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    The "90-9-1 Rule" of Groups

    The 90-9-1 Rule is a rule about most public online groups that states:

    90% of people just lurk:



    9% of people casually participate:

    bored scrolling typing


    1% of people create most content:

    happily typing animation

    This applies to most "groups" such as friend groups, political parties, social networks, and countries.

    This means you can have an outsized impact by creating content.

    So let's say you have 1,000 friends on Facebook, and we apply this 90-9-1 Rule to it, here's how it breaks down:

    If you have 1,000 Facebook friends:

    1% of 1,000 = 10 friends that post allllll the time.

    9% of 1,000 = 90 friends that post from time-to-time.

    90% of 1,000 = 900 friends that never really post.

    I bet you notice this on social networks you're part of. There's maybe 5 to 30 people you see pop up every time, simply because they create the most content!

    90 9 1 Friend Distribution


    Here's the "90-9-1 Rule" on different networks:

    Generally most of the content produced by a group is coming out of just 1% of the group, much of the chatter is coming from just 9% of the group, and 90% is normally silent.

    Here's how that equates to some real life groups:

    [table id=55 /]

    It's neat to see how much of any group is controlled by a very small portion of it's members.

    Think of any group you're in. Your country, your religion, your school, your political party. It's primarily steered by a small portion of the group.


    So you can massively amplify your voice by being the 1% that creates content others consume:

    don't ignore people when on your phone



    You can speak to thousands of people by replicating your message on different platforms:

    neville head social media



    Here's some possible stuff for you to start writing about:

    Here's a bunch of quick ideas to get you started writing. Just remember that if you're not an authority on something, you don't need to write "How To" articles like "How to write a blog post." You can simply document your attempts at something or showcase real results you've got.

    When you're just starting to write, it's like just starting to workout for the first time.....you want to just start SOMEWHERE!


    If you regularly create stuff, it often leads to serendipitous new connections, and you can possibly amplify your voice by a huge amount.

    Hope you learned something from this post 🙂


    Neville Medhora



    P.S. How do you amplify your own voice?

    Book? Blog? Social media account? Website?

    Lemme know in the comments below!

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Guest Wajed


    Hey Neville, I have a question.

    If some one is interested in copywriting do you really think that he should give a lot of content? because I think there is no market for copywriters I mean a market that might help them get real attention.

    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    I'd say as a freelancer you get far more gigs from your network of people and referrals, and that should be focused on before content marketing.
    Link to comment
    Guest Ninad Patha


    The market for copywriting is huge. It just will need some time to get used to finding clients.


    Don't stop yourself from messaging people on Linkedin, or creating blog posts on there to engage your potential customers.

    Link to comment
    Guest Greg Reed




    Ben Settle swears by the daily email. I asked him once how he promoted the daily email to get more subscribers


    I heard his voice - he swore at me


    Do you think Daily emails are good? How do grow your subscribers (please don’t swear )

    Link to comment
    Guest Richard


    Hi Wajed


    Just a thought ........


    Possibly one of the best ways to practice copywriting as the article put across  is to be in the 1% that creates the content.


    Then use the engagement from it to promote your abilities.


    If no one knows you are a good copywriter, then where you get clients from?


    As Kenny Cannon put it: If you don't have means to introduce new  customers to your business, do you have a business.


    Being In the 1% of multiple groups may just surprise you.

    Link to comment
    Guest Richard Nesbitt


    Hi Neville


    Thanks for the insights on group content. 

    I have been aware of the 80 20 rule & with your insights understand the variation that applies to various groups.


    Will be looking at the content and interaction in a new light.


    Looking to amplify my voice with a FB Fan Page that will auto feed a FB Group.


    Then use a few viral methods to attract interested people to the Fan page.


    Thanks again for the insights.



    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Good point Ninad. Many people fail to realize that being a freelancer is like starting a business: You need a product, and a list of clients. When you're just starting out your skill levels are usually low, and your list of clients is small.


    Wajed if you need my thoughts on freelancing you can find them here!


    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Hey Greg!


    I'm actually not a fan of daily emails as much (not saying it's wrong, just my personal assessment). In fact I'm part of a company called The Hustle which literally sends out 1,000,000+ people a....DAILY EMAIL!!


    However I think for most people that own businesses, a daily email is quite aggressive.


    Most of the action for emails definitely happens the same day....

    email open


    ...but it also takes about 36-48 hours for that action to die down nearly completely:



    Another company called AppSumo I'm part of see's this clearly, as they send out limited-time deals.


    You can expect an email to get views for ~48 hours after you send it. A lot of factors go into such as the weekends, holidays, and time zone differences, but I generally like spacing emails out by 2 days.


    So I don't mind a daily email, it's just a lotttttt of effort to maintain, and for most businesses I don't think it's necessary.

    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Hey Richard this is true....when first starting out, it might be worthwhile to post your results, experiments, and thoughts online for others to see. This can definitely expand your reach in groups!
    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Sounds good Richard!


    I will say to watch out for doing only "bot content" because unless the content is engaging, people tend not to subscribe (or stay subscribed) to a page for long.


    It's like people who use TwitterBots to post a bunch.....the sheer "amount" of posting is not the most important, more than the quality.


    So make sure the quality of those posts is very high!

    Link to comment
    Guest Brian Ouellette


    This is fantastic data to refer to for various reasons & uses. Nice share, NM!
    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    You're very welcome Brian! It's a great resource to send to people who are teetering on the idea of creating content.
    Link to comment
    Guest Andri Noel George


    Hey I love the effort you've put into your swipefile.com, but there is one thing that I desire the most right now. With all the good copy in the website is there a website where you can make fails of copy into one too?


    So could you also post a link or just make a youtube video on how to check out if a copy is fail or no I just need more example and learning from failure is a great thing. I am only asking since you've already did a little bit stuff like this in your videos and if you can make a SwipeFileofFails.com then it'll be great.


    Love the work. Much thanks.

    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Hey Andri, we actually used to do something like this....We called it "Krappy Kopy" 😂


    But ultimately it was more useful to showcase GOOD pieces of copy to emulate. If you keep seeing bad examples, your brain tends to mimmick those, so we only try to choose good stuff to post on SwipeFile.com!

    Link to comment
    Guest Pet Arnaldo


    Gad Darn I'm a lurker. I've never been comfortable sharing my thoughts on social media - fear of negative comments, can't think of something relevant to post, etc....how can I change my mindset to be part of the 1%.
    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Great question!


    Maybe you don't NEED to be in the 1% of participators. Many of the top richest people I know have:

    Twitter Followers: 0

    Facebook Friends: 350

    YouTube Subscribers: 0

    Instagram Followers: 0


    Being in the 1% of content contributors isn't necessary at all.


    However, if you WANT to start outputting more content, I'd suggest focusing on the platform that appeals to you most.


    I personally enjoy Twitter the most...I find I can curate followers better there, and A LOT of smart people that don't normally post on Facebook or Instagram participate on Twitter. I also like the short-form text format versus the purely visual format of Instagram.


    The other thing you can do is join online groups of your similar interest and participate there! That will make you in the top 1% of a group you actually care about. It's very easy to participate in something if you really like it.


    I don't think it's wise or useful to just randomly post stuff on

    Link to comment
    Guest Linda


    I post regularly on blog, FB, IG, and Twitter and during quarantine have increased the number of platforms which causes me to worry if they're sustainable. I joined TikTok and started Youtube back up. Also lost steam on my blog as organic search for my kind of content plummeted.


    I'm such a longtime fan of yours, Neville! Thanks for being a virtual mentor to me through all these years!

    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Hey Linda!


    #1.) Thank you for the kind words!


    #2.) Blog traffic stuff can blip with seasons, big events (Covid), but you should take the longterm view on that.


    #3.) I also think you can determine which group you want to be the 1% of and focus on that. For example I don't think being a top Instagrammer for me is the right path, so I hardly focus on that.


    However I have been enjoying the people I can talk to on Twitter, so I've been more into that, and it's also stuff I find naturally interesting, so participating doesn't feel hard...it feels natural!


    So whichever groups you enjoy the most (food, photography etc), focus more on that, and it won't feel like much work, plus you'll get longterm benefit and networking from it :)

    Link to comment
    Guest Christophe


    It seems quite accurate. I was skeptical on posting content on more than 2 social medias but after reading this article I believe it could work if it's done well. Thanks Neville
    Link to comment
    Guest Shabby incentian


    Hai, Neville,


    I post daily in my blog which is my digital diary. I do have a Instagram account and put memes in it. It based on 90's Kids concept. I am also interested in monetizing the page. I learning social media copywriting and my love for artist continuing.

    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Hey Christophe it definitely can be done. You may even want to look into tools like Buffer.com that automate posting on multiple social medias for you :)
    Link to comment
    Guest Luis Diaz


    Awesome stuff again dude! Going to share this with my list this week. You probably don't remember me, we had a beer at DG's ThinkTank for Brian Kurtz.


    Hope all is good my dude!



    Link to comment
    Guest Neville Medhora


    Hey Luis that's awesome, much appreciated! I guess we did the last non-Covid IMP 😂
    Link to comment
    Guest John Sottile


    A lot of truth in this post. One thing I realized from posting on Facebook so much is that people will see your posts and consume it , even if they don't necessarily like or make a comment on it. Don't let vanity metrics discourage you from making yourself visable.
    Link to comment

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