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Blogging as a Business: Storytelling Lessons From 1000 Awesome Things

One of my favorite website’s ever is Neil Pasricha’s 1000AwesomeThings.com, also the author of “The Book of Awesome” (aff).  On his site, Neil uses engaging storytelling to deliver his message of optimism:


It’s fine to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the small pleasures in life,

such as when you finally get that infuriating tiny piece of popcorn out of your teeth.


Neil is a great example of staying on message through storytelling.  You can’t help feel anything but better after reading the blog or his books.  (Embedded at the end is Neil’s magnificent TED Talk – well worth watching).


1000 Awesome Things

By Sam Howzit @ Flickr


Last Monday, I made reference to the power of stories to convey your message.  This implies that you actually have a message to convey.


Have you ever stopped to think what is your message?


What big idea will your audience come away with from reading your posts, hearing your podcasts, watching your videos, etc?


There should be an overarching theme that envelops everything you do.  (This is what “branding” is about).


While Neal didn’t set out to build a business through his blog, eventually his message caught on and book deals followed.  There’s even an “App of Awesome” for the iPhone!


Not everyone will get offered a book deal out of their blogging efforts.  But that’s because not everyone actively seeks to get one.


What if… you set out to deliberately create a business around your blog?


From “Story-Driven” to “Business-Driven”


Does changing your approach to a “business-driven” site mean you have to change who you are and/or your writing style?  Absolutely not!


Being relatable and having a story to tell are incredibly valuable assets for any business.  Stories attract audiences and make the message you want to communicate more memorable.


How do you make the transition then?


If you want to build your blog into a business start by creating a product to sell or by offering a service.  A monetary business transaction will never happen if you don’t have a product or service to sell.  (Unless you’re into “cash-gifting“…)


If you’ve decided to make money from your site, think of ways to address a need in your audience.


Not all needs are about obtaining practical solutions to problems.  Or needs that can can be solved with a quick “how-to” manual.


Some of our most important needs are emotional and spiritual in nature.


Once you identify a need, sell a solution to your audience.  You’ll definitely be in much smaller company in the blogging world when you move from being a Content Publisher and become a Product Creator instead.


It doesn’t matter if the first product you create is a giveaway product for e-mail subscribers (to help with lead generation).  Product creation moves your efforts in the right direction.


Businesses, from Apple and all the way down the line to the person selling water bottles on a street corner, are built on a simple concept:


Business defined in four words:

Find Need, Provide Solution. – Click to Tweet


What is your core message and how does it help your audience?

I’d like to year your opinion in the comments below!


Neil Pasricha’s TED Talk: The 3 A’s of Awesome

About Rich Polanco

Fan of dogs + all things tech. Love a great pizza. My goal is not to travel to every country in the world. I only want to get to know my favorite ones REALLY well. Check out the big bio here. Follow @RichPolanco and connect on Facebook.
Currently exploring: Guatemala.


  1. Gwin says:

    I have been browsing online for more than three hours today. This is the most interesting article i’ve read.

    If think if all bloggers made content useful to readers the internet would be a better place.


  2. You know when done right you can really have great success if your post is in form of a story. people love a good story and when it has something to do with their interests it’s even better,

    • Rich says:

      Absolutely right, Brian!

      Thanks for stopping by.



  1. […] in Wednesday to find out how.  Read Part 2 here and learn how a successful “story-driven” site accomplished the switched to […]

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