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What Bloggers Can Learn from Porn Stars

This guest post is by Brandon Yanofsky of B-List Marketing.

Admit it: blogging is an overwhelmingly confusing endeavor. There’s so much to learn that, for a beginner, it can literally drive you crazy.

You need to know how to create a blog. How to properly design it. How to write well. How to write persuasively. How to market and promote your blog.

The list of things to know and do is infinite.

Am I stressing you out? Because I’m stressing myself out. There’s so much involved. And yet, all the expert bloggers make it look so easy. How can that be?

They’re actually using an age old technique, made famous by notable porn stars.

a user

Copyright by kylemac, licensed under Creative Commons

If you were to watch porn (which, of course, none of us ever would), you might notice that porn stars make sex look very, very easy—at least, that’s what I’ve been told!

But behind the scenes, so they say, it’s a completely different story. Apparently, life as a porn star is incredibly difficult and demanding. All day long, they’re having sex. The normal person might tire of this particular pursuit after a while, but a porn star might have to keep going for longer than eight hours—after all, that’s his or her job.

Like any actor, these movie stars might have to repeat a scene over, and over, and over again until the exact shot the director wants is captured. And yet, like any actor, the porn star doesn’t look fatigued in the finished work. They push through the exhaustion—again, that’s all part of the job.

The blogger’s job

As a blogger, you also need to learn how to push through any obstacles you face. That’s just part of your job.

There will be times when you feel like giving up—when everything seems to be going wrong. Maybe you just can’t seem to get your blog past 50 visitors a month. You may start telling yourself, “I’ll never make it. I should just give up.”

You’ll look at bloggers like Darren Rowse, and Chris Brogan, and Brian Clark, and you’ll say to yourself, “Man, they have it so easy. They write a post and it’s a viral sensation.”

But I’ve heard their stories, and they don’t have it any easier than you or I. Every night, they stay up late working on a new article, just like they did when they first started.

On the surface, it seems like success comes easily. But behind the scenes, they are toiling. Instead of spending weekends watching TV, they’re at their computers writing. Instead of going out for drinks on Friday nights, they are meeting on Skype to record a new podcast.

Even successful, big-time entrepreneurs like Richard Branson—who makes it seem like starting a multi-billion-dollar company is as easy as tying a shoe—will admit there were times when they considered completely giving up.

The path to success is paved with hardship. But the successful people push through.

Don’t give up.

I’ve had clients come to me, complaining about their lack of traffic, or telling me they can’t get anyone to join their email list. I ask them, “How many articles have you written?” Their response? “Well, I’ve been writing one a month.”

“Well, start writing one a week, or even one a day. You’ll see a drastic increase in traffic.”

“But it’s just too much work.”

That attitude right there is what separates the successful from the failures. The ones like you and I who are willing to go the extra mile, to push through obstacles and never give up—we’re the ones who will succeed. We are the ones who, in another year, the beginning bloggers will look to and say, “Man, those bloggers just have it so easy.” Remember to think like a porn star, and push through the exhaustion.

As an aexample, it took me days to write this article. I felt like giving up on it, but I pushed through. And now, I have an article published on ProBlogger. I pushed through the obstacle and achieved one more instance of success.

So can you. What obstacles are you pushing through?

If you’d like to read more by Brandon Yanofsky, check out his blog on small business marketing. You can also send him a tweet: @byanofsky.

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Comments

  1. I love the perspective of this article. I think bloggers can adapt a lot of things from different people. Congrats to Brandon for being bold and writing such a headline and article. And like you said, they look make it look so easy. BTW, I was talking about Darren, Chris and Brain. You didn’t think about porn stars did you?

    • Thanks Rison,

      I really appreciate the comment. I was still thinking about porn stars.

      • Hey Brandon,

        So who is the Ron Jeremy of blogging? Wait….don’t answer that!

        Seriously though…great article. Loved the reference to Richard Branson. I read is biography (long read, but well worth it) and even had the chance to meet him when he launch Virgin Mobile in Canada. Very nice fellow.

        Before I started my Internet Marketing biz, I had founded a tech company (back in 2001) and there were more than a few days when I wanted to throw in the towel and just get my cushy job back. Thankfully, I didn’t quit because in the end, I sold the business and retired by 38. Now 3 years later, I am immersed in this wonderful world of building niche sites and bloggin and loving it every day. Waaaay less stress, I can assure you!

        Look forward to reading more of your stuff on RSS.

        Trent

        • Appreciate it Trent.

          Which Branson bio did you read? I read Losing My Virginity and Business Stripped Bare. Both great reads.

          It’s reassuring to hear from someone as successful as you. I look forward to talking with you more as well.

  2. nice, reminds me of that patel post what bloggers can learn from hookers…anything for clicks, right?

  3. I’ll admit the title of this post caught me off gaurd, but I agree with what you’re saying. I think in order to make it you have to be willing to do whatever it takes, and never give up. There are tons of days I don’t feel like blogging, but I push myself to do it everyday and so far it’s paying off big time.

  4. Amy says:

    Okay, I have to respectfully disagree with your premise here. I’ve heard :) that plenty of porn does not exactly have the “polished” quality of someone who pushes through in spite of exhaustion. I’m not sure branding and getting it “exactly right” are what they’re going for. :)
    BUT– you did hook me, and I like your point! You’re right–the people who make it look easy look that way because they work darn hard at it. Michael Jordan made dunking look easy, but he didn’t just wake up one day able to do that. It took years of hard work and practice, just like being a successful blogger does.
    We see the final results and get caught up in the romance of that, without taking a look at all the hard work that went (and goes) into it.
    Great post!

    • Thanks for the comment Amy…and for disagreeing.

      But I’m glad you got the main point Michael Jordan is a great example of someone perfecting his game. Same with Kobe Bryant. They all make it look so easy on the court, but it’s so hard off the court.

  5. Andy Mathis says:

    You had me at Porn.

  6. Hey Brandon,
    In the beginning of any new venture, there will be a need for sacrifice to get to where we want to be. It’s no different than exercise. If someone is 30 pounds overweight; in the beginning the hard work and sacrifice will need to be done.

    After they get to their desired weight then it just becomes a matter of maintenance. We all want to get to the point of where our blog is on automatic-pilot. It just takes, time, effort, and hard work to get there.

    When we are willing to do this then success will become automatic. Thanks for the post.

    • Great point Justin. That’s the process you HAVE to follow if you want to create passive income. The passive income may make work look easy, but it was all the hard work in the beginning the really made it possible. Problem is, very few people actually see the hard work…they just see money rolling in.

  7. So if the point is that to be a successful blogger, you have to work even when you’re tired, you could have made that about anything. “what bloggers can learn from mothers” or “what bloggers can learn from the guy who delivers those giant bottles of water to office buildings” everyone has to work when they dont want to. You really didn’t need to bring porn into it just to get people to read ya know :)

  8. Cliff - Seattle, WA says:

    100% my biggest obstacle to overcome is me. Not the market, the competition, the government, just plain old ME!

  9. Hasan says:

    Great article, just goes to show blogging isn’t easy, but it’s an addiction!

  10. Great title. I agree that you have to invest the time to get the results. You might want to put a little more time into proofreading your posts, as an “aexample”. Been there, done that.

    • Hey Mike,

      According to Webster’s dictionary, “aexample” is the proper genitive form of the passive influx of the word “example,” coming from the icelandish word: “Aesaep”, meaning to explain.

      Because I was using the word to explain something, “aexample” is the proper use of the word.

      Duh!

      ;P

  11. Hugo Martins says:

    You got a really good point when you said “On the surface, it seems like success comes easily.”

    A lot of things we work hard for a just like that. Creating an analogy between blogging and being a musician, loads of people think being a musician is just picking up a guitar, playing some chords and voilà.

    We can’t see the years of backstage work that are needed for a great musician to be created. It seems to be easy but it is really hard work.

    P.S:Check the links on this post as they seem to go to “not found” pages on the ProBlogger site.

  12. One thing that’s helped me is taking it one step at a time. A professional blogger wants traffic, but how? Creating quality content consistently and marketing it to your audience or having someone else do it for you. Well…why take it one step at a time? Why not work on being able to create quality content consistently first, then you’ll be ready for the traffic when it comes along. Right now I think I’ve got the first part down, so I’m working on marketing now.

    • Like you said Broderick, why take one step at a time? You’ve got to constantly be creating better and better content while finding ways to get more and more people to see it.

  13. This is true. Blogging is just like chipping away at an ice sculpture. It’s a long, grueling journey where you get a little bit closer to your goal with each chip. Then it all melts and you have to start over. I suppose that’s just ice though.

    • Great metaphor. I feel like this every day. In a way, no matter what success I has the day before, I have to start over and find more and better successes.

  14. Don’t ever give up. Traffic is just a number, but the benefit in term of new knowledge and experience sharing you give to your readers will always be the greatest point you should earned. Eventhough there are just one reader in your blog (beside yourself), if your reader can get any new thing in your blog, that’s even better than 100,000 readers without any input when visiting another blog.

  15. Richa says:

    I am very new to this Blog World and trying to learn things step by step. Your article is very helpful and inspiring for people like me who don’t have much exposure in this field. Thanks for the nice post.

  16. ProWriterInc says:

    You’re right, with writing as with life, you must always push through the tough spots to get to the light (whatever the light may be for you). I’m really struggling with committing my thoughts on paper. It’s like I get my best blog, query, article ideas when I’m not prepared for them. I’m struggling with capturing these moments instead of just letting them slip to the back of my mind.

    • Hey Prowritwrinc,

      I always have my iPhone on me. If I have a new idea, I create a note. Or if I see something that inspires me, I take a picture. When I sit down to write, I look through my list.

      You should try this as well.

  17. Andy says:

    The title of this post threw me for a loop until I read through it. I’ve recently put up a blog and my next step is writing the articles in order to populate the site.

    This article really puts things into perspective for me. I had it in my head somewhere that people produce amazing articles at a rate of 2 per hour or something like that. Anyways, time for me to write like porn star…

    • I write between 3 and 5 articles a day for various blogs. But I started doing 3 a week.

      It’s not about how many can you get done in an hour, but rather what’s a good number that you can consistently do.

  18. Faheem says:

    Thats true, success like Problogger can not be achieved by writing one article in a month. I think its not onlt writing but blogging also needs other tactics like link building and much more.

    • Very true Faheem,

      80/20 rule. I spend 80% of my time doing activities to promote, monetize, etc for my blog. The other 20 I spend writing (give or take a few percentage points).

  19. And here I thought Darren was a serious, buttoned-up kinda guy. Glad he’s showing his wild side by letting you post this rather a-rowse-ing post. ;P I totally agree, though. Blogging is exhausting if you’re trying to post more often than a couple times a week. I’ve been trying to do that lately, and I just get beat-down tired after a couple of days of posting daily. Plus, I have this nasty habit of wanting to dazzle my readers, and it’s so hard to dazzle daily. Really, it is – Unless you’re like a blogging genius. I’ll remember this post, though, and hopefully it will give me that added ooomph during those late night blogging sessions, knowing that pros like Darren are up late toiling away, too. Plus there’s always that lovely afterglow to look forward to when you finish a post…alright…you’ve got me joinging the Pornstar analogy. Didn’t mean to do that. Now I’m blushing…

    • Nirvana Mamma,

      I’m glad Darren and company allowed me to post this as well.

      And there is an afterglow. I’ve spent some nights writing until 11 or 12 and then go out with some friends for a drink or two (or three). There’s no better feeling than working as hard as you can and then going out and just relaxing.

  20. Brent says:

    Awesome post man. I totally agree with you. The only way to success in anything in life is through perseverance and dedication!

  21. I really like this post – and linkbait title :) – and I completely agree with the sentiment and message you’re trying to get across (which may I say you’ve gotten across really well and made look simple at the same time!). I’ve blogged about something similar myself because hard work plays such a huge part in any individual or team’s success.
    I believe that the greatest people (e.g. Michael Jordon, John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Jonny Wilkinson [he plays rugby union!]) have a big dollop of talent but they have all had to work VERY hard in order to fulfil that talent and just as hard to get themselves on the road to success. 
    Thank you for writing this post. It was another encouraging push for me as I try to establish myself as a blogger. I never thought it would be easy but you’ve pointed out that all the greats have had to start at the beginning themselves so I suppose there’s hope for us all. Cheers!

    • Another way to think of it Gavin is that all the greats were in your same position at one point. The real question is, what did they do next?

  22. Jennifer Conners says:

    Ridiculous. What’s next, What Bloggers Can Learn from Serial Killers? First commenter said it best, anything for clicks…

  23. Great post Brandon, but Looking at the ways thing are going at the moment, I think Im more inclined to the Porn route than blogging.

  24. This post really hit home for me. I have felt so tired and burnt out at times. My blog is only doing about 35,000 – 40,000 hits a month after 1 year 2 months. I have gotten some major respect from people in the business of which my blog is related to, but I need to figure out a way to increase traffic and grow my blog.

  25. I hope this post would not scare newbie bloggers away. There is no shortcut to hard-work but wait..there is. I used to work hard on my blogs but then I found some people who were really good at writing and now I ask them to do it for a few of my blogs. I do work hard on some of my blogs but that is by choice and because I love those topics more than others. I only control or rather monitor the quality for outsourced blogs and it works fine. Sorry if I offended you but that is how I feel about the amazing field of blogging.

    • I don’t think there is anything wrong with this, as long as you are monitoring exactly what is being published. It’s what newspapers and magazines do. Just be sure to give credit where it is due and avoid becoming a content farm.

  26. Haha you captured me with the title.

  27. CJ Claro says:

    I know exactly what you mean here. I am a teacher first, then a developer. In both times, if i want to make my apps or if i want to give myself easy time checking exam papers, i have to spend time coding my apps to make it user-friendly so it’s easy for my users to use the apps i make for them. similarly, spending some time creating an exam that is easier for my students to answer and easier for me to check require planning and good design. No pain, no gain. I guess this holds true to blogging and to many aspects of gaining success. Nothing comes easy for anything of great value. But the thing is, once we have created a ‘masterpiece’ it never goes away. And if it does, it would take centuries.

    I have a website dormant for 2 years. Didn’t know what to do with it until recently. I promised myself not to take the easy road but push through the woods of obstacles and challenges. And someday, I will find success. Pretty sure of it.

  28. Nicely said, and quite an inspiring one for us start-up bloggers. Hope I keep up with these techniques and keep my blog alive. Thanks.

  29. Austin Baugh says:

    For my blog I talk about different things I’ve learned on French horn, and give tips to people at all different points.
    The difficulty I’ve found in this is that now I have to learn a lot more about French horn, and faster too, so that I’ll always have an article.

  30. Monja Wessel says:

    hey brandon,
    this is a very adventurous title – it definitely gets people´s attention ;-) and you are right – what differentiates the normal from the successful, the average from the top-earner and the 9-5 worker from the entrepreneur is the willingness to do more and work on sunday morning as well as on friday night. don´t get me wrong – nothing against 9-5 workers but if there is a huge benefit it is definitely that you can leave your work at 5 and go home and have nothing to do with it until next morning. the self-employed person can´t say that – they think about their business all the time, day and night, they wake up with it and sleep with it :-) but if you enjoy what you do you don´t mind :D

    • Very true Monja,

      Last night my business invaded my dream. I was having nightmares as I was trying to market a new local business. That’s a sign of obsessio .

  31. Motmaitre says:

    Apparently, one way to succeed at blogging is to put something catchy in your blog header (like ‘Porn Star’) that has only the most tenuous connection to your topic.

    If the idea was the virtue of hard work and persistence, you could have made exactly the same point using sorts, academics or the arts to illustrate the rewards. However, those wouldn’t have garnered as many clicks as using porn.

    Well-played. And by the way, writing regularly is a necessary condition for blogging success, but it is not sufficient. The content must also be relevant and engaging, and sufficiently different from the million other blogs out there. This was the secret behind the success of my blog.

    • Exactly right Motmaitre,

      If I had called this post: be successful by working hard, I don’t think many people would read it.

      I only have a few seconds to catch your attention with an article headline. So it needs to be something that catches your eye.

  32. Excellent post. Blogging is hard work. Most of us will never see a single cent for our effort. We can come up with so many excuses to procrastinate and eventually stop blogging. I think it’s important to keep yourself accountable because it goes a long way to ensure that you continue blogging.

  33. hadara says:

    I am a newbie and am bracing myself up for a long hard road…That was one hell of a catchy title though.The title is so important isn’t it.

    • Hey Hadara,

      Some of the most successful bloggers say a title is so important that they spend more time writing the title than the article.

  34. rakesh kumar says:

    The theme of this post is do not expect any thing if it is not well researched. Every thing needs a lots of hard work and practice, without practice we can not produce next to perfect contents.

  35. Title is really catchy so I clicked and came here to read your guest post because normally I read with the feed. Blogging needs so much effort and energy to keep up and running your blog.

    Nice post, Brandon!

    • Thanks for the comment Myo,

      It certainly does require a lot of effort and energy. At times, it’s tiring. Like right now, it’s 10:30pm and I’d really like to go to sleep. But I have a few more comments to respond to, a few posts to write, and some reading to do.

      Gotta love it, or it’ll eat you alive.

  36. Don Kim says:

    I can’t imagine the work involved with porn stars and having to do scenes over and over again! But nice title to catch my attention to think about the old fashion notion of having to be persistent to grow your site.

    • Thanks Don.

      One observation that I see holding true again and again is that successful people are just very persistent. When others fail and give up, they fail and start all over again.

      Gotta keep doing it!

  37. Porn stars also really know how to flaunt their ass-ets…something bloggers can benefit from.

    Great post Brandon!

  38. Adele Haze says:

    LOL Being both a porn actress and a blogger, I had a good giggle over this. Never realised my two jobs required the same skills :)

  39. Wow, I love this post, and yes I have to admit that life as a blogger is not easy. Have to find time to write, finding materials, taking and editing pictures, blogwalking and reply comments, and that are the basic one….. the complicated one is more to PR, SEO, etc…

  40. Great post and I have to say I LOVE your hook. I know that you could have done a similar comparison of “What bloggers can learn from mothers,” but how many people would have clicked on that? I know that some people think this is “dirty” marketing but you have to have a good hook if you really want something to go viral. One of my most read posts was about how the Bruce Willis 80′s song “Respect Yourself” was really about social media use. LOL. People got a kick out of it. And I think that hooks are part of that behind the scenes stuff. It takes work to come up with a title that is so alluring that people can not resist checking it out!