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Ten years of professional blogging – what I’ve learned (andrewchen.co)
362 points by hispanic on Dec 18, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 126 comments



I've found that writing a blog post is one of the best ways to learn something deeply. So I write stuff, not for marketing but own my personal development. Of course marketing is nice sub result, but I never focus too much on title like the OP.

My process looks like folowing

- Choose the subject (usually a very small topic or algorithm)

- Study it deeply for at least a weak, sometime months.

- Start writing the post, learning is still happening.

- Finish the post. At that point I usually have a very good understanding of the topic.

Never think that you can't write about a subject because you are not an expert. You may not be an expert but there are more people who know less than you and they will find the post worthwhile.

https://blog.chamoda.com


I have found the same thing while teaching during my PhD. Most of my student peers despised it and couldn't understand that I wasn't volunteering to teach to help the university, I did it for the very selfish reason of helping myself cement basic undergrad knowledge.


Another benefit of publicly sharing your learning is that if you misinterpreted or misremembered something, others can point it out so you don't go through life with incorrect ideas.



Good read. I used to blog very regularly years ago, but since the end of Google Reader and the growing popularity of Facebook and Twitter, I’ve been blogging less and less. Always wanted to pick it up again.

Anyway, this caught my attention:

> Since starting a normal job (haha) it’s gotten harder to write on Sunday evenings, since that’s when the work email starts

Don’t do this to yourself.


I've been blogging for about 2 years (120ish articles posted) and a lot of what he says makes sense.

Especially finding your voice. I still don't feel like I've figured that one out. My problem is I started blogging after working as a developer for 20 years so I want to talk about a billion different topics.

But the quickest way to become successful in this field is to write a ton about 1 specific thing and then suddenly you're "that guy" about the topic you're writing about.


A few counterpoints on benefits of using Medium over of your own blog:

- Submitting your articles to publications is a very easy way to get a lot of free exposure. For example, my most successful post [1] generated 36k views and 1.5k medium subscribers in the first couple of weeks just by being accepted to HackerNoon.

- Collecting email addresses is extremely easy. Design a pretty CTA image that links to your email sign up form. Bonus points if you'll create a free guide or some other giveaway. This makes Medium about 95-99% as effective at building an audience on a custom blog. The post mentioned above generated about 200 email signups over time, which is pretty good for free exposure I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

- If you're interested in growing your own publication, you can easily request good stories written by other authors(one click on a menu under each post). That gives you free content and audience, if you want.

- For me personally, Medium's editor significantly lowers the barrier of entry. Something about the well designed WYSIWYG format takes away the pressure and makes writing more engaging. Besides it's easier to publish short-form content. Many of my posts start out as tweets that ended up being too long, or as HN/Reddit comments I'd like to share in a better format. 100-200 word Seth-Godin-style posts are easy to write regularly and medium's format encourages you to do that.

- You can always export your posts from medium into your personal blog. That's what I do for mine[2]. Write on medium to gain free audience and exposure, repost to your website, then promote posts from your site on twitter/reddit, thus still keeping all the benefits. You can even cherry pick your best articles - use medium to generate a ton of posts without any pressure to be good, and publish the ones you're most proud of on your site.

[1] https://hackernoon.com/full-stack-web-development-the-comple...

[2] https://startuplab.io/blog


Medium in it's purest form is a blatant SEO siphon from your website. Well written articles will generally place highly on Google's search results no matter the domain(unless you've got shady shit going on). God knows what metrics they're using these days (mostly ML?) But Google readily recognizes articles well written from expert sources in my opinion. I've only written around ten blog posts but they're all first page, some first result, for my goal keywords.

And this is on a no-name website not optimized for SEO at all. The SEO arms race has been going on so long that we've reached a point where, if you're a good writer, it's easier to follow Google's guidelines than try to cheat the system.

Medium and other blog sites are basically a guest blog, except you're not getting paid for placement. Google ranking is everything and posting on medium does nothing but hurt you gravely


> Well written articles will generally place highly on Google's search results no matter the domain(unless you've got shady shit going on).

Absolutely. I've written two blog posts on PostgreSQL on topics that, in my opinion, weren't well covered and often misunderstood by its users. Both posts show up on the first page on a google search for "psql cli" and "postgres timezone".

I honestly never understood this whole fuss about SEO. In my opinion SEO is about good content. Good content over time will spread, which will result in a higher ranking.


Google heavy promotes articles that use their Google Analytics and have high time-on-page scores. Everything Google does with search ranking is gameable but built to focus on high quality content. The best thing about having a couple high ranking pages is that it becomes much easier to make others. Your trust score is already high so there's a good chance other articles about postgres will also reach first page, even if they're not about specialized topics. This is what the SEOtards fail to understand


Wait presumably you have lots of high quality inbounds links, or lots of shares on social, or almost no one elsr is writing about the same topics you are.

I see no other way you could be front page ranking just by publishing.


Are you being penalized for having duplicate content on medium and your blog?

What is the disadvantage of writing more of a shorter 'teaser' story on medium to funnel traffic to your blog?

Is that what you do with twitter and and reddit (funnel to medium)?


Theoretically google does penalize duplicate content, but I've heard that you can ask medium support to set a canonical link pointing from the medium article to your site, I think that might even benefit your SEO. Although I've never bothered to do it yet, SEO is not my main strategy.

Either way, for me, the benefits of anything that makes content creation easier way outweigh the possible SEO penalty, so I don't really care.

I don't see the point of writing teaser stories on medium, I doubt they'll get accepted into big publications, or bring you a lot of traffic. For me, Medium articles are meant to close email subscribers, and the future emails I send can direct people to my site.

I've got started on twitter only recently, I post there for fun, writing practice, and sometimes I just share links to whatever project or post I want to promote.

Posts submitted to subreddits link to my main site.

I don't usually bother to manually promote medium posts anywhere other than submitting them to publications (because I might as well promote the main site).


> Submitting your articles to publications is a very easy way to get a lot of free exposure. For example, my most successful post [1] generated 36k views and 1.5k medium subscribers in the first couple of weeks just by being accepted to HackerNoon.

Same here. Though I did not really end up getting 36k views just 10% of that. Before Hackernoon, my read count hovered around 300-400, though I would like to believe it will grow.

> Collecting email addresses is extremely easy. Design a pretty CTA image that links to your email sign up form. Bonus points if you'll create a free guide or some other giveaway. This makes Medium about 95-99% as effective at building an audience on a custom blog. The post mentioned above generated about 200 email signups over time, which is pretty good for free exposure I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

If possible, please expand on this. I have zero email marketing experience so really want to start something on that end. Any links/tutorials on building a CTA image and adding on a blog post will help.


It's really simple. My newsletter CTA looks like this:

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1520/1*pDNISBRJFawWMkNX7...

Just photoshop together a pretty image inviting people to subscribe.

My free guide cta looks like this:

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1520/1*MrvefAFP7GtyAtPZY...

Put together a short pdf in your area of expertise, and offer it to email subscribers.

Sometimes I simply send people to a landing page that looks like this:

https://startuplab.io/free-guide

Keep it simple, minimal information, promise value, address potential objections, show a signup form and a big subscribe button.

Here's some good advice on putting together a simple landing page:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVRf3MeFKm0

If you're interested in email marketing in general, I highly recommend Alex Becker's courses. I don't know if HN audience will like him, but I've learned A LOT from this guy and I love his tutorials. You can find his introductory course here:

http://alexbecker.org/membership-area/

Feel free to email me if you need more advice(raymestalez@gmail.com).


Somewhat relevant is a question I asked here several months ago. There were 181 comments, so there's enough to be able to extract some knowledge from them.

Ask HN: Has attracting a blog audience become harder?

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13966190


I've been blogging for 14 years. The hardest thing for me is to dive deep into a particular topic. My blog reflects what interests me at a given time, and that can vary wildly.

This keeps the blog interesting to me, but means that the vast majority of my traffic is search engine based, rather than folks who are coming to my blog to find out what Dan thinks.

It's a tradeoff I'm willing to make, and have even blogged about: http://www.mooreds.com/wordpress/archives/2188


Sounds like me. You seem to blog more consistently though. I can see a blog post a day the last days.

My blog has month-long gaps. I have accepted that. It has a few popular pages which produce occasional spikes. Mostly, it is a long-form storage of my opinions, where I can refer people to.

http://beza1e1.tuxen.de/blog_en.html


I actually try to blog once a month, but this Dec I challenged myself to blog every week day: http://www.mooreds.com/wordpress/archives/2495 (and have been actually finding the time to do it on the weekends).

Love the idea of "long form storage of opinions". I actually think everyone should blog. If you can write a email, you can blog. Writing clarifies the thoughts, IMHO.


I'm fairly certain that blogs (and newsletters) are way more effective commercially when they dive deep on a topic. That's not a reason to do it that way--especially if it's just a side thing you do as a hobby or for publicity. But if it's something more serious it makes sense to compartmentalize your interests.

I've always just kept a single blog but this coming year I'm experimenting with a new blog to see if it makes sense as something apart from my (mostly) tech-related blog.


> I'm fairly certain that blogs (and newsletters) are way more effective commercially when they dive deep on a topic.

Totally agree! It's the same as nicheing as a contractor/consultant. People don't want generic stuff, they want focused expertise.

That said, my career has been the main source of fodder for my blog and that career has been a general technologist (with a web/unix focus), so that's why my blog meanders.

If I consulted again, I'd probably try to narrow the focus to what I wanted to work on, because, as you say, focus == commercial success.


Having said that about focus, you need to keep your eye on the future as you suggest. I've known people who were probably effectively world experts in some company or computer architecture and, when those inevitably went away, they were never able to replicate their success in another way.


> but means that the vast majority of my traffic is search engine based, rather than folks who are coming to my blog to find out what Dan thinks.

That's a new normal, I suppose. Definitely is for me as a reader.

These days I pretty much follow only one blog directly (Slate Star Codex). Everything else I get to through search, HN, meta-blogs (so-called "planets") and social media. Though when I find an interesting post, I often then check out the entire blog.

Just one data point, but I'm under impression this way of reading is common.


> Titles are 80% of the work

If you writing fluff sure, but if your writing great content the title is less important. Good work sells itself. 90% content 10% title just my 0.02.


Badly titled articles with excellent content can get rapidly flagged to death on HN.


Unless you have a large subscribed audience, titles are important for getting people to click in.


I'm curious about the point of running your own blog instead of hosting on Medium et al. I get that you want to avoid being locked in to a platform that could belly up, but isn't there a big benefit in network effect? Is he just counting on external channels like Twitter to promote his site?


Control of your content matters. If your platform of choice becomes 'sourceforged' you will have no choice but to move losing all links to your content. It also helps to know for sure that nothing underhanded is happening with respect to malware or tracking with your visitors.


You can, however, have your own domain (blog.example.com) on medium. It would be a pain to migrate all that content, but at least you could preserve the links with some work.

That said, I think that totally owning your location online is totally worth it.


New custom domains on Medium are gone as of like 3 weeks ago.

https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005579728-Custo...


Whoa. Didn't see that. That's another compelling reason to own your content on your domain. Then it doesn't matter what other platforms do (as much).


I'm going through this right now - all my old content is on blogspot.com, and I want to move to my current blog at mydomain.com/blog. I'm sure there's a way not to move all these article URLs by hand, but then I have to go and make sure all the inline images come through as well, which were uploaded to blogspot directly.

I mean, I was just looking for a quick solution in college so I can't blame myself, but I do want to run back to 18 year old me and kick my heels a bit for creating such a big chunk of technical debt I doubt I'll ever actually fix.


You can add a third party domain to BlogSpot. It isn't hard at all.

That may not get the result you personally want, but it is completely do-able.


Hire some folks from fiverr.


What system do you want to move it to?


Right now I'm using wordpress installed on a bluehost server, which I uh... have a google domain... pointing to? I'm using this as an opportunity to learn about all this so I have trouble speaking intelligently about it.

It's http://blog.calebjay.com/ - I forgot I actually have the blog set as a subdomain, not an endpoint. It's been a couple months since I've done anything with it... man, it even still has the bluehost default favicon X(


Wordpress has import plugins for a lot of stuff, I bet there is a blogspot importer out there that can suck all content + comments to your WP instance.


There a few reasons really:

1. You have much more control about how your words are presented on your own website. Got an interesting idea for a style? Know how to code some neat features for the site? Want to avoid ads or calls to donate or subscribe altogether? Go for it, you've got the power to do just that.

2. You're not under corporate control like you'd be on a 'platform' and can't be as easily bullied off the internet by angry scumbags in a social media lynch mob. Oh sure, it can still happen if you annoy people that much (see, a certain far right website that had trouble finding a host recently), but you're still more protected than on a service that cares only about saving its own reputation.

3. If you don't like the service, you can move elsewhere and keep the same URL, theme and content.

4. All money made via the site goes to you rather than a middleman.

5. And well, it's really closer to what the internet should be in general. We should be supporting people who setup their own sites and ventures, and who don't merely help walled gardens become more popular or dominant online.

Plenty of reasons really.


The point of running your own blog is control and avoiding negative network effects (e.g. because people think "Medium is for cheap self-promotion", "Myspace is so old-fashioned", "$X is full of $personsIDon'tLike"), loss of content (due to the platform going down, changing it's policies), ...

If you want to do this long-term, get your own domain and distribute your content elsewhere if needed. E.g. on medium you can post articles from your blog and it links back at the bottom if you think Medium is important for your audience, announce posts on Twitter, Facebook, have RSS feeds, ...: bring the information where the users are, but have the central source of it under your control. Pointing the domain at a service is fine, it enables you to move if there are issues.


My blog is currently on Medium. It's I think the third host I've used? Maybe fourth?

For Medium I use a custom domain so I still own the URL. And all links to my content are to a URL I own. When I inevitably move to a new service those links will continue to be valid.

I'd like to move off Medium to something pure custom. The inability to embed certain types of rich content is super, super frusrating. Want to embed a gif that doesn't suck? Or a Unity demo? Or an javascript demo? Too bad! You can't!

But it gives me 95% of what I want for free so I won't complain too much.


It looks like Medium doesn't support custom domains anymore: https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005579728-Custo...


Yes, the key is control of the domain. I didn't remember that Medium also supports this.


It used to be free. Then it was $75. It might actually be disabled right now? It's hard to tell.

Technically you make a publication and THAT gets a custom domain. Which is a little weird but overall works. The publication portal looks a million times better and has way more configuration options than a basic user profile.

Here's mine and what it looks like: https://blog.forrestthewoods.com/


If you're serious about blogging, using Medium is a mistake, especially for programming blogs. Using a static site generator on Netlify is also free, and you maintain full control.

I would not have been able to sell one of my blogs if I had used a platform like Medium or Tumblr.

I've also seen someone's blog get deleted on a different hosted platform without warning and no way to recover the deleted content. If you don't control your application, you are at the mercy of another, unknown person's decisions.


What about a personal site using Wordpress then repost on Medium for exposure?


I wouldn't duplicate the content for SEO reasons, even with canonical URLs. You can get a lot of traffic through search engines and other methods.

I don't like landing on Medium posts. That kind of centralized, fast-food publishing monoculture isn't what the WWW is supposed to be. I don't comment on or "like" anything on Medium either. If it were a relatively small site, it wouldn't be such a problem, but it's becoming inescapable now.

I think that tech culture needs a revamp where people start to focus on DIY freedom again: blogs, websites, OSes, hardware, RSS/Atom (vs. AI feeds), etc.


From your description, it sounds like medium is the next technorati?


you can do that but you should look up canonical linking and seo rules for duplicated content


Static site don't have comments and analytics.


I've got a static blog with both. You don't even need JavaScript for analytics, when using something like GoAccess[0] (I haven't noticed any meaningful differences after switching).

[0] https://goaccess.io/


GoAccess seems like a great tool. Thanks for pointing it out!


They absolutely can, with something like Disqus for comments and Google Analytics or whatever other analytics you like


Or DIY with something like this:

https://github.com/posativ/isso

or this:

https://blog.webkid.io/moving-from-disqus-to-schnack/

You could also install Discourse on a subdomain (quick docker-based install on a $5/month server) and use that for comments.


Or this: https://www.kajmagnus.blog/new-embedded-comments/ (open source like Isso and Schnack, or hosted for those who don't want to install anything)


Yes, those are advantages too.


Sure they can, static site generators can still include client-side javascript.


Nor do you need javascript for basic comments* or analytics.

*if your site is spammed hard enough, javascript may become necessary, but you can try honeypot fields first in pure HTML.


This person has been blogging for 10 years. How long has Medium been around? How long will they continue to blog? How long will Medium continue to be around?

My blog is quiescent right now (I discovered I'm an essayist rather than a "blogger"), but it goes back to 2000, albeit quite messily from the first platform conversion I did. No platform has been around that long. Goodness knows the platform where it started is long gone and forgotten by almost everyone.


Wordpress has been around for quite a while.


WordPress has been around since 2003. That makes it basically 15 years.


Livejournal

ducks


Running your own blog is super easy, and choosing where to post does not have to be an either/or proposition. Post to your own site, then cross-post to popular platforms if you need their network effect. See here for a fuller explanation: https://indieweb.org/POSSE


There's also nothing to keep you from cross-posting to Medium for at least some posts. I find I get some incremental traffic off Medium (and it's sometimes a better place to publish for various reasons), but generally having your own personalized blog is better IMO assuming you write with any frequency.


I'm not doing anything more than a personal blog but I've shopped for platforms before and considered all the things one could think of when you're choosing one.

Ultimately though, I chose to run one on my own for the mere satisfaction of "owning" it. Maybe it's, uhhh, like how buying a house is thought to be a step up compared to renting an apartment? Something like that. There's also that feeling where I feel like I'm only half there if it's under a platform like Medium or Tumblr.

I admit the benefit of being on a network like those are bound to be helpful: if you're looking for them. Eitherway, I thought I could just cross-post things anyway if I ever wanted to.


You can do both: set up a custom domain on Medium and keep the URLs _and_ get the network effect.


Sadly, it looks like Medium doesn't support custom domains anymore: https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005579728-Custo.... To be honest, I'm not surprised about this. Medium never sound very enthusiastic about providing custom domains.


Yep - this is what I’ve done. Though I probably need to invest more in the actual blogging.


You can't set up a custom domain on Medium anymore. Before it was a manual process and a $75 fee for their trouble.


The network effect is pretty hit-and-miss, just like promoting your own stuff on social media.


Surprised at how poorly written this is. Typos all over. I would hope that someone who considers himself a writer would take care to write well.


He only spends 20% on the actual writing, and 80% on the title. So out of an hour only 12 minutes of writing and 48 minutes of working on title. That may explain the typos


So he spends 20% time on writing, but can't run spellcheck?


The title had no spelling errors.


But the body text has quite a few.


Ha! That explains it.


Not blogging professionally, only for "personal use", but recently wrote up my experience of blogging for 6 years: https://henrikwarne.com/2017/11/26/6-years-of-thoughts-on-pr...


"Titles are 80% of the work" That's called click-bait.

If you want good advice, follow Jeff Atwood's post on the subject: https://blog.codinghorror.com/how-to-achieve-ultimate-blog-s...


I thought the phrase "Titles are 80% of the work" did not match the exposition in TFA. Consider these three interpretations:

1. "Titles are 80% of the work" describes how much effort he puts into the title, and how much he suggests.

2. "Titles are 80% of the value" describes how much value readers personally get from your work, regardless of whether they share it or not.

3. "Titles are 80% of the signal that determines whether a blog post is shared on social media" describes how much they drive sharing, and suggests that a good title is worthy of a non-trivial amount of thought.

I personally feel he was trying to say #3, and definitely not trying to say #2. But he literally wrote #1, and somebody might be deluded into reasoning as follows:

If you ought to spend 80% of your time on the title, and if it's responsible for 80% of the sharing, and all you care about is sharing, then it follows naturally that you want to put 80% of your time into it (#1), and that since you only put 20% of your time into the content, and since it only contributes 20% to whether you get ephemerally famous, it needn't provide more than 20% value to the reader (#2).

But despite that, I feel he was trying to say #3 only.


You're correct, but the wording is the kind of cheap, buzzwordy advice that we regularly see online. The post literally opens up with "I want to cross-pollinate a tweetstorm on lessons I’ve learned..." Instead of spending so much time on the headline, he could have spent some more spellchecking.

Don't get me wrong, a good title will draw me in, but the content better match my expectation if I am to come back for another post.


Certainly. I might have written, "A good title is necessary, but not sufficient. But still necessary! So don't neglect it."

But then again, that might not get as many retweets as, "Titles are 80% of the work." Popularity is merciless and entirely orthogonal to quality.


> If you want good advice, follow Jeff Atwood's post on the subject

Ironically, the title of that post is the very click-baity "How To Achieve Ultimate Blog Success In One Easy Step".

More to the point, that post was written so long ago that it nearly pre-dates Twitter and Facebook. It preceded the shuttering of Google Reader by six years. Jeff has great writing advice for sure, but the way that content travels online has changed drastically.

Does that excuse writing click bait titles? No. But the author wasn't advocating doing that.


Not necessarily

Titles can be written to be intriguing without being sensational or misrepresenting the content.

Also I think there is some implication that "clickbait" articles are either uselessly short, rehashed or outright stolen and exist purely for the ad impressions.

That said, I think some of Andrew Chen's titles are right on that knife's edge of sounding like stereotypical clickbait, despite his articles being too well thought out to be truly in that category.


It's only click-bait if the headline is a lie. A great headline for great content is a win-win.


Click-bait doesn't have to be a lie. Stuff like "... will make your jaw drop!" or "... what happened next blew my mind!" aren't really lies.


If the title were really 80% of the work, that doesn't say much for the content. And other things in the post around focusing on frequency etc. set off my alarms. That said, if you dismiss the importance of headlines and use vapid boring ones, you're probably not getting the [EDIT: readership} you could.


It depends on how you define work.

I think naming things is hard... at least that's my take on it.

I often find that a variable/function/class that is harder to name than to use or implement while programming. I expect the issue would be a little more prevalent in writing. You want something short, not click-baity, memorable and with the right connotation. I could see that taking more effort than writing the post.

When putting an idea in words, the less words you use, the more effort it takes.



"Marketing"


Don't know why this is downvoted. If the title is the hardest part of professional blogging, then the content must be relatively vapid.


That sounds like misreading the point on purpose.

I myself write fairly long and well-researched essays but I also spend quite a long time to figure out what the title should be. That doesn't take anything away from the time and effort I put in.

The more famous you are, the more cryptic you can be but to most it's just a fact of life that you need to spend time making your content easily shareable.


A good title is very important, but that's not what he wrote. Words matter.


The point the author made was very clearly "titles are important" for anyone who understands hyperbole and reads him honestly. I can't believe any well-intentioned reader would believe that he spends literally 80% of his time crafting titles.


In the context of the post this is the very first "lesson" the author displays. He then expands on his claim with a bunch of metrics. There is nothing to infer hyperbolicity, no implied sarcasm or joke, and any well-intentioned writer would not waste their reader's time with nonsense masked as a statistic.


But it's true. It is one of the most important parts of your essay if you want it to be read and live off of being a professional blogger. It has nothing to do with the content of the essay your write.


And that's my point: if you spend 80% of your time working on a title, you won't have spent nearly enough time on the content for it to be worth reading.


So does the intent of the reader.

I understood what he meant I think most do.


The title is what readers see first. If content and title don’t match then yes it’s trash. But that doesn’t mean that having a good title isn’t important.


I'm happy he wrote this, and I'll read it again at home tonight.

But what's the deal with "write the title last" and his examples all start with the title?


I don't really understand your point. This is what he means:

I often write a placeholder title, write the essay, and then at the very end, spend a good chunk of time iterating on titles until there’s a good one.

It isn't uncommon for me to handle blog posts that way as well, or even paid freelance articles if no title was provided. You put in a title that suggests what you are talking about, then you write the piece, then you try to figure out what the most important detail is or the most compelling hook or the shortest way to make the essential point.

Writing good titles is quite hard and good titles often grow out of the piece after it is written. You get to the end and you have written multiple paragraphs to give a good lead up and then your final paragraph draws a conclusion in a way you didn't have in mind when you started. And therein lies clues to a good title.

I fairly often pull ideas for a title from the last paragraph or two of a blog post. And I usually don't know what that last paragraph will be until I have written the entire piece.


I must have missed that. Thanks for pointing it out, I was bothered by the seemingly contradictory advice :)

all I noticed was:

  >"Titles are 80% of the work, but you
  write it as the very last thing. 
  It has to be an compelling opinion 
  or important learning"
followed by

  >"Most of my writing comes from
  talking/reading deciding I strongly
  agree or disagree. These opinions
  become titles. Titles become essays."
and then the example

  >"The best example of this in
  my work is 'Growth Hacker is the
  new VP Marketing' which started
  out as a tweet with 20+ shares, and
  then was developed into an essay
  afterwards."


I found that odd, too. Guess it's sort of like a tl;dr, but it felt repetitive.


How to achieve money blogging in three easy steps:

1. Attract people with titles like this one

2. Make your blog popular (???)

3. Put advertising

Thanks for reading this post!

PS: How I made $100,000 a day with one weird trick

(Long sales copy follows)

"I used to not make money and now I made $20K! This system is great!"

(Keep

Scrolling)

If you act now it will be only $10!! And we chare you $300 a month later.

PPS: Does anyone know why they always use the word weird trick? The author comes across as super unbiased that way? LOL


Step 3 should go before step 2, or else you'll lose most of the profit.


I appreciate you taking the time to summarize all this; I've only begun writing in earnest this past year and I'm glad to know that the habits I'm working on developing now are sustainable for the long term.


My biggest issue with blogging is that my writing isn't that great, and that while I'd rather write on a wordpress platform, medium is just easier to write with (WYISWYG). Or even posting on a discourse forum is easier. That, and blogging is technically not productive so I can never find a happy mix between the 2.


I often find that writing blogposts is essential to help my learn. I find that understanding formuale and understanding how things work is often better for my academic learning than memorising formulae

https://medium.com/@brandonskerritt51


Interesting. I wonder what opportunities blogging has given him.


This is also a question I have. I'll often find comments everywhere that when applying for tech jobs, having a relevant blog is of little value, hardly looked at.

If the goal of your blog is purely to establish yourself as some authority on topic(s), do you then have to build audience numbers like he has? Is it common for a lot of people doing this to also do talks at conferences, etc?

If your goal is to monetize the blog, then I think his points matter. Titles matter, attracting readers matter, establishing an email list matters. However if you just want to share opinions and ideas or work you did I don't think a lot of his points matter.


yes I have seen some who have progressed into publishing books based around some particular interesting topics they wrote about on their blog. But I am curious to know if some less obvious benefits come from blogging. I could imagine that you could get more of the spontaneous oportunities from speaking at conferences because of the in-person interaction after/during your session. But from blogging, the long tail might be what is really valuable. Blogging for ten years for instance, at least you have ten years of stuff online to your name. Has to be worth something.


Funny I never heard of him until today.


I haven't either, but saying that apparently counts as snarky and snide here.


One of the top 5 bloggers in tech.


Be that as it may why should the poster be downvoted for this?

Whenever I fool myself into thinking HN is above petty ego bullshit this kind of thing reminds me how mistaken I am.


The comment was unsubstantive and arguably a bit snarky. Those are downvoteable qualities on HN.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


I think the downvotes are for the lack of contribution from his comment. It was unnecessary and not on topic.


> Be that as it may why should the poster be downvoted for this?

Because the snide one-liner post wasn't a productive contribution to the discussion. And that would be true whether or not the blogger was prominent.


What does that even mean


That’s why I refuse to write on Medium or Quora.

Quora is also remarkably corrupt and has a habit of banning people who speak out against bad practices in venture capital.


That's an interesting accusation but without anything to back it up it's hard to assign much value to it do you have a sample of such a case?


Nah, there's only one person who pushes that theory and he is known to use sockpuppets.


Tweet # 6 in her 'Tweet Storm'

> So I flipped to his feed, and sure enough, there'd been a post in November about him being in the hospital. I was never shown this post.

How does she know that she was NEVER shown this post?

Isn't it possible that she didn't scroll all the way past a few 100 status updates, and the friend's hospitalization post was #101 in that scroll list, and she just didn't make it that far with her limited attention span?


Okay first of all - you're commenting on the completely wrong post.

Secondly, in reference to the story you are commenting about, she says in the thread that she always consumes her feed until she sees repeats. Not to mention that she says none of the people in that social circle saw the post. At some point, if Facebook is pushing something down that many spots, it is the same as never showing it. Everyone's attention span is limited.


"People are often obsessed with needing to write original ideas. Forget it."

I hate him. Idiot! Fuck this guy



Is this sarcasm? I don’t understand the reason for this comment, would you mind expanding on it?


[flagged]


In the publishing business, titles are usually chosen by the editor, not the author.

Although the editor has a tough job, I don't think anyone would say that they're doing more work than the person who wrote the piece.




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