I’ve Been Thinking [a lot] About Writers ‘Killing It’ Online. Here’s My Honest Take.

The blood behind the glamor

Aldric Chen
The Startup


A guy typing away at a mountain.
The mountaintop view is beautiful, but hey, climb the mountain first. Photo by Anastasia Nelen on Unsplash

What do you think about… when you think crazy successful online writers?

I bet it covers one of the following.

  1. Crazy engagement per article.
  2. Unbelievable 5-digit payday by month end.
  3. 6-digit, 7-digit fans cum followers cum devotees.
  4. Typing away on a lovely mountain summit cloaked in cloudy fog.
  5. Publish, go viral, smile at the stats, and go to bed.
  6. Digital product sales hitting the roof.
  7. Stable growth in newsletter income.

Let me be brutally honest. I’m here for exactly that.

Ah, actuallyyy… no.

Only a subset.

I care about points 2, 6, and 7. Maybe 4. Perhaps 5. Perhaps.

I won’t bother fooling you or me. Internet money intrigues me. Whatever little there was at the start got me going and hungry for more despite a rocky start.

I hung by the digital cliff for 3 years and more.

So… I do know a little something about online writing.



Aldric Chen
The Startup

24x Top Writer (as of June 2023). Serial eavesdropper. I capture interesting & uncomfortable real-life retirement / work-life stories the way they are.