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18 Lessons From 100k Followers and 20k Subscribers

Lessons from 17 months of online writing

This is my first week being a digital writer full time. It’s still a surreal feeling doing exclusively what I love 24/7. I’ve had way more time for writing, healthy habits, and getting to know you guys.

My favorite new habit by far has been the 30 minute brain dump in 30 days challenge I’m doing. I talked about it a little last week, but I carve out 30 minutes every day to just brain dump into a Notion note on my computer. Whatever topic comes to mind first I write about.

It’s inspired SO much content. I’ve had several people DM me with their writings. If you take on this challenge too (I can’t encourage it enough) definitely DM or email me. Would love to hear about how it’s had an impact on you.

Let’s get into it…


  1. Main Column: 18 Lessons From 100k Followers and 20k Subscribers

  2. AI Prompts I Used For This Newsletter

  3. 1% Club Updates

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18 Lessons From 100k Followers and 20k Subscribers

My content strategy over the past 17 months has been simple. Share what I learn. With me being able to quit my job last week to write this newsletter full time, I wanted to take a moment to look back and pull out as many lessons as possible from this insane journey.

My mission the past 17 months has been to turn my passions into a full time job. I accomplished that. Now I want to help you do that as much as I can.

Here is every lesson I learned from turning my content into my career:

  1. Find your own unique voice: This is the hardest step for most people. They just start writing about whatever they think their audience wants to hear. It isn’t authentic. It doesn’t come from the soul.The key is finding the intersection between what you truly care about and what an audience cares about. Don’t just google motivational quotes and post them because you think that’s what people want.

  2. Build a community, not an audience: An audience is a one way value exchange. A community is a multiway value exchange. The more value you give, the more value you receive. Feature others in your content. Promote your biggest supporters. Uplift as many people in your audience as possible.

  3. Build quality relationships with your community: I owe a large part of my success to building relationships with my community since day 1. Even when I had 10 followers I was responding to every reply then going back and commenting on their feeds. These relationships are the base to your growth. I carve 20 minutes a day just to engage with people who support me.

  4. Give way more value than you take: I find the right ratio of give to take is about 80/20. Give 80% of the time then receive 20%. If you feel like you’re taking as much as you’re giving, you might want to reconfigure. The most growth happens at 80/20.

  5. Don’t measure performance with engagement: If you measure your success with likes, you’ll burn out so quick. You can’t control likes. You can only control your improvement. Measure your success by how much you’re improving. The likes will follow.

  6. The best performing content is educational content: My strategy since day 1 has been sharing everything I learn. I hold nothing back. There are no secrets I haven’t shared in my newsletters. Learn things then share them. Don’t keep secrets. The more you share, the more people will be attracted to you. A great book on this topic is Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.

  7. Slow down to speed up: Stop trying to grow as quickly as possible. Focusing on speed will cause you to use short cuts like engagement farming. Shortcuts always end up biting you in the ass. Never take them. You’ll have so much more growth in the long term.

  8. Quality inputs = quality outputs: My favorite routine is my inspiration hour every morning. Shortly after waking up I have an hour blocked off where I read all the newsletters I’m subscribed to, and scan through a Twitter List I made of all the accounts I inspire to be like. This invariably spawns 100 new ideas for content. The more you improve your inputs, the more your outputs explode.

  9. Don’t be boring: Before hitting post on any piece of content, ask yourself: “Why would anyone give a f*ck?” If you can’t answer this question, remix the content until people care. The last thing you want to do is post content that’s boring. In a world of short attention spans, boring is death.

  10. Writing is your single most important skill: In the digital age, copywriting is everything. From tweets, to newsletters, to sales ads on your website, good copywriting is the difference between a hobby and a business. My favorite copywriting books are Elements of Style and The Copywriter’s Handbook.

  11. Your strategy needs to evolve as you grow: Your content strategy needs to change based on your audience size. You can’t post the same content at 10 followers as you do at 10,000 followers. Check out my past guide here to learn how to shift your strategy.

  12. Schedule your content ahead: Having to think about content all day will burn you out. I learned very quickly that scheduling my content in advanced improves both my life and my work. My favorite scheduling tool by far is Hypefury.

  13. Just hit post: The downside to posting bad content is minimal. The upside is life changing. Keep hitting post until you find your voice. Don’t let fear stand in your way.

  14. Build a brand: I owe a big part of my success to being able to build a brand. I didn’t just create content on whatever came to my mind at any given moment. I tried to build a clear brand with a strong direction. This allowed my community to buy into my mission. What is your mission? Why should people buy into it? Once you determine your mission, lean in as hard as possible.

  15. Have a content creation system: Systematize everything. Make yourself a content creation operating system. My operating system consists of a Google spreadsheet where I manually paste in all my tweets. I review these tweets every night then remix them into new content. I then draft these new ideas in Notion. From Notion, I paste the drafted ideas into Hypefury. From there I schedule and post. Really simple and makes ideating 100x easier.

  16. Plan how you’re going to monetize early on, then reverse engineer: It doesn’t matter how small your audience is. Think about how you want to monetize in the future. Then think about how you get there. For me, when I had 10 subscribers I started thinking about how I’d monetize my newsletter. I knew I wanted to sell sponsorships and eventually build a community. I built my newsletter with those purposes in mind.

  17. Your mental health is everything: In January of this year I came dangerously close to burnout. I was hacked, I was overworked, and I was severely stressed. I scheduled a bunch of my old tweets to repost then took a break. Came back more energized then ever. Stress is not good for your creativity. When you’re just not feeling it, take time off. Don’t feel guilty about putting yourself first.

  18. Enjoy the journey: Saved the most important one for last. Enjoy the journey. If you’re not enjoying the process, that might be a sign content creation isn’t for you. If the challenge of growth isn’t fun for you, there’s a lot of other things you could be doing with your time that might be a better fit. If you’re not having fun then what’s the point of all this anyway?

Been compiling this list of lessons for a couple of months now. I hope it’s helpful. Any lessons you’ve learned you want to discuss? Post them in the comments or reply to the email. Happy to chat. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the journey!

AI Prompts I Used For This Newsletter

Begin Prompt

I’m going to feed you a list of my lessons learned as well as explanations for these lessons. These lessons are focused on my content creation journey from the last 17 months and how I reached 100,000 followers and 20,000 subscribers. Please take this list and let me know if there is any overlap between lessons. Can I eliminate any of them so make the list more concise?

{lessons list}

End Prompt

Begin Prompt

Please take the list of explanations and try to make my reasoning more concise. Ideally each explanation is 6 sentences or less.

End Prompt

Begin Prompt

Please write me a teaser tweet I can post on my business account that will tease the newsletter with the goal of getting people to click. The tweet should be a few sentences, concise, punchy, and easy to read.

End Prompt

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