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.
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.
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. …
In college, everybody made the “real world” seem like a distant planet.
Teachers stressed the importance of “professionalism.” Department chairs stressed achievements and beefy resumés. Peers stressed over grades, tests, final exams, and grade point averages. Everyone stressed, and was stressed, over the idea of complete and perfected preparation. “You have to be prepared for the real world,” they would say, and we as students would nod our heads, furiously working to achieve the unachievable: Being fully prepared to enter the “real world.”
And do you know what?
When I graduated college, I was not prepared.
Not. Even. Close.
Nobody tells you that you will never be prepared. That it’s impossible to be fully prepared. That you actually set yourself up for even more failure in thinking that you could possibly be prepared. …
What on earth is a personal brand?
When people say, “I want to build a personal brand,” the first thing they think about is numbers. Number of Twitter followers. Number of Facebook Likes. Number of blog subscribers.
Those are very poor metrics for building a meaningful personal brand.
Building a personal brand means providing so much value in one (or multiple) niche(s) that people begin to associate your name with the idea of what it means to be successful in that industry.
You become a thought leader and an influencer.
Building a personal brand takes a lot of work, but if you are ready to dive in, here’s the overview you…
I didn’t have a group of friends in high school.
From 1st to 8th grade, I did. And we did everything together: had sleepovers, played video games, went paintballing, ding-dong-ditched neighbors, had Beanie Baby wars in the basement, built forts, begged our parents to let us order Domino’s Pizza every friday after school, raced Razor scooters, fought over girls, stood up for each other on the playground, made other friends, and eventually, grew apart.
I showed up to our lunch table one day in 8th grade, only to find my seat taken by someone else.
I didn’t attend any school dances (until my senior prom), didn’t sneak beer and cigarattes in some kid’s basement on the weekends. Instead, I spent as much time as possible in the World of Warcraft — where I competed alongside many of the other highest-ranked players in North America.This taught me, at a very young age, there are 2 types of friendships in life. …
Creators who stand out don’t “find” their niche.
Finding your niche is another way of saying “figuring out where you fit in.” And people who stand out don’t fit anywhere. Which is the whole reason why they capture and keep people’s attention.
They are different.
Just like “Product-Market Fit” is an underwhelming aspiration.
Both of these phrases imply that your best path forward is to find an existing market and try to wedge yourself into the middle of it. Your job is to take attention that is already swarming around existing creators/companies and “steal” some away for yourself.
In short: it encourages a mindset of competition. …
Clubhouse is all the rage — but how do you host a room people love staying in for hours on end?
Today, Ship 30 for 30 hosted a Clubhouse session focused around Writing Tweets & Stories That Go Viral. Moderated by Dickie Bush and myself, we had special guest, Craig Clemens, join us as our special guest. Craig is a legend in the copywriting world, but as it turns out, he’s also an incredible Clubhouse host.
If you’re new to the drop-in audio platform and curious about how to host a (rockstar) Clubhouse session yourself, here are some of the best practices I noticed Craig using when moderating today’s panel. …
When people first start writing online, they think “going viral” is the goal.
Over the past seven years (since I started writing daily on Quora back in 2014), I have had more than 300 articles “go viral.” How I define “viral” is a piece that accumulates more than 250,000 views in a compressed time frame — usually 48 hours or so. …
Being in your 20s is tough.
It’s this weird limbo stage when you are considered an adult, but you really aren’t fluent in adult language or responsibilities yet. You need help filing your taxes. You don’t really understand how your 401(k) works. You want to invest because you heard investing is smart, but you don’t know where to start. You are financially independent but you’re not really sitting on a cushion of cash. You know what you like, but you’re not really sure if you like it enough to do it for the rest of your life.
It’s this confusing time when nothing seems to be set in stone, and yet you feel like you’re expected to have everything figured out and ready to go. …
My very last week of college, all my teachers ran through the same speech:
“Writing is thankless work. It’s hard. It doesn’t pay very well. When you do the math on the hours you spend writing and what you end up earning in the end, you’re making pennies on the dollar. Nobody makes a living as a writer.”
Eight years later (I graduated when I was 23, and I’m almost 31 now), I feel like this couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you write in a vacuum and only produce one piece of finished work every five years,then yes, it’s very hard to make a living as a writer. …
When I was 17 years old, I was one of the highest-ranked World of Warcraft players in North America.
To say gaming was part of my adolescence would be an understatement. I got my first N64 when I was ten. My first Gameboy when I was twelve. I was obsessed with adventure games, puzzles, even collectable card games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokémon that required cutting-edge strategies to defeat opponents (snotty nosed teenagers at the local Books-A-Million on Saturday afternoons).
It also fundamentally changed the way I treated my personal development from high school onward.
These are the 4 big lessons that have stuck with me the most. …