I have been an avid reader of MarkManson.net for quite some time and have always loved Mark’s no-nonsense, honest approach to life advice. The online world is full of people trying to get you to be more, do more, make more. All the while making you feel like crap if you can’t keep up. It is refreshing to find someone that makes you stop and think about all those pressures, why we place so much value on them and whether or not they even should be important to you at all.
I had read Mark’s first book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck, and loved it, so when I heard he was going to be appearing at Indigo Books in Toronto to promote his new book, Everything is Fucked, I was all in. Especially since I had been contemplating going to an out of town conference ($400+++) where he was going to be a speaker. At only $20, which includes a free copy of the book autographed just for you, this event was a steal!
And let me say, it was awesome.
First off, I was really surprised at the diversity in the group. I expected to be the only middle aged woman amongst a sea of millennial men. That totally would have been ok with me. However, it was nice to see a good cross section of ages, ethnicities and sexes. Good on you Mark for having an impact on so many people’s lives.
And second, I have to give a shout out to all the staff for making this event such a success. Considering there were 400 attendees, the process to get to speak with Mark and have him personally sign his book for you, ran like a well oiled machine, extremely quickly and efficiently. The staff also took photos for attendees using their own phones. If you ever get the chance to go to see an author speak at Indigo, do it.
Now I have to be honest. Though I think Mark is a great author, I was much more interested in going to see Mark speak because he started out as just a “blogger”. I was hoping to get a few tidbits of advice from someone that has super-sized his blog and turned it into a real business. And judging from some of the questions during the Q & A, I wasn’t the only one.
And just like his life advice, I found his approach to blogging down to earth and practical.
But before I dive in to what Mark had to say about blogging, I just wanted to take a second to talk about the man.
Mark Manson is average.
He’s not extremely funny or gregarious. Just an average, nice guy. (If you ever read this Mark, I hope you are not offended.)
And that my friends is not a bad thing.
I know as bloggers we sometimes think we have to be over the top to get noticed, that only the Kardashian’s get attention. But here is a blogger that proves you don’t have to be. Your message just has to be honest and people will love you.
So if you are struggling with your “brand”, please don’t try to be something you are not just to get more traffic. People will connect with you for being you. Those that don’t, are not your audience. Stop trying to please everyone. You end up pleasing no one.
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5 Practical Tips For New Bloggers By Mark Manson
1. “When you start blogging, write for yourself first.”
Blogging is big business right now. It is so easy to get distracted by income reports and courses. The focus seems to be on making money and making it fast. When I first started blogging, I had absolutely no idea that I could make an income from blogging, let along a full-time one. I wrote whatever I wanted. It was fun and care free. And thus I was able to find my voice and my people by just being me.
Mark’s advice is to ignore everything and everyone and write just for yourself.
In fact, he says that is what he enjoys most about his blog to this day. It is his space and he gets to write whatever he wants.
Takeaway: Find your own rhythm in writing and enjoy the process. Because if you don’t like what you are putting out and wouldn’t read it yourself, no one else will either.
2. “In the beginning, I would get one nasty comment and it would devastate me for weeks.”
Haters gotta hate. And if you are going to put your authentic self out there, someone is not going to like it. That’s just life. Especially in the online world.
The only control you have is how you react to it. Because, trust me, blog long enough and you will get the not so nice comments being left on your blog.
Mark says it does get easier in time and joked, “Now I have a day with only 14 bad comments and I think, hey it’s been a good day!”
Takeaway: Don’t let trolls get you down. It’s their job to try. Don’t let them win.
3. “Don’t ask for advice till you have 100 posts on your blog.”
I am sure Mark seen me nodding in the second row when he said this.
I can’t even imagine how many emails Mark gets from new bloggers asking him to look at their blogs when I get a few a week. And honestly, you can’t critique a new blog or give proper direction without having a good amount of content on your blog.
Mark says once you have 100 posts on your blog, you are able to gauge what content works, what your audience likes and what you need to produce more of.
Takeaway: Once you reach 100 posts, it will be easier to form a plan for success.
4. “I have a love/hate relationship with my blog.”
O. M. G.
You would think that once you get to a certain point with your blog, you would feel great about it all the time but it is refreshing to know that Mark feels exactly the same way the rest of us do.
Some weeks he loves his blog and some weeks he feels like it is a burden. Especially when he gets that “Damn, I should write a post.” kind of feeling, just like you and me. So don’t think you are the only one that let’s their blog slide while other responsibilities take precedence.
Takeaway: You will always have a love/hate relationship with your blog. You just need to push through the times when you feel like you don’t like blogging anymore.
5. “I have 2 full-time staff working on the blog.”
I have to admit, this one shocked me. With millions of readers monthly, I thought Mark would have a huge team. When he said he only had two, I almost fell out of my chair.
I think when we blog for awhile, we make things more complicated as we go along. We add more and more moving parts and instead of making things simpler, we just make them more complex.
We read articles about how we need social media managers, graphic designers, and SEO specialists. And that distracts us from connecting to our readers with our words.
Takeaway: Blogging is about writing and producing content. Don’t lose site of that. And you only need a team of one to handle that. YOU!
I am so glad I went to go see Mark Manson speak at Indigo. I hope you have an opportunity to see him on his latest book tour. If you can’t, check out his blog or one of his books. You will be inspired. I promise you.
I consider Mark to be one of us. A blogger. I can’t help but feel pride for his success.
Well done Mark. Well done.