Finally, let’s talk about now that you have a website because you’ve seen how easy it is to make a website, what the hell do you do with your website? How do you actually make your website good? Again, this is a lot more straight forward then people make it out to be. Firstly, your website only needs three pages. It needs an about page, it needs a contact page and it needs a blog page. Literally, that is all you need. Your home page can literally just be your about page or it can be your latest blog post, it doesn’t matter. And then once you’ve got those setup, which again only takes about 20 minutes. You don’t need to overthink your about page or your contact page. The real objective at this point now is to write a blog post and try and do it every week. Once a week is, I think, a good cadence, it gets you into the habit of writing. It gets you into the habit of publishing. It gets you into the habit of showing your work on the internet. At this point, people usually ask, “Well, what do I write about?” And the answer to that is that you can basically write about whatever you want. The only bar I have for like what I’m gonna write about is could this potentially be useful to at least one other person in the world? If I’m writing about my bowel habits, that’s probably not particularly useful to anyone in the world, therefore I tend not to write blog posts about my bowel habits. But let’s say I’ve read a book and I’m like, “Huh, this is a pretty good book, I learned a few things from it.” I would write a blog post about the insights I learned from this book. Let’s say I listened to a podcast and I was like, “Oh, you know, I listened to this episode of the Tim Ferris Show, that was actually really good, with Seth Godin. You know, there were these three things that stuck in my mind.” Write it up as a blog post. That’s the sort of thing that’ll be useful to at least one other person. Let’s say I’m going through university and I’m I don’t know, a first-year medical student, it would be very reasonable for me to write what the experience of a first-year medical student is like. Would that be useful to anyone else? Yeah, probably it would be useful to people who are thinking of going into med school? Let’s say you’re like Sheen and you’re doing a Ph.D., would it be useful to you to write about your experiences of doing a Ph.D.? Yes it would, because potentially other people who might want to do that would be interested in what it is the day-to-day experience of doing a Ph.D. actually like. And there’s a nice quote from Gary Vaynerchuk that I actually come back to which is, “Document, don’t create.” Like, creating content and the concept of that is actually really hard, it feels like a big deal. But if you just think about documenting the stuff that you’re doing anyway, it becomes very easy to find ideas of things to write about. Like if I was starting a blog from scratch and I had zero audience, nothing at all, I would just document the way that I’m living my life. I’d be like, you know, “This is my morning routine and this is why this is my morning routine. Here is an article that I read about X and this is what it made me think about. Here is a book that I read about Y and here is a quick summary of the book and the link to the book with an Amazon link.” That’s the sort of stuff I’d be writing about and I’d be exploring any other kinda topics that I personally enjoyed. So, Sheen, for example, is super into women empowerment and eradicating period poverty and improving access to girls education, that’s cool, she writes articles about that. I’m more into like tech and like content creation and like personal development, and like you know, how can improve our charisma and social skills and so I’d writing about those sorts of topics that I care about. But the main thing is that once you set a goal of publishing something once a week, especially if you have like an email newsletter associated with it, you just end up finding things to write about. Like there are zillions of ideas out there. You just need to pick one of them, write about it, publish it and just do this every week for the next two years and I can pretty much guarantee that your life will change in an interesting way. And after the question of what do I write about, the next question people always ask is, well, how will my stuff be seen? Let’s say I write, you know, let’s say I had no audience, let’s say I wrote a blog post about I don’t know,
why I have a fake plant on my desk. I can talk about how I read a book by Richard Wiseman called “59 Seconds,” and he talked about how having greenery on your desk, sort of encourages creativity. I could write a blog post about that and I’d publish it on my blog, but literally, no one would ever find that thing. But the solution these days is very simple. When you write a blog post, share it on Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn or Facebook or wherever you have social media. Everyone has social media in some capacity and if you don’t, you’re doing it wrong, you should have an account on Twitter because Twitter is amazing for professional networking and all that kinda stuff. You should also probably do LinkedIn if you’re into the whole professional side of things, ’cause LinkedIn is great, but once you write a blog post you can literally just post a link to it on Facebook. Post a link to it on Twitter, post a link on Instagram, post a link on LinkedIn, post a screenshot on Instagram. That’s how Sheen, without an audience at the start, got to the point where her blog was starting to get readers. She just posted about it on Instagram, she had a few hundred followers on Instagram at the time, just friends and family and through that people found the blog. And then every time she’d write a new blog post she would post about it on Instagram and on LinkedIn and then on LinkedIn, you’ve got the sort of professional audience that cares about this sort of stuff. Instagram is more like a people caring about her life because they’re her family and friends. And then through those, those like you know, 10 or 20 people here and there reading an article, one of those people will then share it with someone else and say, “Hey, this is interesting, why don’t you read this person’s article.” So really the way that people find your blog, they find your website is not really through search engine optimization these days. Maybe it used to be in like 2005, but it’s now 2021. Usually for most personal websites the way people find your stuff is because you’ve shared it on social media, to your own friends and family and then someone there who’s resonated with your thing has shared it a little bit wider. And yeah, at the start, no ones gonna read your stuff because it’s probably not very good. If you haven’t had any experience at writing, you’re probably writing some pretty crap stuff, but that okay, like this is the sort of thing that improves over time. And certainly at the start when I started my YouTube channel and my blog, no one was reading and no one was watching. I would get like 23 views on a YouTube video. And at the time it’s because my YouTube videos weren’t very good. But over time as I made more of them I got better at making YouTube videos, I got better at writing blog posts and I, therefore, built this audience over time. So if you’re worried about, “No ones gonna read my stuff,” don’t worry about it, ’cause it takes time. But also make sure you’re sharing it on social media ’cause that’s just a very easy way for people to find whatever you’re writing on your website. And there’s a few other frequently asked questions that I often get when it comes to the website thing. Number one, people always ask, “How do I make my website look pretty?”
And I would say, “Don’t worry about it, the design does not matter.” If you use Ghost if you use Squarespace it’s gonna be pretty beautiful. And these days when it comes to a personal website the aesthetics of the website is absolutely not the thing people care about. People care about the content, they care about the ideas, they care about the writing. It’s really all about the writing. And as long as your design does not get in the way of the writing you don’t need to worry about the design. You can just pick a default theme. Squarespace they’re free, Ghost has a load of free templates. For the first four years of my website I was just using a free Ghost theme, the default one and it looked pretty good. I’d get messages from people being like, “Oh my God, your website is so pretty, how did you design it?” I’d just be like, “Look, it’s just the default-free theme that just comes with Ghost when you use Ghost as your website platform.” These I use a custom-designed theme but I’ve been doing the website thing and the content thing for five years at this point. So do not worry about design at all focus on the content. Secondly, people often ask about SEO which stands for search engine optimization, again completely ignore it. Do not worry about search engine optimization. It is very unlikely that your personal website will be getting any reasonable traffic from search engine optimization. Instead, focus on writing good stuff and sharing it on Twitter or whatever social media you have and if it resonates with people the kind of organic sharingness of your articles is what’ll lead to more website traffic compared to you worrying about SEO. Don’t worry about SEO, is the sort of thing you can worry about three years further down the line. People sometimes ask, “How do I monetize my website?” Again, don’t worry about it for the first two years. My theory on this is that unless you’ve been writing weekly for at least one to two years, you don’t need to worry about monetization in the slightest. And finally, people often ask but like, “What if I’m scared to put myself out there? Like I don’t wanna use my real name online.” Or like, “It feels really scary to put myself out there and have a personal website.” Trust me, I’ve been there. In 2016 I had all of these fears myself. I’d been wanting to set up a website for like years at that point and I never did it ’cause I was just too scared. But I found the solution and that is all in this video over here, which talks about how writing online made me a millionaire. And in that video, I share how I got over the fear of putting myself out there on the internet and how ultimately my personal website ended up completely changing my life. So check that video out over. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you found this video useful and I’ll see you in the next one, bye-bye.