ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

How to Start a Blog (Without Wanting to Kill Yourself) [PART II]

In: Starting an Online Business

Want to start a blog? Read Part I of this series first!

So this morning when I was sitting here looking like an absolute homeless person, I was doing what I do every morning: tiptoeing into my brain and and dragging memories out with a sledgehammer, AKA WRITING.

I do this every morning for no less than three hours, but very often five or six, because once I get going, it’s like prying a teenager away from a Playstation. (Seriously, being able to mind map out this book has been effing dangerous, because now I’m not only rabidly writing my life away, but I have a PLAN for rabidly writing my life away, which is either going to turn me into “an organized person” or a gigantic fucking lunatic.)

And when I was sitting there pondering LIFE—which often involves me getting up to go wash the dishes—I got to thinking about how blogging saved me in so many ways. Fortunately the Internet wasn’t so Instagrammey back then, requiring you to sell your soul for a like on your photo. (Actually emojis hadn’t even come out on the iPhone yet, and I still owned a sweet, sweet Blackberry.) Furthermore it wasn’t all “content marketey,” either, brimming with ulterior motives, but rather, a REAL AND ACTUAL WAY TO SAY SOMETHING THAT MATTERED TO YOU.

I think we lose sight of that now sometimes.

I think that when people first start a blog, they’re inundated by all of this pressure to do everything “right” and have all of these opt-ins and calls to action and keywords and headlines that the very act of blogging becomes this big hairy disgusting chore, where it’s TOTALLY grueling work and it’s TOTALLY a turn-off and you probably procrastinate it every single minute of every single day until you finally guilt yourself long enough to sit down and write something—in which you have no idea if anyone is reading, and you feel totally disconnected like you’re shouting into a long, creepy tunnel somewhere, and then you start to get paranoid that you’re wasting your time, and you don’t want to blog, and you hate all the things, and sooner or later, before you know it, you have totally given up and decided that blogging is not for you.

Which is basically like saying JAIL isn’t for you, because seriously—who would like it if it had to be like that?

This is a call to get back to writing for pleasure. To get back to blogging for the sake of having a forum to house your thoughts. To get online to start a fire—not because some asshat told you that you needed it for “authority.” (Even though you probably should have that to, ahem, and I DO THINK THAT’S SAGE ADVICE.)

But you know why I was actually successful as a blogger? Because every day I was getting online and telling the truth. That’s all I was doing. Telling the truth. Telling my truth. Talking about the profound sense of impoverishment I had felt, after I had spent so many years chasing success and then finally getting it. Talking about how bad you feel for thinking things like that. How you’re suppose to be “grateful.” How you’re suppose to “suck it up.” How you’re suppose to THINK OF THE STARVING CHILDREN. It was a way to talk about the things I was thinking, and ask other people if they felt the same way. In that way, I think The Middle Finger Project has been cathartic for people. I think it gives us all a place to feel a little less judged.

And you know what blogging gifted me in exchange? It helped me to take my own ideas seriously. It helped me to take myself seriously. The moment I gave my ideas a place to live, it was as if more and more came galloping out of me. Blogging was a sanctuary for my thoughts. And as it turns out, having that kind of sanctuary can be wildly beneficial—not only for you, but yes, for business, too.

Because here’s the thing about the whole “content marketing” movement: everyone’s doing it, yet few are actually successful with it. But that’s not because blogging doesn't work—it's because content marketing doesn't. At least, not with the approach that so many are using. You can't leap barefoot into somebody's living room and beg them to give you money, before jumping out the window and leaping into someone else’s. Just because you're using the medium, doesn't mean you're using it well. Because that’s not blogging OR content marketing—that’s tacky manipulation.

So here’s what I think. I think if you’ve had the inkling to blog but you've been scared shitless that you wouldn’t do it right, or that it would be too much work, or that no one would read it, I think you need to take three minutes and set up WordPress (I made you a tutorial here), and then, with a glass of wine, write your very first post tonight. (ESPECIALLY if you don't have a Valentine's Day date, because this is some love for yourself!) Not a strategic post. Not a content marketing post. Not a post that’s going to make you seem all shiny and perfect and AREN’T YOU JUST SO WONDERFUL, but a real people post. A real human post. A post where you can put your hair down and just act natural—as if you were having a conversation with a girlfriend.

Just act natural.

You know how people always say that, right? Or maybe that was just my mom who used to say that, but she used to tell me that people like you more when you just act natural—not poised or fake or awkward or stiff. There I was, peeing myself about going to the 7th grade semi-formal dance, and she would just tell me this over and over again.

Just act natural, kid. Just be natural.

So today, I’m passing it along to you. And thanks, mom, for the solid advice. SHE IS GIVING THIS TO US FROM THE GRAVE, YOU GUYS, SO WE SHOULD PROBABLY LISTEN. But seriously—I think she’s onto something.

And I think you are, too.

I think that whatever idea you have swirling around in your head, you need to give it fire.

But more than that, you need to give yourself fire.

Because the minute you start taking your own ideas seriously? The world will, too.

And remember: You don’t need to be serious to be taken seriously.

You just need to show up.

Click here to read Part I and learn how to set up your blog on WordPress

Aug 15

2017

DO NOT KILL THE PEOPLE SELLING LULAROE. They’re Actually Ahead of the Curve—And Here’s Why.

LuLaRoe. Rodan + Fields. Younique. AdvoCare. Usana. Beachbody. doTerra. Herbalife. Pampered Chef. If you’re anything like me, your Facebook feed is blowin’ UP with folks who have become representatives for these companies. (Some of them I like and respect, and others make me want to chainsaw their house.) So why is this becoming such a […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ MORE >>

Oct 25

2012

An Ode to Baller Status.

Lather up. Choose the perfume-scented body lotion. Put every last hair into place. Rock your most exquisite piece of clothing. Wink at yourself in the mirror. Pull out the stops. Look fucking smashing. And then get to work. Because when you feel like a baller? YOU ACT LIKE ONE.

In: Starting an Online Business

READ MORE >>

Aug 17

2017

“How Do You Make Money From a Blog / Social Media / Your Grandmother’s YouTube Channel?!”

People ask me this cute shit ALL DAY LONG. It’s a very confusing topic, I suspect, because many folks assume that you are throwing up advertising banners from 1998, rockin’ those Google AdSense clicks like nobody’s business. To be fair, that is a thing—I’ve strategized with one company in particular doing 3-4 million every month in […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ MORE >>

Jul 11

2017

Take What You Love, And Figure Out How to Sell It To Someone—And Boom, You’ve Got Your Dream Job

So, listen, I’m not gonna lie—we got to our new London flat this morning, and the second I walked in, I FINALLY UNDERSTOOD THE MEANING OF LIFE. (P.S. You’re following these shenanigans via my Insta-stories right?) Which is entirely materialistic of me, of course, but I’m of the age these days where I don’t really care because […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ MORE >>

May 4

2012

How to Be Taken Seriously in Biz + Life. (Does Not Apply to Douchebags, The President, or Anyone With The Name Barbie.)

Ever jump in a pool fully clothed? You gotta try it. Borderline rebellious, without landing you a spot in jail, or any unplanned pregnancies. (Usually.) I’m pretty sure I’ve jumped into more pools clothed than the average human being, which must qualify me for something. Something other than the insane asylum. Or the WWF. My […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ MORE >>

Jun 2

2017

When It’s Hard for People to Pick, The First Thing They Do Is Ditch

HI, IT’S ME, AND IT’S FRIDAY, AND I’M VERY EXCITEDDDDD. First off, our brand new flagship fuck yeah website launches next week. (We’ve been working on this behind the scenes for an entire year!) JUNE!!!!!!!!! THE MONTH OF CHAMPIONNNSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S GOING TO BE HUGEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! (Please imagine me saying that like a forty-five year old balding […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ MORE >>

Aug 5

2017

“My Brand is Boring As Fuck. With a Capital F.”

Andddddd it’s a wrap! We took The Cotswolds by motherloving storm this past week, as I led a cozy, intimate business retreat with five killer women in the English countryside, complete with fireside chats, darling little pubs, open-air picnics, tons of peppermint tea, and, of course, trekking around in our wellies through refreshingly moist meadows […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ MORE >>

Exclusive VIP Access

Join The Middle Finger Project mafia—over 75,000+ disobedient humans strong—and as a welcome gift (which I promise won’t be a thug named Vinny), I’ll send you a top secret discount code for our best-selling courses, kits and workshops. Because #SOLIDARITY.

It’s free, and you’ll also get new posts every week, plus at least one GIF of Betty White for the win.

Privacy Policy Info Here