60 Lessons I Learned After 60 Months of Blogging

Every day you keep going, thousands of others quit.

  1. If you want readers, then consistently produce quality content. That’s basically it.
  2. Every day you keep going, thousands of others quit. Keep writing.
  3. Being consistent is probably the hardest part of writing. If you can master that, you will achieve success on at least a modest level.
  4. Consistency beats talent, luck, and even quality. Just keep writing.
  5. Overnight success is a lie. Anyone who gets 200,000 views their “first month” has worked 5 years before that “first month.”
  6. Most content out there actually isn’t that good, relatively speaking. Quality stands out. If you produce quality, you’ll get readers.
  7. If you write inconsistently, you simply won’t succeed. You need to build trust, and you do that by writing regularly.
  8. Everyone’s first draft is shit. That’s OK. Your 2nd draft will be better.
  9. Look — at some level, we’re all scared of what people will think of our writing. It takes guts to publish.
  10. “You just have to outrun everyone who doesn’t have the guts to publish their work.” -Jon Westenberg
  11. There are way better writers out there. Good. Follow them. Learn from them. Buy their stuff and apply it.
  12. Going from 5,000 to 10,000 followers is so much easier than going from 0 to 1,000.
  13. Nobody wants your pitches. Write extremely well, and big guys like CNBC, Business Insider, and Thought Catalog will come to you.
  14. If you want to create a truly great platform, you need to spend at least 10 hours a week on it. Actually, probably 20.
  15. It doesn’t matter how many times you proofread, you’ll still have typos. Have someone else read it. My wife finds like, 5 typos for every article I’ve proofread.
  16. Nobody reads your blog. Right now, Medium is the single best platform for online writers. Your blog is a sad little Burger King with flickering lights hidden in the backwoods. Medium is a huge shopping mall of interested customers ready to buy.
  17. Get followers and fans on Medium. People are actually there.
  18. Actually, you don’t even really need a blog anymore — you can get subscribers, sell your stuff, and get book deals, all from Medium.
  19. Nobody wants your “weekly newsletter. No one wants your “free updates.” If you want emails, you need a seriously awesome free download (checklists and eBooks are good). Even then, about 5% will still unsubscribe immediately after your first hello.
  20. Headlines determine everything. They’re 90% of the battle. Spend money on learning how to write them, if you have to.
  21. Most writers are unwilling to learn the business of writing.
  22. There is such a thing as a technically gifted yet very boring writer and unsuccessful writer.Ayodeji Awosika
  23. Great writing by itself is not enough. It’s true — the work of writers like Kafka or Faust would probably be drowned out in today’s daily avalanche of content. But that’s the game now. You gotta learn marketing, man.
  24. Even so, some writers will continue producing amazing content nobody will ever read because they’re too proud to learn how to get people to read it.
  25. “It’s called a ‘Best-Selling Author,’ not ‘Best Author.’” -Robert Kiyosaki
  26. 100% freelance work is really hard. Pretty soon, all chairs in coffee shops hurt your butt.
  27. One of the surest ways to quality is through quantity. The more you do, the better you get.
  28. You don’t need social media to be a successful writer.
  29. Most “experts” aren’t experts at all. The loudest voices rarely have the wisest words. Choose your heroes carefully.
  30. SEO isn’t a thing anymore. It used to be. But not anymore.
  31. You probably have a time of day when you write best. That’s when you should write. (For me, that’s early morning and early afternoon).
  32. It’s better to write really great content for 2 hours than merely good content for 6 hours.
  33. If you want to be a great writer, you need to read a lot. Not just articles — books. Lots of books.
  34. It takes a long time to build anything — followers, subscribers, views. Anyone who tells you it can be done in a month is lying.
  35. Build a “quote book.” Mine is up to 22 pages front-to-back of quotes from all the books I’ve read in the past 2 years. It’s where I get 80% of my inspiration.
  36. You can’t be crazy-productive every day. Some days I write a crap-ton, like 6,000 words in one sitting. Other days I don’t write a single word.
  37. Recovery is important. Perpetual productivity is a lie.
  38. Style is crucial. 90% of content out there is booooring. Spend time finding your voice so people can recognize it. There are lots of people who will love your unique style.
  39. I learned the hard way my writing can cause tremendous, hurtful damage if I’m not careful. Writing is powerful. Never forget that.
  40. It’s better to pay for quality than go cheap. Readers can sniff mediocre from a mile out.
  41. Invest in yourself. If readers see you’re too cheap to invest in your work, they certainly won’t invest in you.
  42. I don’t always have fun when I write. Sometimes, I hate my writing. It’s not always a good time. But I do it anyway.
  43. Every writer fears criticism. Here’s an axiom to remember: “Haters confirm greatness.”
  44. Most people still don’t think “blogging” is a viable career option.
  45. …These people are partially right. By itself, blogging is unsustainable. To make a living, you need to expand into selling value — books, courses, materials, etc.
  46. Your success is determined by the size of your thinking. If you think you can, you almost certainly will over time.
  47. Great writing involves great storytelling. Nobody wants to read “how to make a great resume.” But lots of people will read about how one guy turned embarrassment into huge success.
  48. Really long articles have the potential to do really well. So do really short ones with great insights.
  49. 99% of articles written by anybody don’t “go viral.” Like any great athlete, singer, actor, CEO, or author, there are always a few really great performances, but many more forgettable ones.
  50. You need to be serious about your writing if you expect anybody to take you seriously. If you don’t care, how can you expect others to?
  51. There will always be a reason not to write.
  52. Be vulnerable. It doesn’t matter if they’re 5 miles away, people will smell the fake.
  53. If you want readers to stay, you have to give people more than they expect. And readers want to stay. Give them reason to.
  54. It’s not about you. It’s never about you. It’s about giving value to other people.
  55. Action cures fear. If you’re scared to publish, the solution is simple: hit “publish.”
  56. Anyone who relies solely on inspiration won’t go far. You can’t wait for your spirit to move — you have to move your spirit.
  57. You can’t be a “serious writer” and not be willing to pay for self-education. If you prioritize “cheap” instead of your message, your message will be cheap.
  58. If you’re a giver, people will flock to you. If you’re a taker, people will treat you the same way.
  59. Great writing can only get you so far. Once you reach higher levels, your relationships and connections matter 10x more.
  60. One of the most exhilarating experiences a writer can have is to see an article get a ton of traffic. It’s like crack.

Bonus:

61. You’re not as far behind as you think. Get started, and keep going.

Thanks for reading.

-Anthony Moore

Written by

Writer for CNBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, Thought Catalog, Yahoo! Finance, and you. Come say hey. anthonymoore.co

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