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How Doing This One Thing Will Help You Become a Successful Blogger

In today’s episode, I share the most important thing you’ll ever do as an entrepreneur. Thirteen years ago I opened an email that changed my life forever. I share the story of what it was I read, why it changed me, how it helped me become the entrepreneur I am today, and how it can help you to become the successful blogger and entrepreneur you want to be.

Way to Succcess by Suntorn Niamwhan on

In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today’s episode:

  • The ‘sliding doors’ moment that ignited my blogging career
  • How I began as a blogger, even though I wasn’t a writer and didn’t know anything about how to do it
  • Why it’s so important to start things
  • Why starting isn’t everything
  • How to turn ideas into real, finished results and change peoples’ lives for the better, including yours

Further Reading and Resources for How Doing This One Thing Will Help You Become a Successful Blogger

Starting is a mindset tweet ProBlogger

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Darren: Hi there and welcome to episode 88 of the ProBlogger Podcast where today, I want to share with you perhaps the most important thing you’ll ever do as an entrepreneur. You can find today’s show notes at

It was a completely unremarkable moment in an unremarkable day, 13-and-a-half years ago, but it completely changed the trajectory of my life. The moment was when I opened an email. A friend shot me this email that I could quite easily have deleted. It only had four words in it and then a link but something in those four words made me curious. He wrote this, “Check out this blog,” and then the link I’ve not heard the word blog before, so I clicked the link to find out what it was and to find out who the Tall Skinny Kiwi was as well. Two hours later, I was completely hooked—hooked on the Tall Skinny Kiwi blog—written by a guy called Andrew Jones, but more so, I was hooked on this blogging thing that I saw Andrew and many other people doing.

To cut the long story short, I started my first blog that very day. I did so despite a very long list of reasons why I probably shouldn’t have started that blog. I wasn’t a great writer. I’ve never designed or set up a website before, I didn’t know how to code, I had no money for a domain or hosting. I didn’t know any other bloggers. I’d never even heard the word two hours beforehand. I was worried about what people would think about my ideas. I wasn’t very technical. I didn’t have a niche or any idea that would be central in my blogging. I had this long list of excuses and reasons why I wasn’t qualified to start blogging, but I did.

In doing so, I changed the direction of my life. That might sound like a big statement but it’s completely true. I didn’t know it at the time but just a few years later, I would be a full-time blogger. I’d be offered a book deal. I’d be speaking around the world—at conferences—and have millions of people every month reading what I wrote. Now, by no means am I the biggest or the best blogger going around, far from it, but every day I pinch myself at the opportunities that have opened up as a result of starting that day.

I often speak about this day and some of you have probably heard me tell that story before as a bit of a sliding door moment in my life, but it struck me a while ago that this a life changing moment, but it wasn’t just that moment that changed my life. Starting has been something that I’ve actually done a whole heap of over the last 13-and-a-half years. Starting wasn’t just something that I did on that November afternoon in 2002; it’s something I’ve done many times since. There’ve been many, many, many starts. I started writing that first blog, yes, but I’ve also started writing a book, I’ve started writing avenue blogs, I’ve started working on different social networks, I started business partnerships, I’ve started to write eBooks, I started my first course. I’ve started a job board, I’ve started an event for bloggers, I’ve started a podcast.

Now, all of these starts have contributed to where I am today. It wasn’t just that first start. These starts all kind of felt momentous in different ways at the time that I did them, but along the way, there have been a whole heap of other little starts as well. Even if you really break it down, everyday there has been a start. There have been starts of new blog posts, there’s been starts of new tweets. All of these starts start in different ways. Sometimes, I’ll start with a spark and run on an idea that won’t go away in the middle of the night. Sometimes the starts really quickly fizzle, false starts, if you like. But it’s amazing how many of them over the last 13 years have actually led to wonderful opportunities.

One such start came at 02:00 AM, about 9 years ago. It was an idea that came to me in the middle of the night for a month-long blog post series that I was going to produce on ProBlogger. I was going to give a daily tip, coupled with an activity, a piece of homework that people could go away and do on their blog. This idea came to me at 02:00 AM. It was an idea I just couldn’t get out of my head. I gave the idea a little bit of oxygen by getting up out of bed that night and writing a blog post saying that I was going to start these new series of blog posts called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

Now, that first series of blog posts turned into a second series of blog posts and then it turned into a third series of blog posts, and eventually, after a number of years it turned into an eBook that sold over 20,000 copies. Later, I took that eBook and created a 31-part series of podcasts–my most listened to podcasts today. That spark of an idea that I enacted—that I started—led to a whole heap of other things as well. It sparked ideas for other eBooks. I’ve now created over 30 of them and they’ve sold hundreds of thousands of copies over the years, but it all started with that spark of an idea. It all started because I couldn’t sleep one night, and I took the idea and I started something to see where it might lead and then I continued to evolve it.

I guess in some ways I share this story today because I want to encourage you to pay attention to those little sparks of ideas that come to you in the middle of the night; the things you can’t get out of your head. Don’t just get excited by those ideas, do something with them, start them. Pay attention to the ideas that come after you have started as well. That first idea could have just ended with that first series of blog posts, but I continued to evolve it; I continued to start new things with that idea, and to evolve it into something that I couldn’t have even imagined that first night at 2:00 AM when I got the idea.

I want to finish with this, it’s a tweet I had I put out several years ago that I often think about. I tweeted this, “Starting is not something that should be contained to a moment in time, that you can tick off your to do list, it’s a mindset. Starting is a mindset.” I want to encourage you, yes, you’ve probably already started. Many of you have already started that blog but pay attention to those new little ideas that can evolve what you’re doing and change what you’re doing gradually over time. Be a starter.

You can find today’s show notes at and stay tuned for the next in this miniseries that I’m doing, because starting is just part of it, obviously. Starting is really important and you need to continue to evolve your ideas, but in the next episode, episode 89, I think it is, we’re going to talk about the second most important thing you’ll ever do as an entrepreneur. You can find that over at once it is published in a couple of days’ time. I look forward to chatting with you then.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at Tweet us at @ProBlogger. Find us at or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

How did you go with today’s episode?

Have you had a ‘sliding doors’ moment? What are you starting next? Have you got a strategy that helps you finish what you start? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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