Hi all, Happy Tuesday!
Apologies for the late post. I hope you had a great start to the week and will have a fantastic rest of the week.
I hope you enjoy this week’s “Tuesday Letter” :)
While it sounds easy, being concise is often more challenging than being verbose. Mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal recognized this in his native French, with a statement that translates roughly to “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time” (a sentiment often attributed to Mark Twain).
Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
This week I published a guide on adding multiple GraphQL queries with Gridsome. Hopefully, this is a sign of me going back to more consistent writing. I plan to start writing more about Django.
I used the premise of the guide to update the Gridsome Documentation. This lead to me being added to Gridsome organization. Exciting! First Github organization I am a part of. Very motivating to continue contributing to open source projects.
I went through my hypothesis notes and found a few highlights that I would love to share.
This is post from Dynamitejobs. This was based on a conversation between Dynamitejobs and Nat Eliason.
We were fortunate enough to have Nat Eliason of Growth Machine sit down with our team and discuss how he assesses potential new team members.
Your resume and answers to the application are what will get you through the door in the first place. The application form is used to look for these qualifications:
- Minimum Skills
- Ability to Work Independently
- Results from Previous Work
- Can Improve Processes
- Personality and Culture Fit
That post is the bomb :fire: :fire: :fire:. Nat shares the learning from starting and growing his blog. He shares all the numbers, all the tactics, and every small detail that you might need to succeed yourself.
Below is the list of things that jumped at me the first time I was reading this piece. However, I encourage reading the whole thing. It is fascinating and is full of useful and actionable advice.
Way too many people obsess over launching with a perfect site and never go live.
Get over the fear and put yourself out there.
That’s a combination of good SEO and good curation. People don’t want to read 10 articles or 30 guides. They want one great resource. Your job is to create an excellent resource for whatever you’re writing about.
If you write an “I believe” post, and you don’t piss some people off, you’re not doing it right.
Reddit has so many people on it, and there are communities for everything. Whenever I published a post I thought would do well there, I would find a community I could share in, post it, and see what happened.
So what’s the secret to getting a big spike of traffic from Reddit? Unfortunately, it’s a fairly dull strategy: write a great article, find a good community to share it in, post it, maybe cheat a little bit by having 3-4 extra Reddit accounts upvote it, and cross your fingers. It won’t work most of the time, but when it does, it can be a game-changer.
you don’t want to waste your time by producing pieces that are only valuable for a few days.
This is the ultimate goal for any blog. You want to build up a base of people who love what you write, and who will consider reading anything new you put out. It’s where the true value of the blog comes in, because it means you’re on people’s minds for certain kinds of opportunities or questions they might encounter.
It didn’t take long to convert me into such person. I think after reading 2-3 posts I was hooked on Nat’s writing.
For this site, the affiliate income has been nice, but it’s not massive, and not something I intend to optimize around. Treat affiliate income for a personal site as bonus money.
Here’s how Sponsorware works:
(To make all this happen I built a Laravel app with GitHub authentication that calls on the GitHub API to verify a user’s sponsorship) Now, people watching the screencasts will naturally encounter these “private” screencasts and if they like the free ones, they will sponsor me (at $14/mo.) to get access.
All of this works because I spent years and years honing my craft and producing software that is truly useful.
There is just no way around this. You have to learn and gain experience!
The work people are sponsoring for has to be quality and remain the #1 priority.
Building an audience is ESSENTIAL for any of this to work. Twitter followers and email subscribers are your most valuable asset
The biggest mistake people make with GitHub sponsors is offering too small of a first tier.
I heard a few times Julian compared to Nat Eliason. I don’t think this is very fair. They both have fantastic writing skills and fantastic content on their sites. It’s a shame I only discovered Julian’s writings just now.
This clearly doesn’t show the whole range and depth of Julian’s work, but one quote I discovered from his post on Building the Writing Habit has stuck with me.
What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.
My advice to first-time info product creators: 1. Start with a very small product. 2. Choose a topic you know well that will almost write itself. Avoid doing research. 3. Timebox production to 2 weeks. 4. Charge $10. 5. Promote it! All the lessons are in #5. Best of luck!
Daniel has been producing great works and content recently. This tweet nicely encapsulates a lot of his work into one short tweet.