My honest advice to people who want to start a blog

Last night, a reader who just started his blog, called This Dad Works Out asked me for advice on blogging.

And this was my answer, straight from the email itself:

Oh man I’ve a lot to say about this.

Keep in mind what I’m going to say is from 4 years of both fucking up and experiencing success. Mostly fucking up lol.

I’ve been writing and blogging for 4 years man. I started out with the idea that I’d wanna follow my passion of writing and then make money online somehow.

I love writing. So that’s the passion. But it takes more than passion.

Let’s be real and get straight to it: We all wanna make money online. We wanna create shit online then make money from that somehow right?

I’ve come to learn it’s all about being passionate, honest and being totally in-sync.

Yo I started out writing about personal development because my dad died and I just felt I could help people with my stories.

But I insisted I didn’t know shit then because I didn’t learn anything about internet marketing or making money. So I learnt. I took up courses. I consulted people. I hired a mentor. I spent a lot of money on that shit.

It worked.. to a certain extent.

The thing is, I felt I sold out. I did a lot of shit I wasn’t comfortable with. I’d send crap advertisements to my subscribers just to make money. I’d write down fake scarcities (For the next 10 buyers ONLY!) I’d border on lying. The biggest thing was that I wrote from the heart and was always in tune with my style in my articles, but it clashed heavily with my sales pages because I played safe. Zero vulgarities when it comes to sales! I created “safe” products that were generic, like the competition out there because I was scared that me being me would only turn people off.

Did it work? Yes. I made money.

How long did that shit last? Not long. Why? Cause it made me so uncomfortable to the point I kept questioning myself. I kept questioning everything. I got confused to the point I didn’t wanna work.

This year, 2016, I decided to fuck it and just do everything my way. I’ve come to learn that if you want to REALLY REALLY stand out, then just do it your way. You’re the only “This Dad Works Out” blogger in the world, so just be you and do it. It SOUNDS easy, but it IS SCARY. But… do it anyway.

You can’t model after successful people forever. It’s their path. Not yours.

That’s my advice on making money. Yes. Learn the basics. But after that, it’s all YOU and only YOU.

Next… if you really want to make this shit work, you have to be consistent.

I’m talking writing everyday. You’ve to dish out content EVERY DAY. You’ve to put in the work EVERY GOD DAMN DAY.

The problem with businesses, especially online ones is that people have this idea that their idea is enough.

Everyone’s like, “Oh yeah! I’d just create a blog online. Push traffic to it and somehow hopefully it’d make money” or “Yo let me just put up pretty pictures on Instagram. That will get people to come to me.”

Nah man. These are just basics. Even if you have something unique to tell the world, that doesn’t mean anyone would give a shit about you. To make an idea work, you have to put in the work and gain the experience to see what actually works for you. And yes, along the way, you’re bound to make mistakes, fuck up and experience a lot of failure. 

You also can’t bank on the idea of luck. In today’s context in the online world, everyone is hoping to go viral. Everyone’s like, “Oh if that talentless idiot on YouTube can yammer on about nonsense and still be famous, I can do the same and go viral as long as I share it.”

THE THING IS: That idiot put in the work. While everyone is calling him an idiot, he’s learning and putting up 3-4 videos a day. That’s A LOT OF WORK and not a matter of “just share some stupid video.” Pewdiepie is the most popular YouTuber in the world now. He talks a lot of shit, but he started out by putting up multiple videos a day without caring about marketing.

Know what I mean?

You gotta be consistent and put in the work everyday.

So yeah. When I saw your blog name, I expected to see articles on fitness, parenting and life as a dad. The recommendation of email and affiliate stuff is not in-sync. If you aren’t passionate about that, it wouldn’t work.

That’s my best advice man. The rest is up to you and how you make this journey successful (successful being something only you can measure.) I can’t predict your future, that’s why I will never again tell people shit like “Do this and it will work GUARANTEED!” Only the business people will say that. It’s not for me. I’ve stopped believing these internet marketing assholes because they talk like they’re some fucking prophet.

At the end of the day, you’d wanna wake up and feel good about what you’re doing. Even if you feel broke or if something it not working, you can just keep learning while making sure you’re in-sync.

That’s my advice.

It may come across as a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

As acclaimed writer and marketer Ryan Holiday himself taught me, “The work is the goal.”

Stop thinking about going viral, hitting a big milestone, being discovered or making a ton of money. Just wake up everyday, get your ass to work and complete your daily tasks. Do this everyday. Little by little, step by step, and you’ll eventually get there.

And when you do this, you’ve do it in such a way that you don’t worry about the money or results itself. Just do it for yourself first above all else. Do it for the love so it motivates you. This part is extremely tricky considering we do want to see results, but ironically, it’s the results that can set you up for disappointment.

So fuck the results first. Keep being consistent your own way and the results will come.

That is why I write everyday now.

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  1. GT - January 25, 2016 5:35 pm

    Hi Alden!
    Great job on revamping your website. It looks pretty slick now 😉
    I look forward to reading more non-bullshit, honest as fuck advice from you.

  2. Mike - January 25, 2016 6:58 pm

    Alden, thanks again for the advice my friend and for the shout out! Wishing you all the best, and I’m sure we’ll be in contact soon!

  3. Ann - February 4, 2016 2:21 pm

    Thank you for this advice
    I’ll definitely work towards it, please get views and readers I’ll appreciate, we all need a hand to hold sometimes,

  4. Jenn Hudak - February 7, 2016 9:58 pm

    Thanks Alden. I just started this blog in the summer, and I think it’s really tough to remember to stay true to yourself, especially when there’s so much information out there telling you marketing is #1 and whatever else. It’s good to remember to write from the heart and do it because you want to. We all want to make money, but the less we worry about money and the more we focus on being happy and doing what we want, the more all of the other things will flow to us!

    I’d love it if you could write another article on how you created your blog (what website design you use, e-mail marketing,etc). It’s hard figuring out all of the logistics when you just start out, so I’d love to hear how you did it all! Thanks!


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