Just as photography superseded painting, and video killed the radio star, blogging has supplanted traditional publishing.
Commercial typewriters have been around since the 18th century and personal computers since the 1970s. Blogging however only became viable as a business since the widespread adoption of high-speed internet connections and the release of content management systems like WordPress in 2003. Nearly 25% of the top ten million websites in the world run on WordPress.
The barrier to entry for online publishing has never been lower. Although millions of blogs have been started by hordes of eager beavers, nearly as many have been abandoned within months of their inception. Blogging may be easy to start, but it’s hard work to continue and thrive in.
One example of not only a survivor but a poet and a thriver is Victor Pride of Bold and Determined “The Website for Winners.”
“Remember this, it takes as long as it takes.” -Victor Pride
I’ve been reading Victor’s work since 2012. It has been a case study in how to run an online business in the 21st century. In The Blog Artist’s Handbook, Pride lays out a step-by-step process for taking what’s often treated as a hobby onto an entirely new creative plane. By treating blogging as an artistic endeavor, we imbue our work with a seriousness we otherwise wouldn’t have understood. It’s not just about making money, it’s about reaching the reader’s senses through his eyes, and if not to his soul, to his mind and heart.
Victor Pride’s blog is his business, his brainchild, his legacy. It’s what he thinks about it non-stop, and if you really want to make a dent in the interenet, you have to adopt the same mindset.
The Blog Artist’s Handbook is a step by step guide that will benefit both beginners and experienced bloggers. I’ve been blogging for a while so much of what he covers I learned from experience, but a lot of it was from a fresh perspective and unified into a cohesive whole that’s illuminating and a compact 59 pages that can be read in a sitting. Victor Pride doesn’t sell his time in $20 increments, but for that price you get his guide to help you prepare the canvas for your masterpiece.
The most valuable part of the book was on writing. Writing is the art within the art of blogging. You can have a great design and consistent content, but if the words don’t land then the readers won’t be back. A daily writing habit (even if the material goes unpublished) is a critical one to develop.
“The internet is starving for unique voices. It doesn’t really matter what you write about, as long as you write with personality and experience.” -Victor Pride
The key to having plenty of ideas to write about is to live an interesting life. I’ve learned this over the past five years since I started my first blog. It was much more challenging at first, but as I’ve lived a lot more life, and experienced much more since moving to Poland than I would have if I had stayed in California.
Victor doesn’t hide the fact that he wants you to set up your website through his Badnet service, but if you’re just starting or planning a new blog, it’s probably the best way to go. Victor will get a commission on your hosting, but it won’t cost any more to you than if you had just signed up with a hosting company directly, and you’ll also have your site set up for free. I don’t have the need to set up a new site now, but if I do in the future I’ll do it through Badnet.
If you’re a beginner, spend some time thinking about the vision for your site and an appropriate name. You want to try to stick it out for at least a year so you need to feel motivated to write about your area of interest for a while
If I have one criticism of the book I would go beyond just the idea of writing to “creating”, as videos and podcasts can be just as effective in spreading your ideas and message.
The Blog Artist’s Handbook won’t answer all of your questions, but it provides an excellent framework for getting the ball rolling and dealling with issues as they come along.
In re-reading the book I came across the suggestion to use the Sucuri website security service in the event your site is infected with a virus. I had to deal with this issue back in June most likely because of an outdated plugin. Thankfully they cleaned up both of my sites within a few days. Had I not done this my sites would have been de-listed from Google and other search engines.
There are too many unique issues that you’ll run into based on your approach, content and stage in the game, but if you’re patient and persistent on a daily, consistent basis, you’ll grow and get the traffic and sales you’re looking for.
I’ll emphasize this last point. Sales are what will earn you money. You can sell your content in the form of e-books, print books, audio/video courses and affiliate links to other people’s products, or you can sell your time in the form of consulting (I’ve done it by teaching private English lessons in Warsaw.)
I need to take that point to heart and release a small product that solves a specific problem. I planned to have released a guide to expatriating to Poland by now, but it has been on the backburner. I think I’ll simplify it and just make a short guide on visiting Warsaw as a reconnaisance mission for possibly moving here. Nothing extravagant, but a clearn and precise guide to the logistics of traveling here, where to stay, what to see, when to come, and how to check out other cities in Poland quickly.
Leonardo da Vinci painted two of the most beautiful painting in the history of western civilization towards the end of the 15th century. The Virgin of the Rocks hangs both in the London’s National Gallery and the Louvre in Paris. I was able to experience the former firsthand during a recent trip to the UK.
Painting isn’t a popular medium for expression these days, but the new art forms we use now need not be any less emotive. Sooner or later we’ll be gone from this earth and all that’s left is what we created while we were breathing. Your blog might not survive 500 years but the ideas you convey will.
“…you’ll have the most success if you put your soul in it. Great writing is where the author is intimately connected to the work, and the readers…” -Victor Pride
Get to work, start expressing yourself, don’t worry about the money, you will get everything you need, all you have to give is all that you’ve got. Get your copy of The Blog Artist’s Handbook.
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