Meet some exceptional everyday people
I’m pretty sure Jack Butcher made $128k in a few hours largely from the distribution network he built on Twitter—then probably another $50k over the next week.
Sahil Bloom has seemingly built an empire in the last two years—starting on Twitter from few followers to over 800k followers at the time of this writing.
There’s also Packy McCormick who definitely makes over $1MM per year from his newsletter business.
I’ve used money as my success measure, but these people also have impact, freedom, and fun; arguably those matter more to some of us.
I could go on with the examples, but what they have in common is…
Somehow they saw the value or lucked into being good at digital writing and the world is their oyster.
You are everyday people, but you need a plan
If you are like me, you probably wrote sporadically and without a lot of focus.
You’re wandering, perhaps.
You know you can probably write well, but you don’t give it the time.
The difference between those people I referenced and you probably is focus and discipline. And some acceleration in insights and skills.
You could ride along with your unintentional plan or you could get committed and give yourself the best chance for better results.
That’s where I was a few months ago; let me tell you what I did.
I enrolled in Ship 30 for 30 to improve my writing skills
I went looking for an online writing course that would teach me some skills, but also force me to make a commitment—a monetary and time commitment.
I liked them both but decided to start with Ship 30 for 30 and circle back to Write of Passage to refine my skills or get a different perspective.
Once I decided, I enrolled in the October ’22 cohort of the Ship 30 for 30 course hoping I would be able to answer these questions about myself:
- Could I really write for 30 straight days?
- Could I discover my niche and identity for myself?
- Could I build a following on Twitter or any other platforms?
and more importantly: could I put myself out there?
For whatever reason, I worried about writing publicly to an audience of friends, colleagues, and complete strangers and what they would think of me. Or would they read and engage with what I had written?
I knew it was possible that I would be uncomfortable. But where there is discomfort, there is usually growth. And I was looking to grow.
My experience and results so far
Week 1 – Onboarding
Leading up to the start of the course, I received plenty of emails letting me know what to expect from the course and how to get prepared.
Here was the Week 1 schedule as provided by the Ship 30 for 30 crew:
- Sunday: Join our Circle community and download the Ship 30 Course Guide
- Monday: Set up and get comfortable with the course logistics, build your daily writing habit, and begin capturing ideas
- Tuesday: Create, design, launch your very own Social Blog
- Wednesday: Connect with your fellow shipmates and attend the Kickoff Call + Shipmate Meet & Greet at 12:00 PM ET
- Thursday: Get a peek at where you will be after writing every day for 30 days
- Friday: Review your final checklist before the ship sets sail
- Saturday: Ship your first Atomic Essay! And attend the Live Session #1: Adopting the Mindset of a Digital Writer at 12:00 PM ET.
As you can see, Circle is used as the course hub which makes it easy to access content, interact with other enrollees, and earn fun badges.
On Saturday of Week 1, I wrote my first Twitter thread which is oddly enough an earlier version of my first newsletter here. Give it a read.
To be transparent, I never really wanted to write “atomic essays” using the Typeshare platform, but I did write my Twitter threads on that platform. Why? I just thought the atomic essays looked unnatural on Twitter and I wanted to write more natively as people like Sahil Bloom have done.
In Week 2, the Live Sessions began. This was the schedule:
- Live Session #2: Become Prolific With The Endless Idea Generator – Oct 18th (Tue), 12:00 PM EST
- Live Session #3: How To Write Compelling Headlines That Capture Your Reader’s Attention – Oct 21st (Fri), 12:00 PM EST
I caught one of these live, but for the rest of the course, I watched the replays after they were quickly posted in Circle.
The live sessions are a mix of Dickie Bush and Nicolas Cole going through the course content in a lighthearted, but entertaining way. And the content itself provided non-obvious insights into how to write effectively in the digital medium.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t always apply the techniques and frameworks as I struggled to carve out 30-60 minutes just trying to bang out my writing. I was primarily interested in going 30 for 30; no matter what it looked like.
Probably my best thread over the course period came in Week 2. I retold a story of leverage which once again is aligned with the content of this site.
Take a read:
At this point, I was 7 for 7 and feeling pretty good.
In Week 3, these were the live sessions:
- Live Session #4: How To Use Writing Rhythms And Formatting To Keep Your Reader’s Attention – Oct 25 (Tue), 12:00 PM EST
- Live Session #5: Day 15 Halfway Checkpoint Ask-Me-Anything – Oct 29 (Sat), 12:00 PM EST
My streak continued and I was 14 for 14, but I was also cross-posting on LinkedIn sometimes. Here’s an example:
My distribution on LinkedIn was much greater and I am sure many people were wondering what the Hell was going on with me. The engagement was pretty low, but profile views went up. People were obviously trying to figure out what was up.
But you know what? Nothing bad happened when I put myself out there. I cannot control your thoughts, but people often fear a reality that never manifests. I can only offer the staid advice of: you’ll never know unless you try.
In Week 4, these were the live sessions:
- Live Session #6: How To Write Twitter Threads & LinkedIn Posts – Nov 1st (Tue), 12:00 PM EST
- Live Session #7: Analytics 101: Double-Down On Proven Data Points To Double Your Audience Growth – Nov 4th (Fri), 12:00 PM EST
As you can see, I finally got the content that was more aligned with the writing I was actually interested in doing.
My streak continued and I was 21 of 21, but I was starting to struggle with topics and the grind of making the hour or so it was taking me to write every day.
But having said that, I was feeling very accomplished and I continued to frame this course and my writing as a James Altucher-style Skip The Line experiment. At this point, I had pretty much met all goals except the streak and had settled on some next steps. This newsletter site is that next step.
Week 5 was the last week of the course and these were the live sessions:
- Live Session #8: Earning Credibility, Rewriting Your Bio, And Naming & Claiming Your Category – Nov 8 (Tue), 12:00 PM EST
- Shipping Day 30 Celebration Call – Nov 13 (Sun), 12:00 PM EST
My streak ended at 25, but all was not lost.
The course was over, but what comes after is the fun part.
As is the case with a lot of online courses, it comes down to YOU more than the course content itself. It’s your choice to put knowledge into action. You know what most people do, right? They do nothing and then nothing changes in their lives.
For me, the main takeaway is the niche that was identified, named, and claimed—the Digital Asset Builder. And the newsletter that’s resulted.
Of course, it’s too early to celebrate. I could fizzle out and then I’ll be like everyone else.
I didn’t experience a huge explosion of followers or even engagement on my writings. But I also didn’t optimize my activities to get those results. If I had wanted those results, I would have mixed and mingled more with the members of Ship 30 for 30 and other Twitter accounts.
If your goal is to explode your followers, you can probably do that, but you’ll have to optimize your activities beyond just writing your content.
So all in all, I enjoyed the experience and highly recommend the journey. If you’re at a point where you’re ready to invest in this type of growth, you can get started with the links below. If you decide to do it, please drop me a line and let me know how I can follow or help.
If you are thinking about taking the course yourself, I suggest taking advantage of some FREE training that’s offered by the Ship 30 for 30 gang. Here are the three that I know of:
Digital Writing Compass
Sign up and you’ll get an email every Monday with a Deep Dive into the content strategies, writing frameworks, and money-making business models that power million-dollar digital businesses.
Guide To Start Writing Online
Everything you need to start writing, build an audience, and create new opportunities online.
- 8 Frameworks
- 15+ Templates
- 13,000 Words
- 55 Pages
5 Pillars of Digital Writing
An ebook that teaches 5 dead-simple frameworks to help you become a prolific digital writer.
- 6 Pillars
- 5 Timeless Frameworks
- 16,000 Words
Of course, if you already know you want to commit to the next Ship 30 for 30 cohort, you can sign up right now.
If you do sign up, drop me a note and I’ll follow you on Twitter, give you feedback, and promote your content to my followers.
If you do decide to try Ship 30 for 30, please let me know how it goes. And good luck!
Perhaps the biggest Internet superpower is digital writing. Do it well and you can create a huge distribution network for your ideas or your products and services. This course gives you frameworks, a community, and an accountability system. This website owes its existence to my journey through Ship 30 for 30 and the resonance of those teachings.