What I’ve Learned From Writing Over 500 Blog Posts

I’ve written over 500 blog posts at sites like The Huffington Post, Diply, Thought Catalog, The Inquisitr, and Elite Daily.

Don’t believe me?

On Medium alone, I’ve published over 500 blog posts (the rest are responses).

I’ve had articles go viral, make it to the Top 20 on Medium, get re-published on awesome websites, and so much more.

It’s been an absolute blast blogging online, but it’s also been terrifying, anger-inducing, challenging, and downright boring.

Yes, I don’t always want to write every day.

That’s lesson #1. Let’s get into it:


1. It Takes Me 400 Words To Enjoy Writing A New Post

The words don’t flow from my fingertips like lightning every day. Sometimes I sit at my computer and dread opening up a new draft on Medium.

At first I feel like I’m just vomiting words onto a page.

Then all of a sudden — about 400 words into the article — I hit my stride. I think if you ignore the “THIS SUCKS, THIS SUCKS” voice in your head for 15 minutes, you’ll really get into your article.

Trust me. Just sit down and write (without editing yourself), and you’ll be okay.


2. Blogging And Writing Are Totally Different

What I mean is, blogging has a very specific format. You can’t just write a wall of text and expect your post to go viral. You must split it up.

One of the unspoken rules of blogging is to never go past 3 lines of straight text. While you don’t always need to follow that, it’s a good rule of thumb to prevent yourself from writing an unreadable wall of words.

You need dividers, subheadings, pictures, quotes, and so much more. Your post needs to keep the attention of your reader, who’s probably on a device and has so many more things to pay attention to —like cat memes.

Therefore, you must be snappy. You must pay attention to the design of your article just as much as the words.


3. Most People Quit Blogging In A Month

Because I love blogging, I’ve had a lot of friends take it up only to quit a month later. They stop posting articles, their Facebook pages go dark, and their blogging dreams turn into a distant memory.

This is good and bad.

It’s bad because damn, I wish I could be more of an inspiration to my friends so they kept going.

It’s good because the longer I blog, the less competition I really have.


4. You’ll Never Run Out Of Ideas

Let’s do a quick exercise.

Are you breathing?

Good, you’ll never run out of ideas. As long as you’re writing for the art of it, and aren’t just blogging to make money (near impossible in your first year), life will never stop inspiring you to write new stories.

Many times my articles are born from what I’m going through at that moment in time. Ideas are gifted to me from blog posts, books, when I walk with my dogs, and even when I’m busy coaching wrestling.

Stop worrying whether you’ll ever run out of ideas. You won’t.

You may write about the same things sometimes and re-package previous talking points, but you’ll find you’re not just re-hashing stuff — you’re actually adding another dimension to previous topics that you never thought of before.

Keep writing and you’ll see what I mean.


5. No Blog Post Is Wasted

Everything is trial and error. Your first 300 blog posts may be a mixed up hodge-podge of unrelated stories, but by the 301st post you’ll realize that, and re-adjust to a specific niche.

Sometimes you need to write a ton of posts to understand what you LIKE writing about. Does this mean your earlier posts are wasted?

No. It’s a progression. You needed to write them to get to where you are now.

Major realizations like this only happen a couple times in your writing journey, but when they do, it’s like you stop crawling towards your destination and break into a sprint.


6. You’ll Go Viral When You Least Expect It

My first viral article came as a complete surprise. I wrote an article at 4 a.m., went back to sleep, then woke up to a flood of traffic and hundreds of likes to my Facebook page.

If you write as many articles as I do, you’ll go viral at some point.

You don’t even have to be a “digital content expert” or anything like that.

One day you’ll put a post down with so much emotion, and it’ll be so easy to read, and the headline will be perfect, and you’ll post it at jusstttt the right time.

Then you’ll get a wave of attention like you’ve never experienced before.

I recommend you write a ton of shorter posts at first to see what people like, then tweak your strategy from there to write “silver bullets” that are all but guaranteed to be liked and shared by tons of people.

There is a formula, but first you need an audience. That’s another thing..


7. Medium Is The Best Place To Build Your Audience

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Medium was the saving grace to my writing career.

By the way, if you want to get my free 5-day email course on how to get 1,000 followers on Medium, sign up below!

Without it, I’d probably still be getting 2 views on new articles (ouch).

So, if you’re reading this and want to build a following here (I have 18K followers), do these things:

  • Follow lesser-known authors who’s stories you like. Search a tag and click “latest stories” to get stories from lesser-known authors — not just popular ones.
  • Leave 3–5 comments PER DAY on articles from said authors. You need to engage!
  • Write 300–400 word posts every week day for a month and leave proper tags. You need to see what people like!
  • Try to become a writer at various publications (Smedian.com is a good place to start). Platforms are everything.

After you do this for one month, let me know how many followers (and friends) you attracted.


8. You’ll Get Re-Published In Awesome Places

Some of my articles have gotten so much attention that they’ve been re-published on other websites.

If you write enough, this will happen for you. Medium is such a cool place like that, and you never know who could be reading.

Furthermore, if you don’t have your own publication yet, a pub on Medium might come across your article and ask to feature it inside theirs.


9. You’ll Make So Many Amazing Friends

Laila Zouaki, Michelle Okafor, Tiffany Sun, and Todd Brison are just a few of the amazing people I’ve met on Medium from blogging.

It’s gotten so bad I have a whole rolodex of people I regularly check in with because I’m too afraid I’ll miss their posts.

When we set out on a writing journey, sometimes we forget we’re going to build an audience and make amazing friends — not just become a better writer.

This in and of itself makes the whole thing worth it.


10. It Takes Time, But You Will Be Successful At Blogging

If you write 500 blog posts, you’re going to see the fruits of your labor somewhere. It may come in the form of friendships, viral posts, followers, or emotional therapy.

I set out on this journey for a number of reasons. I wanted to be heard, exercise my creative muscles, and make blogging my main source of income someday so I could ultimately inspire others to do so, too.

I want to liberate a couple hundred people and show them how much blogging can actually change their lives. It’s changed mine.

I’ve seen success beyond my wildest dreams, and every day something new falls into my lap.

I pray you all find the same thing. Here’s to blog post #1.

Want to build an audience of your own on Medium? I have a free 5-day email course called “Your First 1,000 Followers” that will teach you how I did it! Sign up for it right here.

By | 2018-03-14T19:13:28+00:00 March 14th, 2018|Blogging, Medium, Writing|7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Pragya March 20, 2018 at 9:45 am - Reply

    I always kept starting or just thinking about starting and stopping. You’ve made it so much easy yet impactful. Thank you!

  2. Nadia K. Putri March 21, 2018 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Oh my God, this article inspiring me much! I’ve never expected that Medium could be a place to engage the first reader, then it will broaden to the writer’s blog. This theme should be always recommended for other bloggers.

  3. Imani Bracy March 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Honestly, this article spoke to my soul! I have stopped and started numerous throughout the years when it comes to my writing. There is only so much you can learn about blogging. Eventually, you just have to step out in faith and get to writing. I appreciate the transparency of your success. I have been inspired! Before, this article I was not familiar with medium. I just signed up for your 5-day email course. The challenge to 1,000 followers has been accepted. I’ll let you know how many followers I have in a month based on doing your recommendations.

    • Tom March 25, 2018 at 3:24 am - Reply

      Ahh awesome Imani!

      I hope you like the course. I really want to try and spread the word about Medium as much as I can. 🙂

      Let me know how you like the course!! 🙂

  4. SIMONE STEWART April 10, 2018 at 12:59 am - Reply

    I must admit, this article was inspiring.
    Thanks for such clarity.

  5. Anh April 15, 2018 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    Hey, thanks for sharing your wisdom. I found your article through Pinterest. I am not sure what Medium is but it is the second time I have heard about Medium in two days. The first stumble on Medium was about Elle Luna’s essay. Also very inspiring.

    Blogging is something I want to do, but I think I have over thought the whole thing so much that I am having starter paralysis. It’s been three months. You have to have a niche. You can be a lifestyle blogger. I hated writing essays in school. It would give me anxiety (again because I would over think it.). Grammar, form, arguments, plagiarism. -_- I have been out of university for about ten years now. I have been a stay at home mom for three. I don’t have much confidence in my writing skills. But then I always loved keeping a journal and recording my thoughts and special moments.

    Ok. This totally turned into me “vomiting words” onto my phone.

    What I wanted to say is your article has enlighten me to just start. Just do it. It’s going to be crap at first. Just keep going. No one will read it in the beginning anyways. But it will get there if I keep at it.

    Happy blogging.

    • Tom April 18, 2018 at 2:25 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for commenting Anh (is that your name?).

      Everything you just said is true. Just begin. Just get going. Even if it sucks–even if you don’t have a niche or anything like that. You don’t need one. Write for the page and nobody else. There are no rules for the first few weeks/months. Just begin. 🙂

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