Meet Dr. Brett Kotlus, A NYC Cosmetic Surgeon Who Doubled His Traffic And Now Gets Half His New Patients From His Blog

Two years ago, Dr. Brett Kotlus quit his job as a cosmetic surgeon.

Everyone thought he was nuts.


He was moving to New York to start his own cosmetic surgery practice.

“People told me I was crazy to move my practice from Detroit to New York because it’s the most competitive and expensive city to start a cosmetic surgery practice.”

When Brett started, business was tough.

He was only seeing a handful of patients at a time. He needed a way to stand out from the intense competition to survive.

Brett knew writing was one of his strengths. So, he committed to starting a blog and writing one post a week for a year.

He quickly discovered he needed some help…

“I didn’t have a lot of direction, so I would brainstorm and come up with ideas. I would write about some that would stick but others just fizzled out. I realized I was doing a shotgun approach and needed to be more focused to create a better website.”

…And that’s when he enrolled in my online course, Blog that Converts.

“It spoke to me because I was in a period of transition with both with my website and my business. I was looking for focus and direction in growing my business.”

Since joining Blog that Converts, here’s how Brett’s practice has changed:

  • He’s fully booked several weeks in advance and is now looking for his own office space (he’s currently sharing space with two other doctors).
  • Brett has doubled his traffic and estimates HALF of his new patients come from his blog.
  • His blog posts have led to a speaking engagement at a national conference, publication in a large online medical journal, and presentations on international webinars.
  • Brett was able to do all this with the help of my easy-to-implement system, Blog that Converts.

Here’s how he did it…

Change #1: He Separated Himself From Brutal NYC Competition

If you’re building an audience, the last thing you should do is occupy the same niche as your competitors.

Think about it. They’re established businesses. How are you going to get any attention doing what they’re doing?

Yet I see it time after time. New blogs that cover the SAME topics everyone in their niche is already writing about.

Nothing new. No character. No flavor. Just plain VANILLA.

These blogs never get any traction.

In Blog that Converts, I show you a technique to stand out and create a niche you can dominate. For Brett, it was a game changer.

“One important thing was to speak in my own voice. Some of my colleagues hire companies to blog for them. But their blogs become invisible because they’re all the same. They have no perspective and are generic. With my articles, people get my perspective and they know it’s my voice.”

Brett focused his blog on the sweet spot between his patients’ common complaints and the procedures he was best at.

He was able to stand out from the hundreds of cosmetic surgeons in New York by talking about the things he did differently — and better — than anyone else.

Change #2: He Established His Credibility With One Procedure

Most new bloggers struggle to show they’re credible. And then they fail to get traffic or build an email list, and they get discouraged.

How can you show people you’re the real deal?

By proving you have a unique solution for a specific problem.

In Blog that Converts, you’ll learn how to do this with one of my favorite techniques. I’ve seen it used over and over by students to give a ton of value to their audience and gain their trust.

For Brett, this took a little trial and error, which isn’t uncommon.

“I started to become known for certain procedures and I didn’t know what those were going to be before I started my practice. What helped me figure that out was my blog.

At first, I thought people wanted to look better in pictures, but I overthought it. I was trying too hard to create something that wasn’t natural for my practice. So I think being open to pivoting or changing direction was very helpful for me.”

Once Brett found a procedure that resonated with his audience, he struck gold. He’s now the #1 Google result for his best procedure:

More importantly, Brett is now known as the go-to surgeon in New York for this procedure.

Change #3: He Courted Controversy For Traffic Wins

Today there are a million things pulling for our attention. If you’re starting a blog, you have to find a way to break through all the noise and find readers.

The problem is most people use the spaghetti cannon approach: they fire, and see what sticks… But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are certain psychological principles you can use to push the right buttons in your readers and get consistent attention.

For Brett, this meant courting controversy in the cosmetic surgery world.

“I’ve created a lot of content that says, ‘I know this works or this doesn’t work,’ and people respond to that honesty.”

Your competitors might not like you for it, but — as Brett’s results show — your customers will…

50% Of His New Patients Now Come From Reading His Blog

Since enrolling in Blog that Converts, traffic from Brett’s blog has doubled. His practice is now fully booked several weeks in advance.

It’s going so well that he’s looking to lease his own office space.

And because Brett learned the the step-by-step framework in Blog that Converts, he has created compelling content in multiple formats. He has written two books, created professional video content, and started a podcast.

His content has led to amazing opportunities, too. Brett was invited to speak at a national conference and was published in a large medical journal.

Those are amazing feats after starting his practice only two years ago – in the most competitive market in the US!

“I feel like I have a structure now. There’s a foundation for when I create something. I have an approach now, instead of just going by my whim or whatever I feel like it. I can direct that energy to my blog because I have a framework for it. I also feel less stressed because the system works.”

Blog that Converts isn’t just a collection of tips and tactics. It’s a proven system for building your blog and your business… no matter what you sell.

“You can take the pieces that work for you and apply it to your business even with a wide range of strengths and services.”

It’s so good you may even want to keep it a secret…

“I would not recommend it to people because I don’t want them to have the edge that I do. But really, I would. I’ve told a few of my colleagues about it.”

Whether you’re just getting started or been at it a while, the time is now.

Join Blog that Converts


31 Insanely Useful Resources for Writing a Bestselling Book in 2017

You’d love to learn how to write a bestselling book, right?

Problem is, it’s scary.

You’re not even sure what goes into writing a book, let alone a bestselling one.

The good news?

Below you’ll find 31 fantastic resources to help you write a bestselling book. (If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by how many there are, just commit to reading one each day for a month!)

Note: I’ve focused on non-fiction books here, though you’ll find that some of the advice — particularly on areas like research and time management — will apply to other types of writing too.

Stage 1: Develop a Book Idea That’s Practically Guaranteed to Sell

You can’t have a great book without a great idea.

I’ve written a lot over the past eight years, and one thing I’ve learned (the hard way!) is that the ideas that I think are great aren’t necessarily the ones my audience will want to buy.

Stage 1: You can't have a great book without a great idea.

The following resources will help you come up with ideas and road-test them so you’re sure the book you’ll be spending months of your life on will be one that people actually want to read:

#1. Got a Book Idea? These 4 Steps Reveal if It Will Sell

Author: Dave Chesson
Source: Make a Living Writing

This post is all about creating a book that people already want. It’s a guide to doing market research on Amazon, with lots of handy links to free and paid tools you can use.

Key Takeaways:

  • Unless you have a huge email list of your own, you won’t write a bestselling book without having an idea that’s “organically discoverable” (i.e., people are searching for it on Amazon).
  • You can use the ABSR (Amazon Best Seller Rank) for existing books on similar topics to judge whether your book is likely to make money.
  • A popular idea isn’t enough; you also need to find a topic where you won’t have too much competition.

#2. Writing: How to Get to Know Your Target Readers Better and Craft Your Self-Published Books to Resonate with Them

Author: Dan Blank
Source: Self Publishing Advice Centre (the Alliance of Independent Authors’ blog)

In this post, Dan explains how you can take very specific steps to find out exactly what your ideal audience likes, based on the books they’re already reading and the authors they’re already following.

Key Takeaways:

  • One of the best ways to learn about your market and refine your idea is to look at similar books that already exist.
  • When you’re using social media, focus on making a connection — don’t just be promotional.
  • Be consistent with reaching out through different channels (social media, emails, events, etc). Do a little bit each week.

#3. 9 Essential Tips for Researching Your Nonfiction Book Idea

Author: Debbie Reber
Source: Debbie Reber Writing Coach

Although this is a short, succinct post, Debbie offers great practical tips for digging deeper into your idea — for thinking not only about how to position and sell your book, but also about what to include in your outline and plans.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you already have an audience, survey them to ask for specific feedback on your ideas. Surveys can even give you useful statistics or quotes to use.
  • Look for existing conversations around your topics: in blog posts and comments, in Facebook groups, in news coverage, and more.
  • Set a specific end date for your research so that it doesn’t drag on and on.

Stage 2: Create a Rock-Solid Structure to Make Your Book Easy to Read and Write

Once you’ve got an idea that you’re confident will sell, it’s time to figure out the structure of your book and create a full chapter-by-chapter outline.

Your outline is particularly essential if you want to submit a book proposal to agents or publishers. But even if you’re self-publishing, having a solid structure means you’ll end up with a much better book as a result.

Stage 2: Corral your ideas and outline like a pro.

These resources will help you corral your ideas and outline like a pro:

#4. How to Get Started Mind Mapping Your Book (and Everything Else)

Author: Roger C. Parker
Source: The Book Designer

Before you start your outline, you should get all your ideas down on paper through mind mapping. This post explains what it is and how it’s done, and offers some suggestions for making the most of mind mapping software.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mind mapping allows you to see your whole project — and how various bits fit together — at a glance. It makes it easy to move ideas around, add new ones, or remove weaker ones.
  • While some authors like to mind map on paper, if you’re using this for your full outline, you’ll want to use software.
  • There are lots of different mind mapping programs out there, but all share common features. Most allow you not only to put your topics and subtopics on the map but also include notes, comments, relationships and other features to help you link and annotate your ideas.

#5. The No-Stress Way for Writers to Outline

Author: David Carr
Source: The Book Designer

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of outlining, or if your mind goes blank whenever you sit down to plan out your book, David’s post breaks things down into simple steps — with a focus on gathering your ideas then getting them into a logical order.

Key Takeaways:

  • Outlines don’t have to be scary, and you definitely don’t have to start with a blank page and go straight to creating a linear outline.
  • By outlining, you won’t get stuck when you’re writing. You’ve already thought about all the key points you need to bring in. You can also jump ahead in the outline: you don’t have to write in sequential order.
  • Start with the big picture and narrow down: come up with broad topics, get them into a logical order, then take each topic in term and break it into key points.

#6. Using Scrivener to Outline Your Non-Fiction Book

Author: Lise Cartright
Source: Author Basics

This video and accompanying post explain how to use a writing tool called Scrivener to outline a book by using its corkboard view. In case you’re not already familiar with Scrivener; it’s a paid-for piece of software that many fiction and non-fiction writers use as an alternative to a word processor. It’s highly recommended; see next resource)

Key Takeaways:

  • You can group ideas from your mind map to form the chapters or sections of your book.
  • Scrivener’s “Corkboard” view can help you see, at a glance, how your book all fits together. You can easily drag and drop ideas to refine your chapter order.
  • Adding a brief paragraph to each chapter heading will help when it comes time to write the book because you’re no longer starting from a blank page.

#7. Scrivener [Software]

Source: Literature and Latte

Writers love using Scrivener to write their books because it creates a much more organized writing experience. It’s not only beneficial for outlining, but will help you keep track of everything once you write the book. The more of your book gets written, the harder it becomes to navigate in tools like Word. Scrivener fixes this problem.

If you want to give Scrivener a try, there’s a free 30-day trial (it only counts the days on which you actually use the software, so you could use it 3 days per week for 10 weeks). After that, it costs $45 (Mac) / $40 (Windows) to buy.  It has a bit of a learning curve, but it’s worth it (and you can find video tutorials on its website).

Stage 3: Research Your Book as Efficiently as Possible, Without Spending Hours Lost in an Internet Rabbit-Hole

Note: Although I’ve put this as Stage 3, there’s no rule saying you need to do all your research before you begin writing. Some authors prefer to draft first, leaving gaps or sections to come back to at a later stage.

The idea of “research” can conjure up images of dusty libraries, complicated trawls through obscure online archives, or daunting conversations with experts. If you’ve never done much research before, the idea of it can be enough to put you off writing altogether.

Stage 3: Research doesn't have to be difficult.

Research doesn’t need to be difficult, though. All of these resources demystify the process:

#8. How Real Online Research Works

Author: Paul Gil
Source: Lifewire

This excellent post isn’t aimed specifically at authors, but at anyone conducting research online. It distinguishes between “hard research” (when you’re looking for objective, scientific facts) and “soft research” (when you’re looking for subjective, opinion-based sources), and offers specific suggestions on the types of sources to turn to.

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s crucial to use the right online authorities for your topic. Don’t simply Google for a keyword: think about what sites will provide useful, accurate information.
  • Experiment with different keyword phrases and combinations, starting with broad big-picture researching before narrowing down and using specialist search engines.
  • Watch out for specific red flags when you vet the resources you’ve come across: avoid sites that are amateur-looking, that are plastered with ads, or where the author appears to be overly positive or overly negative.

#9. Journey into the Hidden Web: A Guide for New Researchers

Author: Ryan Dube
Source: MakeUseOf

This is a fascinating, very in-depth look at the “hidden web” (or “deep web”, “invisible web”, etc.): the huge volumes of online information that are not accessible via a standard search engine. While some of this won’t be relevant to authors — e.g., the first section is more focused on personal, family research — it also offers a look at academic research, particularly academic databases and search engines like JSTOR.

Key Takeaways:

  • The “visible” web — accessible through search engines — isn’t all there is. There is a LOT of information that you’ll never find through a Google search because it isn’t “crawlable.”
  • Tor is an alternative web: a separate network where websites have to be accessed through a special browser (the “Tor Browser Bundle”). There’s a lot of dodgy stuff on Tor (pirated and criminal content, for instance) — but it’s also used by journalists and protesters who want to keep their online activity away from potential prying eyes.
  • There’s an amazing volume of statistical information online, which you can find using government databases and academic databases (you’ll find links in the post).

#10. Writing a Book? 9 Killer Research Tips

Author: Chandler Bolt
Source: Self-Publishing School

This post takes a closer look at the idea of writing first, then researching. Chandler focuses on efficient research: making sure you find out what you need to know to write a great book, without spending too much time bogged down at this stage.

Key Takeaways:

  • Turn off the Internet when you’re writing, so that you don’t get distracted by researching (or by social media) when you’re focusing on your first draft.
  • Organize your research: it doesn’t matter exactly how, so long as you keep it all in one place: virtual folder, physical folder, Evernote or Scrivener could all work.
  • Consider taking on an intern or hiring an assistant to help you out with your research.

#11. Help a Reporter Out [Email List]

Source: Help a Reporter Out

This huge mailing list is a fantastic resource for researching pretty much anything. You can send out a message saying what you need and find loads of great sources: individuals who’ve signed up to receive messages about their particular area(s) of expertise.

Note, though, that HARO requires your website/blog to have an Alexa ranking of one million or less before you can send out a request for sources. (To give you some idea of rankings, Smart Blogger is at 47,868 and my own site Aliventures is at 639,675.)

You can sign up to HARO as a source, if your book’s topic is your particular area of expertise. That way, you can get quoted in other people’s articles and books — which is a great way to market your own.

Stage 4: Find the Time, Energy and Focus to Actually Write Your Book

Once you’ve got an outline and you’ve done enough research to at least begin — it’s time to write! One of the biggest struggles that authors face, though, is actually getting their writing done consistently.

Maybe you love coming up with ideas and even writing outlines and noting down interesting bits of research … but when it comes to the actual writing, you end up stalling.

Stage 4: Find the time and motivation to write consistently.

Whether your problem is a lack of time, or you’re simply struggling to focus when you sit down to write, these are some great resources to help you:

#12. Use the Two-Hour Rule to Make Progress on Your Creative Projects

Author: Charlie Gilkey
Source: Productive Flourishing

In this post, Charlie explains why it’s difficult to get into creative projects in very small chunks of time — and why a two hour block of time works better.

Key Takeaways:

  • While some tasks can be easily fitted into short (15/30 minute) chunks, it takes a bit of time to get into the flow of a creative task like writing. You want to work in longer bursts.
  • It’s hard to focus for more than about two hours on something intensively creative.
  • You might have no idea how many words you can expect to write in a day or week, but you probably have a good sense of what you could produce in a two hour block.

#13. 10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

Author: Jeff Goins
Source: Goins, Writer

This post offers a lot of excellent tips and many are specifically about finding the time and keeping up motivation to write. It also includes a handy chart of roughly what word length equates to what type of book (e.g. “20,000 words = short eBook or manifesto”).

Key Takeaways:

  • Writing a book happens in three phases: Beginning (you have to actually start), staying motivated (conquer self-doubt and overwhelm) and finishing (avoid languishing in the “almost finished” phase).
  • Have a set time (ideally daily) and place to work on your book. Write some each day and it quickly adds up.
  • Set a total word count for your book. Are you producing a short pamphlet or a huge academic tome? A word count keeps you on track so you don’t end up with too-long or too-short chapters as you write.
  • You must forgive yourself when you mess up. All writers mess up. The difference with writers who make it is that they learn their lesson and keep going.

#14. 12 Time Management Tips for Writers

Author: Michelle V. Rafter
Source: WordCount

Michelle takes a look at some key difficulties that writers face (like managing their own expectations and the need to work on multiple projects), and offers practical tips for staying productive. While some of these are familiar ones (like “turn off distractions”), others might be newer to you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Time management issues may show up as a lack of balance, getting distracted, having unrealistic expectations, lacking margin and flexibility, or struggling to deal with multiple projects on the go at once.
  • Try following a “formal productivity regime”: a system like David Allen’s Getting Things Done.
  • Set daily or weekly goals and reward yourself when you meet them. Or, if you prefer, use a daily to-do list and enjoy checking things off!

#15. Free Planners and Worksheets Designed to Help Creatives Stay Focused and Productive [Free Downloads ]

Author: Charlie Gilkey
Source: Productive Flourishing

These excellent planners come in various different flavors depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Some help you plan over a long-ish period of time (the Momentum Planners) and others are good for breaking down tasks (the Individual Project Planner) or are designed for specific aspects of your work (the Blog Post Planner and Calendar).

Stage 5: Get Your First Draft Down on the Page

Writing a book can seem like a daunting project and at this stage you might start questioning whether you have it in you. But you just need to get that first draft out of your system.

If you can write a blog post, you can write a book too! You can even structure your book chapters like blog posts. Many non-fiction books use the same direct, conversational tone you’d use on your blog. Some even use blog posts as the basis of a book (e.g. Michael Hyatt’s Platform and Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog).

Stage 5: If you can write a blog post, you can write a book.

Use the following resources will help you get the words out of your head and onto the page:

#16. How to Dictate Your Book With Monica Leonelle

Author: Joanna Penn
Source: The Creative Penn

There’s no rule that says you have to type your book … if you prefer, you could write by dictating it. Many very prolific authors (including freelancers and “indie” fiction authors) are huge fans of dictation. This podcast — with full transcript — takes a look at the process and how to get started.

Key Takeaways:

  • Even if you feel that you think by writing, you can learn to dictate: just be patient. Think about speaking in phrases rather than in words, as that’s how dictation software works.
  • Your writing process may need to change a little for effective dictation. For instance, you might outline in more detail before starting to dictate.
  • Dictation is a lot faster than typing: Monica can dictate at 3,000 – 3,500 words on average per hour. You don’t have to dictate every word, though: you can still type when it suits you!

#17. Concentration: 22 Ways to Stay Focused on Writing

Author: Matthew Stibbe
Source: Articulate

If you find your attention wandering as you write, this list has lots of great ideas to try — from the super-practical, like using “TK” to mark facts to look up, to the more inspirational, like the “rock and river” principle.

Key Takeaways:

  • You’ll enjoy writing more (and write better) when you concentrate rather than multitask.
  • Don’t mix writing and editing. Get the first draft down, then worry about getting every sentence right. Keep moving forward as you draft.
  • Accept that distractions crop up, but do your best to minimize them by noticing and labelling them, and by switching off your TV/phone/email, etc.

#18. Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors

Author: Steve Silberman
Source: NeuroTribes

This huge post is packed with great advice from non-fiction authors writing on a wide range of subjects. Some of the tips deal with the pre-writing and editing, but there’s a lot of focus on the writing itself and how to get the words down on the page.

Key Takeaways:

  • First drafts are allowed to suck. Don’t worry, just keep writing.
  • Remember that you’ve done this before, just not in a such a long form. The techniques you’ve used for blogging/freelancing/whatever else you’ve written still apply.
  • Find a way to organize notes and scraps of information as you write. (Note: Several authors here also mention Scrivener.)

#19. Dragon NaturallySpeaking [Software]

Source: Amazon

While there are free dictation options out there, many authors recommend using Dragon NaturallySpeaking — which you can use not only to dictate but to browse the web, edit your text, and more. The most recent “home” (not premium) version is currently $39.72 on Amazon.

Alternatively, if you’re on a tight budget, Google Doc’s “voice typing” feature has a decent reputation and is free.

Stage 6: Turn Your Rough Draft into a Polished Book to Be Proud Of

Once you’ve finished your first draft, take some time off from writing and celebrate! Many would-be authors never get this far.

After you’ve set your work aside for a few days or weeks, though, it’s time to read it through and start making notes about everything you need to change, cut, or add.

Stage 6: Shape and prune your work.

If you can afford to bring in a professional editor, do! But before that, these resources will help you shape and prune your own work:

#20. The Three Stages of Editing (and Nine Handy Do-it-Yourself Tips)

Author: Ali Luke
Source: Aliventures

This post explains that when you edit, you’ll want to make changes in the right order: there’s little point perfecting a sentence or paragraph that you later cut completely. Work on big-picture revisions first, then smaller edits, and finally proof-read.

Key Takeaways:

  • Before you edit the nitty-gritty details, use the “Revision” stage to make major changes, like cutting out whole chapters or moving sections around within the manuscript.
  • When you’re editing, cut out unnecessary words. They add clutter and weaken your writing.
  • It helps a lot to proofread on paper, or even to read out loud. Otherwise, your eyes just skip over mistakes.

#21. Self Editing Basics: 10 Simple Ways to Edit Your Own Book

Author: Blake Atwood
Source: The Write Life

Even if you are using a professional editor (or turning to beta readers for help), you’ll want to give your book an initial edit yourself. This straightforward post offers practical and realistic advice on how to do just that.

Key Takeaways:

  • Put your manuscript aside for a few days before you start to edit. That way, you can come back to it with fresh eyes.
  • Use the “search” function to find any words that you habitually misspell, and correct them. You can also use this for words you tend to overuse (your “crutch words”).
  • Don’t keep on editing endlessly: you’ll never reach perfection. If you can, hire a copy editor to help you put that final polish on your manuscript.

#22. 5 Ways to Find the Right Freelance Book Editor

Author: Stacy Ennis

Finding the right editor for your book can be tricky; in this post, Stacy outlines some key things to look for — not just an editor who’s experienced, but also one who works well with their clients.

Key Takeaways:

  • You want an editor who’s not only experienced but who you enjoy working with: someone who seems friendly and approachable.
  • Get a referral from friends, if you can, or look in the acknowledgements of books that you’ve enjoyed and considered to be well-written.
  • Talk to the editor’s previous clients and find out what the editing process was like and how happy (or not!) they were with it.

Stage 7: Take a Deep Breath and Send Your Book Out into the World

If you want to go for traditional publication, it’s normal to approach publishers once you have an outline and a sample chapter or two. Some first-time authors prefer to write the full manuscript first, though, so they’re confident they can complete it.

These days, more and more authors self-publish (for full creative control and a bigger share of the royalties). This may be a good route for you if you already have an established audience.

Stage 7: Publish in a professional manner.

The three resources that follow cover the different publication routes.

#23. Start Here: How to Write a Book Proposal

Author: Jane Friedman

While your outline is part of a book proposal, it’s far from the whole thing. This post explains what you need to include — and emphasizes the importance of making a strong business case for your book.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you want to get a traditional publishing deal, you have to write a book proposal. This applies even if you’ve already completed the book.
  • Your business case is crucial: your platform and expertise are much more important to publishers than how brilliant a writer you are. (You need to be a competent writer, but you definitely don’t need to be the next Shakespeare.)
  • Every book proposal must answer the key questions “So what?”, “Who cares?” and “Who are you?”

#24. How To Self-Publish An Ebook and #25. How to Self-Publish a Print Book

Author: Joanna Penn
Sources: The Creative Penn — Ebook and Print Book

These two excellent, detailed guides from prolific indie author Joanna Penn explain in very straightforward terms how to go about self-publishing in both ebook and print formats. They look at a lot of practical, tactical considerations (like “exclusivity vs. going wide” and whether to use print-on-demand).

Key Takeaways:

  • Even if you don’t personally read ebooks, many people do, and most independent authors make the vast majority of their money from ebooks, not print books.
  • However, it’s also well worth publishing in print. It can be very personally rewarding to hold your finished book … and some readers will want to buy the print version for their bookshelf. Even those who don’t buy print books will see the “comparison pricing” showing what a great deal the ebook version is!
  • These days, you can publish a print book as “print on demand,” so you don’t need to pay for and store any inventory.

#26. 8 Self-Publishing Secrets for Designing An eBook Cover

Author: Rob Nightingale
Source: MakeUseOf

If you’re self-publishing, you need a professional-quality cover.  It’s always best to hire a professional, but if you’re determined to design your own cover, read this article first. It’s packed with great tips, with lots of examples and links. If you’d rather bring in a pro, this post is still useful because it tells you what to check for once they’ve completed their design.

Key Takeaways:

  • Designing covers that work online is very different from designing a good print cover. In particular, the author name and title need to be visible at small sizes.
  • When you’re looking for images to use, avoid clichéd stock photos, think about mood and feelings rather than specific keywords, and be willing to pay for a good image.
  • Pay very careful attention to typography as this can make a huge difference to how professional the cover looks.

#27. Monthly e-Book Cover Design Awards

Author: Joel Friedlander
Source: The Book Designer

One of the best ways to see what works in book cover design is to look at lots of different examples. Each month, Joel publishes a whole load of ebook covers (mainly fiction but some non-fiction) that have been submitted to him — along with his comments.

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s very hard for authors to design a good cover! Unless you’ve got significant design experience, you’ll be best off hiring a professional.
  • Typography can let down an otherwise good book cover: the font may be difficult to read, too small, or wrong for the genre.
  • All the elements included on the cover need to fit together seamlessly: they shouldn’t look like they’ve been pasted on or added as an afterthought.

Stage 8: Get Your Book in Front of (the Right) Readers Without Spending a Fortune on Advertising

Publishing your book is far from the end of the process of creating a bestseller: you need to market, too.

This is the case even if you traditionally publish. Unless you’re already an established name, your publisher will not have a huge budget for promoting your book — and you’ll be expected to do a lot of the work yourself.

Stage 8: After publishing your book, get busy promoting it, too.

Marketing can seem a bit daunting or mysterious at first, but these resources break down the process and make it much more straightforward:

#28. The Author’s Guide to Building an Email List (and Selling More Books)

Author: Tom Morkes

This very thorough guide explains how to market a book effectively, explaining why you need an email list and how to go about setting one up. Tom includes case studies, screen shots, and lots of links. You may well want to bookmark the post so you can refer back to it.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can’t use Amazon to market your book. It’s a great sales channel, but you need to drive attention to your book through marketing channels.
  • Having an email list is essential: it allows you to get in touch with your audience directly and easily.
  • You’ll need to give away something to encourage people to join your email list: many authors use a free book or course. This could be something short or something full-length.

#29. 15 Tips for Promoting Nonfiction Books Successfully

Author: Nina Amir
Source: Write Nonfiction Now!

This round-up post brings together lots of excellent advice from different authors: some of the suggestions are high-level strategic ones and others are very specific, like suggestions on what to include in your online media kit.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are many different ways to promote your book. Find out what’s effective for you, and what you enjoy (or at least don’t actively hate!)
  • Your email list is crucially important, and your marketing should point people toward your free gift for opting in.
  • Partner up with other authors, coaches, experts, etc. who have an on-topic audience for you and offer them a guest post, interview, or whatever might work for their blog/podcast.

#30. Should Indie Authors Put Endorsement Quotes or “Puffs” on Self-Published Books?

Author: Debbie Young
Source: Self Publishing Advice Centre (the Alliance of Independent Authors’ blog)

The use of “puff quotes” (endorsements on the cover of your book) is a divisive one. Some authors feel they’re a huge boost to sales and marketing efforts, and feel they’re useful for adding extra information on the cover … but other authors think they could be actively off-putting.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you are going to use a puff quote, get one from the right person — it needs to be a name that your readers will recognise, and someone whose opinion they’ll trust.
  • Use puff quotes that add something to the information already on the cover (for instance, they might give readers an idea of the tone or style of the writing).
  • Consider using reviews as a source of puff quotes: take a sentence or phrase from a review, check the reviewer is happy with you using it, and put that on the cover.

#31. Self-Publishing Success Stories: How I Do It — with Joseph Alexander

Author: Joseph Alexander
Source: Self Publishing Advice Centre (the Alliance of Independent Authors’ blog)

This post doesn’t just cover marketing; it also looks at some other areas like integrity and quality, prioritizing, and moving into publishing other people’s books as well as just publishing your own.

Key Takeaways:

  • Creating a branded series of books can be particularly powerful; if people have bought one, they’ll likely buy others. This also allows you to partner up with other writers (who can write books on topics that aren’t quite your area of expertise).
  • Consider getting your work translated into other languages, so you can reach a worldwide market.
  • It’s hugely rewarding to hear from people who’ve read your book and who’ve benefitted from it. When you’re writing, do your best work and have integrity.

What’s Stopping You from Writing a Bestseller?

Writing a book isn’t easy.

Writing a bestselling book is considerably harder.

Of course, nothing can guarantee success. But if you start with a great idea and a strong sense of your target audience, come up with an outline that includes exactly what that audience wants, get your first draft down, edit carefully, publish in a professional manner, and put some energy and thought into marketing …

… then you’ve got as good a chance as anyone.

If you’ve never written a book before, it might feel like an almost impossible task. It isn’t. Take it step by step, and you will do it.

When New Year’s Eve rolls around, will you be entering yet another year with your book still unwritten, or will it be out there solving problems, bringing in a steady income, and even changing lives?

You’ve got all the resources you need at your fingertips.

The rest is up to you.

About the Author: Ali Luke blogs about the art, craft and business of writing at Aliventures. If you’re worried that you’re not cut out to be a writer, or if you’re going through a difficult writing time right now, check out her post Seven Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Writing.


302 Family > Business – Why I’m taking a Break

A lot has changed over the last week and a half. In this mini-episode, I share those things. I also explain why I’m taking a break from most of my business.

Thank you for your understanding.

The post 302 Family > Business – Why I’m taking a Break appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.


Ignored Your Blog for Months? 13 Tips for Getting It Back on Track

Come on, fess up!

You’ve done the unthinkable. You’ve let your beloved blog wither in the shadows of neglect.

Once a thriving haven of ideas and wisdom for your adoring readers, your blog is now just a wasteland of stale posts.

You’re bugged by the numbing guilt that you’ve let yourself down, and even worse, that you’ve let your readers down.

Will they even give a crap when they see your name pop into their flooded inboxes again? They’ve probably moved on. They’ve probably replaced you with someone they can count on.

Before you throw in the towel of defeat, know this — it’s not too late to fight for your blogging dream and claw back the attention of your readers.

But don’t just charge back into the arena frantically waving a flag.

Remember, it’s not who leaps in with chaotic enthusiasm who wins; it’s who plays the game with grit and strategy.

You Need to Get Your Head Back In the Game

Now’s the time to dive deep into your mind and clear the roadblocks that are waiting to trip you.

Maybe you regret letting your blog slip? Maybe you think it’s too late to save your blog? Maybe you fear that you’ve squandered any goodwill your readers had, and that they’ll never trust you again?

Make peace with the reason for your break. It could be as simple as a new baby, a new job, or a new relationship keeping you distracted. Or it could be deeper. Whatever the reason, revisit the passion that fueled you during your blogging honeymoon days and use it to add power to your comeback.

And stop inspecting the collateral damage of your neglected blog — plummeting traffic figures, zero social engagement, and the once steady stream of subscribers that’s now as dry as a river in a drought.

Focusing on the past sucks every ounce of energy you need to change your future. So throw aside any doubts, fears, and worries and look forward.

Concentrate on what needs to be done to make up for losses and get your blog humming again.

But you can’t just dive right back in. You need a plan.

13 Revival Tips That Will Restore Your Blog to Its Former Glory

I know you’re pumped to start blogging again, but you can’t just leap at your keyboard like an overzealous puppy.

Think about it — maybe your readers have moved on. Maybe they’re ticked off that you’ve left them hanging. Maybe they’re just not that into you anymore (gulp).

If you simply dive back in with blind faith and hope that your readers are still eagerly waiting for you, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

The strongest move is to map out your revival plan before your first play. I’m talking the whole kit and kaboodle — email sequence, blog posts, fancy relaunch ideas — all with the life or death seriousness of a Super Bowl final.

Remember, any game plan that’s worth its salt is cram-packed with tactics that cover all the bases.

Here are 13 tips to build into your plan to stack the odds in your favor.

Tip #1. Suck It Up and Apologize

Like yesterday’s news, you’re no longer at the top of your readers’ minds. You could leap about in your underpants while they’re blindfolded for all the attention they’ll give you when you email them again.

You must begin by re-engaging your neglected list. You need to win back their attention, trust, and respect. And the first step is to send them an email that says:

“I owe you an apology … ”

You need to tell your subscribers you’re sorry for letting them down and explain what has kept you away. And whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of making excuses to cover your butt, even if your reasons seem trivial or selfish.

Own your absence with raw honesty and a heartfelt apology, and watch your vulnerability draw them back to you like a magnet.

Tip #1. Suck It Up and Apologize

Tip #2. Prove That You’ll Put Their Needs First

The next step to healing your relationship with your readers is to make them feel like you have their backs — that you’re listening to their specific issues and that you’ll do your best to help them.

Send them a survey with one meaningful and open-ended question. But don’t call it a survey. Ask them to tell you about their situation or to offer their opinion, and they’ll be more willing to play ball.

You can then use their answers to tailor your next few blog posts to their specific wants and needs, guaranteeing that you’ll win back their affection.

You can even go one step further by rolling up your sleeves and jumping on the phone with them. They’ll be stunned into adoration by the personal connection in our cold, digital world.

And these readers will turn into your biggest fans, opening every email and sharing your posts with their friends.

Tip #2. Prove That You’ll Put Their Needs First

Tip #3. Win Back Their Affection With a Shiny New Gift

Now that your readers are paying attention, you’re ready for your next re-engagement play — the freebie.

Think of it like a relationship — you’ve rekindled the spark of attraction and you’ve shown you care by listening to their needs. So next, you win back their affection with a gift.

And make sure you tell them it’s free. The word “free” will set your readers’ pulses racing as it releases a flood of happy chemicals through their bodies that are impossible to ignore.

You could design a new report, cheat sheet, or checklist, but if you’re looking for a gift that packs a punch, try joining the online quiz craze. Tap into your readers’ innate curiosity to find out what type they are, how much they score, or which category they fall into.

You’ll restore trust and respect by demonstrating you’re on-trend with your content and grow your shrinking list at the same time, as quizzes are often shared like crazy.

Tip #3. Win Back Their Affection With a Shiny New Gift

Tip #4. Show Them a Crystal Ball

Let’s assume your readers totally dig you again. Even if you’re back on their radar, what’s to stop them getting distracted next time you contact them?

They could miss your email as they dizzy themselves scrolling past all the clutter in their inboxes. Or they could be sidelined by the unpredictability of life.

But there’s a way you can set a honey pot for their attention so they don’t drift away before you’ve become a sought-after fixture in their life again …

You can prime their minds to be on the lookout for everything you send.

Create an email that shows them the future and tells them what they can expect in the coming weeks. Drill down into the topics you’ve mapped out in your relaunch plan, and target the pains and desires they’ve shared with you in their survey responses.

Your email open rates will soar as they instantly recognize your email as familiar content that they’re waiting for. And they’ll like you more as you demonstrate you’ve listened to them.

Tip #4. Show Them a Crystal Ball

Tip #5. Be Bold and Boost Your Open Rate

The first few emails in your re-engagement plan are the keys that unlock your readers’ attention and draw them back to you. You need to get as many eyeballs on them as you can.

But if statistics are anything to go by, you probably won’t connect with up to 70% of your readers every time you email them.

Don’t leave it to chance. Be bold and resend the emails to unopens after 48 hours, sporting a new headline. The apology, the survey and the gift emails should be hot on top of your resend list.

Every one of those emails puts you back on your readers’ mental radar, boosting your chances of them opening your email next time.

You can also do this once you start sending them posts again.

Speaking of which …

Tip #5. Be Bold and Boost Your Open Rate

Tip #6. Remind Them Why They Loved You So Much

You’re back in the saddle and now you’re picking up pace, but the journey is just beginning.

Remember, you’ve let your readers down, so you need to win back their trust. You need to remind them why they loved you so much in the first place.

The last thing you want to do is hit them with a bunch of fluff pieces or generic, rehashed content that leaves them feeling disappointed.

Your revival campaign should include at least three posts — let’s call ’em revival posts — that go above and beyond.

Write an ultimate guide that details every single step of an intricate process, create an epic manifesto that gets your readers’ blood pumping, or collect a huge number of insider secrets from influencers in your niche.

Your revival posts must be so jam-packed with value that they blow your readers’ minds and hook them to your blog again.

Tip #6. Remind Them Why They Loved You So Much

Tip #7. Name-Drop to Be Noticed

To run a successful revival campaign, you need to do more than just re-engage your list. You also need to make up for readers who chose to unsubscribe despite your valiant attempts to win back their hearts. Plus, you need to reconnect with other bloggers in your niche who think your blog is pushing up daisies.

You can hit three birds with one stone by making one of your revival posts an expert roundup.

You provide massive value to your readers, you let other bloggers know your blog is back in action, and since you give them an irresistible reason to share it, you’ll get a surge in traffic.

So gather multiple expert opinions together into a meaty post bulging with value and name-drop like mad. Send it to your list and to the experts who’ve participated, and triple-whammy the effect.

Tip #7. Name-Drop to Be Noticed

Tip #8. Make Yourself Impossible to Ignore

Imagine you’re taking a stroll through your neighborhood. You notice a big poster on a wall, but you pay it little attention. A block later, you see it again. And then again. This poster is plastered all throughout your neighborhood.

How many times do you think you’d have to see it before you stop and see what all the fuss is about?

The more you come across something, the more likely it is you’ll get curious enough to check it out. And your readers are the same way, so here’s what you do …

Write several guest posts for popular blogs and, if they’re accepted, tell the bloggers the posts are for a revival campaign. Ask if they could be published on the same date (give or take).

Chances are, your target audience frequents a number of blogs in your niche. Readers can be fickle creatures, and some may click through on the first post of yours they see while others won’t. But when they see you on the second, third and even the fourth blog they visit —  well, now you’ve piqued their interest!

There’s no way they can ignore you when you’re everywhere.

Tip #8. Make Yourself Impossible to Ignore

Tip #9. Harness The Power of Social

Let’s face it — not everyone reads blogs yet. But there are millions of potential readers actively lapping up everything they see on Facebook. And ads are a hot way to reach these readers.

Sure, back in the dark ages of social media, only the technically minded would dare run a Facebook ad campaign. But Zuckerberg, being the smart cookie he is, realized he was making it too damn hard for us.

You don’t need to sit back and wait to be noticed any longer. You can take your posts to these hungry new readers — or send them a landing page offering them a bribe to subscribe — by running ad campaigns with minimal pain or risk.

Here’s a tip — don’t just use a scattergun approach, select the audience you’re going to target by interest and demographic. You can even set small daily limits, so you don’t spend the day panicking that you’re draining your life savings.

You’ll rebuild that crumbling list in no time.

Tip #9. Harness The Power of Social

Tip #10. Give Your Blog a Face Lift

Beauty turns heads. It sets our hearts fluttering, and our brains read that feeling as a positive sign.

Before you invest hours into writing guest posts and dollars into running Facebook ads, ask yourself this — does your blog still look okay?

Perhaps your fonts, headers, and buttons now resemble last year’s uncool fashions. Or maybe the design still holds up, but your outdated theme is snail-slow to load.

If your blog design is a mess, you might give your blog a makeover before you start your re-engagement campaign. After all, your readers aren’t really expecting to hear from you right now, so it’s the perfect opportunity to invest some time in it.

Not only will your new design make a better impression on the new visitors you’re getting from your guest posts and Facebook ads, but it also sends your existing readers a signal that you’re serious about being back.

Be sure to add your face lift announcement to your relaunch strategy in one of your re-engagement emails.

Tip #10. Give Your Blog a Face Lift

Tip #11. Switch Your Hobby Hat for a Business Hat

Have you ever had a grand plan to do something, felt an immense surge of motivation, and then slipped back to your old ways?

It’s the sticky trap of old habits. And they’re lurking nearby, ready to thwart your plans of a blog revival the split second you lose focus.

By treating your blog as a hobby, you’re weakening your defenses against the same old mistakes you’ve made in the past. You need to get serious to keep up momentum.

Let’s face it — blogs take a painstaking number of hours of behind-the-scenes grunt work to stay well oiled. And to stand out from the crazy millions of mediocre blogs out there, you need to keep your foot on the pedal.

tweet thisTo stand out from the crazy millions of mediocre blogs, you need to keep your foot on the pedal. (Tweet This)

Flitting in and out of your blog with whimsical notions of creativity and abundance ain’t gonna cut it. Shift your mindset from hobby to business by blocking time aside to work on it, creating to-do lists, and planning your content strategy. Your results will speak for themselves.

Tip #11. Switch Your Hobby Hat for a Business Hat

Tip #12. Jump on the Weekly Roundup Bandwagon

You’ve executed all the big moves in your comeback strategy, and now your energy is waning. Keeping up momentum can become a struggle as you get overwhelmed by producing weekly content.

It’s daunting — you see all the big players sending steady streams of amazing posts to their readers, and it strangles your confidence. “How can I maintain a regular schedule of riveting content?” you wonder.

Easy! There’s a growing trend in weekly roundup emails for a good reason — your readers are suffering from content overload.

So make their life a little easier, and they’ll love you for it. Become a trusted source of the latest and greatest content in your niche by offering a weekly roundup email straight to their inboxes.

It’s also a cunning energy-preserving tactic that allows you play the long game.

Tip #12. Jump on the Weekly Roundup Bandwagon

Tip #13. Safeguard Yourself from Slipping Again

As with any long game, you need to replenish your resources to succeed.

But being a blogger can be lonely. It can be hard to feel inspired when your coffee buddies are your keyboard and monitor and your office manager is your pooch.

Build a safety net to prevent yourself from slipping back into your old ways by surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, support you, and keep you accountable.

Feed your mind by joining online communities pumping with engaged members who stimulate your thoughts and generate intelligent discussion on topics in your niche. They’re the perfect place to find accountability partners or to jump into mastermind groups that will keep you in the right mental groove.

Restoring your energy and passion will spark inspiration for longer, deeper posts and allow your blog to evolve with your audience well into the future. And having people in your corner will ensure you keep your momentum from here on out.

Tip #13. Safeguard Yourself from Slipping Again

Ready to Get Back in the Game?

The churn in your gut as you think about your neglected blog makes you nauseous.

Following the path of least resistance and turning your back on it would be so damn easy. Nobody would even notice as you slipped silently into the recesses of binary code.

There’s one person who’d notice, though — you — and it would gnaw at your soul.

You can do this. Really, you can.

With a healthy dose of preparation, you’re sure to pull together a winning comeback strategy.

With a bit of resourcefulness, you’ll have months of content at your fingertips.

With hard work, strategy, and grit, you’ll win back your reader’s hearts, and your blog will be hustling and bustling once again.

So go on — get your head in the game, construct your plan, apologize and stage a comeback that you can once again hang your blogging dreams upon.

Your pride is counting on you.

Your readers are counting on you.

About the Author: Miranda Hill is a writer and coach who helps life-hungry souls get unstuck from the chaos of life. If you want to stop spinning your wheels, hopping from one thing to the next in search of answers, take her “De-Stress in 5 Minutes” quiz and start living a life you love.


How to be confident

What’s the secret to becoming confident in any social situation?

About 10 years ago, when I was just starting college, I would have said, “there is no secret. You either have it or you don’t.”

And I would have been DEAD WRONG.

You see, back then, I had almost zero confidence.

But today I’m thinking about getting “unstoppable” tattooed on my forehead.

How did I develop my confidence?

The answer might surprise you…

Why Confidence Matters – in Business and in Life

But first, let’s be clear WHY being confident matters:

Whatever you want to do or achieve in life, success comes from taking ACTION. Or to quote myself…

Those who do nothing, achieve nothing. – Derek Halpern

…and I bet you’ll agree.

If you want to go on a date with someone, you have to ask them out.

If you want to get a raise, you have to ask for a promotion.

If you want to build your network, you have to be more social.

And if you want to build an audience, you have to step onto the stage.

Without action, no success.

Now here’s the thing…

The hard part isn’t knowing WHAT to do. The hard part is actually doing it. And that’s where confidence makes all the difference.

Because when you lack of confidence, you don’t take action…

You want to speak up in a large group. But you stay silent because you’re afraid to get shut down.

You want to meet new people. But you’re too shy to start a conversation. Or you’re just worried that people will think you’re weird.

And it’s a shame. Most people don’t do the things they want to do. Not because they don’t know how. Not because they’re not smart enough… but because they lack the confidence.

It’s time to change that. And I have good news:

With just a few simple hacks, you can build your confidence every day and reach level “unstoppable” too.

Confidence Leads to Action, Action Leads to Success

Confidence is like the granddaddy of all self-development…

When you’re confident you stop feeling self-conscious about your quirks.

When you’re confident you stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and stop second-guessing your decisions.

When you’re confident you can face your big fears. Whether it’s something specific like becoming better at public speaking

…Or simply going ALL IN and following your dreams.

In short, confidence is the difference between thinking about doing something… and actually doing it. And that’s why it’s so important for success – in all areas of life.

Especially when it comes to business and selling. And even more so if you sell services, coaching, or online courses. And there’s science to back this up, too.

In particular, one study by Don Moore of Carnegie Mellon University shows that people are more likely “buy advice” from a more confident seller. The crazy part? It didn’t even matter if that seller had been wrong in the past.

So, if you want people to listen to you, take your advice, and ultimately buy from you, being confident is crucial.

But isn’t that just being a fake?


Of course you shouldn’t pretend to know things you don’t know. You see, there’s a big difference between being confident and being an arrogant jerk…

What Does it Really Mean to Be Confident?

So what is self-confidence?

Some psychologist make a distinction between self-esteem and self-confidence. But for our practical purpose here, it’s not important. So I’ll just talk about self-confidence.

Being confident means two things:

  1. You believe that you deserve to succeed
  2. You trust in your abilities to succeed

When you have both of those things, you can act with confidence.

As you can see from the definition, confidence arises from INTERNAL sources – your thoughts and beliefs – as well as EXTERNAL sources – your abilities and skills.

Thoughts + Skills = Confidence (= Success)

And I’ll address both parts of that equation below.

But first, let me point out the difference between confidence and arrogance. Because that’s where a lot of people get stuck…

And here it is:

Arrogant people brag about skills they don’t have, to get confirmation from others, because they lack belief in themselves.


Confident people let their actions speak for themselves, because they have the mindset and skills to succeed.

As you can see, being confident is not about bragging. It’s not what you say at all. It’s about how you see yourself and how you carry yourself. And then, as a result, how you’re being perceived by others.

This is the FIRST thing you should remember, if you want to be more confident. And then you can stop humble-bragging, too…

…which is a terrible habit. For TWO reasons:

First, you’re still bragging.

Second, why are you trying to be so “humble” in the first place?

Just look at the definition of the word “humble:” It means having a “low estimate of one’s own importance.”

The sad thing is, I used to see myself that way. But it’s straight up destructive. No one should think of themselves as “of low importance.”

Alright, with all that said, let’s focus on developing real confidence…

The Secret to Becoming More Confident

How did I build my confidence?

The real answer:

I faked it.

That’s right. At first, I pretended to be confident. But I didn’t really FEEL confident yet. I just ACTED the way a confident person would act…

And what happened? Over time, I started to feel more confident, too. And before I knew it I became the confident person I always wanted to be.

And that’s the secret…

I call it the A-B-C Method of building confidence:

First you just ACT confident.

Then you BELIEVE you can be confident.

Finally, you just are… CONFIDENT.

It worked for me. And there’s science to prove that it will work for you. For example…

When you force a smile with a pencil in your mouth you actually FEEL happier. Why? Because your body tells your brain you’re smiling.

Or as Amy Cuddy revealed in her awesome Ted Talk: Simply standing in “power poses” can lead to changes in hormone levels and make you feel more powerful.

(Note: Below you can see the power poses and other body-language hacks for more confidence.)

The point here is:

Just by going through the motions, you can change how you feel.


You probably have TWO questions:

#1 How do you know how a confident person acts?

#2 What if you don’t have the confidence to fake it?

And I’ll answer both questions.

First, I’m going to show you the mindset of a confident person. Why? Because that’s how you’ll get yourself over that first hump.

Second, I’ll share 13 ways to build your confidence every day. Until you are the confident person you’ve always wanted to be.

The Confident Mindset

I remember the first time I joined a gym. I was 19 and I was standing on the scale like the hunchback of notre dame!

So, the trainer who showed me around, told me to pay attention to my posture and make sure I stood up straight.

Why do I remember this exact moment? I remember it because then he added something else…

He said:

“There’s nothing wrong with putting your chest out. It’s the proper way to stand.”

And it stuck with me to this day.

So remember, being confident is the NATURAL way to be.

And that’s GREAT news because it means…

Everyone is born with unstoppable confidence. It’s not a just a “gift” that some people have. It’s a skill anyone can practice and (re-)learn. And for that, I’ve included 13 insanely-practical ways you can build your confidence below.

But let’s be clear about something else:

Most ADULTS struggle with confidence.

So while confidence is natural, as we grow up, almost everyone loses it. At least to some degree. It’s hard to get reliable stats on this, but I’ve seen numbers as high as 80% of adults.

And it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s accurate. The point is, the overwhelming majority of adults don’t feel as confident as they would like. So, if you’re feeling insecure, you are not alone.

Finally, there’s one more part to a confident mindset…

It’s a-ok to look like a fool sometimes.

Look, I know about myself that I’m 99% useless, but…

…that 1% when I’m not, I’m dangerous.

Aiming for perfection is the ultimate confidence killer, because if you aim for perfection, you’ll always fall short.

Yes, you can aim for excellence, but you should accept this now:

You’ll have lots of bad ideas, say many dumb things, and regularly make a fool of yourself.

Like that one time when I was driving and I stopped behind a car, because I thought traffic was backed up. Turns out, it was just a row of parked cars. LOL.

The old insecure me would have been ashamed. The new confident me thinks it’s hilarious. Because…

Confident people aren’t right all the time. The difference is, they’re not afraid to be wrong.

And that’s why today, I don’t take myself too seriously:

Today is the day I turned into the guy who quotes himself. #lookhowsmartiam

A post shared by Derek Halpern (@derekhalpern) on Dec 14, 2016 at 10:20am PST

And even though I love my $300 haircut, I’m not afraid to look silly sometimes.

I don’t know how other people run staff meetings… but this is how I do it.

A post shared by Derek Halpern (@derekhalpern) on Mar 3, 2017 at 12:38pm PST

It’s counterintuitive. But it’s an amazing insight:

If you want to be more confident, start by not taking yourself too seriously.

So now, let’s get into all of my favorite ways to build confidence…

13 Amazing Ways to Boost Your Confidence

Some of these tips will give you an instant boost of confidence. Some are small practices you can do every day to build confidence over time. Some are little hacks and tools that automatically put you in a confident mindstate.

All of the techniques come from my personal experience of going from confidence level 0… to 100. Most of the techniques are backed by science, too.

You can – but you don’t have to – use them all at once. Some will work better for you than others. I do suggest you give them all a try, though. Because…

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie

As I explained above, confidence both breeds and stems from taking action. Which is great news. Because when you take action once, you’ll set in motion a cycle of positive reinforcement.

Now, the first time you do anything, is usually the hardest. That’s why I’ve got one more useful tip for you:

Practice when there’s nothing at stake.

I’ll explain…

As an example, every time I would walk up to a cashier or server, I would take that opportunity to pretend to be confident. I knew they were paid to be nice to me, so I thought, “Why not practice on them?”

I’d walk up and say, “Hey, how are you?”, begin to make small talk, and speak like I was the most confident person on earth.

So what did I say exactly?

Check out this first technique…

Confidence Booster #1: “It’s not free today?”

In the short video, in addition to sharing my personal journey with confidence, I share a word-for-word script that you can use start using to develop your confidence TODAY.

Do you have a friend (or colleague) that’s struggling with their confidence?

Use this link and send them this video.

Use this script the next time you’re checking out at a store or your favorite coffee shop. With a big smile on your face, just say:

“Wait, it’s not free today?”

You’ll laugh. They’ll laugh. And everyone will have a good time. That positive feedback will put you one step closer to be confident in social situations.

Confidence Booster #2: The Eye-Color Test

Whether it’s a job interview, a date, or a conversation with a friend, people who make proper eye contact appear more confident.

(Not only that; Research shows that when you look people in the eyes, you also appear more likeable and trustworthy.)

But there’s a fine line between making good eye contact and, well, a creepy stare. And that’s why I like the Eye-Color Test.

Here’s how it works:

The next time you interact with someone face-to-face – whether it’s a stranger or a friend – look at their eyes just long enough to notice the color of their eyes.

Simple, right? You can do it throughout a conversation, too.

Just remember to regularly break eye contact. And when you do look away, look to the side, NOT down. Looking down communicates low confidence.

Confidence Booster #3: Proper Posture

Studies have shown that body language is 60% of communication. At a minimum. And posture is the first thing people notice when you walk into a room. So fixing it can give your confidence – and your perceived confidence – a huge boost.

Luckily, I stumbled on a simple trick to drastically improve your posture…

I noticed one of my friends has great posture. So one day I just had to tell her, “You walk so straight, it’s amazing!”

She laughed and said, “Yeah, I always hold in my stomach.”


The funny thing is, it works. Just tighten your stomach muscles. You’ll notice your posture improve instantly.

Start by doing it every time you walk from one place to the other. Then you can start doing it while seated, too.

Bonus tip for better posture:

When you’re walking, don’t look at the ground right in front of you. Instead, look straight ahead, further into the distance. This way you’ll automatically keep your chin up – and look and feel more confident.

Confidence Booster #4: The Power Pose

Speaking of posture…

Let me show you Amy Cuddy’s Power Poses that I mentioned above.

Cuddy’s research suggests that standing in one of these poses for just 2 minutes will give you a boost of confidence.

You can see the poses here.

So let’s say you’re about to have a job interview. Take a moment before you go in and stand in a power pose. Your body will tell your brain to feel more confident.

(Side note: Cuddy’s research has recently gotten some critique. I suggest you try it and see if it works for you.)

And of course, you can also use the poses simply to appear more confident to others. Remember, when it comes to confidence, “fake it ‘til you make it” is actually a good strategy.

Also, don’t worry too much about the exact pose…

All you need to remember is that “open, expansive” postures (taking up more space) express power and confidence. Whereas “closed, contractive” postures (taking up less space) express powerlessness and low confidence.


Stop being excessively modest and humble – don’t apologize for taking up space!

Confidence Booster #5: Listen to Some Music

Funny story…

A friend of mine used to go skiing a lot as a kid. And he wanted to be a ski racer. So, he always tried to go as fast as possible. What did he do?

Apparently while he was skiing, in his head he would sing along to the most badass song he knew…

Listening to the song made him feel more confident.

There’s interesting research about this, too:

Researchers from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management found that people who listen to “high-power” music are more proactive.

In the study people were asked to go first or second in a debate. And in fact, after listening to high-power music, people were almost twice as likely to be proactive and go first.

So, it’s not a coincidence athletes listen to music right before they compete.

If you need an instant boost of confidence, listen to music that gets you fired up.

The high-power songs that were used in the study are:

And here’s a great high-power playlist on Spotify.

Now, I am personally a sucker for cheesy pop music; don’t judge. But whatever your taste, playing a high-energy, motivating song will give your confidence an instant boost.

Confidence Booster #6: Look Your Best

They say, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

Is it true? Does the way you dress make a difference in how confident you feel? New research suggest…


Clothes change how we feel, as well as the impression we make on others. And specifically, wearing nicer clothes can make you more confident.

But what can you do exactly? The research suggests that dressing more FORMAL is the key:

So, instead of a t-shirt and jeans, wear a suit.

(What’s crazy is that the research suggest this can actually increase your abstract thinking ability, too.)

Now maybe wearing a suit is wayyy over the top for your job. Or maybe you’re just uncomfortable wearing extra formal clothes…

Well, there’s another simple hack:

Wear black.

A recent survey revealed that black is the color of confidence. This might be the simplest way to give your confidence a boost. Try it!

But looking and feeling confident is not just about clothes…

First thing in the morning, I always jump straight in the shower. Why? Because when I feel fresh and clean, I also feel confident.

And whenever I get a haircut, I stick my chest out a little further even – I know, it’s hard to believe… But seriously…

Do whatever makes you feel good about yourself:

Get a haircut. Take a shower. Shave. Put on some cologne. Get a manicure.

These small things can really make a difference in how confident you feel. I’m sure you’ve experienced it. So this is just a reminder to take care of yourself. Cool?

Moving on…

Confidence Booster #7: The No-Effort Conversation Starter

Confident people make small talk seem so effortless, right?


Believe me, I used to struggle with this. I was afraid to talk to anybody. Especially strangers. How do you even get a conversation started? And I mean WITHOUT being weird and creepy.

Well, I’ve got a couple of ways to practice making small talk like an uber-confident person for you.

And this first one is what I call the “No-Effort Conversation Starter.” Because you don’t even have to start the conversation when you do this…

Look, here’s me on my way to the coffee shop with a t-shirt saying, “Patience: Level Zero:”

Today is Valentine’s day. And this person in the picture means the world to me.

A post shared by Derek Halpern (@derekhalpern) on Feb 14, 2017 at 1:14pm PST

Now what do you think happens?


I don’t have to do anything at all.

This is a GREAT way to practice small talk and being more confident in social situations with strangers.

Your No-Effort Conversation Starter could be a t-shirt, sparkly shoes, a laptop cover, a piece of jewelry, or WHATEVER.

At first you’ll feel a little weird. But this technique will get you from “faking” confidence to BEING confident quickly.

Confidence Booster #8: Accept Compliments

Whenever you get a compliment it’s a great opportunity to practice being confident. I’ll explain…

Everybody likes to get compliments. However, back in my low-confidence days I had no clue how to gracefully accept a compliment.

Here’s what I used to do:

I’d either ignore it and move on with the conversation – rude! – or I’d downplay it. I’d say, “Oh it’s no big deal” or give the other person an even bigger compliment right away.

Why does this show a lack of confidence?

Because when you ignore or downplay a compliment, what you’re communicating is: “I didn’t deserve the compliment.” But that’s NOT how a confident person thinks or acts. So today, I handle compliments in a different way.

And it’s very simple:

I just say, “Thank you!”

I acknowledge the compliment. I accept it. And I show my gratitude.

And that’s what I want you to do: The next time you get a compliment, just say, “Thank you, I appreciate it!”

Assume the person giving you the compliment actually means it. So you can believe it, too. There’s no need to be humble. It’s a great time to practice acting and feeling confident.

Confidence Booster #9: Give Compliments… to Strangers

What goes around comes around – so now that you know how to accept compliments confidently, let’s talk about giving compliments.

Why is giving compliments a sign of confidence? Because when you’re confident, you don’t constantly feel threatened by other people. That’s why confident people are not afraid to give others compliments, too.

But there’s one thing they never do…

They don’t give insincere compliments. So, when you give someone a compliment always be genuine.

Now here’s the BEST way to build confidence by giving compliments:

Give compliments to strangers.

See someone with cool shoes? Tell them, “Hey, cool shoes!” Or if you see someone who’s working extra hard, tell them “I like your dedication!”

Just try it once – you’ll probably make the person’s day. So next time you’re walking down the street or waiting in line, give people genuine compliments. Just look for one thing you like about them and say, “Hey, I like your…”

To make this work, don’t think more than 3 seconds about what you’re going to say. The goal is to get out of your head. Just say the first thing that comes to your mind.

It’s very low-risk. So it’s a great way to practice being confident in social situations.

Confidence Booster #10: “What Would … Do?”

When I get in a confidence-slump, here’s what I do:

I ask myself, “What would the most confident person in the world do right now?”

But actually, you should pick someone specific. It could be a public figure, a friend, or an acquaintance with UNSTOPPABLE confidence. And then, “channel” that feeling. What I mean is: Just pretend to be them for a moment!

For example:

What would Sheryl Sandberg say in this situation? How would Muhammad Ali walk down the street right now? How would Mark Cuban react? Would Marie Forleo think like this?

I know – this technique sounds like woo-woo. But you don’t have to analyze every little thing this person does to copy their confidence. Next time you walk into a room, or you’re just walking down the street, just pretend what it would feel like to be that person.

Try it.

Confidence Booster #11: Prepare and Get Better

Remember, a crucial part of being confident is the belief that you have the SKILLS to succeed. And it’s a lot easier to believe it, if it’s true.

In other words:

Competence breeds confidence.

And that’s why working at getting better at what you do – by practicing! – will take your confidence to the next level.

For example, let’s say you’re giving a speech and you feel insecure about public speaking. What’s the best way to feel more confident?


Prepare and practice your speech.

Same goes for an important meeting. A job interview. A date. A networking event.

When you show up prepared, you’ll feel and act more confident.

But there’s another advantage of working on your competence…

Confidence Booster #12: Learn a Life Skill

I am a TERRIBLE swimmer. As in, I used to barely stay above water…

I liked jumping into a pool. But until a few weeks ago, there was always this sense that I COULD drown.

But then something changed. I finally learned how to float in water. I’m still not a good swimmer. But at least now I know hot to not drown! And I feel much more confident in water.

Makes sense, right? Competence breeds confidence. But there’s a more general lesson here.

When you learn a new “life skill” it’s not just about that particular skill. You also prove to yourself that you’re capable of learning ANYTHING. Which makes you a more competent – and more confident – person overall.

“Everything is figure-out-able.” – Marie Forleo

For example, you could…

  • Do your taxes by yourself.
  • Learn how to replace a tire.
  • Volunteer for an after-school program.

Or learn how to not drown, like me. Whatever it may be, when you learn a small life skill, watch your overall confidence level go up.

What’s a life skill you could learn?

Confidence Booster #13: Get to Know Yourself


To be confident in yourself, you need to know yourself.

I realize that “knowing yourself” is easier said than done. What I do know is that it’s as much about “what you ARE like” as it is about “what you like.” I’ll explain…

A buddy of mine has a weird hobby. He likes to bake bread. I say it’s weird because it’s uncommon. I actually think it’s awesome! And the bread is delicious.

The point is: He FULLY embraces his interest in baking bread. And when he talks about it he exudes confidence.

But embracing your interests and knowing “what you like” is just one part of knowing yourself. It’s also about having clear principles – and sticking to them. So it’s also about what you ARE like.

One principle I try to stick to is this: I don’t sugarcoat my opinion. I always say what I mean, and I mean what I say.

Of course, this part of self-confidence doesn’t develop overnight. It’s made up of your whole life experience. And it might change over time.

What I suggest you do is this:

Write it down.

Write down your principles. And answer the question, “What are the rules I want to live by?”

Just remember, you’re not doing it to fit into anyone else’s expectations. These are YOUR rules.

When you fully embrace your interests and have a strong sense of the rules you want to live by, you can finally act with 100% confidence – in everything you do.


I’ve got some homework for you…

Use these simple ways to build your confidence. Even if you have to fake it in the beginning, like I had to…

You’ll notice quickly:

When you’re confident you’ll get more done and you’ll feel happier.

And with practice you will BE more confident every day. And before you know it, your confidence will be through the roof.

So, here’s what I want you to do:

Step 1: Choose at least one of the techniques I shared and use it TODAY. Even if you’re not struggling with your confidence, use it.

Step 2: Come back here and leave a comment letting us know what happened. Share how it felt!

Once you master your confidence, think about how easy it will be to meet new people. For business and pleasure.

So, use these tips today.

Are you looking to start a blog? Follow this simple tutorial to set up a blog in three minutes or less.


My Thoughts on the Future of Blogging

Is blogging changing right before eyes?

Has social media made it harder or easier for us bloggers to build our blogs and businesses?

Where is this all headed?

In this episode, I share my thoughts on the future of blogging.

Listen to This Episode

Times Are Changing

For the longest time, a blog has been seen as a website that has written content posted in a reverse chronological order.

According to Wikipedia: “A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (“posts”)”.

My Thoughts on the Future of Blogging

My Thoughts on the Future of Blogging

Yes, that is a blog. But as bloggers, it’s time to look beyond that definitions.

Here’s the reality – Times are changing, and yes – social media has changed the game.

That doesn’t negate the importance of blogging. In fact, I would say blogging is becoming more important.

But the way in which we approach blogging needs to evolve with the times.

In the episode, I discuss recent announcements and changes from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and outline how they will impact what we do.

I encourage you to listen to the episode to hear more on this and for my tips on how you should change what you do as a blogger.

The post My Thoughts on the Future of Blogging appeared first on Become A Blogger by Noemi M.


I Had The Depressing Realization That I Got Fat… So I Fixed It

So, I had a speaking engagement. And I had a big problem.

I went to button my blazer and the button popped off…


So I settled for my second favorite blazer, and then it got worse.

I was speaking at an event for personal trainers. As I walked in front of the crowd, everything became crystal clear: Everyone was fit. Except me. I had gotten fat. And I looked like a meatball. A big. Fat. Meatball.

I know.

I’m being harsh.

But it was bad.

I Gained More Than 30 Pounds…

I had gained more than 30 pounds. My doctor told me my blood pressure was on the high-end of normal. And I really had no excuse. I had a heart condition that they luckily cured, and there I was… playing with fire…

What happened!?

Am I lazy?

Am I stupid?

Do I just not care about living a long, healthy life?


It’s none of those things.

…Because I Focused On Everything But Health

Entrepreneurs and business owners get caught up in their own heads. They let their health slide because… “WORK! WORK! WORK!”

Parents do the same thing. They let their health slide because… “KIDS! KIDS! KIDS!”

And I told myself I just didn’t have the time.

“The gym? It’s 20 minutes to get there. It’s an hour to work out. It’s 20 minutes to get back. Then I have to shower. UGH! I got a business to build.”

We focus so much on our business, we forget about ourselves.

We focus so much on our kids, we forget about ourselves.

We focus so much on everything else and we forget about ourselves.

But You Can’t Accomplish Anything In Life If You’re Dead

I knew this.


And yet, I did nothing about it.

If anything… I did the exact opposite of everything I knew I should do.

And no joke: just a few months before this event, I went to the doctor and asked for a blood test. I kept thinking, something MUST be wrong with me.

And I was right. When I got the test results, I got horrible news. Something was wrong with me. Not biologically wrong.

It was worse.

I Had Gained Weight And It Was 100% My Fault


I desperately wanted the doctor to tell me, “Well, Derek. You passed 30 years old. Metabolism slows down.”

I wanted him to then go on, “This is so strange. You have a hormone problem. That’s why you’re gaining weight.”

And as horrible as this sounds…

I even hoped he’d tell me something like, “You have some incurable condition and that’s why you’re fat.”

But it was none of those things.

I had gained weight and it was my fault.

My doctor told me to go on a diet and start working out.

But I didn’t listen.

And It Began Hurting My Business

You may have noticed that I didn’t do many videos in 2016. If I’m being honest, it’s at least partly due to the fact that I got fat. I launched a new course in January and remember thinking “man, I look horrible.” And then I stopped doing videos.

We still had a great year for business. We launched two new courses: Seven Figure Courses and Sales Page that Converts. We also released the Zippy Courses SAAS into beta. But the regular videos were gone. Which is weird. I like doing video. Many people found me because of these videos and I stopped doing them.

And what’s MOST interesting is this:

I can start and grow a business. And I can help people do the same exact thing. But when it came to my health, it was almost as if I had the mental capacity of a toddler.

So, I Knew I Had To Make A Change

What could I do?

I had a lot of excuses.


“I don’t have the time.”

“This isn’t my priority right now.”

“It’s not the right time.”

And the list went on.

And that’s when I knew I couldn’t do this alone.

I needed help.

And believe me, this was a tough pill to swallow.

I’m a successful entrepreneur!

I run a great business!

I launched 3 products this year!!!


But I did.

I needed to get out of my own way and make fitness and health a commitment.

…And That’s When I Met Christopher Coulson

Chris was in the navy for 10 years, and he had finally gotten out about a year prior. Now he was a personal trainer and he told me he could whip me into shape.

I said, “Okay. But I hate cardio.” And he laughed. “So do I.”

So, what happened?

Step 1: He Made Me A Meal Plan…

Chris made me a meal plan with food suggestions.

It was an easy meal plan to follow, too.

As an example…

For breakfast, I’d get to eat a delicious egg omelette with chicken and spinach. I’d also get a half a bagel with peanut butter.

I was shocked. “Dude!?!? A bagel!?!?”

He told me, “Yea man. That’s so you keep your sanity.”

It made complete sense. He knows that dieting is mentally taxing and he even accounted for it by working in what he calls SANITY FOOD. Sanity food is food that you like so that you don’t feel deprived while getting healthy.

Now if I’m being completely honest, it wasn’t 100% easy. Sometimes I’d feel hungry. Real hungry. After all, I was eating far less calories than I was used to eating…

…and he’d fire back. “Eat a cucumber.”


Apparently cucumbers have almost no calories. And they’re quite filling. So I became “cucumber man.”

Step 2: Chris then gave me a workout routine.

And the best part?

No cardio.

He focused on doing a specific set of exercises to help me get leaner and more toned. And then he’d throw in some circuits so that I could burn extra calories.

Now I won’t lie to you. At first, it was challenging. I had a shoulder injury and a lower back injury, but my doctor told me I was “good to go to workout.”

I was out of shape, but I was determined.

It was operation make Derek fit again and Chris was the leader.

Step 3: He Then Held Me Accountable

This is the most important part.


I needed someone to call me on my BS.

I needed someone to “report to” about my results or else I would just stop going to the gym like so many other times in the past.

And That’s When I Finally Noticed Changes…

As weeks passed, I saw the fat melting off my body. As months passed, that’s when other people began to notice it, too.

It felt good. I could finally wear my clothes again. I didn’t have a double chin. And I felt great both physically and mentally.

Total weight loss? I went from 190 pounds down to 161.8 in about 4 months.

And that’s when my friends started asking me about my success. “How did you do it?”

I always gave Chris all the credit.

Then my friends started signing up with him. And he got so booked that he now no longer accepts private clients.

Then, I Had An Interesting Idea…

I was talking to Chris. I told him, “You changed my life and I think we need to get your expertise out into the world. We need to take your skills online.”

He was down.

I wanted to create a one-on-one online fitness coaching program with Chris as the leader. I wanted him to help other entrepreneurs get fit again like he did for me.

I also wanted him to create some content specifically for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to make health a priority.

So, if you have any interest in learning more…

…just fill out this survey right now.

It’s short.

Now Let Me Tell You Everything I Learned…

Survey aside, I learned a lot throughout this fitness journey.

Thing #1: Here’s Why Everyone Posts Workout Photos On Social Media

Before I made fitness a priority, I’d always laugh at people who posted workout pictures. “What’s wrong with these people? We get it. YOU’RE FIT.”


When I started to get fit, I did the same exact thing.

“What gives?”

I’ll tell you what gives.

When you make a commitment to health and fitness, you begin to feel great about yourself. And you can’t help but want to share it.

Now I didn’t go “full” “workout share mode.”

Now that I go to the gym, I’m supposed to show everyone how hard I work out, right? #lookhowgreatmylifeis

A post shared by Derek Halpern (@derekhalpern) on Apr 26, 2017 at 3:16pm PDT

I just made fun of myself.

But I totally understand why people do it.

Focusing on fitness and health makes you feel great and you want to share it.

Thing #2: You May Never Like Exercising

I’ve been working out consistently since for about 9 months or so now. And let me tell you this: I still don’t like it.

Everyday I have to go to the gym I come up with an excuse as to why I shouldn’t go.

Every. Single. Day.

This is why having someone hold me accountable has been so important for my success (and my health).

I’m not sure why I don’t like it…

…but let me tell you this:

I love sending text messages like this to the lady:

I know. It’s silly. But it makes me laugh. It makes the lady laugh too.

So even though I don’t like the process, I sure as heck love the results. I also love the dumb cheesy jokes I can bring to my relationship.

Thing #3: Cutting Calories Sucks

When people see how much weight I lost, they always say, “Wow! You look great. And how do you feel?”

I’ll tell you how I feel.



Well, not really.

What I learned about food was this: sometimes I would think I was hungry when I was actually feeling something else.

Sometimes I’d be bored… and I’d think I was hungry.

Sometimes I’d be frustrated… and I’d think I was hungry.

Sometimes I’d be tired… and I’d think I was hungry.

It’s weird.

I’ve always had good control over how I felt when it came to business stuff. But when it came to better understanding how I felt about hunger, things were backwards.

And That Brings Me Full Circle…

Hi, I’m Derek Halpern.

I’m an entrepreneur.

I’m a business owner.

And I finally made a commitment to my health and fitness.

Thank you Chris!

And if you’re curious about how you could potentially work with Chris too.

…just fill out this survey right now.

It’s short.


Leave a comment on this blog post.

What has your journey for health and fitness looked like?

Did you fall off the wagon like I did?

Have you been committed for years?

Share it all in the comments.


16 Bloggers Who Make Enough Money to Travel the World in Style

Hands up if you’ve ever seen headlines like these:

“Why I Quit My Job to Travel the World”

“Man Who Quit 9-to-5 Job Makes $1 Million While Traveling the World”

“3 Ways to Quit Your Job and Travel the World Without Going Broke”

My guess is that you have, because I see these headlines around everywhere. I’ve even written a few of them (hint: the last one).

And let me guess …

When you see a headline like that, you’re a bit skeptical. You check Google Analytics and with your meager traffic, you can’t imagine ever being able to quit your day job to go on an epic adventure, let alone make money while doing it.

But I have news for you.

It’s possible.

Not only that, but more bloggers than ever are doing it.

They’re doing it without having to pinch pennies, without having to stay in cheap, bed-bug-ridden hostels, and without going broke.

In this article, we’ll meet 16 bloggers who  are doing this exact thing. We’ll take a look at how their blogs make money, where they’re choosing to spend their time, and even the downsides of building a location-independent lifestyle.

Let’s jump in.

Blogger #1: Paula Pant from Afford Anything

Paula Pant - Afford AnythingIf your bank account balance makes you shudder every time you look at it, you might not agree, but …

You can afford anything. Just not everything.

At least, that’s what Paula Pant thinks.

Paula went from an office job in Colorado, earning $25,000 per year, to a personal finance blogger earning a 6-figure income.

Her blog is focused on financial independence, and has helped her take 14 trips last year alone — 5 international and 7 within the US.

On a typical travel day, Paula spends about half of it working (maintaining hardcore focus), and the other half exploring with her partner, Will.  At the end of the day, she typically clocks almost 8 hours of productive work (and just to be clear, while the average office worker is at work for 8.8 hours per day, they’re only productive for 3), proving that bloggers don’t get a free pass to do nothing even when they’re traveling.

Let’s look at a few awesome-to-sucky ratios from the day:

  • Time Gawking at Gorgeous Mountains: 80 minutes
  • Time Cursing the Crappiness of Powerpoint: Constant

Here’s another one:

  • Time Spent in Hot Springs/Hiking: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Time Spent in Transit: 8 hours, 45 minutes   (includes work overlap)”

So make no mistake, blogging while traveling the world involves work. But those moments in the mountains and hot springs sure are worth it.

How she makes money: Paula allows her readers to book consulting sessions with her for $5/minute, takes on clients, and earns money through affiliate income and podcast sponsorships.
Her special blogging power: Paula’s special power is simple: producing less crap, and more massively useful content, publishing only when she has something amazing to put out.


Blogger #2: Nat Eliason from

Nat EliasonYou may have heard rumors that the “riches are in the niches”, and that may be true … for some bloggers.

But not for Nat Eliason.

Nat runs the popular blog, and his claim to fame is a lack of an overarching theme. He’s proving that you don’t have to be Tim Ferriss to blog about what you’re interested in, as long as you put in the work.

Nat moved to Argentina after a stint of digital nomading across the world: Paris, Austin, New York, Colombia, Florence, and even the Antarctic.

But it’s not all pretty.

There’s what he calls “the void.”

After he took his blog full-time and built his own four-hour work week, he found that he just wasn’t happy.  

“As soon as you get that freedom, you realize that a fundamental part of being human is doing things, and once you have no things you need to do you can get listless and depressed.”

So while freedom is a worthwhile goal, keep in mind that you’ll need to fill that void somehow.

How he makes money: Nat monetized his blog through creating products: books, courses, even an app. He’s taken on consulting clients and works somewhere around 20 hours per week.

His special blogging power: Nat’s special power is his understanding of marketing. Without it, his blog wouldn’t have been successful and neither would his products.


Blogger #3: Michelle Schroeder from Making Sense of Cents

Michelle Schroeder - Making Sense of CentsWe’ve seen one example of a personal finance blogger already, but this personal finance blogger does things just a little differently.

Michelle Schroeder from Making Sense of Cents started her blog in 2011 and since then has grown it to become a massive success. She blogs with her husband and two dogs from the road, putting a whole new meaning to the term “location independent.”

Michelle and her husband travel from place to place in their RV, taking their dogs on adventures and exploring national parks.

That means that they explore in the daylight and work in the evening as much as possible.

Our final day in Yosemite!

A post shared by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner (@michelleschro) on Apr 14, 2017 at 2:14pm PDT

Michelle is in it for the long-term game. She knows blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It took her years to earn the income she does from her blog.

She inspires her readers to persevere and stick with their own goals so they can reach the success she has.

How she makes money: Michelle earns money from her blog through sources like affiliate income, courses, and advertising.

Her special blogging power: Consistency and transparency. She’s been writing on her blog for six years and has maintained massive consistency. Since she’s publishing regularly, she’s developed a massive audience.


Blogger #4: Amber Fillerup from Barefoot Blonde

Amber Fillerup - Barefoot BlondeThink that most bloggers who are able to travel the world have the privilege of little responsibility?

This next blogger might change your mind.

Amber Fillerup Clark is the blogger behind the massively popular lifestyle blog, Barefoot Blonde.

She lives in Hawaii when she’s not traveling to places like Paris, Australia, and Japan, and she runs her blog and social media accounts from wherever she happens to be at the time.

And also takes care of her one- and two-year-old children, Rosie and Atticus.

She started her blog with a very different focus: to document a service trip to Fiji. When she returned to the US, she continued updating her blog from school, having to borrow her dad’s digital camera to take pictures.


A post shared by AMBER FILLERUP CLARK (@amberfillerup) on Apr 2, 2017 at 1:04pm PDT

After getting a couple of brand sponsorships, she decided to take her blog more seriously and focus on it full-time.

Now, her husband works with her on their blog business, managing photography logistics, and they spend much of their days taking photos for Barefoot Blonde’s Instagram and Pinterest accounts.

How she makes money: She turned her blog into a business with her own hair extensions line and also engages in brand sponsorships on social media.

Her special blogging power: Amber’s special power is visual content and social media. She and her husband pour their energy into creating a visually appealing brand to inspire readers through photography.


Blogger #5: James Clear from

James ClearLet me guess.

Building the freedom to travel into your career wasn’t the only reason you wanted to start blogging.

You probably also wanted to start blogging to make an impact. Right?

If you’re nodding along, I have good news: this next blogger proves that both of these outcomes are possible.

James Clear is the blogger behind, a self improvement blog that helps his readers lead better lives through habit change. He’s a weightlifter, photographer, and international traveller.

At the beginning of his blogging career, he published articles every Monday and Thursday, and his consistency paid off. He amassed an email list cult following of over 400,000 people.

He did this while traveling to places like the Bahamas, Iceland, Peru, Scotland, and Vietnam … all in one year.

How he makes money: James sells his products (online courses and books) through his email newsletter. He doesn’t sell anything directly from his blog.

His special blogging power: His special power is simplicity and massive productivity. James doesn’t get distracted by the million things he could be doing. He focuses on what’s working and does more of it.


Blogger #6: Brandon & Dan from Zen Dude Fitness

Brandon & Dan - Zen Dude FitnessLet’s say you wanted to start a blog about fitness.

But you weren’t sure how to monetize it in a way that would still give you that sense of freedom and flexibility you crave. After all, personal training isn’t exactly location-independent.

Enter Zen Dude Fitness.

Zen Dude Fitness is run by Brandon and Dan, two friends who lost 130 lbs. combined after years of struggling to do so.

They’re the type of location-independent bloggers who aren’t always on the move. They packed up their life in the US to move to Colombia, where they create YouTube videos to inspire their audience to get fit.

If you don’t value always being on the go and want to explore one place more deeply while also living a location-independent lifestyle, look to Brandon and Dan for inspiration.

How they make money: They monetize their blog through courses and even physical products (like jump ropes) and enjoy freedom and flexibility to do what they love while enjoying the world.

Their special blogging power: Their special power is executing. Even if they have to push past their limiting beliefs to do so.


Blogger #7: Benny Lewis from Fluent in 3 Months

Benny Lewis - Fluent in 3 MonthsBenny Lewis, blogger at the popular language learning blog Fluent in 3 Months, is a “full time globetrotter”, traveling to exotic places like Brazil, Belgium, Taiwan and China.

He travels cheaply, blogging from the road and holding events in whatever locale he ends up in.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Benny started his blog after six years of full-time travel. His main motivation for starting his blog? A challenge he made for himself: learn Czech in 3 months. He began to blog for accountability, with the intention of growing his readership.

Benny admits to not getting much sleep, waking up early to work and staying out late to enjoy the city he’s in. But, there’s no “normal” for a traveling blogger:

“In Rio I worked most of the day from a penthouse apartment with a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and in India I had a hut with no hot water or kitchen where the power would go out several times a day. There is no typical for a traveling blogger!”

From struggling to find Wifi to traveling to cities with power outages and unreliable transportation, it’s not always a walk in the park, but the pros outweigh the cons.

How he makes money: He initially monetized by writing a “Language Hacking Guide” and offering Skype consultations. He then launched his best-selling book and language learning courses.

His special blogging power: Benny’s special blogging power is mastery. He’s done exactly what he teaches his readers to do on his blog, and his deep knowledge of language learning helps him create compelling and useful content for his readers.


Blogger #8: Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness

Steve Kamb - Nerd FitnessSome people build a business from their blogs and find themselves in the fortunate position  of being able to live a location-independent lifestyle.

Others, like Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness start their blogs with the intention of building a location-independent career in hopes of fulfilling their travel dreams.

After reading Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek, Steve started building his now-popular fitness blog so he could achieve more freedom and flexibility in his career.

By 2011, Steve had built his blog up enough that he was able to take off on a round-the-world trip, visiting 4 continents, 9 countries and 15 cities over the span of 35,000 miles.

I see you Copenhagen.

A post shared by Steve Kamb (@stevekamb) on Dec 28, 2016 at 6:29am PST

The downside?

Steve was traveling alone during that initial trip, and while he enjoyed it, he found it to be lonely. Not only that, but the limited amount of work he did on the road (while following the 4-Hour Workweek model) taught him that he actually enjoys working on his blog … and wanted to do more of it.

How he makes money:  Steve afforded his travels through his blog, monetizing with merchandise, his online fitness course, and ebooks.

His special blogging power: Steve’s special power is uniqueness. Steve saw a need in the blogosphere for something that didn’t exist when he was looking for it: information on getting fit that could be communicated in a way that it could be understood by anybody.


Blogger #9: Anthony Metivier of Magnetic Memory Method

Anthony Metivier - Magnetic Memory MethodIf you’ve ever wondered whether you niched down a bit too much, Anthony Metivier’s blog might put those fears to rest.

Unlike many of the other bloggers I’ve mentioned who run blogs in popular niches, Anthony Metivier took a different path.

Anthony is the blogger behind Magnetic Memory Method, which teaches people how to improve their memories.

Not exactly your run-of-the-mill blog topic, but Anthony has turned his blog into a massive success.

Anthony Metivier - Magnetic Memory Method

Originally from Canada, his blog has helped him move to Germany and then travel to places like Israel, Egypt, Australia, and more.

How he makes money: Anthony uses his blog to sell his books and programs about memory improvement and language learning.

His special blogging power: Anthony’s special power is masterful productivity. He never stops producing; from blog content to books and courses, he doesn’t rest on his laurels.


Blogger #10: Cait Flanders from

Cait FlandersIn 2011, Cait Flanders was deep in credit card debt, and had one goal: to get herself out.

She started her blog to keep herself accountable to paying it off, and since then it’s evolved from a debt blog to a minimalism and slow living blog.

Cait took off on a road trip across Canada and the US in 2016, covering over 17 States and 6,900 miles, and and has been exploring North America since she quit her job in 2015.

As far as what life looks like for Cait while she’s traveling, it’s not all glamorous.

Conflicted between working and exploring the cities she found herself in, she quickly found that nobody talks about the difficulties of the location-independent lifestyle.

“I couldn’t have gone on this road trip at all, if I still had a full-time job. But working for yourself is still a job — and trying to work on the road is even harder than working at home.”

Still, if you’re willing to make some sacrifices and put in the work, you can do it, too.

How she makes money: Her product offerings include physical products like her Mindful Budgeting planner, as well as  a digital budgeting program.  She also does freelance writing to round out her business, using her blog as a portfolio.

Her special blogging power: Cait’s special power is authenticity and genuine connection. She listened to her audience to build products that they really wanted.


Blogger #11: Colin Wright from Exile Lifestyle

Colin Wright - Exile LifestyleIn 2009, Colin Wright sold everything he owned that wouldn’t fit in his suitcase, scaled down his business, and started his blog, Exile Lifestyle.

This was a drastic change from the corporate career and consumerism excess he left behind.

Since then, Colin has traveled full-time, spending a few months in each country before moving onto the next destination.

Railay Beach in Thailand. #railay #beach #krabi #thailand #asia #travel #island #ocean #sky

A post shared by Colin Wright (@colinismyname) on Feb 6, 2017 at 5:57pm PST

He’s visited over 60 countries, and lived in 8, all while running his businesses from the road.

Exile Lifestyle is where he publishes articles about his life and businesses.

How he makes money: Colin earns money from his blog through books, speaking engagements and newsletter sponsors. He also runs the podcast Let’s Know Things, which he monetizes through sponsorships.

His special blogging power: Colin incorporates his personal strengths into his blog for his special blogging power — simplicity. Colin doesn’t complicate blogging; even his blog design is simple, attracting a strong readership.


Blogger #12: Jodi Ettenberg from Legal Nomads

Jodi Ettenberg - Legal NomadsEver want to visit Siberia?

Yeah, me neither, but Jodi Ettenberg from the popular travel and food blog Legal Nomads did — so much so that she quit her six-figure job as a lawyer to do so, turning her blog into her new career so she could travel as much as she wants.

She used to live on the road, living out of a backpack and traveling to locations like Italy, Japan, Vietnam, and Spain while working on her blog. Now she lives in Mexico and travels for just 4-6 months of the year.

Jodi lives and works where she wants, enjoying the flexibility she built into her blog business. That’s not to say there are no challenges with living the lifestyle she does; she just deals with them as they come.

How she makes money: Jodi is all about full disclosure, citing the many ways she earns money through her blog, from hand-drawn food maps to freelance writing, speaking, books, consulting, courses, and even food walks in the cities she visits.

Her special blogging power: Jodi’s special power is storytelling. Jodi’s commitment to storytelling in blogging allows her readers to feel as if they can build a deeper connection with her.


Blogger #13: Matthew Kepnes from Nomadic Matt

Matthew Kepnes - Nomadic MattIn 2006, Matt Kepnes quit his cubicle job and took off on a round-the-world trip.

A round-the-world trip that he’s still on to this day.

Matt is the blogger behind the ultra-popular travel blog, Nomadic Matt, where he blogs about his travels across 80 countries and territories, helping his readers travel more for less money.

His corporate escape plan included starting his blog, finishing his MBA, and booking a one-way ticket to an adventure around the world.

So pretty! #uae #abudhabi #grandmosque

A post shared by Nomadic Matt (@nomadicmatt) on Sep 13, 2016 at 4:45pm PDT

When he’s on the road, he works in the morning and early evening to leave time for him to sightsee during the afternoon and after dinner.

How he makes money: Matt doesn’t monetize his blog like other travel blogs. Instead of doing sponsored trips and posts, he monetizes by adding value through ebooks, courses, and  affiliate marketing. This allows him to maintain the laptop lifestyle without having to return to that cubicle job he so successfully left.

His special blogging power: Matt’s special powers, as you can easily tell from the testimonials on his site, is his ability to inspire. Just like he was inspired by five backpackers he met in Chiang Mai to fulfill his dreams of full-time travel, he pays it forward by inspiring his readers and helping them realize their own travel dreams.


Blogger #14: Josh and Ryan from The Minimalists

Josh & Ryan - The MinimalistsMost of the bloggers in this guide travel because their blog businesses allow them to have built a location-independent career.

Josh and Ryan from The Minimalists travel because their blog business requires them to.

What do I mean?

Well, the two friends who started the popular minimalism blog together in 2011 have monetized their blog by writing a book — one that required them to go on 100-city book tours across the country.

They also tour America to host events (live versions of their podcast, The Minimalist), and plan to take their tours overseas.

Boston! We just confirmed our first tour stop of 2017: “The Minimalists Live” in Boston on April 15th at the historic Wilbur Theatre, where we’ll present an in-depth talk about minimalism and host a live version of our podcast. Presale tickets will be available in two days, starting this Wednesday, January 18th, at noon EST, which means our audience gets first access to the best seats in the house. Simply visit our tour page at and use the code “boston” during the presale window to get your tickets before they go on sale to the general public. (Note: 100% of the profits from this pre-sale go toward building an orphanage. It’s also worth noting that last year’s Boston event sold out fairly quickly, so get your tickets ASAP.) #LessIsNow #LessIsNowTour

A post shared by The Minimalists (@theminimalists) on Jan 16, 2017 at 8:45am PST

Packing everything they need in a carry-on bag, with the 20/20 rule in mind where they “don’t bring anything [they] think [they] might need that can be replaced for $20 in less than 20 minutes,” they hop in their car and take off.

But in 2010, their lives looked different. Instead of having a thriving blog that allowed them to spread a message they were passionate about and travel while doing it, they both worked in traditional careers where they scaled the corporate ladder, accumulating “stuff” as status symbols.

But when Ryan was laid off and Joshua quit, each from a six-figure career, they banded together to build a better life for themselves.

How they make money: They turned their blog into a business through selling books, podcast sponsorships, one-on-one mentoring, and even writing classes.

Their special blogging power: Clearly, their special power is the face-to-face connection that live events provide.


Blogger #15: Chris Guillebeau from The Art of Nonconformity

Chris Guillebeau - The Art of NonconformityYou may have already heard of Chris Guillebeau.

He’s the best-selling author behind The $100 Startup, Born for This and The Happiness of Pursuit.

He’s also the mastermind behind some of the digital world’s best conferences, like the World Domination Summit and The Art of Nonconformity.

He’s travelled to every single country in the world, launched several online businesses, and has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, The Globe and Mail, and on NPR (to name a few).

But before the books, the conferences, and the Internet fame, there was his blog.

Chris started The Art of Nonconformity in 2009 as an experiment: could he become a full-time writer online in under a year?

It turns out he could — it took him 279 days to become an “overnight success.”

How he makes money: Chris spun his blog into many best-selling books, conferences, courses, ebooks, and digital products, not to mention a daily podcast.

His special blogging power: Chris’ special power is his approachability. From responding to reader emails no matter how full his inbox may be, to featuring reader stories on his blog, he makes sure he’s accessible for his readers.


Blogger #16: Sean Ogle from Location Rebel

Sean Ogle - Location RebelEight years ago after going on a trip, Sean Ogle decided he wanted to travel more.

So after a lot of research, he worked up the nerve to ask his boss at his financial analyst job to work remotely. But despite asking nicely, Sean’s boss shot down his request.

So he did what any sane person would do:

Quit his job, sold his car, and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand from which he spent the next seven months traveling Southeast Asia, building his blog, and earning money through freelance SEO as he travelled.

Sean’s story proves that you don’t have to have an already-successful suite of product offerings on your blog to make this lifestyle work.

He started with the lowest-hanging fruit: finding freelance clients and working one-on-one with them while he built his blog business on the side.

Now he teaches his readers how to do the same (from wherever he is in the world) on Location Rebel.

How he makes money: This is made possible by Sean’s online courses, programs, and products, so he can travel the world in style without having to sacrifice on comfort. Sean’s also built up niche sites such as his golf blog, Breaking Eighty, which brings in extra income to fund his lifestyle.

His special blogging power: Sean’s special blogging power is cohesiveness. Sean’s brand is focused, clear, and cohesive, attracting a strong readership that’s never left confused.


Blogger #17: You

Traveling the world while you blog isn’t a privilege specific to these 17 bloggers.

They weren’t born with the successful-blogger gene, and most of them started exactly where you are now: with an idea, a few articles under their belt, and a passion for their topic.

It doesn’t matter if you started your blog last week, last year, or in 2010.

It’s not always glitz and glamor, but if you focus on building an audience, choose the right model to make money from your blog, and maintain massive discipline, you can earn enough money with your blog to become a digital nomad and travel the world in style, too.

Just make sure your passport is up to date!

About the Author: Sarah Peterson writes insanely useful guides on marketing and entrepreneurship at Get her report, 10 Free Tools That Reveal the Product Your Audience Is Begging For to finally start making money from your blog … the right way.


What I’ve Learned From Recording 300 Podcast Episodes

When I started this podcast on January 18th, 2011, I had no idea what 100 episodes would look like.

And now I’m 300 episodes in. It has been an interesting journey.

Listen to This Episode

Inside this episode, I share ten lessons I learned through the process of recording 300 episodes.

Side note: I’m intentionally leaving out a lot of the details from this written post because I think you should listen to the episode to get the most value from this one.

Lesson 1: It’s important to get started.

Just get started with it!

Just get started with it!

When I started this podcast, I didn’t even have a name. I had not figured everything out. But I got started.

My show wasn’t perfect, but it was my show. And just the act of getting started put me in a position to learn so much.

And by doing so, I got better. If you’ve been thinking about starting something, just do it!

Lesson 2: There’s value in helping others.

This one seems very obvious, but it’s so basic that I think a lot of people miss it. When you create content that helps others, you’re doing something valuable.

You can build a business around that.

Lesson 3: You get better over time.

You get better over time.

You get better over time.

We’ve all heard the saying that “Practice makes perfect”.

Well, it’s true. In the episode, I share clips of my first interview for you to hear how BAD it was.

But I kept doing it, and I got better.

Lesson 4: Consistency is key!

Consistency is key.

Consistency is key.

If you’re creating content, it’s important to be consistent. You want people to be able to put you into their schedules.

Whenever I stop posting episodes for a little while, my listens go down.

Lesson 5: Don’t be afraid to reach out to “big” names.

On the day I recorded this episode, I got an email from someone asking this question: “How did you manage to interview famous People?”

My answer was simple – ASK.

You’d be surprised at who would say yes. I remember reaching out to Guy Kawasaki and getting a Yes within an hour.

My mind was blown. So don’t be afraid. Reach out. The worse that can happen is that you hear no, and then you’re exactly where you were before.

Lesson 6: Connect with people in a real way.

Connect with people the real way.

Connect with people the real way.

It always amazes me when I attend an event and someone comes up to me because they recognized my voice from my podcast.

After connecting in person, it becomes audience that there was a connection that happened before that in-person meeting.

That comes with simply being “real” in your podcast. Don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself.

Lesson 7: It’s ok to make mistakes.

Making mistakes is okay.

Making mistakes is okay.

I don’t edit my podcast episodes. Why? Because I don’t feel the need to. Do I make mistakes? Absolutely.

But doesn’t everyone else?

Making mistakes make you appear normal (real). People identify with real people.

Lesson 8: Ignore the haters.

Ignore the haters.

Ignore the haters.

Ok, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that you’re going to have haters.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter.

Ignore them and focus on serving the people who actually care about your stuff.

Lesson 9: If you have a vision for helping people and do it consistently, you WILL have an impact.

You will have an impact if you help people consistently.

You will have an impact if you help people consistently.

Why do you do what you do? What’s your underlying reason?

As bloggers, it’s important for us to acknowledge that “why” and then use it as a driving force to help us move forward.

If we focus on that and continue pushing ahead, you will have an impact.

Lesson 10: Don’t get too caught up in the numbers.

Don't get caught up in the numbers.

Don’t get caught up in the numbers.

My download numbers don’t compare to MANY of my friends. And that’s ok.

Because when I actually meet the people who listen to my podcast, they aren’t just numbers. They are people.

People whose lives are impacted because of the content I create.

If you have 50 or 100 people that listen to you, that’s 50 to 100 PEOPLE.


Starting this podcast was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m 300 in, and looking forward to the first 1,000.


Thanks for listening. Thanks for joining me on this journey. Thanks for taking me on the journey with you.

I would not be here without you, so THANK YOU!


10 Lessons I’ve Learned

10 Lessons I’ve Learned From Recording 300 Podcast Episodes

Ignore the haters.

Ignore the haters.

The post What I’ve Learned From Recording 300 Podcast Episodes appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.


How to Make People Like You In 5 Seconds Or Less… (No Gimmicks. No Tricks. Just 3 Quick Tips).

There’s one thing I do that makes people like me.

I never realized I did it.

I just did it.

I don’t want people to think I do this to be manipulative.


I just noticed that I often did it in social situations and it works like a charm. Especially if you’re meeting someone new.

I’m Derek Halpern, and I’m the founder of Social Triggers. A top destination for entrepreneurs who want to get ahead in business and life.

When I was in college, I wasn’t the best at talking to people.

Who am I kidding?

I was straight up bad at it.

I didn’t have confidence in myself, and I never knew how to interact with people. I’d kind of always be the quiet “wallflower” who observed… but never said anything.

Some people thought I was stand-offish… probably because I was standing off… to the side… Other people just didn’t find me interesting enough to hang out with.

This isn’t some pity party though.

If you fast forward to today, you’ll find that I know how to enter any room, talk to anyone, and most important: ensure everyone is having a great time. Don’t take my word for it though.

Here’s what Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness said when he saw me do it:

“Derek is a friend of mine, and I’ve witnessed him take over a room in New York City within five minutes simply through his actions, mannerisms, and voice; it was hilarious and inspiring.”

Or, as another example… I got this text message from a friend:

Make People Laugh

Or how about this message from a friend just the other day:

How do I do it?

Over the last 15 years, I practiced. A lot.

I’d practice in weird ways, too.

Here are a few examples…

Example #1: How I Introduce Myself To Almost Anyone

I went to the local mall and I had a simple rule for myself: talk to every single person I saw. Even if I just said “hello.” And let me tell you, it felt weird. Especially for me. I was introverted and I didn’t like talking to strangers. But I did it.

At first I started off with a meek hello, and I remember people would look at me weird. Then over time I kind of made it a game. I’d try loud hellos. I’d try low hellos. I’d try smiling then saying hello. I’d try saying “what’s up.” I literally tried everything.

Eventually I figured out that the best way to say “Hello” to someone you don’t know, for me, was a combination of, “Hey? What’s up…”

I purposely would intonate the Hey so it sounded like a question, and lead with “What’s up.” People would always get a little confused – as opposed to defensive – and say, “Wait. Do I know you?” Or they’d just say “Hello” back.

At that point, I’d always say, “No, you don’t know me.”

Then I would comment on something that was nearby like:

“I saw you looking at…”

Or I would make a comment about myself, like:

“I’m new here, and I’m looking to meet people…”

Over time I got real good at this. Now I can walk up to anyone and talk to them as if we’ve been friends forever.

Example #2: How I Conquered Social Awkwardness (The trick? NUMB THE PAIN!)

As I began practicing things like Hello, the first thing I noticed was this: the more I did it, the less awkward it got. Setting a rule like “say hello” to everyone acted like a numbing agent. The more I did it, the less weird it felt.

So I thought, “I NEED MORE RULES!”


I needed to keep talking to new people, and I needed to take every chance I got to do it.

So, the next thing I did was this…

I decided to talk to EVERYONE who was essentially paid to talk to me.

I’ll explain.

When you buy a coffee at the coffee shop, the people who work there are paid to talk to you. They aren’t your therapist, of course. But you do have an opportunity to talk to them.

Let me give you an example. Most interactions between customer and coffee shop barista go something like this:

Customer: “Hey, I’d like a large coffee.”
Worker: “Anything else?”
Customer: “No. Thank you.”

And they probably get this one million times a day.


So, I’d just change it up.

Me: “Hey! I’ll have a large coffee. And I like your shirt.”
Worker: “Oh thanks! Anything else?”
Me: “No, that’s it.”


Place your order, and add a quick compliment into the mix. It’s easy. And if you do it enough, you’ll start to feel more comfortable saying even crazier things.

Here’s an example:

Me: “Hey, I’ll have a large coffee.”
Worker: “Oh, thanks, anything else?”
Me: “Wait a second. ITS DISCOUNT TUESDAYS?”

And I’d say it real loud as if i was joking.

They’d laugh. I’d pay, and then tip.

Or another example…

Me: “Hey, I’ll have a large coffee.”
Worker: “Thanks. That will be $5.50.”
Me: “FIVE FIFTY? FOR COFFEE? THIS IS NYC! I thought it would be at least 6.50.”

Now as you might imagine…

Sometimes something I’d say would land perfectly. And I’d put it in the mental bank to do it again. Sometimes it would fall flat and I’d either change up the way I delivered the comment… or never use it again.

It was like a “natural” experiment. But the most important thing? The more I did it, the more I got used to doing it.

And the more I got used to doing it, better at it I became.

Example #3: You Can Literally Say ANYTHING (if delivered right)

While working at becoming better at talking to people, I began to notice that you could literally say anything to anyone… if delivered right.

And I mean anything.

Remember the text message I showed you earlier?

This one:

Make People Laugh

One of the things I told him to do was this: you can literally say anything to anyone… as long as you’re not mean spirited or offensive… and you can start a conversation.

Here’s a real life example…

I had just walked into a restaurant, and the only seating available was at the bar. And it’s first come, first served.

The problem?

There are no seats.

So I spot two women sitting next to one another. They’re both enjoying a drink. I walk up to them both, and say this:

Me: “Hey, Can I please have your seat because I’ve been standing up for about 17 seconds right now… and I don’t want to stand anymore.”

Her: “Sure…”

And she gets up.

I sit in the seat, and lean over to the other friend.

Me: “Wow. Some friend. SHE JUST DITCHED YOU!”

Everyone laughed.

I tried to give her her seat back, but she wouldn’t take it. And we all ended up joking and having a good time. All because I went up to someone and asked them to give me their seat as the first comment.

Why did this work so well?

Some people may think it’s because I said “because.” Robert Cialdini wrote about the power of because in his book Influence. And sure, that’s part of it.

But I actually employed a specific technique that I learned through years of practice.

I call it Sincere Compliment Then Ridiculous Insult Technique

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say you walk into a busy coffee shop. It’s slammed. You noticed someone working behind the counter, and you want to leave a positive impression.

Me: “Whoa! Place is slammed, and you’re doing well. But uh can you please grow a third hand and hurry up?”

Now of course you can’t continue on a conversation like this. They’re WORKING. But these “little” interactions can help you set a solid foundation with someone to start a future conversation.

Maybe you’ll bump into them on their way out of work. Or into work. But this sort of exchange is often memorable. So the next time you two talk it will be easier to start the conversation.

Let me share a different example.

Let’s say you’re sitting at a bar. You see someone next to you and you want to strike up a conversation. You notice they’re wearing a statement piece, maybe like an oversized watch. And you notice it on their left hand.

At this point, if you’re also wearing a watch, I’d move the watch to your right hand. And this is what I’d say…

Me: “Hey. Love your watch. But is there something wrong with you?”

Her: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, look at mine. It’s on my right hand. I always thought people who wear watches on their left hand are weird.”

Now I know these may seem cheesy.

And they are.

But go back to the seat example…

What did I do? I was brazen enough to ask for her seat. And then I immediately levied a ridiculous insult… “She just ditched you!”

Opening a conversation with a stranger is tough.

Everyone has their guard up. And that’s why this technique works so well. It almost guarantees a little laugh. And even if it’s only a small laugh, the genuine laugh makes people like you enough to at least continue talking with you.

And that’s the key.

You aren’t going to win hearts and minds for life with this technique. But you can open a conversation with a stranger and make them like you enough to at least keep talking to you for a little bit. And let me tell you, that’s HALF THE BATTLE.

How does this change in a more traditional business networking event?

It doesn’t change one bit.

Here’s an example:

Him: “I’ve been working on my new product for the last 3 months, so I had to stop going to conferences.”

Me: “Wow. Nice job on the product, but you mean to tell me that you can’t just clone yourself and work on your product AND go to conferences?”

It’s simple.

It guarantees a small laugh.

And it’s a simple way to make someone like you in 5 seconds or less.

But I must reiterate…

This isn’t how win people over for life. This is just a simple conversational technique that can help you stand out.

Now how do you come up with a “Ridiculous Insult?”

Well, that’s the tough part, but it has to be something that’s light-hearted and won’t offend anyone.

Look at the coffee shop example. They’re busy. Telling them to hurry up is rude and obnoxious. Telling them to grow a third hand – RIDICULOUS – and hurry up is just silly.

Or, let’s look at another example.

Me: “Hey, I like your hair. I used to have hair like that. But random people kept pulling it. Do you have that problem?”

Her: “No…”

Me: “Oh, my hair must have looked nicer.”


A sincere compliment. A ridiculous insult.

Or another example.

Me: “Damn dude. You’re getting strong.”

Him: “Thanks man.”

Me: “Now only if I liked you as a person…”

A sincere compliment. A ridiculous insult.

The key here really is this…

You say something that would USUALLY be insulting, but you make it so ridiculous that it’s not. It’s just funny.


When you want to make a friend.. land a date… meet some new… you need to make people like you enough to continue talking to you.

Then, what you say next is up to you.

This technique is enough to get people to like you in 5 seconds… but it won’t be enough to make them like you for 15 minutes.

So, let’s recap…

The truth about making people like you is this:

It’s not a skill you’re born with. It’s something you learn over time. Even the people who are best at dealing with people don’t come out of the womb being good at it. They just likely practiced more as a child than you did.

And with practice, you CAN get better at it.

I’ve wanted to talk about this sort of stuff for YEARS.

But I have resisted.

I partly thought I wouldn’t be good at teaching it online. I thought I had to do it in person. But then I started testing some of my “teaching” here and there…

…and people have been getting some great results.

One friend would regularly harass me too. He’d send me messages like this:

And he’d ask for a course on social skills, like clockwork, every few weeks.

However, that’s about to change.

As you can see.


For now, here’s what I want you to do…

Take one of these examples from this article today… AND TRY IT OUT!

Then let me know what happens.

Or, more specifically…

Just say “Hello” to 5 people today and let me know how it goes. Even if it’s something who’s paid to talk to you. Do me a favor though…

When you do it, leave a comment, I’d love to hear two things: “How I thought it would feel.” And “How it actually felt.”


If you’d like to learn more about how to become better at dealing with people, I’d really appreciate if you can fill out this quick survey.

Here’s The Survey Link

It’s going to be a fun one ;-).