Why Every Entrepreneur Should Write and 9 Tips To Get Started

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Why Every Entrepreneur Should Write and 9 Tips To Get Started

 

"The best part of blogging is the people you will meet"- Hugh MacLeod repeating wisdom from Loic Lemeur to me at the Big Pink at 2 am in South Beach after the Future of Web Apps 2008.

If you asked me to tell you a list of three of the best decisions in my life, I can certainly tell you that regularly writing is one of them. It's the reason I'm an author here at OnStartups, made many new friends, had interesting opportunities cross my radar, and most importantly had the chance to share knowledge that has helped other entrepreneurs.onstartups writing

Why You Should Write

You Will Meet Other Smart People

Writing has allowed me to meet a slew of smart people. Some of these people are now virtual acquaintances and some are very close friends on a personal and professional level. Each article that you publish is a synthesized thought process that may click with other entrepreneurs instantly. Have you ever had a feeling when reading an article that "Wow, they are thinking exactly what I'm thinking"? By writing, you are likely to encounter a handful of people that experience the same thing. Occasionally one of those people will reach out to you via email or bump into you at an event. You might make a new acquaintance, a new co-founder for the future, potential investor, hire,etc. At the end of the day, being an entrepreneur is about finding other smart (hopefully smarter) people to collaborate with and writing frequently helps make this happen.

Example: I ended up becoming a writer here at OnStartups due to my own writing. A year ago, I put out an article called "Disruption and My Next Startup". This is how I first met David Skok from Matrix Partners. David later introduced me to Dharmesh, who has become a good friend since moving to Boston. After talking about all things entrepreneurial, we realized we both had the same altruistic goals with writing: to meet other smart people and help share the lessons we've learned. Small piece of trivia: OnStartups was started in 2005 on Dharmesh's birthday. I joined OnStartups on my birthday this year (September 8th).

Your Experiences Will Provide Insightful Knowledge To Other Entrepreneurs

Every entrepreneur has been through many of the same yet different experiences. We find co-founders, we all work at building a product/service, we all try to get customers, etc. Even though we're doing the same thing at a high-level, we all have different experiences. We may have found great co-founders, built a great product, but fail to acquire customers. Each entrepreneur+startup mix is a unique permutation that varies from the rest of the world, hence providing a snowflake of experience. Through writing you can not only help share your successes, but also the pitfalls that lead to your failures. There's no magic bullet to entrepreneurship, but the wealth of writing from experienced entrepreneurs out there such as Paul Graham, Dharmesh here at OnStartups, Jason Fried and Joel Spolsky have prevented young entrepreneurs from making mistakes that they might have made otherwise. Open source technology has helped entrepreneurs get started immediately with no capital while significantly reducing risk (you would have to raise a large amount of capital to launch anything with lines of code behind it a decade ago). I believe open source knowledge on entrepreneurship can help do the same when it comes to the business side of things. Getting as many entrepreneurs writing + sharing their insight is the very first start of this.

You Will Establish Domain Expertise

Every person is an expert in their own right at something. It might be user interface design, coding, leadership, raising money, investing, etc. By writing you get a chance to establish that domain expertise by sharing it with the world. Don't worry about people stealing your secret sauce either. Famous chefs share their secrets and hints all the time without fear that it will cause their demise.

It Helps Build Dedication

Writing on a regular schedule takes a lot of discipline, just like going to the gym or practicing a new martial art. Nothing happens overnight, including building an audience and becoming a good writer. Like most things in life, writing takes time and strong dedication. Unwavering dedication is a valuable skill in startups that many seem to forget. If you keep yourself dedicated to writing on a consistent schedule, those important values will carry over to other facets of life including startups.

Your Communication Skills Will Get Exponentially Better

It takes a lot of work to become a great communicator as an entrepreneur. You have to break down complex problems, very technical solutions, and intricate details into soundbites that flow logically. By writing, you develop the ability to communicate more clearly to an audience of many, by providing a logical argument with a unique angle to your position. In some ways, you've been learning this skill your entire life through schooling, but writing as an entrepreneur in a public medium is something completely different. Through schooling you write for an audience of 1-2 people. Those people will usually judge you based not upon the content, but whether you agreed with their point of view. Writing as an entrepreneur in a public medium puts you in the spotlight of tens of thousands to millions of unique readers. If your writing isn't cohesive, there are many that can call you out. I had some rough professors throughout my undergrad years, but no one will call you out like internet commenters, many of which may be trolls. By the third article, you start to subconsciously think "Is this cohesive/does it make sense?" as a gut reaction when writing in order to avoid negative feedback.

You Will Build An Audience That Will Give You Candid Feedback

If you're really lucky, you will start to build an audience that isn't full of trolls, but that consists of those that are genuine and honest. They may give you negative feedback, but it will be candid+honest. Don't just look at the number of re-tweets on an article, look at the articles that get the audience to participate. You will eventually find a groove of what your audience enjoys and what they consider good writing. Try to reply to every comment as well, even if it is a simple "Thank you."

It Is A Rapid Accelerator Of Serendipity

Startups are certainly impacted by luck, but I believe they are impacted just as much by serendipity. You never know who knows who or who you may run into at an event. By putting yourself out there and making yourself open to meeting as many people as possible, serendipity is much more likely to happen. Once you have even a minor audience, you are now likely to experience the effects of serendipity. One article might reach 500 or 50,000 people in a short span of time. Remember that we live in a world where content/information travels faster than ever before. Out of those 50,000 people, you never know who might be reading, who might reach out to you, or who might leave a comment. I can tell you this: The majority of good things that have happened to me in business can be traced back to my writing

 

9 Tips How To Get Started

 

Many think that writing is as simple as registering for a Wordpress/Tumblr/Posterous account and all of a sudden they're the next Seth Godin. Just like anything in life, it takes time, practice, and finding the formula that works well for you. I started writing almost 2 years ago, but didn't get into it seriously until approximately 3-4 months ago. Here's a list of some of the things that I've learned along the way that will hopefully be useful food for thought.

Keep It Simple And Worry About The Aesthetics Later On

Sign-up for Posterous, Tumblr, or Wordpress. If you really want to customize things later on, host your own Wordpress install. Find a good, simple/basic theme, set up some basic settings + SEO, and get to the races with writing. Try to use your own name as the domain name. If you have a popular first+last name combo and can't own your exact name, try to get something similar. Last, but not least, try to have a picture of yourself somewhere on the site. It's good to put a face to your writing and this will help people identify with you when meeting up in person. Besides the simple stuff above, just start writing. Insightful content is king and that's where you should be focusing your efforts.

Define A Specific Audience To Write To

As you'll see in this link , which is also listed below, John Gruber writes for a specific audience- himself. You can further narrow down John Gruber as an apple fanboy who is geeky and educated. When writing I try to do the same thing. I write every article as if I owned a time machine and could mail myself letters five years ago when I was first getting started. To be honest, I still don't really know anything, but back then I knew absolutely nothing at all. Everytime I'm in the midst of an article, before completing it, I ask myself: "Would this have been useful to me five years ago?" If I say "No", then I stop writing, and possibly come back to it later to re-evaluate things if a new approach to the article comes up. Find your audience, that one exact ideal person, and write to them every time.

Set A Regular Routine

I get one article out every week and try to stay to that schedule regardless of what else is going on. I put it in line with working out everyday. It either gets done or not done. Sure the world won't end, if you miss a week, but that's not the point. It's about building dedication and putting something fresh out. I do all my writing on Sundays, edit throughout the week, and then release the articles when I have time to deal with comments/promote the article. The downside to this is writer's block or feeling like you have to write for the sake of just writing. I stray away from this by breaking things up into chunks and sections.

Don't Force It

Whatever you do: Do Not Force An Article. Set your schedule loose enough that you can get something out the door on time, but don't wait until the last second. Spend a lot of time thinking about your articles before hand. Most of my articles are formed before I write a single word in textmate. While I run, spend time on the T, and shower I usually think through the logic of articles. By doing this, you're not looking at writing an article like it's a high-school essay. It will flow naturally and won't be forced.

Initially Share With Close Entrepreneurial Friends

In the beginning there is a good chance you won't have a large readership, but that's okay. Send the article to close friends in the entrepreneurial community and just ask for some basic feedback. If they like it, ask them if they can share it with others. Also start sharing with other communities that you may be a part of, such as the one here at OnStartups or Hacker News.

Watch Your Analytics

Check to see where most of your traffic is coming from and double down on those avenues. Also pay attention to direct traffic sources. This means that people are either emailing your article around, sharing via instant messenger, or actually going to the URL directly. Also look at which articles ultimately become most popular with readers. Over time you will start to understand what your audience likes (ie- entrepreneurial advice, tech insights, interviews with other entrepreneurs, current event analysis, etc.)

Have a main topic + supporting points to avoid rambling

Each and every one of my articles has the same general format. Position/Argument usually found in the title, opening paragraph, supporting H2 tags, and then a closing paragraph. It might get repetitive over time, but it allows me to form arguments clearly + segment things out well enough into chunks.

No linkbait, just "thoughtbait"

I don't get into flamewars or write linkbait. It may work very well for some entrepreneurs to get recognition and increase pageviews, but it shouldn't be about that. It should be about sharing your knowledge and hopefully educating your reader. I like to write what I call "thoughtbait". A reader should come away with actionable knowledge that makes them think "I need to try this" or "I'm pumped up to get something done". Readers should also be sharing the link to help others gain the same knowledge as well.

Make Yourself Easy To Reach

Last , but not least, make yourself approachable and very easy to reach. Put your email addresss up, Twitter account up, and possibly your phone number. Robert Scoble still has the same phone number from when he first got started, and will still pick up/respond to texts. It may seem like a burden, but it's not. If you want to meet as many smart people as possible, you need to make yourself approachable and easy to be contacted. I get multiple emails a week from readers or people saying "thank you" re: my articles. This is one of the most rewarding things I've ever experienced. Great part is this: You can start experiencing it too. The goal of this article isn't just to inform and educate, but to hopefully start a movement to get as many entrepreneurs as possible to start writing. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned startup veteran, writing will not only benefit you, but it will benefit those who need your knowledge. If you start writing or already write insightful pieces about your experiences, please drop me an email:
j@jasonlbaptiste.com . I'm certainly going to start compiling the list as it grows and will share it. One of my first additions was my buddy Wayne , who founded i2hub. 

 

Here are some other useful resources on the topic:

Spencer Fry- http://spencerfry.com/on-writing

Marco Arment- http://www.marco.org/691438863

Interview With John Gruber On Writing- http://shawnblanc.net/2008/02/interview-john-gruber

So, are you convinced you should be writing -- or writing more?  If you're convinced, what will it take to get you to do it?  If you've already been writing, have you found it to be useful?  Would love to hear your stories and experiences. 

Posted by Jason Baptiste on Mon, Sep 27, 2010

COMMENTS

Great piece Jason. 
 
As an entrepreneur who writes as well, I can vouch for writing leading to great things, including a weekly column for me in a national Jamaican newspaper thanks to my writings on Facebook. 
 
Writing has also landed me paid speaking engagements to share more knowledge as well. 
 
Bookmarked.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:00 PM by David Mullings


I think most entrepreneurs should NOT write. It distracts from the product (unless the product is writing or heavy networking of course). If you put out a great product, then you don't need to write. Often I see my competitors putting up a blog (and doing a fine job), then running out of ideas and abandoning it after a year. Or they start using ghost writers. It starts looking worse than if they had never blogged at all.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:04 PM by Richard


Surely this gem should be required reading as well: http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2006/03/blog-or-get-off-pot.html 

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:12 PM by Viðar Másson


I agree with this post 100%. I would add one more thing -- if one doesn't like to write in public or has a fear of writing in public still he/she should write. May be in a personal diary. It is extremely important to write to be successful, no matter what you want to do....

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:16 PM by Mihir


I don't know if this should apply to everyone.. You are gifted with the ability to write helpful rational articles, some of us on the other hand are decent writers but rarely can find much interest in writing unless its something we're passionate about. In my case this usually results in creating controversy or being overly critical. Or delving into ironic humor. In short, whenever I write it paints me in a bad light. I've had to take down numerous blogs over the years because of this. 
 
The lesson to would-be entrepreneurial writers out there - sure, go ahead and write, but only if you are a sensible person...

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:54 PM by Ron


I can't stand link bait. I never write those "10 reasons...." articles on my blog, thestartupstudent.com. Write from the heart, be helpful. Don't just write for the twitter click-throughs.  
 

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 4:27 PM by Zack Shapiro


I have just begun to blog a couple of days ago with an experimental exercise, hoping for positive insights and more. And trust me, the entrepreneur in me is feeling very kicked about the idea. And more importantly the happiness you can achieve as a human being, sharing your little bunch of knowledge and with constructive discussion, its not even funny! Cheers to entrepreneurship and knowledge sharing! :)

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 4:41 PM by Himanshu Khanna


Great article. Lots of good points. Another helpful tip to staying on track is to create an editorial calendar in advance so that you are not scrambling for topics at the last minute. 
 
We write for anywhere between 5 and 10 articles each week for start up clients and an agreed upon editorial calendar will save a ton of gray hair.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:05 PM by Carin Galletta


Writing helps to generate enthusiasm and passion for your business. It allows you to put on paper the vision that inspired the creation of your new venture. It will synthesize your thoughts into actionable goals which can create the "buzz" that is required to attract clients to your businessl I would like to recommend a product for all who are planning any type of speech and would enjoy the use of their own personal teleprompter on the iPad. It is called iQPrompter in Apple's iTunes store under applications for the iPad. It enables you to import your text into the application, set que points, times speeches and record and play. Great tool for anyone giving a speech. And, if your want to produce a Podcast, you need the use of a teleprompter to insure that the speech is delivered with professional quality.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:10 PM by Victoria Ridge


Great post, one writer's secret to pass on: 
 
Write Every Day. Doing so reserves a chunk of your brain for the work of writing, decreases setup/teardown time and makes it easier to improve your writing. You will also not bust a gut when it comes time to do big, scary writing projects like books.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:11 PM by Bob Walsh


You're right on with the reasoning behind writing...and it goes for any professional or consultant in addition to entrepreneurs. I am an author's "dula", helping aspiring authors to get the book that's inside them developed and delivered. Positioned properly, a book can be a huge boost in the 'credibility factor', visibility, and sales. It happens every day. 
 
On a different note, based on your very first sentence, your story sounds like a perfect addition to a book series I'm editing: The Smartest Thing I Ever Did...(TM) for My Career. It could also fit in The Smartest Thing I Ever Did...(TM) in Business. I would love to include you! See my site if you're interested in participating. 
 
Keep up the good work and keep on writing!

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:15 PM by Kathryn Marion


Many entrepreneurs I have met have been bogged down by constant revisions on everything from an elevator speech to a business plan and, sometimes, marketing promo LONG before they have a product or service. They are dreamers, and actualize their dream only on paper. Most successful entrepreneurs actualize their dream in products/services, then easily obtain funding on the prototype and hire (or financiers hire) the appropriate writers for product specs, marketing, sales brochures, etc. 
 
 
 
Writing, being a fundamental form of communication is essential, but good writing is not, unless you have a verbal impediment and, even then, it is not very important. 
 
 
 
Methinks the author is enamored by his writing prowess. 
 
 
 
Kerry (rasied $100MM for 2 tech companies the past 8 years and is not a writer, but a technologist)

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:20 PM by Kerry Brown


Yes I have just written and published a book about how you survive the emotional rollercoaster of starting up and can really relate to what you have said. http://www.confessionsofanentrepreneur.com/

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:28 PM by chris robson


Being able to clearly articulate a vision is a requisite competency of an entrepreneur. Since, writing can help clarify vague intuitions and thoughts, a conceptual entrepreneur can use the habit of writing to sketch out and connect formative ideas, possibly strengthening the capacity to experience FLOW and the birth of innovative ideation. Conceptual thinkers and creatives attest to the value of writing to capture elusive patterns and insights.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:29 PM by Dawna Wright


Hey Jason! I'm not a big fan of writing but I do it because of exactly what you said. I want to meet the top people in my niche and give them a resource that represents myself as an entrepreneur. Otherwise, I'm just a random kid off the block. 
 
Thanks for making yourself approachable. I imagine you've gotten lots of emails today.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:30 PM by Nick Tart


Writing is asynch telepathy - author's mind to medium to reader's mind. It takes time and practice to be a telepath...

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:36 PM by Charles Williams


Two great books I'd recommend are "On Writing" by Steven King and "The Artists Way"by Julia Cameron, so long as you actually put the advice into practice - the most important of which is also mentioned in your post - the most important thing is to write, and not worry too much about the other distractions around it like formatting, etc. If you can write for somebody other than yourself (as if it was a conversation) it will be better writing, methinks, and the readers will appreciate it, and keep returning for more. So from a business perspective it makes great sense. The search engines will find good content, and send you readers. Your readers may become customers, and your customers will get to know you better, and learn from you.  
 
I read more than I should, and write less than I want to (somebody close to me told me once that they always knew when I have some new interest because I go off the library and get 5 books out about it) so that's why I was reading this post instead of writing - just cought myself and had to write in the first box I saw... Thanks for reminding me to write!  
 
By the way - just noticed the "Subscribe to this blog by email" checkbox below - what plugin is that? 
 
Regards, 
 
Salvatore

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:42 PM by Salvatore McDonagh


I agree with this article - to a point. Writing and consistency can help entrepreneurs immensely. Good writing communicates branding and messaging effectively. Poor writing can hurt an entrepreneur if her/his message is muddled.  
 
Writing is a skill and not every entrepreneur is going to be good at it. For instance, I can't write programming code to save my life or perform higher-function calculus. I am a good writer, though. 
 
So it's self-serving of me, but accurate, to state that an entrepreneur can benefit from hiring a professional writer to help with his or her branding and messaging. Heck, you can even have the bare bones of what you want say and then watch a professional writer or editor make your message shine.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:33 PM by Mahesh Raj Mohan


Great piece, very relevant for today's world. More and more small business owners are trying to tackle the online, social media world and sometimes they just need a push and a helping hand to get out there. I've recently started a blog myself and it has helped develop a different part of your business. I've also heard about the speaking engagements and writing engagements they can provide (not sure if that will happen with my skills)  
 

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 7:08 PM by Khristine Yap Valdez


This is a great article, one that I will share with a class of realtors who want to start blogging...it's hard to find good advice on how to start and this article is so helpful!

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 7:11 PM by Megan


Such a good article. Thanks for posting. I hope a lot of entrepreneurs or, indeed, future entrepreneurs will have a look at this and see that it really is very easy to get started. For instance, I set up my website empire three months ago. WardblawG wasn't built in a day. But it still has a long way to go. So does your future website empire!

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 7:14 PM by Gavin WardblawG Ward


I couldn't agree more Jason.  
 
As you stated, there is no magic bullet and the more we share our experiences, the good and the bad, the better off we (and our businesses) will be. That is the goal of my blog, to provide a place where budding entrepreneurs can learn what the skills they need to create a successful business.  
 
Also, thanks for talking about the format you use for writing your own articles.  
 
I've struggled with this quite a bit and it's great to have a format to go by and it obviously works!

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 9:03 PM by Tim Murphy


I agree that writing is definitely a good way to summarize your thoughts and helps you becoming a better communicator.  
On the other hand, the difficulties of coming up with interesting contents and selecting the right topics that people will be interested in reading can sometimes distract you from writing what you really want to write. 
I personally experience this time after time and now I am at a point that I do not really care about what topics that will interest people but rather I am writing it for myself.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 9:11 PM by Tony Hsieh


your article is encouraging. so encouraging that i am writing my very first comment on this blog. 
 
i agree with one of the comments, that we should write, no matter where, in public or in a personal diary. my reasoning is that writing helps put things in better perspective, we can think logically and learn to do things in better ways than before.

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 9:54 PM by sonu jain


I've been enjoying this site for some time - thank you!  
 
However, from your supporting points, you seem to make an argument for why every professional should write, not just every entrepreneur (establish domain expertise, meet smart people, get candid feedback on things that matter, etc.) 
 
Is it the importance of serendipity you think that makes it more critical for a startup / entrepreneur than others?

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 10:22 PM by Andrea Lacy


I share your thoughts about benefits of writing, I usually write to myself its been an on and off habit for more than many years. I am gradully settling on how not to wander in my thoughts while writing an article, I believe will be writing some time soon

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 11:23 PM by Amaresh Ballolli


Great article with some practical advice for start-ups! Although finding the time just to think seems to be a challenge, I'm going to put your advice into action and commit to a few hours each week!

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 11:44 PM by Francesca Millena


Am inspired!! Guess this was the tipping point for me :) Thanks Jason!

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 12:40 AM by Bhulakshmi V


Thank you for posting a very useful article. I think this depends on individual descipline to constantly hone the writing skills and therefore build up the audiance. And believe me, you dont need to be born as writer, you can mould a writer out of yourself, gradually.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 12:44 AM by Firoz Ansari


This was a great read and I agree with almost everything you said which is very unusual for me...

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 1:06 AM by rob torres


Excellent post. Blogging like any other business requires a lot of discipline and consistency in order to achieve our objective.  
 
Fortunately, due to technology advancement computing is getting simpler as ever and simplicity is good as it is less time consuming.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Charmaine the portable keyboard gal


Great advice on writing, am motivated! The connection to entrepreneurship is tenuous.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 2:04 AM by Daksha


Jason, thank you so much for this article. It couldn't come at a better time for me. 
I am just in the process of starting a new blog and really lost when trying to decide what I would write on.  
Thank you for energy and direction  
 

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 2:25 AM by Alexis Perrier


It was really nice. It has certainly pushed me towards writing.  
 
Writing helps you to go closer to interesting people which are otherwise not reachable. 
 

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 2:58 AM by Dhananjay


Thank you Jason, just the inspiration I was seeking, back on track now, ezinearticles watch out! 
All the best Tace Thompson

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 3:28 AM by Tace Thompson


I think this article is great except for one glaring omission. You must first learn to write. 
 
The sad truth is, most people believe themselves to be good writers. Most people are wrong. Most people don't understand sentence structure, much less how to punctuate it. Most people write almost entirely in idioms and mixed metaphors. Annoyances like "very unique" "end result" and "should of" have reached epidemic proportions. Forget about communicating complex ideas in a way that's both engaging and digestible, most people can barely order a sandwich in English. 
 
Regardless of the subject matter, bad writing looks bad. Bad writing is often the most noticeable element of a website, and (rightly) it reflects a lack of professionalism. 
 
I agree with everything in this article...if you can write.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 3:29 AM by j m


Never thought of these many benefits of writing. I'll definitely start writing. Thanks Jason!

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 3:29 AM by Satish Kumar Perala


Thanks for a great post. I especially liked the idea of writing for yourself 5 years ago :)

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 3:30 AM by Ben Brabyn


I always thought about start writing about my experience to share my goals and my fails. Now i found the right way to do it thanks to this article. Thank you. 
 
greetings from Italy

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 3:33 AM by Dario


I completely agree that writing should be knowledge sharing. Writing makes one structure his/her thoughts before writing which is extremely important for any enterprenuer at every stage...this structuring of thoughts, giving them words by writing will surely make you a better communicator too..so all the best & hope that we all shall follow this suggestion

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 4:22 AM by nirbhay kant


I completely agree with the tips above. I myself am doing it (knowing or unknowingly) and following the tips given above. One Q though -- The topic is "Why every Entrepreneur should write". My Q is, Should entrepreneurs write or wanna-be entrepreneurs write? If you already are into entrepreneurship, believe me, you will not have any time for minimum sleep also. You'll have no time for anything other than getting things set for revenue flow. 
 
 
 
I think the article should say - Every Wannabe Entrepreneur Should Write and 9 Tips To Get Started 
 
 
 
Thanks and regards, 
 
Mridula 
 
http://accentors.blogspot.com

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 4:43 AM by Mridula


I couldn't agree more with this article. I find, these days, it's an important skill to be able to write and properly communicate with customers- especially with social media taking off as it has. 
 
 
 
I also think it helps to make your organisation more unique- more individual- in a sea of ReTweeting and carbon copying "news blogs". 
 
It can really help to get likeminded people on your side and show a bit of your flair and passion, too. 
 
 
 
I've always been of the opinion that sharing information is the way to go. I find the internet and publications a great way to do that- it's universal, accessible and often very interesting. 
 
On the other hand, and pessimistic side, I do find sometimes customers appreciate you more if they get a personalised and thought out response. Over that of a standardised "automated" response. 
 
 
 
Great article! 
 
Best of luck in the future! 
 
 
 
-Carkean Solutions

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 5:11 AM by Carkean Solutions


Some of my blogs as an entrepreneur available at http://www.iwebtechno.com/awards.html - Do read and comment.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 5:39 AM by Akshay Shah


When I saw the title of this blog from the email i got from Dharmesh, I thought of its about writing down @ own business ...things such as business ideas, marketing plans, product ideas and many more... 
but this is @ blogging... 
anyway I m not a fan of this..so spare me...but surely if every entrepreneur writes on paper..that helps making things quite clear..instead of using gut feel or imagination.. 
so do write....and grow.. 
All the very best... 
 

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 6:55 AM by Girish


It is amazing considering the variety of opinions expressed by fellow entrepreneurs on this topic. My take is that writing is a Gift (talent) and like evry other gift, is not shared by all. 
 
While writing is an entrepreneural gift, not all entrepreneures are endowed with it. It will be an wonderful combination of giftings for one to be an entrepreneur and a writer at the same time; amazing because one is able to share the wealth of knowledge with others and thereby increase knowledge and the body of truth. The legacy of the entrepreneur is not to be compared with that of an entrepreneur and a writer. 
 
All said, I also have discovered that many entrepreneurs can write but are afraid to share knowledge. For these colleagues of ours, I will say 'knowledge not shared will soon die and be lost'.  
 
Thank you all for your wonderful contributions.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 8:54 AM by Steve O. Ideh


Excellent article. Couldn't agree more regarding the importance of writing. Every one of the above "Why you should write" points has been true for me since I started writing!

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 10:32 AM by Akshay


As a professional writer for most of my life, I see the great value in this article's advice. I also know, beyond any doubt, that many people would not take that advice, some perhaps can't.  
 
 
 
The human brain sometimes works equally well in both hemispheres, but more often favors some regions, and therefore some skills, over others. Being a good writer doesn't always make a person smart, any more than being a poor writer makes a person dumb. Some of the smartest, richest, and most successful people in the world have paid me to write for them because I can do it better than they can, and they're smart enough to see the value of paying for that higher quality.  
 
 
 
So please don't feel inadequate if you find writing hard, even impossible. I write, so you don't have to.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM by Renne Leatto


It was definitely a great and influential read! Thanks Jason! 
 
 
 
I once started writing but then took a pause for some reason...thanks for your article, I'm really energized to get started again with my long time passion!! 
 
 
 
Thanks and Keep Writing...

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM by Priya


This is a very inspiring article. I read it line by line. And I want to be like you when I grow up Jason! Just started my blog some months ago, but sitting waiting for visitors. You're right with discipline, I missing that ingredient, I think. But just recover it through the reading of your blog. I love your style, so simple and clear. I keep telling myself, I could write that...but not just experienced people like you can. 
best regards.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM by Brenda Hazan


Well-written, thanks! 
 
Writing is really important for entrepreneurs, IF they have something useful, helpful, inspirational, entertaining or insightful to say - and it has to relate to their niche.  
 
If you're putting out pap, you're training your visitors NOT to come back to your site.

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 5:21 PM by Karilee


Really solid and accessible advice here.  
 
So many people who write articles/blogs are worried about the size of the readership, so it's nice to read an argument for the quality of the readership.  
 

posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 9:26 PM by Stuart Baum


Writing helps you connect with your customers so yes you should write. All the tips are superb. Thanks.

posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 6:27 AM by Usama


Great article. I would substitute "like minded" for "smart." The target audience is always the choir, never the picket line.

posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 8:18 AM by Johanna Miklos


This was a good read. I read through all the comments which were equally informative, but I just had to respond to this big shot: 
 
 
 
From j m....... 
 
 
 
"The sad truth is, most people believe themselves to be good writers. Most people are wrong. Most people don't understand sentence structure, much less how to punctuate it. Most people write almost entirely in idioms and mixed metaphors. Annoyances like "very unique" "end result" and "should of" have reached epidemic proportions. Forget about communicating complex ideas in a way that's both engaging and digestible, most people can barely order a sandwich in English. " 
 
 
 
Whether intentionaly or by accident, you sound pretty condescending. You must be one of those people who thinks they are a good writer. I don't think most bloggers write for people like you anyways.

posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 3:10 PM by David


I've been enjoying this site for some time - thank you!  
 
However, from your supporting points, you seem to make an argument for why every professional should write, not just every entrepreneur (establish domain expertise, meet smart people, get candid feedback on things that matter, etc.) 
 
Is it the importance of serendipity you think that makes it more critical for a startup / entrepreneur than others?

posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 3:37 PM by Andrea Lacy


I like very much your article, it is true what you say I feel very identified, I am starting and it is not as easy at it seams but I am very excited, writting is fun!

posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 7:55 PM by Fabiola


This is one of the most useful articles I've ever read about writing with very clear and concise tips. Thanks a lot!

posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 3:59 AM by Voranc


Great article! One significant benefit I have seen, though, is the positive effect writing has on my own thought process and situational understanding. I started "free writing" for this purpose, and while a fair amount is able to repurposed for public consumption, it is largely for personal. Have a little writeup on my early experience w/ free writing here: <a href="http://www.tom-hart.com/2010/09/free-writing-and-effective-habits.html>Free Writing and Effective Habits

posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 7:16 AM by Tom Hart


Great article Jason, 
 
 
 
Very informative and most of all, an inspiring article. I especially appreciate the advice on format and don't force the article...  
 
 
 
Feel free to visit my websitewww.halliburtonsupportsu.com. While I am updating the website daily, I would love to know your thoughts... 
 
 
 
 
 
April D. Halliburton, President 
 
HalliburtonSupportsU 
 

posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 8:02 AM by April Halliburton


Yes I’m convinced and you have provided some common sense motivation. Thank you for sharing this Jason.  
 
Stan

posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 10:03 AM by Stan Cohelan


Thanks for the great article. Lots of pertinent information for me. 
 
Magdala

posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 5:06 PM by Magdala Rutherford


 
Great article!Here are my answers to your questions 
Q1. So, are you convinced you should be writing -- or writing more?  
I was apprehensive of writing, as I thought that writing must be done only by professional copywriters. My coach pushed me  
 
into writing my first article. When it got published, I got excited to write more. However, I haven't kept my commitment to  
 
writing one article every week. I must do that right away. 
 
Q2. If you're convinced, what will it take to get you to do it?  
Setting up a time to write and making it a ritual . 
 
Q3. If you've already been writing, have you found it to be useful?  
Absolutely useful. I realized the magic of writing, by starting to plan my day on paper. It appears as though the Universe  
 
conspires to help you achieve your goal, when you put it on paper. Then I started writing gratitude journal. As solo  
 
Entrepreneurs, we do come up with roadblocks that we need to address it with ourselves. I started writing down my thoughts  
 
and feelings on paper, to get over the roadblocks. Then I started writing articles for article directories, published our  
 
Ezine and wrote an ebook. Writing creates a sense of connection to my core self. By writing, I am able to express myself and  
 
my business authentically.  
 
Q4. Would love to hear your stories and experiences.  
I was able to build a list of qualified prospects worldwide through writing articles/Ezines and I totally agree that every  
 
Entrepreneur must write.

posted on Monday, October 04, 2010 at 7:40 PM by Lalitha Brahma


Great article. Just started my blog some days ago, now waiting for visitors. It's an important skill to be able to write and properly communicate with customers/staff- especially with social media taking off as it has. I really believe it is a skill that is often missing from people and overlooked in the recruitment process. 
 
 
 
I'm going to try and implement as many of these tips on my sitewww.knicom.co.uk as possible and hopefully report back on success. 
 
 
 
Many thanks

posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 at 3:47 AM by Knicom


Right on Jason. I wrote my first blog post 4 years ago (before I knew it was a blog) and have not looked back since. This past 6 months has been when Ive really turned on the juice with a routine weekly posting and guest posting schedule. I agree with every one of your points above, from experience. The people I've met and the luck that's been created is something I would have never expected. Still the best part of the whole thing is getting those emails from time time saying that some article or statement of mine was life changing in some way. To me that is genuine success. Such an awesome way to start helping others and of course pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Now I just might add my cell phone to posts... 
 
Congrats to your writing success Jason and you as well Dharmesh.  
 
Hope to collaborate with you all some day! 
 
Scott

posted on Saturday, October 09, 2010 at 1:45 PM by Scott Dinsmore


More Entrepreneurs Should Blog http://goo.gl/fb/0ojxH

posted on Saturday, October 09, 2010 at 2:06 PM by Paramendra Bhagat


I believe reflective writing is a powerful tool to accelerate learning. Writing slows down time, builds mindful awareness and increases clarity about the way the world fits together. Great article ;-)

posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 4:35 AM by Conor


Jason, 
 
Why do today what can be done tomorrow? Gosh this seems to be motto when it comes to writing. Having the motivation and commitment, as you cover, is so key! 
 
- Tewls

posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 5:37 PM by Tewks


This was an amazing post. I am starting to blog, and have only done three so far but the fear of impending writers' block, etc, is hanging over my head! This is an article I'll re-read when I need it, and I'm already inspired to write. Thank you!

posted on Friday, October 15, 2010 at 9:20 PM by Lauren Ashley Miller


Wonderful article. Being a new business myself & starting to blog, this article has given me some great insight & a good place to start.

posted on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:23 AM by Josh Woollen


Reading depends on the stage you're in. If you feel like you need to know more about something or if you're looking for inspiration, then it's fine. If you've got your work cut out for you and you need to get your stuff on the road, THEN STOP READING NOW AND GET TO IT!

posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 9:19 AM by Jonnu


Great post on writing and blogging. Doesn't get bogged down discussing nuances but gets to the heart of the matter of writing benefits in form of 'insights'. 
 
And probably the most significant of all, is 'self-awareness' - insight to oneself once you embark on writing as a habit.

posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 4:21 PM by friarminor


Hi, 
 
 
 
Nice article. I agree with you about writing. I am always interested in writing from my school days. I am following your blog from quite a long time. With your inspiration I had started writing on my company blog. Hoping it will continue. 
 
 
 
Thanks 
 
Tariq 
 

posted on Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 1:32 AM by Tariq


writing about entrepreneurs and what can make them better at it...yes! I'm afraid that if I start, I won't want to stop. Then, when will the work get done? Or maybe writing is the work...hmm. Anyway, great article and enjoyed the feedback too. Thanks for the gentle 'push'.

posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 5:08 PM by Robin


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