If you own your own website, you know that good writing means more traffic, more social shares, more customers and ultimately more impact. Bad writing means being ignored.
Learning to write has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
Writing has been instrumental in helping me transform into the person I am today.
It has given me a way to share my ideas and thinking.
It has helped me discover and get to know myself better.
It has allowed me to feel seen, heard, and understood by other like-minded people.
Most of all… it has helped me find my voice — a voice I never had.
So I want to persuade you to write too.
Because your voice deserves to be heard.
People who don’t write are blind to the benefits, so I want to give you 11 worthwhile reasons why you should:
1. Writing builds your network, your audience and creates serendipitous opportunities.
Writing online enables you to connect with people all over the world.
Writing regularly online helps you build an audience who is interested in what you have to share, what you offer and how you can help them.
This is great for and should be pursued by anyone who:
- owns a business or want to start a business
- want to advance their career
- want to connect, find, meet others who share the same interests
A well-written article sitting online is like having a magnet that attracts like-minded people and opportunities you want to you.
This is way better than luck because you’re in control. This is how you create your own luck in life.
2. Writing creates leverage.
This is extremely valuable if you own a business or thinking about starting a business.
Having good writing online about your business, your ideas, your products and services, why you do what you do is like having free minions working for you, without you putting in anymore additional effort.
Creating pieces of content online is like developing octopus legs for your business, where each leg has the potential to bring you a customer.
Writing online allows you to showcase your perspective on how you think about a subject or how you uniquely solve problems for your ideal customers.
If you know how to write persuasively, then you have the ability to influence people and change their minds at will. This is why the greatest writers (and copywriters) are usually the top earners in their industry.
This is the reason why I persisted and continued to improve my writing skills over the years. I wanted leverage in my business. I want my business to be low stress, sustainable and highly profitable.
When I had my online marketing services business in 2013, I found myself repeating the same things over and over, having “coffee chats” with small business owners (prospects) trying to educate them about digital marketing.
It was a lot of effort. I did that for close to 2 years and grew tired of it. The “return on effort” was low. I put in so much effort but had little to show for it.
Travelling to and from networking events just sucked up my time, and took me away from growing my business.
That was the first time I experienced the feast and famine cycle as a business owner. When I let go of that business, I swore to myself — I never want to experience that again.
Sharing your ideas and thinking online allows others to access your brain without taking your time. You don’t need to be in the chair, in the office, or be in meetings. Anybody in any corner of the world, in any time zone, can access your best thinking, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You’re no longer selling your knowledge and time by the hour. Publish something once, and people can read it forever.
This is how you start to free yourself from the feast and famine cycle that traps most small business owners.
3. Writing allows you to leave a legacy.
If you’re anything like me… you’re building a business that makes an impact. Which means you probably want to leave a legacy.
Gaining clarity on what you want your legacy to be can give your life meaning and purpose.
Usually, people want to leave a legacy because they want to feel that their life mattered.
The reason we know about history’s great thinkers is because they took the time and effort to write things down.
Think: Aristotle, Plato, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Darwin, Confucius… The list goes on…
We are still reading their writings from hundreds and thousands of years ago… after they are long gone.
4. Writing builds trust.
This is another valuable and worthwhile reason to write online if you own a business, want to build your career or want to meet others like you.
Meeting people we don’t know is scary for most of us. When meeting a stranger for the first time, you have no idea who they are, where they come from, or what their motivations are. Your lizard brain is always on “alert mode” constantly scanning for threats around you.
This is precisely the reason why most of us search on Google, Facebook stalk, or check out LinkedIn profiles before we contact people we don’t know or meet them in person.
When people read your writing online, they are getting an insight into how you think, what you’re interested in, what you’ve done and who you are. Most of us just want to make sure the person is not some weird psychopath, and we want to see if they are someone we can relate to.
This is why being authentic and transparent gives you a huge advantage over people who hide behind masks online.
The more authentic you are in how you present yourself online, the quicker and easier you attract like-minded people who want to do business with you, hire you or want to be your friend.
Trust must be established first before transactions can happen in any relationship.
5. Writing positions you as an authority in your niche.
This is the reason why there’s been an explosion of people who want to become authors, because it’s one way to establish authority and credibility in business.
Writing allows you to become a “thought leader” in your industry. In order to be seen as a leader, you need to demonstrate why people should follow you and listen to you.
The best way to demonstrate your authority in your niche is to help people see their problem in a way they haven’t seen before.
This is your chance to teach what you know about your industry, common topics people talk about in your niche, your thoughts, your ideas and your position on those topics.
Hint: This is exactly what I’m doing with this article — demonstrating my knowledge around the skill of writing, and why I think it’s a MUST for business, marketing and your own personal growth.
The best way to become a leader is to stand for something you believe in.
6. Writing helps you achieve your goals, reflect on your life and the changes you’re making.
You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
Writing down your goals not only forces you to get clear on what exactly it is that you want to accomplish, but “getting crystal clear” also plays a part in motivating you to do the necessary work to ensure your success.
The process of writing your goals down will force you to strategise, ask questions about your current progress, and to brainstorm your plan of attack.
Here is the neuroscience behind why it works.
This is incredibly valuable, as we often do things without realising why, or what kind of effects our thoughts and feelings are having on us, and how it was affecting the way we solve problems in our lives.
Journalling allows you to see how your thoughts and feelings change about certain things in your life over time. It allows you to see how you’ve gone about solve problems, so you can take your own successes in one area of life, and apply them to another area of life when you’re facing similar challenges.
It’s interesting for me to do a trip down memory lane (dig up my old notes, life logs, journal entries etc) to see past events, challenges I faced and overcame, but most importantly, how I’ve grown as a person.
Even if you don’t want to write in public, you should still write in private for these 2 reasons alone for your own personal growth.
7. Writing clarifies your thinking, sharpens your ideas and makes you smarter.
Writing is thinking. Rewriting is rethinking.
Writing forces you to crystallise and sharpen your ideas.
You get better not by writing, but by rewriting. The improvement happens when you begin to look at your construction of a sentence, your edits, how you refine it, and how each idea is pieced together.
The rewriting, editing, refining process makes your communication clearer, more concise and succinct. The better you are at communicating your ideas, the more you become a person of influence.
8. Writing allows you to capture your thoughts and ideas.
We all have random thoughts and ideas that constantly pop into our minds. They could range from:
- everyday tasks we need to remind ourselves to do
- ideas on topics we’re interested in exploring ‘when we have time’
- ideas for projects we’re working on
- new insights to better solve our problems
Developing a habit of writing down and capturing all of your random thoughts, and saving them some place safe (note-taking system) allows you to free up your mind and create space for more inspiration and creativity to emerge.
This is the foundation to nurturing your own creativity.
It’s hard to be creative when your brain is full of to-dos from your daily life and your projects. Because your brain is built for coming up with ideas, not for storing them.
I save and store all my thoughts in my digital brain (a.k.a. note-taking system) to help me live to my fullest potential as a creator.
9. Writing helps you live with more curiosity.
Writing forces you to come up with new ideas regularly, which forces you to become more observant about your surroundings and happenings around your life.
Ideas are everywhere! They’re in the people you meet, conversations you have, your life experiments, events you attend, things you read online, new ventures, magazines, films, music, books…
When you write regularly, your eyes are open to these ideas around you.
Each moment could be an inspiration for a new thought or idea that can later become an article.
10. Writing regularly inspires you to live an interesting life.
The more you write, the better you get.
As your writing improves, so will the opportunities that become available to you.
When you have more and more opportunities that come your way, your life changes and you become more interesting to others, which then attracts even more opportunities.
It’s a positive loop that spirals up!
It’s human nature that people pay attention and want to be around people who are interesting to them.
11. Writing for an audience helps you think from their perspective.
You begin to understand people better when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and get into their mindset as you write, regardless of whether they are prospects, customers, colleagues or friends.
You develop empathy and a wider understanding of the world.
This is the secret of making people engage with your content.
See why empathy is one of the keys to Gary Vee’s success:
Have I persuaded you to start writing?
Bottomline: Writing changes your life.
If you’re not convinced yet… then keep reading.
I’m giving you real life examples of how it has already changed my life in just 8 short weeks…
Ever since I announced my new website to a few people on 1st May.
Here are all the good things it brought into my life so far:
Started growing an audience
I started attracting the people I want in my tribe (newsletter subscribers).
Just by checking out my site, they wanted to hear more from me. I didn’t need to create “freebies” to bribe them to join because my writing does all the heavy lifting for me.
I even received numerous unsolicited feedback from people who told me they love my work.
One of my favourite things in the world are reading emails and messages from people who stumble upon my work.
It’s proof I’m doing something right. Makes me all warm and fuzzy. 🥰
Gained a ‘mastermind buddy’
During a live call of an online course I took in April, a student (from Vancouver) reached out immediately when he saw my new website.
He was so excited to see that I am also a Miyamoto Musashi fan like him (my favourite quote on my homepage).
A week later, we hopped on zoom and chatted for an hour. Turns out we have many similar interests in writing, productivity, business, psychology and how we see life in general.
The more you have in common with someone, the more you feel like you’re long lost friends. He’s a kindred spirit for sure.
Every time we talk, we feel energised and excited after our conversations. It helps that he is smart and funny.
4 zoom calls later, we decided to be mastermind buddies to help each other brainstorm and solve problems. It’s always great to have someone to bounce ideas off to help me refine my work and thinking.
Gained a promotional partner
3 weeks ago, I bought a WordPress plugin called PublishPress to help me better manage my content publishing workflow. I thought it was a great product to recommend to others, so I decided to become an affiliate and made an application.
Through my application process, the owner, Steve who lives in Florida, checked out my website (to make sure I was legit) and found odd similarities in my history to his.
He lived in Japan in the same years and city I was there (2000 and 2002)! I really can’t make this stuff up. The world shrinks when you write online. Our emails back and forth turned into a zoom call.
The reason why I wanted to chat to him was because I wanted to get to know him, learn about his business and see where the product is going so I can write about it. Because I enjoy telling people about great products I find and use myself.
He asked about my plans and I told him I’m starting a new business, which is why I needed to build a new website, so I can write and publish content as part of my marketing strategy.
My business hasn’t launched because I don’t have an offer to sell yet, but I told him my idea of what my offer is going to be. I just need time to work out the details in order to launch it in the coming weeks.
Little did I know he would be excited about my offer idea, and thought it would help his audience. He said he wants to promote my offer to his audience when I’m ready to launch! 😱
It was not what I expected… I didn’t even ask to be promoted! He just offered to help me, and also offered to have me write a guest post on his website! What an awesome and generous man!
I gained a promotional partner out of the blue for a brand new business I haven’t even launched yet! 🤯
You’re witnessing serendipitous opportunities right here.
I am obviously over the moon!!! 😆💃🏻
In 10 years of my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve NEVER had any one who is happy and willing to promote me to his audience without me asking. Steve believed in what I have to offer and can see how I can help his audience just from my writing online.
UPDATE (September 5, 2020): My Guest Post is now published on PublishPress. It’s called ‘3 Expensive Content Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid‘.
Improved relationship with ‘new boss’
I secured a new job at a digital marketing agency in early March. I still haven’t started the new job yet.
In late March, I had a call with Myron (owner, new boss) as Australia went into lockdown due to COVID. He said he needed to pivot the business and probably won’t be ready to bring me on for at least another month or two.
It was music to my ears, because I told him I wanted time to work on my new website project.
End of May, I touched base with him, mentioned my project was done and linked to my new website. He responded with…
This “coffee catch up” was our 3rd meeting in person. His demeanour toward me changed. It was different to our first 2 meetings where our relationship felt more ‘formal’. I knew I was just a ‘new hire’ to him, and he didn’t trust me yet.
When we met for our coffee catch up, he greeted me with a kiss on the cheek as if we were already friends. The change in his demeanour took me by surprise. Totally not what I expected but a good surprise.
Now I know for sure that I have elevated myself in his mind.
It’s clear to him that I am someone that:
- Can “get shit done” (I had no website when I last spoke to him)
- Understands business and all the challenges that comes with it
- Possess real world marketing chops demonstrated through my writing
I am now another friend in business. Our relationship changed for the better.
As entrepreneurs, we both know a resume is the worst way to tell if the person applying for the job is a good fit. Neither of us are fans of resumes. He barely looked at my resume when we first met in my first interview.
A personal brand website kicks any resume’s ass all day long.
Instead of talking about his business, we talked about our health issues, other projects he’s working on and how much we hate traditional networking because of all the douchebags that go to them. 😂
You know the ones… people who show up just to pitch their shit to everyone, and hand out a stack of their business cards without taking the time to get to know you.
We bonded and had real life conversations instead of boring business talk.
This was another reason why I wanted to get my website completed. I wanted him to see the value I can add to his business. I wanted him to see my skills and attributes.
My website project turned out to kill “4 birds with 1 stone” for me so far… and it’s only going to get better from here, as I write more articles and attract more people into my world.
None of this would have been possible if I didn’t build my website and decided to start writing online 10 weeks ago.
So how do you start writing?
It’s actually simple. No need to complicate it.
I’ll emphasise on the points I focus on:
- Write like you talk — like you’re talking to a friend
- Write to one person — don’t try to write to everyone
- Write in short sentences — make them ‘punchy’
- Make one point per sentence
- Write with low friction — your words should easily enter your reader’s mind without them exerting any additional effort trying to decipher what you mean. Thinking is work. Don’t make people work to understand what you’re trying to say.
- Use stories to get your point across — paint a picture for them
- Don’t start with a blank page (it’s the cause of writer’s block) — Starting with a blank page means you don’t have enough notes. Before you write, start with some notes and ideas you’ve already saved in your note-taking system.
That’s all you need to start writing well.
Then write in public.
Share your ideas by publishing them online.
Why publish and share online?
Because writing in public is like inviting guests over for dinner.
You have to clean the house, tidy up, make sure your food is good, and make sure your house is presentable. It forces you to double check everything before your guests arrive.
You try harder and take it more seriously when you know others are watching and your reputation is at stake. Social pressure forces you to level up. Hold yourself to a higher standard, and you’ll improve.
When you write online, treat your audience with respect by treating every paragraph, every sentence and every word you write with care and consideration. They will reward you by telling their friends about your work.
In business, your goal should be to be so good and different that people can’t ignore you. It’s the ultimate marketing strategy to stand out, grow an audience and increase your influence.
In Seth Godin’s words… Be a purple cow. (must read)
Why you should start now!
Yes, I’m aware there’s more content online now than ever, but most of it is shallow and surface level. Shallow content is easy to create, because they don’t require the level of care, consideration and effort that goes into producing something of quality (art).
Quality work is usually something worth talking about and shared.
The reality is people are bombarded with boring content, spammy ads, worthless ideas and distractions everyday. Shallow content just adds to the noise online.
Good writing is rare.
Good writing has depth and nuance.
People are starving for creators who create content with depth and nuance. That’s exactly why I decided to write online because I wanted to make a contribution, add more quality to the internet and help drown out the noise.
The opportunity is huge.
You can put your stake in the ground, in the niche you operate in and become the authority if you’re willing to do the work.
In March 2020, I decided to claim my corner of the internet. I hope you’ll join me.
Let’s rise above the noise together.
Let’s stand out and be remarkable together.
If you create beautiful things, is proud of your work, and has already made an effort putting your work out in the world? Then you owe it to yourself to let more like-minded people find your work.
You just need to use your unique voice so you can stand out to your best customers so they know you are their person when they come looking.
You already have everything you need:
- an internet connection
- access to a computer
- the heart to serve your people and make an impact
The only thing standing in your way is a simple decision:
“Do you want your business and life to change?”
If the answer is yes, then join me.