I’m going to get straight to it. No story today.
This is the 109th email I’ve written as part of OnlineTrainer.com. I meant to write this as the 100th but forgot to check. I don’t check anything. That’s part of today’s message.
The secret to my consistent production is subtraction, not addition. I’ve learned that true wisdom isn’t doing more, it’s removing everything other than the essential so that more can be done of what matters.
Astute readers will note that this website has, from time to time, been about online training but more often it’s been about life, business, and purpose. This is my playground to selfishly explore. As much as I’d like to say that everything that I write here is for my reader, that would be a lie. I write here to better understand what I am thinking. Writing for others is the best way to clarify your own thoughts.
That’s lesson 1.
I used to have a website called Viralnomics. It was a failure. Some of the writings on it were great and I wrote a book with the same title that is sensational, but I could not keep up with the site. I made goals to post consistently and missed them. I gave up, then revisited the site and started again, giving up soon after.
That experience, and many others like it in my 8 years writing on the web, taught me what I needed to do to be consistent and relentless in my production here.
A relentless approach to production is what makes good people great. Distraction and scattered focus make it hard to relentlessly produce. You must create your own ecosystem that enables you to be relentless. That’s what I’ve done here.
Before I tell you about how I’ve set up this site, understand that every decision that you make represents a tradeoff. What I’ve done with this site is no different. I’ve accepted that this site won’t rank in Google and won’t show optimally in social media. That’s fine. All that matters is that I write on it. Beyond that, I don’t care what happens.
Throwing back the curtain: Five decisions with this website that I made which allow me to relentless produce:
1. There are no images
My art director created a single share image for each article and my web developer coded the site so that it shows for every blog post. I don’t create a new share image for each article because I would overthink it and it would take time and it would lead me to write less.
I don’t break up the text with images. Occasionally I include an image because it’s important to the narrative but that’s rare. Searching for images to include and formatting them would add to the burden of writing. And all that matters is that I write.
2. There is no meta data
The website has been coded to pull the first words from the article as the description for social media. In addition, there is no meta data for any of the articles. I don’t do any keyword research and I don’t give a seconds thought to specific phrasings to help something rank in Google.
3. Simple category structure
Each article has categories. They were chosen on day 1 and are simple and not optimized and probably not all that helpful for readers but they were easy to do and I don’t have to think about now. This email is categorized as a “hard truth”. That doesn’t really mean anything and is not helpful to anybody, but I don’t care.
4. No statistics. No analytics. No user data.
I don’t have any analytics installed into this site. There could be 10,000 people reading an article or 2. I have no clue. It’s completely irrelevant to me how many people read what I write here. As I said earlier, I write here for me, selfishly, to better understand my own thoughts. In addition, I know that what really matters is that I’m relentless with production. Knowing how many readers would unconsciously impact what I write and distract me.
5. Post once on the page, and walk away
Once an email is written I send to my list, copy it onto the website and, if I remember, schedule it to post a few hours later from the OnlineTrainer.com Facebook page. Sometimes I forget to share the article. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that it got written. A member of my team has a task to syndicate each email on Linkedin and Medium at least 3 days after it goes live on the website. I’m pretty sure that this happens, but I don’t check.
Beyond the structural simplification rules that I’ve put into place, I’ve made the decision that this site is my most important task each weekday. If I get nothing else done in a day other than write and publish an email here, then I’ve accomplished enough for that day. Habit #1 in Habits of Highly Wealthy Online Trainers is constant forward momentum and this is mine.
The difference between the has-beens and the great is producing great work, consistently, over a long period of time. It’s relentlessness.
In marketing, most of the stuff that you’ve been made to believe matters, doesn’t. A great product markets itself. It takes time and skill and deep work to produce a great product. I think that, in this modern day obsession with omnipresence and optimization, that point is missed.
All that matters is the work. In order to produce it, you need to insulate yourself from distraction. Create an environment so that the most important task always gets done. For me, it is these emails, and, even though I don’t write them for you, I’m happy that you’re here and hope you enjoy them.