7 Ways to Create Badass Content

E61BEB88-2EA3-4829-8A13-047B2EDF531E-w800-h600How to Create Content That Inspires, Changes Lives, and Keeps ‘Em Coming Back for More…

We live in an incredible time where anyone who has something important to say can share his or her message with the masses, build a following, help a ton of people, and make an impact on the world.

The problem is, very few people are successful at it. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be this way.

If you’ve been trying to build a following online who loves and shares your content, but it’s just not going as well as you’d like to, there’s a good reason for this.

The majority of the information out there on how to do this is completely misleading.

There’s seemingly no end to the number of “gurus” who will tell you that you just need to write regular blog posts, do guest posts and list posts, write catchy subject lines that are optimized for the search engines, build an email list using opt-in boxes and pop-ups, and share your content on Facebook and Twitter.

And while this is all great stuff, it’s simply not enough these days.

This post is different…

It is NOT about how to churn out a bunch of uninspired, lifeless, me-too content that the world doesn’t need any more of.

It’s about how to create content that inspires the living shit outta people, changes lives, gets shared, and keeps ‘em coming back for more.

33945CA3-3A31-4011-BAE6-9A465171B455-w800-h600I’m also gonna share with you what happened when I went deep into a criminal subculture of steroid-crazed drug dealers, and how an important lesson from this experience can help you put out content that makes a bang and gets noticed.

And while I speak mostly of written content here, these same principles apply to video and audio content—like YouTube, video blogs, and podcasts—and even live presentations.

Now—before we go deep—I want to make it clear that if you don’t care about your readers getting kick-ass results from your content, then please leave this blog and never come back.

Because none of the other stuff in this post matters if you don’t care. Caring is the biggest requirement to putting out life-changing content.

I got a call from a friend one day…

He told me that he hated his day job and wanted to make money online by “blogging and putting out ebooks and stuff.” Almost his exact words.

He knew that I was making OK money doing this kind of thing so he figured I’d be able to show him how to do it as well.

After a few minutes it was clear that there was nothing deep inside that he just had to share with the world, that he was never going to enjoy spending hours writing every day, and that between the full-time job he relied on to pay his bills and spending whatever leftover time he had with his family, there was just no way he was going to be able to devote the kind of time and energy required to create something great.

money-w800-h600I told him that I couldn’t help him…

He said “But come on, man, I thought you knew all about how to do this stuff!”

And I told him pretty much the exact thing I’ve told countless others over the years…

“If there’s not something in you that you’re dying to write about, and if you don’t want to spend time each day honing your writing skills, and if you think that somehow if you just create content the world is going to line up at your door to consume it, then I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.

There may be some other dude out there whose course you can buy with all the answers in it, and who can show you how to make millions while sipping martinis on a beach (but only if you act now, of course!)—however, based on what you’ve told me, you’re better off sticking with your day job.”

This stuff takes a lot of work, a lot of heart, and a ton of tenacity.

Now, there are multi-level marketing schemes out there that will tell you if you just join their program, and get a bunch of other people to join their program, that you will be able to put out content that goes viral pretty much on its own, you’ll make a ton of money, you won’t have to deal with any of the normal headaches bloggers and content creators typically deal with, and that you will become a “badass”—just like they are.

Utter horseshit.

It’s just not that simple.

However, if you’re willing to put lots of time, energy, and a piece of your soul into it, the payoffs can be huge—mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

6CC9023C-1B79-4A4E-B585-729570E6A683-w800-h600But it IS a lot of work—fun work, sure, if you enjoy it like I do. But it’s still a lot of work. By the time you read this blog post—a blog post I make no money from, BTW—I will have spent over 20 hours on it.

Not that you need to write super in-depth posts like I do—but even if you just wanna put out short little posts or videos, there’s still a ton of work that goes into it.

The world is drowning in information, emails, tweets, text messages, and more crappy Kindle books than we will ever need.

It’s hard to get people to wanna read your content, share it, and come back for more.

While we live in an incredible time where anyone with something important to say can say it to the world, the information is already out there on just about anything anyone is looking to do.

So your content has gotta be one helluva lot better than just “useful.”

If someone wants to learn how to do something, they can already find 100s or 1000s of YouTube videos, articles, blog posts, and books on exactly how to do it.

And there are 723 gurus, 1197 experts, and at least 14,329 blogs on just about any niche you can imagine.

69E039EC-A3D9-400D-8983-DE2CADB489D5-w800-h600The last thing the world needs is one more social media expert who has no idea what the hell they’re talking about…or another woo-woo “Law of Attraction” life coach promising you a life beyond your wildest dreams…or another self-help guru saying the exact same shit in the exact same way Tony Robbins has been saying it it for over 30 years or Napoleon Hill said it back in 1937.

We don’t need another lifestyle design guru with long hair working 4 hours a week on his laptop, lying in hammock under a palm tree…or another fitness guru with the secret to 6-pack abs…or another “get rich quick” guru who swears that he’s not a “get rich quick” guru.

Nor do we need another internet marketing expert who’s discovered the secret to unlimited traffic and making millions online all by just posting tiny little ads. (Next week it will be some other secret, but this week it’s “tiny little ads.”)

(The video above is of “get rich quick” guru Don Lapre, who eventually committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial on 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and promotional money laundering related to his Internet businesses. No internet dream life is worth that kinda shit.)

Have you ever looked at some of the popular content out there and thought to yourself “I bet I know more about this subject than this dude”?

Ya know what?

There’s a good chance you do. The majority of online “gurus” and “experts” aren’t the ones who know the most about the subject the subject they’re teaching.

They’re usually just the ones who know the most about marketing, and then they obsessively work their asses off to market themselves as THE go-to expert in their niche.

76BA9869-92BC-450A-BBB0-5DB2707690F9-w800-h600And while there are plenty of “me-too” gurus out there all teaching basically the same things, if there’s something you really want to go out and teach…

… If there’s some insanely awesome shit that you’re just dying inside to tell the world about, and it will make people’s lives better, and you’re willing to pour your fucking heart and soul into it, and you’re not just doing it for the money…

…If you have a cause you believe in and want people to get behind it, a movement you want to start, something new and unique that can provide massive value to the world that you’d like to sell…or if you just want to put out kick-ass original content that genuinely helps people, entertains them, or makes them laugh or smile, then the world is ready to hear what you have to say, and this post will help you say it.

The question is…

How do you create content that moves people, inspires them, and makes them want more?

First off, it’s important to realize content creation isn’t a “build it and they come” type of thing. That may have worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, and it may have even worked online 10 years ago, but today your stuff better be damn good if you want anybody to pay attention to it.

2B5402AD-9740-4B8E-B3B7-F5D5A6B7F01A-w800-h600The key is to put out amazing content that entertains, educates, and inspires…content that has heart and the power to transform lives in a unique and powerful way, and makes people go, “Holy shit, now THIS is awesome!”

You wanna create content that rocks with the thunderous force of the first four Metallica albums.

Content that gets people to stand up and take notice.

Content that’s head and shoulders above the same old same old that’s already out there.

Content that goes far beyond the mind and moves people on a deep emotional level.

Now, these principles definitely aren’t for everyone, but they’ve been working well for me, and if your heart’s in this thing 100%, they can work for you too.

And these aren’t hard and fast rules; like you, I hate rules too.

7 Ways to Create Badass Content That Inspires, Changes Lives, and Keeps ‘Em Coming Back for More…

3F126357-493F-4159-9925-12E7B1E6A527-w800-h6001. Create content you BURN to create

When there’s a subject you love to share about so much it keeps you up at night bombarded with ideas you just can’t wait to share with the world, you’re on the right track.

When you have true passion for what you do, it’s contagious.

And building an audience takes time, so you’re probably going to be talking about whatever subject you’ve decided to be an online authority on all day, every day.

Talking about something all the time that you have no passion for is more boring than most day jobs, but at least with a day job you get a steady check and health benefits.

The key to creating great content is to create content you burn for in the pit of your soul—content that, if you kept it in any longer, just may kill you.

62357387-BB85-4174-968F-847910649A90-w800-h600You wanna write about whatever it is that excites the living shit out of you.

…Content that you’d create even if no one were to ever see it or you’d never make a penny off of it.

Yes, it’s important to have a clear idea of who your audience is and what their needs are, and if making money from your content is a goal, then in it IS important to factor this in, but if you can find a subject that you wanna write about just because you love writing about it, your content is no longer just a means to an end and will be a work of fucking art, rather than just one more boring “how to” article or video littering the internet.

“You think we watch any of your movies, Harry? I’ve seen better film on teeth”

Bo Catlett in ‘Get Shorty’

This is the polar opposite of creating content just so you can make money.

Sure, you CAN make good money with great content, but if your core motivation is extrinsic rather than intrinsic, your content probably won’t be all that great, because it will missing the most important thing of all—heart.

It may show people how to get from A to Z, but it probably won’t light a fire under their as and get them to do it.

One of the best examples I can think of when it comes to putting out content from the heart is Elliot Hulse

“Passion trumps everything” 

Dave Tate

B98C7A5E-9AEC-4415-B853-8FD5C6E221E6-w800-h6002. Be real—I mean be REAL fucking real

People are attracted to authenticity. They want to learn from someone who’s down to earth, shoots from the hip, and tells it like it is.

Even if “what is” ain’t all that pretty.

People might buy into hype for a short time, but in the end they’d rather hear the truth.

And remember, everything has its positive and negative sides. So if all you do is talk about the positive, deep inside they’ll know you’re not giving them the whole story.

Show people your human side, put your personality into your content, and admit that you’re not perfect, your content isn’t perfect, what you teach isn’t perfect, and and that their life won’t be perfect after they’ve done the things your content helps them do.

Your readers will appreciate this.

Last night I was watching a television show called the First 48. It’s a pretty dark show, but I’ve loved ever since it first came out 11 and 12 seasons ago and haven’t missed many episodes.

interrogation-w800-h600It’s a documentary-type show that follows real homicide investigations.

During this episode, the officers needed to show a photo line-up to a witness.

The main investigator, a hard-as-nails homicide cop, explained how he didn’t wanna be in the room during the photo line-up, or even watch it on a video screen, because of how nervous he gets whenever they do a line-up

Admitting this one little thing made the strictly-business homicide investigator come across so much more likeable.

Because for that moment, he wasn’t just a detective, he was human. He had flaws and he was honest about them.

My most popular posts are usually the ones where I admit stuff that I’m not proud of and you think would cause me to lose a large amount of readership.

Now, I never wrote those kinds of posts with intentions of them making my blog popular—ok, well maybe part of me did—but the main reason I wrote them was because those were the demons my soul needed to exorcise.

It turned out that people really appreciate seeing my human side and could relate to many of my mistakes—because they’ve made many of the mistake themselves. This helped to create an instant bond with many of my readers.

One of the best examples online of someone who keeps it real, admits his mistakes and inspires a ton of people is James Altucher

story3-w800-h6003. Tell damn good stories

Lunch time for me in the 10th grade was a chance to go off campus and get high.

Me and my long-haired buddies would sneak off to some drainage ditch or wooded area so we could smoke whatever weed we could scrape together between us—usually out of a Coke can or whatever else we could rig up into a pipe.

After lunch I had two classes. Neither were subjects I was particularity interested in.

The teacher of the first class would spend the entire length of the 50-minute class teaching us in a strictly facts-and-figures-type fashion.

stoners-w800-h600I hated the class and just sat there zoning out drawing Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie, skulls, and pot leaves on my Peechee folder.

The teacher of the second class would teach in stories. I loved the class—well, as much as a kid who hated school could love a class—as did the rest of the students.

Now, in my mind both subjects were of equally no use to me, since they didn’t help me get weed, beer, or girls. But, I got much better grades in the second class, because I actually paid attention and was able to retain things because of all the great stories told.

If you just stick with strictly “how to” information, teaching it in a plain “A plus B equals C”  fashion ( I don’t even know if A plus B does equal C, BTW, but you know what I’m talking about), you might give your reader the information he or she needs at the moment, but it’ll be hard to get them excited about sharing it or coming back for more—regardless of whether they got stoned at lunch that day or not.

Teaching in stories is entertaining, it keeps people’s attention, and it makes consuming your information fun.

It makes it feel more like “story time”—that thing we’ve all loved since we were little kids—than it does suffering through the Geometry class taught by Ben Stein in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “

Bueller? Bueller?”

One of the most empowering types of stories you can tell, BTW, is the Monomyth – also known as The Hero’s Journey.

In a Hero’s Journey story, your “hero”—who could be you, one of your customers or readers, or whoever it is you’re telling your story about—receives a call to adventure, usually gets some kind of aid in the form of a mentor, goes through tests and trials, becomes victorious, and returns with some kind of gift or message to share, usually for the betterment of the lives of others.

There’s lots of great free information online about how to tell Hero’s Journey stories. Wikipedia is a great place to start.

1000px-Heroesjourney.svg-w800-h600

Another type of story you want to tell are stories that your audience can relate to and have probably experienced on some level or another themselves…stories that connect.

I call these “Bridge Stories,” because they not only show your human side and make you more likeable, but they also create a bridge between you and your reader based on shared experience.

0D916ECF-B888-45B9-99F5-A974C22439D5-w800-h600Bridge Stories might include…

- Stories about dealing with a common frustration—this is one stand-up comedians use A LOT
- Stories about your mother or father
- Stories about not getting something you wanted for Christmas or your birthday
- Stories about crazy things that might have happened at a family get-together
- Stories about school
- Stories of being hired or fired from a job
- Stories of losing your first boyfriend/girlfriend
- Stories about your pets, or the loss of a pet
- Stories about divorce
- Stories about your children
- Stories about debt or bankruptcy
- Stories about taxes
- Stories about being screwed over
- Stories about loss
- Stories about overcoming alcoholism/addiction
- Stories about something embarrassing happening
- Stories about your insecurities, flaws, or strange quirks

When you tell a story that a segment of your readers can relate to—especially when it’s an emotional story—an instant connection is made. Tell enough of these types of stories, and over time, you can create connections with a HUGE portion of your readership.

And whenever you can add humor to your stories—or to your content in general—all the better. Everyone loves to laugh.

Getting your point across and teaching with stories is hands down one of the best ways to connect with, entertain, and inspire your readers.

351C6BDB-BE6E-4839-8A85-9291DD610D25-w800-h6004. Write like you’re talking to a close friend

Be careful not to talk to your audience like you’re smarter than they are, better than they are, or are King Fucking Knows Everything.

Stay humble and keep it personal.

Avoid big complicated words and writing “textbook” style—no one likes textbooks.

The best strategy is to burn down any soapboxes you may have lying around, stand naked on the ashes of your mistakes, and share straight from the heart.

Who of these two people do you like more: Mr. Expert Know-it-All Professional Public Speaker Man, or your best friend?

Hopefully your best friend…unless he stole your wife or business something—then I’d understand if you like Mr. Speaker Man better.

Look at creating content like this…

Just write like you’re their best friend having a real face-to-face conversation with them and are sharing some shortcuts, strategies, and secrets to getting whatever it is they want.

You’re sitting at a bar, coffee shop, or restaurant with your best friend.

Your friend is struggling with some difficulties that you too once struggled with as well.

But because of some super-cool strategies that you discovered and applied to your life, you’re now having success in the exact area they want to have success in. And now you’re sharing the strategies and the short-cuts that helped you so much with them.

talking-w800-h600If you were sitting there with your friend, how would you talk?

Well, it would probably have an intimate and conversational tone to it.

You would probably tell stories and share some good laughs, right?

THAT’S how you want your content to come across.

Personal, conversational, funny, inspiring, REAL.

I originally learned this style of writing from John Carlton, and have personally gotten much better results with it as compared to when I first started out and tried to be Mr. Stereotypical Expert Dude who knew everything.

Believe it or not, when I first started creating content online to help personal trainers market their services, I tried branding myself as “The Rich Trainer.”

I even used a picture of me in a tux from my wedding because I didn’t have a suit, but thought if I was teaching business stuff online than I better look like a serious business guru.

So I cropped out a picture of me in one my wedding photos and used it on my website; it was HILARIOUS.

D’oh!

Once I learned to be myself not only did people start to like my content a lot more, it also become much more fun to create.

535808_10153575734090577_1758306208_n-w800-h6005. Create content that’s different from EVERYTHING else out there

My friend Chris Bell directed and starred in a documentary film about anabolic steroids called Bigger, Stronger, Faster. It’s pretty much known as THE steroid documentary.

But what most people don’t know is that I actually made my own documentary about steroids almost two decades earlier.

You see, many moons ago I went to college.

Yep. I attended community college for part of a semester before dropping out to pursue my promising career as a marijuana trafficker.

In my sociology class, each student had to do a presentation on a subject of our choosing that was relevant to the class in one way or another.

I choose to do mine on the underground steroid subculture.

The year was 1992 and I had just gotten done smuggling in a load of ‘roids from France, with a very close friend of mine (who was murdered just a few months after we got back in a home invasion robbery, over drug money, right across the street from me).

I was terrified at the idea of having to speak in front of the class, so I figured I would just make a video instead. This way I wouldn’t have to give a speech, I just had to go up there and push “play” on the VCR.

Keep in mind, this was before most people had video cameras and long before the popularity of cell phones and YouTube.

In the video I interviewed a bunch of my juice-head drug-dealing friends with ski masks on about why they took steroids.

0809A059-DB38-44F1-8A73-9A4F11EE375F-w800-h600The interviews were raw, real, and honest. And these guys looked crazy—like modern day executioners—all jacked up, in either tank tops or with no shirts on, wearing ski masks and sunglasses and being interviewed in kitchens, bedrooms, and dark alleys about their drug use, how it wasn’t accepted by society, side effects they were experiencing, the underworld of performance-enhancing drugs, and why they felt they needed to wear masks to protect their identity.

I felt like I was Chris Hansen interviewing a bunch of hired killers or something.

I put a cool intro on it with a jammin’ Infectious Grooves song, and ended it with some personal commentary on the subculture laid over footage of Arnold from Pumping Iron.

The result was a 15 minute no-holds-barred video that blew the everyone’s minds, had the teacher’s jaw glued to the floor during the entire video, and got me an A-plus in a class I was failing.

While everyone else just went up and did cute little talks on regular old subjects, I exposed a dark subculture of egotistical steroid-fueled criminals and got deep into the psyche about why these guys did what they did—why these 20-year-old guys would break laws and put their lives at risk just so they could get laid and command fear and respect from other men.

I suddenly went from being the quiet one in the back of the room to the most interesting and popular student in the class.

C2FE7259-AA27-4042-A583-6652B591549D-w800-h600 It’s as if Mila Kunis and Chloe Sevigny skipped into church naked, holding hands and singing Kumbaya. I guarantee you wouldn’t hear even one word of the sermon, much less notice any other person sitting in that damn service—all you’d see was Mia and Chloe doing their thing, and wonder how you could be part of it.

THAT is how you want your content to stick out.

When people read your content they should be able to tell right away that it’s your content—that you wrote it.

If your content can be confused with anyone else’s, then it’s not good enough.

I’ll borrow a concept from Seth Godin here…

Imagine you’re driving out in the country somewhere and on the sides of the road there’s a bunch of cows. Sure, you see a bunch of black, brown, and white cows, but no particular cow would stick out to you. (Well, maybe you’d notice the occasional cute little baby cow, but you wouldn’t pay too much attention to it, since you’ve seen a million baby cows in your life.)

Then, as you’re driving, out of the corner of your eye you see something purple.

You look over and see a purple cow!

Purple cow-w800-h600You’d be like “Holy shit, there’s a purple fucking cow out there! I’m pulling over, I gotta take a picture of this and put it on Facebook! Just look at that thing!”

I think those were Seth’s exact words. NOT.

If you’re just another blogger, business coach in a $5000 suit, with a perfect manicure and all the answers…internet marketing guru living the dream life at the beach in flip flops, fitness expert with six-pack abs, who gives a shit?

Sure, you can go that route and succeed. Just watch what everyone else is doing and you can learn how to walk, talk, dress, teach, and write just like them.

By all means, go ahead.

But even if you do succeed at gaining a decent audience, how exciting will it be?

Instead, do your own thing. You can still trot around in the flip flops or business suit, or have the six-pack abs, but SOMETHING about what you do has got to be different.

Go see what’s out there in your niche—and in other niches—and then don’t do whatever the hell they ain’t doing and that fits YOUR personality.

bloody-w800-h6006. Put your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into it

Now, if you have principle #1 down—which was create content you burn to create—then this one will come naturally for you.

But if you’re churning out content just to make a buck, and the intrinsic motivation of what you’re creating isn’t there for you, then you might be able to put put your blood, sweat, and tears into it, but the most important pieces of the equation—your heart and soul—will be hiding out in the back alleys of your psyche, just wishing you were giving them something more constructive to do with their time.

And as you know, idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

Create content that your heart wants to bleed every last drop of blood you have into it.

Be willing to devote yourself to the never-ending journey of honing your voice. your writing skills, and your message.

blood-w800-h600Now, while I do create content for other niches online which I do mostly for money, that content—being created for extrinsic motivation—isn’t nearly as good and doesn’t get shared even 1% as much as the content on THIS blog does.

The stuff I write on this blog is a therapeutic washing away of my sins, a sometimes beautiful and sometimes agonizing journey into the dark rivers of my heart. It takes me straight to the grave and then resurrects me straight into the life I want to live.

A piece of my soul goes into every one of these posts.

“Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed.”

Red Smith

Whether in your content, or your life, always play from your fucking heart.

The great Bill Hicks said it much better than I can (R.I.P. Bill)

8ACA4ACC-BB6D-44EE-8474-A0B212E12D0F-w800-h6007. Help your readers to rise above

Turn your experiences, losses, and challenges into gifts that will help your readers transcend.

Tell them about the times you fell down and how you got back up.

A quick trip to the dictionary reveals that the word “transcend” means “to rise above or go beyond the limits of.”

Use your trials, failures, and victories to inspire. Share your strength, wisdom, and insights. Help point the way for your fellow man.

There are gifts in everything you’ve been through, a message in everything you’ve overcome, and people you can help in your own unique way.

If your content offers the solutions to people’s problems, is compelling, and is influential enough to help them rise above whatever aspect of their current situation is holding them down, then you’ve won the game.

If you know who you’re writing to, what problems they want to solve and how to solve those problems, or what they want most and how to get it, then previous six principles will help you do this.

So those are the big 7.

Now there’s more stuff to it than just this, but since I’m tired and this post is already well over 6000 words, I’ll probably need to cover the rest for you in some future posts.

67585BEE-27D1-4B3F-B8DD-B2D9E2987875-w800-h600However, here’s one more thing you definitely wanna do…

Use open loops.

Open loops are great for drawing your readers in, creating anticipation, and keeping their attention.

A simple way to do this is to tell you’re readers what they’re about to learn “in this post” or “down below” or “in just a minute”—like the short teaser at beginning of a dramatic television show that shows you clips from this week’s episode, and all the crazy shit that’s about to go down.

Another way is to start talking about something, and then mention that you’ll need to come back to that in just a bit, and then switch to talking about something else. You basically start telling a story, but don’t finish it. Kind of like dramatic television shows do when it’s time for a commercial and they want you to stick around for the rest of the show.

You can also tease things that you’ll be sharing in your future content, like cliffhangers at the end of a television show used to get you to watch next week’s episode.

Shows like The Walking Dead, Homeland, Lost, Prison Break, Breaking Bad, 24, and soap operas are notorious for this kind of thing.

097A9A96-1ECD-4623-BB29-64DB42A174D6-w800-h600What you can learn from my life as a content creator…

After almost 15 years of hardcore drug abuse—with jail time, homelessness, and all the other good stuff that goes with it—I got sober at age 30, moved in with my mom, and bounced from one minimum-wage job to another.

In the job world, I’m absolutely useless and didn’t even make enough to rent a room, buy food, and make a car payment.

You see, back in my 20s, when most people were going to college or building their careers, I was selling weed—A LOT of it.

So I never really gained the kind of skills most employers are looking for. Plus I can’t stand doing work I’m not passionate about and would call in sick at least once a week.

About the only job I’ve ever been good at is throwing drunks out of bars, but that’s mostly cuz I’m 6’6″, weigh over 300 pounds, and lift heavy shit as a hobby.

So there was I was, 30 years old, living with mom.

I was broke, unfulfilled, and making zero impact on the world.

I eventually found some success starting my own personal training business and marketing it online. But being a total introvert and not wanting to be around people all day to make a living, I decided it wasn’t something I wanted to do long term. Personal Training IS a great way to make a living if you’re extroverted, don’t mind having appointments all day, and like being around people…A LOT…but if you’re an introverted weirdo like myself, not so much.

In learning to market my training business, I was buying all these marketing courses and I thought to myself, “Damn, the dudes who put out these courses have one hell of an awesome gig.”

Based on my personality, it looked like a much better way for me to make a living.

So I decided to become a full-time information marketer—showing trainers how to build their own businesses through blog posts, email newsletters, ebooks, coaching programs, video courses, and membership sites.

writer2-w800-h600I didn’t need money at the time since I ended up getting enough personal clients from the internet that I was able to hire 15 trainers to do the training for me. I systematized the entire business so it ran without me, and worked my ass off to build my information marketing business.

To build up my audience, I blogged for an entire year—on my site for trainers KickBackLife.com—without asking for any money from my readers. I had nothing to sell.

I just knew if I put out enough kick-ass information that helped trainers get what they wanted and was different from everything else out there, that I could build a loyal following—and then when I went to sell something, they’d be happy to buy.

I worked days, nights, and weekends—devouring books and courses on how to build an information marketing business, and creating free content until 2 or 3 in the morning sometimes.

Like almost everyone I know who creates great content, I became absolutely obsessed with it. And this obsession paid off.

After a year of putting out nothing but free content, I launched my first information product. It was a financial success, doing over $300,000 in billable sales in just 8 days’ time. I ended up launching around 20 more products over the next few years.

I don’t think that without becoming obsessed with it, I would have ever been able to do this.

But because of my singularity of focus, I also burned myself out and went on to pay some heavy prices in other areas of my life. And while the money was great, it went to my head and my ego got out of control.

I ended up relapsing on drugs after almost a decade of sobriety, and lost my family and all my money.

I honestly didn’t see how I could go on.

5B60FCDC-1010-495A-9951-62C797A87EEF-w800-h600

Me on drugs—right before checking myself into detox

I got sober again and started this blog shortly afterwards because there were things that I just needed to write about, and hoped my writing might be able to help a few others along the way.

Since then I started a new family, have been building back my relationships with my children from my previous marriage, have been doing these blog posts here on ChrisMcCombs.Net—which fulfills the living shit outta me—and once again have been making a decent living creating and launching information products, blogging, affiliate marketing, email marketing and copywriting—which is all basically content marketing.

Most of my income comes from selling my own products, as well as affiliate products, to personal trainers over on my other blog and to an email list of trainers I’ve built up over the years.

I actually make very little money from this particular blog—the site you’re on right now—with the exception of the very occasional affiliate sale.

However, I do get some nice copywriting and ghostwriting jobs from people who hire me because they like my writing style and the blog posts they read here on ChrisMcCombs.Net.

But this blog is the shit I write for fun and for therapy; it’s not really a money thing at this point—maybe it will be one day, but for now I do it because I love writing about this stuff.

Writing, along with meditation and exercise, is how I stay sane.

And putting out good content saves me from one of the things I fear most in life—having a day job.

It allows me to do what I love, make a good living doing it, and work when and where I want—which is usually at home giving me lots of time to spend with my family.

D47F0442-CC99-41BB-B582-403CCEDC9FC4-w800-h600Plus, I’m able to write blog posts like this one you’re reading right now that allow me to exorcise my demons, get the shit outta my head that I just gotta get out, and hopefully help some people along the way.

Now this will probably make me sound like a dick…

… But I’m not the kind of guy to go work the soup kitchen line on Sundays feeding the homeless, or put in time with the local animal rescue or whatever.

Maybe someday I will, but that day isn’t today.

Fortunately, I’m able to make an impact in a different way—a way that suits my personality—by putting out content.

These blog posts allow me to use my own life experiences to help other people.

I’m able to make a difference—even if it’s just a small one—by writing about my own personal challenges and how I deal with them and then sharing it with the world on this blog.

That is fucking cool. At least to me it is.

So I thoroughly I support anyone who has it in their heart to do it to change lives by putting out epic content.

And if you just want to do a few blog posts or videos to better connect with your customers or for your friends to enjoy, you don’t need to bust your ass doing all the crazy stuff I’ve talked about in this post.

But if you’re serious about impacting a lot of fucking lives through your writing in some big damn ways, then I’d get busy.

In summary…

FD385CEF-2CF3-4F4A-A3F2-41A6953B599E-w800-h600To create kick-ass content that inspires people, changes lives, and builds an audience that keeps coming back for more…

1. Create content that you burn to create
2. Be real
3. Tell great stories
4. Write like you’re their best friend who has the shortcuts and secrets to getting what they want in life and you’re having a real face-to-face conversation with them
5. Create content that’s different from everything else out there
6. Put your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into it
7. Help your reader rise above

If you want to put out some run-of-the-mill “how to” content just to make some money, by all means go ahead. I know I’ve created my fair share and it’s a legitimate way to make a good living if you’re willing to work hard at it and focus on helping a lot of people.

And there are plenty of great resources out there that will show you how to do just that.

fist-w800-h600-w800-h600

But if you wanna write epic ass-kicking content that’s different from everything that’s already out there, and that solves people’s big problems in big ways…

…Or maybe you even wanna start a revolution…

…Then these 7 strategies will help.

Stay humble, vulnerable, and authentic. Reveal your human side…even some of the ugly stuff.

Have empathy for whatever challenges your readers may be facing, show them how to overcome these challenges, and encourage their dreams with everything you’ve fucking got.

And when self-doubt tries to come along and kick your ass into submission, telling you that you’re not good enough and asking, “Why would anyone ever listen to you?” just know it’s a sign that you’re on the right path and trudge through it.

Just keep moving forward.

We live in a time where if your message is strong enough, you can get it out to hundreds of thousands or even millions of people.

In the past, this was VERY hard to do. Major media held all the cards.

But today, if you have something important to say, you can say it, build a respectable audience, help a ton of people, and do it all your own way.

If you truly have something that you’re just dying to get out, something that can help others lead happier and more fulfilling lives, I urge you to put it out there for the world to benefit from.

ahead-w800-h600You may just have a message inside you that can help millions.

You might be able to connect with people on a deep level like no one else in this entire world can.

Face the adventures of life head-on, battle your demons, fall down A LOT and get back up A LOT, rise above whatever it is that tries to get in your way or hold you down—which will usually be some aspect of yourself coming from your ego—and return home and share your message with the masses.

Live your Hero’s Journey. And the journey starts with one step.

Talk soon,

Chris McCombs

P.S. If you’d like to get more posts like this one, subscribe here and I’ll be sure to send you the new posts as I write ‘em…

And…

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be stone cold honored if you would push some of those social media sharing buttons up top and share it with your friends…

… like the Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Google Plus buttons

Thanks a ton! (=

write-w800-h600

Image of “The Writer” by Pete Britney

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

Comments

  1. Hoooly crap that was awesome.

    One of the best pieces of content that I have read in a LONG time, a piece of badass content on how to create badass content. I feel like I just had a case of inception

  2. AWESOME!!! I read every word…and loved it. Thanks for being real and for doing what you’ve been gifted to do. I pray many blessings for you and your family in this coming year.

  3. Chris… this is the best blog post you have ever written.
    This article found me at the perfect time.
    Amazing start to 2014.
    I wish you all the luck and success in the new year .
    Chris you are a rock star.

  4. ‘…We don’t need another lifestyle design guru with long hair working 4 hours a week on his laptop, lying in hammock under a palm tree.”
    LMFAO
    Genius, Chris.
    Douchebaggery is douchebaggery and, will always be douchebaggery.
    And yet?
    Those douchebags con so many folks, it makes my blood boil.
    Keep on, keepin’ on, Big C.
    You’re a breath of fresh air, in the stale fart of a world, of internet marketing.
    If I can help you in anyway, let me know.
    Be Well,
    Dar

  5. “We don’t need another lifestyle design guru with long hair working 4 hours a week on his laptop, lying in hammock under a palm tree…” – YEAH! Been wanting to hear that line for a while now. Thanks.

  6. Dude… Learning that you recently dealt with a relapse and have stepped back into the ring to battle it out again explains A LOT about your blog (which I love by the way)

    You gotta keep it real, which you do, and people need to know that creating transformation isn’t easy. In fact, it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do or attempt to do in your life!

    Think about what transformation is…

    It’s turning one thing in to another thing so inherently in that process, that means there has to be some destruction and demolition.

    Destruction of old habits, associations, thoughts, addictions, etc. All that shit that makes you what and who you are today and the same shit that you need to change, destroy, and replace in order to create a transformation.

    And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about life in the trenches of life is, NOTHING wants to die, PERIOD! And nothing ever does really die because everything is energy and energy can’t die, it just changes into new shit and new types of energy. It’s a little “woo woo” but it’s truth, everything is energy, EVERYTHING, and YOU control yours. That means all of the energy that flows in your life, you are in control of how you use or don’t use it and whether it lives or dies.

    Energy has a built in function of survival and taking the path of least resistance and trying to change that path of the energy flow is going against the natural laws that govern nature.

    And when you try to change habits, associations, belief systems, etc, you’re changing the path or flow of energy in your life and most of the time it’s in all three of your primary energy systems. Mental, emotional, and physical.

    But the stuff that is there, the stuff that makes you YOU today, is still there when you start to change and transform. It’s still real. It’s still what controls your day to day actions and patterns and even though you may want to create some great changes in your life that require a transformation, your current stuff doesn’t want to change shit!

    Your current energy functions are happy and content as is and don’t want anything screwing up the mojo they’ve created. Even though they may not be the most ideal things and the actions that your thoughts and beliefs and mindset are causing you to take might be creating undesirable results in your life, the underlying energy systems are pulling the strings and they’ve found a balance and harmony that works. They don’t give 2 shits if “you” (or your conscious self) likes it or not. They don’t care if you’re broke or fat or sick or addicted or miserable because of it because they’ve figured out how to thrive as things are right now and they don’t want that messed up because they don’t want to be destroyed.

    So when you set out to create transformation, people need to know it’s not easy! You are literally declaring war on yourself. It’s you versus you, the current side of you and the side you want to live from, and one of those sides WILL win, every single time.

    The current you is already functioning and strong and the new you is still under development so that stacks the cards in the favor of the current you even more leaving even a tougher battle to fight.

    It’s not easy and the “current you” will pull out every trick in the book to break you, make you quit, discourage you, weaken your resolve, and justify why you should just quit and leave things as they are.

    It knows all of your weakness and methodically and strategically stacks them in just the right way to throw a fatal series of combination punches that WILL, without question, put you on your ass wondering what the hell just happened and have you questioning yourself about why you’re even doing this at all and why you can’t just accept what you do have while it minimizes the dissatisfaction you have with your current life so you can justify quoting, justify giving up trying to create a cleaner life for yourself and your loved ones.

    It will magically erase the memory or knowledge of that feeling you get when you look at your fat body, your empty bank account, your subpar relationships, and all of the habits and addictions you have that steal your vitality and life away from you like drinking too much, smoking, drug addictions, etc…

    In short, unless you are ready for it and prepared for it with the knowledge and wisdom of what is coming, it WILL defeat you, every time. Just like it defeats millions of others every single day and will continue to for as long as human beings exist.

    I know that battle intimately and understand the scope of its true power.

    It’s nothing to judge yourself for, it happens to every one and the fact that you’ve been able to come out of that ring holding the championship belt more than once speaks volumes about you brother.

    Thanks for having the courage to be vulnerable and put your work out there.

    All my love to you man…

    Mike

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Damn Mike, VERY well said brother, and also very true

      thanks dropping some serious wisdom bombs bro

      you definitely have what it takes to help a ton of people

  7. Great information Chris… it went on and on and on… but I couldn’t stop reading it…you definitely know how to keep a reader’s attention… GREAT STUFF!

  8. Hey Chris,

    Awesome read man, I think this is actually one of my favourite posts from you (and I do read every one)

    I love how you have that ability to fuse the technical content with just ‘real life’ stuff and it blends so well.

    Also how it seems to come to the end, then there’s ONE more nugget of info, then ONE more, and ONE more and keeps me hanging on til the very end.

    I’ve met you a few times and heard you speak and you are a stand up, totally genuine guy – this post is exactly as you are and how you sound and what you feel.

    This post is gonna help me so much in 2014, its being stickied to my desktop right now,

    Thanks pal

    Justin

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      awe shit Justin, thank you so much man

      your words here mean a lot to me, not to get all mushy on you, but it’s true

      hope you’re doing well brother

  9. Chris — rock on….everyone needs a whip for his demons, you found yours – I am still looking for mine…. have an awesome 2014 — and y’all remember – we are all going the same way…..

  10. Amazing words, you’ve been helping me since I found your blog a couple of months ago. Your HS days remind me of mine at LB Poly back in the early 80′s. Thanks for your honesty.

  11. Hey Chris,

    First off I have to say I absolutely love your posts. You keep it real all the time. This has to be the best one I’ve read to date.

    I love the content and can relate to how people learn. Was much the same when I was at school. I was only interested in the subjects which I found fun. Failed in all the others. Dropped out at 15 and bummed around form job to job for ages until I found out I was good at training people how to lift heavy shit in the gym. I like to make that fun and get better results than the gym trainers I see boring their clients to tears telling them all the shit they don’t really care about.

    Passion is the key as you say.

    You keep them coming and i’ll keep sharing them.

    Jimbo

  12. Chris,

    another great post, thanks man. Some great tips and info there and looking forward to putting them into use.

    cheers and looking forward to sharing my passion as much as you do.

    rob

  13. That was just great, way passed good. Very cool to be affirmed, My 5 year old’s favorite song is Wild child by The Doors and my 10 year olds is a solo by linkin parks lead singer in an empty auditorium of Adelle’s rolling in the deep and he likes Nick cave and the Bad seed’s Stagger Lee. We are studying the greatest badass in cricket, the guy who bowled the fastest ball ever- Jeff Thomson who liked to break batsmens ribs, skulls and bats- no one ever checks out what it takes to be GREAT and when they do the research it’s always media mainstream never the great, Don Bradman who is he? My Philosoph is study what he wrote take the trouble and who knows ? at least you will be practicing the right things.

  14. Thanks for writing this Chris.
    Some of the best content advice I have ever seen.
    God bless you man!
    All the best to you and your family.

  15. Hey Chris, I am not even gonna get all long winded here…Just Wanna Say That I Think You Are Just Simply Bad Ass Authentic And… Like I Have Said In The Past… One Of The Superstars On Planet Blog Who Will Make An Extraordinary Impact On The World”. Much Love & Respect To You, My Brother!

  16. Great content Is meant to just make you stay glued. I think this is the longest post I ever read anywhere! Ever! And i read every word, watched every video, clicked every link … Definitely what I need. Thanks Chris.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Awesome Ayodeji, glad you liked it so much and happy to know that people are watching the vids and clicking the links (=

      Super cool man

  17. A breath a sweet fresh air – BIG high five, love it – you got a new fan Happy New keepin it real Year xx

  18. Chris, can’t thank you enough for such a breath of fresh air. Holy Macrole! I love how your passion jumps off of the freakin screen champ! “Passion does INDEED trump everything.” Looking forward to learning more about you and appreciating your journey!

    Talk soon,

    D

  19. Appreciate you Chris! Good stuff…AS USUAL.

  20. Armond Willis says:

    Chris,
    Been following you for almost 3 years now and this blog was on point. I am at that point where I am ready to break through this year and not do the day job life. Transitioning from being a pro athlete to that shit sucks. It fucking sucks and Im terrible with orders.

    But I love training people and love to write and havent exploited that skill like I should.

    I hate being almost broke living to pay bills and not having fun. I am very passionate about training and heeding advice to others. Im always reading and following the best advice. Thanks for keeping it real. Best wishes

  21. Absolutely inspiring content mate! Love the brutal honesty and agree with the whole 7 steps. Nothing worse than someone trying to write as a person they’re are not but trying to perceive…
    Respect big fella!!!! Love your work…

  22. Just had to say that this was one seriously awesome post. Thank you!

  23. Great Fodder for the wee animals down here in Australia. Seriously, your best blog by far. Thankyou for your raw honesty, I like the fact you are real and open. I hope you continue being the badass writer and wish you all the best for 2014 and beyond.
    Great Stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Chris,

    After over a decade in the SEAL Teams – 5 of which were spent as a Sniper instructor – and now after 3 years in human performance content creation (5 months on my own site) I can honestly say that your style and no Bull Shit approach is an incredible breath of fresh air.

    I truly appreciate your work as it continues to give me the “permission” I need to be who I am when I write. I haven’t felt that since the Teams. Great work!

  25. hey Chris, I’m not even sure of how I found this blog, but man you rock. I have been wanting for sometime now to help people turn their lives around, like I did, but I never came back from shit like you did. :-) Mine was just anger issues, violence and alcohol. I have my own blog site, but sort of let it it go to waste. I have to say, I’m feeling slightly inspired right now :-) Good Job!

  26. Killer post man! I just came to the realization that I need to embrace extreme self expression if I’m going to get ahead of the masses with my copywriting and photography. Thanks for the kick in the ass!

    Erika

  27. On Point Chris! As usual on fn point!

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