Blogging tips that made me a terrible blogger.

Starting a blog is an exciting experience. I loved geeking out all the technical details and learning HTML/CSS to edit styles, but none of that actually matters, because…

It didn’t take me any close to my real goals of having a blog: sharing my experiences, lessons or connecting with the like-minded people.

So I struggle with the most important bit – writing actual blog posts. 

Not because I cannot write, I work as a copywriter.

Blogging tip that pushed me the wrong way:

Write “unique, valuable, interesting” content otherwise you’re just another loser with a blog.

Sounds like a fantastic, logical tip… right?

Well, this idea became my curse.

I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours reading what people publish and researching what’s interesting and searching for “my niche”, but when I sit down to write something and apply all those criteria I just don’t feel like I have anything worthy to say. Nothing seemed to be valuable, interesting and unique enough.

I guess I am just afraid to be judged. Even though I often pretend I don’t care what other people think about me, clearly I do.

And it feels really scary, yet liberating to finally admit it.

Because without writing a lot of crap I won’t be able to write anything good. Here’s a meme with Jake the Dog that proves this:

sucking-at-something-adventure-time

But if the meme-proof isn’t enough for you, let me give you an example.

Noah Kagan

Isn’t it obvious? He loves tacos and he’s amazing at blogging. And marketing.

This is Noah Kagan – one of my favourite bloggers and marketers of all time.

He has built amazing companies (Appsumo and SumoMe), who worked at amazing companies (Mint.com and Facebook) and now has an insanely popular blog OkDork. However, he started blogging well before 2001 and most of his old blog was just random thoughts and updates he had. Nothing even close to the valuable, actionable advice we can see today.

Want some proof? Look at his website in 2001. By the way, you must subscribe to his emails here. Even if you’re not a marketer. Even if you don’t use email. Even if you can’t f*cking read.

It’s just my speculation, but it seems like he wrote A LOT and learned from his mistakes and didn’t care about the best and hottest blogging tips out there. He just tried a lot of things and some of them worked. Most of them didn’t, but he continued with the things that did.

Ira Glass says this soooo well:

Noah is exactly the role model I should be following and not the blogging tips I was consuming for way too long.

Do you struggle with writing and creating content too because you don’t feel “good enough”?

Here’s my idea: let’s start writing every day until you and I have 31 blog posts.

What to write about? Here’s a list with 31 ideas for blog content which I was inspired by a list I found in here.

  1. Share personal news
    What happened in your life today? This week? This month? Share something significant that happened, tell me why it’s important to you and what effect the news had on you.
    Example: Girl Online Book Signings
  2. Create a How To guide
    Show me something that’s easy for you. Or perhaps something that you’ve learned recently. How can this make life easier? What struggle your “How To Guide” removes?
    Example: How to sell anything
  3. Present a case study
    According to Google, this is what a case study is.:Case study definition by googleSo share a case study of your role model achieving something that you want to achieve. Or a case study of a company accomplishing something that you think is great.
    Example: Case Study: How to launch a product with a tiny email list
  4. Make a list of top thingsTop organising ideas you use every day, top films you could watch more than once, top excuses you use for being late at work, etc.
    Example: The 45 Inbound Marketing Terms You Should Know
  5. Review a tool or a product
    What have you bought recently that made your life better? How exactly is this tool or product helping you? Why is that important?
    Example: Treehouse Review: This is how I learnt web development
  6. Share a personal opinion on the industry news.
    What do you think about the recent Google mobile search update? Any other news that you’ve been recently surprised by? Tell me about it.
    Example: Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: Not The End of The World
  7. Talk about a survey or a research.
    It can be a research that you found online or a survey that you did yourself.
    Example: What are traffic waves and why do they happen so much?
  8. Illustrate your goals.
    Let me know your goals and dreams. Add pictures and your plans to achieve them.
    Example: Not really a blog post, but plenty of illustrated life goals.
  9. Live tweet something. Or live Facebook something.
    It could be a conference or your attempt to hide from your teenage son. Something like this:
    Micheal Allen from IdrCloud
  10. Host reader engaged Q&A.
    Or if you don’t have an engaged audience – share a Q&A that you loved recently. Reddit’s AMAs are pretty exhilarating to read.
    Example: AMA with Tim Ferriss
  11. Interview a thought leader. Or just anyone you don’t know, but respect.
    Tip from practice: approach at least 10 people to get an interview.
    Example: This was my first interview I’ve ever done for my blog – Programmer’s Life at Google
  12. Hold a contest. Give away something related to your blog topic / industry.
    Example: TeamTreehouse Giveaway by Sidigital
  13. Share a presentation you enjoyed
    Example: 5 lessons we learned using Slideshare
  14. Summarise marketing campaign results
    Or talk about the results from your Google analytics account.
    Example: Marketing results from growing a blog
  15. Find some interesting statistics and make it into an infographic
    Or share an infographic that you like or find useful.
    Example: 11 Essential Ingredients That Every Blog Post Needs
  16. Do a hypothetical client work.
    Create a poster, write new copy, code a landing page
    Example: Andrew Kim reimagined what Microsoft could look like and it’s super cool.
  17. Create a map.
    Places you’ve visited or places you’d like to visit.
    Example: Scotland blog map
  18. Tell a story. Or share a story
    Example: Becoming Victoria
  19. Explain something using analogy
    Example: An amazing football analogy of how *not* to hire the wrong people at your startup
  20. Share a spreadsheet or a google doc
    Example: Project management schedules, family budgets. Google spreadsheets and docs can do a lot. Share the ones that you use.
  21. Show examples of what NOT to do
    Example: 12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time
  22. Propose a theory. Don’t have one? Share a theory you believe in
    Example: OK, I really struggle finding an example for this. My theory is: marketers who blog don’t create new theories.
  23. Give kudos – positively mention someone or something you like
    Example: 3 HUGE lessons I’ve learned from Noah Kagan
  24. Create a timeline. Special moments in your life / release dates of your favourite films / anything else you can plot on a timeline.
    Example: My Timeline – David’s Life
  25. Answer why
     Example: 6 Reasons Why Marketing Could Be Your Dream Career
  26. Draw a cartoon. Unlike wit and fresh thinking, drawing skills are not required.
    Example: Marketing Interviews by xkcd
  27. Target industry beginners with tips on getting started
    Example: How to get started in 3d printing (without spending a fortune)
  28. Share something that you are passionate about and explain why
    Example: Discovering my passion for photography
  29. Share something you struggle with (this week / month / generally), why it’s important to you to overcome that and what you’re going to do to change that.
    Example: 6 Things I wish I Didn’t Struggle With, But Do
  30. Lessons you’ve learn from X
    An event / experience / person / course / project
    Example: What I’ve Learned Returning To Dating Pool In My 30s
  31. Share a tool you find useful and how you use it
    Example: Make Wunderlist Into the Ultimate To-Do List
  32. Fears you overcame
    Example: How I Overcame My Fear Of Failure
  33. Fears you still have
    Example: Well, after searching the web for some of the fears people have now I have a few I didn’t know I have. So, nope, I’m not searching for that again.
  34. Review your last book. Or a book you liked
    Example: Book Review: Watertight Marketing
  35. Break down your big goal – how can you achieve it?
    Example: My short term goals for January
  36. How did you get your job?
    Example: How I Found the Job (and Company!) of My Dreams
  37. Why do you work where you work? What do you like / don’t like about it?
    Example: I thought about sharing some politically correct bullsh*t, but you all know what it looks like. Here’s why this lady works with sex offenders.
  38. What does your day-to-day look like?
    Example: Photographer shares her daily life through beautiful pictures

How to participate:

Let me know about your posts with #31blogPosts on Twitter and I will read them, comment them and share them my all 87 twitter followers.

What’s the purpose?

  1. Get over your fears of writing blog posts that suck.
  2. Getting first readers (me, at least) to your dead blog.
  3. Create some content, so your blog wouldn’t look like an abandoned spooky house.

 What now?

Two things, real quick.

  1. Start writing YOUR 31 blog posts. Let me know by using #31blogposts on Twitter.
  2. It took me about 6 hours to write this post (mostly because of all the fear and self doubt while writing), so if you found this useful I would LOVE if you left a comment down below. Share something that you struggle with in blogging or just say hi :)

Programmer’s life at StackOverflow.com – Interview with Nick Craver

This is a continuing series about “What programmer’s day in life looks like”. Last time I had an interview with Chris Smith, who is Tech / Lead Manager at Google. This time it’s the turn for another amazing internet company – StackOverflow and I was lucky to catch Nick Craver for a quick interview about his daily life. Don’t forget to check out his blog and follow him on Twitter. Continue reading

Programmer’s life at Google – Interview with Chris Smith

Hey! Sure programming is cool and demand for tech geeks is higher than crack these days. But have you ever wondered what programmer’s day actually looks like? Well I did, so I went to Twitter and got hold of 3 brilliant programmers – one from Google and two from StackOverflow. They told me what they do every day, what are their most and least favourite parts of their job and even shared how their workspaces look like. The first person I’ve approached was Chris Smith and he kindly agreed to do an interview with me. Very, very warm and approachable guy. Unfortunately his blog is open to invited readers only, but you can always follow him on Twitter! And now,  let me introduce: Continue reading

9 Ways to learn to code with PHP

When we try to learn a programming language, there always is a annoying question floating around in our mind – “what should I do next?”. We try a few tutorials, skim through a book and we feel completely puzzled.

Everyone goes through this. The only way out is to keep believing that you can do this and just fight your way through this. It is possible, but to make this journey easier, I’ve put a list of ideas how you can learn to code with PHP. Continue reading

This is how I learnt web development [Treehouse Review]

If you ever tried to learn to code, whether to start your own business or to land a better job, you know it’s difficult. I know this, because I’ve been trying to learn web development for the last year or so.

It’s difficult because of a few reasons:

  • It’s not very clear where to start
  • Everyone suggests to “build a project”, but you don’t have any ideas
  • Books are rather boring
  • Many free courses teach booleans, strings, variables, functions and objects
  • After a while these “fundamental courses” become quite easy, but you still don’t know how to actually build something

My journey started with the Codecademy

I've completed the JavaScript course, Youtube Api and most of the Box api

I’ve completed the JavaScript course, Youtube Api and most of the Box api

 

After trying out Codecademy, which was pretty good, I still wanted to build websites, code apps and make things for the web. I just didn’t know how take all these if’s and functions() and objects they taught me in the Codecademy and use them in the real world application.

It changed when I found TeamTreehouse

But let me explain everything in more detail…

Continue reading

10+ Php projects for beginners

simple PHP project ideas for web development beginners

Here is a list of project ideas for PHP beginners. Learning a programming language can sometimes be a little tricky, having a project helps you to structure your learning and get extra motivation.

  1. To-do list.
    Make a simple web app where you could add, mark as completed and delete to-do items. Continue reading

9 Hand-Picked Time Saving Cheat Sheets For Web Designers & Developers

Having cheat sheets is handy. The most important information is neatly packed in one place, which means you don’t have to go around the web searching for little bits and pieces of code and constantly thinking if you haven’t forgot anything. Here are my favorite cheat sheets that make web design and development a lot easier.

#1 SEO cheat sheet from Moz (2013 edition):

moz seo cheatsheet

  Continue reading

[Hacker’s Library] – 500+ free books for programmers

Victor Felder from Switzerland has created a free programming book list with more books on every topic of computers than you will ever have time to read all of them (you’re not supposed to!). Here’s a full table of contents of this resource list:

500 programming books table of content

So grab your favorite hot beverage and get to reading! Here’s a link: https://github.com/vhf/free-programming-books/blob/master/free-programming-books.md#index

 

What marketing actually is

two cars - one old and wrecked the other looks like new in comparison

Marketing is always a little misunderstood concept by many people. Mostly because the only part the majority of people understand is advertising. If you are marketer, you must be doing adverts and make people buy stuff they don’t want. A liar, a con men, some sort of voodoo shaman you must be.

Well, not exactly.

Let me tell you how I see marketing and after 2 years of Marketing studies I should be able to explain what marketing actually is. Continue reading