I just reached the milestone of 9 years writing online.
And I know you don’t care.
“So what? What else you got?” Well, I’ve got a lot for you, actually. Over the last 9 years I’ve come across many uncommon helpful pieces of advice that you can use (or not) to produce similar results to me.
Here they are (unfiltered).
Publish and they will come is a bad idea — the smartest writers work together in groups to share each other’s work and build leverage faster.
Reading is procrastination for many writers.
Create a writer’s voice or get replaced by AI.
Stop guessing what to write about and how to do it and follow your own data by publishing content.
Ignore them or suffer their wrath and never write anything meaningful.
Never just write on a single platform because they can go bankrupt, change their algorithm, or ban you for no good reason without consequence.
Worship them and try to give them as many insights and takeaways as you can to help them in life — they’ll love your sexy face for it.
If you don’t have an email list, you’re not a writer and will keep none of the value you create.
The big book publishers don’t give a crap about your story — all they care about is how many email subscribers you got and whether you have an existing audience online that makes you a safe bet.
Writing success doesn’t happen in 3–6 months, it happens in 1–5 years — either adjust your timeframe or don’t waste your time.
Pessimism versus optimism
Writing it’s “The End of America” will get you a few short-term crazies to scream your name while they’re in bed getting rumpy pumpy — but you can’t build a writing career on this crap because, in the end, people want to be inspired.
Pessimists look smart. Optimists access the good life.
It’s only cringe if you follow morons who post made-up stories to try and look smart — change who you follow rather than diss proven platforms.
Elon’s naughty little birdy app
I guarantee you’ll hate the owners of most major writing platforms, so write where the best readers are as opposed to caring whether you like Elon and his birdy app or not — if posting tweets gives you a career, why not?
Stay away from s*x, politics and religion and you’ll probably have a long and successful writing career that doesn’t jeopardize a 9–5 job.
The niche is you so just write about what you’re interested in.
Coach Tony says “write with a book in mind,” and I agree — every article you write is the potential chapter of a future book.
Writing online creates all sorts of random opportunities — I’ve met people like Tony Robbins and Gary Vee because of this gig, so you never know what can happen and that’s the best bit.
Directly monetizing content is the worst way to get paid because it limits the readers you can reach — readers can’t get their friends to read if your content is behind a paywall.
Bonus money tips for writers
The best way to make money from writing is indirectly through speaking gigs, eBooks, coaching, masterminds, premium communities, affiliate links, educational courses, or better 9–5 job opportunities.
If your story is great but the headline and subtitle suck then nobody will read — spend 60% of your time on the package of subtitles, subheadings, headlines, images, and 40% of the time on the actual body of content.
The writers who stand out make the reader feel one or more emotions — emotion generates motion, and that creates transformations for readers.
Constant underperfomring content
Readers can feel the energy you put into your words, so if you’re writing in low-energy states they’ll likely switch off or subconsciously ignore you.
Writers who write in regular flow states find it easier to maintain their habit.
Put your weekly writing session on the calendar so nothing can write over it or distract you — share with family and friends if you have to.
Lean into the heritage of where you’re born combined with a unique vocabulary made up of real and fake words.
Learn the basics so you can persuade readers to click and stay around to read until the end — and perhaps become an email subscriber.
Take your best idea and go for a long walk — the story will partly write itself on the way.
Writing takes all the dots inside your head and joins them together into a beautiful piece of artwork that has the power to be remembered for years.
Keep it simple and use an app where you tag every quote or idea you collect with a few linked topics so they’re easy to resurface later.
Writing is free therapy.
Live an interesting life full of experiences if you want to be the best writer online.
The best writers can describe a situation in vivid detail that’s intriguing and interesting — being good at noticing small details is underrated.
Write ten a day as practice — only use the best ones.
Nobody is truly an expert and the term is subjective, so just believe you are and write about your topic.
Imposter syndrome #2
If you write online you’re already a writer, and the good news is we all write texts on our phones and all send emails so we pre-qualify (yay!).
You won’t need motivation when you build a system that supports your writing habit and gets started on auto-pilot.
Now it’s your turn
Even though the last 9 years have been full of highs and lows, it’s 100% possible for you to access some of the benefits I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy. Writing is an odd game because it makes no sense at the start, only looking back.