The Blogger Dilemma: The Difficult Art to Exist (on the Internet)

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

We are the tree…

We are the tree and the Internet the forest.

I am the tree falling right now…am I making a sound (are you reading me?).

How much information are we exposed today outside work and family?

News, dozen of blogs we follow, hundreds (or thousands) of people we follow on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin. Pinterest, Line, Whatsapp, Wechat, Snapchat, Tiktok, etc. etc).

How can we possible follow everything?
We cannot…even thought we pretend.

The same happens to everyone, too much (addictive) inputs and not enough time.

Thus the question to all of us bloggers.

Who’s reading us?

The blogger dilemma

    • Who is really reading my blogs?
    • Who’s reading it with involvement (or only to use my audience to his advantage)?
    • Should I keep writing if nobody is reading me?
    • Am I bringing value? ..or better… Do I care to bring value to the community or I care only for myself?
  • Grabbing the attention of people in internet is increasingly difficult due the one (even less) second attention span we have today in these era of overflow data. We get attention when we touch some nerves, when we say something interesting, useful, when we are able to present it correctly.
  • A fantastic picture exploding on the screen and our face, a blog post addressing exactly the topic we think about all day long, a video that makes us cry…

Read it again please.

Everyone is (technically) reachable anytime/everywhere and EVERYBODY can speak to 3.2. million people right now.

  • This leap in technology is amazing.
  • Few years ago (20 I would say) we were barely able to keep contacts using landline phones and only with people whom we knew.

With the advent of the cellphones we extend our reachability everywhere and all the time.

Even thought you might be used to this reality or you are too young to remember the world without cell phones, think for a moment on the great impact of it on our lives.

Think about the implications of being able to reach  an audience of 3.2 millions people right now.

Well…I am doing it…right now…with this post…and you are one of those 3.2 millions people.

I don’t know who you are.

You don’t know me (at least personally).

But we are connecting.

You can change my life right now just sending me an email, a tweet or a comment.

I might have already changed your life.

  • Blogging and money
  • Who is writing a blog has a passion, whatever is the message.
  • The passion is usually so strong that the blogger would love to blog all the time thus (unless the blogger is very rich), he would love to make blogging his primary source of income.
  • All considered, if someone wishes to make some money from blogging, this desire  is not only fair but sacrosanct because if I, blogger,  am producing and offering value (thus I have  readers) such value should be rewarded.
  • Conversely if I don’t produce any value…very likely I will not have readers thus I will not make any money through ads or products.
  • That’s simply and brutally the real law of the market
  • No value produced = no money gained

Why should it be the opposite?

  • The problem is that most of the people employed (so a big portion) cannot realize the equation value = money because they cannot link the value of staring a computer in a cubicle with the making of “something” (a products, a line of code etc.).
  • Even worst, sometimes (often?)  in the corporate world  such link doesn’t even exist…people doesn’t produce any value but they get the paycheck anyway…overachievers  will compensate their lack (and get frustrated).
  • Conversely, blogging is pure entrepreneurship:  you get money in direct proportion of the value offered…no office politics, cheating or friends of friends game is playing here.

Always remember the 4P of marketing, they apply also to your blog:

  • P as your Product: the Value of you offer
  • P as your Promotion:  are you promoting your blog in every social channels? Are you networking with other like-minded blogger?
  • P as Place: Is it easy for the reader to access your blog posts?
  • P as Price: Are you offering a service with a reasonable price? Are you offering it for free? Or it’s too expensive?

Understand that if only one P is not satisfied by your offering, your blog will be a major failure.

Your product has no value? Nobody will buy it (in case of a blog, nobody will read it…why wasting time to read things that have no value for the reader)?

Your blog is great but you don’t advertise it enough? Nobody will find it.

Similarly if you publish it in a difficult website to navigate or in Social Channel nobody uses, people will have trouble to access it.

Your e-book or course is great but you charge too much vs the perceived value of the reader?
Nobody will buy it.
Conversely,  you are not charging anything for your products or use affiliate links? You will not have revenues (in same cases this is acceptable since not everyone is blogging for revenues).

  • What to sell
  • Making some money on the blog can be fairly immediate and easy with affiliate links and random ads. One of the rule of the thumb (you can find many rules on the web) is that you make roughly $1/year for each visitor you have per day with a Bounce Rate of 100% and roughly 1000 pages published on your blog using Google AdSense (with a CTR of 1% and CPC of $0.25).
  • Without going into the details…yes you can make some money from your blog inducing your readers to click on Ads but you need a lot of traffic so something to say (again: No value produced = no money gained).While I do believe in the power of marketing and creating a network of bloggers/people with identical interests I am a firmly believer that readers sticks with you if you have something valuable to say.
  • Why I don’t believe in Google AdsYou might have noticed I don’t have Google Ads on this blog (and in others blog).
    Conversely I had them in others websites used for pure marketing/commercial activities where they makes sense since the only goal was promotion of products and services.
  • Blogging for me it’s a different story, I do want to share with you my story, suggesting you some products I use and consume and I really want to share to the world since EXCELLENT for me and making some money in the process.
  • Filling my website pages with  Random computer generated Google Ads suggesting you some Shrimp Antonia Bag Pink Size One it is simply not for me.
  • Conversely suggesting you to use great tools like Personal Capital to keep tracking your finances is something I really believe into it like in other products I do really use and enjoy on a regular basis.

What now?

Use the gift of communication to be brilliant, to express yourself, to change the world.

Don’t scam people or treat them like stupid, take out those annoying Google Ads pushing your readers to buy crap just for you to get the commissions.

Have something to say, bring value in this world and value will pay you back in form of money, notoriety, personal satisfaction or just inner peace….the most important one.

Do you love your job? 3 Minutes Reading to Finally Discover it

This guy again…? I like it…!

 

Wait a second….why you are talking about Financial Independence …quitting my job…never!

Ok fair enough…I am, pretty sure you don’t love your job so much…or more precisely I think I am sure at 90%

Asking a simple question I can discover it…

Ready?

The only question you need to answer to understand.

Would you stay in your current job if 20M$ just fall on your lap right now?

Think about it…deeply and honestly for 60 seconds…

Would you retire ? or keep doing the same job day in day out?

I personally love my job…with 20$M I might decide to do it for free (or almost) part-time and as freelance  (thus removing any kind of obligations).

Conversely if you would run away from your job only due to the money you are in trouble.

Working represents 60% (even more) of your waking time and 90% of your thinking time.

8 hours sleeping – 9 hours working – 1-2 hours getting ready and commuting to/from your job
What’s left? 5-6 hours where you will likely relax from the stress of your job?

It makes no sense.

Especially in these years where the opportunities of picking up a job that might excite you abundant thanks to internet or the globalization.

So what? Put the work on it…

You might be a digital nomad, move to another country to cover a position where your skills or knowledge of the market are needed (think about USA or European companies with branches in Asia for examples), be a blogger, going in the digital music, video industry and other tons of jobs.

The stereotype of 9-5 until 65 white collar in a office is not the mainstream anymore and less and less for the blue collar as well.
You can pick a job that you really love, more than ever.

But (and this is a huge BUT) you must put the work into it.

You must be obsessed by it.

You must think bigger than having as unique goals to buy a house and a car ten times more expensive than what you really need just to keep up with the Joneses.

Waking up in the morning ready to jump from the bed just to do it.

Otherwise winning those 20M$ is the only option and let me tell you that the chances are pretty slim.

So …You want to Retire…? From what? And… to do WHAT?

    Another Beach…?

and move to a Caribbean beach or in some countryside in Europe and maybe open your small bar, business that  (of course!) it will be very successful…bla bla bla….

Or…join the latest trend of movement of FIRE (Financial Independence. Retire Early)

SO… (did you notice how big was this so…?)

Why you didn’t retire yet?

You know…the kids, the mortgage, the family, the  <enter other excuses here>…”

Ok, let’s see why you didn’t do it yet and why you should change right now your approach on this for your mental sanity.

First and foremost…

you didn’t retire yet because you don’t really want it bad enough.

But…let’s take one additional crucial step…

Let’s go and find it….

You have to answer two questions first:

Do you want to retire from what…?

Let’s start with the first part

Retire from what?

Easy right? I am hearing you now from the screen…

You want to run away (sorry..retire)…from:

  • Your boring job
  • Your evil boss
  • A city you hate
  • Hours of commuting
  • Colleagues friendly like a bear
  • A cold and raining weather
  • Your answer

Ok, done…

Now the second part of the question…the most difficult

Retire to do what…?

I am hearing you less now….some weak and general statements like………

  • To golf more
  • To sleep more
  • To spend more time with my family
  • To relax
  • To read…write…
  • To play an instrument
  • Your answer

So…if the reasons above  are so strong to make you consider to quit your job and changing radically your life…why don’t you dedicate more time to them while you work…?

If playing golf is such a burning desire…why you are not more efficient with your time (e.g cutting internet/social media/TV time) to satisfy that burning desire?

Same for the rest…

If you are not spending time to do the things you think you like it’s only because there is not a burning desire behind them.

Instead you decided to waste your life watching a screen instead of living it

You just want to retire from something to…become lazy!

Wasting time in front a screen is your burning desire…

Let me repeat….

Wasting time in front a screen is your (only) burning desire…

Because you do it day in-day out for hours and hours and you are never bored doing that…

Indeed with the advent of the smart phones and tablets we are not bored anymore because we have anyhow always something to do…watching our phone!

Help me…!  What should I do  then?

Assess yourself
Shut down all the distractions and ask yourself what you really like
The goal here is to really understand your passion once you remove the screen time…(use phone app or other tools to track it)
You used to like golf, swimming, playing guitar, bla bla before the screens came in the picture… right?

Reignite again your passion
Start practice again what you use to love.
Set a schedule calendar for it and do it
Enroll in some tournament, competition, to set a measurable goal and a target.
It would be strange in the beginning but you will rediscover the desire…

Act on the big dream
Leaving in Europe opening a small business was your dream and 9-5 escape ?
Start planning it.
Plan a trip THIS YEAR, discover how to buy/rent a place over there…if that’s the place you really like…start thinking about the business.
You decided to invest your time reading this blog instead of watching TV or mindlessly browsing your phone…so you are committed to change, clever, energetic.
You can do it…no doubt about it…start now

That’s it.
Few points and actions.
We make it complicated but it’s not.
We just lost sight of what we are and what we love
Understand that the world out there wants every second of our attention to MONETIZE it…

Don’t fall in the trap, you are more clever than who wants to suck your money and life

Setting your goals (Oh no…there I go again!!!)

What about if I am telling you that setting goals is TOTALLY USELESS?

Yes…you read right…

Wait a second!

Everybody is shouting  to set your goals bla bla bla (not everyone actually..)

..and what about your spiral ????

Remember…?

Did you make the exercise?
Did you realize that you are exactly today what you really want to become (even if you don’t like it?)

Good

Here I  will explain you why setting goals is a total waste of time…and how to design your life better

Let’s start…

Why setting goals is useless

If you are like many people December 31 is setting goals day.

or better…

forget about the 90% of the goals not achieved the year just past and making another list of goals very likely identical to the one of the previous year or of the previous 5-10 years

One typical list might look like

1) Losing weight
2) Eat more vegetables
3) Exercising more
4) Walk more
5) Complain less
6) Change job
7) Cleaning more often the house
8) Making more money
9) Call more often your mother
10) Write a book
11) Start a blog
12) Learn how to play an instrument
13) etc etc

If you are an advanced goal setter you list can even look like this one:

1) Losing weigh: drop to XXXlb or YY Kg by end of the year
2) Eat vegetables at least 3 times a week
3) Exercising more: run/bike/swim at least 3 times a week for more than one hour
4) Walk XXXXX steps everyday
5) Stop complain
6) Change job by May 15 and move to a higher pay/job title one
7) Cleaning the whole house 2 times a week
8) Making XXXXX$ per year
9) Call your mother 3 times a week
10) Write a book about cooking by May 31
11) Start a blog by Jan 31
12) Learn how to play guitar good enough to play 1h a day every day
13) etc etc

Look at your goal list now…

If you are reading a blog on personal improvement like this one I am sure you have one

Are the same goals over and over in the list year after year?

You might also tried to break the yearly goal in monthly goal or weekly goal…maybe using the thousand of books and manual written out there that should have shown you the infallible method to reach your goals.

Maybe now you feel stupid or uncapable and every December 31 sadly you set the same goal being sure that this time will be the one you will achieve them! (and stopping following up on your goal on January 2!)

Don’t worry we all go throught that,,,you are not alone

The reason why you don’t reach what you call goals that you write on the list is that you don’t really…desperately…badly want them and you don’t feel the urgency to reach them.

Let me repeat it:

The reason why you don’t reach what you call goals that you write on the list is that you don’t really…desperately…badly want them and you don’t feel the urgency to reach them.

Period

Think about the things you wanted and achieved in life vs the one you think you want but not achieved yet.

What are the main differences?

The actions you took.

Plain, simple but so difficult to grasp.

Let’s go deeper

Why you achieved those things…? What’s so special with them?

Very likely because of social conditioning.

You got a diploma or a degree or a driver license because the society is pushing you to do so…there are schools for that  right?

Very likely you do some sport not to have a too devastated body.

What else?

What about the goal to play decent piano, golf, guitar?
To start that blog?

Not done yet right…? No time…you are too busy right?

What about the dream to create something for yourself? To be a small entrepreneur?

Nothing right?

is it more easy to stay in the cushy corporate world where your boss is telling you what to do, right?

Now you know the answers…maybe you can watch a funny but profound Ted talk on why we don’t reach our goals and…why we achieve something… (watch it…short and worth it!)

The bad news?

Everything is up to you
there is no blog, no book, no seminar that will make you take the first action

The action is in your head.

You can decide Right now if take the action or do something else, go back to work or browsing the web just to waste you time

Waste  your life or create  something spectacular…

It’s totally up to you…

One simple secret to decide your future

The society wants to make you believe you are not mortal.

Why?

To  keep you spending, consuming and avoid the big questions:

What’s my real purpose in life?
What I really want to be and have?

Billions of people wasted their life without having achieved anything they wanted.

Numbly they let other people designed their future, because they never know  what they wanted  for their future.

I will teach you a small but powerful secret to decide your future, to get back in control of your life.

 

Firstly: What do you want?

You need to know what you want and how to reach it….you need a compass and you governing the ship of your life.

That’s what you need

 

 

Without  compass and drive you are like a boat without anyone governing it…a boat that is going where the waves and currents (that very often are your family or bosses or society) are bringing it….eventually crashing against some rocks.

You don’t want to end up like that

You need a roadmap to be in the driver seat of your life even thought is more easy to seat in the passenger’s one and let someone else driving.

 

But driving your life like that

How to draw a roadmap?

I took this idea from a great book called The Pathfinder

Take a A4 piece of paper…design a spiral on it.

The starting point of the spiral is when you were born then when you went to school…5 years…ten years…the university…then when you start working..write what you did until today…and put a mark and label it NOW.

Your life

The ending point of the spiral is the day you will die (sorry for the bad news you will as well)….put an age….70…90…100..be realistic …write DEATH on it
Now write from the mark NOW to the mark DEATH what you expect to do in your life…write it into the details…visualize the targets…where you want to be…with whom…doing what…

Stop whatever you are doing and come back when this exercise is over…it has to take at least 30 minutes….it’s important…very likely the most important exercise of your life

Did you figure it out now…?

Finished?
Interesting…isn’t ?

Do you have still time? Very likely yes…

Or maybe not

How do you know?
What the spiral is telling you?
Is it a straight line with no changes or excitement to the grave?
A 9-5 until 65y, a gold watch as retirement gift, getting old, slow and then sick and die?
Or there is something exciting inside…a new job, place to live, kids, learning something, moving to some beaches in Ecuador or Europe and sipping cocktails until Ms. Death arrive (you can have your last cocktail with her actually).

What’s this roadmap telling you ?

I am telling you my secret.

When I first made this exercise several years ago I thought “whatever, let’s waste 30 min (actually i think i spent less than 10 minutes) of my life on this”, I completed and forgot it in some notebook.

One day, many years later (12-13 I guess) the same notebook ended up in my hands.

To my surprise most of the things I planned/envision really happened!

Not all of them but most.
Never sub estimate the power of visualization

You become what you think about, all day long

As Earl Nightingale used to say in the amazing The Strangest Secret

For better or for worst.

We become what we plan in our mind, and to me this happened also well before the Spiral exercise.

I was very clear not only on what i wanted but on ehat i will become of me
i had no doubts of what i will become that to me it was perfectly normal to picture me in my actual life
everything happened effortless, without any need of driving it

That’s why fake goals simply do not work.

Writing a Running a marathon goal on your 20XX list will never be accomplished if you are not really convinced of running a marathon is what you really want… but it’s on your list just because you think it must be there

Be the architect of your life

Your life from birth to death is already programmed and designed in your brain and the architect is you and only you.

Let me repeat:

Your life from birth to death is already programmed and designed in your brain and the architect is you and only you.

You can do anything you set your mind to, man (ok…this one I stole from Eminem… 🙂 )