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How NOT To Suck At Blogging

in Do What You Love, MvD Updates, People & Products

How To Blog - Push Here

This week marks the 6-month anniversary of the day I launched Man Vs. Debt!  Yippee!

It’s been a freaky journey up to this point.  I feel like I swallowed both the red and blue pills in one big gulp.  I rarely try to blog about blogging, however I thought it would be fun to reflect on what I’ve learned in these first 6 months.

Before we get started, let me make something very clear.  I didn’t title this post ‘How to be an awesome blogger’ on ‘Blog your way to success’.  First of all, those titles aren’t me.  Second, I don’t think I have the knowledge or authority to tackle the subject from that angle.

I don’t claim to be an expert, however I have been able to build what many would consider a thriving community within a relatively short amount of time (in blogging terms).  So, while you may debate it, I honesty feel I’m somewhere between sucking  and success.  In other words, I feel I’ve crossed over the sucking hump.

And yes…  I just coined the phrase ‘sucking hump’.  It’s mine.  Don’t touch it.

As with any post I do, this will be based completely on my own experience and perspective.  I’m not charging you for it and it’ll be worth what you pay for it.  I’ll be reviewing the big picture stuff that inspires me, as well as trying to reveal some specific, tangible nuggets you may or may not already know.  And here we go…

If you aren’t 100% passionate, you will fail miserably.

Every successful blogger I’ve talked to has said the same thing.  Every. Single. One. If you aren’t completely passionate (borderline obsessive) about your topic, there is no way you will put forth the enormous amount of effort it takes to succeed.

All the resources provided throughout the rest of this post come back to this one point.  Look for it in each one.  It’s there.  If your number one reason for blogging is income generation… well…  everything I’ve experienced and everyone I’ve talked to indicates that you are destined for catastrophic failure.  I’m sure there is an exception, however you’re probably not it.

So what’s the solution? Work all this out before you start.  And DON’T start until you are convinced beyond any doubt that you absolutely adore your topic/business model.  If you only do one thing in this whole post, watch the following video:


[External link to video]

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ve watched this Gary Vaynerchuk video once a week since I found it back in late April.  Most of you have probably already watched it.  Watch it again, anyway.  Here are some of the parts/topic that continue to inspire me:

  • No non-sense follow your passion.
  • Giving a shit about your readers.
  • Stop crying.  Keep Hustling.
  • Legacy is greater than currency.
  • The nature of the game is changing. [still is]
  • “Stop watching f***ing Lost”

I can’t say enough about the impact this video had on Man Vs. Debt, so I’m going to stop trying.

After you are done watching the video, download Chris Guillebeau’s 279 Days to Overnight Success.  For me, it was the print version of the video above.  I stumbled into it sometime during my second month and it has been my blogging bible ever since.  Here are the parts of it that most affected Man Vs. Debt so far:

  • Shattered my model of what blogging could be (especially within my niche)
  • How to be remarkable and leverage your personal story
  • Building Flagship content (which I call ‘pillar’ content)
  • Balancing being authentic with “fake-it-until-you-make-it” (super important)
  • Chris’ Adsense perspective (on page 43) confirmed what I thought, but was afraid to say

When I launched Man Vs. Debt, I was set-up for failure from the beginning.  Luckily, within the first two months I was able to find and latch onto these two resources early.  I was very lucky.  If you haven’t watched or read both of these recently, your blog NEEDS you to.

Realize that you will not make any money (maybe ever)

Seriously, let go.  I’ve seen so many new bloggers poison themselves with a constant quest to monetize.  They are so addicted to tweaking Adsense or finding ways to pitch affiliates that they end up doing nothing else.  They have no time to create stuff that inspires.  They have no time to really connect with their readership or find their voice.

Do you know anyone who has been monetarily successful in the first 6 months of blogging (without a pre-existing platform, etc…)?  I don’t.  Not a single one. If you do, I’d really like to know.  In fact, I can count the number of people who I know who made full-time money in the first year on two fingers.

I don’t know everyone, but I know a decent amount of bloggers now.  Their stories are all the same.  They worked their ass off with very little money and very little reward for a very long time.  They lived and breathed their blogs for months and months before they made any significant money.

I honestly believe one of the keys to Man Vs. Debt’s early growth was that I never got trapped in the monetizing loophole.  I tried to trap myself many times, but luckily I surrounded myself with people who would pull me out of it and inspire me to focus on much higher-leverage activities.

I’m not saying you should not plan ahead.  Plan out and work towards how you will eventually feed your family through you blogging endeavors.  When you are just getting started, though, stop trying to actually do it now.  You’ll just be discouraged, frustrated, and distracted.

Expose yourself to ALL the possibilities of blogging.

There is no one way to blog.  Heck, there is no right way to blog.  It depends on the topic, niche, community, and individual blogger.  But don’t let yourself be pigeon-holed into only one business plan or one method of blogging.  Here are a couple examples:

  • Several of my pf-blogging friends make fantastic income with Adsense.
  • Chris Guillebeau primarily supports himself on his own information products.
  • Ramit Sethi leveraged his blog to catapult his book launch and solidify his personal brand.
  • Leo from Zen Habits had public success accepting donations to help him become a full-time writer.
  • Pinyo from Moolanomy was offered a killer job based on his success with his blog.
  • Clay Collins trains people on how to build and market very specific niche products.
  • Other bloggers end up selling their sites to pursue other passions.
  • Jonathan Mead coaches individuals on how to  ‘get paid to exist’ based off his own story.

The moral of the story?  The possibilities that come from blogging are endless. I truly believe there is something for everyone.  There is a model out there (or combination of models) that is perfect for you, but you got to be able to expose yourself in the first place.  For me, this search is a continual project.  I suspect it’ll always be that way.

Be the “something”-guy (or gal)

Brand yourself intentionally. This is yet another area that I’m still figuring out.  My theory is that you start by trying to attach your name to certain “somethings.”  For example, early on I tried to be the “debt”-guy.  I quickly realized that wasn’t me.  I didn’t want that role, nor am I fit for that role.  So I’ve tested out being some other things.

Honestly, I want to be known as the “transparency”-guy.  Or the “authenticity-and-passion”-guy.  That’s a lot of hyphens.  You get the point.  Your branding will be a million times more effective if you are pumping out a consistent message.  I haven’t found my sweet spot, yet, but that doesn’t keep me from knowing this will be essential moving forward.

The step after that? Is to flip the scenario.  When people lead with the term you want them to think of you.  Search engine?  Google.  Anti-credit card?  Dave Ramsey.  Social Media news?  Mashable.  This is the where you should always be headed in my opinion.

Don’t squander 6-months in this area like I have.  Experiment early on.  When you find a “something” that feels right… drive it home.

Be as transparent as possible

This has been HUGE for me.  Now, I know not everyone is able or willing to be as transparent as I have been with this blog.  That’s the “as possible” part.  Set your limits early on and then reveal as much as possible up to those limits.  I only follow a couple blogs that I don’t feel like I personally know the author.  That doesn’t mean I’ve met them, but rather I feel like we’ve met.

The blogosphere is crowded. You will be very hard pressed to find a niche that isn’t already saturated.  The only way you can stand out is with your personal story and your personality.  That’s the only reason I start following new blogs.  What about you?  Do you stumble across a newer blog and add it just because it has a cool design?  I don’t.  A cool design might catch my eye, but only for long enough for me to search for the About page.

I’m an awesome fan to have on your side.  I’m super loyal and super loving.  If you hook me, I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth and sing along the way.  To be honest, I’m the type of fan I want.  Are you still with me?  I want raving fans. And raving fans are tough to inspire if you aren’t letting your personality and/or your story lead the way.

Stop f***ing with your design and your plug-ins

Hammer out your design and blog set-up early and then leave it alone.  I wasted so much time on this crap early I actually don’t even want to think about it.  I constantly see newer and/or smaller bloggers shoot themselves in the foot by focusing WAY too much time and energy on this stuff.

When in doubt, go with the simple option. Use WordPress.  Unless you have previous background in programing or web design, buy a theme.  I bought Thesis within the first two weeks and it was one of the smartest things I did for the blog.  I’ve been able to do most of the minor changes myself by searching the support forums.  When in doubt, I’ve asked one of the other 102988512319 bloggers that use it.

For less than $100 bucks you can have your pick of the 3-4 most popular themes.  Get your design all pretty and set-up your plug-ins.  Search the three sites and tap into the resources below to get a feel for whats going on.

Once you get to the point you are 80% satisfied… LEAVE IT ALONE. Seriously.  That last 20% is the biggest waste of your time.  Once again, I don’t want to think about this anymore.  Gives me nightmares.

Resources to help you in this area:

You only need to subscribe to three ‘blogging’ blogs.  But, in my opinion, all three are essential because they focus on different areas.  I never miss a post from:

Unfortunately, I don’t personally know these three guys.  They aren’t my friends.  They are simply the best at what they do.  Each has been ridiculously valuable to my development in different areas of my blogging.  Using all three sites you can find the answer to ANY question you have about blogging.


[Source for video]

This next resource is a long one.  It’s roughly an hour, but it’s a good one to get out of the way as soon as possible.  This video came at perfect timing for me, because I really was about to give up.  Tim Ferriss packs this full of useful tidbits.  Some of my favorites include:

  • Why do you blog?
  • Income is not the only currency
  • Only measure what matters
  • Passion over polling
  • Creating a writing system, set of habits, or ‘zone’
  • How to handle comments
  • Tons of Q&A about random, specific topics

This isn’t a video I watch every week like the first one.  Doing that will only cause you to obsess over the details of your blog (which I’ve ranted 500 words about above).  This is one of those that you make a big cup of coffee, click play, and take notes.  At the end, spend one big burst of time adjusting your blog and then LEAVE IT ALONE again.  :-)

If you’re really new to the blogging scene, I suggest you also download Erica Douglass’ new free e-book.  Erica’s book does a great job of providing small, actionable tips to help you get the details ironed out.  Since this was just released, I had already figured the majority of it out the hard way.  If you’re just starting to get your feet wet, though, this will save a ton of time.

Once set-up, focus 80% of effort on creating content

Content is king.  That’s all I got.  Nothing I can say here will help you.  Write passionately.  Make creating a priority.  There, I tried.  This part is up to you.

Build relationships BEFORE you need them

Spend the other 20% connecting with your peers.  By the way, genuinely connecting with others IS marketing.  My experience is that they are not separate activities.  It seems to be the nature of the blogging beast.  I’ll dig much more into the details of this below in the ‘Getting On The Map’ section.

Seek out mentors (whether they are willing or not)

Early on I had several mentors.  Some knew it and some didn’t.  Some saw something in me early and stepped up to the plate.  Some are taking chances on me now.  While I won’t name them all, I want to point out a couple.

  • First, there was Leo.  Zen Habits was the first major blog I passionately followed.  Before I was interested in personal finance, before I had an obsession with simplicity, and before I knew what Twitter was.  For a long time Zen Habits was the only blog I followed.  And it was his journey out of debt that led me to research other bloggers that discussed personal finance.  It was all downhill from there.  Thanks, Leo…  I think.
  • Once I had started the blog, there was one A-list personal finance blogger who reached out before any other.  His name was Wang…  Jim Wang.  For some reason, Jim thought it was worth his time to answer all my retarded questions early on.  He made himself unusually accessible and I’m still looking forward to the day I can return the favor.  This was a huge benefit to me early.  If someone with experience and success makes themselves available.  Don’t let it slip by.
  • As I mentioned earlier, sometime towards the end of the first month, I stumbled upon Chris Guillebeau’s 279 Days manifesto.  It really rocked my world.  I remember going back and reading nearly every page in the archives of the Art of Non-Conformity.  At this point in time, Chris had no idea he was a mentor.  Regardless, he was shaping my approaches to marketing, community, and transparency.  He continues to inspire the direction of Man Vs. Debt, although these days he knows it.  ;-)
  • Lastly, I have to mention Jonathan Mead who was the first non-personal-finance blogger to actively reach out to help me.  Jonathan has literally spent hours talking with and helping me work through blogging-related issues.  He’s constantly pushing me to pursue the highest-leverage activities and cut out all the rest.  He single handily convinced me that the world would not stop revolving if I didn’t post everyday and has talked me down from quitting more than once.

Search out people like the ones above in your own blogging endeavors.  If you are desperate enough, search out me.  That’s an open invitation.  If I can pass on any help that I’ve been given, nothing would make me happier.

Find a Blogging Buddy

This is another specific area that has been invaluable to me so far.  I think it’s important to find someone that has similar goals, is at a similar point in there journey, and who you can trust to be honest.  While I have many blogging friends in the community, the one I trust more than any others is Matt Jabs.

Matt and I talk frequently (not always productively!) about a wide variety of topics.  We help keep each other in check by bouncing ideas of each others, allowing the other person to rant privately, or helping each other define our goals.  Matt’s support has been a huge motivation for me to stay committed.  Next to Courtney, Matt has been the single most supportive influence for my blogging so far.

Darren Rowse of Problogger had a great post on the benefits of a blogging buddy earlier in the year.  Check it out and go find a buddy!  :-)

Getting on ‘The Map’

So you are inspired.  You’ve set-up the blog.  Your new blogging buddy says your content is awesome.  How do you get it out to people?

Simple… put it in front of influential people.  There are several ways to do this.  But I can tell you from experience that a relative link from a major blog in your niche will do more for your growth than anything else.  I’d rather have a link from Trent at The Simple Dollar then hit the front page of Digg.  I’ve had both and it’s not even close.  One gives me exposure to a highly-receptive, pre-targeted, and passionate group of followers.  The other crashes my site, leaves a ton of negative comments, and averages .0324 seconds per visit.

That’s nice, but how do you actually get it in front of people?  Here were the top things I did:

  • Leave Passionate Comments. No matter how big the blogger, I’ve never heard of one that doesn’t read his/her comments.  It’s just sort of a given.  I feel this has been the #1 way I’ve connected with influential bloggers.  My suggestions for comments:
    • Only comment when you can genuinely be passionate.  Don’t fake comments.
    • Pick a single part of the post that you connected with and relate it to your life.
    • Don’t be afraid to disagree, especially with a specific part of the article.
    • As a side benefit, you can get some serious traffic from these.  On several occasions, I’ve received over 100 referrals from a single passionate comment on larger sites.  Good comments benefit everyone.
  • Focus Your Guest Posting. This might not go over well with some bloggers, but I would advise you NOT to guest post on small to medium size blogs.  For example, it’s rare that you’ll receive a big benefit from guest posting for me.  I’m just being honest.  Rather than use a shotgun approach, try a laser.  Focus on guest posting for a major A-list blog at a time.  Investing the time to make one GREAT post for an A-list blog, outweighs creating 20 GOOD posts for C-list blogs.
  • Support influential blogger’s pet projects. Even the big guys have side projects they do.  Support them.  When Jim Wang and J.D. Roth started the Personal Finance Hour, I thought it was a dream come true.  I was just getting started and here I had the chance to call in and talk to two of the top pf-bloggers.  Early on, it turns out, other bloggers were just too busy or too scared to call-in and support the show.  For the first few weeks, I was the only personal to call-in.  Supporting that show put me on the radar of both Jim and J.D. and both relationships have proven extremely valuable to me in these first 6 months.  This is only one example of several relationships I built through side projects like this.
  • Submit to Blog Carnivals. Some niches have more of these than others, but seriously, it’s not hard.  There are at least 15 in the personal finance community alone.  Not only are these good for incoming links, but they are a great way to get in front of other bloggers and bigger audiences.  Take the time to check who is hosting the bigger carnivals.  Submit your best posts on the weeks the carnival is hosted by a large blog.  Several months ago, I saw that WiseBread was hosting a personal finance carnival the next week.  I saved my best article at the time to submit to them and left a detailed message.  It ended up getting chosen as and editor’s pick and then picked up by LifeHacker.  Think LifeHacker would have saw it on my blog?  Think again.  Check out the link, they even mentioned seeing it on WiseBread.  If you are too lazy to submit to blog carnivals, scroll up and watch the first video again.
  • Create extensive link round-ups. Feature blogs you want a better relationship with in cool link round-ups.  I can’t imagine a better example then the recent, Top 25 Badass Personal Finance Blogs.  Simply brilliant what they did.  Early on, I did exhaustive link round-ups, sometimes featuring over 25+ links where I commented a little on each link.  It was genuine, though.  At one point I was following and reading over 150+ RSS feeds.  This was a great way to initiate relationships and get my own writing in front of the bloggers I was targeting.
  • Tweet. Twitter was one of my top referrals for the first 2-3 months.  I used twitter directories to find anyone who was related to personal finance and followed all of them.  I looked forward to Follow Friday and spent hours finding out who was active and respected on Twitter.  I interacted with bloggers I wanted to follow me and supported people with detailed (not just generic RTs).  It was a ton of work, but I was able to deepen the connection with a lot of influential bloggers using this medium.  As many of you know, I’m still super-active on Twitter and it continues to be of amazing benefit in building relationships.

That’s it as far as specifics go.  The last thing I’ll add on the topic of reaching out to influential bloggers is… The answer is always ‘NO’ if you never ask. Take initiative and put yourself out there.  Give them all the information they need in one spot (don’t make them click through).  If you are genuine, people will respond.  That’s what has worked for me.

Last bit of random crap…

  • Delete negative comments. If you get a comment that isn’t constructive or is abusive, just delete it.  Don’t respond.  Don’t even finish reading it.  Don’t waste another second with hate-mongering trolls.  Leave a constructive comment on this site and I’ll love you.  I appreciate people who expand the discussion and help me grow.  Leave a whiny rant and I will delete you.  It’s my blog.  Deal with it.  [Learned this the hard way]
  • Use good pictures. I’ve received a lot of feedback on the fact that I generally have great pictures.  It’s surprising because it’s not hard.  I forgot where I first read it, but here’s what I do.  Use this link to search FlickR, type very specific keywords, and sort by most interesting.  Don’t say I didn’t provide anything tangible. ;-)
  • Thank first-time commenters. I’ve done this from day one and the results are amazing.  I’m utterly convinced it drastically increases the number of repeat commenters.  Either way, the conversations that it has started over e-mail with some of my readers have been fabulous.  I don’t e-mail everyone on every comment, of course.  Just the first one people leave (the ones that need to be approved the first time).

Bonus Video!

This was a more recent find, so I can’t say that it inspired Man Vs. Debt over that last 6-months.  However, I think it’s valuable, especially for the sections on ‘thrashing’ things out at the beginning.  [The first couple of minutes are slow... it picks up quickly.]

Seth Godin on the ‘lizard brain’.

Hopefully, at least a couple of these 4,000 words (or videos) have been helpful.  Most importantly, I’d love if you’d add your own tips and suggestions on not sucking below.  I’d like to continue to build on my momentum and make the jump to “successful” blogger (whatever that means) and will be looking for your best tips to help me!

Please take the time to share your thoughts below! (At least congratulate me for surviving for 6 months) ;-)

photo by Jason Gulledge

{ 275 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Jabs September 24, 2009 at 10:29 AM

As usual, great information. I do not disagree with a thing said here – take it from me, another blogger – listen to what Baker says above, it works.

Some of my favorite points:

“Stop watching Lost!” – I watch about 5% of the TV I used to, and now I am much more successful.

“Stop f***ing with your design and your plug-ins” – I could not agree more. I also wasted FAR too much time doing this, don’t make the same mistake we did. Leave it alone & spend all your time on content and networking.

“If you aren’t 100% passionate, you will fail miserably.” – I cannot say anything that will make this point more true or real, so I won’t try.

Now stop reading this and go work on your blog!
.-= Matt Jabs´s last blog ..More Reasons to Pay Off Credit Card Debt =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:34 PM

Thanks, blogging buddy!

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Mike Piper September 24, 2009 at 10:30 AM

Wow, lots of meaty stuff here.

Chris’s 279 Days was huge for me also. I reread it (or at least parts of it) all the time.

Congrats on a successful 6 months!
.-= Mike Piper´s last blog ..The Best Mutual Funds =-.

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Jeff September 24, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Adam,
Great post. I have been reading your blog for a few months now, and had absolutely no idea that it was only 6 months old. I’ve put you on the same level as a few other of my personal favorites, the simple dollar and get rich slowly. I appreciate all of your advice, mostly the tidbit about you looking for the “about” column on a blog you just read. It got me to thinking that I should make mine more accessible. Thanks for all the tips, and enjoy new zeland.
I’ve heard that pekakariki (I believe is how it’s spelled) beach and Tongariro National Park are worth the trip.
Jeff

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:35 PM

Haha, I’m far from that crowd, but really appreciate that you lumped me in! We will definitely check out that park and beach soon. Thanks.

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David Weliver September 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM

As I’ve come to expect from you, Adam, another kick-@ss post.

I’ve been reading your blog for the last month or so and keep thinking to myself “if I could do it all over again, this is what I’d do.” I made so many of the mistakes you mention “endless theme changes, trying to monetize to early, not branding myself well enough,” sometimes I think I’ve been successful in spite of myself.

But it *does* come down to Gary’s two P’s: patience and passion. I’ve never given up, and my passion keeps me going when it gets tough. Right on. Also, thanks for the link to “279 Days”; I haven’t seen it and look forward to checking it out. Keep up the great work!
.-= David Weliver´s last blog ..How to Ask Your Boss to Work from Home =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:37 PM

David, the only way I’ve learn the little that I have is because I did all the exact same mistakes you outlined. You absolutely have to check out 279 Days. It’s game-changing.

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MoneyEnergy September 24, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Whoo! Nice long post, I need more time to read it all! Funny, I was just re-reading my interview with you from way back in April the other day and reflecting on what you had to say about blogging then – you should check it out again:) These are great tips – it’s amazing how many ways there are to build a blog and what to use a blog for. I think everyone can find something in here that works or has worked for them. You’ve been very adaptable, quickly, which has helped alot, too. Thanks for sharing more of the enthusiasm!
.-= MoneyEnergy´s last blog ..Reasons You Should Get Started Investing While Still A Graduate Student =-.

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MoneyEnergy September 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Wow, just watching the Vaynerchuk video now – he’s amazing! Everyone’s gotta watch this. Thanks for posting it!
.-= MoneyEnergy´s last blog ..Reasons You Should Get Started Investing While Still A Graduate Student =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:41 PM

You didn’t think I was going to link a lame video, did you? ;-)

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Bible Money Matters September 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Great post Adam. Your blog came out of nowhere to quickly become one of the great must read personal finance blogs out there. From your awesome stories about traveling the world, to your insightful personal finance articles – you’re a great writer, and you’re starting to get noticed! (your writing gig on getrichslowly.org shows that!)

Congrats on 6 months, and great pointers for those out there who are just starting out in this crazy blogging game!
.-= Bible Money Matters´s last blog ..On Your Next Vacation Save Hundreds Of Dollars On Your Car Rental By Finding And Stacking Discounts =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:45 PM

Thanks so much, Pete.

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Jason @ MyMoneyMinute September 24, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Dude, a fantastic and detailed article. It was long, but not boring, which is hard to pull off! Congrats on 6 months of blogging and keep up the great work!
.-= Jason @ MyMoneyMinute´s last blog ..ATTN DishNetwork HD Customers: Save $10/Month =-.

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Russ Smith September 24, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Man, I really like your writing because you sprinkle it with great humor.

“And yes… I just coined the phrase ’sucking hump’. It’s mine. Don’t touch it.”

Man, I really laughed out loud at that. Nice post.

I really connected with what you said about not focusing on the money. I have specifically left out any advertising on my site, so I can focus on what I write, and making sure I’m passionate about it. That’s got to be number 1.
.-= Russ Smith´s last blog ..Motivation 101 – One Essential Trick To Stay Motivated =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Glad someone others than me found this funny… I always wonder ;-).

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Paul @ FiscalGeek September 24, 2009 at 12:08 PM

I can’t remember the last time I spent this much time reading a post and following all of the links. I’ve got some pondering to do for my own site. And oh man can I be called guilty of fiddling with my theme, plugins, and on and on. Absolutely awesome pillar content.
.-= Paul @ FiscalGeek´s last blog ..Save your Water Damaged Cell Phone with a Bheestie =-.

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Moneymonk September 24, 2009 at 12:11 PM

I love that video with Gary Vaynerchuk! Thanks for posting

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Lakita September 24, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Baker this is great!

I’m laughing at “Stop Watching Lost” — since I cut off my cable to save time and money, I discovered that show on Hulu and spent about 2 weeks watching the first 4 seasons. I was tempted to watch them again….what is it with that show? It’s addictive!!!

I’ll check the videos and a few of the other blogs later….

I think I stumbled across your blog near the beginning of your journey and its been a pleasure to watch your growth as you continue to pump out great articles for the PF community.

I agree with your tips! I’m already implementing a lot of them, and some I need to tighten up on.

Thanks again!
Lakita
.-= Lakita´s last blog ..Paneh Weekly Round-up: Zero Balance Edition =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:48 PM

I remember the first time I saw Gary say that quote at the end of the video. He was so passionate it just gave me goosebumps. I just really connect with his style and glad you do too!

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Retirement Savior September 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM

As a new blogger, I’ve got to say this is amazing advice. Thanks for the post!

Besides those sites you mentioned, I’m going to keep coming back to this for tips and ideas. This is going to be one of those posts where I will digest it parts at a time, and I’ll probably have “Aha!” moments later down the road when I realize just what you were talking about.
.-= Retirement Savior´s last blog ..Play Where the Puck is Going to Be =-.

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Tyler Karaszewski September 24, 2009 at 12:38 PM

This is why I don’t have much of a blog. I’d rather write software or go surfing or a million other things than try and market myself. So my website is small and I don’t care how many page views it gets. I already spend enough time commenting on other people’s sites, I don’t want to spend a bunch more building a “personal brand” or whatever. Also my site runs on my own custom software. Is that the most efficient way to build a blogging audience? No. I don’t care. It’s my site and enjoy writing software for it. In my line of work “wrote Atom feed generator for blog software” is a more marketable skill than “has 10,000 readers” anyway.
.-= Tyler Karaszewski´s last blog ..Summer Update =-.

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giulietta September 24, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Hey Baker,

Quite the generous post. Just thinking it could make a great product if you ever decide to go that route. So many goodies in here. I do Fearless Branding as well as blogging. Your brand is in the post above. Keeping going and you’ll see it too.

I’m going to take your advice and pick the one thing that stood out for me. “The possibilities that come from blogging are endless.” I get tons of ideas for all sorts of things from not only blogging but reading other’s blogs and leaving comments that may help us both.

Triple thanks,

Giulietta, Inspirational Rebel
.-= giulietta´s last blog ..We’re all in this together =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Thanks for this great comment. While it’s rare that I’d ever put together a ‘product’ on blogging in particular, a lot of these ideas flow well into small business creation and management, which IS a topic I’d love to pour a couple hundred hours into creating something.

We’ll see!

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Barb McMahon September 24, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Congratulations, Baker!

And thanks for this value-packed post. I need to re-read it point by point. And return to it often.
.-= Barb McMahon´s last blog ..How to Live Without a Television =-.

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Nea | Self Improvement Saga September 24, 2009 at 12:57 PM

There’s so much good stuff in this article that I don’t know where to start. I’ll definitely be reading it… starting right after this comment I’m sure. LOL. I really appreciate the great advice. I read a lot of blog posts but it’s rare that I find something packed with easy to understand, useful info. I’ve bookmarked your site and I plan to refer to it often. Thanks for positing this.
.-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last blog ..20 Things That Raise My Love and Happiness Gauge =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 9:58 PM

You commented before reading? Cheaters! ;-) Seriously, though, I hope to see you around more often!

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Kelly September 24, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Bookmarking this so I can come back and rewatch the videos again.
Congrats, Baker!

To read that you actually considered stopping blogging shocked me. I often look at your site, and think that’s what I should be doing. (and I’ll admit I’m a bit jealous! I have blog envy)

This has really given me a lot of food for thought. Looking forward to implementing some of your amazing ideas.
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..on clutter is procrastination =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Yeah, there have been a lot fo ups and downs. When we first started traveling, it seemed like it was going to be impossible to keep up and I blinded myself to the long-term benefits of staying with it. Luckily, I had a couple mentors who helped smack me back in line!

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Bryan September 24, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Hi Adam,
Just came across your blog. Great stuff! I really like your attitude towards life and how you take control of your destiny.
Funny thing, just yesterday I posted the same GaryVee video on my blog TheCasualTycoon.blogspot.com
Like you, I watch that video every week, inspiration to break through the suck and into success.
Keep up the great work.

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Four Pillars September 24, 2009 at 1:10 PM

This post is an excellent resource – you’ve learned a lot more in your first 6 months than I did in mine – it took me about 2 years to get to this point. :)

I couldn’t agree more about not monetizing too early and theme fiddlin’. The first 6 months are dead zones for making money so why waste the effort experimenting with different sized Adsense blocks?

As for themes – as long as your theme doesn’t suck then it’s good enough.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 10:02 PM

Haha, thanks man. I love your last sentence on themes. Very quotable.

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Jason D Barr September 24, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Baker, congrats. 6 months is a big milestone, and you’ve flown through it with some pretty outstanding results to show for it.

I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts on monitization and how it can totally ruin any momentum you have. I threw up some AdSense when I first started, but quickly took it down. I felt it cheapened my message somehow, even though I don’t have any issues with making money. I just didn’t like feeling as though I was trying to capitalize on any traffic I received. I wanted people to get the benefit of my writing, and felt that their attention and input was much more valuable to me than a few cents (if anything) that I would get from the ads. I’m guessing you’d probably agree.

Anyway, looking forward to continued great things from you. Bravo!

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 10:07 PM

Rock on, Jason. Thanks for all your support.

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Credit September 24, 2009 at 1:37 PM

Adam, this is pure gold.

Can I share you one part of running an online business that I found helps me, enormously?

“Your output in a day is determined by how you start your day. Start well and you will have a productive day.”

What not to do – Wake up and check your email. Do it for a few hours. Chase a few urgent things, read your comments, meander around the net, you already skipped breakfast but you are hungry but you know you havent done much so you decide to write a post. You are tired and your post comes out average so you sling it up and tweet it. Rush out, get a quick lunch. You are so tired that you get caught up reading your email on your iphone and its now late and you wonder where the day went.

What to do – Wake up and go and drink a big glass of water. Go and brush your teeth. Put on your running shoes and go and do a quick walk around the block. Write the post idea you got when walking around the block up and make it amazing. Post it and hit up the rest of your day with enthusiasm!

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Matt Cheuvront September 24, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Awesome post Adam. When was your launch date? We must have started within weeks of one another – I launched back in February. Have to say, it’s amazing how things develop so quickly, am I right? When I sat down and came up with the concept of my blog – I really had no idea what it would turn into or what direction it would take. 7 months later, here I am. Yes, you’re niche is much more specific, but I’m sure you have exceeded your initial expectations.

My main piece of advice aligns with what you say here – it comes down to passion. If you are PASSIONATE about what you write, the other things don’t matter as much, but with that, the other things will also surface (more comments, more traffic, etc). If you write only for the sake of results, what are you really writing for? In the end, a blog is about the expression of personal ideas and opinions. If you don’t have anything to say – maybe you ask yourself why you started talking in the first place.

Great stuff – ton of takeaways – thanks for putting this together!
.-= Matt Cheuvront´s last blog ..Start Changing the World. Today =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 10:08 PM

Matt, I too have exceeded any expectations I had. I didn’t know what to expect, though! :-)

Officially, I think I ‘launched’ on the 22nd of March, however, I use ‘launch’ in a very light way. :-)

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Mark Hayes September 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Hows it going man,

Very good read. Nice mix of personal tips/thoughts along with outside views as well. That first video is a great bit of inspiration! Keep it up.
.-= Mark Hayes´s last blog ..You’re An 8? =-.

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mapgirl September 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Excellent post! I’m surprised it’s only been 6 months for you, but so much success. I see you EVERYWHERE, guest-posting, hustling. Check back in at the 3-year mark. And you are absolutely right, Jim Wang is a swell guy. He was key in helping me build traffic on my blog in the early days. You can’t do it alone and Jim is uber-supportive.
.-= mapgirl´s last blog ..Going to New York City =-.

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Carlos Miceli September 24, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Haha, awesome post my man, loved it. I don’t agree with every technique, but I think you got it, hopefully we’ll have you around for a long time in the blogosphere!

Thanks for sharing some GREAT vids, Seth’s and Gary’s are fantastic.
.-= Carlos Miceli´s last blog ..On Rewards =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 10:11 PM

You think I’m going to let you off the hook that easy man? Let me know your opinions on what you didn’t prefer. I’m interested to learn from your perspective, too! Love your stuff.

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kosmo @ The Casual Observer September 24, 2009 at 2:09 PM

I do break some of the rules :) I have adsense, although my regular readers don’t see the ads. I tweak the ads a bit from time to time if I don’t like the mix I’m getting. But you’re right, there’s definitely isn’t much (any) money in the first several months. Mostly, I’m curious to see how clicky my readers are, and if certain things work better than others. My second blog – http://www.thefictionwriters.com (essentially a place for me to serialize my longer ficiton pieces and post fiction pieces from other authors) does not have any ads, and will likely not have any at least for at least the first year.

As for tweaking the design – yeah, you’re dead on. Fine tuning things can be a huge time suck. I try to limit the time I spend on changes.

I’m still figuring out my brand. I pride myself in not having a niche, but is “the non-niche” guy really a brand? Or maybe I’m the “guy who writes fiction once a week and sprinkles in other weird stuff during the week”.

I’ve gotten a lot of help with my blog by enlisting other folks to join my writing staff (much like Tom Sawyer lining up folks to whitewash the fence). For the most part, this has worked out OK. The writers enjoy the exposure, and I like being able to have new content 5-7+ times a week without having to write 5-7 articles every week.

Good food for thought, Baker.
.-= kosmo @ The Casual Observer´s last blog ..Are Mark Reynolds’ Strikeouts Hurting The Diamondbacks? =-.

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kosmo @ The Casual Observer September 24, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Er, holy hijack, batman. Maybe my brand is “The guy who writes massive comments on other people’s blogs”.
.-= kosmo @ The Casual Observer´s last blog ..Review of St. Louis =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 10:14 PM

Nice Kosmo! I’ve mentioned many times before that you are my longest and my consistent commenter and I appreciate it! Keep plowing forward on the Fiction Writer’s site. I enjoy reading your stuff in big spurts to break up the non-fiction fog I get in.

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robyn September 24, 2009 at 2:15 PM

i have to say, i’ve tended to be one of those people who secretly wants to just blog for money. i’ve cared too much about what my sites look like, switched from one URL to another when it seemed like i wasn’t getting enough traffic, and in the process i totally screwed over at least two good blog ideas.

ah, well. live and learn. now i treat every new reader, commenter, subscriber like someone who i’d like to know. i’m blogging about a project i’m passionate about and personally invested in, and i’d be blogging about it if NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON read what i wrote. because i care that much about it and want to talk about it. and because i want a record of what i’m doing. no more, no less.

and so of course that’s the space that’s getting press. that’s the space that had me taking photos today with a local journalist for the Omaha World Herald. that’s the space that’s got give-aways and people from all over the world wanting in on the action.

the best advice ever – don’t do it for the money. if money ever comes in, that’s an added bonus, but finding another reason for doing it, and truly having that reason be the main one makes all the difference in the world to me.
.-= robyn´s last blog ..thorpe (#9) finished! =-.

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Baker September 24, 2009 at 10:19 PM

Thanks for the personal and passionate comment. I appreciate your honesty. It sounds like now, though, you’ve got all the right reasons pushing you forward. It’s now just a war of attrition.

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My Journey September 24, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Baker,

Great work, I have no clue where I discovered your blog but you absolutely take it to another level.
.-= My Journey´s last blog ..There are No New Rules when it Comes to First Time Home Buyers =-.

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Jennifer September 24, 2009 at 2:46 PM

This is an inspiring post, can’t wait to go back and watch the videos when I have more time. I have been blogging now for 3 years, I can’t believe that. I originally figured it would be cool to make some money doing it, but even now it isn’t much and it isn’t about the money. I have seen blogs go from nothing to huge and I liked them better before they were huge. Once they find a niche, they never talk about anything else and frequently I feel as if I don’t “know” them anymore if that makes sense. I don’t have 1 main focus, but rather a few smaller focuses with plenty about my family thrown in. That probably won’t make me a top blogger ever, but I don’t think I would enjoy it if I didn’t do it my way. That being said, I am always trying to improve and this post is very helpful.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 12:41 AM

Jennifer, I know exactly what you are referring to about some of the larger blogs. I’ll do my best to avoid that trend as we continue to grow! :-)

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Playstead September 24, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Great post — thanks for sharing these great resources. While reading a success story is nice, having access to the nuts and bolts of it is really helpful. After being a freelance writer for years, I’m now focusing on blogging and it is a completely different world.
.-= Playstead´s last blog ..How to Name Your Kids =-.

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leyla September 24, 2009 at 3:43 PM

My first time on your blog, found it as a RT on Twitter and I love this post. I may even follow your main topic from here on out. I read Ramit’s blog and enjoy it – one can never have too little financial advice. Thanks for your insight on this post.

To your point on monetization, US World & Report had an article last winter called “Don’t Quit Your Day Job”
.-= leyla´s last blog ..Using Analytics to Get the Most From Your Blog Posts =-.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 12:59 AM

Leyla, great to have you and thanks for letting me know how you arrived! Ramit and I certainly provide different experiences. I hope you’ll stick around!

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Simon Fairbairn September 24, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Hey Adam,

Great post! Thanks for highlighting the Gary Vaynerchuk video – real inspirational stuff.

“And DON’T start until you are convinced beyond any doubt that you absolutely adore your topic/business model.”

That’s my problem right there (well, that and the design tweaking). I think I’ve finally figured out what I’m really passionate about, but I wish I’d sat down and worked it out before I spent all this time writing meh posts on things that I thought I wanted to but didn’t really care about.

One of the ways I found out what I should be blogging about was through family and friends. It was my partner that pointed out to me that, every time a friend raised the topic of the future of the music industry, I would rant about it for days.

Seriously, days. She got so sick of hearing about it, she black carded the conversation.

For some reason, though, I hadn’t really given much thought to dedicating my blog to it – perhaps because I was worried about it being too niche – but, like Gary says, I don’t think that’s really possible any more.

Anyhow, my partner said ‘write about that’ and since then the ideas haven’t stopped coming. It’s keeping me up nights.

So, just to expand a little on what you said, if others here aren’t sure what they are passionate about, just ask your friends and family: “What do I talk about that makes you groan and roll your eyes?” Chances are good that, whatever they’re sick of hearing from you, is probably what you need to be writing about…

Nice one,

Si
.-= Simon Fairbairn´s last blog ..The Power of Ten Minutes =-.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 1:00 AM

Simon, this is awesome advice. It sounds like you’ve worked through this on your own. Even just reading the comment above, I’m compelled to hear what you have to say about music, because I feel the passion. Imagine what would happen once you found your voice on a larger platform!

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Jamie September 24, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Very helpful! Thank you for sharing!
.-= Jamie´s last blog ..saving on healthcare costs =-.

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Kristin September 24, 2009 at 4:09 PM

This is a tremendously fantastic resource for a new blogger! Thank you!

I just started my blog this week and I’ve gotten so excited about and I’m 100% behind you on being transparent and letting your personality show through (I actually just wrote about this). I’ve found a lot of bloggers out there who may have great content, but there is nothing of them in their writing. I want so badly to finish reading what they have to say, but I’m just not drawn through to the end.

Thank you for making this post so content packed and easy and fun to read!

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Julia September 24, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Great post_ I started a blog about 1 month ago and continue to find new ways to improve it. i agree that you must be passionate about your topic or you will not have the desire to continue. It was initially hard to find content but the more I do it the more excited I get. I laughed about the Lost. Friends ask how I have time to do all that I do and my standard answer is I dont watch TV which gives me probably 4 hours than the average person to do what I am passionate about.

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Jane September 24, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Fantastic post, lots of great recommendations and resources. Thanks for posting the videos, I watched them both straight through and learned lot of tips for improving things on my site and blog. Cheers.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Glad you enjoyed the video resources. I remember being blown away the first time I saw both (still am blown away).

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Pedro Lopes September 24, 2009 at 5:10 PM

What a huge and refreshing post, i can tell that you are in fact a sucessful blogger, and i´m not talking about money, this post has passion all over it, well done, and thanks for the “help”.

See you.
.-= Pedro Lopes´s last blog ..Guia para a utilização do Facebook. =-.

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Chris September 24, 2009 at 5:31 PM

This post should be the Terms & Conditions that every new blogger must agree to before getting their platform.
.-= Chris´s last blog ..‘Plain Vanilla’ Mortgages Leave Banking Industry with Bitter Aftertaste =-.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Haha, nice touch.

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Coach J September 24, 2009 at 5:48 PM

I’ve been reading and writing blogs for a couple of years, but it’s only been recently that I’ve actually given a damn about it. It used to be just an online diary and a source of creative steam-letting. I’m now looking to create more of a community. I really appreciate the advice you posted here. Thanks!
.-= Coach J´s last blog ..Cross Country for Dummies Nerds =-.

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Dr. Adam Tanase September 24, 2009 at 6:40 PM

When I first clicked on the link to this blog article (via Twitter), I assumed I’d be hitting the “back” button within a few seconds.

Instead I found some remarkable content, and I stuck around to read it from start to finish. Thanks for taking the taking the time to share your experience and knowledge with us!

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 1:03 AM

No problem. Preventing people from hitting the back button is my number one job! ;-)

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paurullan September 24, 2009 at 6:58 PM

You really got me with this one. Really good stuff. Thanks for your time!

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Dan Zelikman September 24, 2009 at 9:06 PM

Well you certainly got the “passion” thing down. Thanks for sharing brother, I’ll be looking forward to the next post.

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Ben September 24, 2009 at 9:14 PM

Amazing monster of a post Baker. As an aspiring blogger (still setting up the site) I don’t think I could have asked for a better collection of content that was both insanely inspiring and informative.

Thank you.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 1:05 AM

Ben, do it! Get your ‘thrashing’ out of the way in the beginning and focus on writing and connecting. Be sure to keep me informed on your progress as you launch!

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Pinyo September 24, 2009 at 10:29 PM

Baker, congratulation on the 6 month anniversary. Whether you realize it or not, you already have an A-list blog. Great work all around.

PS: And you are absolutely right that blogging isn’t always about money — it’s rally more about opportunities. Opportunities to expand your mind, connect with people, and break your limits.
.-= Pinyo´s last blog ..How To Prioritize Your Debt Repayment Plan =-.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 1:05 AM

Thanks, Pinyo. Means a ton coming from someone in your shoes!

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Teejay September 24, 2009 at 11:44 PM

Hi Baker, I’ve been reading up on your blog posts a lot lately. And yeah, I’m one of the guys you thanked. That was a good move. You earned me as a subscriber that day.

I will take this blog post as a reference of mine and maybe someday I might get to where you are right now.

Congratulations on the 6-month anniversary.
.-= Teejay´s last blog ..It Is Wise To Save =-.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 1:06 AM

Teejay, been enjoying your comments. Glad I could finally hook you into subscribing! ;-)

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Flexo September 24, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Thanks for sharing your experiences with blogging so far! All excellent thoughts in this post.
.-= Flexo´s last blog ..Wells Fargo Joins Bank of America and Chase With New Overdraft Policies =-.

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Annabel Candy September 25, 2009 at 1:28 AM

Well, thank heavens you didn’t give up. I feel the urge a lot! I’m just a couple of months behind you but wanting to stop is a big one. Fortunately I promised myself I’d do it for a year to see what happens so I’m sticking at it for now.

I can only add get a domain name to begin with. I changed from wordpress to my own domain name three months in which made for lots of confusion and lost readers along the way.

Blogging is a huge learning curve but that’s part of what makes it interesting – that and actually interacting with your readers and trying to work out how to give them what they want. Having the confidence to be yourself is key too.

Keep up the great work bro:)

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 9:17 PM

Great addition! I’m a huge fan of having your own domain. There are many very low cost options. I started on the free hosting that came with my domain, as well.

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Dave - LifeExcursion September 25, 2009 at 2:20 AM

As always, great stuff Adam. I feel like I came into the flow of ManvsDebt at the perfect time. Just as you were leaving the states. It has been awesome seeing you BLOW UP out there in just the last 2 months.

Your advice is great for newbies like me…
-Develops great focus
-Straight Forward on monetizing slowly
-Reaching out to the big fish

Thanks for everything you provide. Your writing gets better daily.

Dave
LifeExcursion

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kenyantykoon September 25, 2009 at 2:51 AM

this is a really helpful post. i normally dont read large posts to the end but i have lappped this one up. it really gives useful points to a relatively new blogger like myself and there are some things that confirm that i am on the right path- like the obsession to my blog and the constant working on it. thanks man
.-= kenyantykoon´s last blog ..MONEY MARKET MUTUAL FUNDS- AN ALTERNATIVE TO SAVINGS?? =-.

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Neal@WealthPilgrim.com September 25, 2009 at 6:06 AM

Sorry for getting to this late….but another fantastic post. Sorry this is a lame comment but it’s 3 am and my brain is still in yesterday. Anyway, well worth the wait to read. Congratulations on all you’ve done and will do.

You are a SERIOUS contender for pick of the pack!
.-= Neal@WealthPilgrim.com´s last blog ..Couples Fighting For (and over) Money. Is It Your Fault? =-.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 9:18 PM

Better late than never!

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Cody McKibben September 25, 2009 at 8:29 AM

Baker, truly man, you’re on fire! Congrats on your 6-month anniversary, and thank you for this brilliant post! Now I have a new resource to share with people who ask me questions about starting up as a blogger—”read what ManVsDebt says!” Very comprehensive, valuable article.
.-= Cody McKibben´s last blog ..Quit Trying to Convert Me Because It Ain’t Gonna Happen =-.

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Susan Stone September 25, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Congratulations Adam on reaching the 6 month mark what a huge deal!! I am a new reader to your blog but you are clearly an inspired writer and traveler. Keep up the great work and thank you for the amazing information in your article. My motto in life is that I am always learning and growing. You take that one step further and you are sharing what you have learned, nicely done.

Have an amazing day!
Susan Stone

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Noelle September 25, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Baker, congrats on 6 months. But, truthfully, I can’t believe it’s only been 6 months since you’ve been blogging. Your writing is great and I thought you’d been blogging for years and it was just that I was late to the party. Congrats also on your new writing gig at Get Rich Slowly. I look forward to your posts; keep ‘em coming.

~Noelle
.-= Noelle´s last blog ..What I’m doing =-.

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Glen Allsopp September 25, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Great post man, must have taken ages to put together.

I like to think I’m the exception and answering your question near the start. I started a brand new blog (email me for the link) in April (I think) purely for test purposes and made $4,000. I did not leverage my existing brands and found the community completely from scratch.

It was more a one off thing rather than something I wanted to maintain, but it is very possible.
.-= Glen Allsopp´s last blog ..My 6 Week Challenge: Learning About Myself =-.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 9:21 PM

Yeah, but you’ve already had the experience. Even if you didn’t leverage your other brands, you had the knowledge of being through it before. Either way, though, that’s awesome! I’d take being that exception to the rule anyday.

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Jill MacGregor September 25, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Adam,
Thanks for this rich, meaty post! As a new blogger, this information is incredibly useful and I feel like I just tripped over the motherload. You have accomplished so much in 6 months–congratulations!

Jill MacGregor’s last blog… 10 Life Changing Lessons I Learned From Painting.

Thanks again,
Jill

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Robert September 25, 2009 at 1:02 PM

The little I’ve read about Chris Guillebeau is fantastic and inspiring. I’m printing them as soon as possible.
.-= Robert´s last blog ..5 Easy Ways to Fight Off Swine Flu =-.

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Nancy L. September 25, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Wow, I never would have guessed that you’ve only been blogging for 6 months. Great job! :)

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J. Money September 25, 2009 at 4:52 PM

You sir, are the man. Keep rockin’ it out and giving us fresh content to read!!!
.-= J. Money´s last blog ..Moral Dilemma: Speak Up or Save Money? =-.

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Dad September 25, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Great Post!!! How in the world do you find time for all you do, buddy? haha! Young kid, move across the globe, trekking around New Zealand, and writing small books for your blog posts!! Amazing! I appreciate all the hard work you do for the pf blogging community! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
.-= Dad´s last blog ..Giving Back – What It’s All About! =-.

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Baker September 25, 2009 at 9:22 PM

I’ve mastered the realm of space and time. I no longer need sleep to function.

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Yann September 25, 2009 at 9:19 PM

What can I say after all these nice comments.
This is a GREAT post.
Very inspiring. All your tips are useful. When you say “leave passionate comments”, it’s exactly how I found your blog; I like this one too : “delete negative comments”. You are right and I have to read this post again and again.

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Patrick September 25, 2009 at 10:15 PM

Baker, First, congrats on 6 months! Second, great resource. I’ve got a few videos to watch and an ebook to read. Not to mention pass this article along to a friend of mine who is just starting out. As a coincidence (or a testament to him), Jim played a big part in my beginning as well. He helped me early on when I was a nobody in the blogging world. It is because of help from people like him that I have gone out of my way to help others as well. I don’t do it with the expectation of receiving anything in return – I do it because other have helped me get where I am. Congrats on our success, and I look forward to more. :)
.-= Patrick´s last blog ..Credit CARD Act Changes Coming Sooner? =-.

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Baker September 29, 2009 at 4:44 AM

Thanks, Patrick. Appreciate your (and other older pf bloggers support) whil I was gettting my feet wet!

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Diggy - Upgradereality.com September 26, 2009 at 4:10 AM

Wow Adam!

Congrats on the crazy good success:)
I can see why your blog is so popular and so big, your writing style is amazing. Your posts are long and informative and never boring, your design is awesome, you just do everything right :)

I’ve already learnt many of these points the hard way, but all of them that you mention are so true! The one thing I need to work on is getting more exposure, so going to experiment with carnivals and with twitter. :)

Have an awesome weekend!
Cheers!
.-= Diggy – Upgradereality.com´s last blog ..Travel,Adventure,Lifestyle Design,Self Improvement and Passion =-.

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Seth W September 26, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Let me just tell you…. Wow. This was a great post on a subject that far too many people suck at writing about. You did a fantastic job keeping it completely honest and letting them know about the intricacies of blogging. I write about this subject everyday and you nailed it! What a great post that I am glad to have stumbled upon. Will love to keep looking around.
.-= Seth W´s last blog ..Google Analytics Reveals the Importance of Branding and Content =-.

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ErikaJean September 26, 2009 at 8:38 PM

I’m not sure that I agree with 100% of these main points, but a lot of them are right on. I’m personally interested in more personal blog than blogs out there “trying to make it” and market themselves. I think my own blog is similar. I don’t post with an aim to be the most famous, wealthy, or known blogger. I started my blog simply as more of a diary and for some reason I’m on my 3rd year with it… I think the thing That KEEPS me going though are the comments.

Can we please ad something about music though. Music on on a blog = a blog that sucks and a sucky blogger ;-)
.-= ErikaJean´s last blog ..FTF Friday! =-.

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Baker September 29, 2009 at 4:45 AM

Comments are what give me the fuel to keep going, as well! So thank YOU!

P.S. There will never be background music on this blog ;-).

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Marilyn September 26, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Hi Adam,

First thank you for this post it is really great and well written. Well done on what you’ve achieved in six short months – you are inspirational!

I’ve been blogging for 8 months, 4 months quite seriously and I am at the stage where I want to start stepping it up i.e. find mentors and get what I have to say in front of my right people. I’m sure your tips and strategies left above will help me do just that.

Chris Guillebeau’s book has been sitting on my work table for three months now. Before I do anything else I’ll pick it up and actually start reading it!!

Thanks again and all the best for a bright blogging future!
Marilyn

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Baker September 29, 2009 at 4:46 AM

Marilyn, you’ve gotten read it! Stop what you are doing! It’ll only take an hour or so ;-).

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jan in chesterfield September 26, 2009 at 11:46 PM

Congrats on the 6 months. I just hit my year mark. I find myself slowing down but I do think about blogging and blogging topics. I used the Idiot’s Guide to Blogging when I started. That helped me a lot as I really had no clue on how to begin. Keep up the good work.

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Financial Samurai September 27, 2009 at 3:03 AM

Wow, only 6 months and you’ve done so much! Congrats!
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..The Katana: Must Read Articles of The Week Ending 9/26 =-.

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Pat with SPI September 27, 2009 at 4:30 AM

Hey Adam, I was referred to your blog today for the first time, and was really impressed with this post. A perfect description of everything a new or even old-time blogger should know. I appreciate the fact that you took the time to put it all into one gigantic pillar article instead of breaking it down into what probably could of been at least 3 to 5 posts.

You left a wonderful first impression on me. I’ll definitely be back for more. Best of luck to you and your battle with debt.
.-= Pat with SPI´s last blog ..Notable Links to Read this Weekend – Ed.1 =-.

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Ken Kurosawa September 27, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Bake,
It’s pretty obvious by comment #100, that this post is an awesome resource and inspiration to all.
Thank you!

Ken

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Brenton Gieser September 28, 2009 at 12:30 AM

Adam…I gotta say…I think you have a little Gary Vaynerchuk in you…I can see how your rich writing and openness builds up a huge amount of personal brand equity for you in such a short amount of time. You helped me realize one common things about all the “personal blogs” i subscribe to…I follow real people…not experts…U have that part down to a T my friend. I personally think a relationship building approach to blogging makes everything worthwhile. I hope to connect with you at some point and get some backpacking tips of how to travel it with your partner…plus 1 :)
.-= Brenton Gieser´s last blog ..Practical Tips on How to Increase Focus and Achieve Impractical Results =-.

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Baker September 29, 2009 at 4:47 AM

Man if I could pass on even a tiny fraction of the juice a couple of Gary V videos have given me… I’d be very, very content. Thanks!

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John September 28, 2009 at 1:47 PM

I’ve been watching that video of Gary Vaynerchuk everyday now. About your post, there’s nothing left to say that hasn’t already been said. I’ll be checking back soon. Have fun traveling, Adam!
.-= John´s last blog ..How to Keep Moving Forward =-.

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Nora September 28, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Fabulous article, and with almost exhaustive resources! Bravo. I’ve been blogging for a few years now, and I can STILL learn a thing or two (or ten) from it!

One thing that confused me a little bit: is there any reason why you chose not to use affiliate links (for example, for Chris Guillebeau’s book)? You read it, you endorse it, and you’re recommending it; why not make a little cash for sending people Chris’s way? (The cost of the book does not increase)…

And I identify (a little too well) with @Credit #34′s routine to avoid: DON’T check emails first thing in the morning if you want your day to be productive! (Wait a minute….it’s 7:23am….I think I just broke the rule again!)

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Baker September 29, 2009 at 4:49 AM

Awesome to have you visiting, Nora! The specific book in this post is free, however I actually do use affiliate links when linking some of Chris’ killer premium products!

And I’m with you 100% on the e-mail thing. Somedays I can’t resist the urge, but my morning always go better when I hold off a little!

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Ben September 29, 2009 at 1:15 AM

Baker, nice work on your passion, creativity, and execution!

Thanks for pointing out the Seth Godin video. One reason I think that blogging overcomes “the resistance” as he calls it is that we make ourselves ship something every day.

We don’t give the lizard brain a chance to interfere. It’s not a major life changing commitment to ship 500 words every day but over time it adds up and before we know it we’ve built something that has momentum. I hope your militia continues to grow and build your momentum :)
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Teach Your Kids How to Manage Money in 7 Easy Lessons =-.

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Baker September 29, 2009 at 4:51 AM

My thoughts on the Godin video, exactly. I just bumped into that a view days before this post was going to go live. I knew I had to tack it on the end, even if it didn’t really inspire me up to this point. I know it will going forward.

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Ian September 29, 2009 at 7:57 AM

Very cool site man – found you from 4hourworkweek – my other favorite blog. Keep up the good work. You’ve inspired me.
.-= Ian´s last blog ..TOEFL IBT Konuşma Bölümü İçin Sağlam Stratejiler =-.

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Marcy September 29, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Wow, this is truly a great article, I have been thinking about starting a blog myself, I follow many and have been trying to find a direction for myself as of late. Although, I must admit, I am VERY overwhelmed by the idea of it all, one of those people that is afraid to take a chance sometimes (what can I say I’m a Capricorn :O) It seems at times that the blogging world is already so full how could one possibly make a go at it, however, your article really has inspired me to stop tossing this around and at the very least, answer some of these questions to see if indeed I could make a go at it. This article is so full of information I think for now I will start with watching the first video again, and again, and from there try to put down some real thoughts, thanks for such a good, and timely read. ps: I came here via “Simple Dollar” , who I thoroughly enjoy, to “WealthPilgrim” who I had never visited but liked the content a lot, and finally to here, where as you can tell, I found very inspiring, thanks!

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Lance September 29, 2009 at 11:23 PM

Great stuff Adam. Thanks for the inspiration, I needed that.

Lance

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Tricia September 30, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Thankyou!!! That was all so helpful. I have been blogging now for c. 9 months – and to be honest, my readership has not really increased in that time. I’ve taken away lots of helpful hints thanks – but I think the main take-home message for me is that i’m not focussing enough on making connections.

I’m off to check out the rest of your blog. Finance blogs are not usualy my thing – my husband forwarded this post to me – but I enjoyed your writing style so will check out more.
.-= Tricia´s last blog ..I love swapping! =-.

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Foxie | CarsxGirl September 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Baker, you keep wowing me with your stuff, so why can’t I remember to check your blog more often?! D:

I’m gonna work on going through this entire thing piece by piece to make sure I’m doing things as best as I can. I definitely have passion, found a nice brand thing (I think?) and have an extremely small niche. (So small, I know of no other blog that exists in it. Conversely, it’s so itty bitty that it’s hard to make people aware of it!) And I don’t care if I make money from the blog or not, I’d rather use it, work on my writing and photography and sort of get other freelance jobs using my blog as a portfolio.

And yup, passion is key! But I’d say to not be afraid of saturated niches. I hacked it out pretty good as a PF blogger…. Until I realized that my true passion lied elsewhere.
.-= Foxie | CarsxGirl´s last blog ..When You’re Bored & You Like Cars… =-.

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Michael Harr @ TodayForward September 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

@Baker – You nailed it for sure. I probably started picking up your blog about four months or so ago, started following more closely over the last couple of months and with very good reason–you’re a terrific blogger! Your insights, sense of humor, and writing style make for excellent reading. I’ve been very impressed with your uptick in subscribers and the devoted following you’ve been able to build.

It all comes back to passion and that’s something that you not only possess, but something that you’ve been able to share very effectively. Keep up the good work, and I’m sure it’ll land you more and better opportunities over time.
.-= Michael Harr @ TodayForward´s last blog ..TodayForward is the Simple Way to Plan, Manage, and Organize Your Money =-.

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Mandy October 1, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Fabulous article! I actually found it through Simple Dollar, so I liked the point that you made about having someone of quality (Simple Dollar) link to you instead of quantity (Digg).
.-= Mandy´s last blog ..Grocery Ads & An Exciting Food Experiment! =-.

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Paul Norwine October 2, 2009 at 3:37 PM

hey brotha,

I just wanted to drop you a line letting you know that your post really put some things into perspective for me. It actually inspired me to write a couple of things that I can honestly say were the first real and totally authentic things I have written yet. Just wanted to say thank you.

Paul
.-= Paul Norwine´s last blog ..Eliminating Self-Doubt | Beating the Bogeyman at His Own Game =-.

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Steve Johnson October 2, 2009 at 10:16 PM

What a great post. So much information. I am going to re-read this to try and soak it all in. Watched the video from Gary Vaynerchuk and it really got me motivated. I will definitely watch this regularly as inspiration.

I am struggling with the “something” or go-to person. There are some things I am passionate about, but not really an expert on any of them. Your post is one of many that are giving me the courage to restart my blog.

Congrats on your 6 month anniversary.

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Casey October 15, 2009 at 3:01 AM

I am so glad I came across this post. Not only did I learn so much from you, I was able to find some other bloggers with some valuable insight. Thanks Baker. I look forward to future posts (and old posts too since I am late to this party, haha).

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Yves October 18, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Just found your blog. Very happy I did.

Wanted to say that this is a great article.

I recently watched a couple of videos of Gary V…. and find him inspiring.

Although I started a few blogs practically at once, I found that one of them in particular has been much easier to write for…. because it touches one of my passions.

Consider me a reader!

I send you all my best.
.-= Yves´s last blog ..Blogging, research and relationships =-.

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Mike October 26, 2009 at 10:51 PM

Hey Adam,
I just wanted to say that this is an awesome post. I’ve been reading your blog for the past several weeks and I’m definitely digging what you are creating here. I consider myself lucky for finding this resource in the early stages of my blogging experience. I’ll probably be watching that Gary V. video quite often as well…it’s soo true. It’s all about HUSTLE…and thanks for telling me what I needed to hear about the blog design. I’m such a perfectionist and I just find it really hard to let go something about a design/plugin that bothers me.

Thanks again!
Mike

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Damon Day October 29, 2009 at 3:39 PM

6 months Adam?

Wow I thought I was doing pretty good after 4 months. If I would have guessed, I would have thought you have had this going for a few years. You certainly packed a lot of good info for me to bookmark and study in this post. I appreciated the tip about the Flickr pics. I know that people relate to good pictures. I have been using google images but I am going to go to flickr on the next few posts and see what I can find.

I archived both of those videos to playback when I have some time.

You were ringing true for me when you were talking about tweaking and spending countless hours on themes, plugins etc. I have a bad habit of doing that. I need to just leave what I have and focus on good content, content, content.

Thanks for the great info, I have been reading your blog from about the time I started mine and have appreciated the help. Enjoy your travels, now is the time for you guys to do it.
.-= Damon Day´s last blog ..Debt Settlement Nightmare for Phoenix Woman =-.

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Tina November 3, 2009 at 1:29 PM

I started my blogging a month ago and I love it! Now, I just need to be more specific and transparent. I’ve been following you for a few months and I’m glad to see you’re still moving! Awesome!!
.-= Tina´s last blog ..Even Jay-Z says Keep up, Go ahead or Get Left Behind =-.

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Roschelle November 15, 2009 at 4:34 AM

6 months you say? Well let me just say that I visit hundreds of blogs a week. I spend quite a bit of time of the more “popular blogs about blogging”…..we all know the ones. But I’ve never read a more thorough, inspirational, go getter post than the one you given us. Great tips and sound advice. Thanks and much continued success!
.-= Roschelle´s last blog ..Sunday Selects =-.

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The Zen Capitalist December 11, 2009 at 7:11 PM

I’m with Gary when he says, “I care more about people than I care about myself”. I’ve been blogging for 2 months and boy have I been humbled! Blogging is its own beast. It’s like running a business.

Baker: I’m officially on the same boat as you. I’ll be watching that Gary Vaynerchuk video every week.
.-= The Zen Capitalist´s last blog ..Technical Analysis is a Hokey Religion! =-.

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Financial Samurai December 11, 2009 at 10:02 PM

Great post Baker! For those who blog full-time and want to therefore monetize, transparency really is key.

In the end, blogging and getting to knkow people is just fun! Don’t do it for money, for money will come, eventually, always.

Best,

Sam-urai

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Eric C December 17, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I agree with you but I noticed an interesting dichotomy.

You write about how guest posting is the key to traffic, but guest posting on A-list sites. You write about how a link from the Simple Dollar is more valuable than digg front page. Well, your video says the gate keepers to old media are gone. Nope, they are being replaced or transformed. Darren Rowse, Seth Grodin, etc, these are the new gatekeepers.

I’m waiting to hear back from the copyblogger guys about a guest post I wrote, they have a assistant who handles them first, then they check them out. Sounds exactly like submitting a piece to a newspaper or magazine.

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Jillian December 17, 2009 at 5:44 PM

I just found you and all i can say is AWESOME! Out of all the “how to get the most comments” ProBlogger post I clicked on your example and I absolutely love this post ans your blog in general. I’ve been brainstorming and working through 2 blogs in my head for some time now and doing a TON of research and this is one of the best “how not to suck/be awesome” posts I’ve read!

You definitely have a new super fan in mean and I can’t wait to spend some time doing some back reading. And BTW i totally have 200+ RSS feeds coming in and feel the same way!

Thanks for being awesome!

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Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality December 17, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Love the title of this post! Great information, came over from Problogger. I probably need to get out of my niche more often and read blogs from guys like you. I tend to just stick to the “home” blogs I’m comfortable with & don’t venture out of that much. But, you guys have a lot to offer! Really good post!

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David December 17, 2009 at 9:20 PM

Enjoyed your post. It all makes sense and I have found that a lot of it works in my own world. But the bad language guy! How does that help? It’s like watching Tiger when he makes a bad shot. And we all know how that is turning out!

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Kimberly December 17, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Oh my gosh, I saw this post in my feedreeder this morning before work, saw how long and involved it was (love!), and decided I had to read it slowly and carefully, when I could savor and digest all of the great suggestions. So I e-mailed the link to myself, and now that’s it’s 9:00 p.m. and I am home for the night, I am reading it for the second time. Yay — great stuff here! I love, love, love Gary Vaynerchuk, and have seen this video 2 or 3 times, but now I’m going to watch it again — maybe once a week, just like you suggest! I gotta tell ya, when I feel tired, or uninspired, etc., or for some reason like not working on my blog, I just think of any of Gary V’s comments in this video, and it gets me off my butt and working again. And I am going right now, lickety split, to check out 279 Days to Overnight Success. Thanks for all the great resources, you rock!!

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Sordid World December 18, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Great post! I only disagree with you on one point: “Delete negative comments.” My blog is opinion-column style with strong opinions. I encourage everyone to have an opinion, and I receive a lot of hate-mail-type comments. I love them. More often than not, the commentors — although harshly criticizing me and my opinions — only reinforce the point I’ve made in the article. My adoration for hate mail goes back more than 10 years to when I was the editor of an alternative newsweekly. My policy was to publish readers’ letters no matter how harshly they criticized the paper. I just think that’s good journalism. A newspaper that publishes only the glowing and positive comments can’t be counted on to give you the real story. Don’t get me wrong; I love it when someone agrees with me, too, and I love it best when someone comments about a hate-mail comment. I just think it’s a good policy to publish all comments (other than ads) to let readers consider all sides of a subject or issue.

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Chris MacNaughton December 18, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Grats on 6 moths!

I actually found your blog through one of the SEO blogs I follow and loved the article. I myself have a personal blog that I’m starting up for some travels that I”ll be doing soon and will take some of these lessons to heart!

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Andy Dolph December 18, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Hi Baker,
I just wanted to let you know how useful this post has been for me in so many ways as a new blogger – you brought together lots of ideas that have been floating around in my head, and in various things I’ve been reading.

You also sparked an idea for a post on my own blog, which while not directly about blogging is about communicating powerfully.
The post is here if you’re interested:
http://andydolph.com/2009/12/18/effective-presentations-are-great-storytelling/

Take care,

Andy

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Ellen Christian December 18, 2009 at 10:15 PM

Thanks for the information. I’ve got a lot of work to do but at least now I know where to start!

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Vince Cianci December 19, 2009 at 6:58 AM

6 Month anniversary and all this? Wow. Great work. Seriously I mean it. Keep it up. Cant wait to see the 1 year milestone.

Vince.

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Jaszy December 20, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Not to be overly crude, but my husband will probably get lucky tonight for forwarding this post link to me. This is by far the coolest thing I’ve read in a long time! Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and can’t even begin to explain just which one of the many points you made that will be of value to me.

I know all things happen for a reason. Just today I was came to the conclusion that I have to take my blog back a few notches, back to when I actually wrote on my blog rather than research the next best widget or affiliate program. Thank you for validating my decision.

This is probably the longest post I have ever read and probably the longest comment I have ever left. Your style of writing spoke to me rather than preached, you have gained a fan.

peace,
Ms. Jaszy

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Steve McAllister December 21, 2009 at 7:24 AM

Thank you so much for this post. It’s incredibly inspiring. I’ve been revamping my blog and rethinking my direction. I truly appreciate all that you had to say, and the videos were astounding.

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brianna December 21, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Awesome! Loved it to the last drop. Congrats on your 6 months, and thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your pearls of wisdom. I am just dipping my big toe in to the vast waters of blogging and your advice has got me pumped. Thank you!!

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Brandon Holcomb December 22, 2009 at 1:04 AM

Wow very inspiring I read your entire post from start to finish and even the comments. Us new bloggers are guilty of some of the things mentioned in your post specially if we are design freaks at heart to. I have learned recently how to set the design and forget it basically and do what I am suppose to do which is blog about bloggers. Good luck and I will be following you.

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John Paul Aguiar December 26, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Awesome post.. bottom line is it’s about passion.. If you want it and luv it enough, your blog will succeed.

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Tommy December 30, 2009 at 3:48 AM

Dude, this is really good. Seriously helpful. If you’ve got “sucking hump” can I take “hump sucking?”

Have fun in NZ, and keep us posted.

Thanks!

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GE Miller December 31, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Baker – what you’ve learned in 9 months of blogging took me twice that long to learn (better late than never). I’m glad that you’re paying it forward to others.

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Credit Card Chaser December 31, 2009 at 10:28 PM

Awesome in depth post! I very much agree with your advice to not waste time endlessly trying to tweak your site theme, plugins, etc to get it just right as the priority should be on strong content and building relationships. This post is a great example of evergreen or “pillar” content as you call it. Nice job coming so far in such a short time! – Joel

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FFB January 1, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Damn, I’ve got to read more of your stuff! I look back and I can see I spend way too much garbage time on the web and not enough focused time doing the things I need to to make my site better. I’ve been doing this for over two years now but I still need a swift kick in the rear from time to time. Thanks!

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Dan Emery January 5, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Thank you for posting this great information! This is what it’s about… sharing information and making improvements. Life is too short NOT to be passionate and I want to make a mark. This post is bookmarked and will be read and re-read when I need, what FFB refers to as, that “kick in the rear”.

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Anett January 6, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Wow! this was really an awesome post and it really helped me. It took a bit long to read (but that may be my fault) but 100% encouraging and with tons of very helpful information. I love the hint on the pictures from flickr especially. Thanks thanks thanks! I’m just at the beginning and thought about giving up already. But now? Never! :)

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David January 6, 2010 at 6:12 PM

This post is amazing, it’s probably one of the best post I ever read. I really mean it.

I especially liked the “getting on the map” point, but all of them are awesome. I’ve learned a lot with it. I also liked how you link to many other bloggers just applying the rules stated in your article. You have a new reader.

See you Baker.

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thelamest January 6, 2010 at 8:02 PM

great great read! I’m 40 odd days into my blogging career so relate heavily to everything written here. I already can see it is going to be hard work. I feel refocused after reading this article……I’ve probably be focused on where I can get volume traffic from (digg etc) more then worrying about getting return/loyal and contributing followers! This will now be my focus!!!

cheers!

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Jon January 8, 2010 at 6:39 PM

i love the name of this page….Man Vs Debt.
People the days by more crap than they good ever possibly need or use while getting more and more in debt. POEPLE:just because you it looks nice and you can “afford” it doesnt mean you should buy. release yourelfs from the matterialistc desire

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Richard Georges January 9, 2010 at 8:02 PM

Baker, this was really informative and inspiring! Thank you for going to such lengths and detail. I’ve had a blog for quite some time on blogger that really served as a place for me to muse aloud and friends happened to stop by sometimes. I only just integrated it into my portfolio website, and now I am looking towards making it a lot more than it is. I need to take a lot of this advice it seems, as I may be a bit all over the shop trying to cater to all of my passions on it. Again, thanks so much!

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Mike Key January 13, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Wow, that was a long post.

“If you aren’t 100% passionate, you will fail miserably.”

I have heard a number of great blogger make that very same statement. And it’s like the master rule. It’s easy to tell who is really passionate and who is just a copy cat.

I made the mistake recently that I am noticing that I am pretty passionate about entrepreneurship and helping people break free from social norms, but I was alittle busy trying to act like other bloggers, rather than letting my core personality and my passion come through in my writing.

I am beginning to see that letting your own personality come through really will create an audience. This is all part of being unique.

And, off topic, I love the whole MAN VS DEBT.

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jaz January 16, 2010 at 9:22 AM

wow….great info! i will be back to study all of it. happy sits sharefest day!

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Anitra January 16, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Thanks for all this hard work, and for sharing it so passionately. I found you on the SITS girls site and I’m so glad I followed the link. I’m on my way to dig through your site and then to read the amazing links you shared. Keep up the good work and thanks so much for the tips.

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38traci January 16, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Wow! I’m so glad that I was directed here from SITS. What a terrific post. I’ve been blogging for just under six months and I am still learning so much. I appreciate all the sources you shared. You obviously have a clearly defined vision and a great blogging voice. And as my husband and I have decided to tackle our debt, I will definitely be coming back.

All my best to you in the New Year.
:-)

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Thankfully Thrifty January 16, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Great info! Thanks for taking the time to write this!

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Valerie January 16, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Thanks for the tips, I’m headed to get a drink and scroll back up and watch the videos now that I have the kids lined out.

BTW, I found you through a recommended link @ SITS Gals. http://www.thesitsgirls.com/2010/01/blogging-inspiration-motivation/#comment-30205

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karen@fitnessjourney January 16, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Hi,first visit here. Fantastic post. I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months but much of what I’ve done right is what you have covered here. I truly appreciate the obvious time and effort that went into the creation of this post. I’ll be bookmarking this one!

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Samantha January 17, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Thank you! This has been very inspirational and you have given me a lot of useful info all in one place. I have some family issues going on and have been trying to figure out a way to get awareness about them. One thing that has always helped me cope and get things out is to write. I started thinking that a blog would help me to do all of these things, but I have never even considered anything like this before tonight. I will definately be doing my research before starting. Just wanted to thank you for the information. Congrats on your 6!

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Amanda {my life badly written} January 17, 2010 at 2:41 AM

I came over like Valarie above from SITS and just want to say that this post was awesome and gave some really great advice so thank you for sharing.

I am an Aussie blogger and I have been blogging now for just over 6 months. I really want to streamline my writing and also focus my blog so I will definately be coming back to this post for inspiration and guidence.

I will also check out the rest of your blog and want to wish you Congrats on your first 6 months and hope for your continued success!

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heidi @ wonder woman wannabe January 17, 2010 at 9:52 AM

These are some great tips. I’m looking forward to browsing the several links you listed.
The only other advice I’d have to add is to try to maintain balance in your ‘real’ life as you build/maintain your blog.

I am interested to hear more about how you deal with comments after the first time ‘thank you’.

SITS sent me by, and I’m so glad they did!
Cheers!

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Gosia January 17, 2010 at 2:07 PM

How lucky of me to come across your site. All these great tips are exactly what I need while I’m nursing my month-old blog. Thank you very, very much for sharing. Wishing you continued success. I can’t believe it’s has taken you just six months to come that far. Congratulations.
Visiting from SITS.

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Martha at A Sense of Humor is Essential January 18, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Visiting from the SITS post that featured you as a Must Read for bloggers. Thank you so much for this educational and entertaining post. It is very insightful especially for this “hobbyist” blogger. I agree content is King, Queen, and Court Jester of blogs, and I am not engaged with blogs that are not genuine and authentic, regardless of topic or free swag. Best Wishes to you in all your endeavors and super cute photo of you with your baby.
Greetings from Los Angeles and yes, I will be back!

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amber January 18, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Thanks for all the great advice. My blog is still pretty small, and sometimes I wonder why I spend so much time obsessing over it (the hub gets pretty pissed), but posts like this remind me. It’s ’cause I love it. I have bookmarked this post to watch the video once I’m no longer at work…

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Terrah January 18, 2010 at 9:38 PM

You rock. That is all.

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Jayde January 19, 2010 at 10:29 PM

I really enjoyed this post and all the helpful links and videos. I have linked back here from my blog! Thanks so much!

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Kevin@OutOfYourRut January 20, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Adam–Is Flickr a free site? Do you pay to join, pay by the photo?

Something else I noticed–you’re very active in engaging your readers via the comments. It gives your site a real intimacy, and I think that’s what people are really looking for from blogs. We all want to believe that our opinions matter, and you’re giving people that.

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Justyn January 23, 2010 at 8:36 PM

WOW great post Adam, the one that I like is the “Realize that you will not make money”…and that’s totally true, I’ve been blogging now for only 3 months and thinking about that too much. I’m taking your approach on it and just “chillrocking”

And yes… I just coined the phrase ’chillrocking’. It’s mine. Don’t touch it. LMAO

Great Post!

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Skooks January 25, 2010 at 3:33 AM

Just discovered SITS and through that, you. This was an amazing post! I don’t have time to watch that 2nd video and click through all the links at the moment, but that first video was both hilarious and so true. It is so very much about connecting with your readers and caring about people. I’ve got content going back a few years, but have only gone public with it since late November. I guess this still makes me somewhat “new” to the blogging world. Will be bookmarking this post to come back to and read more in depth later. Thank you for being so open and honest. This was meaty post to write and I’m sure it took a good deal of time and effort to assemble all those links. Thanks for doing so.

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Trey January 31, 2010 at 2:53 AM

As a beginning blogger, this helped me out a lot. I’m really thankful for all of the information you provided. I’ll be following your advice and trying to get out there! Thanks again. :)

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Ouida Vincent February 2, 2010 at 8:16 PM

And here I was thinking I was following way too many blogs…I guess not nearly enough! Thank you for posting this, Baker. I have really been in the dark about blogging and have started and stopped so many blogs it would make you cry…certainly makes me cry! I look forward to receiving your posts.

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Jeff Dolan February 14, 2010 at 11:57 PM

This post could save so many bloggers a major headache. Thanks for sharing it. The hard part though is not knowing, but doing.

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Dominick Bonny February 16, 2010 at 12:54 AM

Awesome post. I’ve been blogging for a year and I learned many of these lessons through trial and error but there were a few things you mentioned that I didn’t know about/hadn’t thought of before. I wish I would have read this in 2008.

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ctreit March 5, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Wow. I am blown away. This is an excellent post and I am glad I read it as we start our blog. I am sure that a lot of your insights will come in very handy. Thank you so much for sharing your insights!

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Greg Jeffries March 15, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Awesome! I didn’t have time to read the whole post yet, but I did watch the video with Tim Ferris. Love the book and all of Tim’s stuff is amazing. Thanks so much for posting and for suggesting the Blogging Buddy.

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Jonathan Blundell March 16, 2010 at 9:40 PM

A little late to the party – but congrats on six months….. or almost a year!

A great post! Probably one of the most comprehensive ones I’ve found on the topic — without having to buy an e-book.

“Once set-up, focus 80% of effort on creating content
Content is king. That’s all I got. Nothing I can say here will help you. Write passionately. Make creating a priority. There, I tried. This part is up to you.”

I think the biggest downfall (for me and others) is realizing how important content is.

Why have I given up on newspapers (even after working in the industry for several years)? Because their content is lacking — I can get what they’re offering anywhere else for free.

Why do I read one blogger over another? Because of their content.

I have to keep reminding myself that and quit trying to find the quick-easy-fix.

Thanks for the reminder!

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Danielle April 15, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Baker ~ Wow! There is a TON of incredibly helpful information here. I love your heart behind this post. It’s obvious you are wanting to HELP bloggers be their absolute best by providing ‘meat’, not just candy ideas. I just started my blog a week ago and have been scouring the internet looking for good info. Your post ranks at the top! I am specifically encouraged that bloggers need to be transparent. Of course there is a fine line between that and letting it all hang out, to the point of creeping out your readers! But I get your intention – be genuine and readers will trust you. Thank you!!!

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Siddhartha April 18, 2010 at 2:19 AM

I know this post is several months old but I got here through a link Maria Killam had on her Colour Me Happy blog and I ended up reading the whole post. I love the passion for what you’re doing; it really comes through in your writing.

I have to say, you’ve got a lot of really great stuff here. I’m going to make it a point to come back for inspiration and information in the future.

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Ann April 18, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Thanks so much!
I am relatively new to the blogging world and I have so much to learn!!
You’ve made it a bit easier to begin…

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/Glenda Childers April 18, 2010 at 10:28 PM

I have been blogging for 2 1/2 months. Thank you for this practical and idea filled post. My head is swimming and I actually don’t understand everything you said, but I appreciate the tutorial for us newbies.

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jacquie April 28, 2010 at 11:47 AM

This is the best post I have ever read about blogging, hands down. You are so right – if you are doing it for the money, you are probably going to fail because you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Also, your comment on negative comments? Perfect, amazing. I’ve considered leaving them there (the blog listed in this comment is a new one – the old one was more controversial so it had more negative response) and considered posting and flip flopped on that too many times. Thanks for giving me the reasons I needed to delete negative thoughts with abandon.

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Terry from Dating Advice (Almost) Daily May 21, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Thanks so much for posting this very valuable information. I love your blog, your attitude, your mission, and your generosity.

You didn’t have to do what you did but you did and I thank you!

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Matthew Warner May 28, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Hey man, great stuff! Lots of good reminders and pointers in there for us bloggers.

I especially like how you watched that Gary Vaynerchuk video every week! I need to do something similar. How quickly we can lose focus in all of the hustle, bustle and noise while working with our heads down. That is a key thing for me…not getting distracted by all of the fun, interesting stuff out there and staying focused.

The “Stop f***ing with your design and plugins” also hit home. That has my name all over it. You are so right though.

Thanks again. Keep up the great work.

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Emme June 2, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Hey Baker, I’ve been visiting your blog off and on for the past few months as I’ve kind of hemmed and hawed about what I’m going to do in the big ole blogosphere. I’ve just launched a new blog, pretty much by the seat of my pants, and I really appreciate this post! I’m a big fan of Chris G. too, were we in the $100 Business Class together? Anyway, just know that you are inspiring me just as much as all the bloggers you mention above! You’re doing a great job! (and I sooo want to convince my hubs to sell everything we have and travel, but we’ve got 4 now ages 10 and under, and well, its complicated. ;)
Thanks again!

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Wilson Usman-Fun Lifestyle June 3, 2010 at 2:46 AM

Wow some people would have put broken down the article in to like 3 parts…I gotta give it to you. You spent some time on this one didn’t you? Thanks for taking the time for writing all this. I know that when I was new I could have done some damage with all this info.

I gotta visit your site more ofter!!!

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Carol Dollar Smith June 6, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Thank you!

I’m in the midst of a career shift, part of which needs to involve an online presence. This is the most concise, comprehensive how-to and how-not-to thing I’ve read.

I especially appreciate the link to Gary’s video. I’ve been vacillating a bit about which of two things to focus on, and now my mind’s made up.

Count me as a regular from now on!

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Victor June 20, 2010 at 3:44 AM

Hey

This is the first time that I visit this blog. Your name is Baker right?
I’m Victor.
I just started my own very first blog. I found this to be a great article.

One thing that helped me a lot so far is using the power of social proof. I started my blog a few weeks ago and in the first weeks I showed the number of comments on my posts even though I hadn’t recieved any comments (did I say my name is Victor? I meant dumbass) and during those weeks my rss subscribers count lingered around 0-2 subscribers. A few days ago I turned off the ability to comment on my posts and I also hid the display of number of comments thinking that I’ll turn this back on when my blog is bigger. Over these two past days the number of subscribers have gone from 0 to 9. Maybe it wasn’t all because of doing this but since my blog is small nothing else significant happened so I like to think that it had something to do with it.

Now I’ll take a look at the Ferriss clip, haven’t seen it before.

See you

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Elva June 23, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Wow! What a great post. This is my first time to read your blog and it is hard to believe you have only been doing this for 6 months. I am fairly new to blogging and need all the help I can get, so I will read all the links you provided and look forward to reading more posts from you.

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danielson June 29, 2010 at 3:25 PM

I bookmarked this post and am going to use it to create my first blog. I have a feeling i’ll be reading it multiple times. haha great detailed post

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Michelle Traudt July 3, 2010 at 4:38 PM

I love this post! Thank you for taking the time to write something like this to help out newer bloggers like myself! I’ve recently re-done my website with a wordpress theme and I have been playing around with the plug-ins, so the “LEAVE IT ALONE” comment really hit home. Thanks!!

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Anna July 16, 2010 at 4:20 AM

I am absolutely overwhelmed (in a good way :-) by this post and your site. Wow…I have been following blogs now for about a year. I started with moneysavingmom.com and have been totally inspired by her story and have thought about starting a blog to share my story, too. I love the way you wrote this post…I felt like you were talking to me as a friend would…giving all of the info truthfully and straightforwardly. I can’t wait to go back and watch the videos. My debt story is influenced by Dave Ramsey. My husband and I are $9,500 away from paying off our debt (not including the mortgage). Actually, our mortgage “story” would be one thing I would focus on in my blog (if I start one). We bought our first home in 2005 and are so underwater in our mortgage (like many are) that it has been hard trying to decide what to do…we want to pay back all of our debt, including our mortgage. Anyway, I thought this would be an interesting aspect to focus on in a blog. I’ve been trying to find blogs where maybe there are other families sharing their nightmare mortgage stories given the situation our current economy is in…I’m sure there are others out there, just like me, who feel pretty alone in all this mess.

Anyway, I’m rambling now…just wanted to say thank you for being so “real” in your writing and your message. I hope that if I start a blog, my words will come across as personal and “transparent” as yours.

God Bless…

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Shawn Brandow August 17, 2010 at 9:35 PM

I am humbled and deeply moved by your passion for your niche and for blogging.
I just started my site a week ago and am already lost as to what to do. Travel blogging isn’t a very small niche either. So I did what all the big guys say to do, get on StumbleUpon and look for others with similar interests.
I stumbled across your blog about four hours ago and haven’t moved a muscle. I’m learning a lot and already about to take some unneeded crap off my site and make it more efficient. You sir, are a true inspiration to all of us and I thank you for your time and effort.
Peace.

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Wade McMaster August 19, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Thanks for the useful tips and no nonsense delivery! I can fulyl relate to not changing the design constantly, I find myself wanting to do it myself all the time (I am a Graphic Designer), but stop myself and think ‘work on the more important things’. Human desire is hard to overcome sometimes!

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wendy pearson August 21, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Baker great work! This must have taken quite a while to put together and i thank you for it. I’m just getting launched on my blog I’ve been researching all this for over 6 months and i have mind maps and business plans and WordPress and Headway etc out the ying yang and now I’m standing at the precipice and just have to jump. I’d not seen Tim Ferris’ blog info and was glad to add that to my research pile. I also am a Chris G and pretty much everyone else on your list. My husband and I are embarking on a life simplification project that will take us out from behind corporate America and around the world by road starting in Sept 2011. My (night) job until then? Get the blog up and going!

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WinkBlu August 24, 2010 at 6:27 PM

:) I’ve been reading your post for awhile, and reread this post today. I started a blog on WordPress, about a week ago. Posted my third post today, and DAMN I made Freshly Pressed!!!! http://winkbludreams.wordpress.com/ :)

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Linden September 22, 2010 at 7:51 AM

I showed up here via Zen Habits. I am really enjoying what you have to say. I found Chris awhile back and love anything that has to do with Non-Conformity. What amuses me is that my blog has nothing to do with finances but, I seem to love reading what all of “you finance bloggers” have to say! Holistic Health practitioners could benefit greatly from your common sense and direct style of writing. Thanks…you have a new follower…

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Dania Jalees September 26, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Hi there!

I’m seeing an unbelievable amount of comments here. This one blog post itself showcases the truth of everything you wrote up there for us~

I had a great time reading this, and I’m glad my friend referred me to this page. Your energetic style of writing is most amusing [bear in mind that this is the only post I've read by you]. For me, what stood out the most is probably the ‘transpaprency’ part. I’m not much of a blogger/writer, but I was afraid I wasn’t doing my blog any good by being transparent. You’ve helped restore some faith in myself actually!

Thank you, and I hope to read great posts like this from you in the future~
Cheers!

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Megan September 27, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Baker, I love your message, and this blog post. Seriously, reading this post today was the best thing I’ve done in a while. It could not have come at a more perfect time for me.

I love my subject (personal finance — niche to be determined), but I’ve been plagued with doubts these last few weeks. I don’t feel like I have anything useful to say on the subject, because all I have is my personal experiences. I want to help people because I know that the more people know about personal finance, the better their quality of life will be, but then I think “Who am I to tell people anything?”

BUT.

But, then I read this post (which is very aptly named, btw). And I watched the Vaynerchuk video for the first time, and I read The Art of Non-conformity for the first time and I am almost jittery with wanting to do something. My website is still small, and I’m trying to decide how to make it MINE and not Man vs. Debt or The Simple Dollar or Get Rich Slowly because I LOVE everything that you guys do, but I am not you and therefore have something different to say. (I hope.)

So anyway, thank you. I wish you continued success and really appreciate what you’re doing.

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Brooks - TheSouthernInvestor October 1, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Excellent Information. There is of course overlap on good blogs, but there are always a few nuggets on great posts that you can take away. And you have left me with plenty.

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Anon October 2, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Great video….

Have you ever noticed that when you have successes in life-you are always there?

If you believe that we create our own reality…then you absolutely, unconsciously attracted those successes into your life; and it started with your thoughts.

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Ireti Paul October 3, 2010 at 7:19 PM

WOW! Awesome content for onward development of my blogging journey. I really like those videos and the pdf’s. Thanks for sharing.

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Adam October 4, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Hey, this is the first time I’ve come across your blog and I’m glad I did.

I’m currently finding it a bit tough to figure out what I want to blog about lol. I did the setup all wrong. I bought the domain name and hosted it with an initial (flimsy) idea and now I’m like “wtf?” lol.

However, your blog post has provided me with some great resources and ideas that I’m going to get stuck into before focusing my efforts on making my blog for the right reasons.

And also so that I don’t suck at blogging anymore :D

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Akhila October 6, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Wow, where can I start with this? This is seriously an awesome post with SO many good tips. Here is what I have to say–

1) Expose yourself to ALL the possibilities of blogging. — I think this is so true. I’m planning to put ads on my blog pretty soon, but I’ve gotten a lot more out of it so far! I’ve gotten free books, free products offered to me, and job interviews! If I was focused on money, alone, I wouldn’t get this far.

2) Passion does go a long way. There’s no way I could keep writing if I didn’t have a true passion for what I do.

3) About transparency… I know “baring your soul” online so to speak can get you places but unfortunately, I’ve been struggling with this. I’m definitely reluctant to focus on myself and tell all, so hopefully I’ll figure out how to get better at this over time.

Thanks for the great tips! Another awesome tip: email your subscribers!

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Robin Jakobsson October 8, 2010 at 11:42 AM

I’m writing this from Barsov in Romania where me and Amanda (spouse and blogging partner) are reading this post.
Thank you so much for writing it (we’re a year late, and have only been in this blogging business for two months)! This is the first piece that I read from your post, and it totally rocked my boat. I’m going to test all of your tips and let you know how it goes.

We’ve just started our adventure, but so far it has been extremely rewarding.
Much more rewarding than any previous work we’ve had.
What has been the best part of it for you?
Thank you for the inspiration, best of luck!
/Robin

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Adam Snyder October 16, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Great post. I have the paper version of 279 days to overnight success and it is great. i have been reading that thing nonstop and there is always things in their that surprise me.

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kristin October 21, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Found you through colour me happy while looking for some new colors for my home. Just wanted to say keep up the great work! Lots of wonderful tips, thank you!
Take care
Kristin

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Jasmine October 23, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Adam, Thank You. All though I didn’t know you existed until a few minutes ago, I love you for this post. I’m right smack in the middle of that youthful blogging hell (BTW, I love blogging). But here I am tweaking my widgets all day long, being scared my posts don’t have enough lists and bullets to find an audience, reading and hating too many blogs, not knowing how to start a business, being totally passionate and obsessing about it all (ten thousand tag lines today). Even with all the advice out there, the path isn’t clear. And maybe that is because I have to make my own. But I feel in a lot better shape after reading half this post (the other half will have to wait for tomorrow because it is way past my bedtime).

Thanks again.

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lynda October 31, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Thank you for your post! I have been thinking about starting a blog but I know nothing (and I really mean nothing) about the subject. I found your website through frugal dad and I am happy with the results! Great info and resources to help me get started!

Thanks again,

Lynda

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Lee Miller (zenbuzz) November 4, 2010 at 10:22 PM

I’m somewhat new to your blog, I’ve been following it for about 3 months. I’m really enjoying your blog. This is the first blog that I found that shared their monthy stats and income, NEAT. You have great content. So here’s your BIG CONGRATULATION on getting to the 6 month milestone.

I’m in the process of learning WordPress and I will be getting my websites switched over to WordPress soon. I’m still working on nailing down my main passion as I have three, Natural Health, Living a Happy Life, and Mastering Self Employment. I am considering blending these three together as I’m an expert in all of these areas. I believe we need to be healthy to enjoy our happiness and success.

I’m wishing the best for you and your success. Great writing.

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Michele Welch November 6, 2010 at 12:56 AM

With 201 comments already I highly doubt you would ever get the chance to read them all but I felt compelled to leave one anyway. =)

Came across your blog from a link from Think Traffic and in seconds I knew I loved your site! Maybe it was the great header picture with your baby girl. I’m a mommy myself so things like that stand out for me.

Just realized that I need to incorporate that “personal” side to my site. I run a blog on online business training and although I have fun in my writing and speak with my “true” voice I realized I leave out the most important aspect of my life, the very people I work so hard on my business for, my two little ones.

Anyway, I am really looking forward to reading more of your blog! And sorry for the long comment…no I’m not drunk, just exhausted and now inspired! =) Take care.

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Lauren Ashley Miller November 6, 2010 at 2:22 AM

My god, this was by far one of the most passionate, readably, inspiring blog posts I have ever read. I am still in the beginning stages and this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you for the guidance, the inspiration, and the kick in the butt.

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Allison November 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Awesome post! Thanks so much for this – as a new blogger, the task of building a readership can be daunting, and it’s so easy to get bogged down in design details and other relatively unimportant tasks, as you’ve said. I’m just starting out, but I’m hoping to grow an incredibly valuable resource for others (specifically, those headed to academic graduate school for Ph.D.s) as you’ve done here, so thanks for inspiring me!!

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Amanda November 29, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Thank you so much for this post – I read through it last night and have watched the various videos you recommend (except for Timothy Ferris – ran out of time) and read the excellent “279 Days to Overnight Success” e-book. I’ve been blogging since 2006 but have always held back from making a 100% commitment – and am now contemplating a plunge into doing it full-time. The resources you’ve compiled, and the details you share from your own experience, are exactly what I need to be immersing myself in right now. I really appreciate your generosity – thanks again!

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marneta December 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM

I cant believe i read the whole of your page – comments and all. I was feeling so down about twitter and blogging but i feel inspired and ready to get out there and make your ideas work. love your style and transparency thank you

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Ariel Levin December 23, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Love your work – rekindled my love to Tim Ferris!
Are you guys still in NZ?
Merry xmas and keep up the great work – just shaved off about $16K worth of debt this morning.
Ariel

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Leon de Dol January 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Great post, very inspirational, would be interresting how long it took you to write just this post alone? It would have taken me at least a full day.
Where do you write your post before posting them? You mention the number of words in your post, I write directly as I feeel I can write much faster as the flow goes, I write and click “post” button, job done.
But I have no idea of how many words I type.
Anyway, superb job here!
Bravo and merci!
Leon from Dol de Bretagne (France)

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Rob Norris January 4, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I am in the beginning stages of blogging and am setting up site. This could not have arrived at a better time. Thank you for sharing your hard work, much appreciated.

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Caleb January 5, 2011 at 6:38 PM

I keep coming back to this post again and again. You thinking of writing an updated version of this now that you have more blogging under your belt?

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Ezra January 20, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Thanks very interesting post, I’ve been blogging for over a year with out much success. I’ve started making more effort recently and found your post. Lots of useful stuff all in one place.

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Chris Alta January 26, 2011 at 1:39 AM

Haha wow this was one of the dopest posts’ I’ve read in a long time. Gary’s video was soo sick..I’m going to have to start watching the 2 times a day for ummm the rest of my life? I just started blogging and honestly I’m going to take your advice and not worry soo much about the design of my website. That’ll come with time. The main thing is to build a community and a following. That’s real talk though man good stuff. Loved the post.

cheers!

-Chris

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Jody February 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the great post – it must be gratifying to still receive so many positive comments on a post that’s 1 year and a half old! You are definitely succeeding at conveying an approachable and authentic voice which is encouraging and supportive for new and old bloggers alike. To me, you’re the “approachable & encouraging” guy! ;-)

I have a question for you: do you think that the process of getting a blog set up from scratch (i.e. doing the market research, creating your vision and mission, setting up your design, writing your flagship content) can be equally well applied to a blog that has been already running for a while but which you want to revamp? I’ve recently become interested in pursuing blogging more intentionally (although at this time I have no interest in generating income from blogging), but I don’t want to close my current blog or put it on “hold” while I hole up to recreate everything from a blank slate. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this and perhaps continuing the conversation via twitter.

Thank you!

Jody (@jodyjwright)

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Annieb March 1, 2011 at 12:17 AM

wow really good content… I’m new to all this
Thanks for sharing

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Jones March 1, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Very inspiring. Thanks for the informative post on blogging. I totally agree with you – every business or business person should consider at least, creating and running a blog. I believe Web 2.0 is here to stay.

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Brian March 8, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Hey Adam,

This is a very informative and helpful post. I am new to the personal finance blogosphere and I am now trying to get my blog looking 100% but like you stated 80% is alright. I should focus on creating the content. Also I am working on being more transparent and networking with successful bloggers.This post/blog hits home and I’m adding your link to my page because of that. Man vs debt.. what a blog name! lol How cool, I used to watch Man vs Wild ha ha but anyway. Keep it up dude.. Love that pic with the island in the background, if you look at my blog you will clearly see that I’m a tropical kinda guy. Again, great job.

Oh and if you have any suggestions or tips about my blog please share. I need all the help I can get. Thx!

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Carrie Starr March 10, 2011 at 1:49 AM

Just getting started in the world of blogging and really appreciated your advice! Thanks for your honesty. I am happy to learn from your mistakes. =) PS I love your story!!

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Maaike Quinn March 22, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Hi there! I just found your blog and so far I love it.

* rave rave *

Keep it up!

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Debora March 30, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Great article…thanks for the pratical help and resources.

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Steph Slawek April 6, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Thank you. I am grateful for this information, and to you for compiling and sharing it.

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Nambi April 16, 2011 at 3:02 AM

Dear Adam Baker,
I am amazed to see your work on this blog, great that I have found it today, lots and lots to learn and realize!

Highly appreciate your work!
Thanks.
Nambi

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Sandyspider May 4, 2011 at 2:00 PM

I really need this!

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Randy May 5, 2011 at 2:16 PM

One thing I am curious about is where the lines are drawn. Can I use any photo on the internet in my blogs or is that a copy write violation? Is there any “Blogging rules for dummies” blo out there?

Dang, think I will go search that now =).

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Brittany June 2, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Hey Adam, I just noticed your blog thanks to an article in Yahoo News, congrats! I like the title of this post especially; it definitely got my attention haha!

I agree that passion is the #1 thing you need for your blog, and to focus on one topic too. The first time I made a blog it was a little one I used to talk about random thoughts and what was going on lately, and it didn’t really have a theme or anything. But this year I started a blog, The Shyness Project, where I have been focused on one topic that I am passionate about. I’m recording my year-long journey to confront my shyness, and it’s been a big learning experience for me.

You’re right about the money thing too. I think it’s best to just write because you want to share your experience and not to worry about trying to make money from it. And yes, being very transparent and open about your life makes you feel vulnerable, especially when you talk about embarrassing subjects or moments, but it also really allows your readers to get to know the real you. I think the people who read my blog know more about the real me than most of the people in my real life actually! Great post, I will be referring to it again to make sure my blogging doesn’t suck haha! Take care, I’ll be reading more of your posts!

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Ty June 3, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Baker…. I am a fellow Hoosier and just found your blog. I love the direction you are headed in. I am from Anderson and have been working towards being debt free for about 20 years. We have paid off $107K in debt since 2003. We made our last house payment in January of this year. I do have credit cards but the rule in our house is that the balance is paid off monthly. In 25 years I have never paid a dimes interest on credit cards. I have paid mortgage and car loan interest though and enough to buy my home much much earlier!

My wife and I can be crazy sometimes about how we save. We would wrap all our coins monthly and take them to the bank to make another mortgage payment. Those extra 10 -20 bucks over a year add up.

We have two paid for cars too. We have 2 – 2011 cars. One is a Chevy Camero and one is a Chevy Cruze. I drive 60 miles each way to work every day so the 37 mpg on the Cruze is awesome.

I wish you folks well. Keep doing what you are doing. We just looked in my closet and counted the number of T shirts (99) and the number of golf shirts (56). I think we could have been done alot sooner with the mortgage if I had limited my stuff. You are developing habits that will serve you well. I think in shirts along I have about $2,000 more than I need. Can you imagine what $2,000 into a mortgage payment would have saved me over the years?………………. TONS!

I work downtown in Indy and would love to meet you and the family when you are here this fall.

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Faun June 26, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m in the planning phase for creating a blog and was in dire need of some direction. Finally, some solid information and an amazing amount of resources! I appreciate your willingness to be a mentor to newcomers.

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Peter June 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM

I am not from the States and have not seen Gary V before. He is full on and full of value. Thanks for the intro Baker. Nice blog.

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ToddCo June 29, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Thanks! There’s at least 4 actionable ideas that I want to do right now. Very helpful. In particular, I liked your take on comments (incoming and outgoing) – really nice touch. I launched my travel blog earlier this year during my 5-month 15-country trip, and was at times getting bogged down focusing on the wrong areas. Thanks.
-Todd
50and50by50.com

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