In this post, I shared tips on how to become a successful blogger in 2020.
Congratulations! You have started your blog.
You just took a step in becoming a blogger.
But now, how do you be a successful blogger?
This is a question you need to ask yourself sooner or later.
Starting a blog is different from running a blog. Starting a blog is the simplest hurdle in being a blogger.
The main difficulty lies in running a blog, and this is where many bloggers get discouraged.
As a blogger you hold many positions in your blog and also have to perform different tasks by yourself.
You are a writer, content marketer, graphics designer, editor and SEO.
Though you can outsource this in order to speed up your blog’s growth but might not be the best idea if you are willing to learn how to build a successful blog.
In this post I will share with you 23 tips on how to be a successful blogger in 2019.
In my next post I post I will be sharing 7 tips why your blog is not successful.
You can think of it as an extension to this post.
23 Tips – How To Become a Successful Blogger
1. Start your blog
It not good enough to keep thinking about being a blogger; take your first step and start a blog.
You have wasted enough time reading about “how to start a blog”. Its time to take action and start that blog you have been dreaming of.
Without a blog, then the remaining 22 tips is a waste because you need a blog to implement this.
My friend at Start up tips daily has written a blog post on starting a blog. So you can open this in a new tab and continue reading reading.
2. Choose the right Niche
Now you have a blog. You need to decide on what your blog will be about. Not deciding early will land you on the wrong path.
A niche is that topic you want to discuss on your blog. Your niche could be personal development, health or it could be a micro niche like fitness and weight loss, gadget review, etc.
This is what niche is all about. Your niche matters a lot. The niche you are could either make or mar your dream of being a successful blogger.
You might find it difficult in selecting a niche. You are not alone. When I started my blog, I found it difficult in deciding a blog niche.
For this reason, I started a multi-niche blog (because I want to cover everything) then I discovered, that is not the best way to go.
So I have written a guide on selecting a niche. You can read this guide here.
But I will run through the factors you need to consider when choosing your blog niche.
In order to choose your blog niche, you can use this two things to influence your decision.
You might choose the topic you are passionate about.
Choosing your niche based on passion will make you an authority blogger because you are blogging about what you love.
But from a business perspective, you might find it difficult to monetize your blog and audience.
So if you are starting a blog for business, you might want to check out if that niche is lucrative. If it is not then you can change to something else that you are passionate about and has an audience.
You know what?
You will always find topics you are passionate about and is also lucrative from a business perspective.
So how do you know your niche is lucrative?
- Does your niche have an already built audience?
- Are there products you can sell in your niche?
- Are there successful blogs in your niche?
If your niche answers yes to all questions above, then you can be sure you have chosen the right niche.
But you might be deceived to answer yes to all those questions. In order to avoid this, I suggest you carry out your research before choosing that niche.
• Choose from a business perspective
There are already successful blog niche that everyone know like technology, health, make money online niche, etc.
If you want to choose a niche in order to make money, you can choose a niche based on how lucrative that niche is.
But if you are choosing a niche in order to make money, most times you will be choosing something you are not passionate about.
Though this niches are niches that are very lucrative, that passion might not be there.
So you might consider while choose something you don’t love?
Well that is the rule in business. Most time in order to make end meet, we do what we don’t love to achieve this.
3. Launch your blog with about 10 quality contents
You have started a blog, launching your blog with about 10 quality content, will go a long way in setting up your blog for success.
This is the perfect way of starting a blog. If you can go above ten (10) quality blog posts, then do so because it will help you look professional to your readers.
When I started my blog, I wish I knew about this. It was after I few months before I learnt about this.
Writing quality content for your blog might not be that easy as a beginner.
I know that; because you are probably new to these stuffs.
When I started my blog, I knew nothing about writing.
Writing great content is way much different from what you were taught in school about writing.
On the internet, you need to be able to write great content that attracts attention.
Do you know what?
The most expensive thing on the internet is attention.
Attention is very expensive because there are thousands of blogs on the internet that are competing for your readers attention.
In order to get this, you need to spend time and money in writing a great content that pushes your readers to shoot you an email like “Your contents are superb, man”.
So creating that content might not be easy and you might consider outsourcing.
This is the next tip about being a successful blogger.
4. Be Ready to Outsource
This is another thing no one is telling you. As a blogger, doing all the task (writing, editing, designing, and replying to comment) might not be easy for you.
But if you are willing to learn the cost of starting a successful blogger, then you might want to ditch the idea of outsourcing.
But trust me, outsourcing your work can save you time; time to grow your audience and engage them.
When I started my first blog, I did everything myself, which is why it took me two years before building a successful blog.
Though the benefit was that I learnt what works and what does not in starting a successful blog.
That is what I am sharing with you here.
So if you are also willing to learn what it takes to start a successful blog then you might consider doing it all by yourself.
But it pays to stand on the shoulder of someone to go higher and higher.
5. Buy Courses to set you aright
If you want to start a successful blog, then you might consider buying courses that will teach what works when starting a blog.
This is one of the investments you will make when starting a successful blog.
I know you were not expecting this.
But buying useful courses can help you in building a successful blog.
But you need to be careful when buying courses.
There are fake bloggers who claim to teach you how to start a successful blog and they teach you what you already know (the wrong way).
One of the courses that would help you when starting a blog is Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Starting a Successful blog.
There are many other courses online that can help you achieve your blogging goal; but you need to buy the right course at the right time.
If you are totally new to blogging, then buying a beginners course will be the best for you.
6. Use the right tool
The tool you use in starting and running your blog matters a lot.
When I started my blog, I had no idea of search engine optimization, webmaster console, SemRush etc.
I started with the hope of growing a blog.
But you know what?
My blog suffered because I did not use the right tool. After learning about these tools, my blog’s growth skyrocketed.
This is the magic of using the right tool.
You need to learn about effective tools successful bloggers use to grow their blog. I would give you
the list of tools I use and those I trust that you can start with.
- SemRush tool – for keyword research
SemRush is a tool that helps in performing keyword research and monitoring the keywords you are ranking for.
During the course of blogging, it is the right etiquette to know what keyword your blog is ranking for and new blog topics you can focus on.
SemRush also has a feature of monitoring external links to your blog. But it is not widely known for that but is widely known as a keyword research tool.
- BuzzSumo – for generating headlines
BuzzSumo is a tool used to generate new blog topic ideas that you can create content around.
- Google Web master – for claiming your site and indexing I your blog posts
- Google Analytics – for monitoring your blog’s traffic
- CoSchedule – for scheduling your tasks
I would keep adding to this list of tools that I use and trust.
Update – check out my list of best content calendar tools.
7. Learn SEO
This is another aspect many newbies neglect.
SEO means search engine optimization; means optimizing your blog for search engine.
Successful bloggers keep learning SEO in order to know how to get their blog posts on Google’s first page.
In order to increase your blog’s traffic, you need to learn and master SEO. SEO is something you need to start learning.
Are you new to SEO, you can read matthew woodward’s guide on optimizing your blog for search engine.
When writing your blog posts, ensure that you optimize your blog post for search engine.
Search engine is a way of getting free traffic to your blog and growing your blog.
Though SEO is not a day’s job but in order to make the most of SEO; optimising your blog from day 1 of starting your blog will help you.
8. Be Consistent
Consistency is the key to consistent growth.
You need to grow your readers and fan base, right? Then be consistent with content creation. Have a posting day when readers can expect your new posts.
Be consistent in creating great content. As a beginner, publishing about 5 contents will play a good role in growing your blog.
But if you really want to speed up your blog’s growth then you can publish above 10 blog posts in a week.
But in one word you need to be consistent with your posting schedule.
Well updated blog sends a message to Google that the blog is a credible source of information.
having a dormant blog will only send the wrong information that the blog is not a credible source.
And I know you would not love that.
So what you need to do is to draft a posting schedule and stick it.
To do this:
- Decide on how many blog posts you want to publish in a week (3-6 blog posts a week is good)
- Open an excel file and name it whatever you like.
- Brainstorm and research list of keywords you would like to write on (Sometimes I go beyond this and write the headlines of these posts)
- Create a column for (Keyword, Headline, Schedule, Date Published, )
- Then fill in the list of headline and write the date to be published and ensure you keep updating the file.
- Stick to it. Stick to the posting schedule that you just made.
9. Write down your goals
Writing down your goals will help you in achieving them. The first in achieving anything is to write down your goal.
Mere saying I want to be a successful blogger is not a goal. You need to write an actionable and smart goal.
Saying I want to make money blogging this year is not a goal.
You need to narrow its down and be precise about what you want.
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.
This is true about blogging also. You need to know what you want and work towards.
According Darren Rowse, he said his goal while starting his blog was to make $30,000 a year from his blog within 6 months.
This was an actionable goal; with a number. Not just the mere I want to make money blogging thing I hear from newbies.
So to build a successful blog, you need to write down your goal and run with it.
Write down the number of daily traffic you want to grow your blog to, the amount you want to earn per day, per month and even per year.
Then you run with it.
And don’t just run with it, work with it.
10. Create a plan
Congratulations! You have written down your goals.
So how do you achieve it?
You need a plan.; a plan to work with in order to achieve your goal.
Creating your plan, you need to go about how will you grow your blog’s traffic to that number in your diary?
How would earn that amount you have written down in your diary?
These are things you need to think about in order to create a plan.
Being a new blogger, you might find it difficult in creating an effective plan, so I had advise you to
learn what works.
You need to develop a content marketing strategy.
A content marketing strategy is about creating and distributing your content in order to grow your blog.
11. Start Guest blogging now
Now you have made your plan. You need to start guest blogging now. Guest blogging is the act of creating content for others blogs not yours.
Guest blogging is a way of building relationship with bloggers in your niche in order to put your blog out there and your name.
Let your competitor know that you have started a blog.
When guest blogging, do not be tempted to write a poor content, write a great content.
Writing poor content might give readers the impression that you have no idea of that topic. So whoa your host when guest blogging on their blog.
Guest blogging is one of the best ways of putting your name out there. If you are looking to grow your blog as fast as possible, then think about guest blogging.
Ask Bamidele Onibalusi, the guest blogging King. In order to grow his blog, he wrote about 300 guest posts on big and small blogs.
The result was that Bamidele was able to grow his blog within 7 months which is commendable.
Another guest blogger who grew his business through guest blogging is Victor Ijidola.
He is that guy that does not make noise about his success.
Trust me he has been featured on nearly all big brands and blogs you can think of.
He has been featured on Entrepreneur, The Next Web, Forbes, Inc, Marketingprof, Jeff Bullas, Neil Patel, to name a few.
He was able to grow his freelance writing business, Premium Content Shop, through guest blogging.
This is one of the most important tip on this list. I discovered this late and my blog paid for it.
Only few bloggers are telling the truth about blogging.
They tell you only 40% of what makes them successful and keep the rest from us.
If you want to scale up your blog in 2019, then consider guest blogging.
Do not just consider guest blogging,
make 60% of your plan around guest blogging.
As a new blogger, I would consider writing about 20 quality posts on your blog and write as many guest posts to grow your blog traffic and build that relationship that really matters online.
Here is the thing:
Even popular bloggers are still on the look of writing more guest posts to get their name out there.
A popular blogger in the SEO industry said in one of his posts that he has written well over 200 guest posts.
Another one said that he was able to grow his blog all thanks to guest blogging.
Adam Enfroy ran an experiment to :
- See how guest blogging affects blog’s growth
- See how difficult it is for a new blogger to get published on big blogs.
- His result:
- He was able to grow his domain authority by +12 (He now has a domain authority of 33 for a new blog)
- His search engine ranking improved and was ranked first page for his target keyword
- His Alexa rank improved by 600,000
I have done this not to just add more examples but to show you how great guest blogging works.
12. Give much more in your content
Do not be stingy and give what others are giving in their content. Give much more to your audience and they will give you much more than you think of.
Do not be so stingy with your time and create poor content for the sake of ranking on search engine.
Take your time and create quality and valuable contents that will solve your reader’s problems.
I could have just created a mere 1,000 words about being a successful blogger but that will only account to nothing.
And after reading it you feel more lost than you were before.
So that is not what blogging is all about.
You need to be ready to give quality and helpful information to your readers in order to build your audience and trust.
What about my premium products?
Yes there is always a place for premium products.
But how will a reader that has never found your blog content helpful be willing to pay for your premium content?
No one will pay a lazy blogger who publishes lazy contents.
You need to provide value ahead before pushing your premium product to your readers.
Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger is someone who hammers this well
All Jon Morrow’s content are all worth being processed into a course
Here is the thing:
Even though he had a decision to do that, he decided not to.
He decided to provide value before pushing his premium courses.
The result was that his readers trust him and are willing to pay for his premium courses.
And with his premium courses, Jon Morrow makes over $100,000 dollars per month.
That is way more than what you are planning to make from your blog, right?
He was able to do this by providing value upfront.
And the most interesting part is that some of his courses are priced well above $900 dollars.
Can you buy such course without trusting the provider first?
Obviously a capital NO!
That is why you need to put yourself in your readers shoe and see if you would be willing to buy from your blog.
If yes, do not be too happy, find out if there are others who think the way you think.
This should have been another tip (put yourself in your readers shoe) but I think the most important
thing is to pass this.
Yes that little demon in you will tell you that scheduling is just another waste of time.
But because you are still a kid in solopreneur, you also believed it.
That spending few minutes to schedule is a waste of time and you could have achieved something of value within that period.
And the result:
you are unable to finish your daily tasks.
It is not because you are too slow but because you lack something:
I could have discussed this under planning.
But I would love to emphasize this.
Because having a schedule is very important to bloggers.
You have to write new content, update old contents, design images (optional) reach out to other bloggers, build backlinks, perform on-page SEO, creating a product, etc.
If you lack a schedule in your plan then you will be overwhelmed by all these tasks.
Which there is a better resolve to this; schedule.
You need to schedule your tasks as a blogger.
Scheduling will help you to be more productive when working.
Just working according to when you think you are free would not help you in growing your blog.
You must be able to work according to time.
14. Learn from your competitors
You have to accept that you do not know everything. Your competitors are doing well and better than you, then learn from them.
Learning from them does not rip you of being an authority in your niche. You need to learn from them in order to know what works and what does not.
Learning from them will only help you know what direction to push your blog to.
15. Do not copy them
There is a difference between learning from your competitors and copying them.
You learn from them to have an idea of how to grow your blog but you should not copy them.
Copying them will only frustrate both you and your readers. Copying them will always make you behind them.
You don’t really want that, right?
So do not copy them, try and develop your own strategy.
16. Be Unique
So I just talked about not copying your competitors. So what do you do?
Being unique is not limited to writing quality content but also covers making your design unique, the way you communicate with your readers unique.
Just be unique. Whoa your readers and give them reasons to stick with you.
Find your voice.
We can write on the same topic but there will always be that difference.
That difference is our voice.
Your person will always show in your blog posts.
So you need to discover that unique voice.
An example is the blogosphere.
The blogosphere contains a lot of top bloggers preaching about starting a blog and making money online.
But there is something I found out, the voice is different but the information is the same.
The same way Darren Rowse will explain blogging is different from the way Jeff Bullas will.
The way Elna cain will explain freelance writing will be different from Bamidele Onibalusi.
And you know what?
You will always fall in love with one voice than another.
So do not think because your niche is competitive that you might not be able to be that popular in your niche.
The truth is some people will love the way you explain things more than the expert in your niche.
All you need is to discover that unique voice and make your blog unique.
17. Make your blog personal
Do you want to build a business around your blog? You can always do that while still being personal.
Then make your blog personal; about you and not just about your business.
Do not hide behind your blog name. Write your blog post against your name not against your blog’s name or using “editor”.
You need to make it personal; about You.
Ramsay of Blog Tyrant can tell you about this. He started his blog, blog tyrant, hiding behind his
He then discovered that is not the best way to go and he needs to make his readers know who is behind the blog.
He then decided to add his picture and more about him on his blog.
His blog’s engagement grew more than he bargained for. An average of his blog posts receives more than 60 comments within the first week of publishing.
So use your blog as an avenue to build your personal brand.
Building your personal brand makes it easy for you to build connections with other bloggers in your niche.
So do not hide behind your blog’s name and get your name out there through your blog.
It could create the avenue for you to explore other fields.
18. Spend More Time on your blog
How many hours do you spend on your blog?
The amount of time you spend on your blog matters a lot to the growth of your blog.
How can you expect to see fast growth in a blog you spend 2 hours on daily (I have been there before, trust me).
When I started my blog, I had no idea the exact amount of time I should be spending on my blog.
I spent less than 2 hours daily on my blog and it was not even effective at all.
After few months of seeing no result, I decided to spend more hours on my blog daily creating quality content.
I started spending around 6 hours daily on my blog and there was speedy growth in my traffic.
This might be difficult for you as a newbie.
But I had to spend sleepless night creating quality content for my blog.
You might not like the idea that you need to spend more time on your blog but that is the truth.
A blogger is an entrepreneur creating a business online. So you cannot expect it to come that easy.
Starting a business both online and offline comes with its own difficulty but have some similar
One of the difficulties that is found in both online and offline business is the amount of time you need to spend.
That is the bitter truth about building a successful blog; spending more time on your blog.
Do you know that most professional bloggers spend more than 40 hours per week on their blog.
Harsh of Shout Me Loud spends an average of 14 hours on his blog daily when he started.
That sounds insane, right?
But that was what brought him success in the blogosphere.
Another blogger who I contacted told me he spends about 10 hours on his blog daily.
The list can continue, but that is just by the way.
So do not be deceived to believe that because you have started a blog you can go on that vacation that you have been longing for.
I am sorry to disappoint you that the hours you spend on your blog daily matter a lot.
The decision to make now is how many hours do you want to invest in your blog?
19. Create a whoa About me page
I have made it known that you need to make your blog personal. Another way of engaging your readers and building your personal brand is to create a wonderful page.
Take this as an opportunity to tell your readers story.
People love stories and your about me page should not just be a bunch of “our goal” “what we discuss here”.
Talk about yourself on your blog.
Make your readers connect with you.
The truth is there is no exact formula for creating the perfect about me page.
All you need is to pass your message rightly and emotionally.
Some bloggers make their about us page about themselves while some make it about their blogging journey only.
And somee make it about their readers
In one word, there is no perfect way of writing n about us page.
20. Learn how to write
You might not be familiar with writing a blog post as a new blogger. But do not neglect that weak spot of yours.
Treat it and learn how to write.
You do not need to deceive yourself about this. Do not be ashamed to learn how to write.
I was a poor writer when I started my blog and I had to learn how to write.
I started reading Jon Morrow’s articles daily learning how he writes in order to build my writing skill.
So if you know you need to build your writing skill, do not hesitate to learn how to write.
Recently, I was chatting with a newbie blogger.
Below is the chat I had with the newbie:
He: Hi, please teach me how to grow my blog
Me : Create quality and unique content
He: That is my problem
Me: then learn how to write.
Do you know what is amazing about it?
He is not the only one.
Many newbies will find it difficult in creating quality blog post because they are new to the blogosphere.
Not knowing how to write is not your problem.
Your problem is not willing to learn.
You have to accept the fact that you do not know how to write and take the right step in learning how to write.
So here are some steps you can take to learn how to write:
• Read a lot of Blog Posts and Books
Reading a lot will help you master how to write a blog post. The very first step you can take is to start reading blog posts and books.
• Write a lot
How sad it is!
you were not expecting this?
But this is the truth.
The only way to learn how to write is to write..
Practise make perfection
21. Build an email list
Your email list matter a lot to your blog, there is a saying that the larger your email list is the more money you can make.
This is true.
From day one of starting your blog, start growing your email list. Your email list will help you to generate money from your blog when your blog is ripe.
So when will your blog be ripe?
That depends on you. I would prefer to start monetising my blog after 3 months. But you can decide to start monetising your blog after six months.
It depends on how fast you grow your blog.
That being said, how do you grow your email list?
Yes I have talked about having an email list, but how do you grow it?
The short answer to this: Provide Value.
Value is that honey that attracts your audience.
And makes them give you what you want.
So in one sentence, create something that your readers would be happy to give their email address in exchange for.
So what could that be?
It could be an e Book, a podcast, a free online course, a tool or whatever you think will worth your reader attention and email address.
So here is the thing:
You don’t just create something because you think your readers need it, go extra miles and find out if they really need it.
Here is a Way to do this:
- Find out what your audience need
- Create a content around it in the right format ( it could be an eBook, podcast, online course, video)
- Create a landing page for it where you can easily get your readers to sign up for your email list in return giving them the promised content.
One more thing, your content or eBook must be targeted to beginners.
They are eager to find a solution to their problem.
22. Know your Audience
You cant just help it, you have no idea of who your audience is.
Here is the the worst thing: a lot of bloggers fail because they have no idea.
And it is not just in terms of getting traffic.
But also fail terribly in blog monetisation.
Here is why:
They create content that does not solve their audience problem;
and products without no demand.
That is totally wrong.
You don’t just create content blindly, you need to learn about who your audience is. Knowing who
your audience is and what they want will help in creating quality content to help them out.
So as you before creating content, learn more about your audience.
This places your blog in a better position to monetize.
But here is the thing:
How Do You Know More About Your Audience?
- Ask Your Audience What They Want
As simple as this sound it is very powerful in finding more about your audience.
When Jon Morrow created his blog, one his first set of post was a post asking what his readers are battling with.
And guess what:
There was a ton of comments from his readers; each stating what they want.
You can also do this by sending it through a mail.
Write a simple email to your readers asking what they want.
It could be as simple as this:
Is there anything I can help you with concerning [Your Blog Topic],
I would be happy to create a content around and send the link to you when it goes live.
And it can be as short as you want just be sure to make yourself clear in your email.
- Visit Forums
Do you know any forum where your audience could be?
Then join the forum and look for questions being asked in your niche.
These questions can be sometimes too personal but never take it too likely.
That could be the topic of your next post so make jottings about questions be asked.
And provide answers to those questions.
Do not be in a hurry to insert your blog link.
Take it easy.
The first thing is to provide solution to their problem on the forum
The next thing is to build relationship with them on the forum.
Build your authority on the forum,
Then you can now be sure of linking to your site.
Here is why:
To avoid looking spam-my,
You can always continue that relationship on your blog.
- Read comments
Do you know that comments are much more informative than the post itself?
Here is why:
Comments are ideas and experience from different people with knowledge of the topic.
Whenever I read blog posts on my competitor’s blog, I spend more time reading comments from people.
These comments are left knowledgeable and experienced people who have either faced that problem before and have solved it or people who are about to.
The joy here is that you get to read case studies like experiment in the comment; something that is missing in the comment.
So How Do You Implement This?
Among those comments are questions from beginners and pro facing that problem or similar
Use that to your growth.
Take those questions and jot them down.
Then create a content around it, reply the comment with a solution then link back to your site.
This way you have learnt what your needs and have also solved it.
23. Monetise now or later?
This is the question to ask yourself; should you monetise your blog now or later?
Many new bloggers are bent on monetising their blog at the early stage. There is nothing wrong with
that but monetising at the early stage of your blog could destroy your blog’s image.
You need to first grow your blog’s audience and fan base before monetising it.
The truth is that monetising at the early stage will set you on the wrong path. Because you barely understand your blog.
Have a little fan base before monetising your blog.
In order to finance your blog, you can offer some services online to keep your blog running.
Services like freelance writing, freelance blogging, search engine optimisation, typing, setting up a blog, etc.
So you can keep yourself going by offering some services online.
NOTE: This blog post will be updated along the line. And your comment could be the next tip to be added.
It been a long read,
Hope you enjoyed the ride with me?
I had a choice, to either write the 1,000 word post you have always read or write something unique, long form that will help someone.
I did this not just for the sake of writing long form content (though part of it) but to impact and provide value to you.
There is more to being a successful blogger but not taking action is the first and shortest way of failing.
So digest this content and take action.
Let take a quick look over the tip discussed in this blog post.
23 Tips to be a Successful Blogger
- Start Your Blog
- Choose The Right Niche
- Launch Your Blog With About 10 Quality Contents
- Be Ready To Outsource
- Buy Courses To Set Your Aright
- Use The Right ToolT
- Learn Seo
- Be Consistent
- Write Down Your Goals
- Create A Plan
- Start Guest Blogging Now
- Give Much More In Your Content
- Learn From Your Competitors
- Do Not Copy Them
- Be Unique
- Make Your Blog Personal
- Spend More Time On Your Blog
- Learn How To Write
- Build An Email List
- Know Your Audience
- Monetise Now Or Later
What else have I missed?
What has helped you in building a successful blog?
What tip(s) will you try out in order to grow your blog?
I would love to interact with you through the comment box.
P.S: I love comment(s).
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Hey!, I’m Akinduyo Eniola. Here’s my space on the internet, where I write about business and marketing. I share my experiments on this blog. That said, my other identity is a freelance content marketer. I write for B2B and SaaS companies.