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One of my favorite podcasters (and formerly a writer) is Bill Simmons.

He was a featured columnist on ESPN for many years before starting the site Grantland, and The Ringer (which was recently sold to Spotify). He also has a popular podcast that usually ranks in the top 50.

But before Bill got into podcasting or starting a media empire he was known as “The Sports Guy.” He wrote a column about Boston sports under that name before moving to the national scene.

Though he was dedicated to sports, Simmons was able to weave in lots of his other interests throughout the years. …


Without any quotes about killing darlings or writing sober and editing drunk or whatever

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One mistake I see a lot of online writers and bloggers make:

Confusing editing and revising.

They are very different, yet writers want to make them into the same thing.

Below are some brief thoughts on the differences without any quotes about killing darlings or writing sober and editing drunk or whatever.

Revision:

  1. Look for structural changes and story flow
  2. This means moving paragraphs around, re-routing characters, rethinking conflict, your main point, or the order in which you present information. (I just did this. I moved up point 5 from point 7 and I now I have a new point 7).
  3. Revision is analytical work. …


Modern Technology Gives Us the Ability to Keep Revisiting & Tinkering

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Martin Scorsese just released a new documentary on Netflix about Fran Lebowitz an author with a particular NYC fixation. It’s a series, following up on a previous documentary. I may watch it (I don’t know much about Leibowitz, but I do generally like Scorsese).

Anyway, in an interview promoting the documentary series Leibowitz said this about Scorsese:

This I do know: Marty never feels anything’s finished. I mean if they would give it to him again, if they hadn’t torn it away from him, he’d still be working on Taxi Driver.

It’s a good question. More artists are revisiting their work these days. …


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Is your writing connected? Mine usually isn’t.

That’s something I’m working on:

Instead of being a broken record or a Spotify song on repeat, what I’m trying to do is hit the same themes and niches several times while using relevant examples to do so.

If you’re consistently sharing on a topic or idea, and you get known for those ideas.

How do you do it? Create an interlocking web of content.

Here’s what that could look like:

  1. Show your work in progress (and your sawdust).

2. Show the finished work

3. Distribute the work (email list, social media…


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Yes, writers need calls to action, but there’s another way to get people to stay on your site, read more articles, or participate in your writing.

Provide several links back to your own site. In the content marketing world, this is known as internal linking.

For blogging, it’s another way to use your own posts to write your next post. And allows you to stay in your niche while still writing on new topics.

Provide a path for the reader to find your next article, like Wikipedia

This idea was inspired by Nat Eliason’s Wiki Strategy.


In my most popular Medium post of all time, I didn’t have a very good call to action. Or at least one that was relevant.

I wasted it. I made $14 off the post. I didn’t take advantage of thousands of eyeballs looking at me and my CTA (call to action) failed, even though I listed a few products to sell.

Hold up…What’s a call-to-action?

It’s a marketing term (sometimes abbreviated as CTA or C2A) that asks your target audience to take another step. This is made in ads, blog posts, landing pages, and commercials.

The most obvious one is “Buy Now” but that’s not always effective, especially if they’re not a “warm lead” ie they have heard of your company or product before. …


I used to write on Medium a lot more than I do now.

And way back in early 2016, I published a post that did pretty well, reached the top of Google, and currently has around 116,000 views.

I didn’t make much money on it and I think I wasted an opportunity.

Here’s why.

I’ve been writing and publishing every day and am aiming for 30 days in a row. I’m at 14 right now, halfway there! Here’s a few of them:

Would anyone be interested in a mini-guide on blogging? Like less than 10 pages for a few bucks? Let me know!

Until next time,

-Josh


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Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash

Jack Butcher of Visualize Value has this idea about sharing your sawdust:

The basic point is that you’re sharing what you’re doing, people will be more interested in your project because of the transparency.

He calls it “sawdust” because it’s what’s falling off as you’re building something new.

It’s a great idea, especially for the creator economy.

It can be a little hard as you’re feeling out your process, or experimenting with new ways of doing things. And it may be a little awkward at first.

As a writer, I’m trying to get people to engage in my articles and posts, but also want to explore some new channels. …


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I grew up on a few acres outside of “town.”

My father would cut down trees and work on lawnmowers and plant crops in our semi-large garden.

He was an engineer and can fix a lot of stuff. He’s jerry-rigging stuff rather than getting a pro to do it. I respect that.

But I can’t do any of that, not well at least. I wouldn’t think of myself as very good at it. Especially the tools part.

I may be able to use a shovel better than some people though.

However, I don’t want to be a good shoveler.

Or I may have been a good lawn care guy. I helped my dad cut the grass all the time and I worked on a lawn care crew one summer after college and even mowed my own yard a lot. …


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Just to be clear…I’m not fantastically “the best” at anything.

I’m definitely not the best at writing (I’m okay, right???)

I know a lot about NBA basketball, but can’t play anymore to save my life.

I know how to paddleboard, but I don’t know if I’m good. I’m competent.

However…I have become “better” at a few skills…

And maybe that’s where I can help? Here are a few suggestions to help you.

1. Social media = the new career day/coffee meeting.

Internships were once great things if you could swing it financially (ie work for free).

However, internships often last months on end. And what if you don’t like it? …

About

Josh Spilker

Content/SEO Strategist and Writer. Get 30+ writing prompts to kickstart your creativity: https://gum.co/eShjF

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