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3 Blogging Lessons I Learned from Having Lunch with Zac Johnson

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Who’d have thunk I’d have a snack with Zac?

Last week, Blogging Tips owner, internet icon and fellow New Jersey guy Zac Johnson was kind enough to sit down with me for lunch. We enjoyed delicious meals at an authentic Vietnamese restaurant in good old NJ.

I guess you could say I took a tiny page out of John Chow’s book; he seems to favor Vietnamese fare for his Dot Com Lunch series of blog posts.

Anyway. Here’s the proof. That I met Zac. Or am really good with Photoshop.

ZacJohnsonRyanBiddulph

Learning from Legends

For those not in the know, Zac has been online since 1996. Not just casual cruising stuff either. He has been making money online and blogging up a storm for what is the online equivalent of eons. When guys like this talk, I listen. A ‘la EF Hutton.

Legends clue you in to how you should traverse the sometimes slippery cyber slope.

So….the next time you think you know better, be open to legendary advice. These guys have a firm grasp on what it takes to rock it out online.

1: Mindset Mindset Mindset

The topic of online newbies came up.

Zac noted how a number of new online entrepreneurs quit on their ventures after not making “John Chow Money” 1 or 2 weeks into their online careers. He mentioned how having the right mindset benefits bloggers immensely. For when you are a persistent, patient bugger, willing to learn your trade, you simply won’t quit.

I am the eternal optimist. Anything is possible. Really. But I also know a time buffer exists between beginning an online venture and succeeding with it. Misled or greedy online newbies become delusional about this time buffer, expecting to rake in a full time income in days or weeks.

Blog from the inside-out. Meaning, if you’re struggling to make a dime online – literally – consider stepping back from your blog to assess how you really think and feel about your online exploits. Enjoy your journey. Learn. Study. Observe the icons. How do they go about their businesses? Be open. Be sponge-like to success.

2: Evolve

OK, I will now enter you into a time machine. HG Wells style.

I will also officially date myself with the following reference.

I am a huge fan of the movie, “The Thing.” Yes it’s from the early ’80’s.

Long story short, an alien creature lands in Antarctica. Said creature mimics any life form it makes contact with. Dogs, people, any sentient being. As said slimy creature perfectly imitates other life forms it infects/kills/mutilates other life forms, evolving, producing the perfect species to rule the earth, if you will.

Until a heroic – and heavily bearded – Kurt Russell saves the day, this Thing was well on its way to dominating the world, cloning, killing and consuming, being amenable to change.

I do not advise you to eat your competition. Please don’t clone them. And mutilating is not allowed! But if you can extract the evolution lesson from “The Thing” you will understand why Zac is so well known.

He noted how one must evolve as times change to succeed online. Zac did. Not the Thing.

Back when he was a greenie, Myspace was the shiznet. Then Myspace went to shiznet. Aol. Blogger. Online journal. List the fads, if you’re an old hat like me, or if you’re more of a Young Turk just think of the deluge of known sites that fall off the edge of the planet in a year. Let alone over 4 years.

Evolve. Change is the 1 constant online. Be willing to change. Be willing to evolve.

I deleted 3400 blog posts, a blog and my online brand in 2014 to evolve. I’d outgrown the old brand. I felt a nudge to build a new brand. Blogging from Paradise was born. I’ve never looked back.

Go with the flow. Release old, worn out blogs. Pick a blogging niche you could talk about all day. Then blog about it.

3: Meet People in Person

Zac is one of a handful of bloggers I’ve met in person.

I connected with a few blogging buddies in India. I met with a bud in Bali. I also chilled with blogging buddies in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Hands down, the easiest way to form a strong, powerful, genuine bond with another human being is to take them out for lunch. I prefer to pick up the bill. Feel free to go Dutch on this one. Your call.

Zac also mentioned how he hangs out with guys like John Chow while attending live events. Chilling with someone in person forms a stronger bond between friends. Seeing someone live and in the flesh reminds you that yes, they are actual living, breathing human beings. Not avatars. Not words on a screen. Not online personalities. Forming these types of powerful bonds will move your blogging career into orbit.

Attend live events. If you’re in a fellow blogger’s neighborhood, look them up. Ask them out to lunch. In most cases you will develop a much stronger friendship with bloggers you connect with in person. Makes ’em more human to you.

Note; when traveling through Chennai, India, I once got a call from the hotel lobby that someone showed up to see me. Seriously. The Stalker-razzi will go to ridiculous lengths to get a selfie with old RB, I guess.

What blogging lessons have you learned recently?

What have you learned from Zac?

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Blogging

How Much Confidence Do You REALLY Have in Your Blog?

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Watch this video I recorded in Brooklyn Heights today:

Sweet view, eh? I made a powerful point too. Bloggers sometimes boast of their confidence and clarity. Puffing themselves up, they believe deeply in themselves and in their blog. Critics? Who cares? These dynamos seem unstoppable. Belief! Success is on the way, right? Awesome. Then, after mentioning their blog in front of a parent or sibling or cousin, their loved ones make fun of “blogging”, telling these idiots to “get a real job”. OUCH! Like a balloon being popped, your loved ones took a pin to your ego, deflating you. AND showing how you genuinely have little confidence in your blog. Turns out, you feel filled with doubt and pure uncertainty about your blog AND in yourself, blogging-wise. This is a good thing. Critics trigger and unearth deep fears you need to face, feel and release, to reach the next stage of your blogging career. So…how much confidence do you REALLY have in your blog? Talk about your blog to friends and family members, or to strangers. You will find out. Fast. Because these folks are non-targeted and often highly NOT interested in blogging.

I recall mentioning my blog to my fam about 10 years ago. Before doing this, I believed I felt super confident about my blog and self. I BELIEVED in myself! Wild-eyed, ignorant, deluded newbie blogging excitement covered up the fact I doubted myself and my blogging abilities, horribly. After that little chat – even though no family member seemed terribly critical – I felt like crap. Awkward, and lost, my family’s questions triggered deep fears in me. I doubted myself. I doubted my blog. In truth, I had no idea what I was doing because I refused to learn from pros. Bad idea. Naturally, I gained confidence after this session – eventually – because I faced and felt doubts eating into my blogging confidence.

The quickest way to gain blogging confidence is to discuss your blog and what you do with anybody on earth, from friends, to fam, to strangers. Never try to convince or influence or convert folks, because doing so shows your lack of confidence. Let people live their lives and make their choices. Your job is to see how shy or clear you feel discussing your blog. Shy bloggers feeling awkward chatting blogging with folks simply feel filled with fear. Blogging fears need to go for you to succeed. Speak about blogging in public. Broadcast live in a public spot. Record videos in busy spots with heavy foot traffic, as I did above, in Brooklyn. Face, feel and release self-conscious fears that need to go for you to reach the next stage of blogging growth.

One way to be a smarter and richer blogger is by facing your blogging fears routinely. Speaking to or in front of fam or strangers about your blog certainly unearths some of those deep fears. Do it. See where you are at, confidence-wise. Being straight with yourself is hands down one of the quickest ways to accelerate your blogging success. Relax, share your blogging exploits and honestly assess how you feel, to increase your blogging success.

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Writing: Your Best Blogging Friend

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Writing helps you succeed with blogging. Because writing gives you credibility. Credible bloggers land clients, sell eBooks, place sponsored posts and drive steady traffic, too. Write your rear end off. Write 500-1000 words daily. Write to be confident. Write to be clear. Write to gain credibility in your blogging niche. Of course, most bloggers struggle because few bloggers practice writing offline, daily. Bloggers only write when they publish a blog post or guest post. BIG mistake. Most bloggers publish posts infrequently, meaning you get in little writing practice. Not good.

Why do you believe you can just show up, write and publish a post and become successful quickly? If blogger were this easy, guys like me could have gone pro within weeks of buying my domain and hosting. Alas, it took me thousands of hours and years to go full time because I had to practice writing, creating and connecting to be REALLY good at blogging. Skills, exposure and credibility flow to bloggers who tirelessly practice all aspects of blogging. Everybody else fails and quits.

All money you make through blogging flows to you because people trust you and your blog. Writing skillfully – with confidence and clarity – is the only way people trust you and your blog. The more you write, the more skilled a writer you become. The formula is genuinely simple. But quite uncomfortable to put into action, sometimes. Few bloggers want to practice writing with nobody watching. Some bloggers foolishly skip writing practice because they believe writing offline for practice wastes their time. This is like saying you waste your time practicing shooting hoops in a lonely, empty gym if you aspire to make it to the NBA. NBA stars practiced 10,000 hours or more, often times in quiet, lonely gyms, and always *in private, out of the public eye, with nobody watching*, to become skilled enough to go pro. Expect to take a similar journey in order to become a professional blogger.

Writing is your core skill. If you write well, you make money online. If you write poorly, you do not make money online.

Buy my eBook:

15 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Every way to profit – out of these 15 strategies – can work quite nicely if you practice writing offline daily. Practice to become confident. Practice to become clear on your writing. Confident, clear writers write with authority. Writing with authority inspires trust in your readers. Again; this is a simple process. But sometimes, this process feels uncomfortable. Nudge through discomfort. Write, write and write some more. People who trust you based on your writing skills tend to buy your eBooks, hire you to coach them, hire you to freelance write for them and buy sponsored posts on your blog. Be diligent in writing. The money flows to you based on how much you practice writing. Plus, practicing your writing makes you prolific. Being prolific increase your blog traffic and blogging profits, too. No downsides exist to writing offline daily. Only upsides. So….write!

Practice in private. Shine in public.

Any successful blogger you envy now practiced writing so diligently that you would never envy their writing practice. After having written millions of words both online and offline, nobody envies the work I put into going pro. But being free to circle the globe? Worth it!

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Blogging

Do You Assume too Much?

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One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.

These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.

This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.

A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.

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