Would you please be so kind to introduce yourself and your work to our readers in a couple of short sentences?
I’m a best-selling author and entrepreneur. I write books and teach online courses that help writers and creatives succeed. My latest book is Real Artists Don’t Starve, which was a Wall Street Journal Bestseller.
Tell us how exactly did blogging help you as a writer?
It helped me find an audience, which is essential for any writer starting out today — or any writer ever. Without an audience, you don’t exist.
And you haven’t stop blogging since! How much time do you spend blogging nowadays VS how much time you used to spend?
I used to write every day for a little bit. Typically, 30-60 minutes. Now, I still maintain that practice most days, but I also block out larger chunks of time (2-3 hours) to do more “deep work.”
Let’s break it down.
My writing process is based on what I call the 3-bucket system. I break writing up into three activities that I do separately: 1) coming up with ideas, 2) drafting those ideas into short (500-word) pieces, and 3) editing those pieces into something publishable. Rinse and repeat. That’s my process.
I follow four essential rules for writing a great blog post. First, hook the reader with an attention-grabbing headline. If you don’t do this well, the rest of it doesn’t matter. Second, I write a captivating lead paragraph that more or less summarizes the rest of the article while still teasing the reader a little to keep reading. Third, I write the body of the article with either supporting points of the argument or a story to illustrate what I’m trying to say. Lastly, I end with a call to action that brings it all together and asks the reader to do something (leave a comment, buy something, or just think differently). And then after that, I of course proofread until my eyes stop working. Then publish.
What about promotion – did you promote your blog and what would you advise other to do regarding this part of their blog growth strategy?
The best way to advertise your work as a writer is not to self-promote (“hey, look at me!”) but practice in public (“hey, look at what I made!”). For me, this meant guest posting on literally hundreds of other people’s websites and blogs. Doing this enough means people will eventually find your work and become a reader. If you can only do one thing to promote your blog, make it guest posting.
Which blogging tool (CMS) would you recommend beginners to start with and why?
WordPress. I recommend the self-hosted option, as this is the best way to maintain the most control and flexibility around your work.
What would be the biggest lessons you learned from running your own blog?
Don’t forget to have fun. If you can’t enjoy the process, what’s the point?
You’re also a founder of Tribe Writers, an online community for writers. How did the idea for this online community born?
Readers kept asking me to create something that helped other writers. So I did.
And yet, somehow in between all of this, you managed to author five books, including your latest “Real Artists Don’t Starve” book. Tell us a bit more about it – what’s it about and why is a ‘a must read’?
This is a book about the myth of the starving artist and why we don’t have to suffer to create brilliant work. I this book I debunk the myth of the starving artist and lay out a plan for how you can make a living off your creative talents.
Read the introduction for free here.
Now we’re always wrapping up with a bit of fun, so, who’s honest critic of “Real Artists Don’t Starve” would you love to receive?
I’d like to hear what Michelangelo thinks about how I portrayed him as the model of a thriving artist.
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