(2019-04-12) Perell The Ultimate Guide To Writing Online
The roadmap for accelerating your career by writing online has seven components:
If you are ready to dive straight into the writing revolution, there’s no better way than my online course Write of Passage. It dives deeper into each of these topics with live instruction, a cohort of peers, a powerful 5-week accountability structure, and feedback on each stage of your writing journey.
1. The Age of Leverage
Your ideas are the most valuable currency in a knowledge-driven economy.
When you publish ideas, you create your own “Serendipity Vehicle” – a magnet for ideas and people and opportunities from potentially every corner of the globe
2. The first step to creating a Serendipity Vehicle is to create your own online home. (luck)
3. Create an Online Home
We’re about to enter a golden age of personal blogs.
your website should have two things:
- A Start Here page
- A curated list of your favorite articles
If you choose the second option and curate a list of the best resources on a topic, send your list to practitioners in your field who are popular on social media
No matter which option you choose, create the best guide you can, email it to people who have an audience, and drive people back to your website.
The Problem with Online Writing Advice
In the next two sections, we’ll discuss distribution and writing.
4. Set Up Your Personal Microphone
Distribution is the secret of the most successful blogs
build just one strong distribution channel,
Focus on one platform, and as you build an audience, redirect those visitors to your website so you can grow your email list.
Popular blogs don’t exist by themselves. Your blog is like an island, and you need to join an archipelago. Finding a community like Ribbonfarm or Less Wrong is one of the fastest ways to spin up an audience. And if you can’t find a community, write for a specific person with a big audience.
There are two kinds of distribution: discovery and stickiness
First, people need to discover your blog. The majority of people find my blog through Twitter. It’s a great place for people to discover your blog, but doesn’t encourage repeat visits. That’s where email-list comes in.
With less than an hour per week, you update the people who care most about what you’re doing, working on, and hoping to achieve
Sending emails to my 10,000 subscribers
When somebody Googles your name, you should own the top search results.
If you want to nail the basics of SEO, you only need to stick to three simple rules: (1) publish excellent articles, (2) coin new terms such as Naked Brands and The Never-Ending Now, and (3) avoid competition by using an uncommon name.
5. Learn to Write Clearly and Persuasively
But there’s only one way past this stage: Develop a bias toward action. Create. Create. Create. The easiest way to write more is to write about ideas that stimulate you. If you do, you’ll be able to produce on a more consistent basis.
Expect a small number of articles to outperform the rest. The vast majority of your traffic will come from a handful of articles. Your traffic will spike and stall. It’s normal. After I published my article, What the Hell is Going On?, traffic to my website skyrocketed. My website received almost 50,000 visitors in two days
The Five Pillars
The best online writers are driven by five pillars: (1) evergreen content, (2) quality, (3) specificity, (4) listening to feedback, and (5) building a body of work.
1. Write Evergreen Content
Devon Zuegel’s idea that writing falls into three buckets: (1) trivial things that everybody knows, (2) things that everybody knows, [but nobody around you knows], and you have a unique perspective on, and (3) stuff that nobody knows so you have to do tons of research. Direct your energy towards the second bucket.”
2. Publish Quality Ideas
Skip the usual writing books and learn copywriting
Great writing is like a dance, and words are the music that create the atmosphere.
The easiest way to add rhythm to your writing is to vary sentence length
First, you should write a long sentence whenever you have a lot to say about a topic, and when you can put together a string of connected ideas that flow well together and collectively build up to the broader point you’re trying to make. Then, you stop. You shorten your sentences, so you can make your point.
3. Be Specific
try to tap into one narrow vein of interest that nobody else is addressing in quite the same way as you
Build a targeted audience
Intelligent readers want depth, nuance, and specificity.
4. Listen to Feedback
The fastest way to improve the quality of your work is to accelerate your feedback loops. More feedback is generally better
I share my ideas as much as I can and run them through numerous filters. I move from conversations, to tweets, to emails, to blog posts
I vet all my ideas through as many filters as possible. My best ideas don’t come from flashes of insight. Instead, they emerge from conversations, tweets, observations, feedback
5. Re-package Your Existing Work
By consuming, digesting, and sharing these ideas with peers and colleagues, you’re already building expertise.
Your success won’t come from any one piece of work. It will come from your overall body of work
6. Connect with Anyone
Skip the networking events and devote that time to writing instead.
In short, you can build an online reputation in three steps:
- Pick a high value, emerging industry. (BandWagon)
- Learn as much as you can.
- Share what you learn on your personal website
7. Building a Personal Monopoly (BrandYou)
You want to be known as the best thinker in a skill or a topic
Personal Monopoly is the unique intersection of your knowledge, personality, and skills that nobody else can compete with.
Once you’ve found your niche, write about every aspect of it. The history. The people. The key concepts. Explore every nook and cranny, and write about them all.
Don’t be a trend chaser. Pick a small, but ever-growing market and learn everything you can about it. Build expertise before the other settlers arrive. Then, share everything you learn
The best opportunities are at the frontier. They’re found in emerging industries and technologies.
Like plots of land, some Personal Monopolies are more valuable than others
Advertising your unique skill set is the best way to attract high-value opportunities
If you can advertise your valuable skills in an entertaining way, you’ll attract more opportunities than you can possibly entertain. You can’t expect others to think you’re unique if you don’t show them that you are, so build a Personal Monopoly.
By lowering the cost of creating and distributing ideas, the Internet increases the returns to writing. It’s easier than ever to find obscure ideas that match your interests. Since discovery has improved so much, one outstanding article can help you meet people you’d never be able to meet otherwise
Writing isn’t just a way to advertise your high-value skills. It’s a way to discover which new ones you should pursue as well.
The Purpose of Writing
Each article is a sales pitch for your knowledge on that topic. It’s an always-on broadcast of who you are, and an open invitation for other people to create personal and career opportunities for you. It’s a Serendipity Vehicle that can grow automatically, independently of your efforts.
Whether you’re raising money for your startup, switching jobs, or building a business, writing online is the fastest way to accelerate your career. There is no “secret” about how to successfully write online. You already know what you need to do: write and publish consistently.