For Blogger Eyes Only: How to be Helpful without the Hype

by Todd Walker

Of course you’ve seen these… We interrupt your limited, valuable time for “our biggest sale ever!”

CLOSING DOORS: A Borders customer walks by signs advertising a going-out-of-business sale at a Borders bookstore on July 22 in San Francisco, California. Borders is liquidating inventory at all its remaining stores.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Image credit

You’re bombarded daily with blogs and companies begging requesting that you like, follow, subscribe, click, and pin. If you don’t, you may not survive. Like sex, fear sells.

Shock and awe marketing is nothing new. I’m not faulting those who engage in hyped up marketing. It works for a while. It’s just hard to sustain. How many ‘fire sales’ or ‘going out of business’ or ‘give-away’ promotions does it take before smart people catch on?

Preparedness companies and bloggers seeking success – however that’s measured – might want to re-think strategies for converting potential customers and growing subscriber lists.

Instead of marketing hype, offer extremely useful stuff.

Survival blogs I like solve problems and build long-term relationship. These are folks that don’t just teach you to fish, they help you bait the hook, paddle the boat, start the camp fire, and tell fish stories as y’all enjoy the meal… together.

They create customers for life and loyal followers.

I’ll be the first to admit, Survival Sherpa is not for everyone. We’re not your typical survival/prepping blog. We’re a bit unconventional in our thoughts and methods. If you find our stuff helpful, welcome! You’ll connect with other SmartPreppers here.

How to Help without all the Hype

First, let’s address marketing ideas on blogs. We’ll deal with products/businesses in a later post.

Going Viral


If you’re tweet goes ‘viral’ or some big survival blog mentions you, you’ll get an amazing non-linear spike in traffic. A few days later, you’re ‘numbers’ go back to normal. Hopefully, you’ll add a few fans and followers.

Producing useful content will make them stay. And make it FREE! Original, value adding content trumps going viral in the long-run.

Free preparedness blogging tips

I’m new to blogging myself. I don’t claim to have all the answers (life learner here). However, what I’ve learned in the last year and half is that most web readers are low on patience. To hold their attention, don’t use what you learned in high school English about writing. Break the rules.

Here’s some advice I gave to a commenter (Matt) on our site who is just getting started with his new blog. I added a few extras to the list today.

  • Write about stuff you’re passionate about and doing. Authentic stuff. Write whatever you want and make it interesting. If it’s boring to you, it’s boring to your reader(s).
  • Writers write. Write daily. You don’t have to publish daily. But you do have to write daily.
  • Sound human. Write like your sending a letter to a close friend. Your blog readers are your friends. Nurture the relationship with your core/inner circle.
  • Bleed in your writing. People will connect with you if you’re real.
  • Be honest. Admit you don’t have it all together and figured out. I certainly don’t. It’s a journey.
  • Read outside of your ‘topic’ area. I read stuff that has nothing to do with preparedness and self-sufficiency. Some of my best ideas come from crazy places.
  • Blogging is about relationships. Nice meeting you today!
  • Always give credit to folks when using their idea. Take what others have written and put your unique spin on it. Don’t plagiarize, but borrow ideas. Nothing new under the sun.
  • Title your posts to get people to open the link and see the story. You could be the most brilliant writer ever but nobody reads you’re work if you don’t hook them with the title. Example: 5 Must Dos Before the National Nipple Runs Dry 
  • Be controversial. Not for the sake of being unconventional. If you believe in something strongly, tell people why and support your unconventional stand. Example: The Wheat-Free Prepping Paradigm ~ Life After Bread
  • Write like you talk. Don’t use a twenty-dollar word when a ten-cent word is available… unless the $20 word works.
  • Use white space. Most web readers scan before they read. Reading long paragraphs reminds us of a boring 10 grade history class. Break your content up into bite size pieces with subheadings, bulleted points, and numbered items to increase the likelihood that more than just your wife and mom actually read your blog.
  • Build authority. If people like you, they’ll listen to you. If they trust you, they’ll do business with you. I have no products to sell on my blog. I don’t allow advertisements ~ on purpose. My business at Survival Sherpa is to give away huge amounts of quality, FREE content. The transition to selling stuff, if that’s your plan, comes easier when people trust you.

Seems weird coming from a guy with less than two years blogging experience. It’s true no matter who says it, though.

What’s the key to lasting success in the blogosphere?


This applies to prepping, business, and life in general. You and I are in it for the long haul. The trick is to keep lasting.

SmartPreppers Doing the Stuff!

I’ve got a hunch that low profile Twitter accounts are doing the most stuff. High profile social media prepper accounts get lots of attention. But no amount of high profiling replaces doing the stuff. If you’re not doing the stuff, your words won’t stick.

Here’s a small sampling of people I find doing the stuff regularly (in no particular order). Some are high-profile, some are not, but so worth reading and following.

  1. Sensible Survival – Hank blogs about common sense preparedness for sensible individuals.
  2. The Organic Prepper – Daisy Luther – It’s prepping with a different mindset – we stockpile our food with an eye towards avoiding the GMOs, the processed foods, the chemicals and the drugs that are such a part of the North American food supply
  3. Survivor Jane – Creator of #PrepperTalk on Twitter and a girly girl turned prepper.
  4. Bug Out Nutrition – JP Martin applies the science of nutrition to survival scenarios.
  5. The Survival Podcast – Jack Spirko started this popular podcast while commuting to and from work – in his car! He’s upgraded since ’08 🙂 It’s loaded with practical info, videos, and forums.
  6. Prepared Housewives – Jamie simplifies food storage, emergency preps, and survival skills – all while raising a family and mixing in some humor.
  7. Prepared Christian – Chris Ray blogs about preparedness from a Christian world-view.
  8. Crunchy Mama’s Urban Homestead – Crunchy Mama shares her adventures in wild foods as a frequent guest contributor here. Like me, she follows a Primal/Paleo approach to prepping. Here’s a link to her contributions on Survival Sherpa.
  9. eatkamloops – Caroline Cooper is all about eating local food. Her site is a great resource for food freedom. She has several guest articles here as well.
  10. reThink Survival – Damian Brindle is dedicated to providing top-notch family emergency preparedness resources, tools, and tips to best prepare you and your family for nearly any disaster or emergency situation. The blog name alone makes me like him.
  11. Willow Haven Outdoor – Creek Stewart writes articles like – “Yes, that’s a Tampon in my mouth : The Swiss Army Survival Tampon : 7 Survival Uses” – and he’s not afraid to use them. Excellent, original, and value adding!
  12. SHTF Preparedness – Matty keeps an updated site with the latest from around the web.
  13. Prepper Website – Todd’s site is an aggregate for alternative news, preparedness, and survival information. He also blogs at Ed That Matters.
  14. SurvivalBlog – JWR’s granddaddy of them all. I found Survival Blog six years ago. If you’ve never been there, check it out. Even if you don’t follow Rawles’ survival strategy, there are practical tips and how-to stuff you can learn.

I know there’s more. If you have blog you’d recommend, drop me a line and link in the comments. We’re always on the lookout for SmartPreppers doing the stuff.

This is the future of marketing for preparedness blogs -> create useful content and build relationships. Word will spread. Who knows – you might even go viral!

Doing the stuff,



If you’d like to share a portion or all of this article or other posts on this site, please do so freely. All we ask is that you credit the author and a link back to the original on this site.



Categories: 180 Mind Set Training | Tags: , , | 22 Comments

Post navigation

22 thoughts on “For Blogger Eyes Only: How to be Helpful without the Hype

  1. Thanks for the shout-out 😉 Love the blogging tips and the list of preppers! Great advice! I’ve had a few people tell me I write like I talk, not sure if that is a compliment or not, but glad to see it as one of your tips!


  2. Le Loup

    Good post. Unfortunately although my blog is associated with prepping & survival, modern day posts are off topic, so I can’t re-blog. But I do share through Twitter & Facebook & google.
    Thank you.


  3. As of this moment you are just 2 subscribers away from 3,000! And it’s no wonder. You are a great blogger in many ways. I very much appreciate that you are not a fear-monger. You have so much common sense. You (via your blog) inspired me to get back to writing about the things in which I am passionate about on my blogs (and as a contributor for your blog). So glad that I can call you friend. 🙂


    • Crunchy, you just made my day! And DRG’s day as well…

      You are an inspiration to both of us and a great friend. You add so much value to our blog and yours. Now…

      Get back to writing! Your deadline is approaching *kidding*

      I’m fixin to have me some kombucha 😀


  4. A few more things. First, another reason that I love your blog is because you happen to be into a paradigm combination that is rare in our society but one in which I am in as well. Prepping, Primal living, minimalism (or simple living), and more. Second, I LOVE that you are a positive prepper. I lived in fear for many unhappy years. I finally made my way out of the fear with the help of God and some people who were God-sent. I figured out that I could be a prepper and be happy and positive. I put my energy into doing things that I really love but I no longer do them out of fear.


  5. Speaking of being positive. I subscribe to Paul Wheaton’s permaculture blog and I LOVE his tagline: “This is paul wheaton’s daily-ish email that is usually about permaculture and making a better world through learning good things rather than being angry at bad guys.”


  6. Pingback: Proving My Point from My Last Post | Survival Sherpa

  7. Thanks! There’s a couple on that list I didn’t follow!!


  8. This was a great article! I’m trying to do the same thing on my blog. Mostly it’s just friends and family that read it, and I’m not as consistent as I would like to be, but I do try to make it useful. I hope that the people who read it actually do get to use it. One thing about going viral, like you mentioned, is that it does carry responsibility…unless you don’t expect anyone to stick around. You explained it very well.
    If you feel like taking a look at my blog, feel free to.
    Again, thanks for the article. I feel like you were speaking straight to me…maybe I’ll keep coming back.


  9. Pingback: Are You a Prisoner to Your SHTF Plan? | Survival Sherpa

  10. Phenomenal article Todd. I think you’ve touched on so many things here that go far beyond the blogging world.

    Glad to see I sort of stumbled into a lot of these principles by accident when starting out. “Be Useful” was the motivation I tried to use when writing my initial blog posts and I’m very glad to see you approve.

    Keep doing the (awesome) stuff 😉


    • Thank you, Jake! Since we last talked, I adde you to our Blogroll and Resources page. Glad I did. Looks like you’re growing a great following! And rightly so. Folks love useful, original content, which you write so well. Keep doing the stuff, my friend!


  11. Pingback: 100 Helpful Resources to Help on Your Climb to Self-Reliance | Survival Sherpa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: