There’s a Lie Going On, And It’s destroying Your Blogging Future

You are a blogger. You luv social media. Making money online. And blogging. And you luv blogging about using social media to make money online.

And you want to become successful ?

Boy, you are in trouble !

Becoming yet another how-to-make-money online blogger and social media consultant is like fighting giant space robots with horses and and slingshots. It’s a hopeless battle.

What made a problogger successful years ago won’t help YOU become the next big thing.

In the past, the web was less crowded, and making-money-online & blogging advice was still a novelty (imagine THAT!). The A-list bloggers you are reading now (Zenhabits, Problogger, Copyblogger) dominated that time because they were original:

Darren Rowse shared his make-money blogging tips from monetizing his photography blog. Copyblogger’s Brian Clark mixed classy internet marketing with copywriting skills. They both did quality stuff in a time that didn’t offer any real competition – the type of competition you are facing now.

Everyone tells you that if you follow their “proven” advice, you are going to become just as successful. And it’s a big lie.

How much success do you think the 11th problogger type will achieve ? Or the 22th blogger that teaches you the same online marketing and copywriting skills ? All of them are boring me-too types, and they’re polluting the blogosphere with their cookie-cutter garbage.

If all you do is copying “proven” advice and simply adding your style, YOU ARE FUCKED.

Don’t pardon my French – there’s no other way to put it. There are only so many ways you can cover up the same information with a nice looking package. The world doesn’t need another me-too blogger – the one that hopes to get lots of money by teaching what everyone else is teaching.

Listen, I am guilty too. Up until a week ago, you could have smacked my ass with a steel pipe by being like almost everyone else out there, but now you can’t.

This blog started out like all the others – copying someone else’s advice and then slamming your own style on it. But it’s not original, it’s not going to be successful and certainly doesn’t put a dent in the universe.

And that’s why I started my latest project “I luv Empire” – a project that’s original and fresh compared to all the cookie-cutter blogs out there. It’s not great yet, but it’s getting there. The whole site is drawn in a heavily Japanese influenced comic style, and the theme is a mix between inspiration and entertainment geared towards bloggers and internet geeks.

I got thousands of visitors on the first day. In fact, the launch day traffic TRIPLED the best traffic day I achieved with THIS blog. Why ? Because I luv Empire is more original – it’s worth talking about.

If you want massive online attention, you have to play your own game. There’s no how-to manual that ensures massive online success. You have to own the mindset of doing remarkable work, and then you simply have to crash and burn until you get there – trying out NEW and different stuff, doing work that NO ONE else doing the way you do it.

I remember this quote, and I wish I knew who came up with the original idea:

If you want to be successful, you have to be the best in what you do.

If you want to be remarkably, over-the-top, OMFG successful you have to be the ONLY one in what you do.

What this means for you:

1) Following someone else’s how-to manual is not going to work for you in the long run.

What made them successful THEN is not going to make you successful NOW. If you still want to become a profitable digital entrepreneur in an overcrowded industry (make money online, social media consulting), you have to find a fresh, new style that NOBODY rocks like you.

Just copying someone else’s model and putting your flavor on it is NOT enough anymore.

2) If you really want to do something unique, you have to invent it yourself.

And with inventing I don’t mean , but “new” as in combining different ideas and create something fresh with it. Hugh McLeod is drawing cartoons on biz cards. Cartoons are not a new concept, neither are biz cards. But combining those two ideas and merging them with Hugh’s style results in something fresh – the gapingvoid brand. Nobody does HOW he does it, and that’s why he’s standing out and dominating his space in the web.

Have your say.

And please share this message with your friends.

  • Black Seo Guy

    Sometime following someone else steps is not the best of things to do..because you must make your own path and build your presents the only way you know how.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Mars Dorian

      yeah, I’d even go further – you CAN’T follow anyone’s steps anymore if you truly want to reach a remarkable place. It’s all fresh or nothing !

  • Jeff

    Mars, I like this post as it tackles an issue I have been having.

    I am new at this whole social media game. I am one of those that is not blogging about blogging “accessible poker strategy” is my thing. I read a lot of the “how to blog blogs” to try and implement the ideas to mine. I find the interesting problems is, I sometimes find myself wishing I was a “how to do social media” blogger, as the advice on how to do all of this is so well outlined everywhere. But then I give myself a reality check; if the information is everywhere and everyone is doing it, how on earth would I even compete in this arena?

    So I guess this represents to two sides of the spectrum. It is tons of information/resources with oodles of competition (in how to blog blogs) vs extremely less information available but less competition (in niche blogs).

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Jeff,

      all the social media advice is pretty useless – all those strategies and tweaks – they are just polishing nothing else. Social media simply means being social using media. There’s no other secret behind it ;)
      The most important thing is always to do something remarkable – to create something worth talking about, and then making it EASY to spread your idea via social media. If you then engage with your community, and you let them become part of your business (feedback, engagement), then that’s all you need to rock ;)

      • Beyond PUA

        Social Media “Gurus” died like a year ago.. they flourished cause auto and bulk following and unfollowing programs were rampant. Now that that issue is handled by twitter, where are they now?

  • Guest

    It seems the truth isn’t much appreciated. Strange world.

  • Brad Holland

    Holy fuck! Finally the truth emerges in this cookie cutter blogosphere that’s full of pimps and thieves. I dig the cut of your job sir. My aim is not follow your advice or anyone elses and not sign up for your newsletter (I did). I’m not going to come back and read your next post (I will) because that’s how I roll. Keep up the good work.

    • Mars Dorian


  • Jen

    i hear ya :)

  • Robert Urban

    Great stuff as always. One example I can think of are new blogs. With the amount of blogs already in existence it makes me wonder if we have lost the power of the individual contributor ( or small business) to be found amongst the noise. With large companies spending money optimizing blogs and combining SEO experts and teams of writers, I feel that the blogging community superpowers are hard to knock off of their respective thrones. Obviously all it takes is some new idea or an incredible product to get a seat at the table, but has the crowd become exclusive? Most people I hear talk about social media and marketing aren’t brilliant insights, but rather regurgitation of something they heard and spun. True creativity and originality have been trumped by the speed many think they have to deliver to keep abreast of what’s happening now.

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Robert,

      If you avoid all the mediocre stuff and do your thing instead, you don’t have to worry about the people on the thrones. Put yourself on it. Seriously. It’s all a matter of TRYING new things, and seeing where they can take you to.

  • Genuine Chris Johnson

    Oh, let’s take this a step further.

    It does work. You can make money from blogging. However, there’s a ceiling in place that wasn’t there before.

    People set themselves up – as gatekeepers and kingmakers, and people enter voluntary serfdom to change novel wonder into a grind-based economy. It’s a cubicle. At Starbucks. Write good comments on my top ten blog, and maybe I’ll let you guest post. Maybe your guest post will convert some traffic.

    Unless, of course, you might be better than me at something. Or ever dare to disagree with me publicly or privately. Then you’ll be cast out. We all say the same things, nowadays. And if you ever, ever become disagreeable, you don’t get to hold the mic at blogworld.

    It’s a new cubicle. Except it doesn’t have a salary and benefits. It’s at starbucks. Drink coffee, get anxious, kiss ass.

  • anthony lee

    cognitive dissonance.
    i mean….i thought i was doing good by just realizing that it was important to put my style on it…..what the hell will i do NOW!!!

    ah shucks. just joshing. this is precisely the subject i have been obsessing over for a couple months now.
    i too am beginning a new blogging project.
    unfortunately, i don’t know how to draw…and even if i did, you already took that cool ass idea.
    but, my ish will be original, cuz i have been too cookie cutter…and thats gotta stop.
    thanks for perpetuating the message. it is a good one…but at some point, we might want to hush it down….with all these original blogger sprouting up, we may have too much competition. :P

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Anthony,

      honestly, I don’t believe in competition – when you do something remarkable (even if you fail first) you are in a league of your own. But it all depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want make a good or solid living, even being good in an overcrowded field can be lead to a sustainable income.

  • Purple Panda

    Yes, I still struggle with wondering if I’m just a copy of this whole niche I’m in and if it’s too crowded to even get noticed. But – I figure I have a unique life that is MY own and to play that angle of living in the Philippines, building a business while living VERY modest conditions, etc. and looking at my local scene while still creating inspiring messages, is the only way to go. It was really encouraging to me when a fellow blogger wrote an article about me and said that I was different than others in my niche.. It seems I’m off to a good start!

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Janet, I believe the best way IS to stand out, as Seth Godin says. Pushing your boundaries, trying new stuff that no one else is doing the way YOU do it. Only cookie cutter creators have troubles, as you long as you do NEW stuff (even if you fail) you WILL succeed in the LONG run.

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