Tim Ferriss, author of “The Four Hour Work Week,” recently posted on how to build a high-traffic blog without killing yourself, featuring this 50 min. video on blogging. I always enjoy Tim’s analytical approach and beat-the-game attitude.

For my 40 point list of Tim’s reccommendations

  • he has used WordPress from the beginning
  • Why blog? Why do you do anything? To love, be loved, and never stop learning.
  • not for income, for access to people and resources
  • uses crazyegg.com for clickthroughs, heat maps
  • uses google.com/analytics, only measure what matters, don’t get caught chasing #’s down the rabbit hole
  • best times to post are 7am or 6pm, best days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
  • he posts once or twice a week
  • changed “Categories” to “Topics” – wording very important
  • how much has he spent designing? 1st iteration – $0, 2nd – $500, 3rd – $1200
  • removed Twitter status b/c people, esp. 1st timers were leaving
  • “Gear” page is a placeholder to see who will visit, lots do
  • dates displayed at top of posts on homepage, for older posts, in archives, dates at bottom
  • posts atop articles: “total read time: X” and “bolded parts: x” (ave. reader 250wpm, page 350 words)
  • uses slinkset.com – your personal digg
  • uses Twitter for polling, research, personal online diary (can sync w/gcal)
  • uses evernote.com to copy/past ideas, has 45 article drafts, 5 will make it
  • Tucher Max > not important to be a good writer, but have your own voice!
  • posts written from polls about “what you you like?” generate poor response
  • write about what makes you passionate, angry, but be careful to
  • don’t attack people, attack problems
  • find your biorhythm, writes best btwn 1-5am, one class of wine, one of yerba-mate
  • edit important posts by hand (printout), remove 20% each time
  • ignore SEO at first, just write, then
  • uses google keyword tool to insert synonyms, sort by ave monthly volume
  • try to make sure you can describe your posts in only one way, don’t segment with multiple topics
  • no correlation btwn. time/money spent making a video and hits, short is good
  • text sticks around, is indexed, copied, pasted, as opposed to video
  • stumbleupon is the cheapest form of traffic if you buy their ads, it’s a slow trickle of high-quality traffic
  • flickr search (creative commons) for photos, sort by most interesting
  • 0% tolerance for snarky, rude comments, spends 20mins. a day on comments
  • keeps a record of good comments, could be post on their own
  • the critical minority will always be the most vocal
  • uses fourhourblog.com – longform, blog.timferriss.com – shortform experiement, litliberation.com – social networking fund raising
  • weebly.com, interesting platform
  • THINK BIG BUT PLAY OFTEN, TAKE FUN SERIOUSLY!
  • blogging can be your own self-imposed hell if you’re just following others’s rules
  • hugely positive thing for him, not source of stress
  • takes 20 mins – 6 hrs to write per post
  • plugins (aside from obvious) > redirection, popular content, share this (on the fence about)
  • uses greasmonkey script to remove pagination of, for example, Twitter pages
  • brand your blog broadly to avoid pigeonholing yourself
  • host: Mediatemple, nitro package – fast response time

And here is another video (5 mins.) on stoicism’s productivity.

Practice:

  1. Negative visualization – define your fears, explicitly
  2. Privation – once a month live your fear as directly as possible, whether it be poverty, embarrassment, rejection, etc.

Suggested reading:

  • Seneca – Letters From A Stoic
  • Seneca – Dialogues and Letters (#24)
  • Marcus Aurelius – Meditations