The key lesson, the thing I would impart to any aspiring bloggers, content creators, or newsletter proprietors, is that the cornerstone of internet success is not intelligence or novelty or outrageousness or even speed, but regularity. There are all kinds of things you can do to develop and retain an audience — break news, loudly talk about your own independence, make your Twitter avatar a photo of a cute girl — but the single most important thing you can do is post regularly and never stop.
Granted, “work hard and keep doing the thing you’re doing” is probably above-replacement advice for any kind of entrepreneurial activity. But it’s particularly true for online content creation. As Yglesias suggests, the internet and feed-based social platforms have constructed an insatiable demand for content, so if you can produce content mechanically, without requiring expensive resources (such as time, wit, or subject-specific knowledge), you’re in an excellent position to take advantage. But most importantly, this demand is so insatiable that there is currently no real economic punishment for content overproduction. You will almost never lose money, followers, attention, or reach simply from posting too much.
That is from an excellent post by Max Read. It is fairly short and has some good examples, so I recommend reading the whole thing. Tyler Cowen made a similar point back in 2019:
There’s a certain way in which on the internet you can’t be overexposed. There’s just a steady stream of you, it feels like being overexposed compared to the standards of 1987 or whenever, but in fact it’s not and people are picking and choosing. And you end up just dominating a particular space in a particular kind of way. And I think most older people have not made that transition mentally to understanding how you should exist intellectually on the internet.
Of course, this is also part of Joy’s idea with this site and why we write every day:
It’s just time to start writing more. This is a model that I have learned from Tyler Cowen, and most writers I admire write every day whether or not they have time for it. David Perell has tweeted that writing and thinking are the same thing. Thus, if you are a thinker, writing is not a waste of time. Writing is the thing you are doing anyway in your muddled head.
Thus: Always Be Posting.
Love this. Great post 🙂 The whole principle here is to keep showing up.
While this is a good advice for the individual content creator, doesn’t the end result turn into a Red Queen’s Race situation— increasingly loud, “mechanically created”, low-effort noise drowning out actual content? Or is that just my Gen-X cynicism showing?
(No criticism of this blog, btw… great content in general)
I agree this creates the potential for a tragedy of the commons, and I think in some places (think the content farms of the early 2010s) that potential is realized.
On the other hand, I do think writing generally improves with practice. Novelists say that the first million words anyone writes are crap.
In my case, I think writing a post every week has led me to write a lot more while keeping average quality about the same as it was at my less-frequent personal blog. I get the feeling I could go to maybe 2x/wk without dropping the quality, but going all the way to daily posts I’d have to either drop the quality or drop other responsibilities and put a lot more time in.