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The spitting cobra locked onto me.
He bobbed to and fro, doing a deadly dance few people ever get to see and live to tell about it.
I wasn’t a snake charmer cockily and confidently lazing in front of a defanged snake.
I was a scared Booley in Bali.
The spitting cobra hissed.
He could have easily projected his venom 10 feet into the air, aiming for our eyes, as spitters typically do.
My Balinese neighbor even shared a sad tale of how her dog was blinded and killed by a spitting cobra.
After a few tense moments and a lethal jab from a spade by my friend the cobra lay on a wall, headless.
He decapitated the snake.
I buried the cobra, dead mother hen and 2 dead baby chicks the following day.
The weirdest thing about this experience?
I learned a brilliant blogging lesson that you struggling bloggers *need* to learn.
Here’s what it is: always be prepared.
Until the moments where you find yourself completely unprepared.
Then, you just need to run with it until you’re done with it.
Or, you need to see any hairy, challenging or difficult blogging situation through, by any means possible.
Storytelling and Blogging
No way in Hades you’d read those prior 16 lines and say:
“Yeah, typical blogger goes to Bali, faces down a spitting cobra, helps his friend decapitate one of the most dangerous snakes on earth type stories to lead in a post….BORING!”
I probably arrested your attention after you read the first line.
I snagged your focus.
Like the spitting cobra grabbed my focus the split second I got within spitting range of this impressive, beautiful and terrifying reptile in a Balinese fishing village.
Blogging From Paradise ain’t always about sitting on tropical beaches and drinking fresh coconut juice, ya know?
Anyway, the story I told pulled you in.
You had no other choice.
You *had to* pay attention.
If you want your readers to lock on like a pitbull grasping a play toy or heck, like a spitting cobra zeroing in on a mouse (or on a well-built, storytelling, island hopping, Amazon best selling pro blogger), simply tell stories and link the stories into your niche.
No Need to Be Exotic
Commonplace, day to day stories are entrancing too.
Everybody loves a good story. And everybody has a good story to tell.
You are human. By default, your life is a story.
Cave men told stories and every human since then has lived and told a story.
Doesn’t matter if you’re facing down spitting cobras or sharing challenging tales of building your blog part time as a single mom of 3 growing kids.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a college student struggling to publish one post a week while trying to ace a challenging major.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a meteorologist, former fired security guard and current world traveler who inspires people to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging (yes, that’s me. Meteorologist by schooling. Al Roker, eat your heart out).
Some of my life’s wildest stories occurred during my days as a security guard in a shipping terminal.
Life is an intriguing story.
Every blogger has a story to tell if you can learn to:
- Add details to build a vivid picture
- Link the story to your niche
How to Tell Stories
Observe your life.
What happened today?
Tell 3 to 5 stories – out loud – to yourself, to develop your power of observation.
Here are a few stories of mine from today: I spoke to someone on the train who asked me what I’d say “paradise” is, after I suggested he buy one of my 126 eBooks on Amazon, when he gazed at the back of my Blogging From Paradise T-shirt. I noted paradise is wherever you’re happy, then suggested the island of Fiji and Bali as 2 of my fave islands, where I am pretty dang happy. He suggested I visit St. Kitts and Barbados. This happened on a New York City Subway.
I listened to a kinda out there woman scream about Moses, keeping your money hidden and being evicted from a corner deli on the subway.
I spoke to a deli owner while he prepared a delicious bacon, ham and cheese hero sandwich for me here in NYC. Learned he was from Yemen. And that Yemen was in a civil war. Which I’m afraid to say, I was unaware of. I told him how we visited Cyprus and Istanbul, Turkey recently. We then talked Syrian refugees.
So many stories to tell when you observe them.
2: Add Details to Build a Vivid Picture
Add as many details as possible to your picture.
Read Will Hatton’s blog, The Broke Backpacker.
Dude is a brilliant story teller who vividly takes you through his wild world travels, one detail at a time.
Add details to your daily stories.
Colors, movements, sounds, everything.
You think in pictures.
If you build a detailed blog story you do much of your reader’s legwork for them.
3: Link the Story to Your Niche
Link the story to your niche.
I turned my experience with a Balinese spitting cobra into a blogging lesson: be prepared, until the poop hits the fan. Then, be flexible, be in the moment and roll with the situation.
Connect your story to your blogging niche. Lead off with a colorful blog post title (grab my eBook if you’re struggling to write effective blog post titles).
Develop a connection to transition from the true tale to some super important lesson for your readers.
You don’t always need to tell stories through your blog, like I used to do a few months back.
Just work them in here and there to captivate your readers.
Do you use stories to reel in your readers?
Or are you having a terrible time trying to seize your reader’s attention?
What storytelling tips can you add?
Blogging Audio Course
If you’re looking for a complete blogging audio course to help you become a successful blogger sign up for my 11 Fundamentals of Successful Blogging (plus an entire bonus audio course.)
Blogging Is Not What You Are Doing But What You Are Being
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Think this one through.
Blogging is what you are being. Not doing.
Blogging is not mindlessly doing stuff. Oh shoot. You realized something, didn’t you? Blogging is not building an email list. Email lists do not give you success. Nope. Clear, confident, detached bloggers who have fun building email lists and who trust in the blogging process grow big, responsive, profitable lists….over time. What does this mean?
“Over time” means you do not panic, flip out or bail on blogging, if you calmly build a list and have fun doing it, for a long time, and see the appearances of little or no growth. This is BEING a successful blogger; having fun, trusting, being patient, taking the simple, easy route, even if it feels uncomfortable after blogging and list building for a bit and seeing the illusion of scant results.
Most Bloggers Fail Because They Screw It Up
Most bloggers buy into a lie; doing specific things makes you successful. Nope. If this were the case, everybody who builds a list would be billionaires. Because they built a list, lists breed success, right? Nope. Even if you follow steps robotic-like, your energy, your emotions, your feelings, all make up your BEING. The 6 and 7 and 8 figure earners who happily take this journey are being the 6, 7 and 8 figure earners energetically, calm and confident, after having fun creating content and connecting, and seeing $4 in blogging profits after 6 months of being the person. Every other blogger panics after 1 day, 1 week or 1 month, stop being the millionaire success, do dumb stuff, begin being a broke person, and see struggle and failure until they decide to be the successful blogger again.
The Core Elements of Being a Success
- for fun
- taking the easy but uncomfortable path; do what feels natural to you, even when you slam into fear of wasting your time, fear of being criticized, fear of mental blocks, etc
- with a complete trust in yourself
- with a complete trust in the blogging process
- with a complete trust in sound, proven advice from successful bloggers
Very few bloggers be these energies persistently. Very few bloggers happily earn a pretty penny over time. Few bloggers be success. Most bloggers try to do their way to success but since they act without giving any thought to their intent, their driver, their energy, almost all of these bloggers are being broke, poor, struggling and failing.
Blogging is not robotic. If blogging was robotic, every blogger who did specific things in a certain way would succeed. But this is not true. Blogging is energy. Top bloggers use all types of different approaches to reach the top. This indicates blogging is primarily energy, your energy coloring your actions and results.
Imagine if you feel like a failure. I advise you to write a guest post for me. You tell me you are lazy, have no ideas, cannot do it, need to take a few months off, etc. I offer you an opportunity to promote your success but since you are BEING a failure and feeling like a failure you are blind to the DOINGs (generous guest posting) of a successful blogger. See what I mean? Plus, if you seize the guest posting opportunity while feeling like a complete failure, either the post quality stinks or you write a masterpiece by the odd chance, that nobody reads. Nobody read it because you are feeling/being a failure, so, you see failure results.
100% of the time, blogging is energy. Being a success means blogging your fun, doing what feels easy and natural to you, trusting in self and the process, and feeling uncomfortable along the way.
Why Does Blogging Seem Hard?
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The question of blogging questions.
Why does blogging seem hard?
Blogging in and of itself is not hard. Blogging is a concept. A blog is an inanimate object. It is neutral. It is not hard, tough or easy.
Human beings label their feelings with emotions. THIS is why blogging seems hard.
Doing the neutral activity of blogging feels scary, meaning you unearth and either resist or feel fears. Feeling the fears feels highly unpleasant. Especially if said fears feel deep, strong, and terrifying, depressing or anger-inducing.
But if you resist these deep fears, and refuse to feel them, and blog mainly from a dominant vibe of fear, you fully experience the feeling of blogging being super hard. Blogging is actually neutral but you refuse to feel deep fears that blogging has unearthed. You resisting fear leads to prolonged blogging failure, aka, not seeing much money and traffic, aka, blogging being really hard.
Real World Example
A few moments ago, I scanned one of my daily blogging income streams. I made a little less than I had been making for 1 of a billion reasons. 1 such reason may have been the internet crashing here last night. We experienced a few big, powerful thunderstorms.
Anyway, I noted the dollar amount being lower and felt fear arise in my body. Rather than resist the fear, I felt the anxiety, and my mind hurriedly racing ahead to next month’s paycheck, and then, after breathing deeply for a few moments and fully embracing the fear, I released it. I did not resist it. I felt it. The fear disappeared. I then blog from an abundant, relaxed, detached, generous energy, which helps me become more and more successful.
But the old me – and most bloggers – see a lesser dollar amount for daily earnings, feel an intense fear arise, panic, bury the fear versus feeling it, and run around like mad men and mad women with that DEEP FEAR DRIVING THEM, desperate and greedy, resisting the fear, being driven by fear, and of course, they do stupid stuff with a dominant fear energy guaranteeing their blogging failure. Then, these humans who refuse to face, embrace and feel fears, proclaim blogging to be hard. This is a lie. Blogging is neutral. But you refuse to face, embrace and release your fears, so blogging *feels* hard.
Feel fears when fears arise. Cry it out. Shout it out. Feel depressed or deflated. Do not resist fear. Then, after feeling fears, you will feel good, detached, relaxed and trusting. Feeling these dominant abundant energies, you will create, connect, trust, persist and blog from a relaxed, chill energy. Blogging from this calm, trusting, generous energy makes blogging easier and easier and easier. Money flows in easy. Traffic flows in easy.
Blogging went from hard to easy because you faced fears, felt fears, and progressively blogged from an abundant, generous, calm, detached vibe.
Tip for Feeling Fear
Engage in some energy management ritual that expands your awareness. I do deep yin yoga and power walk daily. Prayer and/or meditation may help. Breathing deeply helps. Do anything that expands your awareness so you can observe and feel fear versus resisting this destructive energy.
Some humans bury fear with busy-ness and jobs they hate. Other people turn to drugs or alcohol to bury fears. All of these folks are unhappy and depressed because you cannot feel good, abundant, relaxed and successful with oodles of fear buried deep inside of you.
Be with your fears. Be gentle with yourself. The blogger who feels and releases fear soon learns blogging gets easier and easier.
Do You Need to Respond to ALL Comments?
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One mistake holds back many bloggers who fail to scale. These folks obsess over responding to every single comment, every email, every message. Why? Pride. Obsession. Attachment to people. Fear of missing out on an opportunity. Fear of missing out on friendships.
Unfortunately, if you spend 14 hours daily responding to every single social request and chat and email and blog comment and message – even if it feels fun – you lose opportunities to scale through blog posts, guest posts, podcasts and doing interviews.
Please; if responding to virtually everything feels fun, do it. But 99% of bloggers BS themselves on this because they respond to EVERYONE from an energy of fear, pain, lack, resistance, force and hustle. Bad idea guys. Force negates. But, power attracts. Meaning if you are willing to use power, and love, and fun, to inject into your work, you quickly see: the cornerstone of massive scaling and persistent growth and freeing blogging success is writing, publishing and placing blog posts and guest posts.
Today, how do I have most fun growing my business, reaching more people, helping more people, and leveraging my blogging presence? Do I achieve these feats by spending 3 hours responding individually to every retweet, Like, blog comment, and so on, and so on? Nope. I spend those 3 hours effectively and efficiently by writing and publishing 3-6 blog posts and guest posts. Blog posts and guest posts scale. Blog posts and guest posts help me reach hundreds to thousands of targeted folks through each blog post and guest post.
Blog posts and guest posts never seem to be written by people who complain about having no time to blog post, and, guest post. Meanwhile, a hefty chunk of these humans spend 1, 2 or 3 hours responding to every Like on Facebook, from a strained, forced energy, fearing they miss out on traffic and bonds, not having fun doing it. But the wise move would be spending 10 minutes responding to comments on Facebook and maybe a few Likes, then, devoting 2-3 hours to writing and publishing blog posts and guest posts.
Think Scale Not Small Time
WAY too many bloggers play small, giving most of their attention and energy to building 1 to 1 bonds. Making friends is important but meeting new friends is even more important.
One lesson I learned from millionaire bloggers: scaling through blog posts and guest posts is the quickest way to reach more people, make more money and increase your blog traffic. Building 1 to 1 bonds by engaging commentors plays a role in succeeding online, but the top bloggers on earth are not running around, spending endless hours responding to Likes on Facebook.
Titans also build one to one bonds through engagement, but if you are not getting 1000 page views a day, something is wrong in the scaling department. Namely, you are playing it small, not thinking about scaling. Scale. Guest post. Post to your blog. Make this the focus of your day. Then, feel free to engage folks 1 to 1 in a limited time frame.
You need to let go responding to every single person all day long to genuinely scale, to reach an increasing number of folks and to do what matters most to your business.
People will buy your stuff without you engaging them. Guaranteed. Folks will find your blog, love your content and buy your course or eBooks. This is a simple, organic process that you muck up every time you believe you need to respond to and engage every single person who reaches out via all online channels.
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