Did you just favorite/like a piece of art, or an article from an author you like? That’s cool, that’s great, but you know what would be cooler? Going back, retweeting/reblogging/sharing that work, and letting other people see what you enjoyed enough to like.
I am very grateful for my readers and fans. I’m able to support myself and continue writing for this blog thanks to people reading my stuff and donating to my Patreon, and I certainly would never want to seem ungrateful. But as an independent creator, it’s hard seeing people read my articles, like or comment on them, and then go on without sharing them. Because a lot of what helps me, in the long run, is getting exposure for my articles.
I understand why people do this. Sometimes you just wanna let the creator know that you enjoyed their work. That’s cool. But what people need to understand is that creators will often realize that you enjoyed their work if you share it, because they’ll know you liked something enough to let other people see it.
This issue is even more vital for artists, who often fall victim to people reposting/using their art without giving credit to the artist, and sometimes even find their art posted with the signature removed/cut off. I’ve been guilty of this in the past, and I’m trying to kick that habit. But simply giving credit isn’t always enough. If you like somebody’s art, you should share it. Let others know, especially if that artist is taking commissions.
Exposure has often been used as an excuse to scam artists/independent creators into working for free, doing professional-level work that should be paid for. It got so bad that a twitter account was created to highlight quotes from offers for such work. But these offers exist because some people need exposure, and are willing to do work for free in order to get said exposure. This is not okay.
My most popular article so far, by a large margin, is popular because someone with a lot of followers shared it. I’m really grateful for that, and for them. I’m also very grateful anytime I see people sharing my articles. But the problem is that many of my other articles go largely unnoticed, often because people don’t share them. I don’t write about things which get noticed in the really popular tags, so my main source of exposure is people sharing my stuff.
Nobody likes having to leave reminders to like/comment/subscribe/share/etc., and nobody likes being given those reminders over and over. But for some, constant reminders like that are the only way they can get people to help them gain exposure. It would be nice if that kinda stuff weren’t necessary, but it will continue to be necessary until people get into the habit of sharing things they enjoy, instead of just liking them.
I don’t enjoy writing articles like this. I don’t enjoy telling people what to do. But this is a thing which has been bothering me as of late, and it’s something that I know affects artists, writers, and many other types of content creators. I feel the need to let people know that the best thing you can do to support independent creators, outside of hiring them/donating to their patreon, is sharing their work with other people.
Let creators know you enjoyed their work not by liking it, but by letting other people see it.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more like it, please consider donating to my Patreon. Every dollar helps make ends meet, and the more my Patreon makes, the more time I can devote to my blog.