I'm talking about the articles you tweet, share on Facebook, email to each other and, ultimately, become a living part of -- through your learned comments, feedback and 'Reactions' to.
So, what do these items of 'chatter-bait' have in common?
Are they packed with salacious tidbits of business gossip? Are they filled with controversial claims and potentially defamatory remarks? Do they promise wealth and riches beyond imagination?
Most of the time, they do none of these things.
Lately, one type of article has stood out from the rest.
We're calling it the "What I learned during the summer holidays" story.
Do you have a lesson to share... in five paragraphs?
Some of the most popular stories published on Anthill, of late, have been written by unsolicited contributors.
They have largely followed a common format.
The writer outlines five to 10 things 'learnt' while doing something interesting.
(You might know the format. You were probably asked to perform such a task in primary school, when invited to share the highlights of your holidays.)
While the headlines, topics and industries have varied considerably, they each could be bundled into the following headline format:
- What I learnt [selling underpants on Spreets]
- Five things I learnt [at Pitch Club in Melbourne]
- How to [make your headline retweetable] in five steps
The beauty of this format is that the author (just like you, perhaps?) does not need a degree in 16th century literature to pen an item that is compelling.
In fact, some of Anthill's most eye-opening and engaging pieces have been submitted in email form. (A Word doc was nary opened.)
In most cases, the author spent less than 20 minutes penning his or her 'masterpiece', most likely confident in the knowledge that our sub-editors would be on hand to correct the inevitable spelling or punctuation error, and 'tweak' any claims likely to get the amateur author in trouble.
What I have learnt about entrepreneurship in eight years at Anthill
If there is one thing that, I believe, defines an entrepreneur it is that, without exception, they are 'starters' and 'doers'. They are not 'gonnas'.
The most successful articles -- in their capacity to build profile for the author and raise awareness of their businesses -- have come largely unsolicited, without lengthy discussion with any member of the Anthill crew.
In fact, we have ceased having meetings with people who would like to write for us... because they never follow through. (Yes, that may well have been you.)
How to write for Anthill in 3 steps
If you've ever considered penning a blog-post or article for Anthill, here's your chance.
We've even made the process outrageously simple.
Step #1: What have you done lately that was 'remarkable'?
Did you attend an event that you can't stop talking about? Did you take notes and now want to share these gems of wisdom? Did you pull off a deal despite the odds? Did you achieve an outcome by following a conventional or unconventional path? Did you have to do something unpleasant, like make redundancies, and have wanted to talk about the process ever since? Let Anthill be your therapist!
Stop and think. I bet you just came up with at least three.
Step #2: What were five things you learnt from doing that 'remarkable' thing?
Remember in school how you were taught to plan an essay? It sounded so arduous. For this assignment, it's easy. Simply make a list of the things that you learnt doing your remarkable thing. You may have heard a quote ("Involvement begets commitment") or made an observation ("Involve people in your projects and they will develop a sense of ownership").
Write a small list of things you learnt. Do it!
Step #3: Complete this form below or send us an email.
If you have followed Step #1 and Step #2, you will already have an article half written. All you need to do now is add a paragraph or two beneath each lesson you have outlined. Surprisingly, you'll find that this is the easiest part of the process. Lead your piece with an introduction ("Recently, I concluded a big sale...". "Recently, I attended a workshop...") and the conclusion should logically follow.
So, are you a 'doer' or a 'gonna'?