Eleven tiny pieces of advice about how to resonate with a loyal audience I wish I knew before I started writing

Alex Mathers


15 years of writing online has shown me nuances of the craft I would have only gained by grinding in the trenches.

I want you to realise them as you learn, write, create and grow.

But I also know the power of hearing tips from others who’ve done it so you can avoid mistakes and get on the fast track.

Here they are:

Stop telling us shit we already know.

Assume your readers or listeners have brains.

Don’t just write because you have a word count quota to fill. Tell us something positioned in a new way.

Tell us about life through your lens and your story.

Don’t tell us what we need to hear.

To attract interest, you have a limited second to appeal.

We know that people need to do hard things to improve their lives. But this is not what they want to hear.

They initially want to know that change is within reach, and that they will become higher status, more liked, more well-off and happier in the process.

Package the hard stuff (the bitter pill) into the fun stuff (the chocolate covering).

Everything is A to B.

All good, effective communication is about transformation.

It’s not as far-fetched as turning someone from a frog into a rabbit.

It’s about helping them move from one state or condition (A: fear, confusion) to another, better one (B: clarity, relief).

Every tweet, post, newsletter and video you share is A ⮕ B.

Everything you write must be a provocation.

It took me a looooooong time to realise this.

When I say ‘provocation’ I’m not telling you to invite your reader for fisticuffs around the back of the bike sheds.

I’m talking about being unexpected at every turn. People do not want to read shit they expect to read.