10 (Painful) Lessons I’ve Learned Writing 3,000+ Articles Online Over The Past 7 Years
1. There is only 1 secret to online writing
There isn’t a writing platform on the internet where this ISN’T the case. Social platforms. Major publications. Every growth period of my writing career happened during months/years of consistent volume.
2. Growth hacks are overrated
In my early 20s, I spent a LOT of time reading digital marketing blogs about how to get 50% more views here, or 20% more subscribers there.
A lot of it is mental masturbation.
You’re far better off just consistently creating new content.
3. Writing that engages/goes viral is emotional
You don’t have to “air your dirty laundry,” but you do have to say something that makes the person on the other side of the screen pause, *feel you*, and engage.
This can be done through story, tone, before/after photos, etc.
4. You don’t go viral by getting lucky
You go viral by publishing day after day, week after week, year after year.
My Quora dashboard is a great example. Out of 1,200+ Answers, less than 100 have gone viral.
That’s not luck. That’s rolling the dice 1,200+ times.
5. Not everyone has something interesting to say
This is a brutal truth, and one of the first big hurdles you have to overcome as a writer online. If your writing isn’t engaging, you might not be saying anything unique/compelling/original.
So? Dig deeper.
6. There is more than 1 way to “make it” ($$$) as a writer
The publishing world celebrates best-selling authors. The reality? Most are broke.
The writers with the most creative AND financial freedom are all independent. They monetize in a variety of ways — not just book sales.
7. Ghostwriting is gasoline for your career
It’s lucrative. It’s a supercharger for building a powerful network. It teaches you how to write in different voices. It allows you to play with words all day long & practice your craft.
Every writer should also ghostwrite.
8. Your personal projects will always give you the biggest ROI
I became a ghostwriter after I had already built myself as a writer on Quora. Nobody paid me to write online. That was a personal investment in myself, and it changed my life.
Always always invest in yourself.
9. Any writer can make $$ online. Not every writer can get rich
The easiest ways to make $$ as a writer is by providing a service or teaching. Both, low barrier to entry.
Get here, first. THEN, once you’re established as a full-time writer, chase the Great American Novel dream
10. Being a Writer is not a destination. It’s a habit
Anyone who is actively writing is a writer.
Anyone no longer actively writing (IMO) is not. They’re a “retired writer.”
Don’t wait for the accolade to tell you who you are.
Let your habits speak for you.
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