Digital Writing

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Writing Online.

Natasha Musa 3 min read
7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Writing Online.
Photo by Siora Photography / Unsplash

I have been struggling with writing online for 16 years, and if I could go back in time, these are the seven things I wish I had known before I started.

It would have saved me a lot of frustration and feelings of self-doubt.

If you are starting your journey writing online, I hope the lessons I'm sharing will help:

#1 Don't Fear Judgement

In life, we all want to be accepted and liked by others, and when you start writing online, there is a real fear that you will be negatively judged.

Here's something I've learned from writing on X for more than 16 years:

Whatever you write about, most people won't care, and those who do will judge you anyway, so why not give them something to talk about?

#2 Don't Wait For The Perfect Time To Start

"A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper." - E.B. White.

I waited for my website to look perfect. I waited until I finished a writing course. I waited until I was free from a busy schedule.

Here's the thing: My website was never perfect. I never finished that writing course. And my schedule is always busy.

There will never be the perfect environment or time for you to start writing online.

The only perfect time for you to start writing is now.

#3 Don't Worry About Your Niche

This was one thing I worried about a lot.

So much so that this website has gone through multiple niche transformations over the years; from a personal growth blog to a coaching blog to a marketing blog. When I took the Ship 30 for 30 courses, they encouraged students to pick two to three topics to write about. The more you write, the more you will realise your niche based on the collected feedback, data, and your continued interest in writing on the subject.

#4 Don't Write Sporadically

Writing consistently has always been my biggest problem as a digital writer.

When I first started blogging, I was single and could commit to writing every week. Then I got married, had kids, and juggled the role of wife, mother, and career woman; it was challenging to slot in time to write online. I would write sporadically; for example, I would publish five posts in one week, then go silent for six months, then publish once a week for three weeks, and then go quiet again for three months.

Many successful digital writers would tell you to write and publish every day to gain traction, and in trying to achieve that, I stressed myself out.

The reality is, for most of us, that is a challenge. Aim to write consistently BUT at your own pace; publish a blog post once a week or a tweet 2x a week. The point is to do it consistently and create a compound effect. If I had continued publishing one blog post every week for the past 16 years, I would have published approximately 800 articles on this site.

Don't get me wrong, the quantity of posts published does not matter, but if I had written 800 articles on the various topics I've explored, I would have been able to track my learnings throughout the years and shared so much of what I've learned about personal growth, productivity, or even summaries of books I've read to someone who would probably have found the information valuable.

So, write. Consistently. At your own pace.

#5 Don't Try To Sound Smart

Learn to use your voice; it's unique.

I haven't found mine yet, but the more I write, the more I will learn to use my natural tone and manner while speaking in my writing. Hot tip: I read my blog posts out loud before publishing to see if it sounds like me.

Find your voice and be yourself. Don't try to sound smart; readers will find it annoying. I know I do when I read someone who tries to sound smart.

#6 Don't Write In Solitude

"Real writers practice." and "They practice in public" - Jeff Goins

The only way to become a better digital writer is to share your work with others.

Write in public. Hitting publish is the only way to share your work and get feedback. The more feedback you receive, the more you learn by identifying what works and what doesn't.

It is the best way to become an effective writer.

#7 Don't Start On Too Many Platforms

At one point in my life, I wrote on X, Instagram, and FB and even attempted to post a blog on my website weekly.

It requires a lot of time to learn and understand one platform. Trust me, you don't need that kind of stress. Do your research and pick one platform to write on. Whatever platform you choose doesn't matter; it can be Medium, Substack, LinkedIn, or X.

Just pick one platform, write and hit publish.

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