After I published my essay, "This is a web page ", I heard from a lot of writers.
Many were impressed with the amount of traction it had received. They emailed me and asked for my advice: "how can I really reach an audience?"
Instead of reply purely from 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 or product people, marketing folks, and content producers. Writing is a skill that transcends all of these disciplines. Simply put: good products, good marketing, and good content all require words on a page.
Words are powerful because they enable us to reach out to people and influence them.
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 amazing about the web is that it empowers creative people. We can create something on our own, and share it with thousands around the world.
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 literally thousands. This illustrates one of the main problems facing writers (and other content producers): commoditization.
Like my son, we as writers have a lot of competition. If we want to rise above the fray, we need to write pieces that are different, compelling and unique.
I hope that the advice that follows inspires you to do just that.