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Snow Leopard: Why Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One

Thursday 23rd May 2024

Most writers spend their entire lives trying to become “great.”

But what does being a great writer mean?

  • Is it when you go viral, and accumulate over a million views on something you’ve written?
  • Is it when a major publisher gives you a book deal?
  • Is it when a magazine says you’re “talented?”
  • Is it when your parents (and all their friends) applaud your work?

At what point is a great writer, “great?”

Let’s skip to the answer: Great is relative.

The word “Great” implies competition.

In order for you to be “great,” that means someone else has to be “not-great.” Which means the entire goal of becoming “great” is a never-ending cycle of comparing yourself to anyone and everyone around you, and then trying to figure out how you can “out-great” them—until the next person comes along, and who you have to “out-great” changes, and so on.

As ridiculous as this sounds, this is how most writers spend their entire lives & careers.

Comparing themselves to others in search of “greatness.”

Forever stuck in a game of competition.

Legendary writers, the ones who stand the test of time, do none of this.

Who is a better writer: David Ogilvy or Charles Bukowski? Most sales copywriters rush to say the former and don’t even know who the latter is. And most people in the literary world rush to say the latter and don’t even know who the former is.

Who is a better writer: Malcolm Gladwell or James Patterson? Most people rush to say the former, but the latter has sold 1000x more books. So how are we defining “great?”

If you look closely, what you’ll notice is that the most influential writers of all time are impossible to compare. They aren’t “regular leopards” (regular writers, all competing for who is a better novelist, who is a better journalist, who is a better copywriter, etc.). They are Snow Leopards — and they stand alone.

The big question, of course, is how?

Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One


For example, what is the author Ryan Holiday’s category?

Ask 500 people this question, and all 500 will say the exact same word:

  • Stoicism
  • Stoicism
  • Stoicism
  • Stoicism
  • Stoicism
  • Stoicism
  • Stoicism
  • Stoicism

We as human beings are not taught to think this way. Instead, all growing up, we’re taught to choose an existing industry and then “compete” our way up the ladder. But this is not what legendary writers, creators, and even entrepreneurs do. Instead, they become known for a niche they own. Why has Ryan Holiday sold so many books? Because it’s very easy for readers to a) understand WHAT he’s writing about, b) understand WHO it’s for, c) understand WHY it matters, and d) talk about it.

So how fast does word-of-mouth marketing spread when everyone uses the same word to describe who you are and what you write about?

The answer is: very fast.

Your goal as a writer (or creator, or entrepreneur) is not to become “the best” in an existing category.

Your goal is to create your OWN category.

And then give readers the language you want them to use to describe who you are, what you write about, and why it matters.

Snow Leopard by Category Pirates is the first “writing” book ever written through a Category Design lens.

Category Pirates—composed of myself, 3x CMO & chart-topping podcaster, Christopher Lochhead, and billion-dollar growth strategist, Eddie Yoon—is the authority on Category Creation & Category Design.

And each week, we publish a mini-book (5,000–10,000 words) on these subjects, educating people on the importance of differentiating themselves in their work and careers—and how exactly to do that.

But we just published a book specifically for writers & creators, called Snow Leopard, digging into how writers and communicators specifically should think about “niching down.”


  • The benefits of creating Obvious & Non-Obvious content
  • The power of having a unique & highly differentiated POV
  • How to use “languaging” to Name & Claim new ideas (and make them “stick”)
  • Digital business models for writers & creators, and how to monetize your work multiple times
  • Why the content marketing industry is becoming painfully saturated (and the opportunity this creates for writers willing to “think differently”)
  • And the Content Pyramid, and how you can climb your way up from being a consumer, to a curator, to a Creator.

We also conducted the world’s first non-fiction study of best-selling business books, reverse-engineering what made them successful. From there, we created our own framework you can use to ensure the book(s) you write have the most Reach & Resonance potential possible.

If you are not making 6 figures as a writer, you don’t have a writing problem.

You have a differentiation problem.

You have a languaging problem.

You have a category problem.

To fix that, give Snow Leopard a read. You can grab a copy here on Amazon (print & eBook).

This is the book I wish one of my Creative Writing professors had given me 10 years ago.

(It would have saved me a lot of time and wasted effort.)