smart blogger

How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers

by Jon Morrow


Can I be painfully honest with you for a moment?

Not thank-God-he-told-me honesty, where somebody points out you have spinach on your teeth. No, I’m talking about the sucker-punch-straight-to-the-face brand of honesty.

It’s brutal. It’s ugly. It’s unexpected.

And I can almost guarantee you will NOT enjoy it.

In fact, I’ve been holding off telling you for years now, hoping somebody would do the dirty work for me. But no one has. So, out of respect to you, I want to tell you the truth.

So here it is.

You know how you’ve been struggling to get traffic? Tried everything, and it’s just not working right?

Well, it’s not because you haven’t found the right traffic strategy. It’s not because you need to change your domain name. It’s not because the Google gods have turned against you and cursed you to wallow in anonymity forever.

It’s because you’re dumb.

And if you ever want a chance in hell of anyone listening to you, you’d better smarten up.

Did I really just call you “dumb?”

Yes, I did. Sorry.

Granted, you might be part of the minority who’s getting a lot of traffic, attracting potential affiliates, and making a ton of money and is really and truly brilliant. If that’s the case, consider yourself excused from this “Come to Jesus” meeting.

The rest of you though?

This is not a ruse where DUMB turns out to be a clever acronym for something far less offensive. The truth is, I’m calling you out, and I’m doing it out of love.

Because you see, everyone has been lying to you. Including me.

We teach you traffic strategies. We dole out writing tips. We give you a pep talk and make you believe maybe you can really become the next blogging superstar.

But honestly?

There’s one really big thing we’ve been leaving out. Here it is:

Popular bloggers are smarter than you are

And no, I’m not talking about IQ.

What I’m referring to is having a conversation with somebody and walking away thinking, “Holy crap, they’re amazing!” Maybe not a super genius, no, but captivating nonetheless.

Every popular blogger I’ve ever talked to for more than 15 minutes has had that effect on me. I always come away from the conversation with a perspective I didn’t have before.

You might say, “Well, they’re not necessarily smart. They’re just articulate,” but I don’t think that’s all it is. I think it’s a piece of a much larger set of characteristics.

Just a few examples:

  • They know damn near everything about their topic. And if they don’t know it, it’s in their reading pile.
  • They can take enormously complex ideas and combine them along with engaging and powerful words, and compress them into simple language anyone can understand and relate.
  • At least some of what they say is truly original. You’ve never heard it anywhere before. Ever.
  • Even if you have no interest whatsoever in their topic, they find a way to captivate you and make you interested. It’s spooky.
  • You find yourself thinking about something they wrote or said weeks or even years into the future.

Yes, they are publishing great content, building relationships with the right people, and employing the right traffic strategies, but at the bottom of it all, you have a wicked smart person who deserves all the attention they’re getting. They are truly special people.

On the flipside, there’s everyone else who is some combination of ignorant, obtuse, unoriginal, boring, or forgettable. You read their work, and you come away thinking they’re kind of dumb.

So, it’s time to ask yourself the question…

Which group do you belong to?

Or even more importantly, which group do you want to belong to?

The truth about building a popular blog

Once you start a blog, it’s not only about what you publish. It’s also about who you are.

If you’re smart, it’s relatively easy. You publish an idea that’s both brilliant and useful, it blows people’s minds, everyone starts talking about it, and a bazillion people link to your blog. Influencers also line up to become your friend and help you out because… well… you’re cool.

But if you’re not smart?

It’s nearly impossible. You can do everything all the blogging authorities tell you to do, and you can do it absolutely correctly, and you’ll still fail. I guarantee it.

So, does that mean you’re doomed?

Not necessarily. Here’s why:

This isn’t about genetics. This isn’t about inborn talent. This isn’t about fate.

It’s about deciding who you want to be and then making yourself into that person.

How to make yourself smarter

I was not what you would call a “bright” kid.

I goofed off in class. I failed tests. I skated through with mediocre grades.

But sometime around the age of 13 or so, I got fed up with myself and decided to change things. There wasn’t any pivotal moment that I recall. I just started caring less about what my friends thought and started thinking about who I wanted to become.

And that person was smart.

So instead of spending 30 minutes on homework, I spent five hours. If the teacher assigned a 500 word essay, I wrote a 1,000 word essay. On the weekends, I stopped going to the arcade and hung out at the library, reading books totally of my own choosing for 8-10 hours straight.

Nobody told me to do it. I just did it. Because that’s who I wanted to be.

Within a year, I was getting straight A’s. By the time I was 16, I graduated high school with college credit, a full two years early. In college, professors regularly called me a prodigy.

But you know the funny thing?

I failed every intelligence test the schools gave me. Every single one. I don’t remember for sure what they said my IQ was, but it was something like 106.

Could they have been wrong? Maybe, but I prefer to think something different:

Each and every one of us decides who we are. No, you may not be ready to be a popular blogger now, but you can become ready.

You just have to decide you want it, and then take the necessary steps. For example:

1) Replace your friends

I told you this would be painful, right?

Well, here’s some more brutal honesty:

If you want to grow, you almost always have to replace your friends. No, you don’t have to insult them or drive them away, but simply stop spending as much time with them as you used to.


As Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There’s no scientific evidence I know of to support him, but pretty much any successful person will tell you it’s true.

When I first heard that as a teenager, I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to think I could help my friends and take them with me.

But I couldn’t. Not because I had to “take care of myself” or anything narcissistic like that, but because they simply didn’t want to come. They were happy with who they were, and they didn’t have any desire to grow.

So I left them behind. I’d be lying to you if I said it was easy, but I’ve never regretted it. If you want to grow, you have to become someone new, changing the way you think, how you talk, and yes, the people you hang out with.

Want to become a better writer?

Well, find a few writers a little better than you are, online, in real life, wherever, and become friends with them. Exchange work, give each other feedback, and also find ways to hang out and do absolutely nothing related to writing.

If you know them in real life, go to a movie, bowling, a coffee shop, whatever. Talk to them. If they’re online, IM them every day or two, share a YouTube video, rant about stupid politicians, or just ask about their day.

At first, talking to them might be painful. You’ll feel like an idiot. Eventually though, you’ll get smarter, just by hanging around with them. You won’t be able to help it.

That’s what good friends do: they help us grow.

2) Become a know-it-all

Ever seen the movie The Edge?

Anthony Hopkins plays a billionaire who seems to know… well… everything. No one can ask him a question he doesn’t know the answer to.

Well, popular bloggers are kind of like that.

No, they don’t know everything, but a quick conversation could easily go from the latest trends in social media to political intrigue in medieval England to how to replace the carburetor in your car. All in a few minutes.

And they’re not bullshitting. They really know a lot about all of those subjects (and many more).

Here’s why:

They’re learning. Constantly.

To use myself as an example…

  • I listen to an interview with a brilliant person every morning during breakfast
  • During lunch, I read part of a nonfiction book
  • I watch 42 minutes of the smartest TV I can find during dinner (often on Netflix)
  • After dinner, I read the day’s news and interesting blog posts
  • Before going to bed, I read fiction for at least an hour
  • While I’m in the car, I listen to books on tape, even if I’m going to the local pharmacy
  • I spend a portion of every weekend watching recordings of conferences I couldn’t attend

And the crazy thing?

Amongst popular bloggers, I’m not abnormal. Yes, everyone has different routines, but each and every popular blogger I know spends at least three or four hours a day consuming new information.

It’s not just an idiosyncrasy. It’s required.

In today’s world, going to school, learning a few things, and then coasting through your life without reading another book is a death wish. You’ll be obsolete in a few years. Hell, if you’re a blogger, you’ll be obsolete in a few weeks.

The opposite is also true. If you spend more time learning than anyone else, before you know it, everyone thinks you’re a genius. Not only can you recite the work of other important people, but you connect the dots between totally unrelated subjects, creating new ideas nobody has even considered before.

It’s not because you were born with a high IQ. It’s because you know so damn much.

The point?

Spend at least three hours a day learning something new. I don’t care how or when you do it. Just make sure you do.

3) Do less

Here’s another powerful question:

How many hours per day do you spend thinking?

And no, I don’t necessarily mean sitting in a chair, lost in thought. You can include time when your body is on autopilot too, like when you’re driving to work, doing the dishes, taking a shower, etc.

For most people, it’s maybe two or three hours per day. Now, here’s the follow-up question that really brings things into perspective:

Of those hours, how many are spent thinking about your writing?

Uh oh. Now you’re in trouble, right?

Most people think about their family, their job, their upcoming vacation, but they don’t think about what they’re going to write until they open the word processor. Big mistake.

Recently, I found a slide deck from Brendan Schwartz, the CTO of Wistia, talking about how to build a great product, and in it, he gives some surprising advice:

For every hour you spend working, you need to spend 10 hours thinking. Or put more simply, 10x thinking, 1x doing.

And it applies to more than just building a product.

If I add up all the time I spend writing blog posts, it’s probably a similar ratio. If I spend five hours writing a post, which I often do, I wouldn’t be surprised if I spent 50 hours thinking about it before I start writing and in between drafts.

When readers see the finished product, they think, “Oh my God, you’re a genius,” but the truth is, the vast majority of the stuff I think is either worthless or downright stupid. You never hear any of that. All you hear is the 10% I decide to share with you.

Whether they realize it or not, most popular bloggers do the same thing with their best content. They might think about a post for months or even years before they feel ready to write it. Usually, those are also the posts that go viral and make them famous.

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, I’m not doing this full time. I have a job, kids, a social life. I’m just too busy.” And you’re right. You are too busy. That’s the problem.

If you want to become a popular blogger, you need time to think. Not just for a few minutes here and there, but for hours and hours on end.

That means doing less. As painful as it may be, you’re going to have to cut some things out of your life to give yourself time to do this right.

Maybe it’s reducing your time in front of the television. Maybe it’s scaling back your hours at work. Maybe it’s spending less time with your friends.

Regardless, you have to cut something. Otherwise, you’ll never have time to think, and you’ll be just another fool regurgitating what everyone else says.

The bottom line

Blogging isn’t only about SEO or social networking or the quality of your subheads.

It’s also about you.

More than likely, the person you are right now is not capable of being a popular blogger. Your environment, your habits, and your schedule are sucking all the promise right out of you.

If you want to succeed, you have to change. Surround yourself with smart people, bury yourself in books, and cut all the crap out of your life that’s distracting you.

You may not feel it happen, but it will change you. Drastically. You’ll still be you, but you’ll be a better version of you.

And you’ll see the results.

Where your posts used to get a halfhearted response from readers, you’ll start getting dozens of adoring comments. Where popular bloggers used to ignore you, you’ll find them linking to your posts without even asking. Where you used to only see small, incremental traffic gains, your traffic will explode, going from 100 visitors a day to 500 to 1,000, all within a matter of months.

Not because you’re using some new traffic technique. Not because you got to know some powerful influencer. Not because you got lucky.

It’ll happen because you’re worthy. Slowly and painfully, you’ll have transformed into someone worth listening to.

Are you ready to be that person?

Or are you going to be just another dumbass with a blog?

The choice is yours.

About the Author: Jon Morrow has asked repeatedly to be called “His Royal Awesomeness” but no one listens to him. So, he settles for CEO of Smart Blogger. Poor man. 🙂
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Jon Morrow

Jon Morrow has asked repeatedly to be called “His Royal Awesomeness” but no one listens to him. So, he settles for CEO of Smart Blogger.


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Written by Jon Morrow

Jon Morrow has asked repeatedly to be called “His Royal Awesomeness” but no one listens to him. So, he settles for CEO of Smart Blogger.

311 thoughts on “How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers”

  1. I’m never disappointed when I read your articles Jon. Thanks for another cracker.


    PS: That Jim Rohn quote has been one of my favorites for years.. pretty hard to live by though.

  2. I’m with you on the consuming new information part. NPR and audiobooks are godsend when I’m working on my jewelry creation.

    Now I just need to focus more on thinking about my content BEFORE I sit down and try to come up with new posts on the spot.


    • Megan, I find the process of writing can be a contemplative one. You just have to be willing to dump what you have and start fresh if need be.

      As Mart Twain said, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.”

  3. Holy shit. This is awesome. You know what I love most about this? I can totally do this. Heck, I AM doing this. Really. You are describing me. Sure I have two little kids and I work part-time, but when my baby wakes in the middle of the night, I’m reading good books or brilliant blogs. When I’m walking to the playground, I’m thinking about writing and jotting ideas on my phone. Not trying to brag of anything. 🙂 But if I can do all this stuff, then definitely anybody can. Love this.

    Also, what a crazy story about you. Seriously? You failed the IQ tests? That just goes to show how useful those tests aren’t!

  4. Jon, once again – awesome.

    I’ve been feeling a little guilty, now that I really have a new life, about time spent reading and researching, walking (where I do a whole lot of thinking), avoiding silly parties and just hanging with the good people when I want to. Lots of time alone with ideas percolating.

    I’ve been reading a lot about artists’ habits also, and I see that it’s quite common.

    I let go of a whole group of friends last year for the exact reasons you talk about. It was hard then and is still hard.

    But I love my new life and all the people I’m meeting to replace the ones that are gone. I love everything I’m doing. Thanks for the reassurance I’m on the right track. I have a free pass to totally geek out! Yay! 🙂

  5. This is #Awesome.

    Really can resonate with 10x thinking, 1x doing. Hard for me to do but I really feel that so much more productivity happens when I spend time from the outside looking in and less like that Hamster on the wheel.

    • Yep, there’s definitely a difference between being busy and being productive.

      One thing I like to do is calculate the profit per hour or subscribers per hour of various activities. Really puts things in perspective.

  6. P.S. You know what I learned yesterday? Apparently the word “awesome” marks you as a Gen-X’er. It’s like “nifty” — a dated word, at least to kids these days. My husband heard this and decided to stop using it, but I’m going to use it more. Because I’m proud of my age and experience. 😉

    But I thought I’d tell you in case you wanted to rethink your “Royal Awesomeness” title for something more modern. Although I think you should stick with what works.

      • Uh…I’m on the bottom edge of the Baby Boomers and I use “awesome” all the time! Maybe it’s a word that transcends age? Heh, heh! ;o)

      • Nah; You are just hip and happening *for your age*. That’s what it is.

        The first time I heard “awesome” was in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I don’t know which generation that was made for, but I think it was the “bottom of the Boomers” and the “top of the Gen Xers”.

        Can we bring back “groovy” now?

  7. Hi Jon,

    Powerful and inspirational post as always 🙂

    I love it when you show us the mirror in the face because sometimes we ALL do need such reality checks. I don’t say I am all that much of a blogger or writer, but I do manage to get my way around and have my small blogging community that rocks.

    Nevertheless, just as you mentioned so rightfully here, IF you want to grow and achieve something more than what you already have, you need to CREATE the time for it – period.

    How you do that is your outlook, and that can only happen when you lessen down on the other things that are taking much of your time. It could be the social media or the commenting that most of us have to do on our blogs and the blogs of others we visit(both of these are major time consumers for me), but not to spend time on these and just concentrate on your writing or work would be real bliss. 🙂

    I wish I could really do that because I know I’d be SO much more productive. But how do you just leave all the ties behind, all the relationships you’ve built along the way, just like that? I’ve seen a few people do that and it made me wonder what did I do wrong that they are behaving like this. It can surely hurt a great deal, isn’t it? I guess lessening down with things might be a better answer in such cases, or slowing your pace, so that you can concentrate on other things of importance.

    Thanks SO much for a great reminder, and I think this might’ve been just what I was looking for. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Yes, it can hurt a great deal. That being said though, I believe our success is also proportional to our tolerance for pain.

      • “Our success is proportional to our tolerance for pain”

        That is a mind blowing statement for me. You always put things into perspective and I want to thank you for that!

    • Harleena – I share your concerns about knowing what to cut down on in order to make more time to develop our own talents. It’s easy to say “do less”, but not so easy to decide what to reduce or eliminate, particularly when it comes to relationships and people.

      I think there’s a lot of wisdom in this post, but the “replace your friends” proposal seems to me to suggest a rather selfish, utilitarian view of friendship to which I can’t altogether subscribe. If that makes me a dumb blogger, so be it 😉

      • Hey Susan,

        I hear what you’re saying. I took that piece of advice a bit tongue in cheek, though. I took it more to mean surround yourself with people who are writing well, accomplishing and moving forward.

        I particularly appreciated the advice for writers to find someone who is a bit better than you are. It’s always important to be looking forward and seeing where you (I) can grow.

        Nice to see you here, too, btw.


  8. Thank you for sharing this post. You are sharing your magic with us, and we can be magicians too if we really want it bad. REALLY REALLY REALLY want it.

  9. Love this, Jon! And so true!

    The one thought I had when reading this is that I’ve seen more ‘successful’ bloggers copying ideas from less successful bloggers and not giving credit back… which can be discouraging when starting out.

    • So true. Never understood why some popular bloggers do that. Maybe they just forgot where they originally heard the idea? Who knows.

  10. I needed this kick in the a$$. While I do *some* of this, I allow myself to be distracted by any variety of new! shiny! things that pull me from my purpose. Focus and commitment are two things I need to get in check, stat.

    Thank you!

    • It’s so easy to get distracted, right? All of us fight against it. So hard to focus when the world is so busy.

      But it’s what we have to do.

  11. I could not agree more. Most blogs I see are about great pictures and SEO. Very minimal content, usually recycled one.
    Do you know any great blogger in the field of design or art?
    As for the reading, this is one of my favorite things to do 🙂

    • Amy, I’m a student of Jon’s and am putting together a list of artists and other creatives
      who are doing blogging right. Stay tuned. 😉 Or find me at MakeCreativityPay dot com.

  12. The sad part is that a lot of people have the innate intellectual curiosity it takes to be a great entrepreneur, but seem to be afraid of it.

    Usually the fear seems to come from simply not believing in themselves.

    But except for a few sports examples, if one person can do something so can anyone else.

    In fact, there is a really simple three stage process for doing just about anything.

    Stage 1: You don’t know how to do something.
    Stage 2: You practice doing it.
    Stage 3: You know how to do it.

    The other misconception a lot of us seem to share is a belief that if we try to achieve some new goal (whether it’s completing a project, starting a business, learning a skill, etc.), and don’t hit the mark 100% quickly and smoothly, that we have somehow failed.

    For the intellectually curious, that is just called learning!

    Thanks for once again inspiring us all with some tough love Jon.


    • Yep. That intellectual curiosity has to be paired with total self-acceptance, I think. Otherwise, the process is too painful.

  13. Here’s a technique I use with the phrase I coined: DPS Time – Dreaming, Planning, Scheming Time.

    Early one morning, take a stack of lined tablets and go to a local bookstore (dang so few of them left!) or coffee shop. Put in your ear buds (NOT to listen to anything… just to BLOCK OUT any distracting noise). Take out the single piece of paper where you wrote down your agenda that has no more than 5 items on it.

    Then think. Let things pour out of you onto the paper.

    Don’t get up for 90 mins. Then go to the bathroom and even get a drink if you want. But get back to your table in 10 minutes.

    Spend another 90 mins THINKING and WRITING. Clear out your brain. (Ever wonder why something “just hits you” when you’re in the shower, shaving, ironing, folding laundry? It’s because you let your brain get quiet and allowed those creative ideas to soar to the surface where your conscious mind can put them into words.

    Then stop.

    Three hours of serious thinking is VERY tiring. But you’ll be surprised how much you’ve accomplished.

    Why so many pads? Divide them into the subjects that were on your short list of topics to think about. I always have another one I call Quick Notes – those are items that are OFF topic that pop into my mind. Things I may need to get done right away. It’s my short list’s short list – things I should do as soon as I get home or pass on to an assistant. You can’t help it: things like this will occur – so write them down!

    Will this work for you? Definitely.

    Oh: leave the computer at home. Turn OFF your cellphone (seriously – you are SO important that people have to get to you right away? Most likely: no. But if you must, check your messages during your 10-minute break.

    Can you get this to work? Only if you believe you can! (“If you think you CAN or you think you CAN’T: You’re Right” to paraphrase Henry Ford.)

    Is this HARD? Yes… at first. But it becomes easier and VERY rewarding when you make it a habit.

    Now… you want to know what REALLY makes this work? Do it every week. Set an appointment with yourself and stick to it… you will be AMAZED at how much this pulls from you.

    Charlie Seymour Jr

  14. I like that you said that replacing your friends doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them, but that it just means they don’t want to go where you’re going. (And I suppose that if they all did want to come along with you, that’d just be weird.) I’ve really wondered how this works because I feel like I have an obligation to my friends. Whenever I think about moving on, I hear that nagging question: “Who does she think she is?” But now I realize that that question is pretty much the ace up the devil’s sleeve, designed to keep us all mediocre.

    As always, thank you, Your Royal Awesomeness.

    • What helped me was to realize I was hanging onto them and also hanging onto who I used to be. Once I let that go, moving on was easier, but it’s still tough.

  15. I ended up coming across your website about a month ago, (i think)and i was really happy i did. I have no problem sitting and reading your blog for hours, really great stuff!! you’re a blogging champ for a reason! His Royal Awesomeness suits! lol

  16. “The truth is, I’m calling you out, and I’m doing it out of love.”

    Thank you, Jon, for all your love – it flows from every word you write. And it’s inspiring to all of us.

  17. Brilliant post. This is exactly I’m trying to do nowadays, havent verbalized it yet like you did.
    One thing I could add to this.
    First thing I did was to delete my facebook account and no Tv either for me. I know, I know. But my thinking was if I want to rebuild myself, develop myself and my writing, I need to eliminate all the distraction and focus on the important things. And so far it works well.

    • Hi Eva, Regarding Facebook; One thing you can do (and I did recently) is clean up the facebook friends. Try to ‘friend’ other writers and bloggers (that’s how I found this post) because they will offer up fantastic posts and networks that will inspire your writing. This will make superb use of face book and turn time wasted into time well spent. You may have to unfriend lots of people, who are most likely not really friends anyway. 🙂

  18. Jon, Thanks for the straight talk. I would like to validate the thinking piece of this too. My posts are much better since I started spending time thinking and outlining ideas before hitting the keyboard. Oh that sounded bad. I meant, I have extended the duration to days instead of an hour or two. I always have note paper and I never leave home without my Zune with some sort of marketing or deep thinking podcast going. Yes, I have a Zune. I think it sold to Bill Gates me and some guy in Toledo bought one.

    I am surprised when standing in line at the grocery store that I am the only one listening to something I can learn from.

    Thanks for all Jon,
    Lance Carlson simplify, think, simplify, think, write

    • Spending a few days on a post is good, I think. I always write my first draft in a day or two, and then I let it sit for at least 24 hours. Then I come back and edit. Works for me.

  19. Great Post! I just wanted to tell you my honest advice about a technical issue: The Social Bar at the left screen side, it a bit annoying. It´s with whole respect.
    BTW, I´m loving the 52 headlines avery single day!

  20. With so many emails to read daily, I usually bypass many including yours time to time. The title of this resonated with me. Why? I feel I am not a very good blogger. Jon, many lines really stuck out for me. I also see some of these lines as a mention to my teenage son regarding to not care what his friends think but, what he wants to become. A powerful message to any 17 year old that needs maturity. That’s all for now. I will have further comments as I reread this again and again…

  21. Cool post Jon. Reminds me of this quote.

    “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” — Walt Disney, Animator, Film Producer

  22. With regards to 1) Replaces your friends, you may have to limit the amount of time you spend with your blood relations aka family. I learned this the hard way. Your family may not support your career choices. But that’s okay. They don’t have to. You’re an adult and can do what you want. 🙂

    My advice is do not tell anyone, especially your family and friends, that you’re starting a blog or business. Instead, connect popular bloggers and get their feedback. Attend conferences and networking events. Do whatever you have to do to become the blogger/person you want to be. This includes scaling back on your social life and finding new friends.

    Once your blog is online and you see the fruits of your labor, you can tell family and friends about what you’re doing, or not. The choice is yours.

    Inspiring post!

  23. You just called me “dumb”, and I still bookmarked the article in my “inspiration” folder knowing I’ll read and re-read this over and over! Wow! This is why I’m one of your follow-you-around-even-if-it-annoys-the-cr*p-out-of-you students 🙂 Thanks for being awesome, and inspiring us to be awesome as well — in your own sucker-punch-straight-to-the-face kind of way!

  24. OMG. I’m not getting an A in blogging. I wish I read this closer to an appropriate wine-drinking hour. Jon, since childhood I have been burdened with the unfortunate dx of a high IQ and it has done me NO good in practical terms. NONE. No jobs, no money, no degrees, no power, no influence…only caused a certain ironic pain, if anything. But, at least I could write.

    Now I find out I’m a dumb blogger, too. You’re right. Ouch. Thank goodness for my emotional intelligence. 🙂

    I wish I had more smarts out here on Blog Street but I don’t know what to do next. I already do/am all those other things–I think, I plan…am bookish, I embrace my inner geek quite readily. My people, they’re sharp.

    However, I believe I might take on too much. And I’ve been a dumbass about that for a very long time. I’ll start with that, and report back. Going to journal on it right now… thank you!

  25. Coincidental moment about Point 2, the constant learning and amount of knowledge – I definitely agree.

    My 8-year-old (Grade 3) has been talking a great deal recently about how amazed her teachers are at her reading levels, writing levels, adaptability to new math problems, love of science… She’s a brainy kid, sure (good genes, eh), but not necessarily any better than any other kid.

    It hit me yesterday when she was telling me about a frustrating day at school. “They had us color in what was living with blue, and what wasn’t with red!” She was clearly insulted. “I mean, COME ON. This is supposed to be science class! I want chemistry! Cool things!”

    I tried to defend the usefulness of categorization of the animal world, but she gave me a look that said it all. “They. had. us. color. in. the. living. things.” (Now she was just disgusted.)

    And it hit me: She’s way above and beyond what’s expected of her BECAUSE SHE READS A LOT. Tons. Massive freakin’ amounts. (By choice, no less! She’s a willing reader!) She reads so much I can hand her any single one of my business books and she’ll riff it off easily – and understand concepts and exactly what she just read, too.

    The amount of information and knowledge any single individual can take in today is phenomenal – and powerful. You’ve hit on many reasons why in this post.

    So I’m preaching to the choir. 😉 I’ll leave you to it.

    • Had to reply…and goes to Jon’s thesis here too…my 8 year old reads lots too. She also runs hard, writes stories, practices gymnastics, etc. She is not the smartest and perhaps not the best natural talent at any of these pursuits but she has amazing focus and drive. I’m in awe of her!

      I think she wants to win. She doesn’t always and she’s fine with that, but often she does because she does what it takes to give it a damn good shot!

      Now, off to emulate her and be a good subject to HRA – happily my strength is endurance, which I’ll need for this ultra-marathon event of escaping dumbness.

  26. Post request: Tactics for Doing Less and Becoming More. Thank you for laying it out there. As a start-up blogger, the biggest challenge is figuring out where to direct limited resources and time.

  27. Jon, what a concept! You mean I don’t need hundreds of friends on social networks? You mean I should actually read about bettering my blog instead of spending time on FB? I’m ecstatic at the idea!

    Dear God, I have resisted the whole social thing for all these years, finally succumbed recently to getting a couple of accounts, thinking this would meet with huge approval from you, and now I’ve read your article above 3 times, and still can’t find where I’m supposed to be on Facebook for 3 hours!

    Instead, you’re encouraging me to read? To think? I must be a natural! I’m using up my valuable 3 hours just re-reading, and making this comment.

    Gotta go Jon. Time is a-wasting, and those thoughts are pounding at me! Great article by the way.

    • I don’t think being social is a bad thing. Sure, you don’t want to waste your time away on Facebook, but you should be spending plenty of time building your customer community. That means interacting, listening, and learning.

      • What Jake said. It’s not about the tool. It’s about how you use it.

        God, that sounds so wrong. 😉

  28. I am especially a friend of 3) Do less.

    These days we hear a lot about 80/20, that 80% of the results come from 20% of the input. It’s sound advice. One of the hardest things about blogging (and everything else in life), however, is to find out what those 20% consist of.

    One of my eye opener for me was one of Jon’s webinars. Before attended the webinar, I was so attached to keeping up a certain blogging schedule that I would put out a lot of mediocre content just because I needed to get it finished. Now I post a lot less frequent but every blog post is aimed at being insanely useful and detailed. It has done wonders for the quality of my content and my enjoyment of producing it.

    Thanks for the great advice Jon!

  29. Refreshing as usual, Jon. I usually spend at least two hours every day learning new stuff… guess I need to start upping my ante! Thanks for giving us all a kick in the butt. 🙂

  30. I appreciate this post – mainly because I have been thinking it for the past few weeks! I am a dumb blogger – but I certainly don’t want to be. Thanks for transforming my inner speech into reality!!

  31. Beautiful! Such awesome advice. I’m a dumbass and I needed this post. There are only 2 things I’m doing right, reading tons of fiction and thinking about my writing all the time (finding new ideas everyday and writing them down or drafting notes on the spot). One thing you didn’t mention is PASSION. I just don’t think you can write on your topic without it. Now, I’m going to read through the comments, there’s bound to be excellent tips there, too.

  32. Constantly reading, consuming new knowledge and learning is a core part of my success. I’ve studied and written about creativity for many years, and have experienced it many times in my own life: Keeping the “raw material pile” of my mind helps me to develop new insights and ideas and “connect the dots,” as you so aptly put it. You must have an unquenchable passion for your topic, otherwise you won’t devote the time and effort needed to become a thought leader/expert in your niche.

  33. You don’t mince words, Jon! My favorite parts of your article: “It’s about deciding who you want to be and then making yourself into that person.” (Yes, it can be done! But a lot of bloggers are scared to try… scared of the power of their blog as an “expert building” tool.)

    “Find a few writers a little better than you are, online, in real life, wherever, and become friends with them.” {Hanging out with writing peeps who “get” you is intensely motivating.)

    “Always be learning.” (Realizing that I don’t know it all and having an insatiable, lifelong desire to learn is the key to good blogging. As I learn new stuff and share what I’m learning with my blog readers, I become more the person I want to be. It goes full circle.

  34. Hey Jon,

    I love your no-nonsense ‘tell it like it is’ approach. I think we all need that straight talk now and then.

    But you’re right. To find and have what we want in life most of us have to make changes, and that can be hard. Like you say it’s not always about what we’re doing it’s who we are and if you don’t like who you are you have to make changes. Goodness know I’ve had to 🙂

    The good part about that is some of the changes aren’t as bad as I’d anticipated. The key is to just take the step to make the changes and see what happens. It’s often a good thing 🙂


  35. Knowing a little about everything has always been something I’ve enjoyed (I’m one of those “did you know ….?” kind of guys).
    I’m starting a website at the moment and has been a source of knowledge and inspiration.
    So, Your Royal Awesomeness, I salute you!

  36. This article came at just the right moment. I’ve got two little ones but my reading/learning routine is similar to yours. I was starting to think I might be developing ADD or something, after all how could someone be hitting so many different topics at once. But this article made me realize the information is not lost on me. It gets absorbed & the important stuff sticks. So I should keep at it. Thanks for helping me see that.

  37. I always felt like a weirdo that I have caches of hundreds of newsletters I read, and that I read novels on top of reading people in my niche who I think are brilliant, and that I don’t have a TV anymore and just watch the occasional netflix thing…thanks for making me feel normal!

    I just got into a new mastermind with a big group of people I think are super-smart. Half the time they’re talking about all kinds of blogging and social media tools I don’t even recognize the names of!

    But I think the instinct to hang out with people who make you feel like you’re 5 yrs old by comparison, instead of people who feel like they’re on your level, has served me well. 😉

  38. Brilliant. I admit that I clicked and read only because I had low expectations and wanted to have one of those self-prophetic moments when I say to myself, “See? Nothing interesting, just another self-promoting writer blogging hot air.” But it’s not hot air, it’s a breath of fresh air. I’m blown away by how “right on” you are, Jon-with-no-last-name.

  39. Jon, your comparison of the wicked smart, truly special blogger vs. the “forgettable” blogger reminds me a lot of the door policy at Studio 54 back in the 70s.

    Back then, Studio 54 was one of the hottest nightclubs in NY, and it was extremely tough to get in. The doorman was instructed to pass over the horde of “grey people” (i.e. normal people) and only let in the colorful people.

    Cruel policy, perhaps. But sometimes truth is painful.

    Anyway, great post. I admire your courage to be blunt. And for the reminder to be “colorful”.

  40. One of my fave parts of this blog is this quote:

    “As Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There’s no scientific evidence I know of to support him, but pretty much any successful person will tell you it’s true.”

    I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and am struggling to find “thinking” people to hang out with in my small town, but I will keep looking! I will continue to be “colorful” in the face of mediocrity and find the best ways of expressing it. Thank you Jon 🙂

    • If you can’t find anyone in your town, hang out with smart people online. Not quite the same, but almost as good.

  41. Wow. This is the best post on blogging I’ve EVER read. (And there are a) plenty to read and b) I’ve read a lot of them.)

    This may come across as harsh to some people, but for those who can step back and look at it through an objective lens, this is a smart and decisive call to action. This is about rising above the millions and millions of bloggers who have NOT set themselves apart. You don’t want to be one of them. THIS is how you achieve that.

    Well done, His Royal Awesomeness.

  42. This is fantastic, Jon.

    This is a print out, save to Evernote, tattoo on your right thigh post. Awesome.

    Amen to “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

    But have to tell you – The “do less” thing… that’s a tough one. A correct, but jagged little pill. I needed to hear it – and I’m going to devote some serious effort in that arena.

    One of my new favorites for sure. Thanks!

  43. Jon, I have recently built a website to promote myself as a freelance writer. I’ve also included a blog within my site. I went about the process with advice from writer friends, but attempted the technical aspect myself and succeeded. That gave me a tremendous amount of confidence.

    I agree with what you say here about changing your friends and learning all you can. Most of the people I’m in touch with on a daily basis are fellow writers – none of which I’ve met in person!

    I spend most of my day reading blogs and writers’ sites in order to absorb as much information as I can to become successful and to perfect my craft. In fact, I spend so much time doing so that I became discouraged because I found myself with little time to write. Then my brother made a profound statement to me and it became the topic of my latest blog post. It’s entitled, “Regression Before Progression = Success”. I don’t have a huge following yet, but my confidence is back.

    This post of yours has given me much food for thought. You can be an arrogant son of a gun at times, but you know your shit!

  44. Dear Oh Ye Real Awesomness,

    Superb blog post. As always, you are honest, funny and damn useful. Thank you!

    PS: Will I be sent to the dungeon with the (other) dull writers if I shorten your title to OYRA?

  45. Your comments are hard hitting, brutally honest but you helfpul and useful. The only comment or criticism I have is that one of your suggestions is harder than a notion. Finding intelligent people is not as easy as it sounds. Finding people who are successful is not easy either. Successful people tend to fly alone or in a select groups or inncer circles. I would definitely love to find people who are successful who are Internet Marketers. it would be a blast and shorten my learning curve. Thanks for the article.

  46. Great advice and a good reminder to fall back on when I find myself ‘leaving’ the tracks of ‘self-discipline!’ I especially dig your point on time management and your typical schedule as an example. I do many of the same things tho’ maybe not as extensive as you do (which I will definitely strive to achieve).

    Along with books on tape, I also am plugged into the Downcast app on my iPad at night when I’ve turned in to bed and roll through a couple 30-40min podcasts from a variety of topics

  47. What’s going on here – are you endeavoring to make us Think…? Well, okay I will try but it’s not easy for an April Fool Baby.

    ps: Please don’t laugh at the website – just starting…

  48. I thought I was going crazy wanting to read so many books, wishing if I could only be paid for reading the books I like and learning so many things. Now I know this passion and effort is going to bring me to a place I’d really love…hopefully soon enough. Thanks for this your Royal Awesomeness. 🙂

  49. What a brilliant read!

    “how many are spent thinking about your writing?” – what a reality check! Thanks for the kick up the butt… let’s just say ALOT! Feeling hopeful after reading this post. Thanks so much for sharing your insights

    I am off to ‘cut all the crap out of my life that’s distracting me’!

  50. You are rude. Like the cool kid at school that tends to get their way by bullying others, you may get attention, but that doesn’t warrant it being the good kind. You are asking people to stop having a real life to get sucked into the world wide blog which you said yourself is full of worthless content. Although less television is a cure for anyone who watches it, less time with family, friends, and at work seems a bit over the top. This is your job, so that’s somewhat of a contradiction for you to recommend. Lots of people are workaholics who neglect their family and never get to know their kids. There must be a balance, and to find it, priorities need to be established. That requires placing relative value on all the things in your life and not yet in your life. If blogging is atop your list, then maybe you should spend some of those thinking hours contemplating some important questions, such as, what determines value and the meaning to our short little lives.
    Granted, I do not blog. I don’t write for that matter; you can probably spend your time picking apart my grammar mishaps and all my spelling errors, or my poor diction. I fill my life with what I consider to be highly valuable and meaningful which has more to do with exploring the vastness the is world and studying how it operates. I wouldn’t dare try to tell you how to win a in blog popularity, and I know your post is about blog traffic, but that is not a good reason to initiate crudeness.

  51. You still got it Jon – I was wondering if you had it in you to constantly write amazing, and moving blog posts.

    The answer is a resounding yes!

    I am very happy to be part of your program and with practice I want to be able to write something as good as this.

    I am all about IM but nothing beats making real connections with people and moving them.

    Thanks for this article I think we all needed it

    Paul Back

  52. @Amy, he did set a disclaimer about this notbeing his most kindest advice, but it’s the harsh truth. However, I don’t see any post where he implies neglecting your family or even friends. (he said to slowly drift away from them)

    I thought this post was pure awesomeness, just like his other posts. Really awesome job Jon.

  53. You know, Jon, I spent most of my life wondering how I could just get paid to *think*. Since studying with you, all that time I spend thinking earns me more money than ever. Yay for 10x thinking, 1x doing!

  54. Harleena, wow stumbled on your comment. Shows you’re a commenting super star. Saw your brilliant post on Adriene blog now another beautiful comment on Jon’s blog.

    Understand now how you drive that gush of traffic to your blog.

    Jon just want to say I totally agree with you on replacing your friends.
    Have found out that isolation and not loneliness is a panacea to developing awesome ideas.

    Many people are so scared of changing the status quo because of what they feel their friends would say.
    This touchy feeling has become a one stop button to stagnation.

    Something they need to break out from.

  55. I spend quite some time reading, but I should spend way more time on listening.

    Couldn’t you do a follow-up post where you share some of the audiobooks/podcasts/tv channels/radio stations… you listen to?:)

  56. John,
    I LOVED your blog! That is the way I have lived for years and that mentality and routine drove me to create a business, get in Harvard, and create so much interest and challenge in my life.
    I have wanted to say exactly what you said for years, but you said it so much better! Yes!
    Keep reminding us all what it takes!

  57. Hi Jon, Gotcha on the dumb bit but I reckon I’m nearly over that hurdle – I’m at the tail end of that problem (as it were)you see.

    My site has just passed 30k hits in the last month and I have a brilliant pdf download that I sell there. I spent ages writing it, I’m told it’s really useful, people love it and say it really helps them – but that’s when they buy the damned thing that is! I sell one every 2 days (it’s been up six weeks)but I’d like to up that. So I have the traffic, people like the advice I give them, and they love the free stuff – but I’m still struggling with how to turn that into money! I get a lot of work from the site but it’s the download sales that I’d like to improve.

    I’ve nearly finished writing a free 4-day email series that people can subscribe to for free and I’m making another two products (based the other probs readers seem to have according to their comments)so I’ll soon have more products and a four-day window to sell to them with their free info. But I’m apparently a much better writer than Marketer!

    Advice from anyone much appreciated. x

    Joanne Munro

  58. “For every hour you spend working, you need to spend 10 hours thinking. Or put more simply, 10x thinking, 1x doing.”

    I thoroughly enjoy taking a single spiritual concept and then folding it over & over again in my head. I get a mental image of this. I see hands folding a thought over & over, kneading it like dough, beating the air out, flouring it, making it ready to bake on my blog.

    Your post today inspires me to work my thoughts even more!

    Zella Mai

  59. I guess you got to be cruel to be kind, right Jon?

    But so right on as usual. Blunt but right on.

    I’m kind of in the same “weird” spot Carol Tice finds herself. I don’t watch TV except for the occasional streaming movie. I’m constantly reading books and following my favorite blogs. I’ve cut all that nonsense out of my life and STILL feel I never have enough time to do everything.

    Sometimes my musician buddies have to hold up their hands and say “STOP!” when I start going off on all this “internet stuff” when they say they have no idea how it all works or how they can use it to promote their wares.

    That said, it’s still a bitch learning to find your voice as a blogger, hone it to mastery and build the kind of following that sustains you (not just financially) but emotionally to keep on keeping on.

    But as a former guitar teacher once said to me about music, ‘If you don’t NEED to play music, do something else. It’s a tough life. But if you HAVE to play music, it’s the most rewarding experience when you can touch someone with your art and change their life.’

    You could just replace music with writing and the same applies. The writing thing is newer in my life but I feel like I have no choice there either.

    So if writing is something you HAVE to do then just do it and smile. Embrace the pain, the struggle, the loneliness when there’s not a big audience keeping the fire burning. You’ve got to just carry on because when those comments do finally come in from real human beings who you’ve touched with your art and changed for the better, it makes it all worth the struggle.

    Write on, HRA!

  60. It is true. Smart people think more and act less. Dumb people are “action-oriented” and devalue thinking before acting.

    Then again, many people neither think nor act. So what does that make them? 🙂

    Btw, you are a blogging juggernaut, Jon. I appreciate your work.

  61. This is probably the best article I ever read.
    Yes, it is, because it speak to my soul or whatever.

    And I know it is truth, I started recently, but I am struggling with sources and with inteligence, because I often don’t understant the new things.

    Where did you start? I would love to hear some advice, what to follow. I do a lot of coursera courses, and read interesting stuffs, but I feel dumber and dumber 🙂

  62. Jon,
    Thank you for calling out the common and convenient cultural assumption that bloggers are machines plugging away behind a keyboard and that it doesn’t really matter who we are as human beings as long as we have the right “formula.”

    Acquiring companions who up your game, doing less & learning more (and most of all building character) are old-school, time-tested strategies for self-improvement.

    Yet few people seem to want to do the work because it’s hard, there are no guarantees, and there’s usually not anyone patting you on the back for your effort either.

    Along with the strategies you suggested, I would add that a person can start harvesting the efforts you proposed by writing. . . because learning more, thinking, and hanging out with the right people are all great starts, but writing will facilitate transformation because it actually changes the thought process. Many studies have shown that writing galvanizes thought, trains the brain for critical inquiry, and raises curiosity levels.

    In other words, writing often makes you smarter, faster.

    Plus it’s never too early to get a sense of one’s unique voice, creativity, and point-of-view. These things are crucial in empowering oneself in the role of “creator” and not “consumer.”

    And I like the idea of a private journal for this work.

    The spirit of this post reminds me of my grandfather, who raised me. He was a World War 2 vet. While this doesn’t make him virtuous in and of itself (although he was an amazing human being), it did cause me to pick up some key values from him.

    Mainly, that we had to earn respect and our character mattered more than anything. That we had to act in integrity with our stated goals in order to actually achieve them.

    It was an ethic born from grit.

    No one gave him anything; he was lucky to get an orange for Christmas. His dad ran out on a wife and 7 kids. He still spent his life building character and expected nothing in return. And . . . he didn’t suffer fools or make excuses for them either.

    Sometimes the truth is not gentle and the process is daunting.

    Because if it were easy, everyone would do it.

    I think it’s important to remember it’s a journey and a practice. Mistakes are OK along the way. If the goal is to transform into a really compelling (i.e. awesome) person who can actually form the ideas people need – someone who can actually improve the blogosphere as opposed to contributing to the its mediocrity – then a daily practice of it & enjoy the ride. if you fall down, no worries.

    Just jump back on the awesome highway & keep going.

    Yours in practicing the art of the comment,
    Cynthia Lindeman

  63. This is a brilliant read Jon. It confirms my suspicions about successful blogging and life in general.

    At present I am on the path to becoming much smarter, but family commitments restrict my time. These commitments will ease in the near future, and I can now see the way forward clearly.

    Thanks for making my future priorities so obvious.

  64. Thank you so much for sharing this. My environment has not been supportive lately and I’m in the process of changing, this post is the confirmation I needed that I’m doing the right thing. Thank you!

  65. Now I understand something about myself. I have never been to just hang out. I get bored. I have many interests and enjoy learning. I am already doing most of what you talk about it. I do have a passion for learning and growing. My set of friends has completely changed over the years. Most of them are smarter than I am. It was something learned when I was dancing. I wanted to be good, damn good. So, I planted myself behind the best dancer in class. In this way I learned and improved my own dancing. It became a habit for mew to find that person who stuck out as the best and get to know them, learn from them and it works. When I taught school I did the same with my students I matched them up with those who were better, making them push themselves and the one who was stronger learned from the weaker kid what it was like to work hard. As a result they learned some teaching skills and most importantly, compassion. I think about my writing all the time. I dream about it, I talk about it, then finally, I write. For me, things need to percolate before they appear on the page. Thank you for writing this excellent piece. Now to pass it on 🙂

  66. Thanks for this post, Jon. I’ve always wondered if I have the potential to be a very good blogger, because I have always put so much time and work into each post for all my blogging efforts. As someone who has jokingly called myself a “freelance thinker” for at least 10 years, I feel as if you have given me permission (I know  – silly that I still feel as if I need it at my age;) to just keep doing what I do, writing what I write and being myself for as long as it takes. Thank you again!

  67. Another great post!

    I’m a big believer is spending time researching, planning, just thinking. I let ideas grow before I do anything with them. Once I put them onto paper, I have something substantial to work with.

    But, of course, nothing is that simple. I deal with two things: (1) Stopping the research phases and starting to write – much easier to continue thinking! (2) Trying to explain to family that I read because it’s my job. I spend hours a day reading – ezines, blogs, boooks – everything I can that will help with current projects and give me new things to think about. Family doesn’t get it and I often walk away feeling like I’m being judged – and we can’t change our families!!

    So, reading this helped. I have been wondering if I should cut back on the reading, even though I know that it helps me.

    Hoorah! Reading continues. Blogging continues. Writing continues because you say so:)

  68. And I thought I was very inefficient in my writing because I thought I spent too much time in each article I write.

    This is a like really big relief! 😀 Wow!

  69. I thank His Royal Awesomeness for a masterful blog post. My blog is truly forgettable, more than just boring, much less than mediocre. If it were mediocre, my audience numbers might even reach three figures. I have a lot of questions, the answers to which I will probably find elsewhere on this site! [takes note of the url:]. This article isn’t just punchy, it’s tantamount to a bootcamp marshall pushing you to do 100 push-ups when you were going to settle at 10.

  70. Love the honesty and bluntness of this post. I think that a successful blog is about hard work, not the expectation that readers will come.
    Thank you- I found your site through this blog post and will read more.

  71. 😀 I’m like two weeks into blogging, but I’ve suspected it works exactly like this from the very beginning… Thanks for the article, Jon, I really enjoyed it.

  72. Thanks for the heads-up Jon, because I believe I have regressed since my college days. Sometimes success breeds the seeds of failure. Many sports or media stars achieve “instant” notoriety, only to slide downhill because they slowly abandon the hard work that got them to the top. Your post reminded me that once I do reach my goal, I have to work just as hard, if not harder, not to let the distractions of success implode my achievements over a lifetime. Your thoughts resonated with me because I have too often let success get to my head and not maintained the dedication year after year after year.

  73. Honestly, ever since i came across your blog i have been truly bless with your profound advise. God bless you

  74. Best advice I’ve read in a long time. IQ 106, LOL!!! So much for intelligence tests. Thanks for the inspiration!

  75. GIT Infosys is a registered IT company. which is specialized in creating custom web designing, web development, e-commerce development, search engine optimization and social media marketing.

  76. Hi Jon,

    Finally a man I like, a man who has the courage to tell the truth and express himself exactly as he feels.
    To say people: “Hey! Most of you are dumb.” is an act of courage.

    Whenever I adopted this attitude I got a lot of kicks in the ass and clubs on my head. What they told me?

    “Blog comment section is not a place for debates. This is a place where you must be nice, positive and encouraging. So, if you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    Well, my opinion about this cannot be expressed in words. You won’t approve my comment. I will restrain myself and say that I do something on this opinion. You know what.

    Now, the dumb problem. I am dumb, indeed. I agree and there is no shame in admitting this. You need to know what you are, you need to know the truth and start building from there, if you want to do something with your life.

    I am make a lot of mistakes. I tell the truth and like to express my feelings. When I like somebody, I praise him. When I don’t like somebody I tell him.

    When I saw a guy posting a dumb article in a huge and powerful site, I wrote a comment and said: “Your article has no substance, no value. You wrote it just to get a link”. Bad move, of course. Well, what do you expect from me? I am dumb.

    I like to write long articles, problem-oriented and systematically structured. As a result the majority of my visitors are people with high training and high education. The rest leave bored and disgusted.

    When I ask them: Why didn’t you like my article? What to do to improve it?”, they all say: “You must write stellar content, magnetic headlines, upload beautiful pictures, write well-thought comments and most of all, be short, sweet and to the point.”

    Sorry people. I cannot do that. I am dumb.

    Well Jon, you have just gained another fan. A dumb fan, of course, but one that is willing to improve.
    I am happy that I have found this site because this is a place where you can really learn and become smart.

    Have a wonderful day

  77. Hi Jon,
    I just found your site. Wow. I have read articles that say you can write a blog in 20 minutes. I kept thinking . . . how? It takes me longer to think, write,re-write. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when trying to learn because I find an article that leads to another and to another. But you have giving me encouragement that I am on the “right” path. I am glad I found your site.

  78. I have been introduced to Brian Tracy about 2 months ago. Brilliant man. Since then I started reading books everyday to better myself and become a better version of myself. A version that wants to know all there is to know about Internet Marketing and making a living with the Internet.

    Everything written in this post is completely true. Especially about the people you hang around with.

    Why Internet Marketing you ask? Because the only thing I know for sure is that I dont want to work a 9-5 job and let someone else determine when and for how long I will have time off. I dont want to be a slave. I want to be a free man!

    btw.. This post plays good on my emotions. Hint: problogger post of Jon Morrow. I discover Jon Morrow and his blog through ProBlogger.

  79. Jon. I love you. That is all.

    Wait; no — that is not all. Every time you write something, it validates the shit I always thought I was totally crazy for, like spending 10 hours on a post (or 100 hours thinking about it). Or learning and reading and studying allll the time. And the list goes on…

    So thank you.

    That is all :).

  80. Excellent and thanks for sharing. As far as I know I am the only real estate agent in the vicinity of two towns where I operate who writes a blog and it has only influenced my sales positively. I try to ascertain the problems of clients and what I pick up on my FB pages and then attempt to give solutions for that in a storytelling kind of way. It has paid of. I also believe in constant learning and reading about one’s subject of choice and I believe myself to be an expert in my field and also keep my ears to the ground in order to be aware of everything going on so that I am able to answer any questions fired to me.Thanks again for an excellent piece of writing.

  81. This is such a breath of fresh air, Jon, thanks. You get right to the crux of the matter: if you want to write and get read a lot, you’ve got to be a head of your readers, especially in their thinking.

    New ideas are born in thought. Great writing is fashioned and shaped in thought. You don’t have to be “well educated” to think like a writer, you can become a great thinker/writer by reading. Some of the most ingenious engineers of the Industrial Revolution were paupers who taught themselves to read, then read, read and read, until their heads almost exploded with ideas.

    Our world is as it is today because a few wise people read and the ideas reading sparked off in their heads changed the world. Okay, so some their ideas weren’t so hot. But every thinker who becomes a writer has the power to decide the future.

    Et tu Bradbury! 🙂

    In the end, you make a choice: keep your ideas smothered in reality show twerks, or read – and get to change decide the future.

  82. I actually love when someone give me a punch in a face with a truth. It helps me a lot. That is why I ask people what they like and what they don’t like about me, so I can improve myself and my business.

  83. Hi! Thank you for telling the awful truth. I was tired and even scared of hearing “Everybody can write, you just have to follow this 7 steps and that’s it!”. Of course that makes you wonder even about yourself – am I good enough to write? Thank you for stressing on the importance of reading – that’s a major point. Speaking of which, how do you choose your books, how do you filter this huge mass of information that is coming to you? (that fiction novel you read, how do you choose it among so many…do you stick to the classics or…??).

  84. this stuff kicking, I don’t read different topics but focus on content as suggested about but I would tried my luck next time . Right now, read this blog is a thing I think I love the most

  85. I just stumbled on this site linked through from CopyBlogger and I’m glad I did. Confronting stuff, but then again, I’m sick of being a dumbass. HRA Jon, I thank you.

  86. This is a really cool perspective. I find myself naturally doing what you recommend – that’s what I LIKE doing. If I’m cooking I like having a lecture on, if I’m taking public transit I’m always lost in a non-fiction book, as I brush my teeth in the morning I’m listening to interviews, etc. I find it all so fascinating. Not doing it would seem boring to me.

    I always thought that what I was doing was kind of a procrastination-by-learning thing. That I should probably write more and think LESS.

    Now I’m realizing perhaps that’s not the case. My daily routine and ratio of thinking to writing seems to be surprisingly similar to yours.

    My question: do you think your writing would be even better if you spent a bit less time thinking and a little more time writing?


  87. Read your article Jon Morrow. Wonderful writing. the way of your writing was quite effective. The most catchy thing in this blog was the characteristics of the top bloggers. I have felt so while meeting the bloggers but never summarized their behavior in the manner you did. And don’t you think that you are one of those top bloggers with above characteristics?

  88. Oh my gosh! Thank you for making my blogging life a whole lot meaningful. After writing a post, I end up with a headache feeling drained. I guess this is supposed to be normal.

    I want to be a blogger. I want to be able to share what I know and what I love about dogs. I read a lot of dog books and have a hard time deciding who to follow in terms of dog behavior. However, one of my pitfalls is staying in forums to help other pet lovers. Unfortunately, this has nothing to help my blog… Is this a bad thing?

    Thanks so much for this post.

  89. Great post HRA it really makes me think about what I’m doing, my direction, and all those furry kind of things. My personal dilemma has always been whether I talk about my day job (b2b marketing) which has been done to DEATH in the blogosphere, or keep it more geared to what I enjoy in my free time: art, music and puppetry.

    One reality is the audience size is dramatically different. 1% of the marketing crowd is 5000% of the puppetry crowd for instance if not worse. So I went with my own name for the blog so I can just bounce around with a few categories. Marketing content I find horribly boring to write about since I’ve done it for so long as my day to day. Even though I might be able to pull from a new angle it almost seems like a self-inflicted torture method of sorts.

    Sitting on the fence week by week, trying to decide which way to jump. That’s been the hardest hurdle for me and something I’m still struggling with today. Hell I wrote a 1600 word piece on why I think Obamacare sucks just because I got sick of reading status updates from stupid friends.

    It must be adult-ADD or low potassium because I can never seem to just zero in on a singular topic.

    Focus, game plan, dominate. That’s what I took from this article.

  90. Awesome stuff Jon. I love how I can’t stop reading a post here once I start. I’d kill for that writing ability.
    I’m ashamed to say that I only found your blog today, but boy have I stuck around ! I think I’m going to be a better blogger just from what I have learned here today. Or at least I hope so.
    As it happens, I ditched a load of friends last year because they were still living like teenagers despite being in their 40’s. Typical single guys I suppose. Funnily enough I changed a whole lot since then, and I feel like I grew up and matured so much more and cultivated a lot of new interests. But it still seems odd to say that I matured at age 48, but there you go. Better late than never, eh ?

  91. Sir its the heart touching post i have ever read before, i really appreciate your work and kindness and openness, i have learnt a lot after reading your Blog.

  92. Excellent Post! What you say it’s completely true, I wasted lot’s years searching stuff about Marketing, Social Media and SEO.

    I gained lots of knowledge, which then I implemented on my Blog and it barely worked. I managed to place my Blog within the firsts results of Google and Bing, but yet it didn’t worked.

    I see lots of Popular Bloggers and SEO experts giving tons of tips all the time, but the fact is that they are completely useless, this more about how you write, who you are, and how you engage people with your content.

  93. Wow, amazing advice here, Jon. And you could almost replace the word “blogger” with just about any career/life ambition and the advice would still hold up. You have to read and think- a lot. You need to find friends who actually are better than you. You have to do less to focus on what matters.
    Great stuff!

  94. Wonderful writeup on how to become a smart blogger in a world full of bloggers, thanks a lot for this awesome tips, truly, i do appreciate it. Nice writeup, and wonderful guidelines.

  95. Well, what then can i say? this blog post is really wonderful! beeing a blogger s one thing, but being smart means staying above others. Nice tips Here. I really do appreciate it.

  96. Jon, you just confirmed for me that everything I’m doing is on the right path. I spend hours reading books and learning and connecting the dots of how everything is connected to everything else in a way that no one else has done before.

    I also spend hours thinking about what I want to say in the next blog post before I do the writing. Thank you for validating that I’m doing everything right!! 🙂

  97. Fully inspirational post 🙂
    I must admire the way you utilize your routines to gain fresh knowledge.

    What books do you recommend to read about writing and marketing?
    I’m not a native English speaker, I really need to learn a lot about writing, everything from grammar to style to copywriting.

    I know it’s going be a hard learning curve, but I think with the right books and guides, I can succeed sooner.

    So, your recommended, must read books about writing and marketing?

  98. Hi,
    First, I’d like to thank you for the bright thoughts.
    Second, there is a good contra-example of something you said, I believe. I quote: “Granted, you might be part of the minority who’s getting a lot of traffic and making a ton of money and is really and truly brilliant. If that’s the case, consider yourself excused from this “Come to Jesus” meeting.”

    You seem to put in the group of “smart” ones, those who has managed to attract a significant number of people and form a huge audience and eventually make “a ton of money” because of that. I will give you an example with the site called Viral Nova. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It happens to be one of the most successful online projects ever with estimated income of $400 000 for December alone, last year. It started as “one man site” originally (with some freelance support added later), uses the blog concept and is built entirely on scraped content. There is an original “thought” or two in between the lines, but mostly rewritten texts. I am interested to know, do you consider the guy behind it as “a smart cookie”?

  99. Jon you hit a home run on this article! My microbiology professor would always say ‘garbag in garbage out’. I believe both of your guys principals is true for everything. If you surround yourself with ‘the bad’ then do not expect good to come out of it. Once again it was a great read Jon!

  100. Jon – great post. It’s great to hear it like it is. Serious results are only brought on by serious study, self-improvement and doing the things which other bloggers can’t be bothered to do. In other words, there are NO shortcuts.

    And totally agree with the emphasis in blogging: it has to be on you.

    Not the effectiveness of headlines or desperation to get something to go viral by manipulating the reader. If you have something to say which resonates and makes an emotional connection to your readers, you’ll enjoy the success (and adulation!) that deservedly follows.

    Great post.


  101. Hello Jon that was really an amazing blog post. This single post has immense power of waking up a new amateur blogger from sleep who keeps writing blogpost after blogpost and believes maybe someday they will strike gold. You have mentioned some of the best blogging techniques wrapped intremendous motivation and wisdom. And the icing on the cake was Jim Rohn quotes “You are average of 5 people you spend the most time with”.

  102. Hello Jon that was really an amazing blog post. This single post has immense power of waking up a new amateur blogger from sleep. You mentioned some of the best blogging techniques wrapped with tremendous motivation and wisdom. And the icing on the cake was Jim Rohn quotes “you are average of 5 people you spend your most time with”.

  103. Jon, you just called me dumb and I have the utmost respect for you.

    I truly got it . . . to stand out I have to stand out from the rest, I have to be remembered and i have to consume as much as I can.

    This is fast becoming my favorite blog about online marketing. I love this blog and i love what you have to say!

  104. Jon,

    Something in this post tells me to spend 3 days thinking and crafting on a post am given 4 days to write.

    I don’t regret coming late. the tons of comments gives it another dimension.

  105. Hey, Jon!! Thanks for being honest and share the truth with us. It is really a motivating, thoughtful, entertaining and most of all life changing post ever I read. It really forced me to think and take some decisions. Thank you again. Keep up your good work. 🙂

  106. Wow. This post kind of blew my mind. Not because I didn’t know what you were saying already, but because I’ve never read about it in a way that has made it sink in. And now that I know what to do I have no idea where to start. I actually feel that way about many of your posts. I discovered you blog just a few days ago and I have been reading it daily since then. And now I’m so full of new information and good advice that I’m about to explode. Maybe the best thing to do would be to sit down and write a plan for the future. One that incorporates when I’ve learned and slowly forces me to improve as a blogger and a person.

    I think my biggest problem, being more of a thinker than a talker, is surrounding myself with smart people. How do you make that first step? Both to find them and to make contact – in real life, I mean.

    • Hi Trine-Marie,
      I think you have answered your own question – “How do you make that first step?” – simply by posting your comment here on BoostBlogTraffic.

      You have found a community of people right here who are actively striving towards achieving what you want to achieve – an influential blog . Reading the posts, asking questions, maybe throwing in an answer or two, learning, listening, doing.

      That’s why I’m hanging around here. Jon’s argument in this article is correct. I’m trying to learn from people who are smarter than I am.

      Good luck 🙂

      P.S. is another good place to listen, learn and interact with smart people too.

  107. Okay so I know this post is over a year old but I found it SMART and had to write a comment! You are so right when you say, “Blogging isn’t only about SEO or social networking or the quality of your subheads. It’s also about you.” Although it’s SMART to make it MOSTLY about you. Thanks for the ideas. ~Kathy

  108. This blog has done so much for me. In the last month, I consumed so much content from it, and I’m keeping being overwhelmed every time. I’m at start of my blogging, and my site is still a mess, but with so many stuff learned from this site, I know everything is within my grasp. All I have to do is reach out and grab it.

    Like in this article (my 4th re-read today) I have found things that I need to do to improve on every aspect of my journey of becoming a great blogger.

    This site and the content you guys provide for free, is like Im on a my personal course of makimg my dreams come true.

    And I couldn’t be more happy about it.

    Thank you John, and the rest of the guys behind BBT, I’m grateful that I managed to find you!

  109. I guess I’ll be just another dumbass with a blog. There is no way for me to ever start becoming smart. And even one stable reader would be top o’ the heaven for me.
    I guess I’m just way out of this league.

  110. So not happy to say this, but I guess I’m one of ’em dumb bloggers. I probably just know how to write, but nothing viral in any sense.

  111. More reading. Use media to learn more about…everything. New friends or new topics with old friends. More thinking. Then write. Point taken. Thanks!

  112. Jon – This post might be dated, but the information is still timeless and eternal. Thanks for reminding us that it’s ok to spend all day every day thinking about our blogs. I love to let things ‘simmer’ in the back of my brain while I do ‘real life stuff’ so that when I come back to writing I am refreshed, inspired, and introspective.

    Thank you, HRA.

  113. Loved reading this post. Confirms what I’ve been thinking for a long time – I won’t be successful at blogging until I’m able to change the fact that my work takes up almost all of my day, and almost every day. Whether that means quitting to write full time or finding a job which gives me more breathing space is down to how far my nerve holds, I guess!

  114. You are so right, Jon. As usual.

    I couldn’t write very well until I could. I practiced. Still do. I read. A lot.

    And, I haven’t come close to reaching my potential. Yet.

    The Franchise King®

    (Thanks for your inspiration these past few years. You have helped me a lot.)

  115. After reading your post it occurred to me that the essence of what you have just said has been said over and over again for decades. I’m 70 years of age so I have a little perspective experience. This advice has been given to pupils, students and employees for years. In the 21st century your advice has an even bigger advantage. Never before have the younger generation had so much opportunity to source information in a matter of minutes and without cost (the computer is just as much part of the furniture as a radio was for me fifty years ago. Even at my age, I use my computer daily to write everything that comes into my head: stories. letters, opinion pieces, essays and blog posts. Today, we don’t have to rely on publishers and editors to decide if we are worthy writers, we can post our work and we get the feedback. This was an excellent post, thankyou.

  116. Thank you! I feel motivated by this post. I enjoyed reading it, as well as other readers’ comments. Your post is inspiring, while still being grounded and realistic. I appreciate that. What a supportive community you have created here, Jon!

  117. More awesomeness. Not offended by the dumbass comment either! At least I can say I spend ridiculous amounts of time thinking about posts, and yes, those are the ones that are successful. But as far as the average of the five people you are around the most–I’m in trouble there. And the smartest tv I watch is Doc McStuffins…

  118. Hi Jon, Loved this post! Now I feel normal. Yes, I do a lot of thinking, every morning with my husband/business partner. As we ease into the day our minds are going wild, so I have a notebook on the table with our coffee and jot down our ideas. Then at a later time can use them.
    Learning; I have a saying “Learn to Earn” and I live by it. The heck with TV, I rather watch a webinar. If one wants to be a great blogger one must be on a constant learning curve.
    Thanks so much for this. It’s how I lead my life and now I don’t feel alone.

    • Donna, I completely agree with you and Jon. We all have to be continually learning what is new and what’s trending in the blogosphere and with technology (and anything else related to our respective areas of expertise… and beyond) in order to keep up and then surpass others.

      It’s a tough job sometimes, but someone’s gotta do it. 😉

  119. thanks for sharing this post.
    i like the way you have described to be a better blogger.
    hard work is everything that matters. but works when perfectly applied.

  120. Why are you writing about me??

    I know, I know, I know…
    I MUST CHANGE. Really must change.
    I promise. Today is that day.

  121. Oh Jon, so love your passion and always prepared for your “truths” – this post one of your finest and will re read frequently. I love research and learning so that’s my mega excuse for – reading, sorting, thinking, planning AND little doing !
    So while you say that’s okay – for me I have this down to a tee, and I am in overdrive with it . .

    I have recently discovered I AM A HOARDER – particularly of knowledge – now I have justified that – as being an Arts Teacher/Recruiter/Trng Consultant for nearly 4 decades I needed to do this . . yeah right . .
    I mean you know, I’ll do a book on that particular technique/subject . . one day . . along with the 1000 others I have planned – yes seriously over 1000 mostly series of Arts/Bus How To’s but also some fiction.

    Seriously I love Internet marketing it feeds my insatiable thirst to learn it all, to be fascinated by it all . .not to mention those cute little software useless things with flashing lights that I’ll probably never use . . .mmmm . .

    I didn’t want to repeat what others had said, and then after reading this twice,
    realised I have received my long overdue royal awakening, and it reminded me of something that has blown me away recently.

    SORRY for the long post – but believe is pertinent to the whole blogging frequency and purpose of the blog – being the best in your niche, and thought others may find it interesting.

    2 small businesses I am involved with currently – both have the same problem>
    BOTH are taking up most of page 1 & 2 of Google in their respective niches, and they get no leads/sales from their sites . Yes really !

    They are offline, they have been very successful 1 for 23yrs and the other 30 yrs- but over the past 2-3 years business has been dying off to a point where both are critical.
    One has a website ( in upgrade mode since 2012) and FB account not used since 2012 – YES that’s right.
    Unusable and . . . unthinkable that this is still on Google page 1 and 2.
    Stunned by the huge amount of $$ lost because no one online can get onto the site, get access to an email addy, we are talking about 400k – to 1.5mill searches in the relevant keywords monthly.
    Luckily this guy has years of authority by default – plenty of other authority sites mention him regularly – so he knows he is the best, doesn’t get why he no longer has 30 staff and the business gone to rack and ruin.

    The other has a reasonable site, also on page 1 and 2 of Google – dominates Page 1 with 6 listings and 4 on page 2/!

    Once again others talking about his knowledge and expertise is the major reason he is still there, but doesn’t allow his clients to know like and trust him on site- no videos, no voice, no pic of owner – he has relied on word of mouth for decades, had massive successive government contracts – which are now lost, as a lot of his profit margin now gone as these coys buying the solution product direct from China now – but still require his knowledge/consultancy, and don’t want to pay enough for it.

    SO – a lot of what I have learned in 3 yrs, is lacking some facts. . . I find the google baby I thought I knew being thrown out with the bathwater – and no wonder many offline businesses think being on the net is stupid, and don’t care whether they on page 1 or not . . .

    Trying to convince them that people pay thousands for months on end trying to get rankings like that – is greeted with Huh? What? Why? and finally disbelief about the potential money left on the table !!

    The above just highlights that with no “blogging” or “vlogging” or active Social Media – the only reason those sites are ranked so high is Very old Aged Domains and others talking about them = natural SEO.

    The scary thing is for the 2nd coy is that someone else is now also in page 1 and 2 with a domain name so similar to theirs, that they are taking business away and the owner was not even aware of that fact.

    My question here is :- With no engagement on one, and with the other site inoperable, does anyone know why google hasn’t picked up on this and moved them both down the rankings . ?? it seems to fly in the face of what everyone espouse on building relationships with your audience . .

    At this stage if I can encourage them to do a video blog once a month and a written blog once a month, just talking and demonstrating their expertise, alongside FB Ads and getting testimonials from those others site owners that talk about them, they would have to maintain their current rankings – I hope . . it’s slowly, slowly, catchy monkey here, getting them committed to one thing at a time, before the google vulture weeds them out .

    Both lovely genuine credible guys -knowledge tanks, and completely oblivious to the need to be seen in the global market.

    Any thoughts anyone ?

  122. This is the most depressing post I have ever seen from Jon.

    So, I’m “stupid” now. Is that supposed to make me feel good inside? In this post, Jon basically calls himself a liar, and says that he’s been beating around the bush with all of his other (great) posts.

    I learned tremendous amounts of insight from Jon’s other posts and resources. And I feel that part of being a genius is believing that you are a genius. So, I totally disagree with this post.

    Sure, Jon talks about some great ideas in here about utilizing time and recognizing the compromise in life. But this article is so depressing that the only way that I can continue on writing and working on my blog is by calling all of this post non-sense.

    Jon, I love a lot of your posts, but this one is not among those.

  123. That was a gut punch! I’m lamenting all the wasted hours doing everything but concentrating on writing powerful blog posts. Success doesn’t come by happenstance. You’ve made that perfectly clear. Thanks for the boost in the butt.

  124. Love it completely! Deeply resonated with my outlook on life. My “old” friends stress about what shite programme may or may not be on TV. My stress peaks when my podcastst list goes over 300 because i haven’t listened to enough and the new ones pile in. You should adapt this from a post on bloggers to “how to live a life fulfilled” or something because it stretches way beyond the online space and is a powerful message to people to wake up and embrace the awesomeness of our modern world and all it has to offer.

  125. Man, this is epic! I LOVE it when people just don’t BS and say it like it is. I had a similar revelation years ago. I was booksmart and did well in school yes, but my common sense sucked and I was tired of looking dumb. I didn’t care about being pretty or special, etc. I just wanted to be smart. So I started working on that. Now I’m also realizing that my blogging, new business plans, etc. is suffering b/c I’d rather zone out or watch a movie, or whatever after work. Last week I decided to severely cut out TV, etc. and start reading & learning new skills. I’m already so much more excited about my blog and business and can’t wait to see the results. Thanks Jon!

  126. I’m speechless. Like, THANK YOU. I plan to start my blogging career within the next month or two and I’m of course hoping for the best but there was always that little eensy part of me that said “it’s too good to be true”. Thank you for telling me why. Thank you for, like you said, telling me what none of the other pro bloggers else have. Contrary to what you said, I do believe it’s the “thank-gosh-he-told-me honesty ” because now I know and I can change and improve. Now I can be successful.

  127. Wow Jon.

    Just recently I received your Headline Hacks and learned so much. I found *this* article however, scary, exhilarating and realize I need to make some changes. I’m not quite sure how to implement some of these changes as life is kind of set, but I’ve got to find a way. Feel like a lightening bolt went through me.

    Thanks for such an awesome and inspiring article. Many people won’t think so, but I know it was meant for me.

    Thank you,

  128. His royal Highness, king of all bloggers worldwide. King Jon Morrow (I). Always coming up with nice and long articles. Learnt alot from this piece. like you were talking directly to me.

    Thanks boss.

  129. Knowledge is a powerful thing. I’ve been running from one “smart” guru to the next trying to discover the secret to make my blog a success. You’ve managed in this one article to convince me what I suspected all along. Gurus are not the answer. Hard work, focus and a constant drive for authenticity will get me closer to my goal than anything else can. It’s all a matter of commitment.

  130. I have been encountering that first step so often nowadays. I know I have to get rid of some people in my life fast. 😛

    Thanks again for another awesome honest tips. I’m single so I happen to have more time thinking about the writing than thinking about other stuff.

  131. “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” – Jim Rohn
    Thank you for the amazing insights, Jon; it is so reassuring to receive such practical advice from someone who has already “made it”. I’m lucky and blessed in that every new skill or everything i learn on a personal level is valuable for my work as well.
    Your advice is an inspiration and provides real support. Thank you indeed.

  132. This my second visit to BBT when i first come there i did not subscribed your blog and i don’t what was in my mind on that moment.So fortunately i come again there and honestly saying this post impressed me a lot.The line that you have added in start of the post motivated me a lot.

    Usually when i read any post i just read starting lines and sub headings of post but your writing skills forced me to read full post till at the end and this time i subscribed your Blog.

    Thanks for this post and keep teaching newbies like us.

  133. This is an awesome post! I totally agree. As I was reading the post I was thinking of bloggers who have made me feel the way you described and they are mostly definitely popular bloggers. I love learning and I always have. I did well in school and have done algebra for fun. I read nonfiction almost exclusively. Another thing to consider is the fact that while bloggers CAN make six figures, more bloggers will NOT make that money than the amount that will. Not EVERYONE can be successful at blogging.

  134. Hey Jon,

    Those were some harsh words, but you know what it is what it is. Some of us need to feel that type of pain in order to build a popular blog.

    But you know what, all that you’re saying sounds like how my life has been within the last 5 years. I’ve just been swallowing up books, blog posts, youtube videos, history channel, and I mean a lot. Many of my peers look at me differently but it doesn’t matter since I’m putting in the effort to keep progressing.

    Now that I have a smart phone, I’m always squeezing in time during work to read more blog posts. With that said, my content has improved a lot. But I do have to say that I’m pretty lucky I can do this, since Im a field technician and I can take the time to read when I’m walking from site to site.

    I also agree about how successful bloggers make you feel. After talking to them, the knowledge that they conveyed to you is embedded into your brain for it to be reiterated for years to come. And it’s not just any information, but it’s the type of information that helps you connect the dots! I love that!

    This was a great post Jon and this will definitely leave a lasting echo in my mind! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend! Have a good one!

    • Sherman,

      You’re absolutely right.
      Not everyone have time to do that much reading. But I think anyone can make time.

      I for one cut the TV out. Actually I threw it out 🙂
      And now I have additional hour a day to read.

  135. What is the single thing that gives you all the following benefits that Jon mentioned?

    “I always come away from the conversation with a perspective I didn’t have before”
    “They can take enormously complex ideas and compress them into simple language anyone can understand.”
    “a quick conversation could easily go from the latest trends in social media to political intrigue in medieval England to how to replace the carburetor in your car. All in a few minutes.”

    I believe Jon is talking about being a master of metaphor.

    I’m not kidding.

    “The greatest thing by far is to be master of metaphor”/Aristotle

    Develop your metaphor muscle and you’ll be much smarter that most people around you.

    Did you notice I said “muscle”?
    Because that’s what it is. And same as working your muscles in the gym, that’s one muscle you don’t want to neglect.

    Work your ass off developing it.

    And then you’ll get the result Jon talks about:
    “you connect the dots between totally unrelated subjects, creating new ideas nobody has even considered before”.

  136. I love to learn – podcasts make it so easy to do so and it’s all passive. It is possible to learn the equivalent of a university degree course in 18 months if you consume audio information on the topic daily.

    This information can be internalised and allowed to peculate.. leading to a well written piece of content.

  137. Nice article. It’s so hard to start changing yourself, but maybe this is a final push for me. Thanks, Jon

  138. Thanks for a great article. It is a real eye opener. Successful people are successful because they are willing to do what thousands of others aren’t willing to do. To me, this article clearly points out the difference between day dreaming and real goal setting. Anybody can day dream and brag about what they want to achieve, but only a few take action and actually turn those dreams into achievable goals.

    Thank you Jon, you’re a great role model!

  139. This is the article I needed to see today! I have been working at shifting my perspectives and this was the push I needed to make some changes. Thank you.

    • I believe people have to help those who are not that “smart” too, give love unconditionally and understand that truth and love are the things that matter the most. Sure, it’s productive to tell your kid ”surround yourself with smart people”, but it’s in vain if the the success is based on lies, manipulation, pride, narcissism and bullying. Ignoring the ones who are not that blessed is not the solution, but helping them to get better. That person will not forget you, in case one day something bad happens to you. A successful smart psychopath won’t help you in such situations. I am not saying all successful or smart people are psychopaths, but we should think twice before judging the ones who have problems and can’t be that successful. Why ignoring and not be friends with them? What makes us better and what defines success after all?

  140. If only I could go back in time. My parents told me all of this. Unfortunately I didn’t listen. I thought they were wrong, but they were right. Please no one tell them!

    Amazing advice and a great reminder. I like the idea of listening to an interview during breakfast, great use of time!

    Have a great day HRA!


  141. Great writing style Jon,
    Bookmarked your blog downloaded your ebook of making awesome headings.

    Its a great learning to read your post.

  142. Huh…you really know how to play with words and that’s awesome. I don’t like everything you write, but I guess I have to learn how to be “smart”, as you said. I am not sure genetics don’t count. And you kinda do this: you offend people and then you come back and give hope…that’s kinda cool, sure, but also helps me understand more about your personality.

  143. Hi, i really enjoyed reading your blog and i am amazed by the way you have made things so simpler for us bloggers. I am new blogger and my blog is few weeks old, and i just wanted you to have a look and see if i am going the right way, that would be really helpful. also if there is anything that i should change on my existing blog to get more viewers.

    • @baselo, thanks for the reply, i believe you must have visited my blog,

      Just a suggestion needed from you if you don’t mind, Anything that you would recommend that i do differently on my blog?

  144. This is one of the most amazing post about the really truth on having success. And not just for blogging, but ANYTHING in life!
    Hope someday I can write so awesome as you do!



    and if you have some time (hahaha) I would love if you can take a look on my website, is not just one more fashion blogger, is about women’s empowerment!

    I don’t have too much traffic (yet!) and I would like some advice!

    I’m reading all your posts and wishing I can do it all your amazing lessons asap!


    Thanks and have a great weekend!

  145. Amazing STORYTELLING stuff. Now this is y first comment on your blog and the reason I choose the term “STORYTELLING” because I landed on your site while I was reading an amazing blog by Neil on STORYTELLING.

    I really want to develop a local travel blog which I never started because, as you made me realized:-

    1. Not giving much time
    2. Wrong circle
    3. Was thinking too much about seo

    Now I am nit saying that you post changed my life but it an eyeopener… The best thing about this post was “How much time one spend on think about writing”. Well I just though about buying a digi cam, topics I need to write and I think I will take some points from here to apply…

    Thanks a lot Jon

  146. Every popular blogger I’ve ever talked to for more than 15 minutes has had that effect on me. I always come away from the conversation with a perspective I didn’t have before.

  147. I’m rather new to your posts, and yes, they are amazing.

    I agree that if you’re going to create something spectacular, then you’ll need to spend a considerable amount of time in thought and research.

    But the question I have in my mind is, will this be practical advice for the average person that has a business? I get it that if you’re going to make it SOLEY as a blogger this approach will probably be the best way to go.
    Even at that, for most of people that are trying to make a buck, either part time or full time, it isn’t practical.

    If you spend 10 hours thinking and 1 hour doing and a good quality blog post takes 40 hours that’s 400 hours on one post, right?

    Now honestly, how many people are REALLY going to do that? How many in your hard-core reading audience are going to give up their friends, relationships, etc. because the want to make it in the blogging world?

    Gee Wally, this blogging thing must be a lonely business.

    Oh yeah, and it’s going to probably take 4 to 6 years to do it. I think what you’re saying is right, I just think that hardly anyone will pull it off. If it were possible, I’d love to see the rate of success there is on how many people actually follow this advice and succeed.

    Of course, I do realize that would be impossible, but the number must be very, very small.

    Anyway, I’m very impressed with your posts, I believe that you are definitely putting a lot of time into them, I just don’t think that very many people are actually going to do this.

    God Bless,

  148. Jon, this post really inspired me. I definitely need to spend more time reading once they reopen our libraries. I’ve been blogging for 13 years professionally, but I decided recently to do it full time. I would appreciate any opportunity to be a guest blogger here or network with you. Thanks so much!


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