[AoB] Branding Your Blog: The Why, the What, and the How

Take a moment to think about what makes you… YOU.

Is it your personality?

Is it the story you tell others about how you are?

Is it the mission you have in life? Or your vision of the future?

What about the way you treat others? Or your opinions, values, and beliefs?

Chances are you’ve answered “yes” to all of these questions. And you’re right. All of those factors form your identity.

From the words you choose to speak to the way you dress, to the story you tell yourself in the mirror, all of them are part of your identity.

Now consider this:

While it makes a lot of sense for each of us to have our own identity, at the same time, each blog should have its own identity, too.

Another word for identity in relation to a blog is brand.

In other words, your blog’s brand is the identity that people recognize based on an emotional and psychological connection as well as factual information. And your blog’s brand is one of the most important (yet, sadly, underrated) factors that influence your blog’s success.

So, today, let’s talk about branding your blog.

[AoB] Isaac Newton’s Three Laws of Blogging

What’s the best way to write a blog post when you kind of run out of ideas?

Connect a couple of seemingly unrelated dots.

No, seriously. It’s such a fun way to write an article.

I do it from time to time, when I either don’t feel like working on certain topics, or blogging starts to feel a bit too much like work.

Find a way to connect two seemingly unrelated dots.

What ties them all together? What are the principles that govern them both? How can one idea from a field relate to another idea in an entirely different field?

Well, I answered those questions and came up with Newton’s three rules of blogging. Based on his three laws of motion.

[AoB] The MVP Framework: How to Make Money as a Beginner Blogger

ver since launching the Art of Blogging in 2018, I’ve interacted with thousands of bloggers, content creators, marketers…

And most of them have two main goals:

  1. Build an engaged community around their content.
  2. Monetize their platforms, distribution channels, email list, etc.

Today we’re going to focus on making money blogging, and I am going to share with you a clever framework that you can use, one that I’ve been deploying for the past year or so, both here and on irevuo.

All bloggers who choose to monetize their blogs find themselves trying to answer one of these questions:

  • How can I earn the most with

[irevuo] The Bartleby Syndrome

A term coined by Enrique Vila-Matas and used in his book, Bartleby and co., inspired by one of Herman Melville’s characters, the Bartlebly Syndrome is used to describe authors who hate their works.

This so-called Bartleby Syndrome is different from the idea that there’s beauty in imperfection, the way Michelangelo would often let a small surface of his sculptures unfinished ( for instance David’s top of the head is not polished). This is not some kind of post-modern irony, or the inherent disapproval of classicism inherent in today’s artists, this is a rather nefarious aftermath of crippling self-doubt, listening to an inner voice that becomes a tyrant.

For instance, Nikolai Gogol, the famous Russian writer, was told by a priest to burn the manuscript for the second part of Dead Souls.

Another one, Kafka, told his longtime friend to burn his manuscripts. Or Rimbaud, who stopped writing after the age of twenty, or Stendhal, who threw away multiple of his manuscripts.

Why this profound hatred towards one’s own work? Why this sense of feeling inadequate about oneself and one’s work? 

[AoB] Blogs Don’t Make Money

A couple of weeks ago, as I was working on The Art of Blogpreneurship, I asked the following question on our private community:

I was a bit shocked, to say the least. But it’s a trend I’ve been noticing, especially among novice and intermediate bloggers.

Bloggers complaining that they can’t sell products, that no one wants to join their premium memberships, that no one actually clicks on their affiliate links.

But why is that?

Well, let’s try to understand the current blogging ecosystem and why it’s so difficult to earn an income blogging.

[irevuo] The Curious Case of “Do It Yourself” Indie Writers

For some reason I can’t understand, a “do it yourself” mindset is quite popular among many self-published writers.

In fact, many of them think they are also designers. I don’t know if it’s because certain cloud-based platforms are marketed as “easy-to-use” or because great design looks so simple, so effortless, that one cannot help but feel like it’s easy.

This mindset is so popular that when I decided to put together a course on designing a book for publication, my ambition was to teach writers how to do everything themselves.

[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.