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👌 Starting from Zero

Michael Dean
Michael Dean
2 min read

“Regarding pseudonyms, how do you promote your blog? Since your family and friends don’t know your writing identity, how do you spread the word about it?"

One challenge with starting an account from scratch is The Cricket Effect. Whether you start under a pseudonym or not, it’s frustrating to spend time on an idea only to have no one respond. It feels terrible spewing wisdom into the void! One can only ramble into the abyss for so long.

The natural response to The Cricket Effect is to employ growth hacks. If you can master the science of promoting your work, then you’ll get rid of those crickets, right? Instead of getting into marketing wizardry on Day One, we have another perspective:

Small audiences can be great, especially in the early days. Why? Nobody’s watching! A small audience gives you the freedom to put in the reps and experiment without pressure. Instead of obsessing over growth, you can build and nurture a few key friendships with other creators.

Twitter is a great place to connect over shared passions and ideas. Find writers who have similar interests, follow them, reply to their ideas, and eventually message them. You don’t need to approach creators with massive audiences over 100k followers. Approach people who are just one step ahead of you. You’re on this journey together. You can trade wisdom with one another and share your thoughts on each other’s work. Getting good feedback in the early days can help you shape your Personal Monopoly, and ensure you build your audience around the right things.

Last week, we featured an essay from Charlie Bleecker called The Pseudonymous Cape. Two years ago, she decided to write under a pseudonym. Her Twitter audience was zero. We asked her what it was like to start from scratch.

Her initial move was to get involved with online writing communities. She started making friends within a small group, and everything grew from there. “For me, everything started with Write of Passage. Most of the connections I’ve made were because of that one course, which is pretty wild!”

Charlie played the long game. Week after week, she posted one outrageously good newsletter after another on her Substack, Transparent Tuesdays. Her growth started slowly. Her writing got really good while she built a network online. It took her a while to grow to 1,000 followers. Then one day this April, she posted a viral thread that gained her another 1,000 followers in 24 hours.

Love your audience, no matter the size. Even if your newsletter only has 14 people and 2 robots, appreciate your situation for what it is. Foster real connections, listen to feedback, and put out good work.

There are all sorts of ways you can optimize how you promote and advertise your new account. But it’s also helpful to remember that audience growth naturally emerges from sticking to a process you enjoy!

This is an excerpt from the Write of Passage Weekly Newsletter.
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WOP Weekly


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