Blogging Secrets – I’m Not a Player I Just Blog a Lot

My Blog is Blowing Up

Before I get started on this blog, let me say a few things. First, I sure am glad I listened to my fans and colleagues about shortening the blogposts. To quote a great philosopher, “My shit is blowin’ up fools!” I think it was Aristotle who said that. Seriously, my blog is kicking some serious butt which is great news because I work very hard to make it a major part of my life. Thank you very much to all the people who put me on their blogroll, retweet my posts, and spread the word on Facebook and on various forums. It is much appreciated!

My friends think I’m a complete nerd when I tell them that I’m working on a blog. I used to think blogging was for serious nerds too, but I have to admit I now love it. This will be me in a few years:

Good Reads for the Week Blogpost

Second, regarding my weekly Good Reads for the Week blogposts, I get all of those links off of Twitter and Facebook. I steal a lot of the unique articles from Jonathan Fass as he posts some good articles on his Facebook page (then I post them on my blog and get all the glory….mwuh huh huh!). If you’re a fitness writer and you’re wondering why I don’t include links to your articles, it’s due to one of two things: 1) I don’t believe it’s quite good enough to link, or 2) I never read it because you didn’t market the article. Here’s an excellent quote from Alwyn Cosgrove (I’m bastardizing his quote as I’m writing this down from memory but I don’t think his Scottish ass will mind):

If you believe in your product and you’re not telling anyone, then you’re doing everyone a disservice. If you found a cure for cancer and kept it to yourself, you’d be an asshole. If you believe in your work and ideas, then you SHOULD promote them and try to spread the word. Keeping it to yourself would be selfish.

In other words, don’t feel bad about promoting your work. Just don’t be overly annoying about it like some folks. That’s a quick way to turn people off in this industry. If you’re not using Facebook and/or Twitter, you’re missing out.

Blogging Secrets

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of emails from my colleagues asking me how I find the time to blog so often. It’s all about passion baby! If you’re immersed in the fitness field like I am, then you probably understand what it feels like to be “getting paid to do your hobby.” I work around the clock and currently love doing so. However, here are some of my secrets:

1. I read really, really fast. I wouldn’t say I’m a speed reader but I read twice as fast as most people I know.

2. I have great “systems.” I have tabs of Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, T-Nation, Elitefts, and my blog. When I’m writing I get bored often and need a break. I cycle through the various tabs to break the monotony and stay updated.

3. I go through the newsfeeds on Facebook and Twitter several times per day and click on all the links that look like good reads.

4. If I like the article, I click on a MS Word document that I create each week where I jot down a quick sentence about the article and paste the link. When it comes time for me to post the blog, the hard work is done and all I have to do is copy, paste, and link the articles. Then I embed a Jamie Eason image so when I post the blog to Facebook my fans are compelled to click on it. My sleaziness knows no bounds. Jamie’s so hot even women have to click on the link. She talked about this in a Muscular Development interview several months ago.

5. Whenever I think of a new idea I jot it down in another ongoing MS Word document called “Random Thoughts.” Often I’ll be working out, training someone, or having a conversation with someone and I’ll think of a new idea. In this case I text message the idea to myself so I don’t forget. I’m a big thinker so I come up with stuff to blog about quite often. I probably have 30 ideas ready to be blogged about at all times.

6. Whenever possible I multi-task. On Monday I was talking to someone on the phone and I put it on speakerphone so I could respond with a quick “thank you” to every single person who wrote me a Happy Birthday message on Facebook. Little things like this make a big difference.

7. I’m not married, I don’t have kids, and I don’t go out much. I’m comfortable in my home. I have a badass garage gym so I don’t need to leave the house very often. I don’t watch sports except for UFC fights. I try to see a movie once a week. Sadly, I don’t even go on dates. The benefit of being single right now is that I don’t have any one to answer to…I can stay up late, wake up early, leave dishes in the sink, etc. This equates to more time to dedicate to my reading, learning, and writing.

8. As far as quality is concerned, I try to stick to a few rules when I blog. First, I try to spell-check and proof-read my posts. I’m amazed at how many bloggers don’t even go this far. Second, I try to use bold and italics to spruce things up. Third, I try to break up the paragraphs to reduce “intimidation.” Forth, I try to embed pictures and Youtube videos. Fifth, I try very hard to respond to comments so my readers feel engaged. And sixth, I try to provide quality content while injecting some humor into the posts. These simple rules seem to be working very well for me.

9. I purposely limit the amount of personal training clients I take on. I believe that beginner trainers and coaches should try to get as much training experience under their belt as possible. When I had my personal training studio Lifts I trained so many clients each week I feel that I got a decade’s worth of experience crammed into a few years. Once you’ve been training for as many years as I have you actually benefit more from training less and freeing up more time for reading and researching.

When I was a high school math teacher, I’d run around like a maniac so I could get all of my work done during school hours. My teacher friends made fun of me for how fast I walked and moved around but they usually stayed at work until 6 p.m. whereas I bolted out of there shortly after the bell rang. I’m all about being productive, multi-tasking, and creating efficient systems! As a matter of fact, I have my computer in my garage right now and I’m writing this blog in between sets of full squats – no joke. How’s that for multi-tasking? So there you have it! This is how I get so much accomplished.

8 thoughts on “Blogging Secrets – I’m Not a Player I Just Blog a Lot

  1. Zing

    Loving the Good Weekly Reads section, GENIUS !
    I don’t have to seek everybody on facebook or twitter :)
    It’s nicely organized and I know I get the best stuff each week straight to my inbox !

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Blogging Secrets – I’m Not a Player I Just Blog a Lot « Bret's Blog -- Topsy.com

  3. Chris

    Bret,

    Great post. Useful info and really put things in to perspective. After three years of owning a PT studio, the comment that struck a particular cord with me is limiting the amount of clients you take on. I think this is really smart.

    While I set aside 90 minutes per day for study, there is so much more I feel I could do if I were not in the trenches seven days per week.

    How long did you have your studio? What led you to the decision to shut things down? It seems the transition you have taken is paying off quite well.

    Loving the good reads section as well.

    Best,

    Chris

    Reply
    1. Bret Contreras

      Hey Chris, I had it for almost 3 years. I didn’t renew the lease because around 6 out of 10 shops in the plaza closed down during the time I owned the studio due to the poor economy. My rent was very high ($3,900/month for 1,300 sf) as I was in Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale. I’m very happy about my decision as now I’m not too busy to read, research, write, attend seminars, speak to coaches on the phone, etc. Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Ronald Berkamp

    You’re not slow, Danny, just very deliberate ;) But as long as you’re reading quality content, a little less overall volume will be barely noticeable when comparing notes with anyone other than Bret “Total Recall” Contreras.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Interview with Bret Contreras | 3 Spectrum Fitness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>