Andrew Chen on blogging profesionnally

Andrew Chen is one of my favorite tech/marketing bloggers. His blog is an endless source of knowledge for anyone who works in business today. He focuses on growth and digital marketing at startups but to be honest, some of his posts that felt futuristic 10 years ago are now the reality of any entrepreneur or intrapreneur. I found his writings in 2010 because I was desperately looking for a framework for my thesis on mobile marketing. His thoughts on mobile (as a personal device and a marketing tool) were much more developed than anything I found in the literature. I came back often to his writings, for his thoughts on emails, social, mobile, commerce, but also for his reflections on work in general.

He says he is blogging professionally. And I like that. Because when you read his lessons from 10 years of blogging, you realize that he's not blogging on top of his work – blogging is also his work. Here are the highlights from a recent article where he reflects on 10 years of blogging professionally and draws the most important lessons:

  • Titles are 80% of the work, but you write it as the very last thing. It has to be a compelling opinion or important learning
  • There’s always room for high-quality thoughts/opinions. Venn diagram of people w/ knowledge and those we can communicate is tiny
  • Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity – stay home, don’t go to events/conferences, and just put ideas down
  • Think of your writing on the same timescale as your career. Write on a multi-decade timeframe. This means, don’t just pub on Quora/Medium
  • Focus on writing freq over anything else. Schedule it. Don’t worry about building an immediate audience. Focus on the intrinsic.
  • To develop the habit, put a calendar reminder each Sunday for 2 hours. Forced myself to stare at a blank text box and put something down
  • Most of my writing comes from talking/reading deciding I strongly agree or disagree. These opinions become titles. Titles become essays.
  • People are often obsessed with needing to write original ideas. Forget it. You’re a journalist with a day job in the tech industry
  • An email subscriber is worth 100x twitter or LinkedIn followers or whatever other stuff is out there. An email = a real channel
  • I started writing while working at a VC. They asked, “Why give away ideas? That’s your edge.” Ironic that VCs blog/tweet all day now ;)
  • Publishing ideas, learnings, opinions, for years & years is a great way to give. And you’ll figure out how to capture value later

Read the full article here


I truly started writing publicly every day because of this blog: avc.com. It is Fred Wilson's blog. He's a venture capitalist based in NYC. I don't remember how I discovered this blog but I quickly started to visit it every day. Just to skim through the posts and refresh my thoughts. Venture capital is not necessarily my cup of tea but I like to learn from the industry.

It also amazes me to watch the blogger develop his thoughts on topics over a long period of time. I started reading the blog in 2012-2013 when e-commerce platforms were growing fast, digital privacy was a new social issue, cryptocurrencies became hot, online advertising got harder (except for Google/Facebook), content creation and publishing was trying to find its way on the Internet, etc. Fred blogged about these topics multiples times over the past 5+ years, every time adding a little nugget of information. Each year he concludes with a year-end post, making predictions and reflecting on last year predictions.

This is a quote from today's post:

This stuff is fun for me but it is also a great mental exercise to go through. It forces me to reflect, think, and focus on what is/was most important. There is so much that blogging does for my brain. I am not sure how I would do my work without it. The daily routine of writing something for public consumption is a discipline that brings clarity in a confusing time. The bigger posts that come every now and then, and the year end ones, are particularly valuable to write.
— Fred Wilson (avc.com)

No matter what your occupation or job is. No matter what your routine is. Can you imagine how healthy that practice is? It takes time but I feel we can all squeeze 30 minutes a day to do it. I find it hard to develop the habit. I'm struggling a bit to write every day. And today I stripped down some design things here to focus on writing more. Because I'm certain the benefits it will have on my work, my craft, my thoughts, my life will outweigh the efforts.

Thank you Fred!