31 Pro Tips for a Successful, Satisfying, and Insanely Profitable 2012

31 Pro Tips for a Successful, Satisfying, and Insanely Profitable 2012

Reader Comments (72)

  1. Some fantastic advice there (I particually liked the one about stepping away from the computer) and there is the added bonus of some new blogs for me to discover this year. It’s win-win! 😛

      • Great advice Susan.. We just need to be reminded of this often.. So easy to get absorbed with work, goals, deadlines, learning, etc, etc….. Just heard Maria Shriver’s video where she says, “pause” before you do anything..

        Time to get away from the computer.. Bye 🙂

  2. What a wonderful collection of great ideas for building my blog in 2012! Thank you for compiling this. I will be reading this throughout the year as a reminder.

    My traffic has increased significantly in recent months and I think a lot of this advice can help me get to the next level.

    Thanks again!

  3. Really like Jon’s Tip. Its so true. Energy of universe is a constant and you have to stop doing something to start doing something.

    My pro tip would be…

    Take action. Don’t just read and think. Take action.

    Even if your goal seems far away and you have no plan.

    The staircase to top get lit only one step at a time so take action and the next action would become clear.

  4. I read the Lean Startup by Eric Ries and finally things came together for me. Two weeks later I went from fuzzy idea to releasing my first product. I made more progress and money in the final month of 2011 than I had with my business in all of 2010.

    The concept that tipped me over? “Validated learning is the unit of progress for a startup”. And the only way to get that learning is to make a hypothesis about what people want, ship the thing, measure, and iterate.

    I’d known about preselling and making an minimum viable product before, but this was the first time that I heard that “learning” is progress. Even if I learned that’s not what people wanted.

    Here’s to everyone learning about their audience in 2012!

  5. Excellent advice; not just for bloggers – but for marketing professionals…or should I just say “professionals” in general!

  6. Great post, Sonia, and some very helpful links. While I like to look forward to the year and plan out some goals, it’s also a good time to look at the previous year and do some reflection. While success is a great motivator, failure can be a great teacher. I put together a Failure Checklist, which has been helpful to work through the things that didn’t quite workout last year. Your readers can download it here… http://goals4u.us/ypY3Ro

  7. Hi Sonia,

    Super advice overall.

    I find Leo’s and Susan’s tips to be spot on! I intend to engage only in effective acts. Each thing you do should make an impact. No, don’t do things because you have to, or need to, or because some guru tells you….nope, gotta engage in effective acts if you plan to be successful.

    I take 10 minute breaks each hour. Alarm goes off, I drop everything. Most of my best ideas flows to me in silence. Too much mental clutter going on while working.

    Thanks for sharing!


  8. Great advice all round.

    But Chris B hit the nail on the head with me. I’ve been using video to connect with customers for ages – either way this year I’m stepping up my efforts ten fold.

    I hope everyone here crushes it this year.

  9. Get rid of the “coulda, woulda, shoudas.” I coulda done that, I woulda done this if only…, I shoulda done that. Don’t look back on what might have been. Keep moving forward. Stay true to yourself. Make course corrections when necessary, but stop berating yourself!

  10. So does this mean that I can’t keep believing in unicorns? 😉

    Great tips. I especially appreciated what Brogan had to say about video and what Sean Platt shared about the Kindle. I’m learning a lot from both of their examples.

  11. Don’t miss Jonathan Fields’ tip! It’s the only productivity tactic that I’ve seen work for me and just about anyone.

    Whether it’s stuff i don’t want to do, like cleaning my home or stuff that I do enjoy, like writing a new blog post, I find that doing the intense work for a batch of time, with breaks really gets me moving.

  12. Great tips! Thank you.

    Break the rules was my favorite and I would add… find one other person (or a team is even better) who believes in what you’re doing. Knowing there is someone who can also envision exactly what you see keeps you from the frequent moments of doubt. Their belief speaks, “No, you’re not nuts!”

  13. Thanks for the tips! While all are great, the one that stood out the most to me was Hugh McLeod’s tip. I am known for spreading myself too thin (that’s one of the side effects of being a Multipotentialite) and so I definitely need to find focus this year and only work on 1-2 things at a time that will make a real impact on my business. I’m already going back in my mind right now and tightening up my “to do” list for my new blog’s launch in a couple weeks!

  14. I liked Jon Morrow’s quote the most. Most of others were not new (sorry guys).

    Jon when will you publish your first post? We are waiting from so long.

  15. Loved every single one of these, and had the pleasure of reading many of their blogs recently. Glad to see many familiar names up there.

  16. Leo and Carol Tice nailed it for me: “Don’t mistake busy-ness for effectiveness” and “Put your head down, make your plans, and market your ass off.”

    I spend a lot of the holiday break outlining an calendar of what I need to execute to hit my goals in January and February. The next step is to keep with that pattern consistently, moving forward.

  17. Avoid getting caught up in the “latest and greatest” marketing gimmick. There are no silver bullets. Yesterday’s “best thing ever” won’t work nearly as well today. Be the visionary. Be the pioneer and create your own “best thing ever”.

  18. Great tips for anyone who wants to be more efficient and in short live a better life.
    I would just add that anytime is a good to get started it doesn’t matter if it’s January or April once you set your mind to doing something get started and don’t lose momentum.

    New year resolutions are a failure.

    Don’t make new year resolutions, make lifetime resolutions.

    • I tweeted this a few days back:

      Good resolutions are unsuccessful attempts to interfere with the scientific laws. Their origin is pure vanity, their result is absolutely nil. – Oscar Wilde

  19. Awesome compilation, Sonia! I particularly love the quote used by Sean D’Souza, “If you want to go quickly, go alone, if you want to go far, go with a group.” This speaks to my heart and soul. Currently, I blog for a New York music and technology site, SonicScoop.com. I focus my writing on the DIY artist and stress the importance of human collaboration as a means to accomplish great things. Working with a team of experts as opposed to alone, as the jack of all trades and master of none, produces superior results. My pro tip would be: Stop flailing! You can’t possibly do it all. Focus. Be great at one thing. Find others great at the stuff you’re not and collaborate with them.

    Happy 2012!

  20. Many of these tips resonate, thanks Sonia. Particularly Chris Brogan’s comment about video, Jeff Goins’ point about trust and Erika’s advice about authenticity. Those hit home.

    I know that in 2012, I need to be more vigilant about writing down my goals, revisiting them regularly; tracking, measuring and evaluating my progress. I need to do more of that.

    Oh…and guest post on Copyblogger :-). Maybe that will also be in the cards.

  21. Inspiring Sonia, thank you.
    Erica is spot on. Inspire your audience with yourself. The challenge is to be inspiring in the first place; hence my 2012 goals in three words: Learn – Inspire – Fail

    Fail is the key, without it you aren’t looping back to learn.
    To an engaging 2012, -Steve

  22. I LOVE most of these, especially the ones that talk about taking time for yourself away from work. Most small business folks think that the secret to success lies in 40 hour work weeks. That is only partly the case. You need time away from everything work related. Your mind will often find its best ideas while you are getting a massage, walking on the beach or listening to a hypnosis or meditation download. Even if your brain is not wandering during that time, you will return to your work with renewed energy. That is the reason why kids and laborers get two days off every week. The mind needs a break from intense activities. 🙂

    • Also, Terry had it right. You need to talk (and listen) to your customers. Act on what you learn from them. Don’t give them what you want. Give them what they want.

  23. “Today, well lived, makes every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness and every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope. Look well, therefore, to THIS day.” attributed to Ancient Sanskrit writings and quoted by Sir William Osler in “A Way of LIfe,” his address to Yale students in 1913…still valid advice.

  24. My two faves are those from Sean d’Souza and Hugh MacLeod – and they fit perfectly together:

    “Surround yourself with smart people who can help you get where you want to go,” and, “Don’t spread yourself thin; work on what’s working best.”


  25. Thank you Sonia!

    My first time here at Copyblogger, from someone who shared this post. I’m a fan!
    I’ll definitely share this and be back for more!

    I enjoyed them all, and I’m with Dan Zarrella. In my experience even as a former Superior Court employee,
    I want good, true, quality and ethical information.

    One can waste so much time on reading or implementing from inaccurate info only to find that it is
    truly time that’s been lost and non-retrievable.

    Here’s to reading and learning from good information in 2012!

  26. I know I’ll get some grief for this — but not from those who get it. SHOW ME THE MONEY. If you do not have a business plan, or a clear plan for becoming profitable then chances are you will not be blogging a year from now. No matter how much you have to say, no mattter how passionately you can say it, blogging takes an incredible amount of time and energy and you will not be able to sustain it if you’re not getting paid. By the time you realize that you need to make money to get motivated, it may be too late. Money puts the PRO in Problogger!!

    • Very good point. If you’re not making money, it’s a hobby, not a business.

      Who does the best writing and/or training on how to make money with a blog? Don’t you have to lead with the message and build a platform before you can sell or does it all have to be plotted together?

      • Good question – hope you don’t mind if I answer it!

        There’s actually no real way to “make money blogging” – unless you’re selling your blog posts or have a pay-per-view set up. Blogging itself makes zero dollars, generally speaking.

        What does make money are various other income streams, with blog posts becoming a way to deliver those income streams to readers. For example, linking to an Amazon book in a blog post that reviews the book – the post itself doesn’t make money. The book sale does.

        So blogs need products or services tied to them to make money. The blog on its own with no income stream tied in? Well, Kevin wouldn’t invest in that. 😉

  27. Developing a successful blog or a successful business requires making lots of good decisions in a row. The small things count in a big way. Plugging away day after day is the only surefire way to succeed.

  28. The biggest thing I learned last year can be summed up in this quote from Lao Tzu: When I let go of what I am,
    I become what I might be.

    I spent so much time trying to define what I do and what I am that I forgot to focus on why I do it. I write, edit, design, teach and advise because I love it. Focusing on why I love what I do rather than trying to label myself has paid immediate dividends, from new clients to increased creativity.

  29. That is so true, Sonia. Building something worth having is a great driving force to create success stories out of the things we do. That’s the fire that drives us excellence. One thing I learned before I became a bestselling author and long before Inc Magazine voted my company as one of the fastest growing companies is making things simple and straight to the point when writing copies. The copy should simply connect to the audience.

  30. I think the single greatest advice I know for building a productive business, leading a successful life, and everything in between that you must occupy your mind ONLY with thoughts that serve your goals and purposes.

    “Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.”
    – Napoleon Hill

  31. There’s always something new to learn isn’t there! I found that facebook has given me the most conversions in the past. This is a great collection of ideas.

  32. I must confess that I’m a world-class procrastinator. I’m also the owner of an ecomm business and alas, these two attributes are incompatible! I’ve learned to replace the idea of “DISCIPLINE” with “REALLY GOOD WORK HABITS.” Having a routine for when/where/how/etc. I get things done is far more effective than relying on some vague inner sense of responsibility. Plus, I get more time to wander the garden, generate new ideas, play with the chickens, network my industry… You get the idea.

  33. The one that really got me nodding my head in agreement the most was that one by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.
    The thing is to really focus on what matters the most. I cannot agree more.
    Cheers and a happy 2012 to all the “Copybloggers”

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