Atomic Essays, $10M & Dickie Bush

Weekly #096 | Building a writing micro-empire

Table of Contents

Dickie Bush is a prominent figure known for founding #Ship30for30, an online writing course that started out as a Twitter challenge. It was designed to help individuals improve their writing skills through the practice of writing and publishing online every day for 30 days. Beyond Ship 30 for 30, Bush has engaged in various business ventures, partnerships, and projects which have led to over $10M across the board.

Let’s break down his various businesses from the viewpoint of a micropreneur.

PS. I used “atomic empire” in this issue’s headline as a head nod to Dickie’s Atomic Essay framework (discussed later in this issue).

💼 Biz Breakdown

Dickie mentioned making his first $10,000 on the internet as a ghostwriter, which helped him transition from a Wall Street job to a more independent career. Although it was difficult to find exact revenue earnings online, we did find this video which shared that Dickie Bush made over $10M across his various ventures.

Ship 30 for 30

  • Overview: A digital writing bootcamp that leverages the power of building habits, community support, and the accountability of a cohort model to improve writing skills.

  • Business Model: Course-based revenue, where participants pay a fee to join the cohort, access materials, and become part of the community.

  • Team: While specific team details are sparse, Bush collaborates with Nicolas Cole, another well-known figure in the digital writing space, suggesting a partnership model for some of his ventures.

Other Ventures

Dickie Bush is also known for:

  • Premium Ghostwriting Academy: A community beyond Ship 30 for 30, focused on continual improvement in digital writing.

  • Write With AI newsletter: With over 20,000 readers and 1,200 paying subscribers, WWAI is the leading paid newsletter on how to turn ChatGPT and other AI platforms into your own personal Digital Writing Assistant.

  • Typeshare: This is the all-in-one writing platform with everything you need to start writing online—templates, hosting, analytics, and education. In 2022, it was reported that they were making a minimum of $30k/mo.

  • Espresso Hour Podcast: Every week Nicolas Cole and I share recaps, lessons, and realizations from our journey writing & scaling writing-based internet businesses.

Income Streams

  • Course Fees: The primary income stream for Ship 30 for 30, where participants pay for access to the program.

  • Digital Products: E-books, templates, and other resources related to writing and productivity.

  • Membership Fees: For the Digital Writing Mastermind and other community-based offerings.

  • Affiliate Marketing: Potentially, through recommendations of tools and resources for writers and content creators.

Business Models

Bush’s business models revolve around digital education, community building, and content creation. Leveraging his personal brand, he employs a direct-to-consumer model for his courses and digital products, and a subscription model for ongoing community access. These models capitalize on the scalability of digital goods and the high margin associated with knowledge-based products.

👥 Team Spotlight

Information about who Dickie works with is scarce online. However, we were able to find some info about his lean team of 10 on LinkedIn. See the post below:

Outside of his formal team, Nicolas Cole is a notable partner, particularly for Ship 30 for 30. Cole brings his expertise in writing and online branding to the collaboration, enriching the course's content and reach.

Given the trends in digital education and content creation (“educreators”), Bush might explore expanding his offerings to include more advanced courses, partnerships with other content creators, or platforms to enhance the writing and publishing process. As the demand for quality digital content grows, so does the potential for new income streams, such as consulting services or specialized software for writers.

🏛️ Historical Ties

Dickie Bush's innovative approach to nurturing digital writing communities and fostering individual growth through Ship 30 for 30 draws a fascinating parallel with the ancient Minoan civilization of Crete. The Minoans, though not commonly referenced in the context of writer guilds, had an advanced society known for its rich artistic and commercial activities, much like the collaborative and creative spirit Bush cultivates in the digital realm. This ancient micro-empire was characterized by its decentralized network of palaces, which functioned much like independent city-states, fostering a culture of craftsmanship, trade, and, importantly, the dissemination of knowledge through their pioneering use of writing in administrative and commercial contexts.

Minoan Linear A script. Source: Ancient Origins

The Minoans' Linear A and Linear B scripts were among the earliest forms of written expression in Europe, serving as a crucial medium for communication and transaction within their society, paralleling Bush's emphasis on writing as a fundamental skill for commerce and community building in the digital age. Through Ship 30 for 30, Bush revitalizes the ancient ethos of sharing knowledge and honing crafts within a supportive community, echoing the Minoan civilization's integration of writing into the fabric of their societal advancement and economic prosperity.

☝️ Actionable Tip

Unlock the Power of Atomic Essays

One powerful, actionable tip from Dickie Bush's writing frameworks that can greatly benefit micropreneurs is the concept of writing "Atomic Essays." An Atomic Essay is a short, concise piece of writing that focuses on one idea, insight, or lesson.

Here's how you can leverage this to grow your micro-empire:

  1. Start with one-clear idea

  2. Write concisely

  3. Share and engage

  4. Iterate and improve

By adopting the Atomic Essay framework, micropreneurs can create impactful, engaging content that resonates with their audience, enhances their personal brand, and fosters community—all critical components for building a thriving micro-empire.


By embracing the principles and strategies highlighted by Dickie Bush, especially through the lens of ancient micro-empires and his actionable frameworks, micropreneurs are equipped with a timeless yet innovative approach to growth and community building.

These strategies not only highlight the importance of concise, impactful communication in the digital age but also show the enduring relevance of community, craftsmanship, and knowledge sharing as foundational elements of success. By integrating these lessons into your micropreneurial journey, you're not just building a business; you're cultivating a micro-empire that thrives on the rich traditions of the past and the dynamic possibilities of the future.

Remember, the essence of micropreneurship lies in leveraging your unique strengths, insights, and connections to create value that resonates through time—much like the enduring legacies of ancient micro-empires and the transformative power of well-crafted words.

Let the journey of crafting your micro-empire be guided by clarity, community, and the timeless art of storytelling, ensuring that your venture not only succeeds but also inspires!

Join the conversation

or to participate.