What You Need to Know to Make a Living as a Blogger Right Now

Hollywood sign with Marcus Cooley quote

The average blogger only has two concerns.

The first is obscurity. She is a total stranger in a vast world loaded with people — unknown, inconspicuous, and insignificant. Odd, considering there are so many people online.

But it’s a simple law: We all start at the bottom.

One recent study discovered that the average British blogger had only 285 subscribers, received 18 comments a day, and earned about $120 a month.

That’s the reward for someone who’d been blogging for two years and eight months. Yes, those surveyed also worked full-time jobs.

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The Amazingly Simple Anatomy of a Meaningful Marketing Story [Infographic]

title card: The Amazingly Simple Anatomy of a Meaningful Marketing Story

Think about it.

Apple. Dos Equis. Old Spice. Procter & Gamble. Ram Trucks. Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. GEICO. GoDaddy.

At some point, all these companies told compelling stories that grabbed our attention — and held it. Not just for thirty seconds, but longer.

And as they repeated their stories over and over again, they got under our skin. Through simple stories, these companies won our allegiance and business.

Tell the right story and you can capture attention, entertain, enlighten, and persuade all in the course of just a few minutes.

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How to Stand Out in a World of Dull Podcasts

black and white cityscape

Think about this for a moment. Your favorite podcasts.

This American Life.

WTF with Marc Maron.

Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income.

Every single one of them started at the bottom. Every single one of them started in obscurity. Every single one of them started without an audience.

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How to Make Winning Infographics Without Risk

portrait photo of Salvador Dalí gesturing with his hand

The infographic is the Salvador Dalí of content marketing. By far the most interesting person at the cocktail party.

Who can compete with the thin, longhorn mustache decorated with forget-me-nots? The anteater curled at his feet?

His closest peer, the video, dozes near the crackling fire … slippered feet propped up, face buried in a white beard.

The podcasts, hovering in the shadows, laugh at all his jokes in between sips of sparkling wine.

And the blog posts? Yeah. The blog posts go home to weep themselves to sleep.

The infographic holds court. He is the darling of the content marketing world. For good reason.

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Here’s How Shane Snow (Founder of Contently) Writes

Image of The Writer Files Logo

If you are going to run a company around a slogan like “Tell Great Stories,” or rally your troops by adopting the Native American proverb “Those who tell the stories rule the world,” then it pays to build an environment that fosters great writing.

Large photographs of your favorite writers covering one wall is appropriate. As is a collection of your favorite books along another wall.

And that’s just the environment Shane Snow has created for the employees of his company.

Shane is the co-founder of Contently, a high-end brand publishing firm. In fewer than five years, Contently has courted the likes of Coca-Cola, GE, Walmart, and Google as clients, providing both software and creative talent to help satisfy media objectives.

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Empathy Maps: A Complete Guide to Crawling Inside Your Customer’s Head

two men sitting on a bench outside a diner, a woman leans against a wall next to them

Jack Ungulate is a strange bird.

When he drinks beer, he licks his index and middle finger, swipes the bottle opening, and then pauses, with the bottle raised to his mouth, before turning it upside down.

Each time, every time.

He also has a routine with his steel-toe boots. The left one must go on first, then the right. But he takes them off in reverse.

And then there’s his ritual when buying large ticket items like a car: he sends his wife to the lot while he sits in the garage, waiting for her to call.

When people talk to him about saving for his children’s college fund, he quickly cuts them off to inform them there is no fund because he’d prefer to cultivate a sense of ownership by encouraging them to pay their own way through school.

He enjoys the scowls that appear on their faces.

As he methodically replaces a defective steam gauge on a heating system, he thinks about his father and why they never talk. Then he contemplates how he’s going to break it to his own son that he won’t be able to make it to his kayak competition that evening because he has to cover a co-worker’s night shift.

The overtime, however, will go towards their trip to Cancun in April. That should ease the sting.

Clearly, Jack is not so much strange as he is just complex. Like most humans. And all of your customers.

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