[AoB] How to Use Mental Models to Become a Better Blogger

The vast majority of blogging advice out there is tactical in nature. It teaches you how to start a blog, how to write articleshow to network and engage others, how to distribute your content, how to promote your blog on social media.

However, there are two things there are wrong with tactical advice:

  1. They never, ever take you from point A to point Z. Like I always say, the basics don’t work anymore. So mastering the basics won’t ever help you reach the blogging stratosphere. In today’s blogging ecosystem, the basics might not even be enough to get you your first 1,000 readers.
  2. They will take you from point A to point B, but only if conditions are ideal. And, you’ve probably guessed it, with a system as complex as blogging, conditions are almost never perfect. Algorythms change, there’s a new blog being released every minute or so, and there’s a lot of money exchanging hands. At times, it looks like chaos.

What are you supposed to do then?

You develop a set of strategies that you can deploy, so you can turn chaos into opportunity.

[AoB] The “Secret” to Writing Blockbuster Articles

Tell me if this has ever happened to you: it’s Monday morning, and you’re ready to get some writing done. In your head, you’re already publishing a blockbuster article. The only thing that’s missing is the red carpet.

But then you sit at your desk. That damn blank page reflects the image of a creatively bankrupt blogger; your fingers are stubborn, the muse is shy.

You want to write brilliant articles. But you just can’t…

What’s the secret to being consistent, anyway?

How do you punch the keys, if your mind feels empty?

The truth is, writing is half magic, half strategy.

And today we’re going to have some fun and talk about a secret that allows you to magically sit at your desk and punch those damn keys.

Most bloggers struggle because they approach writing as the act of creating something out of nothing. It’s the main reason you want to bash your head against the keyboard.

In fact, writing the damn thing should be the easiest part of content creation.

Once I realized that you can’t create something out of nothing, I could wake up at 5 AM, have a sip of coffee, and sit down to punch those damn keys until my hands hurt.

No more time wasted staring stupidly into the abyss of a blank document, no more cursing that blinking cursor thing.

[irevuo] Imitation: The Gateway to Inspiration

In 1650, Spanish painter Diego Velázquez was commissioned by Pope Innocent X to paint a portrait of his.

Three centuries later, another artist would attempt to recreate it. Despite never having seen this painting in person, the Irish artist Francis Bacon would repaint it, over and over again, completing a total of 50 paintings during the 1950s and 1960s.

During the summer of 1957, another famous artist, Pablo Picasso, was inspired by Velázquez’s masterpiece, Las Meninas.

The first thing I wrote that actually got me quite a bit of exposure was a novella called “An Emperor’s Will.” I wrote it when I was 16 years old, and I won a National Literary Contest. And a lot of published writers read it and loved it. On an online workshop frequented by some of the best SF and Fantasy writers in Romania, it received mostly positive reviews.

The problem?

It was written…

[AoB] Should You Go Hyperniche?

We now live in a world of constant information overload. Content creators are sharing millions and millions of articles, podcasts, social media posts, and videos every single month.

This, in turn, changes the dynamic of how we create content, how we distribute it, how we promote it, and even how we monetize our blogs.

The main issue? Broad topics lack focus, direction, and are becoming less and less appealing.

The most lucrative niches are overcrowded and ultra-competitive, and a general blog that tackles a main topic (or a multitude of topics) has little to no chance of standing out from the crowd.

[irevuo] Hello Rejection, My Old Friend

Whenever we submit a part of our soul that we translated into words, we do so armed with nothing but the hope that the person reading our work will understand it.

Sometimes they do. Most times they don’t.

Rejection scrapes the heart. But, well, there’s nothing to do about it. In fact, rejection is as much a part of being a writer as punching those damn keys. It’s as much a part of being a writer as the edits and the rewrites and the social media marketing.

[AoB] How to Get More Comments on Your Blog Posts: The Definitive Guide

It’s kind of frustrating, isn’t it? Having to scroll for a minute and a half through hundreds of comments on some posts just so you can share your opinion.

It’s even more frustrating when your own posts aren’t getting many comments. Sometimes it’s a comment or two. Sometimes none. Occasionally, it seems Lady Luck smiles upon you and you get a few of your readers to share their thoughts.

But never dozens or hundreds of comments like some of the other blogs out there.

Maybe it’s all about luck, maybe there’s some trick, some tactic, and you can’t help but wonder…

Am I doing something wrong?

What can I do to get more comments?

Well, first of all, it’s not magic. Or trickery. Secondly, let’s see if we can do something about it.

In order to get more comments, one must understand how they work.

Well, there are two main factors that come into play.

[irevuo] Should You Self-Publish? These Questions Will Help You Decide

So, you have a finished manuscript, and now you’re ready to share it with as many readers as possible.

In order to do that, you must choose one of two paths: either self-publish your book yourself, or go the traditional route and try to find a publisher.

Deciding on which route to take means that you’ve got to figure out a couple of things about yourself first, about your book, and about your ability to effectively market (and enjoy the process) both yourself as an author and your book.

Now, let’s discuss the essential questions to ask yourself if you’re trying to decide if self-publishing your book is the best available option for you.

[AoB] Most Blogs Fail. Why?

At least once a year someone out there publishes a long article announcing the imminent demise of the blog. More bloggers than ever are giving up, content saturation is alienating a lot of readers, and the rise in popularity of different mediums will be the final nail in the coffin.

The truth?

It’s always been like this.

Out of all the bloggers I’ve networked with when I launched my first blog in 2012, only a dozen or so still publish regularly.

Out of all the bloggers that I’ve personally coached, only a dozen or so still publish regularly.

And out of all the people who decide to start a blog this year, only a small percentage of them will still publish new content regularly by the end of the year.

But why?

[irevuo] Self-Publishing Tips From an Old Interview With David Gaughran

Almost a decade ago I interviewed David Gaughran, a name that surely stands out from the crowd through the sheer plethora of self-publishing resources that he has made available for free on his blog.

While the full interview has been lost, I did manage to recover some interesting fragments, which can easily form the basis of a self-publishing framework even to this day.

So, without further ado, let’s go through this fantastic list of self-publishing tips.