Want To Be A Successful Blogger? Do Cool Shit First

Would you rather see a movie made by Disney or your next door neighbor?

Thought so.

Of course you’re going to pick Disney (unless your next door neighbor is Steven Spielberg). Why, though?

Well, because they’re established. They have a track record of making amazing cinema. Basically everything they touch turns to gold.

In short, they’re credible.

As bloggers, it’s tough to build up credibility.

I knew this two years ago.

I was a new blogger with absolutely nothing special going on. The coolest thing I ever did was intern at Disney World for 8 months.

As I’ve studied more and more blogging experts online, I’ve realized most of them have some insanely cool shit going on.

They’re CEO’s, they travel the world regularly, they host their own podcast shows, they work with some of the biggest companies in the world.

They’re badasses.

Because they’re badasses, they’ve managed to make major hedges on the market while every other Joe Blow blogger out there claws their way to the spotlight.

Luckily I have a prescription to level the playing field..

Become a badass yourself.

The 1 Badass Thing I Did, And How It Helped My Writing Immensely

I’m getting sick of telling people my story. Here’s a one-sentence summary:

Last summer I did a 5-month road trip across the country, by myself, while working as a digital nomad.

Like I literally stayed in hostels, saw 26+ states (or something), and put a good 13,000 miles on my car.

I’m not saying I’m a badass, but that road trip I did was pretty badass. Don’t even try to argue with me on that —

Back then I wanted to be a travel blogger. I knew I couldn’t call myself that without going on a trip of my own.

So I went.

This one life decision was the catalyst that got me into the Huffington Post, positioned me as a “digital nomad” expert, and re-invigorated my writing spirit in ways I can’t describe.

Without doing this one simple badass thing, I’m convinced I’d be nothing.

To this day, my best performing articles all pretty much have to do with that one trip, and that’s completely fine.

It’s my life. I created that trip. I pulled myself out of non-special-ness and did something that a lot of people want to do.

You can do the same.

In fact, you kind of NEED to do the same.

How You Can Become A Badass

Here’s a couple easy ways to do more badass shit.

  • Interview successful people. You need to be scared to death of talking to them, too — no shortcuts!
  • Start your own company. Even if you fail, that’ll still be quite an amazing story to talk about.
  • Go on some sort of a vision quest. Like my road trip! My friend Thomas Despin literally biked around the world. If you want to make yourself stand out, you’re going to have to sacrifice some things and do shit out of the ordinary.
  • Quit your 9–5 Job and do something you actually love. Yep. I’m not even going to duck it. This alone is kind of ridiculous and something that not many people are willing to do. Congratulations, you’ve separated yourself from pretty much everybody in an instant.
  • Do shit ‘normal’ people wouldn’t do. The trick to great content is “newness.” That’s why we enjoy watching movies like Star Wars. It takes us to another place. How are tales of your life going to do the same? Have you become a minimalist lately? Have you tried to eat nothing but Chick-Fil-A for a month? Have you ever dated someone from a totally different culture? These are all perfectly awesome jumping off points for stories.
  • Create something bigger than yourself. Like a Medium publication. Like a podcast. Like an event in your hometown. Create something entirely new and tell us what it was like doing so.
  • Look into your past. I’m a firm believer that so many of us are already badasses. I know, ya’ll are yelling “PLOT TWIST!” because I’ve tried to prove the opposite in this article..but hear me out. We’ve gotten this far, right? We’ve gone through things. We’ve lost parents, we’ve lost dogs, some of us have lost children. We’ve been laid off, we’ve fallen in love, we’ve had to risk everything at some point. Try to pinpoint what you’re most proud of, and write about that like it’s nobody’s business.

Why Doing Cool Shit And Blogging Go Together

I would actually say that nothing influences blogging more than our own personal lives.

Sure, headlines and introductions and cover images all have a hand in it, too — but behind that click-baity headline and cover image you got from Pexels lies your soul.

What’s your story? What makes you different?

Congratulations, we’re all different. We all have a story worth telling, but in a world of CEO’s, Wolves of Wall Street, and travel bloggers who have visited every country in the world is you.

Why should we listen to you? I don’t ask this to discourage you, I ask this to thrust you into the future with some hope.

Here’s another plot twist: This article isn’t supposed to help you become a better blogger — it’s supposed to help you live a more fulfilling life.

By living better, you’ll become a better blogger overnight.

You’ll have ideas bursting from your fingers. The platform that is your whole perspective will crack, and crumble beneath of you.

Now, by rising from those ashes, you can now begin to give us something we’ve never thought of before.

We are now ready to listen, and follow, and subscribe, and maybe even purchase.

Does everybody reading have to jump in their car and travel across the country?

No, of course not, but I would hope that one of you are inspired to interview that NY Times best-selling author, or create an event in their hometown, or even quit their job to do something they love.

Live the lives of the bloggers you love reading.

In the end the reward isn’t followers, subscribers, and money, it’s a brand new life that you love.

I hope you find that.

Want to build an audience of your own on Medium? I have a free 5-day email course called “Your First 1,000 Followers” that will teach you how I did it! Sign up for it right here.