Andrew Chen is a well-known writer and entrepreneur focused on mobile products, metrics, and user growth. He’s been blogging for over 10 years and has published 650+ essays which have been featured and quoted in The New York Times, Fortune, Wired, and WSJ. Andrew is also an advisor/investor for tech startups including AngelList, Barkbox, Dropbox, Kiva, Product Hunt, Qualaroo, Wanelo, Gusto and more.
Needless to say, we all can learn a lot from Andrew. Here are a few useful blogging lessons that he has developed up along the way:
- Titles are 80% of the work, but you write it as the very last thing. It has to be a compelling opinion or important learning.
- There’s always room for high-quality thoughts/opinions. Venn diagram of people with knowledge and those that can communicate is tiny.
- Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity – stay home, don’t go to events/conferences, and just put ideas down.
- Think of your writing on the same timescale as your career. Write on a multi-decade timeframe. This means, don’t just publish on Quora/Medium.
- Focus on writing frequency over anything else. Schedule it. Don’t worry about building an immediate audience. Focus on the intrinsic.
- To develop the habit, put a calendar reminder each Sunday for 2 hours. Forced myself to stare at a blank text box and put something down.
- Most of my writing comes from talking/reading deciding I strongly agree or disagree. These opinions become titles. Titles become essays.
- People are often obsessed with needing to write original ideas. Forget it. You’re a journalist with a day job in the tech industry.
- An email subscriber is worth 100x Twitter or LinkedIn followers or whatever other stuff is out there. An email = a real channel.
- I started writing while working at a VC. They asked, “Why give away ideas? That’s your edge.” Ironic that VCs blog/tweet all day now ;)
- Publishing ideas, learnings, opinions, for years & years is a great way to give. And you’ll figure out how to capture value later.
Learn about each one of these in more detail here.