6 Simple Lessons That Will Help You Start Your Writing Side Gig

This is how I made 1K followers on Medium

Samuel Flender
6 min readJun 13, 2022


Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

Creating content online is one of the best side gigs you can choose. That’s because, in addition to the royalties you’ll get from your content, you’ll also build a brand that can help you open up opportunities in the future.

However, creating content online is also one of the hardest side gigs you can choose. The reason is that it’s a crowded field. When I started my first blog 6 years ago, I received hardly any traffic at all. I learned that, most importantly, you need a writing system. And you need lots of practice. Over time, I published many stories that turned out to be flops, but a few that turned out to be goldmines. It’s the few goldmines that brought me to 1K followers today.

With each piece I learned something new. Here are 6 of these lessons.

Lesson 1: Writing starts without writing

Here’s what doesn’t work: you can’t stare at an empty screen and force words to come out of your brain. Perhaps you’ll be able to write one or two paragraphs, but then you’ll run out of steam.

Instead, writing requires research. Research means reading books, blog posts, newsletters, and magazines, about the topic you want to cover. If you read a lot, you’ll know a lot. And if you know a lot, you’ll have plenty of ammunition for your writing project.

How do you know when you’ve done enough research? Once you experience knowledge saturation. This means that you don’t encounter as many new concepts as you did during the beginning of your research. If things start to repeat, it’s a good indicator that you’re there.

How do you know when you haven’t done enough research? Simple: if you experience writer’s block. You don’t have enough material yet.

Lesson 2: Take notes as full paragraphs

Taking notes during research is critical. That’s because the brain likes to forget things that aren’t important for our immediate survival.

Here’s my observation: the best way to take notes is to write short paragraphs about the content in your own words, instead of disconnected…



Samuel Flender

Cutting-edge ML research, simplified. For the latest, subscribe to my Newsletter: mlfrontiers.substack.com