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Start Writing More Leads

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Do you want to improve your writing? Be more succinct? Get more engagement from readers?

Here's my tip: Learn how to write a lead.

The lead is the opening paragraph or sentence of a news article. To write it well, you have to know what part of your story is most important. Lead writing forces you to be clear and crisp.

Whether it be social media captions, pitches, or telling your spouse what you want from Starbucks, a good lead is tough to beat.

There are many different types of leads. So here's a freshly-overhauled post that covers nine of my favorite formats, along with examples.

🔗 How to Write a Lead

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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It's the most wonderful time of the year -- and by that, I mean quarterly planning, of course.

Planning for Q1 can be tricky. Most of us like to take time off at the end of the year. That means you should be reflecting on Q4 and making plans for Q1 now.

Quarterly Planning Pre-Work Ideas

I like to do my quarterly planning in two sessions.

First, I do a recap session, where I pull data from my last few months. The information I collect usually includes:

  • Revenue, expenses, and profit.
  • Views, subscriptions, follower growth, and content output.
  • Webinar registrations, referrals, discovery calls booked, existing client renewals.

Then... I walk away and let this marinate for a couple days or weeks. I like to use this time to get in touch with how the quarter felt.

Was I tired or rested? Was I miserable or joyous? That stuff matters just as much, if not more.

Then, in a separate session, I sit down, reflect on what did and did not work, and make my adjustments.

Some people advocate taking large blocks of time to do this planning work, or even going somewhere. I don't think destination matters that much, what matters most for me is blocking off time where I can be uninterrupted. Tricky, but doable.

There's a reason quarterly planning has been around for ages: It works. Here's a past blog post about it if you need some inspo.

🔗 Let's Make Q1 Sexy

Medium's New “Friends of Medium” Program

c/o Medium website

On November 27, Medium released a new membership tier: Friends of Medium. Read about it here.

Instead of $5/month, this membership is $15/month, and increases the amount of funds writers will glean from the Medium Partner Program.

It gives you, the reader, the ability to create friend links for creators' stories and share them with your own friends or audience. You also get a cute lil' gold badge on your avatar.

One thing's for sure: The only thing Medium writers enjoy more than supporting one another is... writing an article on Medium about why they signed up for Friends of Medium.

I kid, I kid. Medium is so sweet and nice. Reddit would never.

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Cheering you on,