How to use social media for a martial arts blog

A while ago, a young martial arts author hired me to coach him to help kick-start his career. At his request he shall remain anonymous but he’s talented and will definitely make it big in the long run, no doubt about it. One of the things we’ve been working on is blogging and social media. He’s relatively new to both and had to battle a steep learning curve when he started but is getting better with leaps and bounds. However, we hit a snag this week. During our weekly Skype call, he sounded a bit down and I asked what was wrong. Turned out he was not happy with the reactions he got on his social media pages. Precious few people were sharing his posts and updates, or so he claimed. At any rate, he had expected a lot more than what he got.

What followed was a long discussion about social media, how it works and how it doesn’t work. Yet afterwards, he was still doubtful. So I proposed an experiment and with the gracious help of all of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, we got started. This is what I wrote there.

I have a request for all of you: I’m discussing social media with a beginning martial arts author I’m coaching. He’s disappointed in the results from it, despite going about it in what I think is the right way. I think he overestimates social media. He thinks I’m wrong. So I proposed an experiment and would like to ask for your help. Here’s how it goes: I’m going to put a link to one of my blog posts right after I post this update here. It will have a very specific message in it too. I’ll then do the same on Twitter, first linking to this update here so people know what’s going on and then tweeting the blog post. What I ask of you is this: could you please share the Facebook link and/or retweet it? Once is fine, no need to go overboard. The goal is to be realistic in this experiment. I told this author what I expect as a response and how many shares/RTs I’ll get. He thinks I’m nuts (I am, but I don’t think it’s relevant on this topic). I’m not going to give that number to avoid influencing you all. The experiment ends in 24h. Thanks for helping out!

I immediately posted a link to this update on my Twitter account so followers there knew what was going on. Then I posted this on both my Facebook and Twitter accounts:

8 self-defense tips for men. Please share if you like it.

And then I waited.


I picked this specific post for numerous reasons:

  • It is old. It’s from April of this year and you have to browse through several pages of blog posts until you find it.
  • It is one of my most successful blog posts of this year. When I published it, it went viral for a  and received thousands of hit in a few days. So I know it resonated with people.
  • It received lots of praise. Both in the blog post comments section and on my social media, a lot of people gave positive feedback on it. So I knew it must have some worthwhile information in it and is generally considered as a quality post.

In other words, this post has a proven track record.

I launched the experiment yesterday and tracked the results both during the day and at the end of that 24h period. Here’s what happened: [Read more…]

How to have a successful martial arts blog

This post is going to be a little different from what I normally write about but after checking with all of you on my Facebook page, turns out you wanted me to post this so here goes.The biggest part of this post comes from something I wrote in response to a friend of mine (famous author and expert) who has an ongoing argument with his wife: she thinks he’s wasting his time on the internet (primarily on Facebook), he thinks he’s not.

I disagreed in part with both of them and will explain below why.

If this isn’t your thing, don’t bother reading any of it; I’ll resume my normal posting after this one.


Some background

I made my first martial arts website in 1999 with a state-of-the-art piece of crap software called AOL Press. Since then, I’ve made all of my sites, as I’m a bit of an IT geek who enjoys this stuff, and have used a bunch of technologies. I also did lots of research on how to go about it all. Now I have no illusions of grandeur but I do have a bit of experience with both. Also, I started blogging in 2008 and have seen my blog here get an increasingly large audience, for which I’m very grateful. It’s amazing the support I have received from all of you so thank you for that.

Back on track: I started blogging in 2008 after reading this article from Yaro Starak and listening to the podcast. I thought it was a bunch of nonsense. Making thousands of dollars a month by writing about stuff you’re interested in? Without the support of traditional publishing or media? Ha! But for some reason, I decided to investigate some more to see if this was just another of those internet scams or if there was something to it. Turns out the site was legit and the story accurate enough. It also turned out a bunch of other people were doing similar things.

Being interested in on-line ventures by nature, I started doing the research to set up my own blog. A few months later, I did just that and here we are now in December 2012.

I didn’t have any aspirations of becoming a millionaire with my blog for two reasons:

  • I doubted it would be possible in my niche; martial arts and self-defense.
  • I refused to do some of the things needed to gain a lot of traffic fast.

I didn’t spam people. I didn’t infest the forums with my presence, baiting everybody to come check out my blog. Nor did I write typical short “link-bait” posts to make sure I’d get those coveted back links. I also refused to do black hat or use borderline methods to rank well in the search engines.  I think all that stuff is bullshit. [Read more…]