Last week, I asked my podcast guest what advice he would give himself when he was starting on his blogging journey.
After the interview, I thought about what advice I would give myself a year ago. After all, October is exactly 12 months as I started blogging in English. So much has happened since then.
But few people know that I was actually blogging for five years before that. I just never made a dime doing it.
So – if I could go back in time to myself five years ago, I would tell myself this:
Don’t compare yourself to others. Do it your way. Do it weird. There are too many content creators in the world. The world doesn’t need “yet another blogger”. The world needs a unique voice. The only way – it’s also the easiest way – to be original is to relax and be yourself. And to do that, you have to follow your taste. Even if it’s weird.
You are doing everything right. It’s a good thing that you are writing and don’t get paid for it. Too many people rush to get paid. But you need this period to be able to value making money from your writing.
You are doing it all wrong. Quit writing in Russian. Seriously. The exposure is so much better in English and the people are nice too. Plus, it’s good practice.
It won’t take five years. I might sound so confident and cool and grown-up. But I am not. I am not even half-way where I want to be. Assume it will take a decade to get where you want to be. Are you still willing to do it? Good.
It doesn’t matter where you go. No platform, growth hack, or design can fix low-quality content. Instead of obsessing over things that don’t matter (like whether you should go on Substack or Medium or Twitter), just start creating content. Get better at it. And then create some more. Someone will notice. Eventually.
Patience, man. Seriously, treat content creation as a lifestyle, not as a “side hustle”. In fact, never have side-hustles. Or any kind of “hustles” for that matter. You hustle only when you do something you hate to get something out of it. Instead, just do what you love and enjoy life. And be patient.
You will become successful in something different than you are doing right now. It’s like with women. You think she’s the “one” and then you wake up one day and she dumped you. With that said, just relax into the work and enjoy the process. See where it takes you. Trust the soup.
Ask yourself, “What if you lost everything?” What if Medium shut down? What if the Internet closed down? What if your laptop drowned in the Thames? Would you still do what you’re doing today? Would you still write down your thoughts? Yes? Good. Then you’re on the right path. Nobody can take that away from you. Anything else is a distraction.
You will make more money than you realize. The opportunities to monetize yourself are endless. What you think as “good income” will be a day’s pay in a decade. Don’t waste even a second obsessing over it. Instead, focus on getting better at what you do. That’s the fastest way to get where you want.
Stay true to yourself. You will have to make lots of choices down the path that can boil down to one: “Truth vs. Hype”. Always go for the truth. Always be authentic. People will respect you for that. Those who chase the hype might become successful now, but the truth always wins in the end. Oh, and who cares what happens to them? Remember rule #1.
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