24 Apr The Experimenter’s Dilemma & The Most Powerful (& misused) Online Tool for Developing & Monetizing A Passion
“Life is nothing more than a series of experiments. Test and share you ideas. Give them a chance to have an impact, and an impact you’ll have.”
Important Note & Warning: This is a special post — a manifesto and guide on experimentation & learning. It’s in-depth and it’s important. The whole thing will take you about 15 minutes to read and another 15 minutes to implement. I believe it will dramatically transform your career potential. That’s exactly what it did for me.
If you must, you can scan over the first part. But the next 9 steps are vital. I spent a lot of time making this as directly useful as possible. Please do something with it.
I meant to write it a year ago. It’s about time …
Stacking the Deck in Your Favor & The Power of Feedback Loops
Just under seven years ago, I discovered a tool that completely transformed my career and ability to impact the world. It became the vehicle that allowed me to have the impact, lifestyle and experiences that I only used to encounter in the occasional book, movie or dream.
And it took me four years to realize I’d found it.
Without it, Live Your Legend wouldn’t have a chance at existing.
As it turns out, doing work you love is simple.
Now before you spit and scream “Blasphemy!” all over your screen, realize that I said “simple” — I did not say “easy.” There is a very big difference. Please don’t confuse the two. Most of the important things in life are simple. They are not easy.
The simple process goes something like this:
- Know yourself. Wake up to your talents, your strengths, the things you love and hate.
- Use it to help others in a meaningful way.
- Offer a fair price in exchange for your help (or work with a person or company already having the impact you want to have).
I see life as a never-ending experiment: Test, learn, help, refine, repeat.
The more we can understand who we are, what excites us and how we can use that knowledge to offer our talents to the world, the faster we can see how people respond to what we have to offer.
Without this feedback loop, it’s nearly impossible to build a career around our passions, interests, talents and strengths.
And I have good news — there exists a tool today that is likely more powerful at creating this testing environment than anything in history.
And it happens to be free — or less than the cost of a few cups of coffee, depending on which option you choose.
Ready for the best passion discovery & monetization tool on the web?
Here it goes … a blog.
I know, of course I’m biased, but hear me out.
If you already have a blog, good work, but you are still going to want to hear this material (especially if you’re not giving your blog much attention) and certainly have a look at this post: The 4 Pillars to Starting a Blog that Actually Matters (& grow it by 160x in 2 years)
Important: I am NOT talking about building a business around a blog. That may or may not be your thing, and that takes a whole business model and strategy and a ridiculous amount of work (just like building any other business). Let’s save that for another discussion.
No, I’m talking about a blog as the easiest and most powerful tool for exploring what excites you and learning how you can uniquely help people.
Whether you decide to make your blog into a business or leverage it to get hired, find clients or simply connect with other passionate people is up to you. It will help you do all of that — and plenty more.
While we’re at it, let’s get something else clear. In its simplest form, a blog is nothing more than a website that can be easily updated and doesn’t require code to set up or manage. That’s the only reason why I started my old site, Reading For Your Success, back in 2006. I read a very useful (yet poorly named) book, Internet Riches, that claimed even my technically-challenged self could start publishing things online.
That was enough to get me started. Without that experiment, that directionless start years ago, the LYL movement would not exist.
Personal Branding 101: When someone googles your name, what do they find?
What’s the first thing you do when you want to learn about someone new — be it a potential date, employee, boss, whoever?
You go to Google.
Are you proud of what comes up? More importantly, are you doing your best to control what comes up?
Will people see some random Facebook pictures of your new cat or you crushing beers back in college, or will they see the image and brand that you want your name to represent? Will they get to learn about your talents and how you want to impact and help the world?
It’s time to be intentional about what you’re letting the world see.
If you’re at all serious about Living Your Legend (and you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t), you must have a way to express yourself, explore your ideas, bounce them off others and hold yourself accountable to continued learning and discovery.
And a blog just so happens to be the easiest, fastest, cheapest, most powerful and scalable way of doing this. I’m sure it will be something else in ten years from now, and I look forward to learning about it, but for now this is the all-powerful tool.
Blogs are nothing more than tools — a medium for self-expression. And they are much more powerful than most realize.
They’re a simple way to explore and share the thoughts and beliefs you’re excited about and for people to immediately see and provide feedback. They also happen to be a really fun way to learn the ins and outs of the web — an essential skill if you want to leverage what’s possible when it comes to passion and work.
Don’t worry about whether you’ll make money from it or who will read it. That’s not the point, unless you want it to be. The point is to constantly fuel something that interests you.
Case Study: From Cooking Dinner to Being The Chef
For years, my wife Chelsea has loved to cook vegetarian meals.
A year or so ago, she decided to start a simple recipe blog called Food-Life Balance, and the most fascinating thing started to happen. Her cooking changed from something she simply did, to something she eagerly shared and talked to others about. She also started cooking about five times more new delicious recipes than she used to. As her taste-tester, I had no complaints …
She suddenly had an audience for something she cared about.
Her standards began to change and suddenly she started to become The Expert.
She pursued new recipes and classes (such as the one we took in Chiang Mai last month). People started to thank her and cook her recipes at their own home. This upped her game even more. When she publishes something, it literally effects what people will be putting into their mouths that day or that week. How cool is that?!
Last Friday, “we” even cooked Thai food for seven of us in our miniature kitchen (it ended up being a feast fit for 14, including green curry, sweet potato curry, Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, veggie spring rolls and tofu satay). A few blog posts suddenly became a feast with friends.
And whether she realizes it or not, her blog also happens to be reinforcing and complimenting her personal brand and expertise as a fitness teacher/manager and health fanatic. Maybe she’ll do something more with it in the future. Maybe this will lead to private cooking classes or a cookbook. Then again, maybe she’ll just let it continue to develop on its own. Either way is fine – people are happy, and Chelsea is a much more talented cook as a result (and she was damn good to start!).
But none of this would have come if she hadn’t taken her interest to the next level. Be sure to try a few of her dishes!
Chelsea’s recipe lab didn’t have to be a blog. That just happens to be one of the easiest ways of doing it these days.
Everyone needs a way of developing their ideas and exploring what their “thing” might be.
That almost always starts with throwing random thoughts and ideas on the wall.
The problem is that most people never get any of it out of their head, so it never has a chance to flourish and develop into something meaningful.
Interesting opportunities start to show up when the world knows your passions and talents.
It opens people up to your world and proves you care about something (even if it changes over time, as it surely will).
This creates connections, and connections lead to serendipity — a force more powerful than most.
Then one day you’ll get an email or a friend will pull you aside and say, “Thank you. What you wrote last week finally helped me confront my toxic relationship (or put me over the edge to lose that 25 pounds, or kept me from taking my own life).” All of these are notes I’ve received from readers.
And one day you’ll get the same — if you decide to build that environment. When you do, you will be changed — forever.
You’ll realize that you are relevant.
Even if to just one person, knowing their life is better because you decided to share your talents with the world is the most powerful motivator and creator of possibility on the planet.
So today I’d like you to make the decision to have that impact — first for yourself, then for those around you.
Here’s how …
*Note: The instructions below are intentionally very, very simple to get you up and running with a totally basic WordPress blog so you can start publishing ideas ASAP.
There are about a million other decisions you could (and eventually probably will) make regarding your blog or site. Please do not worry about that today. All that matters is getting something published. Don’t worry about how it looks. Today is about creating your sandbox and starting to play a little. Landscaping (and other excuses for deferring getting a little dirty) can be addressed later.
And for the more advanced folks (who already have a blog), this is your next step: The 4 Pillars to Starting a Blog that Actually Matters (& grow it by 160x in 2 years). But if you don’t have a blog yet, just follow the below. It will be much quicker and simpler.
How to Start a Blog in Less than 20 Minutes:
1. Sign up for the most basic website hosting account at Blue Host.
I fully endorse Blue Host, am a proud affiliate partner of theirs, and it’s where all our domains live. I’ve tried a lot of hosts in the past and this is by far the best discount option available based on personal experience and the people I respect online (They’ve also been a top recommended web host by WordPress since 2005). All you need it is the most basic option, which comes with a free domain (website address) of your choosing. The only add-on you might want is Domain WHOIS Privacy ($9.95/yr), which keeps your personal information for being made public on your site.
You do not need any of the other add-ons or up-sells, such as Site Lock or Site Backup. All of that can be sorted out later. We want to keep this as simple as possible!
One reason we love Blue Host is because their customer support is awesome. If you’re unsure of what to do, just start up a chat session with their support team and they’ll get your issues sorted out.
Here’s the link to set up your site on Blue Host.
A few clarifying points:
- This Blue Host setup will run you about the cost of one or two lattes a month. It’s a very small price for finally getting traction on what makes you come alive. But there are also some totally free options through sites like Blogger or Tumblr, although to be honest, I really don’t recommend those since you have much less control and won’t actually own the website. So if you go that route and decide to take your blog and site more seriously in the future, they can be a total pain in the ass to switch to something like the Blue Host option in the future. You will also have a ton more resources and options available through the slightly less than free option we suggest.
- Also since we’re an affiliate of Blue Host (as well as the other tools mentioned in the post), we will get a small commission if you decide to use them, and as you should know by now, we only recommend things that genuinely help you. I don’t care where you set up your blog as long as you get something live.
- Due to the increased traffic and complexity of Live Your Legend, we host it on a more robust platform via WP Engine (which I LOVE), but at $99+ per month, that is definitely not the option you need to start out.
2. Pick your blog name (called a URL or Domain Name).
This is part of the sign-up process through Blue Host in step #1. When you sign up for basic hosting, you get a website name for free.
Keep it simple. Don’t hold off just because you can’t come up with the wittiest web 7.0 name. Using your first and last name (or a similar rendition) is fine and might even be better since this will be a general blog covering your interests, given that you might not know the specific niche you want to focus on. Using your name can also allow the site to serve as a simple online resume if nothing else, and it helps with your name’s Google rankings.
3. Set up WordPress on your new site (or better yet, have Blue Host do it for you).
Once you’ve purchased your hosting/domain, you are ready to install WordPress, which will allow you to edit and update your site without needing to do anything technical. Most every blog on the planet from LYL to ZenHabits to 4-Hour Work Week are all run on WordPress.
Installing/setting up the very basic version of WordPress on a new Blue Host account is a pretty straightforward process. But I’m always a fan of having customer support do it for me. They should be happy to set it up. Just tell them something like, “Hey, I’m super excited to get started with my blog and a big reason I chose Blue Host is because I’m not technical and I heard you guys could get WordPress installed for me super fast. Could you please install WordPress on my new site so I can get started publishing content? Thanks so much!”
If you stall out on any of these steps you can always search Google or YouTube for a video tutorial on setting this stuff up, but again, that’s what customer support is there for. They love helping new clients.
4. Play around/get familiar with WordPress & pick your theme (not mandatory).
A theme is kind of like a template. It’s an out-of-the-box design for your blog to make it look sharp without needing a designer. There are literally thousands upon thousands to choose from. Again, don’t stall out on this one. Pick one fast, or better yet, just keep the standard theme for now. The good news is you can trade out themes at the click of a button later on.
5. Publish something.
The goal is to start getting your ideas out to the world as soon as possible. Keep it short to start so you actually do it. Maybe even just a few paragraphs for the first post — perhaps covering your reasons for starting the blog. Or just throw up something fun. Your call. This is your world. Anything goes. If you’re scared to put yourself out there (as I certainly was), remember not that many people are reading it, at least yet!
6. Write consistently.
Do it daily or weekly. Ideally first thing in the morning. Start with one sentence. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but any time you get an idea that excites you or notice something on your mind, open up your computer and get it out there. Treat this as your online journal of sorts. Write about what fires you up or catches your interest. Developing your writing is a priceless skill, and the refinement of ideas that will result is magical.
If a passion or idea doesn’t have room to breathe, it will die.
7. Tell a few people.
Send out an email to those close to you, or maybe announce it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, wherever. Explain your plan to keep your ideas online and welcome your buddies to keep up and follow your progress. Maybe even ask them to check in here and there to keep you accountable. Nothing beats the expectations of others when it comes to taking action.
8. Set up a way for people to sign up to get your posts via email (also optional, but very useful).
You want to make it easy for people to pay attention to what you’re doing. Collecting their email is the best and most focused way to do this. There are different free options available, but given the importance of creating a community, I’d recommend a more robust and user-friendly option. For this I love AWeber email management. They do an amazing job of making it easy to get started without having to be technical or knowing how to code.
You can try their service out for a dollar a month. And they have a really cool visual editor for intuitively creating nice- looking email forms to put on your blog. Go here to get set up on AWeber.
9. See what happens.
My favorite part!
None of this would be here without a blog.
Seven years ago, I built my first blog without even knowing it. It started as an experiment to see if a guy who didn’t know a thing about technology could start a website.
The site was hideous, but I was damn proud of it — I loved it. The focus of Reading for Your Success initially was writing book summaries and recommendations on all the personal development books I was reading. I had no intention of turning it into a business, let alone its own movement. I didn’t even know that was a possibility.
Most importantly, it was an outlet for me to explore my ideas and what actually mattered to me. At first my writing absolutely sucked (the posts are still in this site’s archives if you really wanted to see them, but I’d rather you didn’t.) 😉
Over time, I learned what topics made my heart race and what seemed to connect with others. Knowing people were watching (even if only my parents and girlfriend at first) motivated me to continue to learn and grow.
An audience naturally makes us want to get better.
Before long, more and more people were asking for help on different fun things, especially related to quitting a keyboard-pounding job and doing work that mattered. One thing led to the next (i.e. I worked my ass off), the community grew along with my passion, and then Reading For Your Success eventually became Live Your Legend. Those three initial members of the community turned into tens of thousands.
The site and topics started to become my personal brand. A brand I was proud of. One I believed in.
That brand turned into a career.
People had a reason to come to me, and a specific way they wanted help. And I absolutely loved helping them.
The confidence and conviction that came with it were priceless.
But building a business and movement is not why I started. If it was, I would have given up long ago.
I started because I was pursuing something that I thought might interest me. That continued for four years of exploring and refining, without any publicly visible progress. I kept at it because I’d found an outlet for focusing and honing the impact I wanted to have. And it was published in a place the whole world could see, if they decided to look.
Momentum is a powerful thing.
Once a snowball starts rolling, it become difficult to stop.
Give your ideas a place to grow and transform, and you might be surprised where it takes you.
Actually, I know you will — and that’s the most exciting part of all!
It’s about time you get those ideas out of your head and share them with the world.
Serendipity is waiting,
Now it’s time to take some action. I want to see how many blogs we can start or revive in the next week!
- Start your blog. Visit Blue Host, click the orange button and take 15 minutes and do it right now.
- Write your first post. Anything goes, no matter how short or simple.
- Tell a few people and follow the above. Start by posting a link to your site in the comments below. We want to see your work!
Need more advanced help in starting a blog that matters? Try this (+ here’s a free copy of Live Off Your Passion ‘Lite’)…
I know a lot of you are serious about building a business and community around a blog, and I can’t blame you, assuming you’re willing to do the work. For you, these instructions are probably too basic. For the advanced stuff, I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I might know someone who does.
Corbett Barr’s course, How to Start a Blog that Matters, is definitely worth checking out. It’s the exact process I used grow LYL by 160 times in two years and turn it into a multiple-six figure business (LYL is one of the main case studies). I’m confident this will be the only course you’ll need.
Corbett is a good friend, mentor and genius when it comes to this stuff and I fully trust and support his work — LYL wouldn’t exist without it.
And to make it even more useful, when you purchase Corbett’s course through my affiliate link (which I do earn a commission from – this bonus is me saying thanks!) I’ll give you a copy of the the ‘Lite’ version of my Live Off Your Passion eCourse, which includes a nearly 100-page written guide and associated workbooks full of exercises, activities and experiments for identifying your passion and building a career around it (The full LOYP course is $197). The two go hand in hand.
In order to get your free copy of Live Off Your Passion you must:
- Purchase the course through my affiliate link.
- Forward a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name and best email address so I can send you the course download link.
Click Here to Purchase How to Start a Blog that Matters by Corbett Barr.
And for some advanced reading and more about how Corbett’s strategies helped turn Live Your Legend into what it is, don’t forget to check out one of my favorite LYL articles of the past year: The 4 Pillars to Starting a Blog that Actually Matters (& grow it by 160x in 2 years).
Remember, action is all that really matters to me. I don’t care what tools you use or courses you learn from, as long as you are making progress in doing what matters. I will only ever recommend the things I know work, but you always have the option to do this stuff totally on your own.
It’s your world.
I’m here to help any way I can!
Aaron CorderPosted at 10:31h, 24 April
Its funny that you post this now and not last year. I just started a blog last week for these very reasons. First, to help myself grow and learn in every aspect of life. To helpme focus my ideas and thoughts, and a place iI can’t forget these thoughts. Right now I use.blogger/blogspot as it was the first to come up and I just wanted to get started. As I become more cemented in the blogging world I will be exploring other options. I’m glad to see I have all the right intentions. It means more coming from someone who is accomplished at blogging. Instead of just my own thoughts and morale boosters. Thanks for sharing your insight and making me feel like I’m on the right track.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 19:32h, 24 April
You are on the right track in a big way Aaron. Love that you’re one step ahead of my posting plans over here ;). Can’t wait to see what it turns into!
Deacon BradleyPosted at 19:59h, 29 April
Aaron’s comment reminds of a lesson the late-great Jim Rohn teaches. to paraphrase: “Your first goal should be to become a millionaire. Not because of the money, but because of what you’ll become. Think about what you must become to be worth a million dollars!”
Luke SwainPosted at 14:31h, 02 September
I’m just trying to hold all the goodness in! 😀
This is a great daily activity, that will help clarify, create, and contribute awesomeness!
Greg WelschPosted at 19:19h, 24 April
Hey Scott, you inspired me to create http://www.ThinkLaughandCry.com earlier this year. Built the site with BlueHost and WordPress as recommended by you. Has been very fulfilling creating the content for the site each day. Thank you for your leadership and inspiration. Keep up the great work!
Scott DinsmorePosted at 19:31h, 24 April
Music to my ears!! Nicely done Greg. Congrats on being live!
Greg WelschPosted at 19:42h, 24 April
Thank you Scott. You are the #1 reason my blog exists. You inspired me and I really appreciate the motivation.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:35h, 27 April
So cool to hear that!
Seon VenvillePosted at 20:05h, 24 April
Was great to read this post Scott – perfect timing! I started my blog (ookshoo.wordpress.com) just a couple weeks ago now, you being my main inspiration to just give it a go! I did your LOYP course at the end of last year, and it’s taken me til now to get something out there…so pleased now though – and am loving it more than I could’ve anticipated, just as a means of self-expression (exactly what you mention above!). I actually linked you (your website) in one of my posts, as I was describing how you use the term ‘experiement’ in approach to life – which I thought was so awesome from the first time I heard it from you. Thanks for all that you do! You give me faith/strength/hope to never settle, and keep ‘experimenting’ … until I connect with the work that I can’t not do 😉
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:35h, 27 April
Wow Seon. Thanks for your note. So fun to hear it’s resonating. Yeah, for me the experimenter’s mentality has made all the difference. And it makes it so much more fun! Plus, there is no way to fail at experimenting ;). It’s all learning…
Paige - Simple MindfulnessPosted at 21:44h, 24 April
Scott – Your journey sounds very similar to mine: Started with BlueHost/WP when I didn’t know the first thing about web anything. Once I figured out the basics, I wrote a series of posts to help readers to the same.
My site and early writing totally sucked too. I never considered myself a writer until recently. I wanted to go in so many different directions until I actually sat down to write. It wasn’t until that point that it seemed obvious the direction I would go. I found that there are many things I’m personally passionate about but only a very few that seem to magically move my fingers across the keyboard to effortlessly write about.
I find that I often write about the exact messages that I need to hear at the moment. I often find that the space I create for writing is what my psyche needs to get quiet and listen to the lessons that seem to come from within. My writing is constantly evolving.
Yes, those emails and comments from readers definitely keep me moving forward – constantly experimenting and growing. I’ve found that my blog is one of the few things I’ve stuck with over the years – even in the early days when no one was reading.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:33h, 27 April
Love hearing your story Paige – especially because I’ve seen your work and focus evolve over time and it’s been awesome to notice the traction you’ve been getting. Very well-deserved! Oh and I do the same thing – I also tend to write about the topics I most need help on personally – most of the time this blog ends up being as much my own therapy as anything else ;).
Blake BjornsonPosted at 22:48h, 24 April
Scott another inspiration post. Today I chose action over thinking. I started my blog, I too had ideas to start one just to mess around and get a feel for it. Thank you for that ever need push in the right direction. http://blakebjornson.com/wordpress/
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:30h, 27 April
Well thank YOU for doing something with that push – Awesome work on getting started Blake!
ZadiPosted at 07:30h, 25 April
Scott, as always your writing is inspirational. I started my first blog about a year and a half ago, but never really followed through on posting much. After reviving the project under a new name last summer, I’ve been keeping at it and the results are encouraging. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still at the parents-and-husband-readership stage, but that’s okay. My writing is improving, and that’s what’s important. I also got a friend into blogging, so we comment on each other’s pieces and notice when we get into posting slumps. That’s been a huge help with keeping on keeping on.
I find that momentum is really helpful; if I don’t post for a few weeks, it can be hard to get going again. But if I’m on a roll and keep posting regularly, it gets easier and easier to come up with content. It’s still a bit random, and I don’t really know where I’m going, but hey! Like you say, there’s nothing wrong with throwing ideas at a wall. It’s kind of an important step, actually.
I did start with blogger, as you advise against. Perhaps I could have thought that through a bit better, but I do agree that the critical part is simply starting, so I’m proud to have done that!
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:30h, 27 April
By far the most important step is starting Zadi- great work on that! And Im glad you’ve found the power of accountability and building momentum. Routine writing can be so powerful to get yourself in the zone. And having someone to keep you on your toes makes all the difference. Sounds like you’re starting to figure some things out ;). And that picture of carrot kinpira looks soo good. One thing you could do is maybe think about having a bit more descriptive and engaging tagline. Just an idea. Nicely done!
Ciaran GuilfoylePosted at 10:37h, 25 April
You can find mine at: kant4runners.blogspot.co.uk/
It’s my attempt to develop moral philosophy while being true to a comment made by Dr George Sheehan: Trust no thought arrived at sitting down. I’ve been at it since February, pretty much since I first starting reading your blog in earnest.
Thanks (I mean it)
Ciaran, Derby, UK.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:26h, 27 April
Love see you taking action like this Ciaran. And so glad you’re a part of the Revolution here. That quote is perfect. All the action and magic comes from getting out there and doing something!
Natalie SissonPosted at 11:10h, 25 April
Blogging has totally and utterly changed my life. In fact it’s the very reason for my existence as the Suitcase Entrepreneur and my business and lifestyle. You learn so much about yourself in the process, and then as you say Scott, you get to make an impact and touch others lives too – and that’s when things really start to kick in. So glad you started yours back in 2006 my friend!
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:25h, 27 April
You’ve had an unbelievable impact Natalie. I’ve learned more from you than you could realize – thanks for that ;). Here’s to us both continuing to roll the snowball and bring together the people and community that want to make a difference!
Today is the day | A.F. LiuPosted at 12:34h, 25 April
[…] morning I woke up and started the morning reading a post from Live Your Legend on the power of a blog and I made a […]
A.F. LiuPosted at 12:53h, 25 April
Thank you for this inspiration and providing some hope that it is possible to change and do something that inspires you, not just live the daily grind.
To everyone, come check out my blog that is the start to chronicle my journey through this totally crazy process to go from unhappy management to inspired writer…
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:23h, 27 April
That’s what we’re here for AF! Love your couch to 5k post – amazing the confidence that comes from pushing your limits a bit. Fun blog topic in general too!
Ryan J RiehlPosted at 17:15h, 25 April
Awesome timing! Not even one week ago I emailed my brother and told him I had an idea and wanted to create a blog exactly like this. Thanks for blazing the trail, Scott. I’ll be using this post as a guide.
When I get something off the ground, I’ll be sure to comment again.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:21h, 27 April
Love the timing Ryan. Come back and tell us the details – We’re here to help however we can!
David BPosted at 17:37h, 25 April
I’d agree fully. I started a blog, then a second in 2007. I started them as an experiment to see how people responded to what. This wasn’t quite what I expected. And how much I liked it. And that was better than expected. A little like you’re wifes example. The second blog has made me an “expert” in the arena and I get regular consultations, etc.
The only difference- I started both on wordpress.com as free blogs. No monitization or donate buttons but no cost either. A free experiment. And I did it on WP and not Blogger because it can be migrated to a hosted blog (like at Bluehost) later.
I set a traffic target which is now being reached (with 0 promotion other than commenting on other related blogs) so I recently registered a domain and am preparing to migrate.
The only challenge – how to migrate all the bookmarks and such that point to the old blog. With hundreds of articles, it’s not practical to replace them with links… Getting the domain sooner would have helped.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:20h, 27 April
Love the free experiment path you followed David. That’s exactly why I felt so strongly about writing this post and why I dove so deeply into the ‘Why’ of it. The reason I suggested to just pay the small fee upfront is to avoid just what you’re talking about experiencing right now. Definitely something you can have a technical person do for you without it being a huge pain, but since Im not technical, I like avoid that to start. Sounds like your experiment has been a huge success so far. Well done!
Lara Newell-BarrettePosted at 06:14h, 26 April
Scott! Your generosity is incredible! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Since I discovered LYL, the Connect with Anyone Course (including my amazing mastermind team), and Live Off Your Passion – I have gotten so much clearer on where I am headed and been given the tools, support and inspiration to get me there! I recently began working with a guy who is helping me get my blog/website off the ground. Stay tuned for details 🙂 Thank you for all you do!
Lara (Team Zonkos)
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:17h, 27 April
Yeahh Lara! You have been on fire and it’s been so fun to see it progress both through Connect with Anyone and your updates. And I know this is just the beginning. You should be damn proud! I know I am ;).
Deacon BradleyPosted at 06:29h, 26 April
I couldn’t agree more Scott. I’ve run several blogs over the last five years. In the early days I put way too much pressure on getting it all just right (the idea, the audience, my point of view) BEFORE I launched anything. It was hard work, and I was always off the mark anyway.
My latest project started out of pure interest and from the core of who I am, without a business plan, without an idea for the next step. I just started it because I couldn’t NOT start it (if that makes sense).
It’s been my best project ever and similar to your own journey has reinvented itself along the way. Great advice here.
Get started people! 🙂
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:16h, 27 April
Love the reinforcement Deacon. I totally feel you on not being able to keep yourself from doing it. That’s so much of the point of what we do at LYL. Find the work you can’t NOT do!
José Antonio Soriano CamarilloPosted at 23:00h, 26 April
Well, I just created the first blog that I really intent to keep going. Let’s see where this take me, aweseomeness I bet. Currently with almost no content and in spanish you can see it here: http://joseantoniosoriano.com
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:14h, 27 April
Felicitaciones! I lived in Sevilla for a couple years and love the language. Keep us posted on progress Jose. Bien hecho!
Viajero EmprendedorPosted at 11:36h, 28 April
great to see more spanish sepakers!! we have a huge opportunity !!! Anything I can help you José!
Dawn GadonPosted at 03:46h, 27 April
You are incredibly inspiring. Thank you for all you do.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:13h, 27 April
Thanks for your note Dawn. Glad you’re a part of it!
leeorrPosted at 05:39h, 27 April
Well – this got me do actually do something… I’ve been thinking of starting a blog for a while, but since I’m interested in so many (interconnected) things – singing, songwriting, acting, music, comedy, youtube videos, general geekiness – I didn’t really know what to do with it. Anyhow – I’ve got something: http://leeorr.tk. And I got it for free by using 000host and a .tk domain name (might get a dot com at a later point, but now is not the time). And we’ll see where this goes.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:13h, 27 April
And now you have a sandbox to play around it. Love it. Can’t wait to see what sticks!
Brandon VermeerPosted at 15:30h, 27 April
I read this post and have recently become a part of the Live your Life group. Figured what do I have to lose starting a new blog so I did and you can get to it as http://brandonvermeer.com/. Not much yet but the sky is the limit and here goes nothing. Cheers!! And thanks for the push Scott I really needed it.
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:12h, 27 April
Welcome to the party Brandon and congrats on jumping straight to action – you are going to add a lot to this community!
LivingFitJitsuPosted at 15:36h, 27 April
Blog created 🙂 !
Thanks for the advice and inspiration!
Scott DinsmorePosted at 18:12h, 27 April
Oh sweet! I trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a while. Any relation?!
LivingFitJitsuPosted at 09:21h, 29 April
Cool Scott! I did not know you used to train. In the Bay Area? I’ve visited some schools out there and have competed a couple times in SoCal. One of my biggest passions is brazjilian jiu jitsu so that will definitely be reflected in the site… mostly from a philosophy and lessons learned side that will apply to life and sports broadly. Also topics on diet, cooking, and fitness. Jiu Jitsu is my passion which drives my overall fitness level, and I want to inspire others to find SOME sport or activity that they enjoy and do because they love…going to the gym is usually boring… but learning and competing is fun.
My aim is inspire family and friends to take ownership of their health… and offer strategies, motivation, and inspiration to help them. So Jiu Jitsu is a vehicle for me personally but my message will be for everyone to find their own passion and get off the couch… even if just to go shoot hoops for half an hour.
liveyourlegendPosted at 11:03h, 30 April
Love this vision!!! Can’t wait to see it unfold. I trained at Paragon in Santa Barbara. I miss it like crazy :).
Debashish DasPosted at 20:02h, 27 April
I have tried starting blogs in the past, but, they have always fizzled out. This time though, I started a blog [http://wp.me/3oAHw] while I was doing the LOYP course. I am super pumped about it and this post just gives me additional tools to enhance it. Thanks Scott. I am going to let my blog develop for sometime before making the switch to a paid hosting service though.
Nathan ToddPosted at 09:16h, 28 April
It occurs to me that this phenomena of self-descovery (probably a better word somewhere) is the reason twitter and facebook are so powerful when they are occasionally used well. Really a form of microblogging after all.
“Encouraging human beings to think and reason for themselves is never a bad thing.”
liveyourlegendPosted at 11:02h, 30 April
Couldn’t agree more Nathan! I dont care too much about the tool used. All I care is that the self discovery is happening 🙂
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ChristianPosted at 06:36h, 01 May
Thank you Scott! I registered my Domain event-life.de in 2008…
…and than wrote nothing. The reason: I wasn´t able to make a decision about the topic. First I wanted to write about Coaching and NLP but felt that there was an very important point missing. Now I just started and i´m writing about personaldevelopment in generel. So everything that brings us one step closer to the humans we want to be is worth an article, no matter if it is the backpacking-trip, the coaching-tool or something else. I´m excited about where the journey goes, especially this “Outdoor-Thing”.
Greetings from Germany.
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ThomasPosted at 13:30h, 05 May
Scott, I’ve never even thought about having my own blog, but your text inspired me. Plus Leo Baubata was forcing same idea lately so I thought it is a sign. I have my blog now and I am really happy about it – can’t wait till morning to put some new idea there.
Thank You so much. Your work is huge.
Toi McdanielPosted at 23:14h, 06 May
Thanks so much, Scott! I finally setup my new website http://www.newcountrynewlife.com and it will be a website about lives of immigrants. Why and how to move, start living in another country. Beside that I also moved my free wordpress blog to bluehost as well. My another website is http://www.experiencemyjourney.com I’m ready, Scott! Many thanks! I love LYL and CWA!
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TiffaniPosted at 19:23h, 14 May
Hi Scott! You and your LYL community have made a huge impact on my life! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now but it wasn’t until earlier this week that I finally took action and started my own blog. Now I have ideas up the ying yang and am so excited to post more. Its been such a freeing experiance. Thank you so much for the encouragement, your push was exactly what I needed to get off my booty and get it done.
Bertus GeertsemaPosted at 18:31h, 25 May
Scott – great advice, thank you. And NO, your writing DID NOT SUCK. I went back and read several of your original posts, and subsequently ordered the Mastery book – what a great resource.
I am in the process of building my blog. Thanks for sharing all you do – I believe the more we do this, the more we allow others to do it, the more we will evolve past the foundations of capitalism into a better system – away from “ownership” which encourages selfishness, and into a greater economy of caring and sharing for the contentment of our fellow humans.
You rock man, keep it up!
Wes DavidsonPosted at 04:41h, 26 May
Thanks for this and the emails reminding me I should take action. I have, and lets see where this goes. Hot of the press – 30 minutes ago, one post and a lot of learning about wordpress still to go (making it look good) but it has begun – http://www.wesdavidson.com
Wes DavidsonPosted at 23:15h, 26 May
Well not a great start – I have just realised that I gave the wrong link http://www.wesjdavidson.com
YuhengPosted at 21:50h, 27 May
This may be a little late, but thank you for the great work you are doing here! This post is inspiring and I finally got down to starting my own blog (http://thinkauthentic.com).
It is liberating to be sharing my thoughts and ideas. I am glad to be working towards something I love now instead of hitting a mid-life crisis maybe 10 years down the road.
Thanks for all the inspiration!
toyaPosted at 08:40h, 02 June
I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was curious what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
DavidPosted at 20:22h, 03 June
Good advice, Scott. I started 2 blogs (diff. subject areas) some years ago to experiment with and find what attracts people. Some of it was a surprise. And the blog states are a really useful gauge.
That became the platform for a career change, a grad degree and a major writing project…
Jay LickusPosted at 20:34h, 03 June
Your information is priceless.
I started my website/blog a couple of months ago called Survive55.com. It was built as a
convenient on-line center of all interesting, creative, intriguing, helpful and constructive information for men and women in their 50’s.
My mission is to help folks in their 50’s to enjoy life, be financial stable and discover new and exciting opportunities in their lives.
I am excited every morning to wake up and start a new blog. I guess this is my passion: to help others like me.
Thanks to your support, the technical aspects of launching my website have been simple and not as time consuming as I thought.
The site is already getting over 500 hits per day.
My plan is to monetize within the next 3 to 6 months and make this my full time business.
Thanks to you and others like you on the internet who are willing to offer support and inspiration to help others succeed, I feel I have made a small contribution to my little world so far and am looking forward to taking my “passion” to the next level.
Thanks, Jay Lickus
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Kristoffer GundersenPosted at 00:43h, 08 June
Thank you Scott. You inspired me to do something I’ve been putting off for 20 months… Everything was ready. I just had to write a post and press Publish.
michaelPosted at 12:49h, 13 June
scott, this is inspiring to me, i can do this. i have a story to tell. this may be a very basic question but i would appreciate your feedback/advice on blogging vs facebook comments/updates. thank you
MattPosted at 15:21h, 18 June
I have been reading your blog for a few months now…great stuff! I have introduced your stuff to a couple friends as well. I love to write and is a passion of mine. The problem is, I have a few things that make me come alive! As a teacher, I want to continue to help people learn (my friend and I are considering a first year teacher consulting business) but I would also like to help others through my writing (maybe donate portions from my books that I would like to have published/self published). I’m just not exactly sure where to start/focus!!
Kat HodgsonPosted at 02:34h, 22 June
Thank you Scott for such an inspiring piece of writing!
I started my blog http://bourbontea.wordpress.com/ earlier this year in a bid to express myself and inspire others to follow their life dreams and believe they can do it. The feedback I have received and people I have touched means everything to me – I didn’t even know I could write let alone share it and have people be interested. Wonderful! Now all I want to do is share my blog with as many people as possible to help brighten their world and keep them believing in themselves.
Your post today has reignited my creative spark as I stare at my laptop looking for my words. I am in the process of writing a book as well and it is hard at times as I battle with the enormity of that task. Thank you for your words.
Have a great day,
Thomas YatesPosted at 06:22h, 24 June
Thanks for the post,
I have recently started my own blog, to help me stay focused on my own personal development and hopefully help others along the way.
It is early days but I am going to be consistent like you suggested and see what happens.
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Boni SataniPosted at 00:07h, 16 July
I started my blog for the same reason, but kinda lost in between. After reading i am planning to focus more on ma blog
GuusPosted at 07:40h, 22 July
Well, you asked for links to blogs… See the link. And I also have a personal blog on http://op-weg.inspiration-for-success.com/ but that’s in Dutch.
DanPosted at 19:07h, 03 August
Thanks for the tips! I’m trying to write a little, at least once a week, to help me better determine my interests. My initial goal is to just get myself to write on a consistent basis. After I have achieved that, I am hoping to actually focus more on the quality of my writing.
EmmaPosted at 09:40h, 05 August
Scott, you have pushed me past my fear and made me start my very own blog today. I have even written my first post and done my first punt: visit me at emmalivesey.wordpress.com. Thank you for all the inspiration!
MichałPosted at 05:49h, 11 August
Blog is a good idea if you are sure that you will write new post at lest once a week. Otherwise, it could only make things worse.
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Ken ClarkPosted at 09:46h, 11 August
Scott, wanted to quickly comment just to say thanks, I got a lot from your post and taking action (which I don’t do as often as I need to) on it. I should be very fun too…
Alexis MeadsPosted at 11:14h, 26 August
Great article! I discovered your site about a month ago and have been very inspired by your posts. My own business started a year ago, but you could almost say I’ve had 10 businesses since then in the way they’ve evolved and changed! I now have a blog I’m truly proud of, http://alexismeads.com/blog/ that I get to share with the world. I LOVE writing and this has been a perfect medium for me to get my knowledge out there and Live my Legend of inspiring and supporting other women.
Luke SwainPosted at 14:35h, 02 September
Awesome work you’re doing Scott! I appreciate how “unperfect” and authentic you are. It gives me hope that I can just be myself, and live life to the fullest. Cliche? Whatever!
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Samuel LimPosted at 06:16h, 22 September
Just started my blog at http://samuelimyongen.wordpress.com/ too! Looking forward to actually taking action and experimenting. It’s amazing how much just taking one tiny simple step can have such a powerful effect in building momentum and making yourself feel 100% better, rather than sitting around and introspecting all day.
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Candice B.Posted at 14:35h, 29 September
Thanks Scott for this article. I actually started blogging in May to figure out my next career move and to figure out how my passions would play into that. The Candibee Experiment was launched http://www.candibeeexperiment.wordpress.com! Between blogging, praying, journaling and meditation I am now in school to become a Certified Health Coach. I am beyond excited!
Thanks too for sharing your wife’s site. As a health coach I am always looking for good recipe sites and her recipes look delicious. I will definitely add her to a list of sites or link to her recipes once my site is launched. I will share that with you both when that time comes.
Tanks for all you do!
James FiercePosted at 16:20h, 07 October
I received this post in my inbox the other day and it helped to push me to finally get a site together and start writing blogs. What really resonated with me was where you said that one of the side benefits of blogging is that makes you improve your skills around whatever it is that you are blogging about.
Here is a link. It’s the first post so I know that it has not yet reached it’s full potential from a writers stanpoind…but must start somewhere.
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Angie TPosted at 06:33h, 14 October
Funny, I started a blog for this exact reason about a year ago. Unfortunately, I lost momentum and stopped writing. You’ve provided the prompt needed to atart again. Thanks!
NalyPosted at 15:18h, 17 October
That sounds like an awesome idea (and so simple too)!
I try it out.
AnnettePosted at 13:31h, 23 October
I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve done the quit your job test, I’ve seen your Ted talk, everything is very inspirational. I had a hard time trying to figure out my passion but after reading all your material it finally became clear… I love traveling! so I’ve created a traveling blog. I am a proud Mexican and I’ve lived in London, Paris and Los Angeles and have visited more than 20 countries, all beautiful and I have had amazing experiences. Now I want to take travelers to hidden places in Mexico that are just wonderful! I want people to WANDER MEXICO!!
Linda ClarkePosted at 15:56h, 31 October
On Oct 3 2013 I was fired from my dream job as a lawyer. It was a career that I had fought hard for a long time to achieve. To say I was devastated is an understatement. What made it more difficult to bear was that I was not fired to incompetence or sloppy work habits. I had the highest billables in the firm and received good feedback on the quality of my work. I was fired because my supervisor became paranoid about the feedback I was receiving and stopped all work to me. No work no job. Oldest trick in the legal book to get rid of someone….
In the early hours of the morning (wasn’t able to sleep) I discovered your website. As I wasn’t coping particularly well I followed your tip and created a blog. I have been writing like crazy since as I found it great therapy. Yesterday it was the end of October and I decided it was time to move on from negativity. I believe that I only arrived at that place due to blogging.
I don’t know where or what my future holds. All I know is that I now have peace in my life that I didn’t have a few weeks ago and that somehow I’m going to be okay.
Blogging does work – I’m living testament to that. Many thanks to your website and ideas. I think that i would have been still in a very dark place without it.
All the best.
UshaPosted at 21:49h, 02 November
Thanks a lot, Scott, for doing what you are doing, it is such a help and inspiration! But I have a problem. Clarifying my passions to me means writing a lot of private stuff that I may not want others to me. Of course, I can create a private blog but how would that accomplish all the things that you have talked of here? I am missing something. How do I go about this?
Nico JPosted at 06:48h, 01 January
I’ve for my blog going at
Where I interview successful entrepreneurs and learn what they did to achieve their dreams! I hope you all like it. LYL has an awesome community.
Lynn SilvaPosted at 18:08h, 21 January
One tiny little blog has completely changed my life. I only wish you’d put this post out earlier.
My favorite part is when you said not to worry about what it’s about or what it looks like for now. This is so TRUE! Once I stopped stressing over appearance and nailing my niche…it completely opened up my mind to creativity and enabled me to really organize a plan, an appearance, a niche and start the ‘momentum’ that you talk about.
You are inspiring and empowering. Thank you for your honesty and your valuable insights and tips.
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