500 Copywriting and Online Business Articles
Today marks a significant milestone in the Jamie McSloy website history.
This is the 500th article I’ve written for the site.
I’ll give you some random thoughts on achieving this milestone later in the article, but first we’ll address an elephant in the room.
This Site Is A Long and Winding Mess Of Articles
I’m not a chaotic person at all. I try to measure and analyse everything, and I’m quite risk averse and cautious.
This site is the opposite. I’ve switched the focus of it several times in the nearly-two years since I started blogging. I write daily articles about whatever I’ve been working on and the scope ranges pretty hugely. This is even despite me trying to keep it solely related to writing and online business stuff.
It needs organising, but that’s pretty boring.
Here are the top three articles from the site though:
How To Start Copywriting
This is a good post to start with if you want to make money online. Copywriting is the skill that pays my bills, and I love it.
It’s also led to pretty much every other experiment I’ve done on the site.
Copywriting is an amazing skill and its relevance is going nowhere in the near future. In my opinion, it’s the most profitable skill you can learn… at least whilst sat at home in your pyjamas at a computer and hardly spending any money whatsoever.
The Gary Halbert 30 Day Copywriting Challenge
If you don’t want to learn how to write copy from me, then you could do worse than learning from a master copywriter like Gary Halbert.
It feels weird including this post in the list because I only wrote it a few weeks back, but it’s taken off and brought a ton of views to the site. Hopefully most of those readers actually try the challenge or part of it and it brings them success and good fortune.
The upshot of this list seems to be that people love challenges.
The Niche Site Challenge is a great example of how, if you build copywriting skills, you can create projects and run experiments on a whim.
Based on a set of Tweets I read, I decided to start building niche sites in order to make money and improve my copywriting skills.
I’m almost a year into the Challenge, as is everyone who started at the same time as I did.
Interestingly, despite only taking a few hours a week of my time, the topic of niche sites has spawned more questions, comments and discussion than pretty much anything else I’ve written about.
Those are the top three posts. After that, it evens out a lot and lots of the articles have hundreds or thousands of views.
Thoughts on 500 Posts
Firstly, there’ll be filler material.
Some bloggers suggest that absolutely everything you write should hit the ball out of the park. Whilst that’s admirable, it’s pretty flawed.
Even if you hit that ball as hard and as far as you possibly can, it’s not going to be perfect.
Because you’re going to get better. Even if you write the article of your life, as long as you keep writing, that article will at some point no longer be your best.
In fact, you’ll look back at it and see immediately where you could do better next time.
Now, there’s another flaw in the “Make it perfect” idea: You’re going to procrastinate. Editing, re-editing and waiting until something is perfect will quickly reach a point of diminishing returns. Especially when you write new things instead.
What works better? Writing one perfect article and working on it for a year, or writing one article every day for a year?
Even if you write one article and it’s brilliant – better than 365 articles written daily by somebody else – the effect will be less. You have, after all, written one article in a year.
To my mind, it’s better to write regularly and learn to live without perfection in your work. You’ll progress quicker and enjoy the work more. Also, this approach allows for the natural changes that you’ll go through.
Long Term Projects Change and Adapt
When I sat down to write article one for this site, I had no idea it’d eventually turn into a stream-of-consciousness-style rundown of all the thoughts I have on writing, business and the occasional random topic.
I didn’t even have most of the thoughts I’ve written about since then nor the knowledge to write them.
Life is exploratory, and if you have a diary or project you work on over the long term, it will change. This is inevitable. It’s also more true of the audience that reads this blog than it is of the general population. (You tend to be young, male (though there’s a split) and entrepreneurial.)
If you’re in that cohort, the overall picture of your life might be accurate (probably not though) but the details certainly won’t.
Embrace that, because it’s the chaotic stuff that makes for stories, life lessons and interesting blog posts.
With that in mind, bear in your mind that planning for the future still needs to happen in some sense.
If you’re twenty years old, then you’re unlikely to know what you’re doing as far as career, living arrangements or long term relationships go. That’s fair, reasonable and you should take comfort in that.
That doesn’t mean you can be a fuck up until you’re older. It doesn’t work like that.
Work towards something, even if it’s just getting the basics of life down and learning a few skills or hobbies.
Big things are built one day at a time.
As far as direction goes, you’re an individual and all that, but here’s something you should consider: Arrange your skills, hobbies and other lifestyle choices so that you have a wide variety of opportunities.
If you want to be a writer, then write about all kinds of things. If you want to live a healthy life, try a ton of sports. With the internet, you can learn about millions of things and try loads of them out. It’ll only take one thing to set you on a path, but you need to find it first.
I’ve no doubt that this article is well into the “filler” territory, but it contains some useful stuff.
Move forward and try out new stuff.
Sitting down to write one day might lead to something awesome like having a cluttered website with no real sense of structure and terribly underfunded navigation systems.
Check out the archives page and you’ll see what I mean.