Welcome back to Interviewed, a series of (you guessed it) interviews, chats and discussions with creators from all over the internet. Today we’re joined by my mate Sam of The Man Blueprint. He’s a bit of a fashionista, provides (mostly) good style tips, as well as some boss travel and lifestyle content. Plus he’s a fellow scouser, though he’s 100% scouser whilst my status is up to debate.
D: Could you explain who you are and what you do on the internet?
S: I am Sam Crawford and I post pictures and words on my website in order to get adulation from strangers.
Said website is called The Man Blueprint and is aimed at helping fellas become the best version of themselves. This sort of ‘blueprint’ style of the site is where the name comes from.
D: Who are you in your offline life?
S: I am the same person offline as I am online – just uglier. I run the blog full time, do some freelance writing and that’s generally it.
I try to make time for physical stuff like weights, running, yoga, etc and I listen to music pretty much all day every day. That’s about as deep as my character gets!
D: Despite not blogging for that long comparatively to some others, you’ve built up a bit of an online empire, do you have any advice for anyone starting up?
S: Thank you very much!
Some people tend to give woo-woo advice like ‘work hard, hustle and stay true to your goals’ but that doesn’t really help anyone. If I wanted that sort of blasé garbage I’d watch a Gary Vee video.
My advice would be to start off with a clear-ish idea of what you’re about.
Don’t worry too much though, your blog’s going to evolve massively in a short space of time. One of my earliest articles was on the dangers of plastic consumption and now I’m a ‘luxury lifestyle blogger’ – things change but as long as you know what you stand for then you’re good to go.
Don’t spread yourself too thinly either. I started out with all sorts of categories – blogs on books, music, sports, food and even a political round up every week.
Such a pile of bollocks when I look back now. Make your blog about a few main things and get exceptionally good at them. That’s what gives your blog its unique flavour and what will inevitably help you improve.
Finally – go self hosted! There’s a company called Pipdig that do it all for you so definitely do this from the start. It even talks you through the dreaded SEO for every article you write, which is ideal from maximising readership from the off.
Once you’ve got these three nailed, you can then start thinking about social media, etc. but just don’t overthink it. Get great stuff written before you start putting yourself out there.
D: Your style is always on point, do you have three tips for any man trying to up his game? Asking for a friend, honest.
S: Thank you very much again! Here’s some tips for your mate.
1. Trim it down. This applies to more than just your pubes! If you minimise the contents of your wardrobe, it’ll only contain your favourite garms meaning you’ll always be feeling yourself when you step out the door – confidence in yourself is always the best place to start.
2. Polos. This is my biggest hack that seems to go pretty unnoticed. Wearing a knitted polo is the perfect blend of smart and casual – it’s a wonder every middle aged fella isn’t wearing one. You could wear a polo to any occasion if you’re clever enough. Just make sure you don’t skimp on quality and you’ll save yourself time and money. Reiss is my fav place for them – they’re always doing great sales too.
3. Make it your own. At risk of sounding a bit like a Jean Paul Gaultier advert, style rules are made to be broken. Mix items that shouldn’t go together and make the look your own. I’m a big fan of a smart button down, jeans with massive turn ups and a honking pair of Doc Martens. Not really what you’d put together but I like it and that’s all that matters. If you’ve got a style quirk that is unique to you then rock it.
Bonus tip: Don’t wear athletic socks with jeans. If you know, you know.
Update: If you follow Sam, Ryan Mules and myself online, you’ll see there’s a bit of David + Ryan vs Sam over this point
D: What is it that attracts you to blogging, and keeps you going?
S: All the money and free stuff!
Jokes (promise). I do it to help people and have done since the get go. Having read thousands of other blogs and self improvement stuff, I felt like there was a gap there for someone to put it all together – but better.
That’s what I’m trying to do. Most of my stuff is aimed at improving every aspect of a guy’s life, however minuscule it might be.
I put all the knowledge that I have in my fat head into my posts and I just hope that comes through to people. If I could teach just one person something they didn’t know then I’d be happy.
It’s a crazy thought to think you can teach someone, somewhere, something they were looking for and that’s what keeps me churning out weekly bollocks.
D: What lead you here, did you ever do anything similar or have any previous online presence?
S: My girlfriend. To be quite honest, my blog was born out of sheer pettiness. She had a blog and was doing really well with it so I thought ‘I can do this!’ and gave it a go.
Thus began a weird little blog about slow cooker chillis and shoe collections. I had literally no online or writing experience to speak of (I dropped out of English at A-level because I wasn’t very good – and because I was caught copying someone’s homework) but couldn’t help myself.
The beauty of blogging though, is that you don’t have to be good at writing per se. If you’ve got something to say, you can say it. If you’re offering value to people and your personality comes through, that’s what people tune into and follow – they don’t follow your eloquent sentences and shakespearian prose.
D: What piece of your own content are you a fan of?
S: My guide to Liverpool has to be my favourite. Best city in the world. Plus I got to float round town with a camera pretending I was some big shot journo.
But yeah, give it a read. Or don’t.
D: Which creators do you enjoy?
S: Hands down my favourite creator at the moment is David Granger – he’s smashing it!
Other than him though, there’s loads of guys I interact with daily in the blogosphere but there’s too many to name so I’m not going to try.
There’s a bloke called Matt D’Avella who I’m disturbingly obsessed with currently. I binge watched his content for about 6 hours a few days ago instead of actually doing some work.
And obviously the missus. She’s been at it a bit longer than me which is my excuse for why she’s doing better. I also copy every single one of my ideas from her so it wouldn’t be fair not to mention the ideas machine herself.
D: What’s next for you and your online publication?
S: I’m gonna try and travel about a lot more in 2019. I managed to work with Lisbon & Bergen this year which was beyond my wildest dreams 18 months ago, but I really want to push on with this sort of content so hopefully some more boujee destinations will get a visit.
My biggest goal would be to start a Youtube channel. I’m not sure a Scouse accent lends itself well to video content but only time will tell. Other than that though, I’ll just keep writing for now.
D: Three Qs I ask everyone, favourite band, favourite movie and Hogwarts House?
S: Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne
The Iron Giant
Find all the interviews on this site here.