Dear Writers on Medium,
I started writing on Medium in 2018.
I’d heard about the site, but from 2014 to 2017 I was a obsessed with writing on Quora. Started near the end of 2014, 24 years old and fresh out of college, I challenged myself to write one Quora answer per day, every day, for a year straight to see what would happen. Best-case scenario, I thought, I’d launch my career as a writer (I had no idea how this would actually play out, but I figured something would happen). …
Want to know how to immediately increase your reach as a writer?
Publish your content in more places!
This is a framework I explain in-depth in my book, The Art and Business of Online Writing.
Here’s how it works.
Wherever you get your best writing done, write there.
Some writers like writing in a Google doc. Others love the Typeshare interface. Some people like writing on Medium, or Quora, or LinkedIn, etc. The reality is, it really doesn’t matter where you get the words down — so long as you get them down somewhere. …
When designing a legendary career for yourself, you need to question whether you want to work for a “Market Share Maniac,” a “Better Trap Buffoon,” or a Pirate.
In a recent letter, we wrote about how companies typically fall into three buckets:
You can tell which is which because companies focused on Being The Winner (#1 in terms of market cap in the legacy category) or Being The Best (#1 in terms of product/technology in the legacy category) use language that announces themselves as such to the world.
Real Growth is when a company is growing primarily as a result of leveraging its Superconsumers.
These are companies that have created products, services, and experiences so unique that the most sophisticated, highest-spending consumers have declared the company a must-have — a one-of-one that is worth every penny and more.
The company has achieved this by successfully pinpointing who their Supers are: customers who know the category better than average customers/consumers/users, are willing to buy more often, and spend 30–70% more as a result. The company has welcomed their Supers in and allowed them to be part of the building…
There are many founders, CEOs, and investors who believe the biggest brand wins. (Make the logo BIGGER!)
There are equally as many founders, CEOs, and investors who believe the best product wins.
Both are cults.
Don’t get us wrong, having a great product is necessary, and having a brand customers love associating themselves with is a joy, but neither is the lever that moves the world FROM the way it is TO the way you want it to be.
You can tell a company is in The Brand Cult when their entire marketing, advertising, and messaging strategy is focused on…
Let’s say you’ve found an opportunity that is checking off these first few boxes:
✅ Company is Native Digital (or Learned Digital)
✅ Company is trying to create a new category (Be DIFFERENT!)
✅ Company is experiencing Real Growth (not Fake Growth)
✅ Company isn’t in The Brand Cult or The Product Cult (meaning they are “prosecuting the Magic Triangle”)
These are signs you’re looking at a ship worth sailing on. (They are Category Pirates 🏴☠️!)
Which means your next question should be: “Will I be valued as the pirate I am?”
The first is based on your resumé, job…
Most annual marketing planning is an orgy of frustration and mental masturbation.
(An image of a conference room — or, in today’s digital world, a bunch of Zoom boxes muting and unmuting — of executives tripping over each other, spurting out “creative ideas” and a long list of “P1 priorities” should come to mind.)
At best, a company will audit its metrics from the previous year and decide which initiatives to spend more money incrementally improving. At its worst, the CFO is the one coming up with the slogan that’s going to go on the billboards the company is planning…
Most writers think how readers read is linearly.
They click. They start at the top. And then they read each word, of each sentence, all the way down the page.
But in the words of Mark Twain, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
What they do is they jump around.
Today is an exciting day.
Do you know why?
Because today is the day your headlines go from being “OK” to irresistible.
Think about that word for a second. Irresistible. It means, “Even if I didn’t think I wanted this, now I want it.” Which is exactly the sort of thing you want to trigger in your readers. You want to get them to STOP, pause, read your headline, re-read your headline, and then say to themselves, “Well, I gotta know what happens next.”
Have you ever been given the advice to “start a blog?”
To be fair, this used to be the best way to publish your thoughts, insights, and stories online.
Back in the early days of the Internet, the only way to publish anything online was to either build your own website (blog) or write on someone else’s website (blog). And for a good ~10 years, this was an OK way of going about things.
But fast-forward to today, and starting your digital writing journey on a blog is the biggest mistake you could possibly make.
And here’s why.