Noticed anything different? Something really new and sexy?
Haha I know right? I was slow in my writing and guest posting for the past month. Apart from going on an awesome holiday trip with my family, I was busy working on this new look for my blog. (Apologies for the ton of email I took forever to reply).
After more than a year of having Alden-Tan enter the blogosphere i.e. the start of a dream, it has evolved to this.
It’s been a long journey, and I’ve learnt and grown a lot. It hasn’t been easy. At some points I even found myself so overwhelmed with self-doubt that I wondered what the hell I was doing with my life.
As much as I’ve gone all in and all out, it just doesn’t feel spectacular at times.
But not giving up certainly has paid off.
I’m loving the new look for my blog, and I hope you do too.
Now, besides the evolution of the design, I too have evolved.
What you’re seeing here now goes hand in hand with the evolution with the way I view blogging, writing and doing business over the years.
Whether you’re a new blogger, a veteran blogger or just a passer by, I hope these lessons I personally learnt can teach you a thing or two.
Cliché alert: I personally don’t think that life is a journey which you treat as a teacher. Is life just filled with lessons where you just keep learning non-stop? No. But I think life happens anyway, and whether you like it or not, Change is the only constant in life. And you shouldn’t just adapt. You EVOLVE and become way more awesome.
This is my evolution… along with some lessons.
Evolution #1: The focus and branding of this blog
August 2011: Birth of Alden-Tan
I started this blog on August 22nd 2011, on my birthday.
I didn’t know JACK SHIT about blogging, except that I loved to write.
My mentality back then was simply, “I’ll just keep writing and learn along the way. I’ll make mistakes and just see what happens”.
I also found myself writing about personal development as I truly wanted to help people. I still do, but now I’m more focused.
I was scared, nervous and anxious at this dream. It was the start; the birth of something huge. I even went all in a couple of months later by quitting my full-time job.
May 2012: New pictures, new tagline
About 8 months later I decided to give my blog a “revamp”, which really actually wasn’t much as it was just adding new pictures of me and a sleeker look.
I also added in a new tagline in hopes of portraying a stronger message of who I am. It was: Passion on the real-Lifestyle Design
Getting there… but something was still missing!
I pumped at this point. I felt ready to write up a storm, inspire people and make some money.
Today, January 12th 2013: Ultimate focus!
Everything you’re looking at today.
Clearer branding, more focused, nicer look and a ton of evolution.
Lesson learnt: In blogging, you absolutely must have a focus.
This was how my thought process was always like, “Oh hey this is cool. I’ll just blog about it and hope people will like it somehow”
“Cool”, “hope” and “somehow” have nothing to do with focus.
Hell, “Passion on the real” was created because it sounded cool (there it is again) to me. But it wasn’t even grammatically correct! It was Bboy lingo which basically meant totally not fake, but unless you were a Bboy, you probably thought it was bad English.
You need focus!
Also, under personal development, I was simply writing to, “make people feel better and happier”, which was too broad. I was writing about way too many things, including finding your passion, gaining more confidence, breaking out of fear, socializing and even talking to girls!
So I present to you now: Revive Your Life, in which I give you the inspiration and courage to follow your dreams.
I’m going to be your go-to guy for that.
This new focus took me a long while to find. It was through the help of a spectacular coach, Jason Gracia who really helped me narrow down and target what I love into blogging.
Evolution #2: My articles and content
From here on out, the articles I write here will be aligned with the focus above. Everything you read will pass you the inspiration and courage to ultimately hit the goal of following your dreams. Some topics and themes will overlap for sure, but you’ll see the focus still.
This is a far cry from the random nonsense I posted at the start.
Yes, I was always all about personal development, but my articles were either too general or I had a “cheapshot” notion of how I could make your life better.
For example, I thought I could make people’s lives better by making them laugh, so I posted random funny articles like this: GUY FAILS BACKFLIP, HAS STROKE, WAKES UP GAY
I even thought I could make people’s lives better by making them think, so I wrote “thought provoking” articles like this: The difference between an asshole and a douchebag
Lesson learnt: Think externally, solve a problem and write well
In blogging, you’re a blogger, not a news reporter or journalist. (If not you’re writing for an online magazine, which is totally cool, but I’ve no expertise in that).
Think externally about what your readers and audience want, otherwise you would be like me back then, writing about what you think is “cool”.
Write to solve a problem your readers are having trouble with. Write an in-depth article with solutions inside. Write epic shit.
And you really don’t have to blog everyday. That’s the misunderstanding that most new bloggers have. I wrote up those random articles before because I thought I had to update the blog, otherwise I would lose readers.
How wrong I was.
Evolution #3: My writing style
If you guys followed me from the start, you’d have noticed my profanities have been knocked down a notch.
I was seriously the most vulgar f**k in this f**king world.
I wrote like that.
I had an idea for a branding where I was this douchebag who had something meaningful to say. I thought that would have been cool (that word again!).
But as I’ve learnt, profanities are just that, profanities.
There’s a certain group of people in this world who are absolutely turned off by them and take offence to them immediately.
There was this one time, one of my guest posts was doing very well. I got a ton of subscribers from it, and one of them who opted-in wrote me a mail saying how offensive my own blog was. She told me she was going to inform the blog owner whose blog I guest posted on about this. I was quite taken aback as she wrote it like she was going to report me to the police.
Lesson learnt: Be authentic, but also know your audience.
This is going to sound stupid, but I was literally inserting vulgar keywords in my early articles. I would finish up an article and ask myself, “Hmm how can I make this even more douchey?”. Then I would add in more f**ks and shits. Quite the extreme take on conducting SEO eh?
That being said, I was not authentic at all.
You got to be authentic!
If being vulgar is your thing, go ahead.
Now, I’m still vulgar, but here’s the main difference.
Last time, I was purposefully being vulgar for the sake of a misguided idea of what branding was, in other words, trying to be cool.
Today, I’m mature enough to write and handle profanities and curse words. I understand that may still turn off some people, but this is who I am and I am not changing that.
So, remember that you can’t please everybody in life. Someone out there isn’t going to like what you do, no matter how good your intentions are.
That’s when you got to say, “These are not my audience/friends/people”. And just leave.
You can apply this in every aspect of your life.
Evolution #4: The evolution of me
Oh man I’ve a ton to write about here.
This blog is my baby, and it has been with me all the way. I’ve nurtured it and grown it, and it has made me learn a lot too. So let’s just cut to the chase.
-Be willing to spend and invest even before you make money
Don’t let your tenacity and passion turn into stubbornness, like I did. You can definitely learn things on your own, but you can give yourself that little boost by asking for help. It’s okay. To do business and make a dream come true, you need learn what really works, and not just apply your feelings, which is arguably not a good idea at all.
-Stop looking for short-cuts
At the start, I avoided all the popular blogs which taught blogging and making money online. I felt the bloggers constantly gave cliché, long-term advice like “Don’t give up” or “Add value”.
I wanted tactics. I wanted short-cuts which gave me instant results.
Lo and behold, they all didn’t work. After hundreds of hours and a lot of money wasted, here I am today.
The cliché advice are there for a reason. Listen to them. Don’t be impatient. Work hard and don’t give up.
-I’m not a genius
As much as I wish I got everything right from the start and I could blog something like, “How I earned $10,000 in just a few months”, I couldn’t.
But that’s okay, I believe everyone has their own special journey anyway.
And I’m always working hard, and never giving up.
There is A LOT of new things happening this year right here!
Expect a new FREE report from me, one that is going to rock your socks off in following your dreams. The, “How to not care about what others think” series will be taken down soon unfortunately.
Also, expect other cool (for once this is used right) stuff like webinars and product recommendations by me.
Hope you guys like the new look. Leave me a comment if you do yeah? Thanks!