15 Types of Atomic Essays You Should Write

Today I want to share with you the 15 types of atomic essays you should try writing for #Ship30For30. I highly recommend you to write at least one essay of each type - the more formats you experiment with, the more you'll learn!

Start with your 3 main Content Buckets, and pick a topic you want to write about. For example:

Digital Writing > How to create an online course.
Mental Models > How to get better at original thinking.
Startups > How indie hackers create profitable businesses without funding.

Then, pick one format from the list below that you haven't tried yet, and challenge yourself to write a post using this format:

  1. Organize your best notes
    Go through your personal notes, find and organize the most useful ideas you have written about the topic, and summarize them in your atomic essay.
  2. Share the things you're learning
    Take a course, book, podcast episode, talk, or an interview about the topic, and write about the 3-5 most useful things you have learned from it.
  1. Write a tutorial
    Create a step-by-step guide on how to do something related to this topic.
  2. Copy what already works
    Find several most popular social media posts about the topic, and combine the most valuable ideas from them. Combine the ideas from at least a couple of posts in each category:
    • Most upvoted subreddit posts
    (or Indie Hackers, Hacker News, and LessWrong, if it applies to your niche).
    • Most viewed youtube videos.
    • Most retweeted tweets.
  3. Apply ideas across fields
    Take a valuable idea from a different field, and apply it to the topic you're writing about. For example, I would take the most useful strategies for creating startup ideas I have learned, and write about applying these methods to generating creative ideas for writing fiction.
  4. Answer your own questions
    Make a list of questions you have, things you would like to learn more about. Do some research, and find an answer to one of your questions. Bonus points for making a post in a relevant subreddit, asking people to help you to find the answer, and summarizing the most insightful replies.
  5. Answer community questions
    Find communities where people ask questions about the topic, find the most popular question, do a bit of research, and write an answer to it. Or ask people on twitter/subreddit about the biggest problems they're struggling with, thigs they need help with, and write a good answer to one of them.
  6. ELI5 a complicated idea
    Take a valuable but complex or confusing idea related to the topic, and find a way to explain it in a way even a 5 year old could understand.
  7. Lessons learned, mistakes made
    Write about your biggest success in the last 5 years, or about your biggest mistake. Or, write about the 3 most important things about the topic you would want to tell the version of yourself from 5 years ago, or about the most important mistakes you want to stop them from making.
  8. Do an interview
    Find a person you would like to interview (from our Ship 30 community, for example) about this topic, set up a 30 minute call with them, prepare 3-5 good questions, and write down the most useful things you have learned from their answers.
  9. Share a strong opinion
    Share a strong opinion you have about the topic. React to already existing opinions - find a popular opinion you disagree with and explain why it's wrong, or find a misunderstood/unpopular/controversial idea you strongly agree with, and defend it, explain why more people should know about it.
  10. Analyze a person or a project
    Take a successful person, project, or a product relevant to this topic, analyze them, and explain what makes them successful.
  11. Make a prediction
    Make a prediction about the future. What will change about this topic in the next 5 years? Explain why you think that, so that when the prediction comes true or false you can analyze your thinking and learn from your successes/mistakes.
  12. Target popular keywords
    Do keyword research about the topic. Analyze the most searched keywords about it, and analyze the most popular keywords big websites about the topic are ranking for. Write a post targeting these keywords.
  13. Create a list
    Compile a list of the most useful tools, best learning resources, books, talks, podcasts, twitter accounts, tips, trends, etc. about this topic.

Write 2 essays of each type, and you'll have enough ideas for the rest of the month, write an essay of each type for each of the 10 topics in your 3 buckets, and you'll have more than a year worth of daily posts!

Did I miss anything? If you have a good idea for another post type - please leave it in the comments!

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