5 Ways an Introvert Can Build a Thriving Online Audience

5 Ways an Introvert Can Build a Thriving Online Audience

Reader Comments (61)

  1. Hi Mellisa,
    I liked the quality number one; be bookish (Maybe because I am of that nature). You said right, a good book is better than a night out but just reading is not enough.
    I think if we change quality number 5 in ourself and instead of being alone, discuss what we read with like minded friends, we can built more thriving audience online.
    Thanks for the great article…

    • Hi Ali,

      My points are really aimed at highlighting the common misunderstandings of popularly underappreciated qualities. It’s true that there are benefits to discussing our ideas with others. However, solitude is equally important as socializing and is just as vital to growth, understanding, and the creative process.

      Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

      • I absolutely agree with this as an experienced introvert and one who has studied how to overcome this “deficiency” in my social self. For so many years I tried to be social, work together, feel comfortable in front of people, manage other people, etc. However, you do well in pointing to the strengths of introverts, and there is plenty of research out there now that values the shy and independent. Quiet and solitude are helpful to all in some situations, but for many people they are the right environment most of the time. I read an article recently that pointed to Gandhi, Bill Gates, Al Gore, Warren Buffett, Albert Einstein and many other geniuses who needed solitude and quiet in order to be most productive and creative.

        A great myth of our time is that everyone must be equally social, or even worse, that the highest person within an organization must be the most outgoing, social, and collaborative. We are wise to remember that people are unique and work optimally in different environments. Few things are more painful than a person who feels comfortable working independently but is forced into social environments where she cannot give her best effort. Feelings of guilt and shame combined with anxiety are the result, and this is a recipe for eliciting the worst performance possible. Skillful managers and leaders recognize the qualities of each individual and tries to help them do their best. In blogging, most experience more freedom which is why I feel so comfortable with it. Unfortunately it’s not always profitable, but your tips help point us in the right direction. Thank you for the insightful post. I needed it.

        • It can be difficult to resist the social pressures to conform but all we can do is keep tryin to understand and stay true to ourselves. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed Susan Cain’s book. My favorite from her Introvert Manifesto is: “Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.”

  3. Here’s the thing: I enjoy people. I like talking to them. Hanging out with them. But on my own time. And in a very limited amount of time. Like 2% of the time. The other 98% devoted to solitude.

    We need people, however, and they need us. And a successful introvert learns how to scale that wall and get in front of people. Build relationships (which are often small in number but insanely deep). Not for himself. But because he cares about other people. Invtroverts can make some of the greatest leaders because they do listen, reflect and research. They are Plato’s Philosopher King.

    True story: the first time my wife met my mom’s side of the family (a very large and loud family) she casually mentioned that I was shy. They absolutely lost it. It just takes me a while to warm up to strangers. 🙂

    Great article.

    • I’m glad it made you smile. Whatever we are (introvert, extrovert, etc.), we must remember to give ourselves the chance to try (and keep trying) and not let our peers define who we are. Shine on 🙂

  4. Wonderful and inspiring article as usual. I really have no idea if I’m and introvert or extrovert, but I know the truth of this article speaks to both. Listening, being authentic, and truly caring are necessary to connect with your audience. Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Thanks for posting this – I loved Susan Cain’s book and recommend it a lot. It helped me recognize aspects of myself that I can now accept and celebrate, rather than chastise myself about!
    It’s also important to remember that introvert doesn’t mean shy – that introverts can be social and be international speakers and network etc, but we need to manage our energy in a way that allows us to do that. I have now learned from experience that to speak for one day, I need to schedule time either side to store energy and then replenish it. And I can’t do 3-4 day conferences fulltime or I die from over-stimulation.
    Energy management is therefore the most critical thing!

    For those who might not know what they are – try the Myers Briggs test 🙂 It helps to understand where you are on the spectrum.

    • Yes, knowing you need that time to yourself is crucial. Everyday, I spend a lot of time speaking to teachers and students at my company. Every now and then I like to hide in the storage room to re-energize 😀

  6. The sign of an excellent article is that you read every word, and go back and reread some of it, and then take the time to thank the writer and the publisher. Thanks for this great article and opportunity to find a good book. Also, thanks for explaining what the word introvert might actually mean. Most think it’s a word for a bad thing. I’ll bet a lot of writers and bloggers are introverts. And that’s certainly not a bad thing.

    Thanks and cheers from Canada. I enjoy following Copyblogger.

  7. In the grocery store I may have a 10 minute chat with someone about salad but most often only say things like “Yes”, “No”, or “Thank you”. In a tennis match I plot with my partner and play to win then chat up our opponents with a smile afterwards. I return home to peace and quiet before my noisy kids are out of school. I love the solitude of fly fishing and having a beer in a pub with happy cheering about football. Introvert or extrovert?

    After reading this post I feel better answering introvert. I guess its like trying to divide the population into 12 personality profiles based on the month you were born in. Humans are too diverse to categorize in a small number of categories. Yet there are many truths to be found and better understand ourselves by acknowledging our commonalities.

    Thank you for the great post.

  8. Melissa,

    This is an article I find very helpful! I consider myself an introvert and, having just recently started my own blog (www.startsmallmarketing.com), it’s important to follow the 5 points you discussed. In fact, every post I sit down to write, I try to think about the topic, the side I am on, and how to explain it all. I find being an introvert is great for productivity as I am very efficient during my alone time!

  9. I have been an introvert forever. Introverts, while not necessarily shy, certainly need different platforms to thrive. Thanks for writing this, I know that the internet is 100% the reason I am where I am today.

  10. Melissa, thank you for this very timely reminder! In this day and age of attention always being given to the loudest voice, it is so easy to forget that it is not always necessary to join the fray.
    Although I am a social person and enjoy communicating with others, I am not by nature an extrovert and find it hard to ‘blow my own trumpet’, thank you for reminding me that there are other, sometimes better ways to make a difference.

  11. As an introvert myself, I was very excited to read this. Thank you for sharing such powerful insights. I really enjoyed Susan Cain’s book as well. I strongly agree enough with “Quiet leadership’ is not an oxymoron.” Thank you again for letting the world know that being an introvert is not the same as being shy and that we have value to contribute.

  12. I wanted to mention the the beautiful, fluid doodles, the quiet motion of the introvert. thank you for sharing those.

  13. Interesting article. There are bloggers who do terrific work as long as they can blog without be seen. So many now are calling for transparency; and those who do not want to be seen will have to make sure their content is bigger than life.

  14. Hi,
    Thanks for an excellent article. Forgive me for being a pedant but shouldn’t it be ‘online audience’ rather than ‘audience online’?
    Sally (a bookish introvert).

    • Depends on what you see “Online” as modifying. As it is now, it modifies build, but if it was “Audience online” it would modify audience. Two slightly different meanings, either works.

  15. Melissa – you naile dit!

    I can relate to all of those traits and so often feel that I’m not the “type” to make significant progress bu then “still waters run deep.”.

    I particullary like this line – “Introversion simply means you are more energized and at your best in less stimulating and quieter environments.”

    Thanks for a really good post.

  16. Very insightful post! I learned that I’m an introvert. Never knew that. 😀 Never really tried to understand the definition of it of course, but still. Thanks!

    • We’re all learning things everyday. I highly recommend Susan Cain’s book if you want to find out more about introversion. It’s a great place to start 🙂

  17. Thanks for this, Melissa. It’s good for me to be reminded of these things regularly. A great goal in life is to “be the best me I can be” – the way I was made, not the way I think everyone wants me to be. I love that I’m able to see growth in confidence in who I am over the last several years. Working online is a great place for an introvert to shine!

  18. Well, I think writers who don’t like being alone and quiet, don’t like reading and listening… do not exist. But most of copyblogger readers are writers AND introverts, so nicely done Melisa, at least at the know-and-satisfy-your audience part 🙂

    • Perhaps. But there are some writers who enjoy doing work in busy cafes. I even have a friend who can only write with music or TV running in the background. I personally enjoy writing with a single track on repeat 😉 We humans are a diverse bunch with diverse needs.

  19. Thank you for lightening my load. I oftentimes find myself among people who take my introvertedness for inability, which I find thoroughly irritating! Yes, I am a quite leader; bookish, serious and passionate (especially when I am absolutely certain of my convictions.) This article was refreshing and encouraging!

  20. Thanks for publishing this blog. i am really enjoying the views and thoughts and comments. My daughetr, who has recently started university introduced ME to Susan Cains work..Like most new students, my daughter was feeling swamped and overwhelmed by the whole process of “typical student life” so it was a god send to her to come across Susan’s work and regain her confidence nad self belief that “quiet and being myself is great!” and as chance would have it, today I read this post! Thank you. keep spreading the word.

    • It’s wonderful to know your daughter is able to find herself in the midst of the pressures of university life. Thank you for sharing such a sweet story.

  21. Melissa,
    Thanks so much for this great post. I love solitude and find the hours whisk away far more quickly than I’d like when I permit myself to dive deeply into whatever I am reading or writing. You’ve described me to a “T” and inspired me to purchase Susan Cain’s book. I’d heard it mentioned on NPR, I believe, and only heard the last bits. I’m thinking, now, that I should follow up on it.

  22. Wonderful post Melissa.
    An as introvert myself, I’ve often wondered about how being an extrovert or an introvert impacts on building a successful business. Very insightful post. Thanks!

  23. Wonderful article! As an introvert, I found myself agreeing with all of it, as well as everyone’s comments. Thanks for all the great insights. Always be true to who you are.

  24. Hi Melissa,

    Great post, thanks for sharing! I am an extreme introvert myself, and it has taken me quite a while to totally accept and embrace it, and see it as a quality and a gift instead of a burden I had to learn to live with.

    And finding a way to successfully build my business and fulfilling my mission while being a hermit has presented me with an interesting challenge over the past couple of years (to put it mildly 😉

    Your post shows that, yes, all of us CAN thrive in our own unique way, whether we’re introverts or not. Everyone has unique qualities and gifts to share.

    Thanks Melissa!

    (P.S.: I recently wrote an article about my own journey and challenge; you can read it here if you’re interested:

    http://www.brigittevantuijl.com/breakthrough/message-from-the-cave/ )

  25. Thanks you so much for writing this article. It’s taken me years to realize I’m an introvert and what that means. I can’t wait to look up some of the books you mentioned. Thanks, again.

  26. I really found this article to be helpful, and relieving- thanks. I’m an introvert myself and I’ve been considering starting a blog for months now but am unsure if I have the personality type suited to it. I like to help other people create better lives but often feel that I wouldn’t have the desire to do social networking or be comfortable “putting myself out there” for the world to see. I’m hoping I’ll have what it takes to have my own blog eventually!

This article's comments are closed.