From the desk of Victor Pride
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Alternate title: Creative steps to becoming a pro blogger
Professional Blogger: One who makes a monetary living from a blog or blogs
“Wow, can you show me how to do that?”
That is the question I always get when I try and explain to people what it is I do for a living. I always tell them the same thing, no, but today I am going to share with you how you can become a professional blogger. In part one of this three part series I am going to show you the mindset and the creativity it takes to become a professional blogger .
Note: When I say professional blogger I mean that you make money from your blog. I don’t mean you have a loyal following, I don’t mean you write controversial pieces, I don’t mean you have a real witty sense of humor, I mean you make green dollars and red cents.
Mindset of a Winner
#1 needed piece of equipment for starting a pro blog is having the mindset of a winner, right from the start. You’ve got to know why you are writing a blog. Don’t bullshit around and say “oh, I’m just going to blog and see what happens“. If you want to be a professional blogger you need a reason, a plan, a strategy and a blueprint.
You have to have the proper mindset. You don’t have the mindset, you don’t have the fire, you won’t learn it, it won’t work and it will be a a waste of your time. You had better make the decision to become a pro and then follow up your decision with action. It’s decision time, make yours. Do it or don’t do it, none of this “see what happens” bullshit.
Have a Voice
If you want to be a professional blogger you must have a voice. You must have something to say, you must have a position and you must be even slightly unique. You must have experience in a certain area or niche (the area you are writing about). And make no mistake about what I just said, you will be writing so you must be functionally literate. You don’t need to be the world’s greatest author but your writing needs to have style if people are going to read your words.
Have a Reason
I first started dreaming up this blog many years ago. It was on my mind for a long time, and it went through a few incarnations before I got it right. The reason I started dreaming up the blog is because A) I knew I had something to say. I had a voice, I had experience, and I knew beyond a shadow of any doubt that that were men out there who were dying to read something like this. B) I knew I wanted to transfer my income source from real world wheeling and dealing to online playing. I planned to completely transfer my income and make all my money online.
Be an Authority
If you want to make money from your blog you must be an authority. No one wants to pay some schmuck to read about their journey to riches. No one gives a damn about unsure, unconfident, poor people. I’m not getting out my credit card to pay for something created by someone who is on a journey to self discovery. When I pay for something I want expert advice from a pro. I go to authority for information and I go to amateur’s for a laugh. Make the decision to be PRO. Bush league blogs don’t make the author any money.
Mentoring, Masterminding, Apprenticing
I always read about how great having a mentor is, or how being part of a mastermind group is so great and helpful. I couldn’t say, I’m a lone-wolf and I did everything on my own. That’s not braggadocio, that’s a helpful tip for all the lone-wolves out there who don’t have or don’t want any outside involvement. All this stuff can be learned on your own but it probably takes longer and you will have many instances where you go from screaming at your computer screen to laughing maniacally when you finally figure out some little technical task. You don’t have to attend any blogging for profit workshops, you don’t have to join a bloggers mastermind group and you don’t have to be overly technical. Everything can be learned – SURPRISE! – right from your laptop computer.
Model of Inspiration
You can model your blog on another blog and you can steal ideas from other creative areas. BUT BUT BUT the trick is to do it in such a way that no one notices you have creatively stolen. I have seen countless dirty and shameless ripoffs of Bold and Determined. They won’t go anywhere because they add nothing of value and they add nothing different. The idea is to copy and expand, copy but make it better or add a different flavor. Just plain copying is for the lazy and stupid. If you’re morally opposed to words like “copy” and “steal” you can bless your heart and say “take inspiration from” instead. Take inspiration from great work and add your own flavor. The art of creativity is “taking inspiration” from a piece of art and adding your own flavor. The trick is to make it your own.
Keep an Eye on Design
There are a bunch of good authors who write good blogs but they let the blog look like poop. This is a gigantic mistake, your blog has to look good. Just like your person has to look good, your online representation has to look good too. Looking good instantly makes everything you do better. Your blog has to look like a million bucks if you want to go pro. I’ll give you an example, a fella called Danger and Play writes a good blog but his design looks like generic slop. If he underwent a design overhaul he would instantly have a great blog.
(Update: After this article was published, the proprietor of Danger and Play took some personal design tips from me and improved his traffic dramatically in the first month. And it still continues to grow monthly because it looks good and has good content. It went from a blog with good content and a sloppy design to a world class blog just by making it look good.)
You can use some sloppy, point and click layout (or “theme” as they are called) or you can spend a few bucks and make your site look good. I will go so far as to say a good looking but poorly written blog is worth more than a superbly written but sloppy looking blog.
Develop a Routine
Routine is the most important part of your work. Everyone wants to be a world travelling blogger and write from the beach and coffee shops in far-away cities. The blunt truth is that it sucks working from anywhere you are unfamiliar with. On the beach the bugs will eat up your feet and coffee shops are too distracting. You need privacy and routine to create quality work. I am writing this piece from my macbook pro (no hipster in the world can do as many pullups as me) in a coffee shop in Saigon, I would 100% prefer to be at my home writing this. It has taken me over a week to write this, it should have taken me only a morning and an afternoon. Concentration is impossible when out of the normal routine. The other day I was at the airport with a couple hours to kill so I tried to get some writing done and a fella just came and sat right next to me, crossed his legs, and started reading my words. I was flabbergasted at the nerve.
Buckle Down and Get Obsessed
Early last year I spent 6 months in the States holed up working on Bold and Determined. I didn’t have sex for 6 months, I didn’t party, I didn’t go to the movies, I didn’t go to lunch with friends. I did nothing but eat, lift and work on making internet money. There were days where I looked at the clock, it would be 9:30 pm and I hadn’t even had a bite of food that day. It was the best thing I ever did. After those 6 months I had a steady, livable income. Now if I don’t work for 30 days I still make money, each day I don’t work I still have an income. I am now able to live completely off of the income from Bold and Determined because of that 6 month time frame. At that point the blog had been live for a little over a year and I had one very important thing: a dedicated readership. If it takes a year to build a steady readership then it takes a year, you will make nothing without readers. Getting readers is the most important thing you can do, and for that you have to write something that people want to read OR you have to get yourself linked to by prominent bloggers.
Note: I have to thank Modafinil for that period of obsessive work.
Dealing with Loneliness
Something tells me that if one has the ability to create something out of nothing, then that person has the ability to deal with loneliness. And if you don’t have a job you rush to everyday, if you work from your home like I do then you can expect to experience loneliness. When you do things out of the ordinary you don’t exactly relate to most people and vice versa.
Play to Your Strengths
You’ll never see daily posts on Bold and Determined because I’m not a talker. The same type of people that can open their mouths and talk a mile a minute are the same type of people that can write post after post, article after article, day after day. That’s a strength that they have, and maybe you have it too, but if you don’t have it there is no need to fret. Daily posts simply aren’t necessary and if you aren’t the right type, a talker, they are detrimental. My writing schedule has evolved (or devolved) into a very simple process: If I have something to say, I say it. If I don’t have anything to say, I don’t say anything. I won’t write about my lunch just to have something to write about it, and you shouldn’t either.
Be Prepared to Expose Yourself
It doesn’t matter what you write about, your words will expose you. The world will know you. They will have access to the depths of your heart and soul. If you want to connect with your readers you will have to give a piece of yourself.
Two Types of Professional Bloggers
There are two types of pro bloggers: talented artists and talented networkers. A talented artists creates good written content and a good networker gets themselves linked to by many other prominent bloggers. I’m not pooping on talented networkers, they are go-getters and they get after what they want. They aren’t creators so I don’t read the poop they come up with BUT they have strengths and they play to their strengths and a lesson can be learned from them. You’ve got to play to your strengths, if you strength doesn’t lie in creating quality art then you’ve got to use whatever is at your disposal.
If YOU have a voice, a fire, a reason, a stance AND you have the go-getter ability of the networkers you will have something nice to play with.
It Takes Time
Time plus effort equals results. You’ve got to put in that time before you get yourself a paycheck. Cliches are cliches for a reason, they are often true. It takes time, so keep at it and do not give up. You won’t make any money your first week, month and probably you won’t make any money for over a year. Big deal, you’re building something and that takes time. If you don’t want to wait go and play the lottery and talk about how lucky people with money are.
Walk the Walk
If you’re writing about fitness you should be fit, if you’re writing about money you should have money, if you’re writing about feminism you should be 200 lbs overweight and single. You’ve got to believable and you’ve got to walk that walk. A little bit of authenticity goes a long way.
Victor’s Personal Advice
Nearly every article on the face of the earth written by a pro blogger about “how to become a pro blogger” is written by the talented networker type. Their advice is always the same – network, network, network. That method works but it’s all a bunch of worthless articles linked to other worthless articles. My advice here, more important than anything else, is to create the best articles you possibly can. The blogging world is mostly a bunch of talentless people jerking each other off and sending each other scraps and leftovers. Most male bloggers are limpwrists and for some reason they all idolize this blog Zen Habits and the author Leo Blablablah. I hate that blog, the writer is a fatso and always talks about health and he talks with a lisp. Nearly every blog on the planet that is successful is written by a limpwrist and they blog about limpwrist interests, like running marathons in India and stopping at every monastery along the way to have an authentic vegan brunch. This is my own personal recommendation for starting a blog: add some testosterone. I’m sick of reading girly poop written by males.
Now howl at the damn moon and get to writing. OWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!