Writing Good Stuff

After the success of my essay, "This is a web page," I heard from many writers.

Many were impressed with the amount of traction it had received. They emailed me and asked my advice: "How can I reach a bigger audience?"

Instead of relying purely on my point of view, I decided to contact my favorite writers and ask them this question:

How do you write good content that people care about?

First: why is writing important?

I have a varied audience: it's a mix of product people, marketing folks, and content producers. Writing is a skill that transcends all of these disciplines. Simply put, good products, marketing, and content require words on a page.

Words are powerful because they enable us to reach and influence people.

People were so impacted by "This is a web page " that they asked me if they could translate it into their native language. At the time of writing, it's been translated into 16 different languages.

Writing is also a great way to test out ideas. For example: if you're thinking about building a product, you could start with a blog post and see if the idea behind the product resonates.

Second: why is having good content important?

What's impressive about the web is that it empowers creative people. We can create something on our own and share it with thousands worldwide.

My son is 7. He just published his first video on YouTube. But he's not the only grade schooler making video game walkthroughs; there are thousands. This illustrates one of the main problems facing writers (and other content producers): commoditization.

These days I try to help folks start a podcast, and new podcasters face the same challenge: millions of podcasts vying for listeners' attention.

Similarly, we, as writers, have a lot of competition. If we want to rise above the fray, we need to write different, compelling, and unique pieces.

I hope that the advice that follows inspires you to do just that.