How to start writing online

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The internet changed the game forever.

But you'll never get the full benefits of being online if you're only consuming.

The digital world is moving in favor of the creator.

And if you become a master at writing online, the digital world becomes your oyster.

Here's a simple guide to start writing (and succeeding) online from scratch.

Embrace the MVP mentality

This guide isn't going to explore choosing an audience, defining your ideal reader, or how to grow your writing channels.

The sole purpose of this guide is to give you no more excuses to start writing.

If you were starting a company, there general advice would be:

  • Identify problems
  • Create solutions
  • Build an minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Publish and iterate

We're gonna take the same approach here. Assuming you already did research and work on the first two points, let's start with an MVP.

What's the easiest way to start writing online in a way that gives you leverage?

1) Start small with Twitter

That's right.

Love it or hate it, the bird app is an amazing place for beginning your writing journey.

Here are some of the ways you should look to use Twitter:

  • Explore what topics and formats interest your audience
  • Test out new ideas and validate if they work or not
  • Build an audience that follows you from platform to platform

I'd recommend writing a solid 5 tweets per day to start with.

It's a lot, but it becomes easier the more you learn.

Publish often.

Engage with your audience and take feedback.

Analyze what works and what doesn't.

The end goal? To collect a storehouse of validated ideas that you can confidently expand into longer form content.

You don't want to spend too much time upfront writing long-form content just yet.

The reason? Because it takes a looooong time to produce.

If you can post smaller ideas and validate them (make sure they get engagement and shares), your long-form efforts will be more predictably successful.

When you're ready and stocked with validated ideas, you can move on to the next step and work these in tandem.

2) Expand to mid-size content with LinkedIn and Atomic Essays

At this point, you know what your audience likes.

You know (roughly) what formats perform well for you.

Aaaand you have a solid collection of validated ideas to choose from.

Now, you can invest more heavily in mid-size content without worrying about whether or not your ideas will hit.

The process here is simple:

  • Choose a pre-validated idea
  • Identify points to expand on
  • Weave in personal stories with the idea
  • Publish 1x per weekday if possible
  • Collect feedback and repeat

No need to overcomplicate this.

This is the bridge between small ideas and looooooong-form content like articles, eBooks, and newsletters.

And again, this will help you build your audience on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If a pre-validated idea gets posted to LinkedIn (or as an atomic essay on Twitter or elsewhere) and STILL performs well...

You've struck gold.

It's time to turn that into a long piece of content.

3) Build a library of long-form content

Some of the most common forms of longer content include:

  • Blogs/articles
  • eBooks
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Newsletter emails

But if you start right at this step, you had better have amazing intuition.

See, it's really hard to guess the right topics and formats to roll with.

All the validation we've gone through up to this point has helped inform us on what should get expanded on more and more.

If you've validated an idea on multiple platforms, the chances it will be worth your time to write a long piece of content skyrocket.

This is the most valuable type of content for your audience, because it provides true depth and is often more actionable.

But if you try to guess what will be valuable without proving it out, you may write 5,000 words and have nothing to show for it.

Take your best ideas, expand them into longer forms of content, and build a library of knowledge for your audience.

4) Repurpose great ideas back into smaller content

And finally, the step most people miss: closing the loop.

You've posted all this short, mid-size, and long-form content. So now what?

Don't let it die.

Take new ideas that come through your research for longer content and turn them into new micro-content for Twitter.

Look at adjacent topics to what you actually published and try to validate them.

Let these different channels feed into each other and expand your idea database.

If you nail this step, you'll never have to generate new ideas again.

That's all, folks!

Hope that was helpful for y'all.

I certainly wish I had a simple guide like this when I was starting out.

I moved around all over the place trying to figure out the whole online writing thing before I finally stumbled onto the answer 7 years later.

🤔
Now I wanna know, which step are you currently on?

Have a great week!


P.S.

Real quick, I'm running a cohort-based course starting May 17 called Landing Page Mastery.

If you want to learn how to write & design landing pages that 10x your sales, check out the link below! No worries if this isn't for you right now.