The first thing you can do to get more views? Stop making views the end goal.
As author Austin Kleon points out in his book, “Steal Like an Artist,” the work is what matters most:
Most content creators don’t get enough views because they want to be the noun more than they want to do the verb.
Content creation strategies work, but, you have to, um, you know, do them.
If you do the work, you can dramatically increase your views. Try some of these tips, techniques, and strategies on for size.
1. Use this simple, but profound, strategy to reach more people
I watched a video by Alex Hormozi, an entrepreneur who built a nine-figure business that started with opening gyms. He was trying to promote one of his new gyms and he asked a friend, an entrepreneur much more successful than him at the time, for advice.
“Put up flyers,” he said.
So, Alex went out and put up some flyers. 300 to be exact. It didn’t work. No new foot traffic at the gym.
He went back to his friend.
“I did what you said. Nobody showed up.”
“How many flyers did you put up.”
“300?!?!? I put up 5,000 flyers minimum.”
Moral of the story: You probably need to increase your activity.
Post more often with your primary form of content, e.g., blog posts or YouTube videos.
Promote your content more on secondary channels like social media
Even if you don’t post more content, spend more time on each individual piece you create
I’m a writing coach and I work with new writers all the time. Most of them grossly underestimate how much they have to write before they see success. Students write a handful of posts and wonder why they’re not getting a bunch of views.
This seems silly, but this is the prevailing attitude among content creators.
Their ambitions far outweigh their activity.
If you’re struggling to get the views you want, follow Grant Cardone’s advice from the 10x rule:
Never reduce your target, increase your activity.
At a time when his business was in a slump, he went from sending marketing emails twice a week to twice per day. Call it spammy if you want, but we live in an attention economy and the competition is fierce.
How many times did you miss out on seeing a piece of content or an email, not because you were trying to avoid it, but just because you literally missed it among all the content that whizzes by you on a daily basis?
2. Master this productivity strategy to create more content
I could spend a bunch of time talking about crazy-complex content creation strategies, but they’re not the core issue for why most content creators get little to no views on their content.
It’s mostly a productivity problem. Mainly, a consistency problem. Not only do most content creators lack the activity required to get more views, but they are also inconsistent and their posting schedules are irregular. They never give audiences enough time to get to know who they are.
What I’m about to tell you is foundational to becoming a successful content creator and getting more views—and this piece of advice has nothing to do with the actual content creation itself:
Create a dedicated time block where you work on your content every single day.
You don’t always have to publish it, but always be working on it. You’re either drafting, publishing, or editing it on a daily basis. Choose a time window and stick to it, even if that means just sitting there while the timer ticks. Zero distractions.
Most creators have trouble getting into the flow of things because they don’t have a ritual. A ritual helps you practice consistently. Consistent practice equals better and more regularly posted content. Better and more regularly posted content equals more views.
3. Use this strategy to blow the competition out of the water
SEO expert Brian Dean created a strategy called the skyscraper technique that took the SEO community by storm.
The strategy itself was simple, though:
Find popular content that had a bunch of links to it
Make something 10x better
Ask all the people that linked to the original post to link to his because it was much better
Simple, but this strategy is an example of a profound truth you can use to get more views on your content.
Go well out of your way to make content that is 10x better than your competition.
If you want to make a YouTube video, watch 10 videos about the topic. Take notes on what they do well and don’t do well. Fill the gap.
A huge part of content creation success, and success of any kind, is simply being willing to do what your competition won’t do. Most people don’t have the patience to analyze the content in their field and find how they can beat it.
And even if they did take time to study the competition, they often won’t do what it takes to make something 10x better.
Brian rarely posts, but when he does, it sends a shockwave through the blogosphere because he takes dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of hours to make content that stands out.
Even if others managed to make the content 10x better, they wouldn’t go the extra mile and do the insane amount of outreach that Brian does to get attention.
The content game can be ruthless and you have to have guts to stand out.
4. Get your hands dirty and use some elbow grease
I once tried a social media strategy to get more views on my blog posts.
Here’s how it worked:
I found 100 people in a similar niche, followed them on social, shared some of their posts, and commented on their blogs
After waiting a bit, I’d reach out to them and ask them to read and share one of my posts
Each pitch had to be customized and I had to make sure I was being genuine and not spammy
This took a long time. I had a spreadsheet with contacts, emails, Twitter accounts, you name it.
I ended up getting 100+ social shares on a single blog post, which helped it attract a ton of eyeballs.
If you’re brand new, manual outreach is one of the best ways to get eyeballs on your content.
It definitely requires some Moxy. You have to be okay with facing rejection (a bunch of people said no or just ignored my emails).
You must learn how to be thoughtful.
Most new content creators are needy and desperate. If they pitch you, you can sense if they’re just looking for personal gain instead of creating a mutually beneficial win.
If you want some reciprocity, take some time to actually understand the people you’re pitching. Show them some love before reaching out. Show them love just to show them love. Yes, you’d like them to share your content in return, but you don’t need them to because you’re not needy. Here’s an example of how Austin Belcak did this on LinkedIn:
5. Use the $.02 strategy to gain name recognition
Again, this is all about being thoughtful.
All it takes is a slightly above-average level of effort to get noticed because most content creators are pitifully bad at getting attention because they’re too self-interested.
I’ve used this strategy to gain verified Twitter followers who retweet my content, which leads to hundreds of likes and retweets.
I teach my writing students to do this so they can get more views on Medium.
Anyone can do this on any social media or content creation platform.
Are you ready for it?
Leave comments, replies, quote tweets, etc., that say more than just “Great job!”
Add to the conversation in a meaningful way.
Don’t do these things:
Nitpick the thoughts of the original creator
Correct their grammar publicly
Blatantly promote your content underneath theirs
All of those strategies can lead to you getting blocked.
Instead, do these things:
Ask non-snarky questions about their content
Add or expand on it with your own thoughts, e.g., adding some of your favorite productivity techniques in a comment on a post about productivity techniques
If you’re going to tell them great job, explain why they did a great job in-depth. Trust me, we love when people genuinely appreciate our content and we do check our notifications
You’ll pick up some followers. Some people will promote your content without asking you. If you do decide to ask, they’ll recognize your name and your odds of them sharing your content will be much higher.
6. Ruthlessly study the platform you create on
Each platform has unique methods for getting more views.
Study them relentlessly.
When I first joined Medium, I notice popular writers chose certain tags, added their articles to particular publications, and tailored their articles to Medium’s editorial guidelines to get their articles promoted.
If you’re on YouTube you should pay attention to things like tags, titles for YouTube SEO, length of popular videos, etc.
SEO is a behemoth of a topic to study, but if you master it, you can get insane amounts of traffic.
Every platform has patterns to success.
You can read in-depth articles and guides that teach you how to understand these programs. I’ve done it several times and the strategies almost always worked. But the guides were detailed, long, and tedious to implement.
There are online courses that can teach you the ins and outs of any platform, but you have to actually finish them.
I could give you a big list of specific tactics and tricks, but I promise you that mindset matters more than anything else, which is why I primarily focused on not what to do, but the type of attitude and effort level to have while you’re doing it.
How much time do you spend on your platform?
I watched a video with Mr. Beast, the world’s most popular YouTuber. He said he’d study YouTube 12 hours per day, every single day, for years, mulling over every little detail of what makes YouTube videos popular, e.g., manually reviewing thousands of image thumbnails.
He did this for a decade and now he’s successful.
That’s how success with content creation works.
Without even knowing you, I can almost guarantee you don’t study your platform nearly enough.
7. Don’t be a lone wolf: Build connections and share expertise
Mr. Beast also talked about how he worked with a small handful of other dedicated YouTubers. They’d meet all the time virtually and discuss different strategies. They’d break up the workload and report back to the group with their findings.
Collaborating with others compounds your effort. If you combine four brains, you don’t get the equivalent brain power of four people, you get the equivalent brainpower of dozens of people.
Not literally, but you get the idea. Putting your heads together with other motivated content creators expands the adjacent possible:
The more you collaborate with others, the more novel techniques you can find.
I’m in private mastermind groups with other writers. We share trade secrets, critique each other’s headlines and article drafts, and communicate where the hot spots are online to publish our work.
Here’s the key to building a network of other content creators.
Attract them by first creating amazing content and then employing some of the strategies I already taught you to build genuine connections.
Notice a theme yet? Getting more views is rarely a technical problem
A lack of views is almost always an effort problem.
If you want to come up with good ideas for content, make it your job—no—your ethical duty and life’s mission to find good ideas.
You want your content to get more views? And you want people to actively engage with what you create? Then do everything humanly possible to get your content in front of eyeballs.
You’re not working hard enough.
You’re not posting frequently enough.
Your content isn’t good enough.
Those are the problems you must solve—not learning marketing gimmicks and tricks.