Most writing wisdom is a dumpster fire.
It’s full of algorithm hacks and cheap tricks like “you follow me, and I’ll follow you. Dahhh … sound good?”
Here’s the real wisdom I learned about writing after eight years. None of it is throwaway cliche platitudes either. This is real talk.
A writing habit is what you actually need
Writing online takes years to get good.
If you can do it for five years straight your success will be inevitable. Most don’t make it that far. What stops them is their writing habit. They easily place life events on top of their writing habit.
The discipline isn’t in how well you write. It’s in making sure nobody robs you of your precious writing time, hell or high water. Guard your writing time like you guard your newborn baby against child abductors.
If the habit remains, success follows.
Always write on more than one platform
“Call me in the next 10 minutes. It’s urgent. I need your help man.”
I had my pants around my knees as I was right in the middle of a poop.
Without a second of hesitation I called my Aussie friend. “What’s up mate?”
“I’ve been banned from LinkedIn for life. I got flagged for copyright breach but I own the content in question. Doesn’t make sense.”
(I can hear the emotion in his voice.)
This may not seem like a big deal. For him, he had worked for 7 years to build up an audience of 4 million followers. Day and night. Blood sweat and tears. Time away from his kids.
His LinkedIn audience allowed him to create a LinkedIn marketing agency helping businesses to reach customers. The start of every conversation went like this…
“Let me first show you my LinkedIn profile so you can see how I did it and know for certain I’m the real deal.”
With no LinkedIn account his business will likely go bankrupt. No probs. Tim Denning to the rescue!
“All good mate. At least you’ve got your email list. Right? Right?”
“Tim, I didn’t build an email list. I didn’t think I needed one.”
“Not to worry, I said “we’ve all got Twitter accounts too.”
“No Twitter either Tim.
In that moment I felt myself wanting to cry. The heartache he must feel. Now he’ll likely have to go and find a job again to pay his bills.
This is what happens when you bet on one platform. Always write in multiple places. There is no judicial system for content platforms. Their ruling is final.
Diversify the way a smart investor would.
Writing makes every area of life better
Regular writing clarifies your thinking.
With clear thinking comes crystal clear speaking (by default).
When you speak clearly you stand out because most people mince their words. They can’t get to the point. They Um and Ah their way into dark corners they can’t escape.
To communicate properly gives you an unfair advantage.
Writing is 10X better communication. This bleeds into your career. In my 9–5 job I started writing killer pitch decks thanks to online writing.
When I gave a Toastmasters speech people wondered why I could get it all out in 5–7 minutes without going over the allocated time.
When I gave a new speech every week people became fascinated with how I could come up with so many ideas. Answer: writing teaches you.
Writing makes you an ideas machine. And it helps you communicate those ideas with the precision of a sniper rifle.
So your friend list grows and you have more interesting people to bounce ideas off. These people have high energy too. So your energy goes up by being surrounded by them.
Writing online is a virtuous cycle that compounds every day. Not even science can explain it. You just have to live it to believe it.
The real money is made behind closed doors
Content platforms such as Youtube pay creators directly.
This looks like a smart way to make a living. Not really.
The creators that make the most money do it quietly. They sell products and services, thanks to the problems they learn about and solve through writing.
Yes, lazy platform money is nice.
But if you talk to 6 and 7-figure creators you’ll quickly learn it’s freelancing, consulting, newsletters, courses, books, templates, membership communities, and coaching that make them the real money.
Writing online is just a glorified phone directory. It’s an ad in the old school Yellow Pages. It tells people who you are and what you know. So when they need someone, your writing makes you top of mind. Few understand.
Stop looking at your earnings
Money is a distraction.
Close the earnings page. Delete the PayPal app. Delete the Stripe app. Forget about Gumroad earnings.
Looking at money doesn’t make you money.
What makes you money is writing. Writing builds your sexy career taller than the empire state building.
Money, though, is what you don’t control. Good.
The truth about writing online is it threads the future fabric of your success for you without you being aware.
All you have to do is show up for long enough to claim the prize.