By Tim Denning
Writers have been screwed for most of history.
We got paid peanuts. Our chance of success was extremely low. The internet built an entirely new world, and for the longest time, (mostly) forgot about writers. But hey, if you could make videos or record podcasts then you could become a millionaire as a content creator.
The 2020 global health crisis changed everything. Now us writers are spoilt for choice. Everybody wants our skills and talents.
You can write on Twitter
Twitter is the OG. It’s been around for over a decade. I dismissed the platform for far too long.
Then I saw dudes in singlets retelling a podcast episode as a Twitter Thread — with no writing skills or creativity — and reaching millions of people.
I had to check my pulse.
“Surely this can’t be real.”
Oh yes indeedy it was. The organic reach of Twitter is still amazing. You can still go viral on Twitter. You can still be a nobody and find an audience.
Things have got better. Now you can comfortably have no profile picture and use some random barcode as a username and find even more success. Thanks NFTs. Thanks Web 3.0.
Strategy to copy
- Quit posting external links on Twitter. They screw up how many people you can reach and piss the Twitter algorithm off.
- Publish 3–4 short tweets per day.
- Leave comments on the tweets of bigger accounts. Not YOLO Elon, but accounts that are perhaps 1–2 levels above you. Don’t be sucky. Leave comments that add value and expand on the tweet.
- Publish one tweet thread per week. Use content from elsewhere and repurpose it into highly succinct tweets that are limited in length. Look at the top highlights of your previous work to find clues for bangers.
You can write on Substack
Substack is cool because it’s email software you can use for free. If you’re currently relying on followers then online bankruptcy is highly likely.
Followers aren’t yours. Email subscribers are.
You don’t need to make those crooks at Mailchimp rich anymore. You can collect emails for free with Substack. Substack has grown up though. Many writers haven’t noticed. Substack turns you into a media company. They offer other formats beyond basic written articles.
What’s most exciting is that Substack plans to launch discoverability and a newsfeed. Writers who are early to the platform stand to benefit the most from this opportunity.
I didn’t waste a single minute.
My Substack has been running for most of this year. It’s now one of my best channels. I get loads of web traffic on my articles and surprisingly, people hit the share button a lot, so my work organically spreads without too much effort.
Strategy to copy
- Start a Substack.
- Send web traffic and followers to it.
- Build the email list. Email the list once per week. Give them your weekly round-up of the best content on the internet, fused with your best stuff for the week. Bam! Now you’re a pro.
You can write on Quora
They’re preparing for an IPO. What does that mean for you? They’re about to be showered in $100 bills from investors. Some of that money will go to creators. They have a large user base.
Would I bet my life and credibility on the platform? No. Would I use it to access their built-in audience? Hell yes.
Strategy to copy
- Reply to 1–2 questions on Quora per week. 200–300 words is plenty.
- Place a link to your Substack in your Quora bio. Place another link at the end of every answer you write.
… And I haven’t even spoken about the biggest opportunity in history for writers
Web 3.0 built on blockchain will bring more apps you can write on. There are a few I’ve seen in the early stages.
One is Mirror XYZ. It still sucks for writers and seems to have temporally pivoted away from what we want. I reckon they will pivot back to writers and being a blog once they have traction with their current crowdfunding use case. Either way there will be more platforms.
Web 3.0 matters because it brings with it the following:
- New ways to earn money as a writer.
- The ability to split revenue with fellow writers, publications, charities, and partners.
- A way to own all of your data.
- A simple path to migrate content from one platform to the next using NFTs that store your articles.
- Democratic moderation policies that are decided by readers and writers with voting through tokens.
- A way for writers to own a part of the app they write on, and therefore, the success of the platform — a true partnership.
- A way for users who don’t live in the privileged countries Stripe supports to still earn a living and get paid in USD crypto.
What’s missed is that some of the existing options will migrate to Web 3.0. Twitter has already said it will become decentralized and is actively working on it. Others will follow. Those platforms that don’t will die.
It’s one reason I am bullish on Substack. They allow creators to get paid in bitcoin and have openly come out and made it clear they are Web 3.0 friendly. Hell yes!
This is the golden era for writers. No excuse.
I don’t want to hear any more complaints. Writers have it good. There are loads of options. Pick a few and see what you can do.
The current version of the internet means any writer can be successful if they stick at it, help others, stay open-minded, stay away from toxic conversations, work hard, and stay patient for a few years.
WAGMI — We’re all going to make it. Keep your head up.