Ali Abdaal has a thriving online business.
David Perell has a thriving online business.
Ali and David have a great video together where they talk about their paths to sort of the same place. Ali did it mainly through videos on YouTube. David did it mainly through writing on his blog and on public platforms.
The main part of their business is courses: As in, most of their millions of revenue are made in courses that they’ve created. Ali has one for building a YouTube channel. David has one for writing online.
But content is the engine for building an audience: You don’t build your audience for your course by starting with creating a course. (I’m guessing there are methods with ads and things but that wasn’t their path.) The students came from the audience of their work that’s available free online.
Waves to ride: Writing on a blog nobody goes to will not work. You can hitch a ride on someone else’s wave: David had posts good enough that they were shared by Tyler Cowen, who has the most popular economics blog on the internet. Ali studied the changing wave of the YouTube algorithm: he looked at what topics other successful channels did and made versions through his lens of interests. You can ride the wave of emerging platforms. You can ride the wave of topical trends.
Videos vs. writing – feedback: Ali points out that videos make it difficult to get feedback on drafts. Instead, his approach has been to get feedback on published videos to apply to the next video. However, you don’t want to fall into the trap of pressuring yourself to make every video better than the last.
Videos vs. writing – POP works for both: POP is one of David Perell’s frameworks for writing. It should be personal, observational, or playful. (Or some combination.) That works well for videos as well. A big portion of Ali’s video course is about writing your video scripts or outlines, so there’s a ton of overlap.
Those are just a few ideas and there are plenty more in the video. It’s about 40 minutes long so check it out