Why This Headline Should Make You Want To Throw Up A Little Bit In Your Mouth (and What’s Seriously Wrong With You If You Don’t)

Welcome to the second most important line of the most important thing you will ever read about blogging: this alarming reality-check post about what you’re doing wrong, which is holding you back from ever being as successful as the blogger who wrote it.

Hopefully by now you know that the headline of this post is the first most important line. Followed by that do-or-die, self-righteous opening sentence showing you the error of your ways.

The good news is that’s about all you need to nail down, if you’re doing it right!

But the sad truth is, so many bloggers miss out on this. They can’t go viral and get a lot of clicks through to their blogs because they don’t understand reality. That’s probably what’s wrong with you, too, since you clicked on this post and are still reading it.

For example, in reality, who reads anything for more than nine seconds anymore? Not any ideal target you should care about. These full-article-readers are clearly needy people with actual… needs. And guess what? They are going to want YOU to address those needs in your writing. Forget that!

In fact, I’m kinda pissed I have to be wasting the free Wi-Fi here writing all this out for you, but I guess I feel bad having all these Insider Secrets you don’t know about. Like the most obvious:

Ideal Blog Targets Don’t Read

You want blog visitors who are busy, which means they are go-getters. Busy go-getters don’t have time to sit around reading your posts all the way through and learning anything about what you have to offer that will functionally help them or improve their life in any way.

In reality, they are constantly surfing the internet on all their devices, looking for a quick payoff every few seconds in however many ways they can hit “sign up” “buy now” or “share.” And facts show, they LOVE to share—because it’s FREE, it’s FAST, and it makes them look cool. Like they are in on something. So, if you want to succeed, post headlines that make people click on them and share them because of how they sound, not because of what the article really says!

What? You’ve been trying to write good content with headlines that make sense, promise real value, and/or attract people who care about the topic? See, that’s the first serious thing wrong with you right there. But it’s not too late. I can help you by example.

The top 3 reasons this post’s headline should make you want to throw up in your mouth:

1. It doesn’t have a number in it, or say “Top” or “Best” or “Most Shocking.” If you know anything about blogging, this should make you a little nauseous, because I’m supposed to be an expert, right? I wasted the opportunity to maximize the headline effectiveness of this post by simply adding “The Top 3” at the start, or better still, “The 3 Most Shocking.”

Actually, it was so far over the magic number of 70 characters and it only had two keywords (headline & what’s wrong with you), I decided not to. But you clicked anyway, meaning this headline still rocks! Until you build your blogging skills to my level, it’s easy to show how your headline is “the best” or “the most shocking” by just saying it is. Since that’s what people want, don’t miss the chance to get those clicks! PS: If you use 7s, or make your number more unexpected,  like 4 or 23, it will give you better results, similar to your pricing model

2. It draws you in with something disturbing, and reminds you that you are flawed. The sick thing (I mean that in a good way) about knowing proper blogging techniques is you get more clicks when you write truly stunning headlines (I mean like a stun gun). This headline literally gets you in the gut. Bam! That’s the whole point, I hit my target where it counts! Whether it’s the threat of vomiting, failing, or constantly fucking up which is so disgraceful and embarrassing, the fear factor does wonders for your click-through and share rates.

Trust me. Go balls out on your targets’ pain, the worries that keep them up at night, or just the stupid things they don’t even need to worry about but somehow they started to because of everything they read on the internet. It’s the fast track to becoming a big time blogger.

3. You still feel compelled to share it. Even though it’s not perfect because of the missing numbers, and as a blogger this headline makes you feel jealous and gets your acid reflux going, you know it is just that good. It’s okay to admit it. Like I said, there’s something wrong with you if you don’t feel a little pukey right now. Because this headline is “magnetic,” which means it pulls you right off your senses.

And that is what the successful blogging life is all about: becoming a viral target magnet. You punch them in the gut with something negative, hopefully it makes them upset or worried in some way, and then they can’t resist clicking on your shit to try to feel better. (Remember they’re in a big hurry so they don’t have time to work on themselves!) When they see you’re an authority in the first paragraph, they won’t want/have to read any more than that. They just hit “share.”

Start Writing Sick Headlines of Your Own

This is so easy: copy my headline for this post, then just substitute a couple of the words. It doesn’t matter what market you’re in or what your topic is. You can use it over and over again to put up posts that get shared constantly, without anyone understanding why.

That’s why they call it viral! It spreads (like a toxin) and for a certain period (now!) people don’t know they’re infected so they just keep blindly passing it on… Try it–it’s contagious!

Show how much you know and how helpful you are: CLICK TO SHARE! (sidebar at left)

About the Author

Faith WatsonFaith Watson has been blogging since the beginning of time. She recently created pen to Zen to help entrepreneurs and small business owners solve their writing problems in a day, overnight or three days with a peaceful, easy process. Advice, inspiration and encouragement are free on the blog. Faith Tweets live @pentozen and loves sharing conversation on Facebook.

How To Cash *Real* Checks for *Perceived* Value

I’m not going to lie to you. (Much.)

I’m in this thing for the money. I would never have gotten into “the blogging” if it wasn’t for all the easy money. I like to break down my life goals into smaller steps. Smaller steps make goals more achievable. Or something. I remember reading that on Lifehacker.

Anyway, a few years ago, I decided I wanted to buy an Aston Martin. The Aston (that’s what people in the know call them. It’s like being on a first name basis with a car.) I wanted cost about $269,000. That’s a lot of dollars and cents. In fact, for a kid who grew up poor, that’s literally an insane amount of money to spend on the car. But no matter…

I know you guys like happy endings, or you wouldn’t be hanging out on the internet.

And today, about three years after I first dreamt of driving my Aston, I’m happy to report that I’ve got my hands on the keys right now! 


Photo by schenphotography – https://www.flickr.com/photos/schenphotography/3877243871/

I should be clear, when I say “the keys” I mean the keys of my laptop.

I know it might have seemed like I meant I had the keys to the Aston, but I really just meant the keys on my Macbook Air. I still don’t have an Aston. If you misunderstood me, then that’s your first lesson in something called “perceived value.” I “wasn’t trying” to mislead you.

What is perceived value?

Perception is nine tenths of the law. Or something. I don’t know which law. And I don’t actually think that’s how the saying goes, but whatever.

What matters is that: if you believe something, then you’ll act on your beliefs.

So, if you believe that you can make a fortune as a lonely typist blogger, you’re more likely to start a blog.

If you believe that I earned enough money from blogging to buy myself an Aston Martin, then you’ll be more likely to follow my advice. You perceive my advice to be worth something, even if it isn’t.

How To Use Perceived Value to Make Real Money

Let’s say you’re following the rules of making money online, and you decided to write an ebook about blogging-about-blogging.

Remember, you have to price your ebook with a number that ends in 7.

But you can use a “little known” marketing trick tactic to make a lot more money.

Next to your ebook price, you copy and paste in the following text:

$9,997 $4,977 $2,997 $1,997 $1,497 $997 $697 $497 $297 $147 $97 $77 $47 $37

Then put your real ebook price (say, $27) next to that.

Then step back, (I recommend stepping back about 2 paces) and look at what you’ve done.

You’ve just created ten thousand dollars of perceived value!

And because you’re such a nice blogger, you’re selling that value for only $27.

You’re basically giving people $9970 of value for free. Why would anyone do that? (Don’t answer that.)

Well, maybe because you’re a super successful internet guru. Or maybe because you’re retired and just don’t need the money.

Or maybe you just do it because it works. 

Because in internetlandia, if you want to make real money, the easiest thing to sell is perceived value.

Not everyone will pay you for perceived value, but at least one person born every minute probably will.

And that’s plenty.

Stay thirsty my friends.

Wait, why are you still telling people the truth?

Hey guys, sorry for the big delay between my posts.

I’ve been “really busy” “hanging out” with some “A-Listers” in a “tropical paradise” with no internet connection. God, my life of luxury is so much work.

Anyway, on that note, I wanted to talk about honesty in the blogging world.

One of my A-List friends just finished up a big product launch today. I’m sure he made a killing. Probably like a bazillion dollars.

He followed all the rules… His price ended in a 7. He belittled his audience just the right amount. He sold the dream. Hell, maybe he was hanging out with me in some kind of tropical paradise the whole time. Or maybe he said he did. I don’t know. I wasn’t even there. Plus, I stopped reading all of his launch emails after the seventeenth one.

Anyway, the point is that he launched a product, followed the rules, and got paid.

Remember when I told you how to figure out when to buy that big shiny online course? He made it easy.

I just got a new email from him though. It was about all the “suckers” on his email list who were “devastated” and “complaining” about how they missed his “deadline” and couldn’t enroll in his course in time. Fucking suckers, amiright?

He made sure to mock them and make these people feel like idiots. These people couldn’t take two minutes to whip out their credit card and give him a bunch of money for his shiny ass product? Of course he’s going to make fun of them. Why wouldn’t he? Don’t answer that!

Of course, he’s just playing by the rules of the blogging about blogging game. Remember, if you want people to spend money, you need to confuse them a little bit and make them feel bad about themselves.

But luckily, my friend is “literally” a smart motherfucker. He knows the game. He practically invented it.

So, he’s going to play his top trump card. It’s been up his sleeve the whole time. If you’ve ever been in an abusive relationship, you’ll recognize this card right away. It goes like this…

He treats you like shit, and then you get confused and disoriented and you start to doubt yourself. He makes you feel like you’re not good enough (even though you totally are), and then he plays his trump card. He says, “You know what… You’re so lucky to have me. I’m going to be really generous here and give you another chance.”

That’s right. He’s giving YOU another chance. See, because you’re the one who needs him. Not the other way around, like your therapist says.

And that’s what my buddy did. Right after he made fun of all the people who were “too late” to give him their money, he said, “ok ok, i know I just said like two sentences ago that the deadline was rock solid, but I’m a nice guy and I’m going to make a special waiting list for you and if I find some more copies of my ebook (maybe in one of these boxes of paper in my office?) I’ll give you another chance.”

And of course, it works like magic. I just joined the waiting list for a product that isn’t even available anymore. I can’t remember if that’s how “waiting” works, but it doesn’t matter. He’s doing me a “favor” by even giving me this “opportunity” to pay him after he said he wouldn’t allow people to pay him anymore.

It doesn’t matter that he can’t actually run out of ebooks. He can say whatever he wants–this is the internet. So, he said there was a deadline. And then he said there was chance to purchase after the deadline. It makes sense if you don’t really think about it for even a few seconds.

Here’s a Secret

My buddy is just being manipulative. I know, you probably didn’t see that one coming, but it’s true. He’s creating a false sense of scarcity to capitalize on something psychologists call the “fear of missing out.”

It doesn’t matter (to him) that it’s not honest. It works. His number one goal is to make money. Honesty is probably, like, his number two goal. Or maybe three. I don’t know. He’s never told me.

And if you’re a blogger who wants to create a product and make money, you should pay attention to how the game is played. You don’t have to be honest because this whole thing is scripted. Just play your part and buy the script, and then read from the script and someday someone else will come and buy the script from you.

Shit, I’m getting really cynical. I almost don’t even know if this post is in character or not anymore. Is this still satire? Is this still bad blogging advice? Am I being serious and honest, or just trying to make a point?

I don’t know, because I’m too thrown off by the script to know anymore. And that’s how the script is supposed to work. So, I guess it does.


How I Built an Email List of 26 Million People in 1 Hour

That’s not a typo. I know it sounds completely crazy and unbelievable.

If I were sitting there in your chair, I’d be thinking, “well, that’s a catchy title Mr. Bad Blogger Guy, but clearly you’re working some kind of angle here.” Seriously, I know that’s what you’re thinking, and you’re not wrong, exactly. But this is a true story.

I really do have an email list with 26 million people on it. And I really did “build” it in 1 hour.

One day, my good friend called me. She was being harassed at work by this creepy old guy. Nothing too crazy had happened yet, but this guy was doing his whole creepy old guy routine, and it was making her uncomfortable, and that’s not cool. So, she calls me and mostly just wants to vent.

Unfortunately, I have this thing in me that makes it impossible to just listen to someone vent. One of my friends says it’s just part of being male (which feels pretty sexist, but whatever). Anyway, it really messes up my ability to just sit and listen and let someone feel heard and supported. No, I’m not good at that. Instead, I feel a need to solve problems and take action.

If you were my friend (which you totally are, dear reader), and you told me about some jerk who was mean to you, I’d instantly start plotting revenge on your behalf. I don’t know why. I don’t think I’m normally a vengeful guy, but maybe I am. I should probably see a therapist about it. Anyway…

So, while my friend is telling me a story about how this creepy guy stares at her in their morning meeting, I’m on the other end of the phone saying, “Wow, yeah, that’s terrible. Hey, how do you spell his last name, is it with a Z or an S?”

And she says, “I think it’s a Z. Wait, why are you asking me that?”

And I say, “Oh, no reason. Sorry, you were telling me about how he stared at you.”

“Right…” and she resumed her story.

So, here I am, pretending to listen to this story about Mr. Creepy Guy, and at the same time I’m basically putting together some kind of revenge fantasy. I know, it’s really weird, but I can’t help myself.

So, my friend is going on about this guy, and he genuinely sounds like a creep. And I’m sitting at my computer basically Googling him and digging up dirt on him.

The internet is pretty amazing if you know where to look. Within a few minutes, I can see where he lives, how old he is, his wife’s name and her age. I see he has three kids. I can see how much he paid for his house and guess that he’s probably underwater on his mortgage because it’s not worth as much as it was a few years ago. All of this, literally in just minutes.

I interrupt my friend’s story. “Hey, does he drive a sort of big maroon pickup truck?”


“Sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt you. I just want to make sure I have the right guy. What kind of car does he drive?”

“Um… a big maroon pickup truck.”

“Cool. Thanks. Sorry, what were you saying?”

“What the hell are you doing?”

“Oh, I was just looking at his house on Google Street View, and I wanted to make sure he still lived there. There is a maroon truck in the driveway.”

My friend didn’t say anything back.

The poor girl. Here she was, trying to vent about this creepy guy at work, and instead of just listening to her, I had become this different kind of creepy guy in the span of 5 minutes. I had become a sort of stalker of this stalker guy.

Of course, I felt pretty creeped out at myself. I don’t know what my plan was. I wasn’t going to go to the guy’s house. I’d found his name on an NRA website, and I don’t want to get shot. It was just a fantasy. I was ready to give up on my silliness, but I did one more Google search.

I searched for his email address, and there was only one result. It looked weird. The preview just looked like his email address next to some other email addresses.

Hmmm… I didn’t recognize the domain name. The URL was this weird domain and then /list.txt

I thought it was weird that the URL ended in txt and not something like html or just .com. So, I clicked it.

My screen just went white.

OK… waiting. Waiting. Nothing happened. Then the fan in my computer kicked on, it was getting hot. The screen was just white.

“Damnit.” This stupid website just froze my computer or something.

I tried clicking the Back button, but nothing happened.

Then I saw the little loading progress bar down at the bottom. It was like 25% loaded. I thought it was weird, but figured I’d just let it run its course. So, I went and made a sandwich and came back in about 10 minutes.

The page had finally loaded. It was just email addresses. One per line.

What the hell?

I scrolled down and it just kept going and going and going. Forever.

I realized I’d stumbled upon some website’s email list, which totally shouldn’t be possible, but still. I saved the file to my computer, which is probably illegal or something, I don’t know. It was crazy huge for just a text file.

I wanted to figure out what the website was, so I deleted everything in the URL until it just said thewebsitename.com and hit [enter].

Then it asked me if I was Over 18.

What the hell?

I clicked yes, and it opened up this weird porn site.


I kind of just sat back and processed the situation. Ok… so, the creepy guy is a member of this porn site. Fine. I guess that’s not a big surprise. I mean, it’s probably not smart that he signed up using his work email, but that’s not my problem. And for some reason, this website keeps its email list in a random text file that Google found. Which is also stupid, and also not my problem.

I closed out of the site (I swear), and opened up the text file on my computer.

It had 26 million lines.

What. The. Fuck?

That’s a crazy number of email addresses!

In fact, it’s twice the size of the Obama campaign’s email list from 2009. It’s also about the same number of people who had AOL back when AOL was a thing that people had. It’s this huge and potentially valuable thing…

So, anyway, my friend eventually quit her job and was much happier. Before she did, Mr. Creepy Guy got fired for being creepy to other people. (Hooray for justice!)

Of course, I had this email list with 26 million addresses on it, and do you know what I did with it?

I deleted it.

Because it’s not cool to have peoples’ email address if they don’t want you to have it. Especially if its 26 million people. That’s just creepy.

Don’t be creepy.


The 2 Best Ways To Build a Huge Audience

What’s up blogger amigos? (Blogmigos?)

Did you think I was done?

Did you think I just got drunk one morning and made up this website only to abandon it later?

Well, I’m going to quote my favorite pretend gangster on that:

Dr. Dre comin back (shit) I never left

That means I just finished baking a fresh batch of Bad Blogging Advice for you. So, open up. This post is about to get nutritious.

You want to know the best techniques for building a massive audience with your blog, right? So you can live the dream and retire as a problogger, right?

Right? Answer me! Of course you do. So, get your pencil and write this down. It’s your new gameplan.

1. SEO the shit out of your blog.

SEO is a big deal. It’s probably the most important thing you can know how to do. (Fuck learning how to write, amiright?) How do you make some SEO? Well, there are about seven million SEO blogs that you need to start reading every day. That’d be a good place to start, but I’m going to save you some time and let you in on my secret system.

Here’s the 18 part SEO process I go through whenever I write a new blog post. It’s how I made it to the A-List. Or is it A-Team? I can’t remember what we’re calling ourselves these days.

  1. Wake up and have 30 grams of protein for breakfast. You can’t SEO on an empty stomach. #paleo
  2. Do some keyword research to figure out what to write about.
  3. You’re looking for keywords that are really popular but not too competitive.
  4. So, you might combine two popular keywords in a way they haven’t been combined before. Like “twerking” and “government shutdown”.
  5. Those are both hot topics right now, and if you combine them, it makes a lot of sense. Don’t think about it, just do it. #nike
  6. Register a new domain name: TwerkingGovernmentShutdown.com was already taken, but you can just switch those words around. I’m the proud owner of GovernmentTwerkingShutdown.com. #boom
  7. Install WordPress at your new domain.
  8. You can’t have too many blogs! Remember that. Aim for one new blog per week. You’re building an empire here.
  9. Now, go back to your main blog and write a post all about Twerking and the Government Shutdown. Give it a really hypey title, like “Exposed: The Twerking/Government Shutdown Connection” #clickbait!
  10. Then expose the shit out of that connection with at least 1500 words of blogging deliciousness. That’s the magic number.
  11. Use the words “twerking” and “government shutdown” often in your writing. Aim for at least once per … I dunno … once per sentence.
  12. Make sure you also include some affiliate links to random Clickbank products (you need a monetization strategy, duh)
  13. Now publish your post and then make a sandwich. No turkey! It’s too early in the day for that, and plus, you’re a vegan now.
  14. Now it’s time to start your link building. This is the most important part of blogging and SEO and filling up the internet so people don’t run out of things to read.
  15. Log into your new website at GovernmentTwerkingShutdown.com and write 10 new blog posts.
  16. Each of these posts should be at lest 300 words. You can use some “spinning software” to save time. (Spinning software is like a Vitamix for words. It just mixes them up and pulverizes them until they’re a smooth brownish paste. Mmmm, delicious content.)
  17. Link each one of those 10 posts on your new site back to the big post you wrote on your main blog. You’ve just built 10 new links to your new post, which means it could potentially outrank literally any other post about “Twerking and The Government Shutdown”
  18. Go to starbucks and start working on your digital product.
  19. Dominate!

I was going to write another tip about how to dominate the internets with your blog, but I just had a giant pumpkin latte and now I have a sugar low and I’m getting sleepy and the last time I fell asleep at starbucks I woke up in the breakroom handcuffed to a teenage shoplifter who was caught impersonating a barista in order to steal coffee grounds because he wanted to use them as mulch in his organic garden. We had to talk to the police a lot, and I don’t have time for that today.

Anyway, I’m going to keep this second tip short.

2. Comment on a lot of other blogs

This is how you get on the radar of other bloggers. Let me explain how blogger-radar works.

When you become an official A-Team blogger, you get a package in the mail. Inside the package is a radar system. I remember when I got mine. It was the second best day of my life (first best day was October 1st of every single year when they start rolling out the pumpkin lattes at Starbucks).

My hope for you, dear reader (btw, that link is worth a click), is that someday you will walk up to your tiny apartment and find that your own blogger radar has been delivered. If you want that, and you want to make the A-Team, this is what you have to do.

Look up all the most popular bloggers on the internet and then subscribe to their email lists.

Tip: when you subscribe to their email list, use a special email address just for them. Something like iloveyourblogdarren@badbloggingadvice.com. You need to start standing out from the crowd, and when they see that address subscribe to their list, they’ll definitely want to investigate you learn about you.

Next, go to Starbucks and wait. Check your email every few seconds and look for their new posts. As soon as you get a notification of their post, you need to click through and leave a comment as quickly as possible. You absolutely must be the first person to leave a comment on their post. Otherwise, you won’t set off their radar and you’ll go unnoticed and unloved.

Tip: you don’t actually have to read their post. That takes too much time. Just leave a comment that says something like, “wow, another great post! Thanks so much! Looking forward to the next one! I’m going to think about your post when I’m writing my next post for yourblogaddress.com!” #boom

Remember, this is about being first. And using a lot of exclamation points. That’s how you trip off the radar and get noticed. Noticed!

When you leave your comment, make sure to put something memorable in the name field that describes your entire website and brand.

So, mine would be “John from Bad Blogging Advice, the Worst Advice About Blogging… In The World.”

And also have a trademark sign-off at the end of your comment. That’s the best way to get remembered and make sure your blip is big when you show up on the blogger’s radar.

Here’s a real SEO pro showing us how it’s done:


Actually, that example really says it all, doesn’t it? A real pro showing you how it’s done.

On that note, I’m signing off.

Good Blogging Advice

This site is all about bad blogging advice. But… what if you’re looking for good blogging advice instead?

OK. I’ll be straight with you. But only this once.

I started this blog for one reason: I got bored one morning and didn’t feel like doing my actual work.

Also, there’s a lot of really crappy advice about blogging out there, and I think it’s annoying.

So, I started to make fun of some of the dumb advice I’ve seen people WannabeGurus™ regurgitate on their blogs-about-blogging. And on accident, I may have accidentally made a good blog. Accidentally!

Also, highly debatable.

Anyway, here’s some good blogging advice.

Be unique.

Go to Starbucks right now. OK, good. You’re already there. Now walk up to anyone sitting with a Macbook Air and ask them what their blog is about.

At least 25% of them will say something like, “Oh, I write about lifestyle design/being a digital nomad/traveling/entrepreneurship.” Some of them will actually say all of that, verbatim, including the slashes.

Then you say, “Yeah, lifestyle design, I think I’ve read your blog before.”

That’s it. Try to keep a straight face. Don’t say anything else. Just walk away and drink your pumpkin latte in peace.

Ok, sorry to everyone in the lifestyle design crowd. I don’t mean to make fun of you, but you have to admit that there are too many people talking about the same thing in the same way.

Here’s one way to look at this whole “be unique” thing… how many competitors do you want to have?

Having less competition means your idea can stand out more easily. So, whatever it is you’re writing about, take a unique spin on it. Think your topic is played out? It isn’t.

Like, if you wanted to, I dunno, blog about blogging, you could either compete with a trillion other people with the same idea, or you could use satire and humor to connect with your audience. Maybe call it Bad Blogging Advice, and make it like the Colbert Report of blogging-about-blogging.

Damn, that’s a good idea.

And it’s all mine. #boom

Be honest and vulnerable.

I struggle to be vulnerable and honest when I write. (See what I did there?)

It’s hard to be vulnerable–it takes courage. But it makes a huge difference. People can tell when you’re being real and when you’re holding back, or when you’re trying to be someone else.

Blogging is a great way to build a brand. And a brand is just a fancy word for a relationship and a connection between you and the people who read your shit. And just like any relationship, honesty just works best. No one wants to hang out with the guy who acts like he knows it all, or the lady who insists (just a little too often) that her life is perfect. No one is buying it.

Your readers aren’t perfect. That means they can’t learn from you if you act like you’re perfect. So, cut the BS and be real with people. That lady from the TED Talk says it’ll make you more likable anyway.

Take people on a journey.

Ok, this is a little bit complicated, but I think it’s important.

I think the best blogs are about going on a journey of some kind.

It could be a journey about getting fit, or building a business, or learning a language, or it could be a literal journey.

This is important because it helps people understand the role your blog is going to play in their life. If you want people to follow you, they need to understand how you’re going to help them, or what you’re going to help them achieve. Keep this in mind when you structure your content and your topic.

I like to use the example of The Hero’s Journey, which has five basic parts.

  1. You want to do something.
  2. You try.
  3. You struggle.
  4. You try again, except better/smarter/harder.
  5. You succeed.

That’s what you should be doing, and what you should be helping other people do. It takes time to figure out the best way to do that, but if you can take people on a journey, you can have a big impact on their lives. Especially if you’re willing to…

Be a leader.

This goes along with the idea of taking people on a journey, and I’m only mentioning it because I think a lot of people get the meaning of this wrong.

Being a leader doesn’t mean you have all the answers. It just means you’re going first. That’s it.

It’s not about succeeding first, just starting first.

In fact, it’s better for you to struggle than to succeed right away. Because success doesn’t teach you near as much as struggle. If you try something, and struggle with a hundred different obstacles, then you’ve got a hundred things you can help your audience with. Share your struggles, be vulnerable and honest and you can lead people on their own hero’s journey.

Be helpful.

Want to get paid? Be helpful.

I stole this advice from Chris Sacca. He’s a lot smarter than me, and the proof is in how my life changed when I started trying to be helpful above all else.

People hired me and paid me good money for good advice. People subscribed to my writing. People told their friends and colleagues to do both of those things, and I accidentally built a successful consulting business. Just by being helpful.

It sounds a little cheesy, but all the best things do. Right? Maybe.

Be passionate about what you’re doing.

This is cliche advice, but I think it gets underestimated. Passion matters, a lot. Here’s why:

  1. You can’t ask someone to care about what you’re doing unless you do. It goes back to the whole honesty thing. If you don’t care about what you’re doing, you’ll never be able to fake it well enough to convince your audience.
  2. You’re going to want to quit, and passion might just stop you. Blogging can be hard. Whatever your goals are, it’s going to take you longer than you think it will to meet them. So, you’ll probably want to quit every once in a while. Quitting hard things is rational. There’s no shame in it. But there’s also no success in it. So, being irrational can pay off. That’s what love and passion is for, so you can irrationally go through the hard times and make it to the good times. The reward is worth it.
  3. Bonus reason: I think excitement is infectious. We’re social creatures. Tell me you care, and I will too.

Don’t give up.

I already mentioned this, but seriously… don’t do it.

If you follow this advice, failing is actually pretty hard, but that doesn’t mean success will happen overnight. Just keep going, like every successful person in history.

Want more good blogging advice?

Spoiler alert: sales pitch ahead!

Actually, that sounds lame. But here’s the deal. I took a course on blogging once. It was really helpful, really actionable, and inexpensive. Basically the trifecta of value. If you want to start a blog, it’s easily worth your money. Scary, right?

I also know the guy who created it. He’s a friend. He’s also really modest, and probably wouldn’t admit to knowing more about building a successful blog than just about anyone else. Anyway, check it out if you want to build a blog that matters.

Sorry for all that good advice. I promise we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled bad blogging advice asap.

Just Keep Adding More Social Media Buttons

This is probably the single best piece of advice I can give you.

This is “literally” the recipe for “success” when it comes to blogging. 

It’s more important than choosing a topic to blog about.

It’s even more important than figuring out how often you should publish your blog posts.

If you want to be a professional blogger, you’re going to need to get viral. And the best way to go viral?

Social Media Buttons!

Look, go to your blog right now. What do you see? A bunch of words, some pretty pictures. What’s missing?

Social Media Buttons!

Digg, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, Facebook… what do these things have in common?

Yeah, they’re made up words. But they can also make you rich as fuck.

Trillions of people a day use Facebook to share the best blogs on the internet. And yours can be one of them, but you need to make it easy for people to share your content. How?

Social Media Buttons!

This is the biggest thing I see missing from most blogs. Sure, maybe you’ve got a few social media buttons here and there, but if you really want people to share your content, you need to put your focus where it counts: on adding more social media buttons to your theme.

It’s the “solution” to “every” web design problem you can possibly encounter.

The bigger the better.

Here are the top 5 rules for leveraging social media with your blog:

  1. Add social media buttons to your sidebar
  2. Add social media buttons after your posts
  3. Add social media buttons to your footer
  4. Become a social media consultant
  5. Make your social media buttons as large as possible. They should literally dominate the screen for your visitors.

I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from one of the most popular bloggers in history.

“Most blogs could double their revenue if they just keep adding social media buttons.” – Mark Twain

Stay thirsty, my friends. Success is just around the corner.

When You Should Buy That Online Course

Hey, so if you… wanna be a blogger, shot-caller

Um, sorry. If you want to live the dream of being a pro blogger, you’re going to need to buy some ebooks and video courses because… I don’t remember, but you definitely do.

But with all of the blogging about blogging courses out there from bloggers who blog about blogging, how do you decide where to spend your money?

These questions will help you decide.

How much does it cost?

This seems like an obvious question, but it doesn’t have an obvious answer. What you’re looking for here is whether the price ends in a 7 or not. This is very important because all good products cost something like $27 or $47 and especially $97 and $497. If it costs $497, you can stop reading this post now and just buy it.

Why does it matter that the price ends in 7?

Because people who price their products that way know what the fuck they’re doing. And you should definitely buy a product from someone who what they’re doing, right? Right.

Have you ever tried to do what the product helps with on your own?

This is a big one too. I had a buddy call me and ask if I thought he should buy this product about guest blogging. It was like $497 (so I was leaning toward yes) and promised to teach all the basics of how to pitch people on a guest post.

So, check it out, this is what I asked him, “Have you ever tried to pitch a guest post and failed?”

He hadn’t.

I asked him if he’d ever written a good post, then emailed someone who might want to use it as a guest post.

He hadn’t.

So, I told him to buy the product. Boom!

Never try something on your own unless you’ve paid to learn how to do it first. 

Are there bonuses?

Doesn’t matter if they look good or not. If a product has a bonus, what the product creator is trying to tell you is that he’s really confident his product is good enough on its own, and you should definitely buy it. So, you may as well trust him and buy that shit.

How long is the sales page?

Go to the sales page for that product you might want to buy and then start clicking the scrollbar on the right.

How many times do you have to click it before you get to the big ass yellow button that says “$1997 $997 $497 Today only $27″?

Ok, now let’s say you had to scroll through 5 pages of bullshit sales copy to get to the buy now button. You need to get a calculator for this.

Multiply the number of pages you had to scroll through by $50. So, if you had to scroll through 5 pages of copy, you’d go like this: 5 x $50 = $250. That’s how much the product is actually worth.

Then subtract the actual price from that number to get your profit.

So, if you scroll through 10 pages of sales copy and the big yellow button says “$1997 $997 $497 Today only $97″ then this is your math…

10 pages of sales copy x $50 = $500. So, the actual value of the product is $500. Then subtract the price. $500 minus $97 (today only) = a profit of $403!

Damn, that’s awesome. If you look at it that way, this guy is basically giving you $403. For free!

What a sucker.

How To Price Your Digital Product

Hey, so if you’ve been blogging it up for a while and you want to make that delicious blogging money, you’ve got to make a digital product. You already know this, but what you don’t know is how to price it.

Like anything else, there are some rules, and you need to follow them.

Rule #1 – Your price must end in 7

This is actually the most important rule. Nothing else matters if you screw this up. The best prices are $37, $97, and $497. That’s it. That’s everything you need to know about making money. It honestly doesn’t matter which one of those prices you pick. Just pick one and go with it. Flip a coin if you get stuck.

Rule #2 – Interviews

This is what marketing bloggers would call a SECRET ADVANCED TACTIC. You have to interview some people and make a second tier price for your product. Make the second tier crazy expensive. (Crazier the better.) So, like, if your ebook is $97 (why not, right?), then make a second price level called Deluxe and make that one like $297 and say it “includes interviews”.  That’s all you have to say.

Or if you really want to throw people off, make the Deluxe Version cost $337.

Seriously, when people see a price like $337, they don’t know what to think. “It makes no sense!” And when your customers don’t know what to think, they always want to give you money. True story.

So, you’re probably wondering who you should interview, right?

Well, this is the best part: it doesn’t even matter. I’m assuming you’re reading this at Starbucks right now. Just stand up and announce (loudly) “I’m making a digital product and I’m looking for some strategic partners to interview!” (Make sure you say “strategic partners” like it means something.) If it’s a busy Starbucks, a few other bloggers should approach you right away. Just talk to them about whatever and record that shit. Boom! $337!

You’re welcome.

The 3-Step Business Plan For Blogging Success

Hmm… 3 steps doesn’t seem like a lot. Whatever, you’re here, so it’s not like you care.

Seriously though, this is how to succeed at blogging:

  1. Quit your job.
  2. Pick something to blog about.
  3. Then just start typing.

You’re welcome.