9 Ways You Can Build a Blog that Matters

 Lego construction workers

I’m in Taipei, Taiwan now still recovering from jet lag. How do I know I still have jet lag? Every day I wake up around 7:30am wide awake! Back at home, that never happens. I actually enjoy it though. More jet lag for me please.

Taipei is a place close to my heart. I was born in Florida, but shortly after we came back here to live for a couple years. Starting in 2007, I lived here for 1.5 years studying Chinese and just looking to get away from my boring life back at home. I left with here so many unforgettable memories.

I also met a girl, who ended up being my wife.

The last time I came was last year February – April, and this time coming back brought back lots of memories for this blog. Why?

I started this blog, Get Busy Living,  in Taipei.  

It all happened in the second tallest building in the world, Taipei 101, in the food court. Unusual I know.

I had the domain for years, but it wasn’t until my time in Taipei that I really got serious about blogging and knew what I wanted to write about.

I’ll explain why the food court played such an important role.

Later, I’ll share how I’ve grown this blog from nothing to how you see it today. I get asked all the time about it, though I still feel I have so much to learn. However, I know I’ve done something right if people are asking.

I hope my experience can help many of you are looking to start a blog, or grow you blog in 2012. At the end, there’s a great new course for those looking for further help.

Started in February 2011

Last year when I came for two months, Eleanor was working four days a week at a bookstore called Page One, in Taipei 101.

It’s the centerpiece of Taipei. It’s a must stop for any tourist visiting Taipei. It’s probably my favorite building in the whole world. Every year it has some pretty cool fireworks on New Year’s Eve (Youtube).

The building is mainly used for office space but there are five floor of shops.

When she came to work, I came with her. I wasn’t going to stay at home. That’s too boring!

So what did I do while she worked? I’d go down to the first floor where the massive food court is located.

I love the food courts in Taipei. They’re nicer and cleaner than your typical American mall food court. There is a huge selection of Asian food with some American imports such as Subway, McDonald’s, and Cold Stone.

It’s pretty comfortable down there with lots of lighting and tables. The food court became my office for those two months.

I’d bring my iPad and wireless keyboard. I’d start at 11am and it’d be quiet except for employees getting ready for the lunch rush.

By 12pm, the place would be buzzing with office workers, tourists, locals, and shoppers all eating. I’d stay there until about 12:30pm, then would go upstairs and read books waiting for Eleanor’s lunch break at 1pm.

Then afterwards, she’d go back to work and I’d stay there until 6pm when she got off of work.

That was my schedule four days a week for nearly two months.

I liked working down there. The noise didn’t bother me. It actually energized me. Every time I’d sit right by the Coldstone, which wasn’t smart cause I’d stare at it all the time, however I preferred the tables in that area.

That’s where I began to immerse myself learning everything I could about blogging and took action. 

Before I know it, it’s almost been a year and I’m writing a post sharing my tips. It didn’t happen overnight. I started in that food court and I continued that same commitment to learning and improving when I came back home.

Why do we want a blog that matters?

I often get emails asking me how I’ve grown my blog. They want more comments. They want to increase their traffic. They want to make an impact. They have something to say and want people to read it.

Isn’t that why we want comments, retweets, Facebook Likes, and more? We want validation that what we’re producing matters. We want to be recognized for what we enjoy doing.

A blog that matters has true fans. Readers who read everything, leave comments, share your posts, buy your products and are with you every step of the way.

If a blog had 1,000 hits, but no one was around leaving comments, sharing the content, or talking with you, would it make a sound? Does it make it a blog that matters? I don’t think so.

Personally, I’d rather have 100 true fans than a 1000 quiet ones.

Maybe you want a blog that matters to:

  • Build a business
  • Launch a writing career
  • Be an authority in your niche
  • Make friends around the world
  • Start a movement

Do I have a blog that matters? Only you can answer that for me.

What I do know is that in just a year I’ve found a space where I feel comfortable. I’ve attracted a great community (thank you) and like the direction I’m headed in.

Am I still working to be better? Definitely.

However, I can share with you how I’ve grown my blog since day one. These aren’t the only way. It’s just what I’ve done.

How to Build a Blog that Matters

1. Write epic shit

Without this, the rest won’t matter. The rest will be meaningless. So it’s important to put it first.

If you write content that’s ho-hum, middle of the road, and stale on a consistent basis, you’re not going to have a blog that matters. I’m not trying to be harsh. Just realistic since thousands of blogs are started each day.

Corbett Barr, at Thinktraffic.net, wrote awhile back about writing epic shit (read it if you haven’t). Epic shit creates value. It inspires. Those are the posts that leave a lasting impression. They get the most shares and comments. Those are the posts that people still read a year after you’ve written it. It’s the ones that go viral. It puts you on the map.

They are the ones that you spend the most time on. It’s the ones that give you the most reward afterwards.

Not every post we write is going to be one-of-a-kind epic. We still need to keep a high level though and create posts on a mini-epic level.

How can you find out what’s epic? One way is to go to people’s blog and look at their most popular posts. For my blog, you can see it in my sidebar.

Then don’t copy blatantly, but borrow their format. Corbett Barr did a post called 33 Things I Have Never Told You. It was one of his most popular posts. Since then many have borrowed the format and wrote it on their own blog.

I remember a homework assignment when I was a part of a course with Adam Baker (Man vs. Debt) and Corbett. They said to write a post by borrowing a format from someone’s popular posts.

Since my birthday was approaching, I did a post similar to Adam’s life lessons posts. I called mine 34 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 34 Years.

How did it do? 100 retweets, 176 Likes on Facebook, and 115 comments, including my replies.

That post came just five months after I started my blog. Was I excited? You bet I was!

Roundup posts can be popular as well. My roundup post with 40 bloggers is still my second most popular post. To be honest, I’m shocked. It got lots of views and shares when it came out last summer, but to still be sitting at the second spot is surprising.

I forgot how many hours I spent on it, but I know I worked overtime on that post. It paid off.

Lists posts are always recommended. Posts where you teach something so useful are great as well.

Posts talking about your experiences and lessons learned from it can be epic. My most popular post, My $4,739 Weekend and 11 Lessons To Help You, went totally crazy for me. That post was a huge turning point on this blog.

Without great content, you’re not going to have a blog that matters. If you want your blog to grow fast, find ways to write epic content.

It’s what’s going to keep people coming back and bringing in new fans.

2. Have a nice blog design

If you’re single and serious about meeting new guys or girls, take the time to dress right. If you go to a crowded bar wearing the same clothes you wore while pulling weeds, no one is going to think “Hey I really want to get to know this person!” They’re going to think “Bye bye” before you even open your mouth.

Your blog is the same way. If you want new readers to stick around longer than a few seconds, make your blog look nice.

What’s a bad design? Bad color combinations, busy sidebar, too many ads, things not aligned, things flashing, and a bad looking header to name some.

You don’t need a $1000 custom designed blog either. The beauty of WordPress is that there are so many great free looking themes. I spent hours looking at free themes before deciding which one I wanted.

In the end I decided on a free theme by Thrilling Heroics. Loved it.

Even premium themes out of the box look pretty great. I use the Standard Theme now, which I customized, but John Saddington, the creator of the theme uses it without customization and he’s got a blog that matters and now blogs full time.

Make your blog design so that when someone comes to your blog, it doesn’t scare them away. Simple is so much better, especially when you’re just starting.

Think about your favorite blogs. They all probably have a great design now, but I bet when they started, they started with a simple clean theme.

3. Leave comments 

I didn’t say leave comments and get tons of traffic. I never started commenting with the hopes of getting tons of traffic. I still haven’t seen a single comment I left that has done that.

When I started, I left comments to get myself and my blog noticed. I aimed to do it one blogger at a time. But I didn’t ask them to check out my blog in the comment. I left a genuine comment about their post. I left it up to them if they chose to come to my blog.

Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes it happened after my first comment or my tenth.

When no one knows about your blog, leaving comments are a good way to get noticed.

However I prefer quality over quantity. Don’t spam. Five great comments in one day is better than fifty that say “Great post! Enjoyed it!”

It doesn’t have to be long, but make it so they know you’ve read it. You can add to what they wrote, or politely disagree. Sometimes they’ll ask a question at the end of the post to generate comments. Reply to that.

If you truly enjoyed the post, let them know. No blogger gets tired of hearing that.

I know one serial commenter that will remain nameless that used commenting as a way to try and get traffic. You could tell because that person was on every blog it seemed. That person once left a comment on a guest post I did where you could tell 100% he didn’t read the post.

If a post already had thirty comments, this person would reply to the first comment when there was clearly no reason to. Why? To be seen.

When I went to this person’s blog, what did I see? Very little or no comments on their posts. Not many retweets or sharing on posts. All this person cared about was traffic stats and wrote posts showing it. What’s the point of that?

If you want a blog that matters, don’t act in a way that’s going to turn people off.

4. Reply to comments

It’s still one of my favorite things to do. If you’ve left a comment here, you’ve gotten a reply from me.

I like to acknowledge those who left a comment. To me, that person has taken the time to read my post, AND say something about it. I’d hug you if I could.

The plugin ReplyMe makes it easy for them to be notified. They get an e-mail in their inbox and you’re not spamming them.

I think the first place I saw it was Ana’s blog at Traffic Generation Cafe. I thought it was the coolest thing. She’s got a great blog with an engaged community. I’m sure the plugin is a part of it.

If they’ve left a good comment, don’t just fire back a one line standard reply. Personalize it. Continue the conversation. Thank them for their insight. Make them feel like gold for leaving a comment.

Adrienne Smith does a great job of that and now routinely gets 100+ comments each post.

5. Make it easy to share posts

Recently I thanked someone for rewteeting one my posts. She replied by telling me she did because I made it so easy for her to do. That’s the goal!

Don’t make your users hunt for your share buttons. If they can’t find it easily, they just might not share.

I love the Twitter box plugin at the end of my posts. I get asked about that one a lot.

I have a Sharebar on the left side of the post that’s built into the Standard Theme. It follows the user as they read the post.

Make it so simple for readers when they are ready to share with their followers.

6. Show some of your personal side

People not only connect with the content you write, but the person behind the blog. How can they know more about you? Inject a little bit about yourself when it’s relevant.

I’m thankful people seem to like me (or maybe not but they haven’t spoken up) and that’s helped grow my blog I believe.

For example, I talked about the facing fear directly and taking risks out of your comfort zone. My example was my story moving to Taipei to study Chinese, trying to meet new friends, and taking a leap by moving to Sydney for a girl! I used my personal story to make my point.

Amy Clover at Strong Inside and Out recently had a post where she talked about her former life, her OCD, depression, drugs, and her near suicide attempt. However, she’s turned her life around and it has a happy ending. It’s truly a great post with well deserved praise.

She found a way to tell her story, let her readers know more about her, but still focused on her theme of positive and healthy living.

Think about your favorite big blogs out there. I bet you know a little bit about them outside of blogging. You may know a lot more depending on how much they share and how long you’ve been reading. You feel like you could have a cup of coffee or a beer with that blogger.

No doubt it has benefited their blog.

7. Share other people’s content and expect nothing in return

When I first learned how to use Twitter, I read that I should share more than I promote. In other words, I should be retweeting others’ content instead of just saying “Look at mine!” That stuck with me.

When you share someone’s post on Twitter and you have their @name in it, they’ll see it. They’ll appreciate it. They may come look at your blog and return the favor if they see a post that’s worthy of sharing in the future.

You might turn them into a regular reader, a friend, or future business partner. I’ve gotten to know so many people from seeing them retweet my stuff or starting a conversation after seeing me do that for them.

However, don’t share posts expecting they return the favor. Share their post because you really like it.

In the long run, you’ll get back so much more.

8. Build your tribe

Your tribe is like a group of great friends. You not only like their blog, but you like the person behind it.

They’ll be the ones that support you when you need advice. They’ll inspire you. They’ll motivate you.

Your tribe is going to be the one that keep coming back to your blog when you have a new post. They’ll share your content on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. They’ll write a post and link back to your blog. They’ll promote you to their readers.

I value the relationships I’ve built online. It’s beyond just reading their posts. It’s a genuine interest in that person and what they are doing.

How can you build your tribe?

I don’t think it can be forced. It has to develop naturally. Just like relationships offline. Start by reading blogs you enjoy and leaving comments on their post. Send them an email to introduce yourself or thank them for what they do.

Get social on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. If you’re shy, it removes that barrier to starting a conversation.

Slowly, you’ll naturally be drawn to certain people and you’ll start to attract new like-minded people.

If you’re just starting out, don’t expect to get into the inner circle of A-list bloggers. It’s not that they’ll ignore you if you ask for advice, but being on their speed dial, giving you their top advice, or having them constantly share your work is going to be rare. They’ve already got their tribe.

Instead, find someone on the same level as you or just starting. Remember every A-list blogger started just like you and me. In a year or two, your tribe might just be filled with A-list bloggers.

If not, it’ll still be filled with great friends.

9. Always keep learning and improving

The reason I failed in my previous attempts at blogging or anything in fact, was I didn’t have a passion for always learning and improving.

Before, I knew how to get started, and thought that was enough.

In that food court in Taipei, I rediscovered that desire to learn all I could about blogging. This time I would take it seriously. That was key for me. It wasn’t just a fun thing to do on the side.

Those first few months, I read through the archives on blogs such as Copyblogger.com, Problogger.net, Thinktraffic.net, and Smartpassiveincome.com.

I listened to so many podcasts from experienced bloggers on Blogcast FM in my car.

I don’t pretend to know everything about blogging. I still have SO much to learn. I’m always looking to improve. I’m obsessed with it, but in a healthy way.

If you truly want a blog that matters, you have to take it seriously and never stop wanting to get better.

Start a Blog That Matters Today

One person I started to follow when I started blogging was Corbett Barr. I know I’ve mentioned him a few times here, but it’s well deserved. His story is he left the miserable corporate world, went on a sabbatical to Mexico, and decided to start blogging even though he had never blogged before.

Now he has two successful blogs with one more heading that way. He has helped clients launch or grow blogs that attract from 10,000 to 100,000+ visitors per month (including Live Your Legend, Man Vs. Debt, Primer Magazine and The Possibility of Today). He makes a full time living doing this.

He’s been helpful with any questions I’ve had along the way.

He’s taken everything he’s learned in three years and with the same strategies he uses for his one-on-one clients created a new course “How to Start a Blog that Matters”.

Who’s this course for? 

You have no blog, but want to start.

It’s not about just starting a blog (that’s easy), but starting a blog that could be a huge success.

What if you already have a blog?

It’s up to you how you use this course. You could start a whole new blog from scratch or you could keep your existing content and relaunch.

You could start on a new domain, import your content, and redirect your readers to your new blog. That way you won’t lose any traffic.

Or you could stay at your current domain, do a small redesign, create some epic content, and relaunch with a bang by following the course.

Bottom line: It’s a course you’ll want to take if you want a blog that could make a difference and change your life. 

What’s in it? 

It’s a 90 day course take gets you to take action in a structured setting.

Here’s everything you get in the course:

  • 13 weekly lessons
  • 13 weekly step-by-step action plans
  • Over 8 hours of video
  • Direct access to ask Corbett questions anytime (awesome)
  • A 60-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee (he wants you to be 110% satisfied)
  • 4 very special bonuses

In 90 days, you will build a solid foundation for your blog. You’ll save hours and hours of time reading and doing the wrong things. After 90 days, you could be ahead of many bloggers who have been around 6-12 months.

Corbett usually charges $6k-$10K working with clients, and uses the same strategies in this course as he does with them. Until 1/20 Midnight PST, it’s only $77. Then it’ll go back to $97, which is still a great investment. 

Plus the first 100 people to purchase, will be invited to a live “kick off” webinar with Corbett in two weeks. 

I was a member of his last course, The Hustle Project, and enjoyed his teaching style and content. I wouldn’t promote this course if I didn’t believe in what he can deliver.

In a year from now, YOU could have a thriving blog, a business, get paid to write, have friends all over the world, or have tons of true fans thanking you for what you do on your blog.

That would be pretty cool, right?


Click here learn to start a blog that matters


Whew! That was a lot of information! I hope you’ve found it useful.

What else would you add that helps create a blog that matters?

What makes you a fan of your favorite blogs? 

Please share in the comments!

Photo by johnarobb


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  • Benny,
    awesome content as always. Currently I just started my own blog and I learned a few things from your article which for sure I’ll use in near future. Thanks for value and keep going!

    P.S. Are you planning some new apps for iPhone?

    • Hey Pawel! I’m glad you enjoyed it. These nine things are things I’ve personally done since day one. So they do work. It just takes time for results to start happening.

      I’m planning new apps. Still working on getting them started!

  • Thanks for this awesome information packed post, Benny! I am so impressed by your success.

    Whenever I read posts like yours, and Adrienne’s great post about blogging success, I always seem to learn something new. I’m doing a lot of the right things, and my blog is growing!

    One challenge I have when reading great posts like yours is remembering not to compare myself to other bloggers. You have your voice and I have mine. Usually when I see other bloggers getting more commments and shares than me, I eventually discover that person simply has different resources than I do! Access to those resources does not make any blogger better or worse than another- we’re just in a different place.

    For example, I work full time in addition to blogging, and don’t get around to leaving as many comments as I would if I wasn’t working full time.

    To any aspiring bloggers I would add that it’s more important to spend quality effort working on your blog than worrying why someone else is getting more comments than you. If you do the work, I believe blogging success will happen for anyone that puts their heart into it!

    Thanks for sharing your tips to blogging success, Benny! I really enjoyed reading about how you got started.


    • Hey Chrysta!

      I understand what you mean about comparing yourself to other blogger. I’m sure we all do it. I know I did a lot more when I was starting out and I still catch myself from time to time. I try to remember that comparing myself does me no good. The blogosphere is big, but so are the number of readers. There’s room for those who put in hard work to have success. Of course other bloggers might be able to write more or do more cause they don’t have a full time job. I have a full time job so I can’t stay at home every night and work on my blog. I would if I could!

      But you have a great attitude about it and it’ll carry you a long way!

      Thanks for your insight!

  • Amy

    Benny! Thank you for mentioning me. I’m so grateful to have gotten to know you more over the past few months. Support from bloggers like you has been so helpful in the growth of my little site. 😉

    I agree with every single tip you have here. I did the 27 Things I’ve Never Told You post as a way to offer more of myself to my readers, and it went over really well! It’s still one of my most popular posts.

    • Thanks Amy! Your post was one of the best “personal” post I’ve read in awhile. Maybe cause of your writing. Maybe cause I’ve gotten to know you the past few months and am happy to see the work you’ve been doing.

      I actually had a girl from Spain e-mail me asking how to get started blogging. She wants to write about healthy living, weight loss, and positive living. I told her to take a look at your blog cause you’re a great example of someone who’s been able to incorporate all three things! She loved what she saw!

      Thanks for coming by Amy!

  • Hey Benny,

    Thanks for mentioning BlogcastFM here. I really appreciate that you listened to us and more importantly I’m glad it had an impact. It seems that we’ve become a part of many people’s daily commute. I’ve always known you’d succeed because you had the work ethic required and the long term perspective. You’re always consistent.


    • Of course Srini. I have to mention Blogcast FM. I doubt I have nearly as much success if I didn’t listen to it. I learn so much from the interviews you have. Speaking of that, I need to go to iTunes now and leave a five star review!

  • Hi, Benny. I’m glad you’re back and this is an awesome post. Since starting my own blog I’ve been working my butt off to make all of these things on the list a priority and so far so good. I’ve also been on Corbett’s site a lot and am seriously considering purchasing hiw program.If I do I will let you knwo how it goes. Thanks for the great post.

    • Hey Dwayne,

      Thanks for reading! Glad to hear you’re been working hard on your blog. Keep at it.

      His product might be what you need. Many successful bloggers now have gone through courses taught by others. It helps get you cut through the crap and focus only on what works. Plus by being a part of the course, you’ll get to ask Corbett anything anytime and to me that’s super valuable.

      Let me know if you have more thoughts about it! Thanks for your comment Dwayne!

  • Great post, Benny. Appreciate how you gave us great value in the post even before the promotion of Corbett’s program. That’s the way to do proper promotion! We gain value and the “sales pitch” really isn’t one…it’s just even more value, clearly delineated.

    It’s neat to read your story about watching other bloggers getting started, because you’re actually one of the ones I’ve been watching (and learning from).

    Thanks for the great insights.

    • Thanks Steve! That’s great you picked up on my strategy. I learned that from Brendan Burchard’s “The Millionaire Messenger”. I was re-reading it and picked up this tip. Give people great value first and then promote something at the end. Don’t just pitch it to them.

      Thanks for reading my story. Just coming back to Taipei this time brought back so many memories and I had to share.

      Thanks Steve!

  • Hey Benny.

    As always a great post. I think I tried to hit #1 and #6 in my most recent post. I hope so anyway. For sure shared some personal lessons about blogging and not just language stuff. But I think I need to work on #2. That will be a project for later this year. Thanks for another post to chew on and contemplate and reviisit.


    • Aaron,

      I think you’ve got #2 nailed! Your blog looks great. A lot better than many blogs I had in mine when writing this post. But I know we always feel like there’s more we can do to the design of our blog.

      Off to read about Tim Tebow!

  • Benny,
    I think you should go to Taiwan more often. You seem to thrive there. This post was so well put together.

    Things that i like about other blogs are
    1- Love the personal stories mixed with a lesson. Makes it more real. Just like you did fantastically here.
    2- I think consistency is also something i like. I’ve been struggling with my own blog in this way. Consistency in content. Style and voice.
    I bet i know who the serial commenter that shall remain nameless is. LOL.

    • Hey Annie!

      Maybe it’s the jet lag that’s helping out my writing. Hahaha.

      Thanks for sharing what you like. #2 is really important. I realize that blogs that I like to read are consistent in all those things you mentioned. Very good point!

      And yes you know who the serial commenter is!

  • Benny such a valuable post!!..well first off I hope your enjoying Taiwan! I remember reading one of your past blogs about how you left to go there after just getting out of a relationship (forgive me if I”m getting this wrong) but that story kind of stuck with me because I remember how at the time it seemed rough, but then you met your wife!

    Anyway, this post was super relevant, as I’ve been thinking the last couple weeks how to make my blog something worthwhile and valuable. I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming on what people find inspiring, motivational, and worth reading. THinking about putting together a part of my blog that is dedicated to just posts of inspiring images.

    Got A LOT of great nuggets from this one Benny! Hope all is well!

    • Hey Chris!

      You have a great memory!! I just got out of a relationship and felt that it was time to do something I’ve always wanted to do. Before I tried to come here for just three months to study, but she wasn’t happy about that idea. Things worked out for the better in the end!

      Glad I gave you somethings to think about!

  • Great post Benny! I am hoping to launch a blog soon, so this was excellent! It’s been a little rough planning the launch but posts like these give me a huge boost! Personally, I want to build a blog that matters for two of the reasons you listed. I would like to make friends around the world and to start a movement! I would be interested in hearing about the great people you have got to know through blogging.. Thanks again Benny!

    • Hey Aaron! Take a look at my 40 bloggers post from last summer. Those are some great people I met. Some have stopped blogging but many are still going strong. Maybe in a future post I’ll do another post similar and mention some of the great people I’ve met since then! I’ve met so many and I’m sure I’ll be meeting more as I continue.

      Good luck on getting your blog started. It’s going to take a lot of work, so I hope you’re ready for it! Think about the course I mentioned. It’d be a great way to get started right. Plus you’d be learning from someone who’s built three successful blog.

      Good to see you Aaron!

  • Hey Benny,

    Incredibly useful post – blogging has definitely been one of the best things I’ve ever done and you make so many new friends. It’s also a magical feeling the first time something you write takes off like crazy.

    But seriously dude, up at 7:30am in Taipei?! Nothing opens there until 10am! 😀

    Hanging to go back and visit the markets again. Have fun while you’re over there.

    • Josh,

      I completely agree. The first time I had a post go crazy, it was amazing. I still never get tired of it. I keep spending the time to create a post that will bring that rush of excitement. It’s also been great get to know so many wonderful people. Bloggers are a great group of people!

      Yes 7:30am in Taipei. Every morning so far! It’s crazy, but I actually enjoy getting up that early. You’ve been here before? When? For fun? Great city with too much great food. I’ll have to wobble out of here when I leave.

      • Haha, I can definitely relate to mass amounts of food. I just loved the convenience of being able to go downstairs at like 11pm and grab a bite to eat (something you can’t do in Australia).

        I stayed in Taipei for about a month over Christmas/New Years period a couple years back. Just enough time to want to stay and keep improving my Mandarin.

        • Some places are opened so late here. When we arrived, we drove by a restaurant at 2am and there were people eating. This was Thursday night. But yes it’s really convenient to grab a bit. There’s always 7-11 too! Hope you can make it back to Taipei soon and brush up on your Mandarin.

  • I have actually been to the food court at Taipei 101 it was amazing. I had forgotten but when reading the “how I got started” part it came vividly back to me… I can see you sitting at one of those tables, what a neat place to spend all day! They really do know how to make a food court over there…

    Great post, as always. Thanks!

    • Vicki,

      When did you come to Taipei? What brought you there? What did you get to see in Taipei?

      I love the food courts here. The food is better. You don’t get your typical chain fast food restaurants like back in the US. Spending time at the 101 food court is definitely a neat place to hang out. I never got tired of it.

      Your website is looking great! Hope the apps for your husband are doing well!

      • We went in August of 2009, for a business trip Ray had right before he quit to start his own business. We got to see the beach, eat squid balls on a stick, Taipei 101 of course, and went hiking in the mountains to the southeast (past the zoo). Oh and went to a tea house after the hike. I do wish the US had food courts like over there, even the “cheap” places had real food!

        • They do have lots of great hiking trails. There’s one near Taipei 101 that has the best view of the whole city. It’s amazing how quiet it is up there. The best part is that Taipei 101 is right there in front of you. Truly breathtaking! I sat up there on my 30th birthday thinking about life. Great memories. You’re right that the cheap places even had real food!! Food is cheaper and so good here!

  • Another great post by you! I really enjoy reading your posts. I am seriously contemplating taking the course. Thanks again for the great article!

    • Hey Shay! Great to hear from you. I think you’d really enjoy the course. Plus being able to ask Corbett questions directly is helpful! Let me know if you have any more questions about it or blogging!

  • Hey man, great post. You are such a big help to people like me. I will definitively take everything you’ve said in this post into consideration… psshhh.. actually im definitively going to do it lol. You always post great info and I love how you share your personal stories. Great job man

    • Hey Aaron! Great to hear from you! How have things been going? How’s school? Thanks for reading. Keep in mind the nine things that I did, I did on a consistent basis. It didn’t do it for a month, take one month off, and then start again. It consistently did all these things. Without it, I wouldn’t have gotten the results I see today. I know you can do it!

      Thanks for reading and happy new year to you!

      • Schools been very very busy lol, I’m loving it though. I had a great new year how was yours? and ok, and thanks for the encouragement! I really appreciate it! My motivational speaker career is starting to actually take off a little. I’m getting gigs here and there. I just need my site to compliment it ya know?

        • That’s awesome Aaron! I’m so happy to hear you’re speaking career is starting to take off! So pumped! Definitely get your blog to compliment it. My new years was great. On a little vacation overseas, but still hustling. Thanks for updating me!

  • Hey Benny,

    As always, your advice is some of the best! No doubt about it fella, you always write so emphatically, with so much passion and conviction that’s it’s hard to not listen.

    Thanks for all the advice here, there’s so much I want to try. Also, I just saw Corbetts course yesterday and I wasn’t sure whether to go for it. But well I think now you’ve convinced me.

    Thanks again,


    • Hey Matthew! Great to hear from you. Thanks so much for reading. I’m very passionate about it and had fun writing this one. I guess it showed in my writing.

      I saw you had a site critique for your other website on Chris G’s blog. I’m sure he gave you some real valuable insight! That’s great to make the investment in improving your site.

      As for Corbett’s course, I think it would benefit you. You already have a blog, but you could take what he teaches and apply it to it. Or do a relaunch. Or you could send ask him directly after you’ve joined.

      Let me know if you have more questions in the future. I’m always happy to help!

  • What you just wrote here is something that re-affirms what I already know and it feels great I am on the right track. What’s stricking is: Writing an epic shit! I got some two or three posts that sold like hot cakes for my standards. And I am trying to understand how to pick up from here. I’m glad I’m reading this blog and some others where I get to move further. Thanks!

    • Hey Pinoy,

      I’m glad you’re on the right track. I just wanted to share my experience since I get asked about it often. You definitely have to keep bringing epic stuff to your blog. We all have it in us. Look around at other blogs for inspiration. The epic posts are the ones that go viral and bring you lots of new traffic and readers!

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Hi Benny

    I did quite a bit of research online about how to build a blog over time. I dont have a “great” one per se, but that’s not the point. the point is, amidst everything i’ver read about how to build a blog etc… your post here is one of the most heartfelt one I’ve ever read. i feel that you genuinely want others to succeed in building a blog if that’s what they want to do. there’s sincerity in it. my gratitude to you for this post, and of course, for all the help you gave me so willingly via email.

    Very touched. thanks
    Noch Noch

    • Thank you so much Noch. You made me smile! I just treat people the way I want to be treated. So I help in anyway I can. I’m fortunate to still be blogging almost a year later, and I’m always so happy when someone comes to me asking for advice! That’s pretty cool. Giving back is one of the best parts about blogging.

  • Hey Benny, this is an EPIC post my friend. These are the kinds of posts that readers really find beneficial to them and I love that you’ve offered Corbett’s program to help them move forward if they feel they are stuck. So many people don’t know where to turn so recommending something you stand behind is great.

    I wanted to thank you for that mention, I appreciate that and we have both learned during this process to just be ourselves and I know that we are very similar in the fact that we truly appreciate people who visit our blogs and leave comments. We enjoy helping others learn and grow so any advice I can share from my own experiences makes me feel this journey has been worth every second.

    I’m excited about your upcoming product and now you’ve let the cat out of the bag as to what it is. I have no doubt that it will also be “epic” my friend. Can’t wait for it’s release.

    Great tips and now I have a post to send my readers to if they want more information.

    Thanks Benny and you and Eleanor have a great time!


    • Thanks for the mention in your post Adrienne! Very cool! I enjoyed writing this post. I wanted to get all those questions people email me about and put it into one post. So I know many others are asking the same thing and now they know some of the things I’ve done! I know you definitely appreciate the comments. Like I said, if I could hug a person who read my post AND left a comment, I would!

      Thanks as always Adrienne!

  • The best part or advice I love here is about sharing others contents and not expecting anything from it. It’s good to try help your audience and give them the best they deserve by sharing other peoples content that serves a specific purpose.

    I like your posts always and wish you success in your IM sojourn!

    • Definitely give your audience a great reason to follow you. Give them great content to read. Inspire them. Unless you’re a celebrity, no one is going to want to know what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Help your audience and help others first.

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  • Thanks for the great post. Your passion is contagious. Learning everyday and choosing to look at things with the expectation of winning is so important.

    Your blog design is great. Not at all cluttered. A blog that matters is one that gives more than it asks for. Your blog fits that description to a T.

    It is thanks to you and other bloggers who offer great advice that I have finally gotten up the courage to write comments. Everyone else seemed to much more capable than me, so I read the posts but never commented. The reason I now have the courage is because you consistently make the call to action to have people comment on your blog.
    Thank you for writing a great blog that matters.

    • Hi Patricia!

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I’m glad I helped give you that push to leave one. I enjoy comments because I like to hear what you have to say. Often I learn so much more just from reading the comments. I like to know what people are doing. I just like to get to know you more!

      If you’re also looking to meet like-minded people, leaving comments is a great way to do that.

      Thanks again for leaving a comment and look forward to seeing more from you!

  • Mark Brown

    You have mentioned that a blog can be improved by 9 ways and there are another another one who has said only 3 ways?Then which way should I follow?So I am in fix.But generally I think it would be good if I follow both of you.But worried and for that asking your help.

    Thanks for your great job and please help me as soon as possible.

    • Hey Mark,

      The nine ways I listed aren’t the only ways. These are the things I’ve done to grow my blog. For example, one way you can grow your blog really quick is to do guest posting. I didn’t mention that because I haven’t done as much as some bloggers. However, when I started, I kept hearing experienced bloggers say do more guest posting. It does work. Maybe that might be good for your blog?

      As for what’s the best way to do it for you? Depends on your niche. How do most of your readers find you? Twitter? Facebook? Google? Forums? If someone gets the majority of their visitors from Google, then they should work on SEO. Leaving comments on other blogs won’t help.

      So see what the other big blogs in your niche are doing to grow. I’m assuming your niche is picking up women. If so, how are the bigger blogs reaching out to people looking for their content? Do some research. Hope that helps. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.

  • Johny Sy

    This is a very kind post. It’s really kind of you to share your secrets on how you’ve attained your endeavors. Your points were explained well and you did a great job on leaving an impact to your reader even if your content is a bit lengthy.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Johny Sy

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  • Love this list, and especially how you relate your blog’s design to dressing up for a date. Smart connection there, Mr. Hsu.

    • Thanks Laura! It’s true though! Some guys wear clothes that are too big, dirty shoes, and jeans that look five years old. Not going to help picking up a hot girl. Am I right? Thanks for reading. 🙂

  • Benny,

    Thanks for the great post! As someone who’s only been blogging since the end of October, it’s posts like this one that really help to define the path to success.

    Obviously, building a successful blog requires a ton of work, just like anything else in life that is worthwhile. But, information like this makes it significantly easier to work along the pathway of success by identifying some common mistakes for us “newbies” to avoid.

    In regards to having an impact with a blog, if somebody doesn’t have the intention of having a blog that matters, what’s the point? That just seems like a great, big giant waste of time to me…..

    Thanks again for providing such great content. It’s a great story, and I hope you all the success you wish to achieve!


  • Hi Benny!
    Your post title attracted my attention. Nice steps to build an efficient blog.
    Actually I am in the category of those who have already built the blog but I have many points to improve. Your #1 hit is strange and I have to work a little bit on it to understand it better and apply.
    Furthermore, I find #6 tip quite hard but important especially if we want to build a community.
    Thanks for the list. I put in my todo the new tips you mention.

    take care!

    • Hi Lenia! Thanks again for reading. Great to hear from you. The #1 thing is the most important thing. I’ll explain more. If you don’t write something great, people aren’t going to keep going back to your blog. You have to give your readers something really valuable. It could teach them something or tell a story to inspire them. It’ll make them want to tell their friends about it. They’ll want to share it on Facebook and Twitter. What you write is why readers will come back. This applies for anyone in any topic. Let’s say I write about traveling around the world. Well there are lots of blogs about people traveling around the world right? I have to think “Why would people read my blog over other blogs? What can I offer that other blogs can’t?” So I have to write something unique about traveling around the world. Maybe I’ll write a post called “20 Reasons You Should Quit Your Job Today and Travel Around the World”. Doesn’t that title make it sound interesting? If you write it well, it could be a great post. Or I could write a post called “How Traveling Earned me $100,000”. If you had a great true story behind it and showed people how you were able to earn $100,000 from traveling around the world, so many people would love to read it. That’s a great post. That’s epic.

      I hope that makes a bit more sense. If you’re still unsure, feel free to email me and I can keep helping you.

      • Hi Benny!
        I really thank you for this explanation and the examples provided. You really help me to understand better what epic means and improve my writing!
        Yes, it makes more sense to me 🙂 You give me some great ideas here.
        Have a good day and see you!

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  • Ashley

    Hello Benny,

    This post is very inspiring but I am still stuck. I don’t know where to start. I have many interests and things I’m passionate about that I don’t want to choose just one.

    I’m sort of a perfectionist and I’m not so sure if I could succeed with blogging but I’m willing to try since I love to write and I’m a poetess who currently posts on deviantart and I’ve also been given a daily deviation on that site.

    So, content is my main concern. I just don’t know what to choose. Was that hard for you a well? Still?

    • Hey Ashely!

      Thanks so much for reading. Sorry about the few days it took to reply, but I was packing and traveling. I understand you have many interests and things you’re passionate about. You don’t have to just choose one thing, but it’s best to narrow it down. Reason is you’re looking for readers who share you same interests. It’s going to be easier to get people who enjoy poems to follow your blog consistently, than someone who enjoys poems, fashion, art, cooking, and singing (just examples). Does that make sense?

      You could post on a variety of topics, but it’s going to start to turn into a personal blog almost.

      Was it hard for me to choose? Yeah it was hard because I do have many interests too. For me, I decided on personal development because that’s a topic I knew I would be interested in for a long time. My other interests I probably wouldn’t be able to routinely write content for.

      You could also evolve. You start off writing about a certain topic and if you start to build a following, you can introduce other topics. For example, I started with personal development, but I’ve also written posts like the one you just read. I love to talk blogging and on this blog, I am able to write about it.

      Hope that sheds some light. Please feel free to e-mail me and we can talk about it more in detail!

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  • Levis

    Blogging is an art and it needs to learn. I was very pleased to find this web-site. I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

    • Thanks Levis! Appreciate you read it!

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  • Thanks, man. I really like your attitude. Thank you for proving that being successful in the internet does not require someone to be a snakes oil salesman.

    • Thank you. There are lots of people doing things the right way online. I’m definitely not into scamming people online. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.