4 Life-Changing Writing Lessons I Learned From a Guy Who Can’t Move Anything But His Face

Have you ever experienced a serious setback?

A death in the family or a chronic and debilitating illness, for instance?

When Jon Morrow was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the tender age of one, his mother was told that he wouldn’t live past childhood.

Decades later, even though the disease sapped his ability to move any part of his body but his face, Morrow grew up to become one of the most successful bloggers on the internet.

Jon Morrow is the founder of SmartBlogger, and has worked with and taught some of the most successful writers in the blogosphere.

His writing has reached millions of readers across the world, and he runs one of the most popular and successful blogs on writing available.

Best of all, Jon doesn’t hoard his connections and knowledge to himself. Instead, he coaches other aspiring writers on the art, technique, and business of online writing so that they, too, can realize their dreams.


I heard of Jon Morrow from a top Medium blogger who kicked off his writing career after taking a class from Morrow.

So of course I decided I had to try out that class for myself.

It was a fantastic decision.

In less than a year after beginning my apprenticeship with Jon Morrow, I’ve gained over a thousand followers, 10x’d my email list, become a Medium top writer in multiple categories, and been published on blogs like Scary Mommy, Thought Catalogue, Writers in the Storm, and more.

I’ve always considered myself a decent (albeit unreliable — perhaps lazy) writer, but this course changed all that.

I learned to write better, I learned to write regularly, I learned to write for a reason.

Now it’s time for me to tell you some of the most practical lessons I’ve learned from Jon Morrow, the Guy Who Can’t Move Anything But His Face (his words, not mine!)

Lesson #1 Give your reader what s/he REALLY wants

To do this, you need to find out what your reader wants.

Not what you THINK they want, or what you think they SHOULD want. You need to know what your readers REALLY want. And then you need to find a way to help them get there. That’s the trick.

How do you find out what people really want? Clue: Think about the basic needs every human has, and then focus on the particular one(s) that motivate YOUR audience every time you write.

Lesson #2 Find your niche

To be a truly successful writer, you can’t write about everything under the sun, or even everything you feel like writing about.

You have to zero in on your niche, your Zone of Magic — the one topic you love and know about, and other people love and WANT TO know about.

But there’s a strategy to finding your perfect niche.

For example, a blog on traveling for people with serious permanent disabilities might sound interesting to you, but if the market is not large enough, it won’t work.

In fact, as Morrow says, there are well-established broader niche categories, and your particular niche MUST fall into one of them to be viable. The categories include:

  • Marketing
  • Parenting
  • Freelancing
  • Creative endeavors
  • Self-improvement
  • …and more

Lesson #3 Find others in your niche

Not only so you can see what they’re doing, but so that you can write for them. Established blogs have large and loyal audiences and have proven that a particular niche really WORKS.

But how do you find these blogs?

First step, Google or use Feedly to find blogs on topics you are interested in.

Second, evaluate the sites you find.

How do you evaluate? Look at these factors:

  • How many comments and social shares do the articles have?
  • Does the site allow contributing writers (you will want to expand your reach by writing for their site once you’ve decided on your niche)
  • Ask yourself: To what extent does this blog match the audience you have in mind?

Once you’ve done your research, compile a list of blogs you want to focus on and start reading the top posts. How do you find the top posts? Look for the ones with the highest stats and comments of course.

But what if you don’t have time for that? You can pay to use sites like BuzzSumo which will gather the data for you, but it’s pricey (something near a hundred bucks a month). There’s another method, keep reading.

Lesson #4 Write Articles That Readers WANT to Read…Starting with the Headline

Everyone either WANTS something, or they want to AVOID something.

Focus on those two ideas when you are writing articles, and, more importantly, headlines.

Everyone also has an OBSESSION of some sort or another — food, fashion, family, etc. — something that they think about all the time and will never have enough of.

If you can combine the obsession with satisfying the desire and/or evoking the fear in the same headline, and then expand on that in your article, you have a winner.

Don’t Just Take My Word For It

These are only 5 of the paradigm-shifting lessons I learned from Jon Morrow. If I were to really describe everything I’ve learned, I could probably write a small book.

More importantly, taking the course took me step by step through a process of application and practice that is far more valuable than just reading a bunch of tips once and being done with it.

The course I took, Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging, teaches writers how to not only write better, but specific steps on how to find and reach out to readers and, specifically — editors of top blogs and media outlets, and get them to post YOUR writing so that you can gain experience and exposure for your own writing career.

If you’ve ever had any interest in writing for:

  • business sites like Forbes and Fast Company
  • writing/creativity sites like Writers in the Storm and The Write Life
  • personal development sites like Tiny Buddha and Lifehack
  • tech blogs like Hubspot and TechCrunch

…or any other top parenting, freelancing, creative or marketing blogs with skilled editors and massive audiences to grow your skills and your reach, then I would highly recommend giving Morrow’s Guest Blogging course a try:

(Best part, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. But I bet you’ll decide in the end that this is definitely money well-invested, like I did!)

Even if you’re not interested in writing for Forbes, the course’s strategies on how to become a better internet writer is enough on its own to significantly level up your skills and bring you that much closer to your ultimate writing goals.

P.S. If you do decide to enroll and give the course a run for its money, email me at sarah@beabrilliantwriter.com because I can send you a related free resource that’s only for folks in the GB (But it’s a secret, so shhh! 😉).

Think of it as another small incentive to help you become the great writer you can be!

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