The Future of Online Publishing: 4 Experts, 6 Principles (FS030)

Where is blogging going? What will it look like in the future? And while we’re on the big questions: what is “blogging?”

Your answer to these questions change, not only what you choose to work on, but how you go about doing that work.

We invited four successful online publishers to share their answers with you. The conversation resulted in 6 principles of online publishing.

Our Expert Guests

Leo BabautaLeo Babauta — Leo built Zen Habits into one of the world’s biggest blogs. Check out his recent Habits of Entrepreneurs series.

Leo BabautaNathan Barry — Nathan’s amassed a whole slew of killer services, books, videos and other training stuff on his site. Checkout his super helpful post-mortem on his latest launch: $36,297 in 24 Hours: Behind the Scenes of the app Design Handbook Launch.

Leo BabautaBarron Cuadro — Barron built Effortless Gent into his full time bread and butter. And boy does that bread and butter look fashionable! Check out his Dress like a Grown Up book.

Leo BabautaScott Dinsmore — Scott’s built Live Your Legend up to a massive site full of engaged people reaching higher. Check out his awesome Ted X talk. (almost a million views!)

It’s inspiring to hear how these guys are developing their businesses and planning for the future.

Note: This is our 30th episode! You made us a #1 business podcast all the way in the beginning. And now we have over 10,000 listeners every week! If I knew how to find you (and if this podcast made any money) I’d totally buy you a beer.

Note: this conversation was recorded during a live event. Also, Scott wore pink pants.

Note: we tried hard to get female perspective on the show and we apologize that none of those guests were able to make it. Please know we tried, and, in the end, the best we could do was Scott’s pink pants.

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Where is blogging going? 4 experts weigh in, 6 principle fall out.
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6 Principles of Online Publishing

Discover yourself: “blogging” is just “writing” is just honing and communicating your thoughts. Writing regularly will uncover who you are and what you’re here for. Even if you never build an audience it’s a powerful tool for self growth.

Be valuable: solve someone’s problem. Make something useful. Or, as we like to put it: make something for someone’s butt (you’ll have to listen in for the crucial context on that one).

Big isn’t necessary: you don’t need a big audience to have a profitable business. Going deeper for a smaller audience is a viable business model.

Learn and teach: don’t wait until someone calls you an “expert.” Learn something small and meaningful and immediately begin sharing your insights with others.

Don’t rush it: building an audience online is a viable way to earn a living. Be willing to invest some time now to learn, apprentice under someone, etc., and build up skills and relationships for a long career.

Get offline: if you want to make something important and successful, connect with people in meatspace, in person. Remind yourself it’s not about numbers — it’s about names, needs and transformation.

Get the free guide to defining your audience
  • ThatGuyKC

    No comments! Bunch of slackers.

    Men, this was truly EPIC! Enjoyed every second and came away w/ some “personal online publishing” gems. Been a listener of the podcast since Day 1 and looking forward to the journey ahead.

    Keep up the good work.

    P.S. It’s hazardous to listen to the podcast while working out. When Chase said his spirit animal was Guy Fieri I almost dropped a barbell on my chest. HA!

  • Jeremy

    A zen habits blog post changed my life. I got to thank Leo in person once, which was extra special. Thanks again Leo.
    This post…

  • Carl Phillips

    What a brilliant podcast and array of knowledge! Great way to start Sparkline!

    It’s interesting to note how much these guys relate back to basic fundamentals for their success (not spammy marketing and SEO tricks).

    I have to concur with Jeremy’s comment that Leo’s work in particular has had a profound impact on me. Along with some other writers he really inspired some positive action from me that has led to me setting up my own blog and also now working on my 5th ebook release.

    I look forward to more from Sparkline (it’s a great concept) and wish you all well with the venture.

    • Corbett Barr

      Hey Carl, thanks so much for the great comment, and thanks for listening to the show. Glad you liked it!

  • Jared Dees

    You guys need to include a warning at beginning of the show:

    “Warning! Listen in public at your own risk. This is laugh-out-loud business advice that you can’t ignore and won’t be able to experience in peace.”

    Seriously, I just had to collect myself before entering into Starbucks.

    Well done. Sad to see Think Traffic go, but it makes perfect sense. It’s time to think beyond traffic and you have all been doing that for a long time now.

    • bradyshearer

      Haha. I totally agree about the warning. There have been multiple occasions while I’ve been listening, I’ve laughed, and disaster struck.

      Once while lifting weights. Once while gargling mouthwash. Neither ended up pretty.

    • Chase Reeves

      Yea, sorry about that Jared. My bad :)

  • Bruce Brodeen

    You’ll (hopefully) like this – my wife has been travelling the last ten days on business so I have been waking up in the mornings and listening the Fizzle podcasts in bed.

    She’s back now so I let her get up before me this morning(which is not the way it’s worked for 30 yrs) and got in the first half of this latest one!

    I probably listen to 5-10 different podcasts every week – Fizzle is my absolute favorite, hands down. The three of you have a truly special chemistry to make your listeners laugh, learn and locate actionable points of action.

    That’s a rare and uniqe quality in any podcast.

    Oh yeah: “Me dig Sparkline”. :-)

    • Corbett Barr

      The Fizzle Show in bed! Glad to hear we’re right there with you to start the day Bruce :) Hope your wife doesn’t mind too much…

      Thanks so much for listening, we really appreciate the praise! Keep it coming ;)

      • Bruce Brodeen

        “The Fizzle Show in bed”, of course means….’Chase Reeves in bed.’

        If I think about that too much, I may have to stop. ;-P (“I kheed, I kheed!” – Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog)

        Though, the ‘butthole’ theme evolving/de-volving over the past five episodes or so would confuse many out of context. (insert: knowing laugh for those who know what this comment is referring to…)

  • Jeff Jones

    I don’t know where else I could go to laugh my a** off and learn so much at the same time! Thanks to the 3Cs and your amazing guests!


  • Joyce M Washington

    Scott’s pink pants were kind of rad though. :)

  • George Kao

    Great episode!

    I’ve added it to my list of favorites:

Up Next:

Getting To The First Sale (FS026)

That moment when you get the first email about a successful transaction… someone found your thing and then liked it enough to buy it… that moment changes you forever. But how do you get there? What are the steps to making a thing that’s sellable? What roadblocks will you absolutely collide with and how can you hurdle over them?

The Sparkline — a blog for independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

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