Note: This post was originally published on Medium on August 12th 2020.
No tricks, no training, and little writing experience. I think I’m screwed.
July 2020 was a good month. To be exact, it was a $2,056.97 month.
The bulk of my earnings are due to the success of one post that for some reason went a little viral’ish.
Thankfully, August is bringing me down off that high and shaping up to deliver exactly what I anticipated that this platform could - cover my annual membership fee, and buy me a coffee or beer a day.
There is a 100% downside to early success.
When I checked my stats one morning and saw that How I Became A Millionaire had spiked, I was confident that it was some sort of a mistake.
So I’ve spent time analyzing that article trying to figure out the magic.
Too much time.
Long and short of it is that I didn’t spend as much time writing as I should have. I spent too much time thinking things like:
- Was it the structure? I don’t think so, because it’s structured like many of my other articles.
- How about keywords? Partially. Keyword research is part of my routine when writing blog posts. I want to know what people are searching for and discover some related keywords. I know that “how to become a millionaire” is searched around 18k times per month on average. So keywords play a role, but it’s more than that.
- How about my writing? I tend to write like I talk. Sometimes rambling, probably using words the wrong way, sentence structure is all jacked up, and I just throw punctuation around like it’s rice (birdseed now I think?) at a wedding. Definitely no magic in my writing “style”.
- Was it the topic? Probably the biggest factor, coupled with the fact that the headline is a snappy little attention grabber.
My stories about making money are my top earners.
I’ll write more about making money, but don’t want to be seen as some bullshit artist. I’m pretty pragmatic when it comes to these sorts of things.
Here is my top money making advice: Solve problems for people that have money to spend.
But I’ll also write about other topics that are meaningful to me. It’s actually why I’m here - a creative outlet where I can explore ideas that I don’t get do in my “day job”.
I’ve spent a ton of time on a few pieces that really mean a lot to me. I’m not going to link to them, but if you dig around in my profile I’m going to bet that you can guess which ones they are.
My follower count spiked.
I went from a handful of followers in May 2020, to having 1,450 as of this morning.
I’m afraid I’m going to let everyone down.
Seriously, I don’t think I’m that interesting and don’t have much to say. I do know how to make money, and share stories about making money. So as long as people keep reading, I’ll keep writing.
My email list has exploded.
And I don’t have anything to sell, and that made me think:
“I really need to get my shit together and start treating this like a business.”
Or do I?
Not at the moment. The one thing I do not want to be is the guy pitching something that doesn’t bring value to my readers. I’d rather create value and give it to you for free than push something mediocre that makes you second guess the money you sent me.
But don’t worry, I’m coming for ya. 😉
My posts didn’t get curated or picked up by a publication for a few weeks.
During my “analysis phase” I pumped out a few stories for the wrong reasons.
They’ve been deleted.
“Oh for F’ks sake! I’m a one hit wonder, this has been a fluke and I’ll never write anything again that people will want to read.”
No, it’s all good. It happens because of mental distractions and mind screwing myself.
Clear the mind, be still, and creativity comes.
The Bottom Line
Over the past few months, I’ve learned to relax, and do what I came here to do: write and have fun with it.
I don’t want anyone walking away with the impression that I’m anything other than 100% grateful to the community and the opportunity this platform provides.
You have taught me the following lessons:
- Keep writing.
- Trust yourself and the process.
- Don’t over analyze successes and failures.