So You Want to Be a Professional Blogger

From the desk of Victor Pride

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Location: Saigon

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.

Let’s party…….

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.)

DandPrise

Danger and Play Blog Reader Stats

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!!!!!!

-Victor Pride

So You Want to Be a Professional Blogger Part 2 and Part 3.

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Comments

  1. I have to admit, this was the kick in the ass that I needed. This post just fired me up like crazy.

  2. Man, that was motivating!

    Also loved your comments on Leo. I no longer follow blogs that claim he’s great. I read his blog for a while years ago, and got nothing out of it. It’s the kind of basic stuff any adult should know, like “remember to breath!” And yet somehow he’s popular. Those network bloggers pretty much are just a big circle jerk, cross posting, linking, and guest posting on each others’ blogs while somehow managing to add nothing of substance.

    • Victor Pride says:

      hahaha! That’s exactly what that poop is. “14 Ways to Breathe”.

      • I love how you selectively curse so that when you do it’s to show the inflection of passion in your voice. Not vulgar but true use.

        • A-fuckin-men! I noticed that, too. He has a “fresh voice” that you don’t hear from anyone else; the message may be the same, but the words are like a motivational drill sergeant. I love it!

  3. Daywalker says:

    “The blogging world is mostly a bunch of talentless people jerking each other off and sending each other scraps and leftovers.” Well said Vic.

    I’ve always thought of starting a blog, instead, I just send people intrested in fitness, money, and being a man to BoldandDetermined.

    Also, I know you don’t watch much TV, but youtube the new line of Barbasol Shaving Cream ads. I’m sure whoever wrote them has to be a BoldandDetermined sub. They’re classic.

    • T and A Man says:

      Correct me if I am wrong Victor….

      “I’ve always thought of starting a blog, instead, I just send people intrested in fitness, money, and being a man to BoldandDetermined.”

      Wouldn’t the step for this guy to be, create his own website with some articles are’fitness, money and being a man”, that then linked to your page.

      He would be a faux-afiliate, but generate the eys for himself?

      His goal is to make money yeah.. and he should be honest about it?

      • Victor Pride says:

        That’s a negative^^, an affiliate gets paid by sending traffic. Just telling someone to visit a blog doesn’t make them an affiliate.

        • T and A Man says:

          I meant him telling people he advises to go to his site is him soliciting eyeballs for it.

          I don’t mean for him to create an affiliate revenu stream from the re-direction.

  4. GOD DAM DUDE! as always you hit the nail on the head! Keep up the good work and i cant wait for the second edition of this post!

    • I recognize an error in my approach. As a writer, I have always had an uber liberal “art for art’s sake” approach. No wonder I have a decent following but have made zero bucks off of my talents. Perhaps now is the time.

  5. I check this blog every second day or so, the posts always fire me up. My only recomendation is more frequent updates, the last one was February 18 or so and I was losing interest. One quality post a week would be perfect, I wouldn’t want 4 shits posts a week either on the contrary.

  6. Those you talk all the dam time have nothing to say, as well as those who keep talking bout the same thing and never do a dam thing. I stay more than a football field away from these types at all times. What you blog has more weight then gold it’s why guys like me can wait another month for a new one. I just continue to read your other masterpieces . Dam straight blogging from a man should be about manly shut! Like lifting big dog weights and steak and eggs! Shit if I want a bacon egg n chesse I can eat two I will! I base my determination on my stomach man I’m always hungry. Mr. Pride in my whole time reading this I can’t help but ask I WANT your ebook ” how to make 100 dollars a day online”. I have wanted it since I first laid my Bold and Determined eyes upon it. When you releasd it i wanna be first to know and invest in! My favorite words I got out of this blog is when you look good everything you do looks good! Great stuff as always Victor.

  7. Shit ! Not shut …. Typo

  8. Man, I was just in HCMC and I completely forgot to ask you for places to hang out… I just stayed near the Liberty 4 Hotel… so my daily hang outs were around Allez Booze and the places down the street from there.

    I’ll be going back in a few weeks. Can you recommend a few other places?

    Mike

    • Victor Pride says:

      I don’t understand the hype about Saigon, I was ready to leave after two days here. My thoughts about Saigon are the same as Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now….”Saigon….shit….I’m still only in Saigon“.

  9. Its difficult with a corporate job on top of it, and I agree that you have to have a fire for it, and to make some pretty big sacrifices. Nothing great is accomplished easily. But these things take time, especially for young people. Not only do we have to get experience under our belt at writers (developing a style, as you say) we have to find our audience, our niche. These things take time, and I think its easy to get discouraged. I feel like I’m balancing so many things in my life right now, but making excuses isnt going to get it done. Just keep going and see what happens; got to be in it, to win it. Thanks for your post.

  10. Boredom, there’s no such thing as boredom. I automatically think someone is weak when they use that word. You either control your mind or it controls you, there’s no in-between. Vic Pride you’re a beast. Oooowwwwwww!!! Good shit.

  11. You are my hero Victor!!

  12. These are all good points about blogging, but honestly it’s funny you mention blog design being all important right after you change your design for the worse! I don’t like the new colors at all. But you also say that writing good content is your priority, and I think your content is pretty darn good most of the time.

    • When I saw the new colors, I thought maybe my monitor was fried. Speaking of a blog that looks like poop… here we are.

  13. Awesome article, perfect timing. Very helpful, practical advice.

  14. Hey Victor,

    Do you mind if I ask how much you make from different parts of your site? What is the magic number of how many readers/subscribers you need in order to attract advertisers to pay you a livable income. Do you make more money from your books or the blog?

  15. I’m on day 11 of 30 days of discipline and all I do all day is kick ass. Buy it now folks. I’m serious. This is not a troll post by Victor. Really good advice in that paper brothers.

  16. Coincidental? I just posted about your article on “How To Find The Motivation To Succeed” to my friends on Facebook and I was asking if I should more seriously pursue my blog writing efforts since I haven’t had much luck in obtaining professional employed. This may just be what I needed to see and I’m looking forward to the next two parts…

  17. This is great timing and superb, thanks a lot for the advice.

  18. Victor, pardon my ignorance but can you answer my question with all due honesty with regards to your experience ( i know you have many on this respect). Is it possible for one to become a professional blogger even if he’s only using a free site? if it is then whih is better: .wordpress or .blogspot ?
    I hope to encounter the answer from your expertise.

    Laus Deo!

  19. I’m 17 years old and I really would like to start a blog, I want it and I will do it, however at my age it’s hard to be an authority, by this I mean I do not have enough experience to write about fitness, manliness, technology etc. the stuff I’m interested in. I know I should walk the walk first to write about something as a pro, but for the beginning what kind of stuff should I write about? You know… learning about blogging, gaining experience, later making money. I do not want to write about crappy, useless stuff, and whine about my mental illnesses, whining, complaining, crying on the net like the on so called bloggers do it at my age…

    • Victor Pride says:

      If your goal is to learn it then make money later then it doesn’t really matter what you write about and you won’t need to be an expert on anything, Good luck.

  20. Vic,

    Is Professional blogging all you do for a living or do you have other investments?

    • Victor Pride says:

      Pro blogging is all I do for money now. I made some R.E. investments years ago that paid me for a long time, but those wells are dry now.

  21. So true about the “networking bloggers”. Doing their circle-jerks week after week, asking each other for links and reading just enough of each post to write a comment. Ugh.

    I’d say to beginner bloggers – don’t blog for money. Have a business first and then blog only to write good shit and be read. If you earn it, you will make money from your blog, and if you don’t earn it – you’re not suffering financially and still having your writer’s thrill.

  22. 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.

    #dead

    This was a great.

  23. Victor,

    Love your stuff man! I’m presently in the process of getting my own wordpress blog up and running and I have a quick question!

    Can you please, please, please, please tell me how you set up the drop-down menu of posts that appear when you click on each category? I’ve been doing google searches and checking on YouTube and just can’t seem to find anything!

    help greatly appreciated!

  24. OMG I laughed so hard at your candidness. I love your kick ass attitude and political incorrectness! Keep it comin’
    Cheers!

  25. I love this article, it helped me to start up my own blog and im loving it. I’m just beginning (tryin not to plug it too much here) but its called “strengthinconfidence.com” and its about getting people strong and confident and about building resolve. I would really appreciate if some of you would come take a look and give me some feedback so i can make it better.

    Thanks Vic!

  26. No amount of fluff beats the truth. Thank you for this daily dose of awesomeness. OWWWWWWWW

  27. Zeenat Anjum says:

    That was totally awesome and I am inspired. However I had a question, I am an engineering student and my personal interest is writing.My peers dont encourage me much unless I get a proper job.even my family.Writting has been my passion but I dont know how can I prove them that I can actually make money by it.

    • Victor Pride says:

      The only way you prove to them is by actually making money. Walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Stop talking about your goals with them and don’t require approval. In 3 or 4 weeks B&D is going to have a piece about becoming a pro writer so stay tuned.

  28. What’s up, just wanted to mention, I liked this post.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  29. tothepoint says:

    I have some amazing ideas for multiple blogs. I am very passionate and knowledgable about 2 of them and I am in rhe process of biulding one. In regards to another I am quite knowlegable but not all knowing by any means and I believe some contributing editors would benifit it tremendously. If you were do this for a blog of yours, what would be a fair compensation for this? I noticed that you used a model for your ebook, what is a fair compensation for this as needed as well?

    • Victor Pride says:

      I don’t use contributors frequently, and don’t pay them, so I can’t say what a fair price would be. For the guy in my book I think I paid him $100 for 3 hours of HARD work in the middle a Texas summer with no aircon. Guy did it all with a smile, total pro.

    • tothepoint says:

      I have some amazing ideas for multiple blogs. I am very passionate and knowledgable about 2 of them and I am in rhe process of biulding one. In regards to another I am quite knowlegable but not all knowing by any means and I believe some contributing editors would benifit it tremendously. If you were do this for a blog of yours, what would be a fair compensation for this? I noticed that you used a model for your ebook, what is a fair compensation for this as needed as well? Also, what legalities would you consider in the contract for both of them?

  30. Victor,
    Great article man! I really need to take note of how you conduct your writing voice. I have to agree that a lot of blogs written by males tend to lack some testosterone and true authority. Sometimes it takes a little kick in the ass or some ranting to get people fired up. Whatever you’re doing man, stick with it, you’ve got talent. You’re really helping turn boys to men and kicking some pansies out of the park.

  31. Victor: How many blogs would you recommend to have or do when first starting? Do we focus on one or dive in with several to start? Thank you…

  32. Do you read danger and play regularly?

Trackbacks

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