Writing and Building an Audience with James Altucher

Each week James Altucher hosts a Q&A on Twitter.

A lot of folks ask James questions about writing and building an audience and I have been saving my favorite answers. Here are the top twelve!

  1. “Just keep writing. Write 2-3 hours a day. The best way to get feedback is to write good stuff that people like. Bleed on the first line, cliffhanger every paragraph. don’t hit publish unless you are afraid what people will think.”
  2. “I write every day. Which means in past 10 years i have over 3000 articles. almost 1000 podcasts (across 3 podcasts). If you write every day: you improve, and eventually people notice. It took me 10 years of writing every day before I had my first published article.”
  3. “Start writing for free everywhere you can. When it starts to get traction (and it will eventually), offer value that people get only if they sign up for email list. Like, if you write about politics, write “100 things u need to know about the candidates”. giveaway when ppl sign up”
  4. “Forget about the structure of the website for a second. Make sure you have something unique to say that nobody else has said. Make sure u have unique way to say it (or more than 1). And make sure u tell your story. Be vulnerable. Be scared to say what u want.” 
  5. “If you love it, keep trying it. Write every day. Read every day. Analyze the greats and what makes them great. Analyze your own works. Get good at being analytical on writing. What makes a piece work. Also, avoid gatekeepers. Self-publish if you need to.”
  6. “Write for many websites.  your stuff. Always say something new in every article. Look for other media, ranging from podcast, to instagram, to even tik tok. Do this EVERY DAY. Audience builds one person at a time.”
  7. “Here’s an idea to write a book in 30 days. Pick your favorite topic. Take an old text (like the Tao Te Ching, or Art of War), write “The Zen of X” where X is your interest. See how each line (like each chapter of Art of War, applies to your area. Write book. You can do in 30 days”
  8. “Yes, as you write, you will get better. As you get better audience builds, people notice, and you get opportunities to write places. Also: 20:1 ratio. For every 20 places you approach, 1 will say yes. But ask a lot of places to write for them”
  9. “Write a good book with ALL of your ideas (on investing, dieting, persuasion, real estate, learning, etc, whatever). Give away for free in exchange for an email address. Now make an even BETTER course/coaching/newsletter. Sell that to your email list. 1 year = 1 million.” 
  10. “It’s impossible to “think” about what your unique voice / passion / etc is. You have to do little experiments EVERY DAY. Work at it every day. Only DOING accomplishes things. Thinking is mostly a waste of time.”
  11. “The way to start anything: don’t think about it, do it. Instead of thinking (Like I did for 20 years), “I should do standup”, I scheduled a day, and, SCARED TO DEATH, I did it. Then I kept doing it as I fell in love with it. You learn each micro-skill, work on it, and get better”
  12. The average person works about 90 minutes a day. If you can, block off at least 180 minutes in morning with total privacy to do your work. Then about 60 mins in afternoon to return calls (easy work). Then the rest of day is free for your chaos. 

I have learned a lot from these Q&As and I am grateful that James hosts them. But it is important to remember this important piece of wisdom that he recently shared:

“I have lack of self confidence in every single business I start. The key is: just focus on what you have to do THAT DAY. Make an appt with yourself to later “discuss” the self confidence but today you have to DO things. Every day, move the business forward first THEN worry.”

So what are you waiting for?

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