In 2003 I started my first blog on Google’s free blogging platform, Blogspot. From there I moved on to Typepad and now WordPress. My original blogs were merely a way for me to scream at the world. I had no intent to make my living writing online, and yet 10 years later that is exactly what I do.
While there’s still a stigma attached to blogging, this is largely due to jealousy. What “real” writer wouldn’t be jealous of writers who can post whatever we want, whenever we want, while earning enough money to live wherever we want? No editor tells me shit. Anyone who threatens to “cancel a subscription” is told to get fucked. No one can fire me for my views.
A blog gives you complete and total artistic freedom.
Here are 11 (out of Hundreds) of Observations About Blogging.
1. You can build a bigger audience than “real” writers.
Who is a “real” writer? A real writer gets a B.A. in Journalism or Creative Writing from Columbia. After desperately seeking a job, they are hired by a large corporation. They try desperately to get noticed yet are largely overshadowed by Big Daddy Corporation.
Think about the last article you read on the New York Time or Washington Post. Who wrote it? Nine times out of ten, you have no idea. Bylines are irrelevant.
A blogger like me is the brand. A “real” writer is a slave to the brand. Few professional writers or journalists have the name recognition I have.
2. Gatekeepers hate blogging as it takes away their power.
I sell more books than 99% of authors and would bring an audience to any paper I’d write for. Yet I could never get hired at a respectable publication – or even an “edgy” one like Vice.
HR departments would never let me in the door. This sort of power is how you censor people.
If you want to take the traditional career path of a “real” writer, there are a lot of subjects you can’t write about.
Blogging takes away power from The Man – or as is really the case, The Woman.
SJWs are melting down as they are losing control of the narrative.
3. Blogging creates genuine diversity.
If you have something to say, no matter how odd ball it is, say it.
No one is stopping you. You can write about any subject you want to. No one has to give you permission.
You can even share your message anonymously.
I’ve learned more about how the world works from bloggers than from any august publication, as blogging is not guilty of group think. There are also no secret mailing lists like Journolist controlling what others can write.
4. Blogging is a reality check.
These days everyone is unique and special. The world simply has not recognized your greatness!
If you think you’re special, start a blog. People will show up.
If they don’t, well…
5. Big corporations hate blogging as it hurts their revenue.
I would make any major publication a lot of money due to the page views I’d bring.
Why would I do that when I can monetize my own content?
Corporations hate blogging, which is why they have their stooges and lackeys (“real” writers) mock the medium.
6. Bloggers make more money than “real” writers.
There is not a single blogger at Gawker, which is at least 10 times bigger than Danger & Play, who earn more money online than I do.
Because you’re the brand, people come to your website to read you. If Sam Biddle, a Gawker blogger, wrote a book no one would buy it.
No one likes Sam Biddle. They go to Gawker for the type of generic snark that anyone can write.
7. Bloggers are more professional than writers.
Dr. Brett Osborn, who writes about anti-aging and other topics at Danger & Play, is a neurosurgeon. Where else will you find that caliber of writing?
Is an article by a B.A. in Journalism who collects a quote from someone whose expertise she has no ability to judge “real” writing?
Scott Greenfield has been a criminal defense lawyer longer than a lot of us have been alive. Who cares what someone with a B.A. and writes for NY Times says about criminal justice issues when you can read Simple Justice?
8. 99% of bloggers have no idea how to monetize their sites.
This is true even of people who could monetize their writing.
Due to self-publishing, most could hire someone from Elance to take their best posts and edit them into a book. Sell it as a “best of” collection.
Your regular readers are pretty good people who are happy to support you.
9. There are two simple ways to make money online. (Read: Affiliate marketing v. advertising.)
Sell something for yourself.
Sell something for someone else.
The key word is sell.
10. Readers are not (that) entitled.
Gorilla Mindset hit 8,700 copies sold (Sept. 8, 2015). A good day of book sales is 90 copies and a bad day is 50 copies sold.
I’ll hit my one-year target of 10,000 copies within 3 months of launch day.
If you assume people who read your writing for free will never buy from you, you are mistaken.
Well, you might be mistaken. If you deliver cheap generic Vice, Buzzfeed, and Gawker like content, then it’s true: No one will pay for your words.
But if your words deliver value to people, they will gladly pay for it.
11. Building a big audience requires showing yourself.
I don’t like posting pictures of myself. But that’s part of the job. Readers want to see you in the flesh. People want to get to know you.
It’s easy to blame this on “celebrity culture,” but that’s also nonsense. We’ve all enjoyed watching “behind the scenes” type material from our favorite bands, and HBO’s 24/7 is great pre-fight people.
If you want to do well online, you’ll need to move the line separating your public from your private life.
How Danger & Play is a practical joke on terrible people.
(My advice backfires terribly on narcissists.)
I’ve seen my advice taken too far by natural attention whores. “Mike says to post pictures,” and then they look for every reason to show everyone how cool they are.
For example, they’ll attend a trade show like the Mr. Olympia. Rather than actually pose useful pictures people want to see (like displays of the booths, crowd pictures, and bodybuilders), they post selfies of themselves in front of everything – as if their attendance of the Mr. Olympia is what makes it an interesting experience.
In a sense, my advice is a practical joke of narcissists and attention whores. If you crave fame and acceptance, applying my advice will have people laugh at your self-importance.
And that makes me smile.
This is the #1 Reason I’m Glad to Have Started a Blog
Although it’s cool to make fun of social media, how do you meet friends if you’re eccentric?
In any given room, there is almost no one I want to talk to. Most people bore me, and most people find m shocking and offensive.
All of my life talking to people was like walking on egg shells. As a child I was scolded for asking “inappropriate” questions.
Some could call me eccentric or an asshole, but whatever, a lot of people like this asshole.
And that’s all due to the Internet.
Even if I had never made a dollar online, it’d have all been worth it. I’ve met some of the coolest people you could ever hope to meet, been welcomed into foreign countries, and met friends who previously were just “e-celebs” to me.
It’s been a lot of fun, and it’s time to amp up the game.
Why can’t we do independent news and reporting?
(“We” is not used in the royal sense. I mean you and me.)
Your eyes and ears are everywhere. You are in every city and every country. You work jobs and have access to newsmakers, executives, and other people who actively seek to censor our speech and imprison us falsely.
You see and hear a lot, and as we know the media lies about us.
We can’t we start sharing our stories with the broader world?
Citizen journalism is alive and well.
We are under attack, but there are more than enough of us to fight back.
If you see something, say something.
Danger & Play Media is now accepting tips about public figures and others who should be written about.
More on that later…