Often I receive well meaning advice on how to attract more readers, fans, or followers. I should measure incoming links, opt in’s, opt out’s, subscribers, etc. Those of us in the horticultural trades feel that if we write about something, it has to be for “someone” that will eventually send money our way (doesn't happen that often, if at all). If we don’t write for monetary gain, “why waste our time?” For some that’s why they write in the first place. The act of writing is not where they find pleasure; it’s the results (monetary gain) of that writing that brings the joy. There is no harm in that, as they are fulfilling their needs, and measuring their success through the pocket book. Got to keep the lights on at the store.
There is a much smaller group of writers who want to write for the joy of writing, and if the money comes that would be nice. They would like to write about things that bring them pleasure, but may be ignored by the masses, or those who respond from advertisements. Someone wishing to write about "native plants", or "16th century gardening", might find themselves disappointed when it seems no one responds. In an attempt to gain more “likes” or “fans” they alter their writing, saying what they think the audience wants to hear. Sometimes that works, often it doesn't.
We forget that sometimes the stuff we write from the heart does affect people, but in a slower and not so measurable way. We need to cultivate patience. I had this experience just the other day. A reader said that what I wrote “inspired” them to get back into writing about what they love. Great!
You can still write for an audience with the idea of “selling” your products, or business. Maybe you’ll just have to find a place for both methods. Perhaps a different platform or blog will work. However you do it, we need more writing about the stuff you feel passionate about. When you write from the heart you open yourself to finding others who enjoy what you do. That very small niche of people who enjoy what you have written sometimes can change your life. It's the quality of you readership, not the quantity that truly matters.