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Review: The Blog Artist’s Handbook by Victor Pride

Before I review The Blog Artist’s Handbook, I have a quick story to tell. It’s quite relevant.

Not too long ago, I was a writer/founder/tech guru for a site that was (kinda) up-and-coming. That site was called The Proper Villains. While I’ve since taken the site down, many of you might recognize the logo and my cartoon avatar.


Compare the cartoon avatar to…


Well, it probably isn’t much of a surprise to anyone – but that site completely tanked.

And that might even be a kind way of saying it.

The Proper Villains failed for a variety of reasons, but the one that stands out to me is that we just didn’t have a clear direction of where we wanted to take the blog. We wanted to make it the GQ of men’s self-improvement, but we didn’t have the path or direction to take it there.

What’s even funnier is that one of the other founders actually wrote a killer review of The Blog Artist’s Handbook by Victor Pride, and we then proceeded to not follow any of the advice that Victor laid out in his book. We had too many hands in the cookie jar, too many guys with a vision, and just not enough of the “it” factor.

Eventually, enough of us lost interest, the site fell off the map, and I eventually yanked it down while shaking my head. As I’ve now left the world of Corporate America behind and ventured into Internet business, I decided it was worth taking another look at The Blog Artist’s Handbook.the blog artist's handbook

What’s Covered in The Blog Artist’s Handbook?

The book is a comprehensive guide that anyone could use to get a blog up and running in a matter of hours. It takes you all the way of buying a domain, to affiliate marketing, and Victor even provides insights into his extremely lengthy editing process; which is quite the labor of love.

The blog is primarily written in an actionable, take-charge tone. It steers clear of too many technical details, which will overwhelm most people when they are trying to get the ball rolling on their blog and/or business.

If you read Bold & Determined, the writing style is very similar.


Victor’s blog is pretty motivating in many facets of life.

As far as motivating you to get your butt into gear and blog, The Blog Artist’s Handbook does that throughout, while still providing a ton of great insight and actionable knowledge built on 5+ years of blogging experience. By the time you finish every chapter, you’ll be chomping at the bit to close the book and get to work on your blog.

This is very much a good thing.

While some of the information and chapters (Domain and Hosting comes to mind) are easily found via other sources on Google, the real gold is when Victor starts describing his writing and editing process.

The greatest wisdom distilled from The Blog Artist’s Handbook is that you are you.

You are your own brand, your own identity, and you have your own mission. If you choose to make that mission working for someone else, then you are selling yourself short. It doesn’t mean a blog is for everybody, but if you do decide that a successful web presence is what you want – focus on yourself.

You are your own greatest asset.

Victor does a great job of reminding you of this throughout – from giving tips on how to constantly be churning ideas throughout the day, and then putting words on to your pages that come from the heart.


While I agree with most of the points Victor brings up in the book, there are some things that I’d say are an essential part of blogging that aren’t covered.

READ: 33 Truths About Blogging

Times are a little bit different from when Bold & Determined launched in 2010. The Internet is now oversaturated with many, many blogs. It is no longer a secret. That doesn’t mean that it’s “too hard”, but it does mean that the barrier to entry is higher. I would love to see Victor get into a bit deeper of a discussion of more advanced tools – some of which have a somewhat higher price tag.

For example, I’ve done significantly better with my blog since I invested in some good SEO software (think ~$100) as opposed to relying on free and obsolete tools.

Victor’s advice about networking and building a brand is excellent. Those are things that simply cannot be skipped. However, in 2016, you need to find every edge you can get simply because the market is so competitive.

Perhaps we’ll see this in Volume 2.

The Blog Artist’s Handbook: Conclusion

I have over 500 posts, many of which are absolute garbage now that I look back on them.

Many of them would be far less garbage if I had owned this book from the start. While I’ve poured my heart onto the pages of This Is Trouble from the start, I would have saved myself a lot of pain and headaches had I taken the advice of this book in regards to branding and using yourself as the best advertising billboard.

While The Proper Villains failed as an experiment, the best way to learn is from mistakes. The Blog Artist’s Handbook has helped me realize some of those and move forward into building something even better.

Buy The Blog Artist’s Handbook on Victor’s website by clicking here.

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  • Unicycle

    Eve stock recommendation on the proper villains website tanked…

    • Don’t really know what to say other than I’m sorry, and that I didn’t author those posts (or invest in the recommendations).

      That site was…well. Another discussion for another day.

  • IndianDude

    The website may have tanked, but I remember a series of 10 posts, that described how to become a villain.
    That stuff was gold man. Especially Rule #1: Every man must have a Mission. I found my own mission through that guide.
    I’m sorry to hear it shut down.
    Never suspected it was run by you. Best of luck with the next one XD

    • Thank you man. I appreciate that. I don’t know if I authored those specific posts (I suspect I may have written one or two of them), but I have all the content backed up somewhere. May have to dig them up.

      The “next one” is this site, though admittedly it has been around a while 😉

  • This is probably the best book on blogging I’ve found and I only wish it was 4x its size – we all know Victor keeps much more information in his head.

    Funny enough – one of my new year resolutions was ‘Read the Blog Artists’ Handbook once a week for a year’, so I’ve read it 11 times this year so far…

  • FlorianUlrich

    So you were one of the brains behind Proper Villains? Your site may be retired, but far from failed. I discovered “The Pressure Project” because of your recommendation. And then I found that site so valuable that I recommended it being featured on the site aggregator.

    Sometimes we think our efforts don’t bear many fruits, but believe me, good vibes you put out into the Universe do multiply. And eventually come back.

    • “Brains” might be a little strong, I came on a bit later and did the design work on it. Ultimately there were too many hands in the cookie jar and I didn’t agree with some things- and of course people didn’t agree with me.

      I appreciate the compliments though, really. I love where this site is going and glad you’re along for the ride!

  • Magleramaxis

    Any chance that you or any of the members of the proper villains might have copies of the Villainous Archetypes? It’s a series of posts that I found both interesting, enlightening, and quite useful.

    • I know what you’re talking about, and while I have the site backed up on another computer – I won’t have time to dig through it before I leave for Europe for the year. Unfortunately it requires me to crawl the roots of the site and dig through individual HTML pages to find old posts, and there’s no guarantee those specific ones would even be there. One of the other guys installed a lot of plugins that basically brought the site to it’s knees and left me with a mess to cleanup.

      Sorry man, if you know the individual authors I can try to reach out to them and hunt it down but that’s about all I can do at the moment.

      • Magleramaxis

        I think the person who wrote the Villainous Archetypes went by the name of The Upright Man on Proper Villains. I don’t know him IRL, so that’s all I can provide.

        Thanks for the consideration.

      • I believe that was @TheRecycledMale (Twitter).

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