How to write in public to grow an audience

Kevon Cheung

Sometimes I hear people say "I don't have a business or product yet, I can't build in public!"

Wait - why's that?

Oh okay, the word "build" in "Build in Public" implies that we're actively working on something. No wonder this misconception.

But if we look at ConvertKit's founder, Nathan Barry, and what he said about building in public, we can learn a new perspective:

"By sharing your journey publicly—and inviting friends, family, and complete strangers along for the ride—you will create your own fan club who are actively rooting for your success."

Build in Public is about your journey. And every day, you're actively building your own journey and moving forward one step at a step. It doesn't really mean that you need to have business, product, or even a solid idea to start sharing.

Don't think that Build in Public is for something, it is for YOU.

I know this because I started my creator journey 16 months ago through writing the Build in Public Definitive Guide. And honestly, the first few weeks nobody cared. Until someone cared. And until many, many people read it when the guide launched.

So if you're someone early in your journey but want to share your journey public, I'd definitely recommend Writing in Public.

I don't mean just write tweets or threads or blog posts and then put it out there. This is something you already do! What I mean is think of a mini writing project to share everything you learn and know about this one topic.

You can see it as a free guide that you can give it away to help people. Why is this good? If your guide is useful, you can instantly build up a ton of credibility in this topic (your niche!)

But there are a few criteria to meet:

  • You need to know there's demand for the content in this free guide - I recommend digging around Twitter and forums and compile a list of questions people are always asking
  • You need a spiky point of view! You don't need everyone to read your guide. You're better off making it controversial and attract only some people, but they'll be super duper excited - I recommend coming up with multiple spiky point of views and share it with people you think will be your target reader and see how they react. If everyone agrees with you, it is not a good angle. Don't write another "Creator Starter Guide"
  • You need to make it a mini-product, like the Building in Public Guide. If it is just a Notion page or blog post or Google Doc, no one cares. Product-like content is what people love to share
  • You need to finish the writing in 8 weeks. This is because your momentum and fanbase accumulates to prepare for your launch moment. They all jump in to re-share and boom - your content makes it to the hands of many people. I made the mistake of pausing my book Showing Up Right for 3 months and momentum died, don't be Kevon

Writing in Public is an amazing way to start building your audience. If you need more in-depth look into my process, then my behind-the-scenes can likely help.

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