I wrote about What I learned After Spending $6 Million on Google Ads It’s done almost 10,000 views on Medium since then. A few days later I wrote about the initial viral experience: The anatomy of a 5,000 view post. You can see it’s been viewed even more since I wrote that.
I knew that the post was good. The headline was strong and I picked a good image that was colorful.
But I never expected that kind of response. Before that my most popular post had 400 views on it. Now I added an extra zero, and then some, to that record.
The outreach on that post has been incredible:
- Emails asking if I’m available for consulting (I am!)
- 3,000 extra views on LinkedIn, where multiple people in my network shared it.
- Multiple other publications asking if they can republish my article, some of them with tens of millions of views every month.
But none of that matters. Even if I book no consulting gigs and no one republishes my post, it’s still the inflection point in my writing career.
The success of that post validated my reasons for quitting video games for an entire year. It validated the hard work I put into writing and publishing every day in February.
If I put the work in, I’ll see results. That’s it, it’s really that simple.
That one post was all the feedback I needed to kickstart my writing career. I have valuable things to say, and I can say them in an interesting way. The more I write the better my writing will get, and I’ll only improve my ability to convey ideas in a compelling way.
It proved what I knew all along: I’m a decent writer now but I can be really good if I keep trying.
One blog post can change your life, but it won’t be the first post you ever write.
Your First Post Will Suck
Everyone dreams about becoming an overnight success. You can spend hours crafting the perfect post, designing the most beautiful layout for your website, and none of it will matter.
You’ll finish that post, hit publish, and then…crickets.
No one is going to read your first post. You’ll be lucky if a few people read your 10th post.
It’ll seem like you’re writing into the endless void of space. Pouring your heart out on the page for no one. What’s the point?
You have good ideas. You’re chock full of amazing life experiences that can be translated into interesting and value-adding articles. But you need to find your voice, sharpen your grammar skills, and get critical feedback.
Submit your work to publications, on Medium and elsewhere. You’ll get rejected — good, that means you’re trying. Take those rejections and turn them into motivation and learning opportunities.
Make Writing #1
The average length of my articles is about 1,000 words. In February I wrote almost 29,000 words, thousands more than I ever have before in my life.
How I did that was pretty simple:
- I didn’t go to sleep until I wrote and published that day
- I reprioritized other things in my life to make room for writing
- I made writing my #1 priority
I didn’t go out much in February, and if I did, it was to a coffee shop so I could write.
Writing 1,000 words each day isn’t hard. What was hard was refining those words into something worth posting, and something worth getting accepted to publications on Medium. During that month I was accepted to 4 different publications. I wrote about everything from my 3 Must-Have Mac Apps in 2020 to Why Your College Degree Is Useless.
If you don’t make writing, or whatever else your passion is, the highest priority in your life then you’ll never find success. If all you do is write one post every few weeks then you’ll never gain momentum.
Try taking on an insane challenge, like publishing every day for a month. In the end you’ll be amazed at how far you came.
Trust me, I know from experience.
One blog post can absolutely change your life. But it won’t be the first post because you need to get some practice under your belt. Maybe you need a lot of practice. As long as you keep plugging away, publishing, and putting yourself and your work out there for other people to see, you can find success.
It can be comforting knowing that no one reads your work. It means that you won’t get any critical feedback. No one will comment and say this sucks, and you suck for writing it.
Start submitting articles to publications here on Medium. There are millions of blogs on the internet, find some you like and submit your articles there too for guest posting.
After a while you’ll build momentum, slowly accumulating more views, until you start getting emails from people who want to publish your content.
But it starts with writing, a lot, and making it the #1 priority. Everything else will come after.
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