Marko Saric

Marko Saric

They say that it takes around 10,000 of your precious life hours to truly master a skill to the point your friends will be all like, “Whoa, that guy has skills!” We know that not everyone has that kind of time, or even those kinds of friends, so we’re trying to teach you enough to bluff your way through life in just 10 minutes.

This week we’re talking to the awesomely named Marko Saric, head honcho over at How To Make My Blog. We sat down with Marko and quizzed him on fighting writers block, dealing with negative comments and even Metallica.
First things first; your blog is centered on helping people improve their own blog through the content they post and what not. How do you think of content for your own blog?

I try as much as possible to put myself in the shoes of my target audience before I start creating a piece of content. This means that I have to forget some of the assumptions I might have about my readers and just focus on what a blogging beginner thinks like and needs to know to start well in his or her adventure.

I noticed that your site features a good number of infographics; the one on how to get 500 Twitter followers is a great example. Can you explain to us the process behind how those come to be?

Most of my infographics started with me having some fairly popular text-based blog posts. Eventually as infographics became a trendy way of consuming content, I decided to re-format some of my older content and put it in the infographic format. The idea was to reach a new audience as some people would rather look at pretty graphics than read a 1,000-word blog post.

Carrying on from that, would you recommend other people include them on their own blogs? And do you have any advice for people who may not be a wiz at Photoshop on how to go about creating them?

It’s definitely worth experimenting with. You must remember that not all people like to consume content in the format you mostly focus on. Try other formats as well if you want to reach a new audience—explore videos, podcasts, images and infographics. My best advice would be to spend time in the tool and learn to use it. If that’s too much work, see if you can become a friend with a Photoshop wiz.

I’m guessing you read a lot of blogs. Is there anything you tend to look for first that a less trained set of eyes might miss?

I guess that several things on a blog decide what my first impression of it is. Some research says that you as a blogger have less than 5 seconds to impress a first-time visitor before they click the back button. Things I notice are a good header image, overall good (simple, minimalistic, mobile responsive) design, and of course the quality of content.

On the subject of social media, you’ve built up quite a respectable following on Twitter. Was there ever a point where you realized, “Holy cow, that’s a lot of people seeing my words,” or something similar?

I always love looking at the stats and seeing how many people visit my content. Especially if you look at a longer period of time, say one year, it can get overwhelming to see how many visitors there have been and it’s a good feeling that I still like to get.

In regards to the previous question, do you ever feel any pressure to please or cater to all those followers? Has it changed how you tweet or talk to people online?

Not really. You have to continue doing what you have been doing from the start. There is no point in changing it, especially if you consider that your current strategy is what drove people to you in the first place.

You’ve written a number of posts dedicated to combating writer’s block. Which piece of advice do you personally find helps you the most?

I prefer just to arrange some quiet time, sit down and start writing. Waiting for the writer’s block to go away or waiting for inspiration to come back doesn’t work for me. But when I do sit down and focus on the task something usually happens.

A piece that caught my eye was “Don’t Fear the Negative Comments.” I’ve had a few of those in my time. Do you have any memorable ones you’d like to share? Anything you’ve written that offended someone in a way you never expected?

I guess it is bound to happen to everyone really who puts themselves out there in the open. Many bloggers do fear releasing their writings, so my post was meant more in the sense that there is nothing to worry about and you should not allow this fear to stop you from doing what you want to do. Overcome the fear and you will feel much more liberated and confident.

You mention doing a number of offline speaking events. How do you normally prepare for these? Is it weird talking about an online medium here in the real world?

I think it’s great to come out into the real world and meet people. It creates better connections that a tweet or an email never can do. The best way for me to prepare is to be ready and know the content that I am presenting in and out. If you are confident in what you’re saying and you know that you know the content, that means you can answer any question and then there is nothing to fear.

Finally, your “About Me” page lists two rather awesome achievements: being featured on the BBC and having your webpage become the official Metallica fan club of Denmark. If these two life moments had to fight to see which one was more awesome, which do you think would win?

The Metallica one wins for me. It was the first project I ever had online and it was also that project that first got me on the radar of BBC. They linked to my Metallica website from a Metallica landing page they created when the band was on the Jools Holland TV show.

You can find more from Marko on his website, or become his latest follower on what the kids like to call Twitter.