Online Writing Rules for Success โœ๏ธ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿš€

After writing 3,000+ articles online over the past 8 years, here are some of my biggest lessons learned.

Follow these rules, and your writing will improve 10x.

Don't, and have fun with your blog nobody reads.

[THREAD] ๐Ÿงต๐Ÿ‘‡
1/ "Party in the city, not alone in your house"

Writing on your own blog is like drinking alone at home. It's secluded. Nobody is there. And you have to work HARD to convince people to come over.

Instead, write in social environments.

This is where everyone hangs out.
2/ For the first ~2 years of writing online, editing is a waste of time.

In order to edit effectively, you have to know what you're editing FOR.

And the only way to learn that is by publishing lots of material and gathering data about what works and what doesn't.
3/ Readers skim first, and read second.

If your writing isn't skimmable, it's very hard to read online.

This means no big blocky paragraphs. Use subheads and section dividers. Alternate single sentence paragraphs w/ 3-5 sentence paragraphs. Etc.

Make it VISUALLY easy to read.
4/ The size of the question dictates the size of the audience.

Start w/ the audience in mind.

If you are writing about a niche topic, realize only so-many-people "have that question." But if you are writing about a broad topic, that's a more universal question.
5/ Measures for success:

Niche = Engagement

Broad = Reach

Don't write about a niche topic then get upset when 1M people don't read it.

Niche topics are about engaging highly specific readers.

Broad topics are about reaching a wide number of less-engaged readers.
6/ Always try to write at The Golden Intersection:

Answer the reader's question X tell a personal story.

The more you can give actionable advice AND tell a story (w/ emotional resonance), the more likely the reader will 1) pay attention, and 2) remember what they just read.
7/ Don't try to be clever. Be clear

The secret to messaging and writing that engages readers is CLARITY.

All the reader wants to know is *exactly* what you mean.

Avoid vague words/statements ("We tell human stories") and get to the heart of the matter.

Witty is overrated.
8/ You can't have 2 main priorities. Choose 1.

In everything you write, the reader needs to know what the North Star is.

"Where are we headedโ€”and why?"

If you try to tackle too many different ideas at once, the reader is left confused.

Confusion = "I'm gone."
9/ Timeless topics are better than timely topics.

Your goal as a writer is to build a Timeless Library of Content.

This is how your writing compounds results over time (shelf life is LONG).

Whereas if you only write timely topics (news, trending, etc.) your shelf life is short
10/ Don't compete. Create!

Some writers believe imitation is a good way of learning. I disagree.

It trains you to compete.

Instead, learn the fundamentals and CREATE your own voice, niche, category, etc.

This is how you stand out.
New to online writing? Want to learn the fundamental skills, mental models, and frameworks to become an influential voice in the Creator Economy?

Join the May cohort of Ship 30 for 30.

Enrollment closes soon!

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More from @Nicolascole77

3 May
Once a Shipper, always a Shipper.

RT if youโ€™ve participated in Ship 30 for 30.

4 months, letโ€™s see how big the community has gotten in such a short amount of time.

Bonus points for tagging the friends youโ€™ve made in the community. Iโ€™ll tag a few to get the ball rolling: @marikogordoncfa @SeanAnthonySays @PaulineRiviere @joywithjas @dickiebush @dbustac @sscotty @TBrouchet @jerinenicole
Iโ€™ve made so many friends so donโ€™t be offended if I missed you!!!
Read 4 tweets
30 Apr
Transparency Time:

I published The Art & Business of Online Writing in August, 2020.

- Self-published
- Invested $3k in cover design, formatting, etc.
- $0 spent on ads
- Marketed to email list (15,000 people) & social media following (150k combined)


Here's how the book did:

- Recouped investment week 1
- Avg selling ~10 copies sold per day since
- Book has led to six figures in ghostwriting clients
- Book has led to an increase in podcast/speaking opportunities
- Book has generated $1k+ passively/mo in sales since launch
In order for this book to have achieved these same financial goals with a formal publishing contract...

I'd need to be selling 100+ copies per day (10x more).

If the average advance is $20k, this book reaches that same goal around a year and a half after publishing.
Read 5 tweets
22 Apr
In The Creator Economy, so much emphasis gets placed on Product Design.

But Category Kings don't just have "better, faster, cheaper, smarter" products.

They have breakthrough products + breakthrough business models WITHIN NEW CATEGORIES.

Here's โ€œThe Magic Triangleโ€๐Ÿ‘‡
The Magic Triangle is the combination of

- Product design
- Company/business model design
- And category design

Each side has equal importance, ideally executed at the same time.
Finally, the elite Category Kings & Queens recognize that each area of The Magic Triangle generates data about the future of the category.

- Data to improve the product
- Data to improve the company/business model
- Data to improve + anticipate the future of the category
Read 16 tweets
20 Apr
A blog is the single most inefficient way of achieving ANY of your online writing goals:

- Building an audience
- Finding your voice
- Proving which topics resonate best with target readers

It's wild how many people disagree with me on this.

When SHOULD you start a blog? ๐Ÿ‘‡
Scenario #1: You've validated your high-performing topics and are ready to give readers MORE of "what's working."

The VAST MAJORITY of people who start writing online *think* they know what readers want to hear from them.

They're usually wrong.

Write. Publish. Gather data.
In this process, 1 of 2 things will happen:

- You'll either confirm your assumptions were correct (with data)

- Or you'll learn your assumptions were incorrect (with data) and discover new, higher-performing topics as a result.

In either case, you now KNOW.
Read 9 tweets
19 Apr
The biggest flexes are the ones you can't see.

Here's a list of my favorites ๐Ÿ‘‡
1/ Living below your means

If you make $500k/yr but spend $500k a year, you aren't rich.

You're broke.

If you make $100k/yr but save + invest $50k/yr, you're well on your way to becoming rich.
2/ Dressing down instead of dressing up

This was one of the first things I noticed moving to LA.

The people who show up dressed to the 10s are usually the ones trying hardest to climb the social ladder.

The ones who show up in beach shorts and flip flops are multimillionaires.
Read 8 tweets
8 Apr
My first job out of college was at a Think Tank.

When I showed up to work, my new boss kicked his feet up on the table and said to me (in front of everyone):

"This will be your first job, and your last job. After this, you'll work for yourself."

Here's what he taught me๐Ÿ‘‡
1/ "Don't be a glorified traffic conductor."

For years, I didn't have a formal job title.

He hated people who obsessed over titles but didn't actually produce anything.

He demanded that I learn ACTION is more valuable than whatever I call myself on a sheet of paper.
2/ "Freedom comes with a price."

I idolized my boss. I was 23. He was 32. Young, accomplished, wealthy.

He also worked 12 hours per day. Constantly stressed.

Everyone says they want freedom, but how you define "freedom" determines the price you have to pay to afford it.
Read 9 tweets

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