Blog Ideas, Glass Drilling, and Disadvantages of Honesty

Dear Brian,
I want to blog about my journey/experience with osteosarcoma cancer at 18. I want to be the voice of childhood cancer. What do I write about & how can this turn into a business?

I can’t give you blog topics to write about – that’s the hardest part about blogging full-time, and if I did that for everyone who asked, I would end up starving to death and losing everything because I would be spending all my time and creative energy helping others and would have nothing left for myself.

Blogging is my business.

What I always tell anyone who wants to make blogging their business is to write what you know. Blogging as a full-time business means you have to post at a bare minimum 1 blog a week. That’s 52 blogs per year – minimum.

Sit down right now and brainstorm 52 blog post ideas covering 52 topics related to childhood cancer. If you can’t think of 52 unique posts about the topic, you may not be able to turn it into a business, not just by focusing on that one subject.

I work with a variety of blogs, SEO companies, and have clients in different industries. Each comes up with topic ideas in different ways, and nearly all have editorial calendars to keep everyone on track.

Fill out an editorial calendar for at least a month in advance, and stick to it. One blog per day is ideal. Cover topics you know and can write educational, entertaining, and/or informative articles about.

Sign up for affiliate marketing to monetize your site, and guest post on other blogs to grow your audience.

Reading, writing, and marketing are the basic job duties of a blogger. If you want it to be a business, those are your three focuses. Every business focuses on production, quality, and sales – so if you want blogging to be your business, that’s what you have to focus on.

Dear Brian,
What are the disadvantages of being both honest and bold?

I’m a whistleblower, so by definition, I committed an act that was both honest and bold, and boy have their been disadvantages…

To start off, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are two of the most famous whistleblowers of our time. One is in hiding in Russia while the other is in a military prison.

When you google the term “Whistleblower” with autocorrect on, Google autocorrects to “whistleblower found dead,” alluding to the most common fate of a whistleblower.

Even the journalists who helped these men faced tough times.

I, on the other hand, walk somewhat free because I became the journalist, though even I faced quite a bit of severe retaliation. Most recently I spent last Christmas in jail. I didn’t finish up my court case until April, and I still have a lot of restrictions on what I can say about it.

Of all the things I’ve done in life (I’ve stolen, lied, cheated, done drugs, etc.), the only thing I ever went to jail for was telling the truth.

An executive I named in my leak to Anonymous sued me for defamation and obtained a default judgment as I wasn’t even aware of the case and was given no chance to defend myself. The court said the dozens of civil cases and government regulations enacted because of my leak were moot and by naming the executive, I ruined his livelihood. Of all the crimes committed by the banks that were exposed, none went to jail. The only person who went to jail was me – the whistleblower.

Our society and the system running it does not look kindly upon those with both honesty and boldness, so you will make a lot of enemies.

Being a whistleblower defined the rest of my life, and I can never turn back and live a normal life. I will always have this stigma attached that caused me to have to reinvent myself as a writer, as I had been blacklisted from working in the industries I knew.

This is the disadvantage of being both honest and bold…

Dear Brian,
Is there a safe, easy, and cheap way to put a hole in a liquor bottle without drilling?

Take the cap off. There’s a hole at the top.

Otherwise drilling a hole in glass is simpler, easier, and cheaper than other methods. Use a carbide bit made especially for glass and tile.

Because glass is extremely smooth and hard, the bit will want to wander as you start drilling. To give the bit a foothold, tape a small scrap of dense cardboard (like cereal box cardboard) to the glass. Begin at very low rpm to create a dimple in the glass, then remove the cardboard and continue at about 400 rpm.

Make sure the glass is firmly supported on the backside and place only very light pressure on the drill; press too hard and you’ll crack the glass. The bit creates a clean hole on the side it enters, but usually chips the edges of the hole on the other side.

Note: You can’t drill tempered glass.

Brian Penny Versability whistleblower Anonymous tank top blue brownBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Hardcore Droid, The Street, and your mom.


Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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