Writing is easy. Anyone can write a post of 500 words.
But what does it take to go from a writer to becoming a writer with readers? Insights gathered by trying different things, willingness to make mistakes, and working in public.
Therefore, I always get curious when I find people who have successfully created writing careers, or businesses on top of their writing skills. This curiosity led me to read “The Art and Business of Online Writing”, by Nicolas Cole (my co-founder, Thiago Araujo, also recommended reading it).
In this post, I’m going to share my main takeaways from the book, and how the book helped me write more efficiently at hexdevs.
My 3 main lessons from reading ‘The Art And Business Of Online Writing’
I’ve been writing online for a while. Making money with it only recently. Intuitively, I built a process so I never start with a blank page.
Still, the takeaway I got was to systematize my process. How can I improve it to help my audience even more?
I’m not that much interested in being faster, but more interested in helping my audience. The following 3 steps help me exactly with that:
1- Start with a title
By starting with a title, I am constrained by my audience’s needs. Not only that, but it prevents me from wandering/wanting to add lots of things.
2- Write down the outline
What are the beginning, the middle, and the end of this piece of content?
A title, outlines, and CTA make the post complete. Combined, they show if the post delivers its promise, and what could be removed.
3- Optimize for online reading (skimmability)
Bold paragraphs and headings are how the reader evaluates if they want to actually read the post. It’s my job to help them decide.
Are the headings relevant? Do they read like a story? What are the main points I want my reader to remember?
These 3 simple steps help me focus more helping my readers, which is my main goal with writing.
My review of ‘The Art and Business of Online Writing’
This book is NOT for you if you believe writing is the result of motivation or inspiration. That writing is about showing how smart you are.
This book IS for you if you are open to trying things out until you find what works for you and your audience, willing to make mistakes and work in public. The book saves you lots of time and frustration while going through the process.
If you already have the habit of writing online and have an audience, the second part of the book is more relevant because it explores the business side (that’s my case) of things.
Highly recommended it if you want to help someone with your writing –and make money with it.
If you have read it, what were your favorite takeaways from the book? :)
Did you like this article? Then you're gonna love these other ones: