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Get started: The trick to publishing online

Hey, you: now is the time to start writing

Hi friend,

Today I want to talk about publishing things online.

My writing habit (and my personal site) started on a lark - I wanted to learn about building websites with Gatsby. At the time, I was technical director for Gymnasium, and had been building a SaaS product in my spare time. I was learning so many things all at once that it seemed like a good idea to give myself somewhere public to write them down.

Fast forward to today, and I've got a few years of publishing under my belt. I did a quick audit over the weekend to see how far my words have gone, and I gotta tell you - I was not ready for the results.

Between articles written for,, and my past employers Google & Stripe, I estimate that my work has reached about 1.3 million people.


...and super humbling -- even after all this time, I can't help but think who wants to hear from little ol' me?

Getting started as a writer

I hear from lots of people who want to start writing online. Many people get in their own way, and never publish anything because of impostor syndrome, or because they don't have an audience yet. The best thing about being a creator is that you can start with nothing, and you don't need anyone's permission to get started. The sooner you create something and share it with the world, the sooner you'll get better at it.

Don't get me wrong - I've seen countless people set up a blog for themselves, publish a "hello world" article, and only come back every 6 months to post something like sorry it's been so long since I've written something here. I'm back for real this time.

The biggest challenge for online creators is avoiding that pattern.

If you've been on the fence about starting a blog, or a YouTube channel, or a podcast, this is your call to action: publish something (anything!) and send it to me on twitter @irreverentmike or mastodon I'd love to see what you're building, and be a signal boost for your work.

2 guiding principles for publishing online

  1. There is no bar. In my absolute favorite blog post of all time, Chris Coyier writes about how there is no minimum bar for publishing online. You can start with anything -- and you shouldn't be the one holding yourself back. The only thing you need to do is start.

  2. Writing triples your impact - during his recent keynote at All Things Open, Scott Hanselman shared a poignant observation. When you teach someone by sharing your knowledge, you've doubled the reach of your brain. If you write it down and even just one other person sees that, you've tripled your impact - and it only goes up from there.

When you have something to share -- write it down, and make it available anywhere with a public URL. It doesn't need to be any more complicated than that!

Tools for publishing online

  • 🗒️ Obsidian is note-taking tool, and is perfect for creating a second brain and getting things off your mind. If you're used to writing with Markdown, it will feel very familiar. It's free for personal use.
  • 🌁 Ever try to upload an image from your phone to your website, only to find it's 30mb and takes forever to download? Enter Squoosh, a tool for compressing images. Pull up the URL, drag-and-drop your image, and hit the download button to grab a compressed version. It's that easy.
  • 🖼️ Speaking of images, Unsplash is a treasure trove of beautiful, high quality images licensed for use online (with attribution). You'll never want to use clip art or a stock photo again.
  • 🧇 Waffle -- city -- ice cream cone -- if you've ever had trouble finding an icon for something, you're going to love The Noun Project. Their mission is to provide a library of icons for every noun in the world. Can you imagine such a person, place, or thing?

Alright friends - now go smash some words on a page, and hit publish. I'll be waiting to see what you do!

Thanks for reading Tiny Improvements. If you found this helpful, I'd love it if you shared this with a friend. It helps me out a great deal.

Until next time - be excellent to each other!

Mike Bifulco headshot

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    © 2019-2023 Mike Bifulco

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    Disclaimer: 👋🏽 Hi there. I work as a co-founder & CTO at Craftwork. These are my opinions, and not necessarily the views of my employer.
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