This Is How You Become An Inauthentic Blogger

Man wearing mask and hoodie doing the shh sign

How many leads did you get? What’s the conversion rate? Did you optimise for that keyword?

There was a time when you could just post to entertain. Now you have to entertain and show your boss how many new sign-ups you got.

Which I think is bullshit.

I mean, it is a legit business model, and there are people benefiting from marketing tactics, but that’s also part of the reason why I want to stop writing for a living (versus making a living off my writing). Because I want to write what’s authentic. To me, at last.

But what does inauthentic mean to me, you may ask? Glad you brought that up.

Blogging only for the money

Let’s start with the obvious. We do so many things for money. But if there’s one thing I feel people shouldn’t do it for, it’s writing.

Besides, I’d like to think that you’d have a better chance earning big bucks from YouTube than you would from blogging.

Sure, there may be a handful of bloggers earning a decent living off their website, but that’s like pointing at JK Rowling and basing your novel-writing aspirations off her achievements.

Every time someone tells me they’re going to ‘start a blog to earn money’, I roll my eyes so hard they graze my medulla oblongata.

It’s worse when you tell me the same thing for the seventh time, yet never even get around to registering a blog account.

It’s no coincidence too that this demographic often consists of the loophole hunters, those who want a quick buck without having to put in the work.

They look up the best moneymaking niches, the most effective blog templates, and how to write ‘copy that converts’. Then their only post on their blog is a link to their e-book that’s priced at $14.99. The title? How To Build A Successful Blog.

The post has one like. It’s their own.

A better alternative: If you’re strictly looking for ways to make money, you’d fare much better on trendier platforms such as YouTube or TikTok. At least there, you’ll get a wider audience and a more accessible medium. If you really want to make money from writing, then go for erotica. It’s definitely more lucrative than blogging.

Woman withdrawing money from ATM with pink neon lights background

Payday’s less fun if that’s the only thing you care about. Photo: Phu Cuong Pham

Going full-on marketing

Search engine optimisation. Split testing. Analytics. You’re going to optimise the shit out of your posts to best divert traffic to your $14.99 e-books.

After all, your problem isn’t a crappy product, no. As long as you come up with the perfect title and repeat it in your article twelve times, you’ll be well on your way to a seven-digit bank balance.

Come on, guy. We can’t go into 2022 expecting readers to be as dumb as they were back in 2002. Sure, a sucker is born every minute, but even those suckers would pick a more established charlatan over you.

I totally get it too. I look up keywords before writing a post, and I pepper my titles with power words, but no, your seven ways to eat Doritos isn’t ‘mind-blowing’, and your tips definitely aren’t ‘hacks’ (in fact, here’s my attempt at subverting that word).

You want to dive into the world of digital marketing? Be my guest. But maybe don’t over-salt your soup.

A better alternative: Try the low-hanging fruit. Networking and commenting on WordPress alone would generate more traffic than an ‘optimised article’ would, especially if you have low domain authority (like me). Also try Pinterest, or the ol’ putting-out-good-content.

Cyberpunk-looking cityscape with lots of ads

Best part is we don’t even need a cyberpunk movie to see ad-overload in action. Photo: Joe Yates

Screaming in your readers’ faces

If you don’t have any substantial product (or content) on offer, then perhaps dial down on the newsletter pop-ups. That’s like talking about having children on a first date. Maybe let’s get to know each other first.

For some, choosing between a pop-up and a footer subscription form could mean thousands of dollars in conversions. For others, it’d just be another way of annoying your readers.

There’s a time and place for newsletter pop-ups, but doing so to push a $14.99 e-book down people’s throats is not it. Especially when your e-book is about the best ways to find love. And you’re single. And seventeen.

I actually believe in the power of e-mails (and have seen its effectiveness from my time in different companies), but if you’re only thinking about transactions from the get-go, then you might as well go to TikTok.

A better alternative: E-mail is all about content, so you better have your written-content game down pat. In fact, blog posts are the best way to determine how much traction you’ll get for your e-mails. If nobody’s engaging on your blog, don’t expect them to magically change in e-mail.

Because ‘they’ said so

If I had a penny for each time I’ve been asked to do something because my boss read the latest ‘best practices’ from a Facebook group, I’d have like maybe $1.37 right now.

That’s not a lot of money. But it’s a lot of times.

In fact, I can’t count the times I’ve been told to include an emoji in an email title because it reportedly increased conversions. Or to add a CTA every two paragraphs so that we could increase conversions. Or to use an image of a woman instead of a man in our ads so that we can increase… you get it.

And it becomes super obvious when you flit around from trend to trend, leaving behind an archive with so many personalities that you’d give M Night Syamalan’s Split a run for its money.

Not every piece of advice is worth your time. And certainly don’t do things just because people say so. You may think that this is common sense, but you’d be surprised at the number of bosses who’d change the way an entire department does things just because they’d heard that including company slogans in e-mail sign-offs increases morale.

A better alternative: No tips here, because that would defeat the purpose of this point. But yeah, don’t blindly take advice from anyone. Especially from me.

Flat lay of witchlike materials like pestle and mortar, candles, and pumpkins

They say you can get more subscribers by mixing snake oil and tears of email marketers. Photo: Elena Mozhvilo

It’s still possible to grow without marketing

I used to have shabby hair as a hairdresser. And I typically ‘msg ppl like this’ as a writer. It’s the same for digital marketing, in that the last thing I want to do—after dealing with marketing funnels and headlines all day—is to care about SEO and social media.

I enjoy creating written content and affecting people’s lives in the tiniest ways, even if it’s to make them smile just for a second. Come to think of it, it’s pretty magical isn’t it? To make you, a stranger from halfway across the world, smile solely through the power of words?

Ultimately, that’s when I feel the most authentic, when I’m writing from the heart. And no amount of money is going to change that.

Except when I launch that $14.99 e-book. Then I’m going to SEO-ad-newsletter the shit outta that.

Psst, wanna grow your blog? I have a free guide for you on how you can do exactly that, using the art of commenting. Just click the button below to get it.

173 thoughts on “This Is How You Become An Inauthentic Blogger

  1. Slightly ironic that you are giving away a freebie after ranting about the awfulness of pop-ups for the ebook. But it’s free! And not a pop-up.
    I share your disdain for much of what you say. However, pop-ups and ads are so prevalent, people expect ads. And key word stuffing makes for awful prose.
    Do you have any experience with Quora? I would be interested in your thoughts on it.


    • Lol yeah, you can be sure I’m going to pop-up sell my e-books once I launch them :P

      I’m not sure if pop-ups are relevant anymore though, since there are so many ad blockers today. And yes to keyword stuffing resulting in crappy work too.

      I only use Quora passively, subscribing to groups I’m interested in, but I’ve found that I often get outdated suggestions (posts from 3 years ago or something) that I no longer keep tabs on the newsletters. Otherwise, I’ve never participated on the website itself.

      What do you think about it?


    • Not gonna lie, SEO is pretty danged useful, and if you have the means to do it from the start, then definitely do. But if you’re going to do it in a dodgy way (e.g. repeating weird phrases over and over), then definitely give it a pass, lol. Here’s to you finding your path through your own voice though!


  2. You definitely made me smile for more than a second with this post.

    I really enjoy blogging but sometimes I think maybe I should try to do ‘more’ with it, maybe network or monetise…something.
    Our society is so skewed towards making money that writing just for the joy of it almost seems frivolous, but I do find the connection part of blogging fulfilling and this appeals to me much more than marketing or SEO (which send shivers down my spine).

    Thanks for the post, I’ve signed up for the newsletter, perhaps I can find a gentler more authentic way of growing my audience 😊


    • Thanks for coming on board! I hope that the little guidebook start you off on a nice direction, because growing through commenting is really a fun way to do it.

      If making money through writing is your goal, then don’t let society tell you otherwise. Here’s to hoping that you find your way around that!


  3. Thanks Stuart. You’ve obviously been writing for a living for a while and done well. Nice to hear a balance to the marketing stuff – though a liveable income would be welcome for me. Hopefully I can get the right balance.


  4. Love this post so much. And I liked that you touched on 2002 internet vs. 2022. So much of that “increase your followers and earn $$$$ blogging” might plausibly have worked for blogs started in the early 2000s when blogging was sort of novel. But today? You’re not realistically going to serious money blogging so might as well write what’s authentic.


    • Heck yeah. I mean, the pool is much wider now, so the successful bloggers have a higher ceiling, but if we go into blogging just hoping for this, I’m afraid it wouldn’t be a very fun time for us. Thanks so much for stopping by, JYP!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would LOVE to make money off of writing my blog but I also just want to write about things that are important to me. If that means I don’t get paid for it than so be it 😏


  6. This is very informative bro. You actually get to put out colorful content (instead of a formulaic piece) if it comes from the heart and you don’t care about “conversions”. Good luck in your endeavours!


    • Aww, I really appreciate your kind words. I try my best not to be formulaic, though I definitely fall into that trap sometimes. But to have such support from you really means a lot. Thanks for your comment!


    • Am always grateful for supportive comments on my humour, since I’m actually very far from humorous in real life, lol. Anyway, I know you’ve been told this multiple times already, but do try and update your Gravatar profile so that you link to your real website,, yeah?


    • I appreciate your kind words, Jaya! That bit about personality makes my day, because I do try to hone my voice, and sometimes I feel like it’s somewhat stale. So it’s great to come across your comment :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This was a fantastic read, especially for a new blogger like myself. I have definitely felt a temptation when writing to get ahead of my skis and think about analytics and engagement before a post is even ready. I love to write, which is why I began this journey, but like you mentioned writing is not the quick trendy way to make content. Very insightful (and hilarious), thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Am super grateful that you find this post funny. Humour is a tough one for me, and I’m glad it’s coming out the right way. But yeah, putting metrics first is like putting the cart before the horse, but different people have different ways of pursuing things, so who knows what may or may not work for you? Wishing you all the best in your journey!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. For over 20 years I ran an online social enterprise with a blog with a couple of millions of users. I started it because it was a subject close to my heart, but eventually, I needed to move on. The only way to move on was to close it! And now I write for myself ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This was funny but I could totally relate. Being a faith blogger I’ve noticed that writing with marketing in mind sometimes takes away from the post. Nowadays I’ve decided to do what I love to do, and that’s just write

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah, it’s pretty obvious when someone’s putting metrics or marketing first. But then again, who am I to judge. Perhaps writing in a marketing fashion is appealing to some. No matter what YOU choose, though, it’ll be right as long as it speaks to you.

      Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by, Victory!


  10. This is good Stuart, for the first time ever since I laid eyes on your site and content, this post takes the Cup. To be an inauthentic blogger comes from the power of words.

    Honestly, I like to laugh at times and one’s style of writing can easily influence the other person’s thought and makes the giggle a bit😂 depending on how funny that story is.

    Great blog post once again🙌

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I love about writing too. In that by arranging words a certain way, I can trigger feelings in others from halfway across the world. Miraculous, isn’t it? I’m just glad it gave you good vibes. Forever grateful for that.

      By the way, you might want to update your Gravatar profile because I wanted to visit your blog through your profile, but it was a dead link instead.

      And thanks so much for stopping by, btw!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post! I think this argument is HUGE and could certainly go on for some time. I don’t see any problem with blogging for money, even specifically for money. BUT there is a way to go about it where you’re not screaming at people and being inauthentic I think. It’s the worst when people try and flog eBooks and courses etc for things that they don’t seem to show they have any experience in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agh I can’t take it with the people selling items just for the sake of selling bit. They promise you the secrets to growing rich, or to getting Insta-famous, but then you check their profiles and they’re neither rich nor famous. It’s the age of the fake guru, I tell you. Thanks so much for sharing your perspectives here, Jenny. They’re definitely well-received!


  12. Hi Stuart, great post! I’m glad I stopped by. I totally agree with the sentiments here, you shouldn’t write with the only end goal being to monetize your work. If that’s the intention then you’ll just churn out more uninspired shit that nobody wanted, more fodder for the virtual landfill. And you can’t force something to be good. If you could, I’d force my brain to stop telling me to eat at Wendy’s 6 times a week and finally lean in to broccoli.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great point you bring up, about not being able to force something to be good. That’s why I aim to increase the overall average. The more I practise, the less sucky my bottom line would be. And that matters more than the occasional ‘best’ that I can achieve. Thanks so much for your wonderful thoughts. And I’m glad you stopped by!


    • Haha, that’s a great problem to have though. I have to admit that I sometimes have to write from other sources (no idea where) when I’m not feeling particularly inspired. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by!


  13. I came to your blog because I was intrigued as you commented on mine and reading this made me laugh a lot! You’re really funny dude & super fun to read. Love the authentic vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is a good post and I think it highlights a lot of points about inauthenticity and how it can be a downfall – not just for blogs – but for anything in general.

    I’ve been working in Marketing myself for the past couple of years and I’ve set up a website of my own initially as an experiment because of hearing other people setting up ‘side hustles’ of their own. In the end I’ve set one up to be myself and just post things that I want to, like artwork for instance. I feel I enjoy it better as a result of just being myself and trying not to pander to audiences too much as a way of gaining attention.

    I think your article relates to this in some way, and I vouch for taking an authentic approach, especially for blogging, as I tend to enjoy being myself more than I do trying to sort some other means inauthenticity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, fellow marketer (or ex, in my case). I totally relate to what you’re saying, and I used to die little by little inside when my bosses would ask me to help craft the cheesy idea they had in their head, like promising free products when it’s actually wordplay, or telling readers that they have the solution to help you get rich quick.

      Then I come home and write whatever the hell I want on my blog, and it feels pretty amazing, and that’s when I realised I didn’t want to subject my creative work to one or two gatekeepers, and instead offer it directly to the market.

      Anyway, thanks so much for your super insightful comment. It’s a rare thing, this. See you around, Will!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I appreciate the reply, thank you for this. While the company I work for doesn’t try to scam people into “free” products or anything like that, I think it’s important to remain authentic when it comes to how you present yourself, because trying to do things for a purpose you can’t personally relate to will eventually cause your content to suffer. I think you’ve made a good example of this when you mentioned your email marketing campaign strategy on using different styles to try and seduce an audience of people and then looking back to see how many personalities one brand has managed to take on.

        I don’t tend to use my WordPress website as a method of trying to market any of my own materials – not that there’s anything wrong with it, I’m just liking the idea of being able to be myself when I post and putting myself before any kind of monetary concern.

        Marketing in itself isn’t a bad thing. If you’ve got a good product and the details you’re sharing are true to what the product is, I don’t see the harm in sharing it to people.

        I’ll see you around Stuart!:)

        Liked by 2 people

  15. Stuart, quite by chance I stumbled across your post by accidentally scrolling right on the reader, but boy am I glad that I did!

    Firstly, thank you for the laughs, and the authentic laughs at that. It’s so refreshing to read from someone who cares to be themselves, rather than what the digital world wants them to be. Incidentally, it’s also what a lot of my readers seem to love too, so it really goes to show that it is something to promote.

    So many of your points were familiar, and again a good sign that I am on the right track. I try not to do what everybody else is doing, only what is working for me.

    Finally, your point about writing erotica as a success. Personally, fiction is something that I struggle to write, but I do write as a woman with a passion for an erotic lifestyle, who cares to help others who are curious, whilst being authentically me and nay say, a little bit funny at the same time. Has that got me some growing successes with my blog? I’ll try to stifle my rather smug smile.

    Thank you for the great read 😊


    Liked by 4 people

    • Whoa, I’m always humbled when I come across such a well-thought-out comment like yours.

      I’m glad you found your way here too, as not only am I stoked that you found this post funny, but your comment definitely adds value to this piece as a whole.

      When I wrote that bit about erotica, I never knew someone with your niche would visit, and it’s pretty cool that you have. I have to say, I’ve yet to see someone with your expertise on WordPress, so that’s nice too.

      Thanks once more for your kind words. You should know that you made my day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stuart, thank you for your kind words. It’s always lovely to come across fellow friendly bloggers and I’m glad to hear that my comment made your day. It’s always an honour to make people smile, no matter where in the world they may be, Enjoy the rest of your day :)


    • I’m glad that it did find you, Julie, though you should definitely take it with just a grain of salt, lol. I do wish you all the best when it comes to growth though, because yes, it can be pretty damned tough. I myself am still trying to look at scalable ways to grow. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!


  16. Ohh this made me laugh out loud. Your photo captions get me every time.
    I guess it’s more funny because it’s true. Ever so often I see some blogs that scream at you and almost command you to sign up for their newsletter. It’s a big turn off.
    Also, that part taking advice just because they said so. Not a good idea.
    Amazing post as always!😅

    Liked by 2 people

    • And again, I’m honoured that you like my captions, because no one else has cared about that before, even though I do put a bit of effort into it, lol.

      I’m one to talk, since I myself am looking into newsletters now, so I best practise what I preach and make sure I don’t get up in everybody’s faces during that process, lol.

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Joanne!


  17. haha thanks for telling it like it is! I have often thought the same thing when someone I know tells me they’re going to start a blog but I never see them bring it to fruition. Also, when I see all these blogging tutorials on YouTube about how to make money… as fascinating as it is, I can see it’s not the type of blogging that I am doing (and those in my blogging circle) because those bloggers are just out to write content for clicks and sponsorship… when I looked into possibly trying to monetize my blog, I thought, that would be taking all the fun out of it for me.. no longer would I feel genuine through my writing and storytelling so I decided it just wasn’t for me… just like you, I prefer to write from the heart.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I write all this game, but then I won’t be surprised if I ever get a sponsorship deal and end up going back on everything I’ve ever written, haha.

      But yeah, doing that will definitely change the vibe of the content, and the audience is definitely clever enough to pick up on all these little things.

      No matter our reasons for blogging, I sure do hope we do find away to sustain ourselves from the work we put in (and I can definitely see you’ve put work in yours). So I’m wishing all the best for you!

      Also, thanks for stopping by as always ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Great post, especially since I love the inverse-vibe “how to fail a job interview” post, so you’ve really hit the nail on the head! Love your bloggin’-related content. And I totally scream into readers’ faces. Thank u!!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Do you have advice for someone new to blogging? I don’t know much about making money w/ a blog. I just want to write about my life experiences, and if that writing makes another smile or reach out to me – then that’s great. :) thnx.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s all you need to do, really, to write from your heart so that you can affect at least one other person’s life.

      The best advice I can give about blogging to make money? Don’t. Unless, of course, you’re going to do it anyway.

      Also, don’t take advice from strangers on the internet. That’s a big one.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Wishing you all the best on your blogging venture!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. We have KPIs in office. I’m just glad my blog KPI is whether I have fun and enjoy what I am doing and if my readers get some positivity after stopping by! Writing about real stuff and sharing experience is being authentic, it builds confidence because at least you share in your experience with readers to connect with them. Thanks for this funny and true post!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Omg don’t remind me about KPIs. I’ve found that the bigger a company is, the more useless their KPIs become. Because as objective as that practice is, I’ve found that KPIs can be a very subjective thing too, one that your boss can approve with flying colours, or dock down out of dislike (e.g. you did produce the five articles required, but they didn’t meet my [subjective] standards).

      Rant over, lol.

      And thank YOU for always sharing your wonderful comments!


  21. There are so many points to pick up on here – I’ve started doing more reading on SEO and key word research and tried applying these techniques to get more search engine love, though my two most popular articles are ones I wrote in an hour on my lunch break when I wouldn’t even know where to start with SEO.

    As for newsletter I really dislike the pop up, I view it to the equivalent of meeting someone at a party and they start by trying to sell you something!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh yeah, it’s weird how we can look up various ways to optimise our posts (not just for Google, but also for the WordPress Reader), then at the end of the day, the post that gets the most traction is the one we half-assed when tipsy.

      It’s good though, because that has taught me not to value my mind’s thoughts on what ‘good’ is.

      And yeah, the ‘selling you something’ feel is made worse when they don’t even embody what they sell (e.g. grow your blog course when they don’t even care about their own).

      Thanks so much for your lovely points, James!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Emojis in newsletters drive me crazy, especially when they’re added at the end of damn near every sentence. If you want me to read your newsletter don’t make it so distracting. I don’t mind one or two, but that’s as far as it goes. And then they wonder why I unsubscribe.

    I agree with the writing from your heart, and interacting with other blogs is the best way to get more readers. Since I have started posting regularly and commenting on your blog (and others) I have had more readers, likes, and comments. I have learned to write what I want to; not what the “experts” say.

    That reminds me, it’s time to get my own post done for the week. Thanks Stuart for showing bloggers they need to pull their heads out of their asses and just write about what makes them happy. Life’s too short, and pleasing eeryone is impossible.

    Once again, you made me smile!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there, when you say that pleasing everyone is impossible. Yet that’s what I still try to do. Some habits are hard to break, eh?

      There are a couple things that make me feel so glad, and that’s either making someone smile, or spurring/reminding them to write. Glad that you’re going right back to the grind!

      It’s always a treat to read your comments, which feel like pen-pal letters more than just a digital comment, so thanks for that, Diane!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Love everything about this post because it talks precisely to someone like me who’s teetering on the edge of this SEO-circus-fiasco of a cliff, and asking myself “Should I?”. And suspecting full-well the potential sleepless nights and rabbit holes I’ll be plunging into! So these as always sage words of yours pal I shall hold close to my heart each time I think I’m about to ‘SEO-sell’ my soul: “…To make you, a stranger from halfway across the world, smile solely through the power of words? Ultimately, that’s when I feel the most authentic when I’m writing from the heart. And no amount of money is going to change that…” Thanks again Stu for another much-needed slap to my head!

    Liked by 5 people

    • To be fair though, I think SEO has its uses, and you should definitely pursue it if you can. It’s just when we only care about the metrics and performance that things start to become weird.

      But the upside? You could get thousands of hits per month, for one well-optimised article.

      Anyway, it’s great to prioritise authenticity, and I’m glad you’re choosing that path! Wishing you all the best, Kelvin!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m so happy I found this post! I recently started my blog and was so shocked at how much I would have to change my writing to fit the SEO. I want my posts and stories to sound authentic not robotic. Thank you for the tips! I absolutely love your voice and writing!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh yeah, after a while, you start to realise that you don’t need to over-optimise for SEO, and that it’s possible to not sound robotic, but the point still remains—good content will always win in the end. Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m happy to read your kind words too :)

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Great post Stuart. I’m only beginning my time as a blogger and to be honest, search engine optimisation, split testing and analytics are terms that I don’t fully understand and are hard to get my head around, but you break things down and explain them well. I also downloaded your guide on ‘How to grow your blog through the power of comments’, and there’s some extremely helpful information in there that I know will help me out also.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I really do hope the PDF helps you! And after having browsed your blog, I’m sure that you’ll thrive here on WordPress, no doubt about it.

      You already seem like you have ‘quality content’ down pat. The rest are just extras. Thanks for your lovely comment, and wishing you all the best, Jamie!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m glad that I know so little about this. I’m just out here trying to interact with people from around the world. That’s enough for me. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Emojis in email titles lead to more conversions? I’m so naive I think it might come down to something more substantial, you know, like actual writing.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Oh the zeitgeist changes as the years pass. One moment it’s power words. Then people get fed up of it and it’s emojis. I don’t even know what’s the latest trend, but they do have data to support it. I’m just not the type of person to follow along if things don’t suit my voice. Weird how many layers there are to digital writing that don’t apply to ‘normal’ writing, eh? Always good to see you here, Pete!


  27. You hit the nail. A while ago, I came across a post, where I was looking for the info for about an anime, and when will the next season start. Info like that is kind of important, since I review a lot of anime.

    Imagine, instead of giving me the info for which I clicked on your site, you beat around the bush, spam the search phrase, even though people say that search engines would penalize you for that, and yet that site ranking at the top, while my own site barely appears when I search by its own name.

    You’re also right about making money with blogs. You might make some money with it, but not enough to live with it. Even things like patreon can only go so far, after all they rely on you having a fan-following.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yeah. So many people are going at this backwards, where they take any action they can to earn a couple bucks, then wonder why their audience doesn’t stay with them long term.

      And yeah, there is a certain gamesmanship involved in SEO, but quality content will always win in the end, so don’t lose hope!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. wait you mean you’re not making 1,000 bucks a post.. ?
    “Every time someone tells me they’re going to ‘start a blog to earn money’, I roll my eyes so hard they graze my medulla oblongata.”

    💖 Visit me but at least know my name and comment on my post instead of ask me to follow you or how much i make on blogging.

    Meet you in our Tesla’s on mars but then again, i’d rather drive myself.
    Great post always!👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lolol. Wouldn’t that be the dream. Weirdly enough, if I was paid 1,000 per post, I suspect my quality would take a nosedive real quick.

      And yeah, the shameless ‘follow me’ right off the bat really feels like someone rushing me along on a date sometimes, lol.

      Anyways, always great to see you here, Cindy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • just living the dream…. hahaha. it would be worth finding out.. lol but we might not have as much fun.

        Ain’t it the truth. What are you doing Friday night? 🤣🤣🤣
        i couldn’t resist!
        for sure and always love a bright spot in my day! 💖🌺🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Really good post! I always make sure to remind myself “Hey, this should be fun” whenever I’m bored of writing/blogging.
    Glad I (think I) don’t fall into any of the features of an inauthentic blogger too…

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hahaha, even if you did fall into any of these categories, I have to say that it’s not exactly an accurate representation of you.

      And yeah, I totally get that feeling of fun vs. going through the motions when it comes to writing, and always strive for the former. Unsuccessfully.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. Marvelous tips interspersed with thoughtful and insightful commentary. I think the best blogging comes from the desire to share thoughts and ideas and not the desire to make money. I think audiences tend to be smarter than they’re given credit and they can generally tell when you’re forcing something.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Oh yeah. It irks me to no end when companies tie in their sales pitch to every piece of ‘content’ they put out, which, when executed badly, can turn into a failed advert more than actual entertainment or education. That’s what we should always remember—the audience knows.

      Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by, Brooke!

      Liked by 2 people

  31. “They look up the best moneymaking niches, the most effective blog templates, and how to write ‘copy that converts’. Then their only post on their blog is a link to their e-book that’s priced at $14.99. The title? How To Build A Successful Blog.” LOLOL

    I don’t blog for money and I wouldn’t know how to start. I blog because I have too many thoughts that are too long to fit on Twitter. I do watch my engagement and note what gets the best, but I’m not really here to sell books as much as communicate/be a resource for other writers.

    Really enjoyed this post! You definitely made me rethink my newsletter pop up with this. I annoy MYSELF with it and I really don’t get that many signups that way.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Who knows? One year down the road, I could be the one using newsletter pop-ups, and then I’ll have to eat my words, lol.

      I could be a bitter blogger though. Maybe there is an art to earning money through blogging, and some bloggers get enjoyment out of doing that, and here I am yucking someone else’s yum.

      But yeah, the best feeling is being able to provide value to our readers, which you are doing right now.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by, Erin! And I’m still bitter about PitMad ending.

      Liked by 4 people

  32. Great post. I’m extremely new to blogging and eventually I’d like to make some money from it but for now, I’m trying to put out quality regular content that people actually read. That’s hard.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Oh yeah, constantly putting out content you’re proud of is the challenging part. But if we stick to it long enough, we’ll definitely end up with something.

      Oh, just a heads up, your Gravatar profile might need editing, because there’s a typo in your URL and clicking on it doesn’t forward me to your site.

      Thankfully I managed to guess what your URL was, but it’s always good to have a clickable link :)

      Liked by 3 people

  33. The pop up newsletter sign ups make me crazy. I’ve come to your page for the first time EVER, and you want me to sign up RIGHT NOW before I’ve even read the article I came to see?!? And then if I do want to sign up later, I can’t get the pop up to show up again!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hahaha yeah! That’s always irked me as well. But apparently, that method does increase signups so who am I to talk, eh? I guess marketing strategies work for a reason.

      The worst is when a website uses ALL ‘best practices’ combined. That always proves to be a sensory experience, lol.

      Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by, Renee!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lol, I mean, you can if you want, so technically that option’s not off the table just yet. And yes, it’s really up to us to find our authentic voice and use that, though you’ve already done that. Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yeah, especially when—in my case—your humour skills aren’t exactly up to par, yet you get feedback about how your work made your readers smile. Best feeling in the world. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 4 people

  34. The most fascinating thing about my blogging journey is this: delving deeper into my mind after doing this for 14 years to see what I have done from fear and attachment to outcomes and what I did from love and detachment from outcomes. Turns out, I have been heavily attached from fear much of the time and detached from love some of the time.

    The reason why this post is so good is because it reveals the difference between success and failure. Authentic bloggers succeed by focusing heavily on having fun helping people and worrying little of outcomes. Inauthentic bloggers fail or experience resistant success by attaching heavily to outcomes, pushing sales, manipulating and doing stupid stuff just to reach specific metrics.

    I recall charging $10 for eBooks but my readers trusted me to the point of admonishing me for not charging $30 for a hefty PDF. When you serve friends generously they buy whatever you offer because money becomes no object when the bond of trust and love connects you.

    Fabulous note too on freeing yourself through writing versus working. Big difference between the two.

    Excellent post.

    Liked by 10 people

    • I saw this video about the people who sell mindset courses, and the main critique is that most of these people don’t have anything of value, and I think that’s the main thing we should strive to offer.

      As long as we have something of value, then everything else is moot. But when all we look at is the sales portion—like writing a sales page for an item that doesn’t suit your brand, or obnoxiously obtaining your readers’ e-mails through whatever means necessary—then the experience becomes a tiny bit loathsome.

      I totally enjoy reading your comments, Ryan. Thanks so much for the lovely effort!

      Liked by 3 people

  35. I love this. When I started my blog, I had no idea people made money blogging. I sometimes think I would like to monetize my blog, but not at the risk of turning into a phoney. I love that I have complete control over my content and have seen steady growth while being true to myself. I’ve also learned a lot from the blogging community.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I think that’s the exact allure of self-publishing too. The control you get may seem trivial to some, but for others, preserving their voice is one of their biggest values. I’m always one for monetising your passions. No reason why you can’t earn for something you’ve worked hard for. But when people simply ask money first without providing value, that’s when my pet-peeve kicks in, lol. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle!

      Liked by 6 people

  36. What a timely post for me. Thanks. I love to write for writing alone, but if I make money on it that’s great. But all the nonsense you have to do these days…crazy. I’m figuring what what’s best for me. I did pick up your free booklet. But in all seriousness…what are the seven ways to eat a Dorito? I think we all want to know Lol!!!

    Liked by 6 people

  37. If I’m spending $14 on an e-book it better include that seven ways to eat Doritos hack. I’ve only known one way my entire life! TikTok has yet to teach me this.
    Lol jokes aside, I definitely agree with you on this one. Write because you enjoy it. Writing solely for profit and being constantly focused on money and marketing isn’t fun, and I can only imagine that being inauthentic like that for profit would create a lot of stress on someone, which again would negatively impact their work.
    I like having control over posts, regardless of if it’s my blog, YouTube, TikTok….whatever because I do them for fun, and I post whatever makes me happy. Could I be better with certain aspects of blogging? Sure, but if I want to post a silly gif of a baby animal I’ll do it because I think it’s adorable and not because someone claimed it’ll drive more traffic to my page.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Stuart.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Oh yeah. I’ve worked for companies that rely on data, and they always pick the more ‘popular’ thing to do, regardless of how that makes them look. An example would be getting people to buy something at the end of every email, basically turning every email into a plea for money.

      And yeah, I have to agree with you, having control over your own content is such a great feeling. Heaven knows I’ve been told what to do by editors for far too long. Thanks so much for your lovely comment!

      Liked by 5 people

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