Writing Online Is A Conversation

The number one thing I hear from people who want to write online more is that they struggle to publish incomplete ideas and unpolished compositions.

What I have learned from writing online regularly for over twenty years is that writing online is a conversation.

What I mean by that is that you are not trying to publish complete ideas. You are engaging in a conversation with the world and you are a participant in that.

Here's an example from back in 2006:

I was seeing a lot of startups using a business model where they gave their service away for free with hopes of converting some of the users to subscribers. I wanted to give that business model a name. So I wrote about it and asked the folks who were reading my posts to suggest some names.

One reader suggested "freemium" and I loved it and wrote another post stating that we now have a name for that business model.

That's a conversation.

Here's another example:

My colleague Grace wrote a post about the Fragmentation of Search back in February and we started getting calls and emails from founders working in the space. Five months later, we have committed to lead a round of financing in a company right in the sweet spot of that blog post.

That's a conversation.

So to everyone out there who is struggling to polish their posts and make them perfect before hitting publish, I say "don't bother". Think about writing online like being at a cocktail party or a dinner. Think of it like a conversation starter or a witty reply that takes the conversation to the next level. Because that's what writing online is. A conversation.

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