Response To “James Clear Is A Twitter Genius”

This is my response to an article written by Benjamin Watkins on Medium.

This is my response to an article titled “James Clear Is A Twitter Genius” by Benjamin Watkins in which he breaks down what James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, does to make his tweets so popular.

You can find Benjamin’s article here:

James Clear Is A Twitter Genius: Why his tweets are so popular.

Articles That Deliver

When I joined Medium a few days ago one of the writers who I started following was Benjamin Watkins.

I did so because one of the things I wanted to read about copywriting and I felt that his articles delivered on the promise of their headline, unlike a lot of the fluff I’ve been scrolling through since I got here!


When his “James Clear Is a Twitter Genius” article appeared on my feed I scrolled past it at first, partly because I haven’t used my Top5Programs Twitter account since April.

However, the headline stayed with me. I know who James Clear is and have listened to one or two podcasts which had him as a guest when his book Atomic Habits was published. Also, the headline and subtitle were intriguing enough to pull me back…

What exactly is James Clear’s secret, and could it be applied to article writing as well? Shouldn’t I start tweeting my Medium posts…

Clarity and Focus

Benjamin Watkin’s article did not disappoint. I appreciate the clarity with which it is written, and how informative it is. Short, crisp, sentences that stay tightly focused on the topic and give us the information we were looking for.

The article is headed by an excellent graphic that breaks down a couple of James Clear’s tweets so we can immediately grasp the steps he takes to construct a kick-arse message. I bookmarked the article just so that I can quickly pop back and check out the graphic next time I get round to tweeting.

The Four Steps

Benjamin Watkins explains four steps that James Clear takes in his tweets:

  1. the hook,
  2. relatability,
  3. explaining why,
  4. the solution.

Teaching By Doing

What I enjoyed about Benjamin Watkins’ article apart from what I learnt about James Clear’s tweeting style, was the way in which he demonstrated the technique in the construction of the article.

Benjamin Watkins headline is a good example of a “hook” — at least, it “hooked” me: I recognized the name, wondered if the guy really was a genius, and was intrigued by the promise that I’d learn WHY his tweets were popular…

The opening is written in a “relatable” style with the phrase,

You might have heard of…

but then it breaks off with a “but…” disruption (that keeps the article focused on James Clear’s twitter style). This “relatable you… but” intimacy/disruption style is repeated in the second part of the opening —

Sure, you could credit it because he’s a world-famous author. But

That leads us into the “explaining why” section which is where the meat of the article can be found.

Then, in the conclusion, Benjamin Watkins does what he says James Clear does in his tweets. He “gives people a brief conclusion that compels action” and he “makes it about the reader” by inviting us to let him know if we liked the article by posting a comment, so that’s what I did. I wrote:

Yes, I did like your mini breakdown. I think what both James Clear's tweets and your breakdown of them share is CLARITY (most apt in his case with a surname like that!)
I feel that by reading this article I have learnt something that I can act on, not just on Twitter but when writing articles and blog posts as well.

The Key Takeaway

I appreciated this article because it offered us double value by demonstrating in article form what it revealed about the four steps behind James Clear’s clear twitter style.

David Hurley


Online business blogger @



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