Those of you who have communicated with me directly know that I am always eager to engage in a conversation about how people can forge their own unique path in terms of?what they do for a living. And now, as my health research has come to an apex of sorts, I find that eagerness growing. It’s been seven years since I signed up to start?a?mysterious thing called a “blog.” My tech-savvy-ness was pitiful when I began, and I didn’t even really know what a blog was at the time. A co-worker had encouraged me to start one because I had sent him a few of my writings. I?had?only?gotten my first computer with an internet connection a year prior.
SoI didn’t come into the 180DegreeHealth project as a knowledgeable entrepreneur?or computer wiz. More’the opposite in fact. And I had no financial motives when I began. It just seemed like a?better way to spend my time. Yes, even hanging out at the beach in Hawaii?gets old after a while. It felt like my brain was turning into poi without following through on my?interests,?developing my’skills (girls only want boyfriends?who have great skills!),?and learning new information.
Flash forward to now and I’ve accidentally built a successful business with two full-time people working with?me and a web developer doing some tech stuff as well. I’ve got 15 books on Amazon with another coming out soon. I’ve been picked up by a huge publishing company for a book release coming out, if all goes?as planned, in?eight days. Yep, I’ll be on bookshelves in bookstores. And just in the nick of time as bookshelves and?bookstores are?rapidly headed towards extinction.
So, taking a break from the worn out topic of health (not that enjoying your life and work doesn’t have anything to do with your health–it probably has much more to do with your overall?health than your diet), here are some things that I would like to share with those who feel stuck, bored, or broke and have an interest in writing.These are some things that led to my success as a writer, and more importantly, my success with filling the hours in my day with things that were interesting to me–taking creative control over my life and no longer?being a?cog in someone else’s machine…
- Start Learning. The most important thing is that you start doing what you want to do as many hours per day as you can immediately. If you like cooking, great. Cook and study cooking in as much of your spare time as possible.Gain as much knowledge, skill, and expertise as you can. Seek out and learn from the best when feasible.If you like something else, do that instead. I shared some thoughts about how to find what you are authentically passionate about in a video I did a couple of years ago…
- Start writing. I think the biggest mistake people make is not writing, or waiting to get better at writing before they put out their first book. There’s only one way to get good at writing, and that’s to do a lot of it. Do as much of it as you can. Write a book as soon as you can. About anything. It can be 30 pages. Just write. If you don’t think it’s any good, then give it away for free and ask for feedback from readers on how to make it better. In the digital age, you can fix books, change them, add chapters… Don’t expect it to be great the first time. Keep improving it and your writing until your writing is good.
- Start Marketing. I hate to even call it that. Marketing is more of a business word that makes me envision?infomercials and popups?and billboards and ghastly expenditures.Today, marketing means, more than anything, making connections with people in your field. If I could do it all over again (from a financial point of view),?I’d spend more time doing this. The most important thing is that you are genuine. Don’t contact someone and ask them to do something for you. Contact someone and ask to do a favor for them! Like write an article, promote their latest book, or anything else you can think of that isn’t going to cost you any money. Not everyone will repay the favor, but many will eventually, and you’ll build?a good reputation and feel just as good about the success of others that you helped?as you do yourself.
- Study Amazon Publishing. Maybe you can now write and have a good following and a great group of allies in your field. That’s swell and all, but to truly be a successful writer you’ll probably want to publish your books on Amazon (where most people buy their books). And there is a lot to know about how the game is played there. If you don’t know the game, your book is likely to fall flat, buried in obscurity. Just writing a book and putting it on Kindle is like, as I read in a book last night, “crossing your fingers and hoping to win’the lottery.” What makes the difference between a?bestseller and a no-seller are truly small, tiny things that anyone can do. It’s just about knowing how to get it right without making rookie mistakes. Everyone who?has any desire to be a writer at all would be a complete fool not to read some books on the topic. Some of the most helpful stuff I’ve read have come from Tom Corson-Knowles?and Steve Scott.
I have spoken with Tom?a couple of times, been interviewed by him, and guest-posted on one of Tom’s sites,?and he’s a great and very inspiring young guy.Most of the information you would need can be found in his books, but he also has a publishing “school” and a publishing company for self-published authors. His blog is already?an abyss of helpful information and he just started it.
As you can see, there are no magic tricks, and there is nothing complicated about the process. It’s just a matter of doing it and being patient, as it takes a few years to truly become good at anything. I’d be more than happy to field any questions to any aspiring bloggers, writers, or?others in the comments.
Matt Stone is an independent health researcher, author of more than 15 books, and founder of 180DegreeHealth. He is best known for his research on metabolic rate and its central role in many health conditions as well as his criticisms of extreme dieting. You can read more of his work in over 500 free articles on the site or in his books HERE.
Congratulations Matt. I’m really glad you are doing so well.
I don’t know about Amazon Matty…
I have a client about to publish soon and have been researching.
Here’s an article I’m reading: http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelwolf/2013/07/31/self-publishing-an-e-book-here-are-4-ways-to-leave-amazons-30-tax-behind/
There is definitely some flawed logic in that article. For one, most people shop for their books on Amazon. In fact, I think something like 62% of book sales worldwide occur on Amazon. If you have a kindle, you’re pretty much buying stuff on Amazon and that’s it. And more and more people are making the switch. Once you go Kindle, there’s really no going back. Plus you can borrow books for free there if you’re a prime member.
Selling on your own site with e-junkie (what I use) is a deterrent to buying. There are security concerns and your card info isn’t already on file. They are little hurdles, but hurdles nonetheless. And hurdles add up.
At the end of it all, you pay Amazon 30%, but Amazon is a finely-tuned state-of-the-art selling machine. You don’t get to take advantage of that technology on other platforms. Not to the same extent at least.
For now, Amazon is the safest bet and is pretty easy if you know the basic tricks to succeed over there.
One thing I like about Amazon besides what Matt said about all the cool kindle stuff is that they also rank high in the search engines for products AND books (so searches for things lead to Amazon….) That’s the reason I also resell physical products through Amazon AND why I have them handle all my product fulfillment. They definitely have a great platform and system. I’ll probably pursue selling kindle books.
Thank you Matt. Also, thank you for the cartoon drawing of Matt Foley, Inspirational Speaker, who is thrice divorced….and lives in a van down by the River!!! LOL!
Or you can just do what I do and be totally adorable and irresistible.
well it does work…
hey matt, no offense but your writing is sub par. you should write a book called how to gain weight the easy way
haha, no offense, but I am going to insult your main craft and try to use the “people get so fat” card to try and invalidate the research available on this page.
hey dee.Great to hear from you again. Isn’t it pizza night, what are you doing on here?
When half-literate people insult my writing, I consider that a compliment. I was going to do a book on gaining weight actually. Was thinking of calling it Eat for Meat.
My knowledge would put you to shame, grown up looking baby ;) Arnt you the same guy who decided to go hiking to no food and ended up almost dying lolz
how are doing gumm, how was your walk around the block today?
As far as your knowledge putting mine to shame, we’ll never know because you can’t communicate well enough for anyone to have any idea what you are saying.
This last comment of yours, for example, suggests that the destination of my hiking trip was some mysterious place called “no food.” That wasn’t where I set out to go. I’ve never heard of a place called “no food.” Is it nice there? Big fish in the streams? Do beautiful women flock there?
ah i love this. keep showing your insecurities by becoming a grammar nazi. great excuse to avoid countering my points
Sounds like an American Indian name to me. Maybe that’ll help us connect the dots.
are you racist?
Thanks for the gentle shove. I’ve always followed my passions and I’m an almost compulsive writer, so I’ve got those two down. My personal standards as to quality and level of information probably unnecessarily gets in my way sometimes. I’ll have to re-examine how much of that is me being a picky bitch and how much is valid. The easy modifiability of digital is nice, but I like to get stuff that’s going to be published to a point where I feel like it can really stand on it’s own in the future.
Now it’s on to the making connections and digital publishing type stuff. I have to admit the computer stuff and learning marketing and related strategies is a little overwhelming and not what I want to be doing with my time. But I can also see that it’s the only really viable option for me to do what I love doing and get information to a maximum number of people. Self publishing in paper has worked just Ok. I can see the writing on the wall and the much greater potential for larger volume, and probably much easier sales, in the digital realm… and also probably selling more paper even while simultaneously selling digital. I think I’ll just chip away at it until it all starts to jell and make sense. More recommendations on resources for blogging could be useful. I mostly need to know how to get my visits up for now. I know there are a lot of blogging resources for free on the net, but the amount of information is intense, and it’s hard to know what to actually spend time on. I’m looking at problogger (Darren Rowse) and wondering if his books are going to be worth it. What do you recommend book resource wise, or what do you consider the most important practical steps to upping blog traffic. My content is good, and I know that is key obviously, but it could maybe be framed differently or more optimized for search engines.
Personally I think your Paleotechnics blog is so fascinating and unique and intelligently-written that it’s just a timebomb waiting to explode. The main thing is coming out with fresh content on a regular basis, and treating each post like it’s a book that needs to be marketed. For example, if you write a post about bay nuts, you need to spend a couple hours scouring sites that have posted stuff about bay nuts alerting them to your article, leaving comments on their posts on the topic, etc.
And your content is really conducive to guest posting. A lot of that stuff is Grok hard on material (well, more like a half chub for those on a Paleo diet, but a half chub is considered highly aroused in the Paleo world). Most paleo bloggers would find your stuff extremely interesting, and there are literally a gazillion paleo bloggers. It would be easy for you to kruse around the net finding people that would love your stuff, promote your classes or your books, etc. Toad would love some book or two from your for his bundles, you could release a short freebie on Amazon and get thousands of downloads and exposure. It’s hard to shell out advice because there are literally so many free promotional tools and strategies it’s just a matter of picking a few that sound doable to you and following through on it.
Well, I’ve been mulling over a post on why I think the paleo diet is stupid and dangerous. I want to distance us from that scene, or make sure people know that’s not our origin, it’s just an unfortunate coincidence. So, that might alienate a few paleo diet heads, but then maybe it’ll plant a few seeds of doubt too. I guess I could TRY to do it without being a total dick :D
Speaking of baynuts, they are blowing up dude! Some random guy offered me one yesterday in a public place. I can hardly throw a baynut around here without hitting someone that’s all stoked up about them. that’s largely due to stuff I’ve written, and my partner’s tireless promotion of them for the last 15 years or so. Obvious first digital book project…
Thanks for the input. The journey begins. It’s about my bed time. Reading blogging and publishing tips should put me right to sleep.
Well, first off you should do a bay nuts guest post here. I’m a believer. The sample you sent me is long, long gone. And there are many people here that have heard about lauric acid but hate coconut, or have digestive problems from coconut oil.
Secondly, I built my original popularity by being a total dick and bashing on low-carb. That was me being GENUINE. I’m not saying to be a suckup brown noser to people who you don’t believe in because they are popular. In my case, challenging a cult’s beliefs loudly and firmly was the first thing that cast me into prominence in the field of alternative nutrition.
I have a possible cool angle for a 180D baynut post, but it’ll be a while.
I guess it’s probably a fine line between excessive dickishness and an ultimately constructive level of dickishness. I do have to give it some thought, as I’m prone to rant and be maybe more judgemental than I’d like to be at times. This pretty well proves that I can be a total dick in the right context though :D
NCN is awesome. I did cast my vote on the matter at hand.
I think there should be some humorous health satire books like this. I tried talking Matthew Green into it. He’s a really funny dude that loves making fun of this whole health info diarrhea debacle. It’s really a great way to make a point. Would love to see this in Amazon’s nutrition category wedged between the wheat phobic books and T. Colin Campbell’s lame new book “Low-Carb Lie” or whatever it’s called.
Yep, lots of potential in health satire. I haven’t/don’t spend enough time reading health stuff (and don’t want to) to do a project like a satirical health book justice. I’ll probably drop NCN partly for the same reason.
This is hilarious and brilliant.
I’m assuming you can actually order the stuff. They should have an affiliate program. I’m seeing a special Matt Stone formula. I think maybe you could justify an exception to your usual no selling stuff policy.
Metacebo, specially formulated by health expert Matt Stone to support optimum metabolic health. Special high calorie formula. Take it now, take a lot, take guaranteed effective Metacebo. (contains real cane sugar in a gelatine capsule base, placebo content may vary. You may experience any symptom that has ever existed, including everything. Take with a full meal.)
Metacebo, the power of placebo.
Your symptoms will change or your money back!
Order yours today!
Wow. Combine metabolism with placebo? Too much power!
Matt Stone, before you wrote this, you were already one of the most important role models for me, when it comes to writing, researching, living a life with a purpose and having a business.
I hate the way this sounds, but I honestly don’t know where would I be without having found this blog of yours.
Congratulations. I can’t wait to see what will come next.
Thanks Fab. Writing posts with a different focus cause a slight disturbance in the force. But I know there are many people out there that really want to discuss this topic. I get requests all the time to expand upon that video that was posted in this article.
Great article! I just started working part time for my sister to get traffic to her blog and make connections in her niche. I’ve been helping with blog design, optimization and monetization as well. It’s exhilerating stuff. :-) As soon as I launch my own blog, I have people who are ready to promote it/me because of connections I’ve already made with them. I have a ghost written book as well…I should look at getting it onto Amazon. And look at Amazon for my sister. Thank you for the reading recommendations.
Congratulations Matt on the book publishing…even if the stores are disappearing its a big deal! I too think Amazon is GREAT for selling. I experimented with a short first kindle book and I’m amazed how well it has done.
Mahalo for all you do!
I dunno if you, or anyone else here, still remember me. I haven’t been commenting on here for ages, mostly because my focus has shifted to things that are more appealing to me. But I still read your blog and it’s nice to see that things are working out favourably for you, congrats on the book deal!
So basically I just wanted to use the opportunity to stop by and say “Hi!” and I guess a “Thank You!” would also be quite appropriate. Stumbling upon your blog back then really helped me get out of quite the miserable, diet-obsessed place. Plus it was a lot of fun to read your stuff and fool around in the comment section. So, keep it up!
There is already enough disinfo out there for me to start adding more to it!
Just recently started a blog with a friend about making money/building a lifestyle without college: richwithoutcollege.com. Check it out and let me know what you think. Still a lot of work to be done content-wise but I think it has potential.
Yeah it’s a good enough start. Much better than the first website I ever had!
Good on ya, mate.
Hi! I just found your stuff about a week ago and I’m definitely intrigued. I’m coming from the Autoimmune Paleo diet world (I have several autoimmune disorders) and am suffering from serious thyroid and adrenal dysfunction and hormone dysregulation (I know, big surprise). Also, I have celiac as well as a TON of other food allergies/sensitivities. And my biggest obstacle seems to be that I can’t get a solid night’s sleep to save my life. Anyway, I’ve been perusing your blog and even listened to some old podcasts from 2011 with East West Healing. But I want to get more into the details. What book do you recommend I start with? I have spent insane amounts of money on doctors who haven’t helped me much so can’t really just jump in and do the bundle. I just would love to know what would give me the most complete, detailed, up-to-date info to get started. Do you recommend Diet Recovery 2? Or Eat for Heat? I started taking my temp and it’s in the 96 range. Thank you so much.
Both Diet Recovery 2 and Eat for Heat. We plan on running a big sale right around December 1st if you can wait a little.
Is your health research endeavor completely over? What is your next project?
I am working on new writing projects and helping authors self-publish. But 180D will always be my baby, and I plan to continue writing and commenting here every Monday for years to come.
Thanks Matt! This post was meant for me as I have just launched a blog for anxiety sufferers (I suffered myself) with a bent towards focusing on what to do to get over it. Looking to get a following and write an e-book. So yeah thanks for the tips and good to know that it can take a while to really get going..it seems to uphill at first trying to get people to find you. :)
I think making a blog very successful is the hardest route. Sometimes I think people’s time would be better spent just going to straight into Amazon and trying to build a following there. Steve Scott who I linked to in the post has a good system of releasing books for free and getting thousands of downloads, then using the books to build a mailing list back at his site, which he uses to have bigger book launches the larger that mailing list gets in a big recycling process. And then he comes out with a new book every 30 days or so. For a brand spankin’ new writer, you might want to release a lot of newsletter-length books (let’s say 10,000 words) through KDP Select for free. There are a lot of sites to promote free books too. I have them all in a spreadsheet if you want them. Then price them at 99 cents once your free days are used up (you get 5 of them). Your work will get seen much faster that way. Anxiety is a pretty big category in Amazon too. With cheap books you could appear near the top of that category with one or several books. Best of all, you could start making a little money for your writing right away, and never really have to write much for free on your blog. I wrote over 100 blog posts before I got my first shiny penny from it. But it was good practice, and helpful in figuring out what I really had to say. It was like a journal really. If I were you, I would try to do a 12-part series with a new monthly installment for your first year. Then see where you’re at. Titles would be like, Anxiety-Free Step 1: Salt-loading. Anxiety-Free Step 2: Meal Frequency. Anxiety-Free Step 3: Tapping. Or you know, whatever 12 thing or topics that are helpful for anxiety sufferers to grasp.
Thank you Matt, that advice is priceless! I would never have thought of doing that so I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ll certainly check out that link and I also would love the spreadsheet. Awesome…
Do you use any special writing software like Scrivenor or just good ole’ MS Word?
Word! To your mama! I’ll email you the spreadsheet.
Nicola, how do we find your blog???
If you click on my name you should land there.
Otherwise it’s http://worryfreelife.net
Errrgh, Matt, you are so right. I feel ready in my heart to start blogging on my site, but I’ve had a lot of anxiety about not being a writer, oh, and people not getting it. Time to get back to work and finish some of the blog posts I started writing. You are good people.
I am very happy for you , Matt. Thanks for always supporting me from day one when I first started blogging back in the autumn of 2010. ( before I retired ) :)