Entrepreneurship By Kyle Milligan / October 23, 2016 Counter-intuitively, to start a successful blog you should stop trying to learn how to start a successful blog. When I made my first $20 blogging, I had no idea what a keyword was, how SEO worked, or any of that jazz. I simply wrote what was going on in my life. The organic aspect of blogging relates to congruence and is paramount, because congruence is at the root of how to start a successful blog and what to blog about. Like me, you might want to learn how to make money with a blog. In that regard, success is relative. My first $20 made from blogging floored me. Of course the next month I didn’t consider myself successful unless I earned more, so success is relative. For the purposes of this article, let’s define success in terms of longevity. That is, you create a blog that you will actually stick with and will continue writing on for a period of over a year. After analyzing my experiences with blogging over the last fourish years and across multiple sites, I have formulated two rules I would suggest you follow if you are wondering how to start a successful blog and what to blog about. What to Blog About Rule #1: Your Blog Should Always Say What You are Always Saying Adopting a voice that isn’t yours on a topic you feel meh about is impossible to sustain. That’s why most blogs are abandoned: disinterest by the owner. You can only write so many fabricated thoughts before you just run out of ideas. Staying true to your voice is the surest path to consistent content and how to start a successful blog. For instance: I fucking hate jobs. I loathe them with all the fiery passion in my soul. In my personal life I rant almost daily about the worthlessness of going to work, the drain on the human spirit a job really is, and the entrapment of ordinary income. My friends have to be sick of hearing about it. Still, I will always have content for all99life.com, because it says what I am always saying. What to Blog About Rule #2: Your Blog Topic Should Encourage You to Do What You Are Already Doing Brand identity Just like your voice, your actions have to be congruent with the content in your blog. As a human being, you are ever evolving and your life takes pivots. Therefore, your blog will pivot with you. I’ve struggled forever with the whole “staying on brand” thing. Don’t overthink your brand because it will slow you down. It completely immobilized me. You are always growing and your brand will too. Therefore, your voice is your brand. There are probably a hunert articles saying exactly what this article says but this article is mine. That’s why it’s special and why it belongs here. My unique voice makes this post belong. Your blog should jibe with the lifestyle you are currently living, and that means if you change, it changes. So fucking what. Your voice will develop gradually, but should never pivot. For instance: How I lost weight and got ripped How I grew my e-mail list by 47 people in 5 days How I used the sales process to sell 5 books to total strangers and got carried in a Maryland book store As standalone articles, the above links don’t seem to belong on the same site. My voice is the common thread. Walk the talk Congruence equals authenticity. Many blogger’s first eleven “how-to” articles are probably bullshit they read and regurgitated onto a page. Who says you have to write how-to articles to have a blog? Blog what you know because you can’t, and shouldn’t, blog about topics you have remedial knowledge of or little experience with. Don’t blog about overcoming hurdles you haven’t surpassed, or even approached. While I empathize as a blogger, I still hate seeing it. When writing a how-to article, assume readers expect the blogger’s personal results. By blogging about something you are already doing, you can refer to experiences. Those experiences give you content-fuel, and more importantly, credibility. Every blog post you create should have a personal story embedded in it somewhere. It can be one sentence, a paragraph, or several pages. The reader should know that you are not just talking about something that you read somewhere. You should be able to tell how your how-to has worked for you, personally. For a reader, that omission should serve as the clearest indication of a fraud. While a blogger does not owe everyone their entire balance sheet, income statement, or performance report, if they are going to start an article title with “how to,” they better have something to back it up, even if it is anecdotal. Do You Stop focusing so much on how to start a successful blog and just start a blog. Do you and just do what you do. Talk about your passions and interests. If you feel like you’re the only person in the world who enjoys a certain thing, then that’s probably an even better topic to blog about and you can reach a loyal niche audience who feels just like you. Thanks for reading and good luck.