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How to go from 3 views to 1,000,308

Brandon
Karateka 🥋, Writer 📕, Reader 📚, Dog Lover 🐶 https://twitter.com/bee_sec_san
・5 min read

Why write?

Every word you write is a seed.

Over time, these seeds grow into a garden of paradise.

This is your paradise.

Content builds on itself and compounds.

When someone takes notice of a flower from the side of the road, they come and take a look at it.

They love this flower. And then they see your garden.

They spend hours in your garden.

The more seeds you plant, the more likely someone is to spend a lot of time in your garden.

Content exponentially grows your readerships.

When you're asleep at night, your content works for you.

It goes out there to find people and opportunities.

You can be asleep and have an extra 50,000 people look at your content.

You wake up with job offers, speaking gigs, podcast appearances and more.

This garden you plant never sleeps.

It works 24/7 for you. Building you a better life.

Write for yourself, no one else

Views are cool.

But they're not why I write.

I write to find out the truth.

To learn more about a subject.

My primary audience is myself.

Everyone else is secondary.

This is the key to writing well.

If you take one thing from this, make it be this.

Write succinctly

"I didn't have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one instead"

Delete.

Delete as much as you can.

Your writing is too long.

You need to make it short.

No one is going to care about your writing if it's too long.

Don't write so succinctly that it confuses the reader

Imagine a bell curve.

Too short and it's confusing.

Too long and it's confusing.

You want to be in the middle.

Only you can tell where this is.

I still don't entirely know.

Through practice and time, you'll learn this.

Never go looking for content

I've never searched for ideas.

Inspiration strikes in the weirdest of places.

Your job as a writer is to read.

Read widely, read in-depth.

My most popular articles are those that come from weird places.

Emails sent in 2002 on the Python mailing list.

Instruction manuals for CPUs.

Keep a list of of your ideas.

What platform should I use?

It doesn't matter.

I use Ghost.

If you're starting out, use something like Medium.

I started out on Medium.

I got 780,000 views on Medium before I decided to move away.

I didn't pay a single penny for my blog.

You don't have to pay either, but you can if you want.

It doesn't matter what you write on.

So long as you write.

How to validate your ideas

Keep a list of all of your ideas.

Use an SEO tool. I use Mangools.

Search your idea in Mangools Keyword Finder.

hi. so im moving out today and im super, super stressed out about it. this article was written but without alt text and if im honest wiht you it's the hottest day in Europe rn and I'm literally dying. This alt text sucks but I explain what's in the image in the next few lines after this image haha

Pull up a spreadsheet. I use Airtable.

3 columns.

Keyword name.

Search traffic.

Difficulty.

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Find those topics with high search volume and low difficulty.

This is how you validate a blog post.

But, don't let this limit what you write about.

My most popular posts had no search volume before I wrote about them.

This technique is to help you in deciding what to write about.

Listen to your readers, but don't let them dictate what you create.

Henry Ford once said:

'If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, “A faster horse!”

Your readers don't know what they want.

They may know the direction, and generally how you can improve.

Some of the content I produce - my readers have never heard of before.

You don't want to create an echo-chamber of things only your reader base knows about.

You want to broaden your topics to broaden your reader base.

Make your content skimmable

No one has time to read your writing.

Make your content easy to read. As skimmable as possible.

Use these tools to make your writing skimmable & look

  • Punctuation
  • Bullet points
  • Pictures
  • Graphsm
  • Captions on pictures
  • Quotes
  • Horizontal Dividers
  • Vary sentence length.

Email from day 1

No matter what platform you use - you need to collect emails from day 1.

Write on Medium?

FreeCodeCamp moved their entire blog away from Medium overnight with no warning.

All your followers. Dead.

You no longer have a readership.

Write on Blogger?

What if Google kills that too?

Twitter followers? Instagram followers? Facebook followers?

All under control of the social networks that own them.

Your entire brand can die out overnight.

But, email subscribers.

No large company can delete your entire email list overnight.

This is how I moved from Medium to my personal blog.

I set up an email list from day 1.

It didn't hurt me as much as it would have hurt others.

Emails. No matter what.

Even if you don't think you need them - you do.

Make your content 'complete'

Google rewards those with 'complete' content.

This means that you answer every question someone may have about a topic.

This means this website is the go-to place for that topic.

Ever wondered how Wikipedia ranks #1 for everything?

Because every single page is as complete as it can be.

Make sure your writing is the same.

Use tools like Answer The Public to understand the questions people have around a topic.

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Tools I use daily to 10x my blog:

(These are affiliate links. If you use them, I earn money at no extra cost to you.)

Notion

I live here.

It's a notes app that lets you do anything.

I highly recommend it. It's superb. 10/10 best app I've ever used.

All blog posts get written here. All email replies are written here. New ideas for the blog. To do lists for the blog.

Any apps I'm working on to improve the experience of the blog. It's all here.

Airtable

I also live here.

Spreadsheet mixed with relational databases.

If something relating to my blog isn't in Notion, it's here.

Views. Costs. Profit. Blog post ideas (as you saw earlier).

Mangools

I live here too.

All in one SEO tool.

As your blog grows, SEO becomes more and more important.

It's vital you get a good tool that does everything right, which doesn't cost a lot.

Mangools is perfect.

Ghost.org

My blog runs on Ghost.

ConvertKit

My email stuff + landing pages are done through Convertkit.

Your email is the 2nd most important part of the blog.

  1. Content
  2. Email marketing
  3. SEO
  4. How nice the blog looks and feels
  5. Social media

Get it right with Convertkit.

Grammarly

My writing sucks.

Grammarly helps make sure it doesn't suck.

Hemmingway

See above.

Google Search Console

If you own a website, you need to be using this free tool from Google.

Any questions?

Leave a comment below

I'll answer you.

Discussion (4)

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davidnash profile image
David Nash

Lots of good info in this post - thanks for posting!

Though I find the heavy use of one sentence per paragraph a little off-putting. It feels impersonal, it's difficult for me to feel a connection with you. That said, I'm guilty of doing this myself!

Just had a look at your blog, and it looks like you don't always write like this. Some great topics too.

Also there's one important point you may have missed: Good writing takes practise. A lot of practise!

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turnerj profile image
James Turner • Edited

Agreed about the one sentence per paragraph, it seems to be the opposite of what is suggested in the actual content:

Make your content skimmable

No one has time to read your writing.

Make your content easy to read. As skimmable as possible.

I don't see it making content easier to read as the density is so low though I guess better than single words per line...

I think it would be far better structured like the second paragraph in image example actually used in the post:

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larsonzhong profile image
larson

Thansk a lot.

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

"Write for yourself, no one else" then during hundreds of lines the topic is who attract in others... Hm...