After a career in career-counseling (meta!), Anthony and his wife opted to switch gears, ditching the full-time jobs and traveling the world (and oh yeah, blogging!).
After four years and 180 subscribers, Anthony eventually focused his efforts on Medium, and promptly grew to over 16k subs and massive reach (today’s he got over 22k Medium followers as well).
In this podcast and blog post, we’re gonna chat about:
- Anthony’s top advice for growth (mainly for careers, but I’mma apply it to blogging as well, because Do You Even Blog)
- An underutilized tactic for learning what works
Here’s what Anthony did when he first transitioned to Medium…
Oddly enough, we only talked about this on the podcast for a total of 3 seconds.
It stuck with me though, and I think this little tip is SO underutilized for growth (despite the fact that it’s incredibly obvious).
Analyze what others are doing.
“duh wth pete”
“um I don’t get it”
It’s true. This isn’t the most satisfying blog tip ever, but hear me out.
We’re constantly seeking tutorials, guides, step-by-step handholding, podcasts (guilty), etc–in an effort to “learn what to do.” An equally effective way of learning is to watch, study, and analyze what others are doing.
NOT just what they’re saying. Doing.
Remember the Preschool Formula for developing winning strategies?
I.e. why you should NOT be quick to unsubscribe from somewhat spammy and salesy newsletter (Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, EBA sales emails, my sales emails, etc)–but rather keep them separate and study them?
Yeah. That’s pretty much this.
When Anthony started on Medium, he mentioned he dove into the platform and studied what the top writers were doing:
- How many words were their posts?
- What did their titles look like?
- Any commonalities in images?
- When did they post?
- Did they use publications?
Too few bloggers routinely make an effort to do the same. The process could look like…
- Identify WHO is doing what you want to do.
- Create a place for the organization (Gmail label, Google doc, swipe file folder)
- Keep constant tabs on what they’re doing, not just what they’re saying.
Study what works.
Heck, that goes for my podcast as well.
That said, I did some spying on Anthony’s Medium content and list-building strategy 🙂
Lately, Anthony is teaching folks how to do what he does over at Wealthy Writers, and I kinda wanted to see how he’s funneling people from Medium and his website to that.
1 – He’s published a ton.
Enough said here. He’s been writing and publishing a few times a week for a while now.
2 – He uses attention-grabbing images with young, attractive people (mainly ladies).
Let’s just be honest. It works. Anthony knows his audience.
They’re young and hip. He appeals to them.
There’s a good reason that every single Facebook ad course I’ve taken says something along the lines of “use a bright-colored image with either an attractive female or a bearded fit 30-something male).
It grabs the eye. You can’t argue with that (as much as I’d LOVE for my custom-designed graphics to grab attention)
3 – He publishes in Publications (The Mission. The Startup. The Ascent)
Like, a lot. It’s his bread and butter.
These publications do nothing but amplify his reach. Go back and check out my chat with Tom Kuegler for more info on getting into these publications, etc.
4 – He’s extremely explicit with this end-of-post CTA’s.
Lately, it’s a call to join a webinar:
And because I’m nosy, I even went back to Anthony’s old stuff to try and figure out exactly how he grew his list.
Here’s another interesting freebie and CTA:
annnnnd one more:
The big takeaway?
Produce lots of content. Grow your craft by watching what others have success with. Never stop list-building.
5 – Every one of his headlines is click-worthy.
Anthony has taken a strong lesson from Buzzfeed and Upworthy (and my guide to creating tasty headlines :))
“Why Most People Will Never Have Great Relationships”
“How to Consistently Accomplish 100x More Results With 1/10th Your Usual Effort”
“How to Be an Irresistible Conversationalist and Make People Laugh More”
But clickbait is only clickbait when the content doesn’t deliver as promised.
Anthony stuff is engaging and useful. Pair that with click-worthy headlines and you’ve got–well, something good.
Anthony’s top piece of advice on the podcast:
“Try a bunch of things.”
Specifically, we were discussing what advice Anthony would go back and give his high-school and college-aged career counseling students.
There’s really only one way to “discover” what you want to do in life, and that’s to go look for it.
Of course it does.
(It’s at this point on Do You Even Blog where I’ll spare you my thoughts on education. Maybe I’ll write a full Medium post on this one day soon, but suffice it to say this: I personally believe our culture has significantly FAILED to adapt our education system to our changing economy. Read this Medium article by Seth Godin if you wanna learn more about what I think.
Can we apply this methodology to blogging? Yup 🙂
Perhaps the WORST way to go about growing your blog is to mindlessly follow everybody else’s “step-by-step guides to massive ultra success in blogging!” Including my own, by the way.
There are too many variables in blogging.
- Writing style
That’s what it’s crucial to adopt the “LIII Framework” for blog growth.
L = learn
I = Internalize
I = Implement
I = Iterate
Learn what others are doing via the Preschool Formula (discussed above), or by traditional means (online courses, blog posts, my podcast, etc)
Then, INTERNALIZE them to your unique situation. Take the strategies and adapt them to your audience, your niche, your style.
Implement and execute.
Last, you MUST continue to track, measure, and analyzes results–then adapt and reload.
You’re going to need to try a bunch of things in blogging before you hit “your rhythm.”
Try a bunch of things.
Some strategies will work for you. Others won’t (but hopefully you’ll learn from those failures, too, da?)
You should start w/ my MASSIVE guide for the first 12 months of an awesome blog, found here.
Or, opt-in to the free 60-day New Blogger Bootcamp 🙂