Happy (belated) birthday, Future Ear!
What began as a site for long-form essays, has since morphed into a home for my daily update. To commemorate two years, here are five takeaways from what I’ve learned about blogging across the first 150 posts.
When I started this blog, I thought I only had a handful of posts mapped out in my head and vividly remember feeling anxious prior to starting because I worried that I didn’t have enough material to sustain a blog. Once I started and as time went on, I realized that the “handful of posts” were actually stories that I was trying to tell. This Gary Vaynerchuk article, “How to Tell a Story on Social Media,” helped to change the way I think about content creation.
I tend to write about the same high-level topics (hearables, voice, aural attention economy, biometrics, etc), but each post is like adding a new chapter to that particular story, or making an edit to a past chapter. The key point is to always be telling the stories that you want to resonate with your audience, because in this hyper-ADD world, time and attention are the hottest commodities.
Content Begets Content
One of the most counter-intuitive aspects to the daily update that I’ve found is that it’s actually easier to write daily ( or frequently) than it is to write sporadically. Writing often allows one the ability to constantly be making connections with past material. I will frequently take the key takeaways from a past daily update and combine it with new insight that has surfaced to create a new update. All of my posts act like branches of the Future Ear knowledge tree, which makes it easier and easier for me to generate new content because there’s an increasing amount of past insight to draw from and apply.
Why do you think people like Bret Kinsella, Ben Thompson, Morgan Housel and David Perell are such insightful writers? One reason is because they all write constantly and therefore, have enormous pools of insight that they can refer back to and draw from (along with their own mental knowledge trees).
Writing = The Ultimate Presentation Prep Tool.
Writing makes you take all the information bouncing around in your head and distill it down. The act of distilling your ideas down to paper will help to weed out what’s actually a good idea and what’s not. By constantly refining your material, you’ll essentially identify what’s truly great and worth expanding on. Once you’ve identified enough material that you’ve refined and determined is great, you’ll have enough to speak on it for 60 minutes. Then 90 minutes and so on. Presentations are opportunities to tell your stories, and since you’ve already refined these ideas so thoroughly through your writing, you’ll have no problem speaking confidently on your material.
Content Creates Opportunities.
One of the biggest eye-openers for me has been just how effective writing (or any content creation) can be with opening new doors to opportunities. Creating content acts like a resume to contribute content to other publications and sources. As time goes on, of this compounds together to lead to more and more opportunities. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to write for the Harvard Business Review, Voicebot and a handful of publications within my industry. I’ve also landed public speaking engagements at various conferences and podcast guest appearances. I don’t think I would have ever been presented those opportunities had I not been sharing my writing online.
Writing Attracts Like-Minded, Interesting People.
My favorite aspect to Future Ear has been all the great people that I’ve been able to meet and interact with along the way, whether that be online or in-person (usually online, then in person!). I’ve been blown away with just how many smart people I’ve met these past two years, some of whom I’ve written updates about. My favorite times are when I publish an update and have someone share a piece of their own content with me that pertains to what I wrote about. In that scenario, there’s just that much more fodder for interesting discussion, which is often the basis for future content.
Cheers to Another Year
Writing and publishing online has been intimidating and uncomfortable at times, but as one of my college professors once told me, “the only way to grow your comfort zone, is to live outside it.” So, while these past two years have had a fair share of ups and downs, one thing is for certain: Future Ear has allowed me to grow my comfort zone by constantly operating outside of it.
I wouldn’t be here commemorating this anniversary without readers like you that have encouraged me to keep going time & time again. It’s hard to put into words just how much that support means to me. My hope is that this post and the takeaways from the past two years helps to motivate someone else to begin their own journey in some way or another.
-Thanks for Reading-