In a profession that prides itself on its expertise and marketing savvy, there is one way that professional speakers can leave themselves looking surprisingly stupid.

It’s in the arena of blogging.

There are very few blogs that leave me feeling inspired. Even fewer where I’m in no doubt what that blogger is about.

In a world that’s choking on a minute-to-minute flood of advertisements, grabbing someone’s attention gets tougher by the nano-second. It’s vital that we stand out any way that we can. So the big question is…

Do your blog readers know what you’re about? No, really.

It wasn’t until I was working through Corbett Barr’s course “Start a blog that matters” that I discovered just how important it was that people really understood what I was about and why my blog existed in the first place.

He explained that the only way I could justify the existence of my blog was through creating a manifesto.

His message had such an impact on me that I quickly got busy creating a manifesto for this blog.

The goal for my blog is to:
a) express the purpose and mission of my blog
b) attract my target audience
c) build community and unity with my target audience, and
d) spread my message to the targeted audience’s network, attracting them to my blog.

Within ten days of my blog’s launch, it has been headlined in a high-ranking blog three times, and been tweeted a number of times. I received a wonderful comment from a reader, and I hope in the future that my growing community purchases the poster to help struggling solopreneurs in third-world countries.

So what exactly are blog manifestos?

A manifesto traditionally communicates the values and beliefs of a group of people or an organization. The most common form of blog manifestos are e-books.

Why create a manifesto?

The reasons are numerous, but here are a few to whet your appetite:

a) It gives you the opportunity to express your values and beliefs
b) Boosts credibility
c) Boosts traffic
d) Defines your reason why
e) Focuses you
f) Keeps you going when the going gets tough, and
g) Inspires you

Here are six more perks:

a) A manifesto is a viral marketing tool
b) Expresses the bigger picture with ease, again and again
c) Clearly expresses why your blog exists
d) Makes readers more likely to become faithful followers
e) Raises your profile in the marketplace
f) Instantly positions you as an expert

A manifesto is a way of structuring your message in a style that your audience finds relatable, attractive, and most importantly, within easy reach. It broadcasts a set of ideals and encourages the reader to join you on your journey.

Here’s what happened to Chris Guillebeau and Clare Lancaster since creating their manifestos:

Chris Guillebeau:

My manifesto “A Brief Guide to World Domination” has been downloaded more than 100,000 times from all over the world!

Chris published his manifesto in 2008 and is still receiving comments to this day. All 564 of them! To read the manifesto for yourself, download it here, “A Brief Guide to World Domination” and leave a comment. Chris also wrote a second manifesto, “279 Days to Overnight Success.” This is an amazing read. It charts his phenomenal success purely through blogging.

Clare Lancaster:

It’s been blogged, shared, tweeted, emailed, and printed out. I’ve received emails of thanks. One women wrote to tell me she had printed it out and given it as a gift to her (all female) staff.

You can read her story here: “How to Use a Manifesto to Spread Your Blog’s Message”. To see her manifesto, click: “A Manifesto for Women in Business”

So, now that I’ve whetted your appetite, you’re wondering…

How do I go about creating a blog manifesto for myself?

There are no hard and fast rules as to how you go about creating a manifesto for your blog. But here are some ideas that will help you get started. According to Mark Young of “Mark Young Training Systems,” you can do these four key things:

Step #1: Create a List
But not any old list. Create a large list of all the things you value in your life, for example, what you want to accomplish before you die, and what kind of legacy you hope to leave behind.

Step #2: Pick Your Top 5
The next stage is to break it down until you find the top five things you value the most.

Step #3: Expand on Your Values
Expand on each point so that when you look back at each one, you are reminded of what each point means to you.

Step #4: Read It Daily
Mark rightly states that a manifesto is useless unless you refer to it daily. In so doing, through the simple process of osmosis you begin to change, becoming the person you want to be.

His system is based on your creating a personal manifesto. But his list can be flipped to help you create a manifesto for your blog.

Here is how you can flip his ideas to suit you:

Step #1: Create a List
Create a large list of all the things you value or believe strongly about as it pertains to your business. If you are stuck on this, refer to the manifesto list below to help trigger ideas. Creating your list will take a good while, but invest the time; it will be worth it.

Step #2: Pick Your Top 5
Decide what type of manifesto you are creating. Will it be a poster like Clare’s, or an e-book like Chris’s? Deciding this early on in the process will help you decide the number of statements you want to make. There are no hard and fast rules. As long as you feel a strong message is beginning to form and the whole process is making you feel invigorated and inspired, then you’re on the right track.

Step #3: Expand on Your Values
Create a new ‘Welcome’ page based on your expanded thoughts. Or use your expanded thoughts and experiences as material for an e-book.

Step #4: Read it Every Day.
Once your manifesto is complete, remember to refer to it daily so as not to lose your way. This happens to so many bloggers and companies far too frequently.

Steve Jobs’ Apple Company is a perfect example of a company lost but then found again.

If you stick close to the core values of why your blog exists, you can’t go too far wrong.

But not only do you need to keep your bearings, your fans, readers, and clients all need reminding very often too. Because if they’re not constantly reminded of your blog’s core value, there is a likelihood they will lose interest and move their loyalties elsewhere.

What does all this have to do with copywriting?

A lot, actually.  As I say in my manifesto:

“Communicate poorly, you’ll just get by. Communicate powerfully, miracles will happen.”

Nowadays, a poor message will not cut it. Creating a manifesto is your chance to stand out in the crowd. So make it bold, make it strong, but for goodness sake, if you value your business, write a manifesto that, dare I say it, creates miracles!

But the big question is…

Do you know what you stand for?

Here’s the catch: You need to know what you stand for and have the courage to say it out loud, for all the world to hear, way before you can even think about creating a manifesto.

So what will your message be?



To get more tips on how to create a manifesto, click on each name: Chris Brady,,

Examples of great manifestos:

Expert Enough, Zen Habits, Live your Legend, Possibility of Today, Rich Schefren, Jeff Goins, and yours truly

Plus, here are 1,000 manifestos to get you inspired and your creative juices flowing even more!

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

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4 Responses to How to Look Super Smart in a World Full of Incredibly Dumb Professional Speakers

  1. Sibyl Chavis says:

    Hey Celine:
    How are you? Thanks so much for the kind words about my manifesto and for giving it a shout out:) I really do appreciate it and congrats on your blog. I love it here:)

    • Celine Horan says:

      Hi Sibyl,
      I’m fine thank you and you’re very welcome! Your manifesto is so fab, it just had to be mentioned. Thanks for the kind words about my new blog, I trully appreciate it.

  2. Celine, thank you for this post. I am new to your blog and one thing you have taught me right away (and one I try to do in my blog always) is to be thinking about your reader as you write; provide value to them in every article, provoke thought, and give them some tangible takeaway they can use. Love your work and look forward to more!

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