Celebrating One Year of Writing: What I’ve Learned

It’s been one year since I started writing my Sunday newsletter.

In that time, I’ve:

  • Published 52 Issues of TL;DR

  • Grew from 1 email subscriber to 25,000 email subscribers

  • Sold 15+ NFTs to various sponsors

  • Accumulated 200,000 views

  • Spent 152 hours drafting

  • Produced 41,000 words

  • Featured 1,500 headlines

…full of information and resources for crypto-curious and crypto-native creators, collectors, and founders. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been an incredible learning experience.

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Why Did I Start My Newsletter?

When I started writing my newsletter, I had just quit my job at Draper Goren Holm in the hopes of doubling down on my passion for podcasting and contributing to crypto-first creator projects. I was sick of spending hours scraping the internet to learn more about how crypto primitives empower creators to build and monetize their audience.

My curiosity was driven by two primary factors:

  1. Education: Selfishly, I wanted to learn more about my favorite emerging sector and document it along the way for others to benefit.

  2. Value: I wanted to clearly define my value as a contributor. When you enter a new Discord server, you think, what value do I bring to a community when I say hello in the #introductions channel?

Now that value is crystal clear, and my purpose is defined on how I can continue my journey for serving others in web3.

A year later, I'm happy to say that my newsletter has been a resounding success. It's been read over 200,000 times and has helped me connect with other creators, collectors, and founders meaningfully. For example, you guys allow me to travel more frequently and get free tickets to attend critical conferences in exchange for media coverage, which saves me a ton of money and allows me to strengthen IRL and URL friendships.

In the past year, I've learned a lot about myself, my process, and certain things along the way that I think are worth sharing.

Here are 5 things that I've learned that you should consider to improve your writing skills and become a better creator in web3:

1. How to research and write quickly

When I first started writing my newsletter, I had no idea how much work would go into each issue. I spent hours scrolling through Twitter, Reddit, and Google researching the topics I wanted to cover and then even more time crafting the perfect summaries. But as the months went on, I got faster and better at researching, curating, and summarizing, and now, I can bang out a recap in a fraction of the time it would have taken me a year ago. My biggest takeaway here is to practice trimming the fat around biased headlines and focus on delivering the facts.

2. How to listen to my audience

One of the best things about having a newsletter is hearing from my readers and the communities I buy into. The more NFTs and ERC-20s I collect, the closer I am to the pulse of what’s happening in the web3 creator economy. Some are glowing reviews, while others point out where I could have done better.

For example, I was told that my original format of short-form paragraph recaps was draining and too complicated to read. So recently, I transitioned into a one-liner format condensing the biggest takeaways and making it super easy and simple to scroll and graze through 30+ key headlines.

So keep this valuable feedback coming! It helps me make each subsequent issue even better than the last.

3. How to promote my work effectively

When I first started writing my newsletter, promoting it was an afterthought. I would post about it on social media once or twice and then hope for the best. But over time, I’ve learned that if I want people to read it, I need to be more proactive about promoting it. So now, I make sure to post about each new issue several times on social media, and I also reach out to friends and partners who might be interested in reading it.

4. Develop cadence

One of the most important things I've learned is that consistency is key. Even if you don't have anything earth-shattering to say, it's important to show up week after week and keep writing and curating. That's how you build trust with your audience and turn one-time subscribers into lifelong readers.

5. Practice being yourself

I've also learned that it's important to be myself in my writing and as a curator. When I first started, I was so worried about sounding polished and professional that I came across as stiff and boring. Once I relaxed and allowed myself to be more informal, my writing improved tenfold. These days, I feel like my newsletter is a reflection of who I am as a person, and that's something I'm really proud of.

On a final note

It’s been an amazing first year of writing my newsletter, and I’m so grateful to all of my readers for supporting me along the way. If you’ve been around since edition #1, thank you for believing me. If you’re new here, welcome. And for everyone in between, much love. For those thinking about starting a newsletter, just know it takes a lot of hard work—but it’s so worth it.

To another year!

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