and a lot of people sent congratulations about that, those emails were well written some short, some not so short. I can put a big mark on a calendar when FB and Whatsapp became massive "tools" and not saying it directly affected the world but they did somehow, since then it seems people were no longer able to understand old and well written publications, I still got congratulations on some but the messages looked like extracts from a chat, some were even "one word" (good!, thanks!). I get it. Then the use of punctuation and upper/lowercase kind of vanish, people became zombies.
Quite easy to say "you are writing for the wrong public" or "change your style, but it's not that easy. It's not about new articles, it's about old articles that performed really well, publications that made people ask for permission and post some on newspapers, magazines, etc. People used to write, I used to reply (and I got a "thanks man"), today I get contact by websites but I know for personal experience that sending any info will rarely (like never) will get me a reply, instead it's like sending free info. Sure I stopped replying and sometimes will only take 1 seriously per month. So it's not the content, really, people changed
The drawbacks of changing your style, you might be creating a monster
. It seems most people are lazy by nature, I worked on a media company (newspaper, radio, tv) the largest in my country and region, not something ordinary. I was in charge of a set of websites (nothing to do with news) and sure the same happened. Their response was to create
1. Shorter articles
2. As full of images and drawings as possible
3. Short and polemic titles
4. Different set of wording
You know, like writing for someone very dumb. There was a response and it increased the contact by readers. The result was cheap, and so the contact we received, people were unable to understand dynamics to win prizes (weekly contests) and we had dumb and dumber people calling just to have the instructions explained, this is actually embarrassing to tell as a story. The traffic went down due to many reasons and then the heads demanded constant updates (2 per day). From those websites (7) only 1 survives, 1 is frozen with old content and the other ones are gone. In my days we had 7,000 daily visitors.
Yes you can say something new came along, it's not writing but wait. There is more. The Newspaper (printed and online) faced the same issues, in that company and others (the thread is not about the death of newspapers, don't get confused, sure they are dying but this is a different illness). So the company created a new newspaper:
A. It was shorter, like 20 pages
B. LOTS of pictures, big, huge
C. Simple text, short paragraphs, you could copy a full story on a napkin
D. Click bait titles
C. Dumb writing, is not "easy" to understand, in fact it's easy to misunderstand
The result was impressive, great sales, great circulation and after a while online versions of the cheap newspaper was created. Later on the newspaper became a separate company, there was one set of owners for everything, now they wanted to become independent and after many issues they did, they are a separate company (with green numbers) while the original newspaper is still struggling with red numbers. Soon, the competition did the same, and now we have a set of diff low quality newspapers. Some professionals in the field (writers) said this was affecting the education of the readers as a whole, I didn't agree 100% back then, now I think they were on something.
They changed their style, things went bad. I honestly think if they didn't create that low quality product someone else would have anyway.
Today I'm finding myself with a nice set of skills for writing and it seems I have to get drunk to be able of writing like the new wave demands it: dumb texts for dumb brains. While creating good content has never been easy
, sure today feels a lot difficult than in the past, specially when I'm given clear clues of the audience "write for stupid people" sure it feels difficult to push your brain into that, I'm actually getting tired of writing.
And then after a self explanatory text such as this one... you can earn yourself a question such as "so the newspaper didn't have sports section" I mean, people can react with totally unrelated conclusions. And you wonder if they ever got to read the article, and if this is worth the time anymore.