Having a deadline to ship is an essential forcing function to write consistently. Here’s how I created a deadline for myself when I launched the newsletter. Pick a cadence, share it publicly, and try your hardest to stick to it.
Things that matter: quality, consistency.
Who exactly is your audience? Think of a specific person—what would they find extremely interesting or useful? What is the concrete job you’re doing for them? Is it entertainment, helping them make money, inspiring them, helping them understand the world, something else?
Most writing is a rehashing of something that’s already been said, or a superficial pontification that people don’t need. What are you adding to the conversation? What new ideas, insights, and concepts are you contributing? This is what people want.
Build up as much real-life experience as you can first. This also gives you more “career optionality,”
“I finally realized that I set out the wrong end goal for myself. Leadership title should have never been the end goal—only a step toward the ultimate unlock: career optionality.
Work towards unlocking career optionality as an end goal, which will enable you to craft your career any way you’d like.”
You can bucket every great newsletter into the “job” it’s doing for people:
Start by figuring out what job you’re doing for someone by answering these two questions: Who exactly is your audience? Think of a specific person—what would they find extremely interesting or useful? What is the concrete job you’re doing for them? Is it entertainment, helping them make money, inspiring them, helping them understand the world, something else?
There are many more categories of jobs, and there’s room for many winners within each category. So you don’t necessarily need to be the best in the world. But you should strive to be.
Writing consistently is a grind. Best-case scenario, you’ll be thinking, writing, and learning about this topic for years. To continue to do this work at a high caliber, you need to be genuinely curious about your topic area. Otherwise, you will create a job for yourself that you will hate.
Things that don’t matter: your design, your title, your strategy, your growth plan, vision . . . most things. Things that matter: quality, consistency.
Pay attention to what people value. I deliberately made this the third item because many people start here, which is a trap (see below). But it’s still important for there to be people who care about your ideas. What do people often ask you for advice about? What has been the most helpful thing you’ve shared with friends? Where do you find pull from others?
Cut every word that isn’t absolutely necessary. Make your intro 50% shorter. Get into the meat of your post as quickly as possible. As Wes Kao puts it, “Start your story right before you get eaten by the bear.”
As a good rule of thumb, start by getting 1,000 people to think your newsletter is the best newsletter in the world.
Growth comes from publishing something valuable, that people want to share with their friends and colleagues, over and over and over.
Quality + consistency = all that matters
any time you have allotted for working on your newsletter that is not writing (and making your writing better) is time wasted
f you can spend almost zero time working on anything that isn’t creating the content itself, you’ll have an advantage
Most of my top newsletter posts are the result of my spending tens of hours doing primary research and uncovering new insights that haven’t been shared before.
Glasp is a social web highlighter that people can highlight and organize quotes and thoughts from the web, and access other like-minded people’s learning.