#118: Sahil Bloom – Attracting 700,000 followers on Twitter by being consistent

September 20, 2022

#118: Sahil Bloom – Attracting 700,000 followers on Twitter by being consistent
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Sahil Bloom is a writer, investor, and podcaster. Every week, his content reaches over 1 million people around the world.


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EPISODE DESCRIPTION

Sahil Bloom is a writer, investor, and podcaster. Every week, his content reaches over 1 million people around the world. 

Sahil has nearly 700,000 followers on Twitter (@SahilBloom), 118,000 subscribers to his newsletter (The Curiosity Chronicle), a podcast (Where It Happens), and more.

In this episode, we talk about Sahil’s rocketship Twitter growth, how he attracts the support of others, how he’s changed his strategy as he’s grown, and why he believes his success all comes down to being Consistent.

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Learn more about Sahil Bloom

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Follow Sahil Bloom on Twitter / LinkedIn

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Transcript

Sahil Bloom  00:00

I've just consistently put out content not all of it went viral. Some of it was a total dud. Some of it went exceptionally viral. You know, some of it was kind of in the middle, but I just was there and I was constantly putting out things and constantly putting out things that I was proud of. I wasn't just putting out garbage. I was like really spending time on it.

 

Jay Clouse  00:16

Hello, my friend. Welcome back to another episode of Creative Elements. One of the fastest growing creators that I've seen over the last few years is Sahil Bloom. Sahil is a writer and investor and podcaster, who first built his following on Twitter. If you go back to August of 2020, Sahil had about 14,000 followers on Twitter. But today in September of 2022, he is just a hair shy of 700,000. Over the last 12 months, he's added about 50,000 new followers per month. Now, Sahil wasn't always a creator, his background is actually in finance. And he says that his journey into becoming a creator probably isn't a lot different than yours.

 

Sahil Bloom  00:56

My journey to creating and writing on the internet is, I think, probably similar to a lot of other people that you see out there today, which is I sort of had the like 1.0 janky version before the version that everyone knows about and has seen. And for me, that was like this newsletter that I sent out I don't even know if newsletters the right way to say it that I would send out to like originally just a few family and friends. And then the new version of what I'm actually doing really started when COVID hit.

 

Jay Clouse  01:22

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Sahil turned his attention from writing a newsletter to writing more publicly on Twitter.

 

Sahil Bloom  01:29

You know, I was working in a institutional finance job that was 80, 90 hours a week on COVID hits. And all of a sudden, I'm not traveling four days a week, and I'm not having to work those long hours. I don't have to commute. And so I had a lot of time, and I was trying to think like I'm stuck at home, I don't really have a social life right now. What am I going to do? And I realized, Oh, I really love writing. I'm already doing this other thing with that kind of reading newsletter. Why don't I just figure out another kind of place where I can write and like distill my thoughts and really find that clarity of thought that for me comes from writing.

 

Jay Clouse  01:59

Fast forward to today, and on the back of his strong Twitter following Sahil has been able to branch into other platforms. His newsletter, The Curiosity Chronicle has 118,000 subscribers, he's begun writing on LinkedIn where he has more than 70,000 subscribers. He's publishing a podcast called The Room Where It Happens and he still makes independent investments through his own firm. But despite all of that, Sahil says his secret weapon isn't talent. It's just hard work.

 

Sahil Bloom  02:28

I've always just thought, I'm not going to be the most talented, I'm not gonna be the most gifted around any of these things. But I'm just gonna keep showing up. It was the same way for me with baseball. I wasn't particularly gifted baseball wise, but I knew that people would have a really tough time beating me if I just kept coming at them over and over and over again, like in a game or in practices, or whatever it was, people were going to have a really tough time competing against me for that reason. And so I always thought about that with anything I was doing workwise and it applied to the content creation as well.

 

Jay Clouse  02:54

So in this episode, we talked about savills rocketship Twitter growth, how he attracts the support of others, how he's changed his strategy as he's grown, and why all of his success is a result of simply being consistent. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen, you can find me on Twitter or Instagram @jayclouse, tag me, let me know that you're listening. If you're here on YouTube, be sure to hit subscribe if you haven't already. And if you have, go ahead, leave a comment down below. That's enough of me. Let's dive in. Let's talk to Sahil.

 

Sahil Bloom  03:39

I started using Twitter, I had it in 2011. I was playing baseball in college. And so I used to use it to like tweet when we had a big game or whatever it was, you know, kind of standard stuff of early Twitter days. And I had used it to like look at news and found it useful for those things. And when COVID hit I was using it to like see what was happening in the markets and fin twit and I was kind of going down that rabbit hole. But no one was really writing threads yet like that longer form content on Twitter had not really become a thing yet Twitter hadn't created the tools to actually empower people to do it. Either. You had to if you were going to write longer form on Twitter, you had to actually comment after posting under each one of your tweets there was not actually functionality built out around it. So I didn't really have like a model that where I pointed to him and said, Oh, that's the person that I want to model this after and be like, my whole perspective was like, How do I create value for people with what I'm putting out. And for me that was trying to abstract complexity around the things that were happening in business and finance. And I just figured I have all these friends. You know, really from my baseball background, I have all these friends who are not in finance and who are smart, but have no idea what's going on and have no understanding of it. And they're not going to understand all the jargon and you know, complex terms that experts are using, quote unquote. So what if I can just demystify that and kind of strip away all that complexity and deliver something really simple and intuitive and digestible, and that's really what I started doing but it was real With value creation in mind, rather than, like growth and kind of pattern matching in mind.

 

Jay Clouse  05:05

What's your credit? I feel like a lot of people that I talked to on the show who talked about Twitter and how impactful threads have been for them, they all bring up your name, it seems like you were one of the early innovators in using that style of writing on Twitter, which is the style of innovation that I think a lot of creators can learn from, because any platform is changing constantly, and trends come and go and ways of using it come and go. But somebody has to be on the front end kind of innovating or being one of the innovators in how to use that tool differently. How do you think about that now, when it comes to Twitter, are you doing anything or trying anything different right now?

 

Sahil Bloom  05:36

I definitely think with all of these things, it's a market function, right? Like in the early days, there were outsized rewards to people that were out in front of doing this, because you had, you know, an environment where not that many people were creating longer form content, the algorithm, you know, people say what they want about it prioritizing long form content, whatever, like clearly people, it was resonating with them as a format. And it hadn't proliferated all over Twitter yet. So I was one of the few people doing it early on, and then doing it consistently, I might have been one of the only people within the categories. And so it really stood out. Like if I if you were writing about cognitive biases in late 2020, in longer form on Twitter, you were an No, you know, there was sub five people probably it might have been like me, Shane Parrish, yeah, there were a couple of people. Now, there's probably 500 people that are writing the same threads on that topic. And so obviously, like, you know, when you when you just think about it, from a market dynamics standpoint, the upside to doing that is just lower, because there's so much competition and doing it, you need to find new ways to innovate and stand out. And so, you know, I don't try to be or pretend to be prescriptive about like, where the future is going around all of these things. But the reality is, you need to find a way for your content and the value you're creating to be interesting and unique relative to other people.

 

Jay Clouse  06:49

Yeah, it's been on my mind recently, because not even just Twitter, but a lot of content platforms, it seems like engagement is dipping for the things that have been working. At least to a relative degree, have you have you experienced that or noticed that?

 

Sahil Bloom  07:03

I haven't, personally, I mean, I think like it's a scale effect, obviously, you know, I've kind of benefited from achieving a level of scale where I've kind of gotten away from like, being in the I don't know what I would consider that kind of range. But you know, in the in the range of like sub 25,000 followers or something where it's like, you're really battling it out every day to like, actually just get your content seen. And so I'm sure there is a challenge right now of kind of breaking through that and like busting through the kind of the cold start effect during that period, because there's just a lot of people doing it. And so I do think people need to figure out how to stand out more. I mean, there was a period in time, which you probably remember where like, you could, it became a meme. Like, you could summarize a Wikipedia article on someone, you know, write a story about Steve Jobs, and you could get 10,000 likes, and like, no one was doing that, then everyone saw that a million people did that. Now, if you go do that the returns are minimal, unless you're providing some like, really unique insight. And so my whole razor for this is, you have to look at it with a standard of like, what is the unique angle or perspective that I'm really bringing to this piece of content that isn't just what everyone else can do? Whether you're starting out or whether you're later on? I think that's what you need to think about is like, what am I really trying to get across that is different from what other people can like, what is my unique lens that I'm gonna look at this same piece of content through?

 

Jay Clouse  08:24

Yeah, there are layers of innovation. This is I'm thinking out loud here. But you know, I was thinking about platform innovation and the way you use the tool, but there's storytelling, innovation, there's like the the type of content that you do, you know, talking about the summarizing a bio on Wikipedia, that's not necessarily using Twitter the tool differently, it's thinking about a different angle on content. So there are layers of innovation that you can take on all these platforms. That's a good thought provoking edge there.

 

Sahil Bloom  08:50

For sure.

 

Jay Clouse  08:50

So you start writing on Twitter, you say, I got this time on my hands with with the pandemic, you're starting to do it. When did you start to take it even more seriously, and why?

 

Sahil Bloom  09:00

So I wrote my first thread, May of 2020 had 500 followers at the time, by about like July or August, I think I had ticked up to like 4000 or 5000. And I remember like calling my dad when I hit 5000. and being like, Dad, I'm famous. There's 5000 people that care about what I say enough to follow me and like, you know, relative to I'd actually had a big Instagram account a few years prior, like around like travel pictures and things fun things my wife and I were doing, and I deleted my Instagram because I got sick of it and found it to be like kind of toxic for my mental for my mental state. And at the time, I think I must have had like 25,000 followers on Instagram, something like that. But I remember thinking like 5000 people on Twitter is actually much more powerful than 25,000 on Instagram, because it's people that actually are following you for your ideas and your thoughts, which is like just a generally really deep connection and deep commitment that they're making. And so I remember like, that was the first time when I pulled back and said, Wow, there's really something to this, and I'm creating something here and then it started to like build and accelerate And I had a few people that supported me. And at a time when like they really didn't need to Raul Paul is this kind of financial Investor or Financial writer, he's the founder of Real vision, like tweeted out something really nice telling people to follow me and I got like 8000 followers from that this guy's got milkers within the crypto world did the same and got a ton from that. And so I got these boosts from people that honestly didn't need to support me along the way that started to just build. And you know, by the end of that year, I think I was like, at around 75,000 followers or something. And that was when I really started to think like maybe there's actually something to this beyond just, you know, a thing that I'm doing in a couple hours on the weekend.

 

Jay Clouse  10:37

Let's dig into those those boosts in those acts of kindness those people gave you sure they didn't have to do that. But they were compelled to do that. Why do you think people are compelled to do things like that?

 

Sahil Bloom  10:47

I think when you're putting genuine energy and positive energy out into the world, people want to help you and support you. And this is like sort of a flowery thing that I say, and I think a lot of people I roll out, but I really do believe it. If you have genuine positive some intentions in the actions that you're taking, I think a lot of people end up wanting to help you. And my life at least has been a case study in that where I just feel like at every turn, I generally just try to help people and I try to you know, be positive some and up and a positive some thinker and support others along the way. And now I've you know, tried to support people that are starting or coming up and, and do things like that. And I think it attracts the best quality people to you when you act that way. And that's what I found. And it's what I see in you know, people that are up and coming to this guy, Blake birch, who's become a close friend of mine, you know, he was just starting out, I was probably at like a couple 100,000 followers at the time. And I just started helping him because I was like, I'm gonna pay it forward in the same way that these guys helped me. And so I started helping him. And now I think he's at like, you know, 300,000 plus followers and has built like a real niche as like the Excel guy on Twitter, it's very cool to see. And so I tend to think that that is the recipe is like, if you just continue to put forth good natured positive some energy into the world, you attract those type of people to you, and you end up benefiting from it in the long run.

 

Jay Clouse  12:06

How much focus do you put on cultivating relationships versus hoping that your content attracts the type of people that you would want to cultivate relationships with, if that makes sense?

 

Sahil Bloom  12:17

I think of all of this stuff as like idea magnets, like you're sort of just casting out this web of magnets into the world that naturally if they get seen are going to attract people to attract certain people and repel others, right. So like, if you're putting out a bunch of negative content to the world, you're gonna attract other negative people, probably, if you're putting out like fear, negativity, etc, you're gonna attract a lot of people that want that. Similarly, if you're putting out things that are positive and growth oriented, you're going to attract a lot of people that want that type of thing and think that way. And you're probably going to repel people that are cynical and don't want that. And I certainly see some of that when I put things out, you get the people that are like eye rolling, or tell you you're an idiot, or whatever it is. And that's fine with me, because that's a good trade, like I will take the attraction of the positive people any day of the week. But I don't know. I mean, I think of that as an important feature. But none of this just happens on its own. So to your point on like, do you need to cultivate the reel that I absolutely think you need to cultivate and you need to make a practice out of it. I've always had this practice of like, every single week, try to make one new friend and try to catch up with one old friend. And you know, you don't always hit it, it's not like a checkmark that I put on a box but if you follow that, as a general practice, good things tend to happen like making one new friend really what I mean by that is like talk to a stranger, you know, talk to someone it could be an Uber driver, like you have a conversation with an Uber driver and learn something new about their life or you know, something that's a pain point for them, you might come up with a business idea you might come up with something to write about that you want to learn more about, etc. And so I do think I mean, I think it's a combination you need to you know, put things out there I think that expands your luck surface area, like expand the aperture of your life to have cool things happen to you. And then you need to go deeper on things like building a T shaped, you know, kind of atmosphere in life.

 

Jay Clouse  13:53

After a quick break, Sahil and I talked about what he believes helped him to grow so quickly, and later we dig into his creative process. So stick around and we'll be right back.

 

Jay Clouse  14:04

Welcome back to my conversation with Sahil Bloom. Sahil says that after about a year of taking Twitter seriously, he was at 75,000 followers. So I asked him in retrospect, what he thinks he did well, and what he might do differently if you were starting over today?

 

Sahil Bloom  14:19

I mean, consistency would be the number one thing that I did that I did, right, you know, from the time that I posted my first thing, May of 2020 it's now been what is that? 26 ish months, I have written at least one piece of long form content on Twitter every single week. I think now I'm at 225 threads or something posted on Twitter. I have like a mega thread that has all of them in there. I've just consistently put out content not all of it went viral. Some of it was a total dud. Some of it went exceptionally viral. You know, some of it was kind of in the middle, but I just was there and I was constantly putting out things and constantly putting out things that I was proud of. I wasn't just putting out garbage. I was like really spending time on it. And, and thinking about it. And if I wasn't proud of something I would wait and you know, put in more work and put put something out that I was the other thing that I think I did well was just like identifying needs and value that I could create. And you know, it was pretty smart about that in the early days, as we discussed. And then, over time, being thoughtful about expanding outside of my kind of core of what I had created, I think a lot of people find like the stalling effect, you sort of, you start within a niche, and you you do really well within it, but then all of a sudden, you find that like, okay, you've kind of tapped out that niche, and there's not much more growth. And for me, it was like I was looking and seeing Okay, on fin twit, or whatever it was like the core finance people, people were really maxing out around 100k At the time, like it was hard to grow after that, because there aren't that many people that like deeply, deeply care about, like niche finance stuff. So I started thinking like, Well, what else am I really interested in writing about? And what in my long term? Do I really want to be talking about? Like, what am I energised about on a daily basis, not what I think other people will be because I think I heard this from like Morgan Housel, you have to write about things that you're going to be excited to write about. And when you do that, there's likely other people that are excited about those. For me, that was like personal development, growth, productivity, those were the things I was thinking about a lot every day. And so writing about them that expanded my like, you know, expanded My Tam, like my potential market, significantly, flipping to the other side of your question of like, what did I not do that? Well, I think in the early days, especially, I was not structured in how I approached all of this, because it really was like this fly by night thing I was just doing on the weekends. I mean, I had an 80 hour week day job. And so I was trying to balance this, I didn't have any sort of like, you know, thought process around here are the pillars of the things I'm writing about. Here's how I'm going to go about it. Here's like the structure of how I'm going to write, I didn't think about how do I write more effectively, like, what worked with that piece? What didn't work, cultivate feedback from people, I didn't really start taking it seriously in that way. And like thinking like a professional, professional mindset around it, really until about a year in.

 

Jay Clouse  17:00

And what changed when that happened? What types of structure did you put in place?

 

Sahil Bloom  17:03

A watch, I mean, the whole thing became, you know, suddenly, like it flipped from being a little side hobby into something that I could build my whole life around, you know, multiple businesses launched alongside it. The newsletter started to scale and became a problem, you know, a nicely profitable business podcast was launched, you know, I just started to see the big picture. Like, it allowed me to zoom out and really see the full forest of what I could create, rather than just like, here's this one thing I'm gonna write this week, you know, structurally what it what was it? I mean, I like basically created a central nervous system for all my content stuff, and I used notion, but you could use anything. And it was like, you know, I say, central nervous system, because it allows me to, like, zoom out and see the bigger picture of what am I creating? When am I creating it? How do the things tie together in a way that's logical, so that it's not just, you know, haphazard, and you know, and really just be thoughtful about it in the way that you would be if you're running a business.

 

Jay Clouse  17:55

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Also, I hired someone to help me drop my ideal workflows into notion. It's just this beautiful thing now, but I'm starting to think myself like how do I what how does this all stack into what, It sounds like you're kind of describing a similar process. So when you zoom out on your central nervous system, and you're thinking about how this all acts in concert, what does that look like? Are you are you thinking about like, hey, month by month, this is what I'm building towards or I have some big goals for the whole year, how does that look at a zoomed out level?

 

Sahil Bloom  18:26

I only recently have like a plan that goes out beyond a month from today, which is like a big step forward. For me, I found it very, very difficult to plan in advance, especially with the way the internet works, because we're really bad at understanding exponential growth and understanding trends just in general as humans. And so when you try to plan too far in advance, you end up just being wrong. And you get this like plan continuation bias where you want to stick to a plan, even though it's not the right plan anymore. And so I generally find that it's better to like, have it like 234 weeks out in advance, and then be able to adapt, and very quickly iterate on things, change systems, etc. So I try to have a general idea of the things I'm going to be writing and talking about, for a period, I do a much better job of like, teasing and testing ideas, and then doubling down on the things that I think are really interesting, and that work and that resonate with people. But that's about it. I don't have like, you would never find a content calendar from me that like goes out to the end of this year about the only thing that I have, you know, out to the end of this year is like the team that does my newsletter sponsorships, I think that that's handled, but other than that, all of it is like and even then it may it stresses me out when I look at their calendar, because I see you know, newsletters that are booked and someone has paid for a slot. And I'm like, I have no idea what I'm going to write about on December 14 22. You know, it's like it's crazy to me, but I mostly write and people think this is crazy. I mostly write in real time like the threads I know I normally will post one thread away you can it's on Saturday mornings usually. The reason I put posted on Saturday mornings is because I write on Saturday morning. And so I like, you know, I sit down, that's when I tend to have time, because of all the other business stuff I have going on. And I'll sit down, and I'll write, and then I'll post it. And I normally know what I'm going to write about in a given week. Sometimes I don't, and I just decide, you know, like, where's the energy taking me around these things? What else have I been talking about what ideas have been percolating, and coming together to do that?

 

Jay Clouse  20:23

This is something I talk to a lot of creators about as a struggle of theirs, because they'll operate on kind of a similar schedule, but they get closer and closer to the published date. And it almost feels like white knuckling this thing that you have to create, there's like, what am I gonna do? And it sounds like increasingly urgent and scary. Do you think that's a skill that's kind of innate to certain personality types to be able to do that? Do you think it's like your athletic background? What allows you to be on schedule like that and kind of create on short term timeframes and still make something that you're proud of?

 

Sahil Bloom  20:57

I think everyone needs to find what works for them. I've had this conversation with Packy McCormick and Mario Gabriel, who are both, you know, pretty prolific newsletter writers who both write like, you know, 10,000 plus word, tome newsletters weekly. And it's always amazed me because that's like baffling amounts of content creation and really deep and it's absurd. And they have very different creation styles. One of them will not know what he's going to write about like Paki won't know what he's going to write about until the weekend for a Monday piece. And then he'll decide he'll sit down and write Mario knows, like, months in advance and plans it and does this deep research, etc. And it's just like, your personality type, right? I mean, they're just, they do the same type of output, but it's very different the style that they do it, for me, I just have a tough time writing in an inspired way. If it's planned, like, if you told me Oh, Sahil, you're so like, right now, I'm really interested in the in the general topic of wealth, I'm going to eventually write a book on this. But I'm generally just like, really, really fired up passionate reading a ton interested in just like, developing a more comprehensive view of wealth. And if you told me like, Okay, so in a few months, on your calendar, it says, you're gonna write about that this week, I'd be like, Well, shit, you know, excuse my language, you know, I want to write about it now. Like, I'm super excited to write about this right now. And so if I had a calendar that told me, it wasn't gonna be until then, and I had something else that I was supposed to be slotted in that I'm not excited about, that would be silly to me, because all of a sudden, I'd write down, I'd sit, I'd go to write the other piece, whatever it was telling me I was supposed to do, and I wouldn't be excited about it. And that comes across, when you go write it, you're just like, you know, it's lazy writing, it's like, it's work at that point. And so for me, keeping it from feeling like work means writing, when I'm inspired to write about these things. And I'm good at like, to your point, I have an athlete's mindset around these things, if I need to sit down and just grind something out, that's probably happened to me, like, you know, 5% of the time, I probably have to do that. 10% of the time, you know, the week my, my son was born, I was super tired, because we've been in the hospital. And I was like, I'm getting my two newsletters out this week, it doesn't matter. My kid was born on a Monday, the Wednesday I had to get a newsletter out, I was like, I'm getting that newsletter out, it doesn't matter, I'm gonna figure out a way to do it. Because like, I want to be able to look back and said, Never missed a week, I was doing it, and I was gonna stick to it. But like, sometimes you just need to grind it out. So I think it's like a combination of finding your style. And then just sticking to it.

 

Sahil Bloom  21:06

You know, you mentioned earlier that used to be kind of into like The Hustle culture thing, and you don't feel the same way about it now. To be honest, a lot of creators that I talked to on the show who have kind of made it and are on the other side. Like they, they spent some time in like a phase like that, at least you know, because there is something to the works gotta get done. You know, like, the works got to get done, and it's you doing it. And sometimes it's not, like, easy or sexy or like, you have all this time sometimes it takes that hustle. And I don't think that we're necessarily doing a service to creators come on up today to say like, no hustle culture, like there's nothing to it, because I think there's there's something there. interested to hear your thoughts now on the other side of it.

 

Sahil Bloom  23:16

Yeah, I mean, I agree with you, right? I've written about this for sure that I think there's just nuance to these things like it's become a meme to say, oh, hard work is overrated. You don't need to work hard, you need to work smart. It's just not true. And I think I agree with you. Like, I think it does a disservice, I think you can probably get like 80 ish percent of the way there by either working hard or smart, like you can grind your way on, you know, on the hard work side, or you can kind of like, you know, work smart your way to, like 80% of the way there. But if you really want to accomplish something great and meaningful, which not everyone does want to do, by the way, like if you don't feel like you need to accomplish something incredible to be happy. I don't think you should work your ass off to try to do that. Just because society tells you that I actually think you should figure out what makes you happy and fulfilled and that's great if you can be really happy. But if you want to accomplish great things, you have to work hard, like full stop. I just don't believe it's possible and you're gonna have to grind things out. I mean, I don't know a single example of someone who is like, worked smart, not hard and achieved, you know, 1% like outcomes.

 

Jay Clouse  24:59

In your experience, because your audience is a factor of multitudes bigger than mine. Was there a point of like, almost escape velocity? Was there like a threshold that you reached where it felt like it was kind of building upon itself and your input became simpler?

 

Sahil Bloom  25:13

No. Unfortunately, I always thought there would be at every step along the way. I was like, oh, you know, when I was at 5000, I was like, Man, I'm gonna hit 10,000. My, you know, Twitter thing is gonna have the K, like, it's gonna say, 10.1k or 10k. And all of a sudden, followers are just gonna flock in, because they're gonna look at me, and they're gonna say, like, Damn, that guy's legit, I'm gonna follow him didn't happen, then I thought, okay, maybe that happened at 100k didn't happen, then I thought, okay, maybe it happens when I get the verified badge, people are gonna like really flock to me. And my, my, you know, net follower account is really going to accelerate didn't happen. I mean, I literally thought it at every single level that my incremental effort to gain and kind of unit follower was gonna go down. And it literally never has, like, the only thing that works is putting out good content, when when I don't put out like really high quality content, I don't grow all that much. I mean, certainly more than like, when I was at, you know, five, or 10,000, but not more than when I was at 100,000, I would say, like, from 100,000. To here, it's literally just a function of the effort and energy that I put into creating, that is driving my growth.

 

Jay Clouse  26:21

That's both inspiring and upsetting.

 

Sahil Bloom  26:23

It's super daunting. I mean, it's like, it's also it's empowering and daunting, right? Like, the daunting side is, oh, my god, I just have to keep doing like, if I want to keep growing, which I'm just growth oriented, I like growing, you know, there's no reason for me to grow on Twitter anymore, I have, I have a big following. Like, if it stays the same, I can create a ton of value for the people that follow me, and I don't need to like care about it, I just like seeing the number go up. I mean, I just like growth. And it's daunting to know that you just have to keep putting an effort in order to grow it, the flip side of it is it's empowering. Because I literally know, I mean, I can tell you what I have to do to get from here to a million, I just like, I can look at it and tell you how long it's going to take me roughly if I do a certain amount of things. And so that's I mean, to me, that's empowering, one of those variables look like in your mind from here to a million consistency of quality content creation, like if I put out one thing a week, I can pretty consistently say that I'll grow 20,000 ish a month, like right around there. And so I can, you know, back into how long that's gonna take me like just looking at the data, I can tell you that if I put out more than that, if I put out you know, two ish things a week, two and a half, three things a week that are really good and high quality, which means incremental effort, I can grow it like up to, you know, 50,000 a month probably, and that would, you know, really accelerate it. But it would also be a lot more time that I'd have to be putting into it. And so I need to weigh that against, like the other things I have going on, you know, such as raising a child and you know, a newsletter and a podcast and a book, you know, like all of those other things. And so, trying to find the balance and like figuring out what levers to pull is really the game to me.

 

Jay Clouse  27:56

When we come back, we talk about how Sahil thinks about how frequently he publishes on different platforms in his next steps for growth. So stick around we'll be right back.

 

Jay Clouse  28:07

Hey, welcome back. Something I've been paying close attention to with creators on the show is how they think about pacing and frequency in their work. Every creator I talked to seems to have some sort of consistent cadence for publishing, whether that's weekly, daily, or even multiple times per day, in the case of somebody like Justin Welsh. So ask Sahil, how he thinks about pacing and how frequently he publishes on different platforms?

 

Sahil Bloom  28:32

Yeah, I mean, Justin is an absolute tactician man, I find them really impressive, because because of that discipline that he has, and he, I mean, he has just developed a playbook that he follows to a tee. And you know, he knows exactly how he's gonna run his business, how he's going to drive people to it, like that whole system is set up, and he shares that system with people, which I think is really awesome. I'm not really like that, because I'm, again, more like inspiration driven when I'm writing about things. And when you see me post something, it's because it's something that I was thinking about, it's not because I have it planned on a calendar. Like I said, I'm just on this sort of the other end of the spectrum, I'm probably not as far on the other end of the spectrum as like a Tim urban, who is like, entirely driven around, you know, what his inspiration is? I'm definitely, you know, I have like, I'm going to write one thing per week, you know, you're gonna see that from me. Other than that, beyond that one thing per week, it's like, was I inspired to say something? Yes or no, I'm trying to be more disciplined on LinkedIn. I've been I've learned that from Justin, because I'm trying to build up a presence and a platform there. And so like posting once a day, when you're trying to do that is really helpful. And so I'm trying to do that. But on Twitter, you know, which has always been my main platform. It's really just like, am I inspired to go write something? Was there something interesting that I encountered during the day that made me think of something? I mean, I carry around a little pocket notebook all day and just write stuff in it and like, was there something interesting that I picked up during the day that I want to kind of clarify and write about the next day?

 

Jay Clouse  29:52

You mentioned your growth oriented and you also talked about how you started talking about finance and investing and then you saw there was gonna be a cap. There's You expanded into your other interests, and that allowed you to grow even further. Are there any challenges that come from now incorporating a bunch of different disciplines or niches almost going to a broader audience?

 

Sahil Bloom  30:13

You know, the biggest challenge that comes with scale is you just get more, you capture more negativity, and there's just people yelling at you at all times, like social media, at scale just becomes quite toxic, you know, just get more mean messages more mean, you know, mentions, etc. And so you can't really use Twitter at the scale that I'm at anymore. Like, it's no longer a platform that I can use to really meaningfully engage with people, which it really was, up until, I mean, really, up until almost 500,000, probably like up to under 5300, I was still able to use it. And all of a sudden, now, I have generally found that at this scale, suddenly, I look like a public figure to people were just like any politician, they just feel like, it's fun to just take a shot and say something mean, you know, whatever, like, they don't think I'm looking at it, or that I'm seeing it, because you just assume the person's like, you know, got someone managing their thing or whatever. And that's because most of these people don't know me, and haven't seen that I've come up recently, and you know, my whole story, etc. And so that, like that piece of it isn't particularly fun, like it was just, you know, a level of toxicity to it. I generally think that, like, I'm just gonna, what you're gonna get from me on Twitter and on these platforms is that I'm going to write and share about things I care about. And like, if you don't like those things, and you're not interested in them, or you don't find value in them, you're welcome to unfollow me, and I have no issues with people until like, there's I don't care. And if I'm writing about things that I enjoy, my guess is there's other people that care about those things. Like I mean, I've been posting more fitness content, health and fitness stuff, there's no rhyme or reason to that I'm not trying to like grow into a health and fitness audience or something, I just really care about the stuff I think about it every day. And my bet is that a lot of people would benefit from it. And you know, does that grow my fault? I don't, I don't really know, I don't have like data to look at and say that, that grew it. And this didn't. People are unfollowing me for pictures of my family that I'm posting or content I'm posting, I will say that posting more visual stuff is part of the strategy. You know, sharing more pictures on Twitter is definitely part of like, trying to develop a deeper affinity and connection with my audience, like putting my face out there more and family and sharing more about, you know, those things that mean a lot to me, that's definitely part of something that I'm trying to do to develop a deeper connection than just written words. But other than that, I mean, it's, it's really just sharing things that I care about.

 

Jay Clouse  32:27

Sounds like the dream, man. I mean, I think I think anyone listening to this would be like, Man, I wish I could just create about the stuff that I care about and have hundreds of 1000s of people care about it also, but you didn't start there. And it's hard for anybody to start with, like, this is what I care about, and try to reach the same level of scale like you started more focused. And then you expand it out, you know, is there anything you want to add to that, or any nuances you want to put on that?

 

Sahil Bloom  32:48

So I mean, I think it's a fair characterization.

 

Jay Clouse  32:49

One thing I've heard you talk about just a little bit is how you think about timely content versus evergreen content struggle struggle that I have with social media generally is so much of it, you're almost encouraged to have like this ephemeral. This is interesting for like a 24 hour cycle, and then it's gone type of thing. And there's a frustration that can come with that as a creative person who wants your work to be a little bit more enduring. So how do you think about the evergreen content that you create or even the stuff that isn't evergreen? How do you prevent yourself from being like, why did I spend 10 minutes putting this together?

 

Sahil Bloom  33:22

I lean evergreen on everything. The reason is just the genesis of when I started, it was like, Okay, I'm going to create things that help people explain that you can always go back and reference like I was looking at, you know, what Ben Thompson did with his newsletter, and you know, blog and, you know, being able to link back to other things that you've written about in the past and sort of build like, you know, build people up within one ecosystem. So evergreen was always, you know, 80 plus percent of what I was doing, but timely content, if you do a good job on it pops the most. And honestly, like, generates the most follower growth as well. I mean, my biggest P my biggest follower growth has come from a thread that I wrote on Swift, the banking thing that happened around when when Russia invaded Ukraine, something around Evergrande, which was this, you know, financial collapse, something around supply chain, which was a huge economic story. So those like timely things, because everyone's looking for that on Twitter, and they see it and they're like, Oh, my God, I gotta share this with other people because it's valuable. So I always try to make room for that. But that's like, day of, oh, this grabbed me. It's super interesting story. I gotta write something and you don't have an angle across. But the vast majority of what I've done is Evergreen. And I just want people to be able to read something I wrote a year from now and still find it relevant. It might be worse than the content I'm putting out today because I'm just a better writer, but it will still be out there in high quality. Evergreen, also, it should be said, allows you to repurpose and update content. You know, I will regularly take things that I wrote six 912 months ago, refresh them, add new perspectives, new layers to it and reshare them.

 

Jay Clouse  34:55

That was a fascinating exchange that you had with Nathan Barry on his podcast he put on there twice. Both are great episodes, people watching this should watch and listen to both of them. But a really interesting exchange you guys had was this idea that if you do a really good job of creating evergreen content, and you capture that even on Twitter, you could theoretically at some point, just use that existing stuff that you've created and remix it, twist on it. And it's not that you have to create completely new things from scratch all the time. That was a few months ago that you guys at least released that episode as your chain as your thinking evolved or changed on that at all?

 

Sahil Bloom  35:28

No, I mean, I think that that's like, especially if you're a busy person, and you have other things going on. I think that's one of the smartest things you can do. You know, the reality is, you're putting something out when you have 1000 followers. And then in a few months, you have 15,000, there's a lot of people that didn't see that thing that you wrote when you had 1000. And so if it was really high quality and good, you should want to share that again, if it was evergreen, and it wasn't just like a new story and resurface it for a lot more people so that they can see it and benefit from it. And honestly, it has an increased likelihood of going viral. And when I when I help people with content, you know, I have a an agency business that I kind of help startups and some founders and individuals with growing their presence. That's one of the things that I often like help them create a system around that, like go drum up some of your old content that was really good when you had no followers and figure out how we can repurpose that, refresh it, you know, make it a little more hooky, so that it grabs people and then repost it.

 

Jay Clouse  36:21

I had just gone through Justin Walsh's content OS course. So I had like this new spot in my notion that was like his Twitter system. And then I went and made a database. And an automation was happier that everything I tweet, Zapier grabs it and throws it into a database. And then I can mark a checkbox of high performer or dead. And if it's dead, it goes away. It's a high performer, I have a gallery view. So I can just like go through and see and pull from it. Because yeah, my struggle was like, how do I even dredge that up? Am I going through my own timeline for months? Or do I just like, in the moment, week to week kind of try to capture the stuff and mark it as a high performer or not?

 

Sahil Bloom  36:55

That makes me really self conscious about how basic I am with all this stuff. I don't have any like Zapier, you know, connections apps, like Central OS I, my, my whole system, I feel like it's really rudimentary compared to you guys.

 

Jay Clouse  37:10

Well, you're spending time writing really high quality content, and I'm spending time pixel pushing and making automations and Zapier.

 

Sahil Bloom  37:16

I don't know about that. I don't know, I don't know. We'll see.

 

Jay Clouse  37:19

You know, now you're a new dad, how has that impacted your life as a creator, how has that changed how you manage your time,

 

Sahil Bloom  37:25

a lot, I mean, I it's my number one priority is, you know, I want to be the best dad I can be. And that's filled my life with a whole lot of happiness and fulfillment and joy. It's also a lot of time, as you can imagine. So I have generally found that what is happening is my work hours are extremely focused, my focus level is insane when I'm doing something because I know I really want to get it done. Like when I'm going to sit down and write a newsletter, or sit down and write a piece. I'm so dialed in on it, because I want to be able to get it done during that block of time so that I can go spend, spend time with my son, or go help my wife or do whatever it is. So it has made me like ultra focused on both ends of the spectrum, I would say I just don't feel like I have like as much fluff time in my schedule as I might have. And that can be tiring in its own ways. But the good thing about kids is that they love being outside and going for walks. And so like my you know, I write a lot about how much walks are a part of my routine and an important to my creative process. And I can do those with my son. And so you know, I'll put him in the chest pack and go out for a walk. And that's kind of when I am thinking about things. And he falls asleep immediately as soon as we get outside. And so that's, you know, he's a part of my creative process now in that way.

 

Jay Clouse  38:32

Well, as you're looking forward to the rest of this year, you know, what's on your mind or what are your priorities for continuing this, this growth as a creator? Where do you go from here?

 

Sahil Bloom  38:42

I'm going to continue to you know, put out content across the channels that you've seen from me, I am going to continue to expand into more video and you know, things that kind of have my face around it, and you will hear and get updates on on a book from me in the not too distant future as well, which I'm really excited about. It's probably what I'm most excited about in terms of, you know, a new thing.

 

Jay Clouse  39:02

That's awesome. How do you think about your time as it relates to writing a book I'm always fascinated for to hear how authors bucket that into their lives.

 

Sahil Bloom  39:10

Yeah, it's gonna be a lot I mean, and it's also why it's important to get a nice nice advance up front so that you can kind of prioritize it against against other things that might be on your schedule. I mean, I have a bunch of business things that I do that I don't really publicize, you know, I have I have a few businesses that I'm you know, an owner or co owner of and you know, I have my venture fund and a few other things and so figuring out how to kind of outsource and delegate and kind of build leverage into those it's going to be really important when I take this on.

 

Jay Clouse  39:43

For a creator with such a big following, Sahil really makes it seem possible that creators like you and I can achieve similar results with a combination of hard work, consistency and good content. I think you'd be surprised at the results you can generate for yourself. If you want to find out more about Sahil, you can go to sahilbloom.com or search Sahil Bloom on Twitter or LinkedIn. Links to all of his profiles are in the show notes. Thanks to Connor Conaboy for editing this episode. Thank you to Nathan Todhunter for mixing the audio. Thank you to Brian Skeel for creating our music and Emily Clouse for creating our artwork. If you'd like this episode, you can tweet at me @jayclouse and let me know. Be sure to subscribe if you haven't already. And if you really want to say thank you, leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you next week.