REIGNITING MY DREAM

My dream of creating an online business started in 2018 and has involved trying out different business models such as affiliate marketing, Amazon wholesaling and drop shipping.  In 2020 I was working on a drop shipping business model, but the pandemic lockdowns put a big halt to this.  In the end I had to let go and let my dream slumber for the next 3 years.

Then in the middle of 2023, I was minding my own business, scrolling social media and bumped into The Iceberg Effect and Dean Holland.  Before I knew what happened the ashes of my online business dream reignited, and I was off and running again.

In all my previous online businesses I focused on generating quick results, which pretty much means sales.  To be fair, the programs that I was involved with, did promise quick results.  And I not saying it is bad to have sales goals, but it does present a bit of problem when the sales are not flowing in immediately. Discouragement and disappointment soon appear when this occurs. And this is when I have given up before.

So, this time around my focus is different.  While of course I want success as an affiliate marketing and be able to generate a decent income.  However, my focus now is on learning how to be an affiliate marketer and have mastery over some key skills.

MY WRITING JOURNEY

As an Affiliate Marketer, one of the key skills that I am currently working on is writing.  Whether it is weekly blog posts, emails, or website content, being able to write is something I want to get better at. It has been a journey I have been on for a long time.

I love books and am a massive reader.  I read 30-40 books each year on average and have a decent library.  I love my books so much I just can’t bear to part with them.

You might think that being well-read would make for a great writer.  For me that was not the case and has been a source of constant frustration and annoyance.

To share one example from my life.  In my first year of a Business Management degree, I skated very close to failure because I could not write an essay to save myself.

Fortunately, my tutor at the time stepped in and suggested I go to one of the University’s free student lectures.  I took up his advice and luckily the penny dropped.

Feeling very relieved, I finally understood where I was going wrong and what I had to do to fix it.  Within 12 months I went from barely passing, to getting credits, distinctions, and even eventually high distinctions for my essays.  It made me chuckle when other students in my tutorials noticed and began asking me how I managed to write so well.

While that experience was years ago, it was amazing the transformation that one lecture made, and the regular work that followed to apply what I had learned.  I am now a lot more confident at writing although it is a skill that does not come easy.

So here I am again, leaning into my slightly dormant skills of writing so that I can write blogs, a type of writing I have not really done much of.

MY BLOG WRITING PROCESS:

For me writing is a PROCESS.   I don’t just sit down and expect to write an amazing piece first time.

These are stages and steps I usually take to if I want to generate something of good quality.

Phase 1: IDEA CREATION

  • IDEA GENERATION – I journal every day and one of the questions I have in my journal is “what did I learn today”?  At the end of the week, I can go back over my notes to find learning points.  Now that I am in the swing of writing I also capture any ideas I have in a notebook which I keep in the car as this is where I often come up with ideas (not in the shower like most people).  Another way I generate ideas is to go for a walk by myself, not connected to my phone and just think.  I do my best thinking this way and come up with lots of ideas. Failing all of this I refer to the list of ideas Dean Holland provided in one of his coaching sessions.
  • PICKING A WINNER – After generating a few ideas, I pick one that I feel excited to write about.  For me it must be something that I care about and generate an emotional response in me even if it is a small one.  I try to find something that has challenged or frustrated me and that I have had to work through to overcome. Chances are other people are likely to have similar experiences.

Phase 2: FIRST DRAFT

  • GETTING STARTED – Now that I have my idea, I start drafting my article.  It is important that this a first draft and I am only getting ideas down on the page.  This is not about writing the final piece. I find that once I start writing it gets easier and it doesn’t matter if the writing is bad in the beginning.  Sometimes it takes 10-15 minutes for my brain to kick in, but this is ok.
  • STRUCTURE – I keep my sentences and paragraphs short, and I like to add in headings, dot points and highlights to help my reader understand the logic.
  • PARKING MY DRAFT – once I have a draft and a catchy Headline, I then save it and leave it until the next day.

Phase 3: EDITING

  • LESS IS MORE – the truth is that most people skim read especially on the internet. So don’t sweat the small stuff and try to make it perfect. I break apart any big blocks of text and edit the piece down.
  • KILL YOUR DARLINGS – It can be hard to remove anything that is not of value but is immensely valuable to making my blog clear.  I find this hard so I cut them out and put them at the bottom of the document in case I want them later.
  • READ IT OUT LOUD – Missing words is very common as your brain edits what it reads. One of the ways to get around this is to read it out loud.  I find this works for me but you can also get someone else to proofread it.
  • PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS – Finally, I add some relevant images to round out my article, a task i enjoy a lot.

Phase 4: POST THE BLOG.

And then I am done.

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the sweet satisfaction of writing a great article.

4 thoughts on “Reigniting the writing flame – my approach to creating great blog posts”
  1. Neal, thank you so much I found that really useful. I’m new to blogging and I’ve only done about eight or nine so far. The way you broke it down into sections and what you do is really helpful thank you. I don’t mind reading, but I’m not a big reader like you. I think now that I’m blogging I am enjoying reading everyone’s blogs and learning lots so my readings improving too. Thank you so much. Take care Atif

    1. Pleased you find it useful Atif. I also enjoy reading other blogs and see how others are approaching it. Good source of tips as well as supporting our fellow bloggers.
      Neal

  2. Hi Neal, I commend you on writing such a useful blog. I too am very new to blogging and have surprised myself that I’ve managed to write five so far. I struggle every week to come up with something interesting and just hope that it is. Your blog today was full of good advice and I think I might benefit from printing it out and sticking it on my fridge! I look forward to seeing your future blogs.
    Andy

  3. Hi, Neal!
    This is a great article about writing blog articles.
    Read it out loud and kill your darlings are two big points that hit home for me.
    I always have my husband read my post before I publish it – because one time I didn’t! He catches what doesn’t make sense.
    Reading it out loud would help me when he’s not available.
    Thank you for this list to review!
    Nakina

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