Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

The Best Blogging Advice I Ever Heard and Why It Ultimately Failed Me

It was the one thing everyone seemed to say. The crucial piece of advice that I was hesitant to take. And as great as it was, it just wasn’t enough.

Best blog advice

Photo Credit: gatogrunge via Compfight cc

“Just get started.”

This was what all my friends with successsful blogs had told me. It was the holy grail of advice. If I could just begin, they reasoned, then I would find my way.

The problem was I had already done that eight times before. And it just didn’t work.

Why starting isn’t enough

There’s something to be said about starting. It’s the place where we all begin. And I’m definitely a fan of not waiting for perfection and just getting on with the work you know you need to do.

But is that enough to succeed? Not quite.

After seven years of trying and failing and then two years of finally figuring it out, I’ve realized that starting is just, well, the start.

If you’re going to share your message with the world, if you’re going to build a blog that matters, you’re going to have to get intentional.

Three keys to blogging success

Recently, I released three free video trainings on what I’ve learned from building an online audience of 100,000 people. This was a process that took less than two years, and since then, I’ve taught over 2000 people to do the same.

And now I’m sharing these secrets with you.

Here’s what I’ve learned (click the links below to watch the videos which are all now available for a limited time):

  1. Find your voice. This is the one thing that only you can provide, your unique perspective and way of viewing the world. Learning how to share it is an essential skill.
  2. Combine passion with need. It’s not enough to have a dream. You need demand. People must want what you have to offer and actually value it. Otherwise, you only have a hobby.
  3. Help people. Some say it’s not who you know but who knows you. But I think it goes deeper than that: it’s not who you know, it’s who you help. Being resourceful is the absolute best way to build an audience.

An opportunity to go deeper

If you’d like to learn more about this and have a chance to work directly with me, I want to encourage you to check out my new course, Intentional Blog.

This is an A-to-Z course on all things you need to know to start and build a powerful blog. With over 30 step-by-step video tutorials, I share everything I’ve learned in the past decade of training bloggers to succeed and doing it myself.

If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog or have struggled with building an online audience and wondered what the secret was, this course is for you.

The course will only be available at a 50% discount for first-time students until 11:59 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 26. After that, registration will close and the price will go up. I’m also offering exclusive group coaching calls with this first class.

So you won’t want to miss it. I’d love to work with you. You can find out more by clicking below.

Check Out Intentional Blog

What’s the best piece of blogging advice you’ve ever heard? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • I’ve been through a few blog starts now. You’ve hit the nail on the head, Jeff. Your content has helped me refine my voice and direction. Thanks!

    • Me too. And thanks, John! I can’t wait to see what comes next from you.

  • Did you have the Voice, Passion meets Need, and Help People ideas plotted out before you started Goinswriter.com? Did you have a plan or did you start like your other starts, but with a slightly more intentional eye?

    • Good question. I had a sense of what didn’t work. And yes, I started, but with the intent of quickly focusing on what made my voice unique and what would add value to people’s lives.

      • If I’d just watched through minute 3 or so in your first video, I see you answered it! One thing I’ve learned from listening to you and reading your stuff is to be very observant regarding what resonates with others and what feels natural to me. I have to ‘just start’ in the meantime, but always with an eye toward where my journey intersects someone else’s story (hopefully) in a helpful way.

  • Bryan Stoudt

    Thanks for these great videos. I’d say the best advice I’ve received (from you, Michael Hyatt & Copyblogger) is to focus on the intersection of what I bring and the needs of my audience. I’m just starting, so it remains to be seen who they actually turn out to be, but I’m excited for the journey ahead.

    • Thanks, Bryan. Good choice in paying attention to Michael and Copyblogger. Those guys are worth watching. I learn a lot from them!

  • Russell

    Hi Jeff, You are GREAT and I always look forward to reading your blogs. I’m trying my best to let others know about you. Also, when will your Tribe Writers Theme be available to purchase? I can’t wait! Russell 🙂

    • Hi Russell! Thanks for asking. We will hopefully be opening up some more licenses before the end of the year. Stay tuned! 🙂

  • Tom Swan

    Hi Jeff,
    Your advice has peen priceless! I would have to say the best advice about blogging came from you and it was about guest posting. I just read it the other day and I plan on implementing it very soon. Thanks for all you do!

    • Awesome, Tom! Love hearing that. 🙂

  • AshleyWalkup

    Priceless advice! I’m getting ready to launch a series in January that I feel meets a need but at the same time leaves me completely vulnerable. I’m petrified of being transparent but I think it’s necessary.

  • Hi Jeff,

    I started….and stopped….and started….and stopped…..do you have a few years to follow my journey? LOL…..Spot on advice dude because starting is the beginning.

    I agree with each tip and I’d add, blog to be free and to free your audience in some way. I know personally, having run a few mediocre blogs over the years…OK, bad blogs, then having run a solid blog. Then, 5 months ago, I launched a blog and eBook series which:

    * has been endorsed twice by a NY Times Best Selling Author
    * has landed me a speaking gig at NYU
    * has helped me land over 80 features/guest posts/interviews on authority blogs

    ….and even though I may have pulled the wool over these folks eyes ;)….I know the difference maker. When I launched Blogging from Paradise, I found my blogging voice, I combined my passion with my need and I helped people because I was blogging to be free and I wanted to take my audience with me.

    I still do. I knew why, and I know why, and many struggling bloggers – my former self included – have no clue why, so they have no motivator….or they have an idea why, and they tie it to getting more readers or money. Sure, you’ll succeed on some level, but it’ll be tough to get endorsements from world renowned offers and to be asked to speak at NYU by chasing paper, or readers 🙂

    On some level, once you blog to free you, and to free others, really cool things start happening, and the Universe responds in an amazing way. All your 1-2-3, dead on tips, fall into place nicely, too, as you practice writing, a bunch, and match your dream/passion with the pressing needs of your audience, then, to top it all off, you pick up Jeff’s course to put your blogging career into overdrive 😉

    Thanks Jeff, for the simple and powerful reminder, and for inspiring bloggers around the world to make their dreams come true!


    • Thank YOU for sharing, Ryan, and for sticking with it.

  • Carol Tice

    Sort of along the lines of your #2 — “Write in service of a reader.” — Jon Morrow

  • Yep! Starting is just the start. Without the intention and clarity, one could be banging his/her head on the wall without progress. Thanks for clearly pointing this out 🙂

    • My pleasure. Thanks for reading, Jane!

  • cheriwhite

    Is your Intentional Blog course the same as the TribeWriters course?

    • Nope. More like an introduction to TW, with all new video lessons. It’s not just for writers but for anyone who wants to build a blog that matters.

  • Yusuff Busayo

    I started too early and hit lots of rocks. I was able to pick myself up (fortunately) but wished I’d learned these lessons back then. Thanks Goins. (And so,my first comment on your blog after trying for so long). *a big fan*

  • Loved the blogging challenge Jeff!
    I think that “just get started” is probably the worst advice one can receive. It puts you on the spot and makes you feel bad when you don’t start. Yet, you don’t really know what to do and thus it’s likely that you won’t see the results you’re hoping for – so you feel bad again.

    Starting is important, yet I think you need to have to have at least an idea of what direction you’re going and what steps you need to take.

    Best regards,

    • I agree, Jan! Keep up the great work.

  • Mark Lilly

    Ed Gandia gives similar advice when talking about freelance business writing. He tries to steer people away from the traditional advice of “just get out there.” Yeah, it’s important to ship something and get some experience, but not at the expense of recognizing who you are, what you’re doing for people, and why you’re doing it.