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Personal Publishing Principles

My Personal Site

  1. This is the best place to build relationships.
  2. This is the best place to offer my products and services.
  3. This is the best introduction for possible readers, employers, friends, neighbors, distant relatives, etc. When someone does a search, this will be a lot better to see than some errant comment on Amazon or social media.
  4. This is the place to try out all the crazy ideas/projects/products I come up with. Only 1 in 100 of them will resonate, so I need a place that feels good to put up 99 failures — at least. You don’t need 100 products necessarily. But you probably need 100 landing pages.
  5. This is my place for my daily blog (see below for blogging principles) that feeds the segmented newsletters, guides, books, and courses. Don’t restrain yourself on the blog. Be professional and deep-diving in the products, be broad, personal, and clumsy in the blog.
  6. This is the place that fuels a fun-first creative practice. It’s likely nothing much will happen from all of this publishing, so fun may be the thing that keeps you going with your process/practice, which is crucial for getting better as a creator in general.

My Personal Blog

  1. This is the engine of your personal site. It’s the foundation content that fuels everything else. Segment and compile in other forms of media, but the personal blog is a free-for-all in terms of content and style.
  2. There’s no better outlet for your career and personal health. “The most defensible thing you can do for your career is build an audience.”
  3. All the most successful (financially and mentally) people I know from online friendships have an anything-goes outlet (blog or podcast) and at least one product that came from that outlet and funds everything else they do.
  4. Keep your humor and make sure your reader keeps theirs. It’s easy and lazy to do otherwise with no long-term upside.
  5. There is no competition for your personal voice.
  6. Writing is a practice. Practicing in public yields dividends in many ways.
  7. Writing long or short form on a blog is a false choice. A mix is a more honest look inside a writer’s brain.
  8. Your personal blog tells your story. Stories are what builds relationships, and worthwhile projects. Think of it as a journal more than a publication.
  9. This is a public notebook that goes back years and can be mined for all sorts of uses.
  10. This exercises my brain — something I need more of with age.
  11. The pressure of perfectionism tends to stifle you. This is the place to destroy that tendency.
  12. Fail in public. Try things. Don’t be boring. See what sticks.

My Personal Newsletter

  1. My personal newsletter is an extension of my personal blog. It’s fun, eclectic, interesting, and easily-digestible. Go deep and niche when developing your sellable products. This is for building relationships. Be personal, and have a personality.
  2. People are creatures of habit. That’s why consistency works. Become a part of their routine. Pick a day and own it.
  3. What delights me about other personal newsletters: surprises, fun, odd and obscure links, lack of formality, hand-drawn or original/interesting images.
  4. This is not where you make money. This is where you have fun, build relationships, and branch out to projects, even if that means another newsletter. In other words, always give it away for free. This is about audience, so there’s no paid options on the personal newsletter. Save that for very specific projects.
  5. “Don't call it a newsletter.” It’s a private email list.
  6. Only one person is opening this email. Remember that. You are not a broadcaster. You are writing to one, individual reader. It’s never “Hey, guys!”
  7. Curation still matters because “it’s not the customer’s job to care.” To paraphrase Dave Pell, Seth Godin, and Hugh MacLeod: no one gives a shit about you or your projects. Bring them something really interesting from all corners of the web and they’ll read next week…maybe.