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Write to Figure Things Out

While I’d love to be a full-time writer I don’t sweat the details too much. For me writing is about figuring out what I think. The long piece I wrote last week on the Global North viewing it’s business ideas as superior was as much about sharing my thoughts as the research and thinking that went into it. I didn’t know as much about the EV market and how much bigger it was in China before I did the research.

If you’re writing with the intent of “becoming famous” for your ideas, I think you’re starting with the wrong idea. Just figure out what you think and share it.

What Doesn’t Tip the Needle

Brett Terpstra has a great post about what doesn’t tip the needle for readers of his site. For him a Hacker News links generates a bunch of traffic, but doesn’t mean he gains more long term readers, and long term readers and supporters are what makes the sites you read continue to exist.

Brett’s post reminds me of this one from Cal Newport. In it he talks about not being able to “Tweet” your way to impact in the scientific realm. Yes more people looked at the papers that were shared in the social realm, but a few years later the papers were not cited more often than their peers that did not get the social push.

It’s worth remembering this study and Brett’s observations. Making it with your online writing is hard. I’ve hired coaches in the past that had me writing for 20 sites to get myself noticed and while I had posts published regularly, it never made a difference in the readers I got. I simply delivered my ideas to other sites for nothing feeding their content machine and profit.

Publish Less?

Finally, I keep coming back to this post about slower publishing by Henrik Karlsson on publishing less. It’s why I published less for a bit and wrote that long piece about North American business models.. Henrik gave me the guts to stop publishing so much and try optimising. I’m not going to do it every time, but expect some publishing breaks in my schedule when I’ve got something I want to dig in to.

Hopefully you agree the outcome is worth the waits.

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