Before You Write A Post, Ask Yourself This One Question Thumbnail

The other week I woke up around 4am because I passed out at 9pm. I had played tennis the night before and ate a big meal afterward. Food coma hit me instantly.

Given there’s nobody to talk to at 4am, I decided to finally write a long and detailed post about venture debt on Financial Samurai. It’s a new investment category I’ve allocated a good chunk of change towards, and I wanted to make sure I fully understood what I was investing in and share the investment with my community.

The post is 2,300 words long and took about 2.5 hours to write. It has four charts as well. After editing the post I scheduled it for the next day and that was that.

Several days later I Googled “venture debt” to see if my article appears in the search results, and it does. BUT, the article is on page 5 of Google, which means nobody is ever going to read it. As I looked around the other articles about venture debt, I realized that I was competing with a investment fellowship organization and several other venture debt funds. That’s steep competition because those guys are experts in venture debt, whereas I’m simply an investor in a venture debt fund.

The quality of articles I’ve read on venture debt now that I’ve published my articles is very high, much higher than your typical blog post about investing, paying off debt, or what to buy your kids for the holidays. Lesson learned, if you are going to tackle a complicated topic, it’s probably best to do some research on what’s out there first.

That said, I do very little competitive research before I write about anything. The reason being that I don’t want to let competition stop me from writing what I want. Blogging is supposed to fun and free-flowing. Doing competitive analysis to try and figure out the likelihood of ranking for XYZ term is very soul-killing. 


There is an endless amount of content out there. The good thing is that a large majority of content is written by people who don’t have the actual experience in what they are writing about. Therefore, you should be able to to dominate at least 70% of the competition if you actually write from experience.

The next step is to obviously work on the depth of your content. We all know that meatier content will tend to rank better and be shared more on the web.

The final step is to simply ask yourself this one question: Are you the only one, or one of only a few who can write this post?

If the answer is “no,” then you probably want to move on because nobody will care about the 1,000th version of how to invest in dividend stocks.

But you can still proceed if the answer is “no” because there are plenty of people out there who have the expertise, but who don’t have the time to write. Let’s use Hilary Clinton, for example. She has foreign affairs expertise as former US Secretary Of The State. But she’s not frequently writing articles about peace in the Middle East. So, if you’re a third year diplomat who loves to write about diplomacy, you probably have a great shot at gaining an audience if you stay consistent in your publishing.

If you can see yourself and no more than a handful of other people writing the article, then absolutely proceed.

Let’s say you don’t have expertise in the topic you are writing about. In other words, you are more like a reporter who gathers sources to write a story e.g. the life of a retiree by a 28 year old reporter who isn’t retired. That’s fine too.  Just get the best darn sources possible and make your article sing. Professional journalists with huge platforms have the upper hand, but you try and compete if you want.

Let’s say you don’t have any sources or resources at your disposable. That’s OK too if you can tell your personal story. Since nobody else can share your personal story, only you can write the post.


We can blame spammers, low quality freelancer writers, owners of very thin content sites, and ourselves for allowing for so much crap on the web. I firmly believe that all anybody wants to read beyond the news are unique, authoritative articles with a personal story. If we can inject these three components into every single one of our articles, we will undoubtedly create Whale Posts that will reach an audience for greater than we have ever imagined.


I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, learn how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes like this one. 

Leverage the 3+ billion internet users and build your brand online. There are professional bloggers now who make way more than bankers, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs while having much more fun, much more freedom, and doing less work. Get started. You never know where the journey will take you!

Updated for 2017 and beyond.