Blind Blogger Maxwell Ivey Takes Away Your Excuses [EP 23 The Blog Chronicles]

February 2, 2017

Blind Blogger Maxwell Ivey

What’s your excuse?

Blind Blogger Maxwell Ivey has a way of crushing every excuse we have about almost anything.

You see, most people online are too scared to do much. They come up with all sorts of excuses.

–Not enough time.

–Don’t know what to do.

–Can’t keep myself going after five posts

–Yada yada yada

Bah! Maxwell has heard them all. Don’t even try it. 😉

Find out how “The Blind Blogger” does business online (hint: WordPress is a big help) despite his physical limitations.

Here are some other things you’ll learn from this interview:

–What caused Maxwell to lose his sight. 

–Why he wants to punch Mark Zuckerberg in the nose

–How much time he spends on his blog

–The tools he uses to surf the web as a blind person

–How growing up in the carnival business helped him draw an audience

–How his family reacted to his blogging

–How his websites are monetized

–How blogging changed his life

–And more

I’ll let him share most of the details in the episode. You can read it or listen to our audio below.

What do you think about Maxwell’s journey? Can you relate to his story? Leave a comment or question for Maxwell below…

Blind blogger shares his happy heart while taking your excuses away.



Maxwell Ivey Interview Transcript

( For those who like to read.)

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Matthew Loomis: Hi Maxwell.

Welcome to the Show!

Maxwell Ivey: Hi Matthew.

Good to be on the Show thanks for having me.

Maxwell, Have You Been Blind From Your Birth?

Matthew Loomis: Welcome to The Blog Chronicles.

Today I’ve got some questions for you.

First of all, I want to start with your title. You’re known as The Blind Blogger and in fact, that’s one of your domain names The Blind Blogger dot net, let’s start there.

Is your physical blindness something that you were born with or did that come later on?

Maxwell Ivey: I was born with a degenerative disease called

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

What is retinitis pigmentosa?

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of rare, genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina—which is the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Common symptoms include difficulty seeing at night and a loss of side (peripheral) vision.

The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that contains photoreceptors and other cell types.

What are photoreceptors?

I had perfect vision until I was four or five-years-old.

I started losing it gradually until I was a teenager. Then I had a pretty big drop-off of vision that stayed pretty stable until I was in college and then I lost up to what I have now which is light perception.

I consider it total blindness because I do everything with either speech tag dollar or by asking somebody else what it is.

How Does a Blind Person Use the Internet to Their Advantage?

Matthew Loomis: For those who are wondering right now.

How does someone blog or even use the internet when they can’t see.

Can you tell us how you’re able to use the internet give us a rundown of how that works?

Maxwell Ivey: Sure.

Like a lot of blind people, I use a computer that has Speech on it.

I’m a Mac user so I use a program called Voiceover. For Windows, I use a program called Jaws and then there is a third one which is a non-profit thing called NVDA which is totally free.

The difficulty comes not from accessing the web but from actually being able to move around websites and find the information you need.

Or being able to access the blog dashboard on WordPress or whatever platform you’re using to manage your website. Quite often the people who run the websites don’t really consider accessibility a priority.

Another thing they like to do is to update their websites all the time.

So generally everytime somebody updates a site that you have to use on a regular basis then you have to find the information that you feel is important to you on those websites.

The worst offenders are the social media sites especially Facebook.

I’ve said this many times before If I ever meet Mark Zuckerberg in the street I’m going to punch him in the nose.

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Matthew Loomis: Yeah, he does a lot of changes.

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Maxwell Ivey: Yeah.

I’ve told people using Facebook as a blind person is like living in a house where they know you’re blind but they still rearrange the furniture every time day!

Sometimes two or three times a day.

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Is WordPress Something That You Find Helpful At All?

Matthew Loomis: Are you using WordPress?

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Maxwell Ivey: I am using WordPress now.

When I first started my website and blog which was at the Midway Market Place.

I did everything HTML code and actually had to hand code everything on my website one line at a time.

I think I’ve coded at least a million if not two million lines of code in the five or six years that I finally switched to WordPress and decided to let them do it.

I find that I got so familiar with using HTML code that instead of using WordPress Dashboard and doing it their way I’d just revert back to entering the lesser than greater in a WordPress document and uploading it.

Matthew Loomis: That is impressive.

Most people who have total vision don’t code, so that’s pretty impressive.

Maxwell Ivey: When I was doing it most people who code use what’s called a Wiziwig what you see is what you get applications.

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As a blind person, I could not use any of those applications.

So I pretty much had to teach myself the basics of HTML. Thankfully somebody referred me to the W3C dot org online tutorials and I just went through those tutorials one lesson at a time.

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I practiced with the examples that they gave you and then I started using them on my website and that’s how I got to work.

I can’t create PHP or Java but I can do just about anything you can do in HTML. 

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If I needed to do something in PHP or Java I would have to go and find somebody’s script and pay for it.

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Or borrow it or ask them if I could use it.

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PHP and Java I would say are ten times difficult than HTML just because of the way the language is written. It just never made sense to me.

HTML makes sense because it’s symmetrical.

Every opening phrase has to have a closing phase and if you don’t have an opening and a closing for everything then something breaks.

How Good is WordPress at Helping the Visually Impaired or Someone Who Has Special Needs?

Matthew Loomis: Right.

As a visually impaired person, you say you use WordPress now.

Do you consider WordPress to be good for the visually impaired?

Maxwell Ivey: I consider them to be really good.

They are one of the few websites going that not only makes an effort on accessibility but actually makes an effort to teach accessibility.

Wordpress mundo azul

I don’t know whether you’ve been to one of their word camps but I know people who have and they tell me at the word camps WordPress puts an emphasis on accessibility on tagging buttons and photos so blind people can access that information on websites.

On creating forms with quality descriptions so a blind person with a clear screen reader can know what information they are supposed to enter in each field.

They are serious about it.

There are a lot of companies that might make the token effort but in my opinion, WordPress is probably one of the best online companies as far as their commitment to accessibility.

Also teaching it to the people who use their sight.

The Best News Ever is That WordPress Does Accommodate People Who Have Special Needs

Matthew Loomis: That is fabulous!

I need to spread that word out a little more that WordPress is so accommodating to people with special needs.

That’s fabulous to know that.

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Maxwell Ivey: Yeah.

I hear they’re just as good as helping people who are worried about their sites being visited by people who have mobility disabilities.

Like people who are using the computer as a paraplegic and a quadriplegic.

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They address that as well it’s not something that I know much about but I have heard that they do cover that too.

Matthew Loomis: That’s good to know.

I should make it to one of those WordCamps sometimes sounds like fun!

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Maxwell Ivey: It does sound like it could be fun.

It sounds like it’s pretty intense.

But if you are somebody who’s a blogger and serious about your craft it’s something that probably would be a lot of fun too.

You Have Two Blogs That Sound Very Interesting Tell Us More About Them

Matthew Loomis: Let’s get into your craft now a little bit.

From what I’ve read you run a couple of different blogs.

It’s my understanding that you started out with a business blog that has a very specific niche and that’s the carnival business, that you can tell us about in a second.

Then as you did that blog you met people online who encouraged you to start a second blog which is now – The Blind Blogger dot net

Can you tell us a little bit about these two blogs?

Maxwell Ivey: Right.

The first blog was for The Midway Marketplace.

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Where I blog about new equipment listings new clients safety issues and things like that. A lot of the time I like to do a blog with photos and videos as opposed to Ad Listing because it makes it easier for people to access it as it puts the photo and the video right in front of them.

You don’t have to click additional links to see them so that’s one of the things.

When I actually started the first blog with The Midway Marketplace I didn’t know what I was doing. People said ”you know you’re online Max you’ve got a website you know now you really need a blog.”

Like who cares why I really need one but I was convinced to go ahead and start one.

Image result for images YOU NEED A BLOG

I enjoy doing it because there have been several times where the blog post has led to sales.

Especially quick sales on that website.

And it helped me rediscover my general love for writing which had been dormant during the college years and the years I was trying to help my family build our own carnival business.

As far as The Blind Blogger goes most people don’t know a lot about blind people. In general, you might have one of us in your circle of friends or maybe just two of us in your online communities.

So it becomes the shorthand for people to refer to you as ”the blind whatever.”

I have a friend here in Houston who is a blind triathlete.

I have a friend in Oregon he’s an online marketer his thing is Periscope so they call him ”The Blind Periscoper.”

Image result for images The Blind Periscope Billy Brandon

It’s just that there are so few of us that people run into. 

So when they see us we’re like the only one and that’s how The Blind Blogger was sharing posts on LinkedIn and other social media groups and certain people were using it as a shorthand to refer to me.

When I decided that I needed a second website they were like ”Max we’ve been calling you The Blind Blogger for over a year so why don’t you just see if that’s available?”

The dot com was taken but the dot net was available.

I think the dot com is finally going to be available soon so as soon as it is I going to grab it just so I can stake my claim to it and not have somebody else’s message be on The Blind Bloggers website.

How Would You Describe the Function of the Carnival Business On You WebSite?

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Matthew Loomis: That’s a great story.

Your first blog is pretty clear as far as the purpose goes.

You’re selling carnival equipment and doing things in that niche and that’s how it generates income.

Is that how you would describe it?

Maxwell Ivey: That’s a perfect description.

Everything that is done on that website and on that blog is focused on generating direct sales or the attraction of new clients.

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Who may eventually list equipment and generate new sales.

Do You Blog Consistently On the Carnival Business Site?

Matthew Loomis: You said that you blog regularly on that site?

Maxwell Ivey: Not as regularly as I would like to.

I don’t remember the last time I posted to the blog was.

I actually had this conversation with my good friend Adrienne Smith. 

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She said to me ”Max I know that you’re afraid that the two audiences won’t get along but you’re crazy if you’re going to start a second blog.”

She said ”you don’t need the extra work if people unsubscribe or stop coming to your website because you’re posting about being The Blind Blogger or vise-versa big deal.”

She tried to talk me out of it and in actuality, in the last few months, I have really considered the idea of starting a new website and just one website under Maxwell Ivey dot. Just to cut down on the amount of lifting I have to do on a regular basis.

A lot of the times your friends try to tell you better and you don’t listen because you think you know better.

Sometimes you find out two years later that they were right and you were wrong and you should have listened to them.

It’s a lot of work for one blog.

It isn’t just the articles, it’s the social media posts replying to comments and coming up with the ideas of what to write about. It’s the actual editing and formatting and publishing of posts.

There’s just so much that goes along with one website that I really wish that I hadn’t done this but I’ve done it and here I am.

I’m not one of these people who are going to go ”whoa is me!” And get down on myself and I get upset about it. I’m just going to deal with it and move forward in the best way that I can with it.

In the long-term, I think the best thing is going to be to create a website, move all my stuff to one site and have to admins where I post so either way, I can post as Midway or The Blind Blogger.

So people will know right away which audience I ‘m writing to just some thoughts I’ve had.

How Would You Clarify Your Individual Brands So That They Don’t Lose their Focus Point?

Matthew Loomis: I’m chuckling.

Because everything you’ve said is so true about the commitment and the work that it takes to run a blog.

What would you say to those who would say to you that you should keep each website focused and not have the two together?

Are you concerned that that would be confusing?

Image result for Images for the word confusing

Maxwell Ivey: I am concerned about it.

That’s why I started these two sites, in the beginning, to start with.

I think the real question is if I can find a way to bring the two together without getting rid of either of my brand names then I’ll do it.

If I can’t then I’ll just continue with what I’m doing.

I’ll look into the possibility of having guest posters and possibly even regular contributors from the amusement industry to help to pick up some of the slack on that website.

How Are You Monetizing The Blind Blogger dot net?

Matthew Loomis: That sounds good and plausible.

I wish you well on that and keep in touch so that I can hear how that goes.

Focusing on The Blind Blogger dot net, can you share with us how that blog is monetized?

Maxwell Ivey: People can contact me through that blog for coaching.

Life goals coaching where I help them define their goals and get down to what is really important to them.

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As opposed to what they think they should be going after or what their family taught them to go after.

Get down to the real root of what it is that will make them happy and the define the steps and resources that are required to keep them motivated along the way.

That’s one method.

The other is something that really started out as something I didn’t plan on doing. People ask me ”Max, how do you get booked on all the radio stations and podcasts and YouTube channels?”

I started telling people and then a friend of mine said ”Max you can’t keep giving this kind of quality information away you need to be charging for it.”

So now I have an online course that people can purchase that will teach them how to get booked on radio shows. I’m also offering myself as an online publicist where I do all the work and all they have to do is show up be a good guest and promote on social media after they are through.

We can’t forget about my books because – Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into The Light A Blind Man’s Inspirational Guide To Success.

book cover of leading you out of the darkness into the light

It’s Not The Cookie It’s The Bag – An Easy To Follow Guide To Weight Loss Success.

cover image for It's Not the Cookie, It's the Bag.

















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And whatever my next book will be called about my crazy solo trip to New York City and back will eventually be on there.

I have contributed to a book by Marilyn Shannon where she talks about how men like me find our heart’s purpose.

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So I’ll be posting that as an Amazon affiliate link because I can’t list it as one of my books, I’m just a contributor but since I participated in it any sales through Amazon affiliate link, I’ll receive a little money through that.

Which would be an additional method of monetization.

I also now have an audio version. My first book – Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into The Light – is going to be audible in about ten days or so.

So that will be another option where I can generate some income.

What Valuable Information Would One Obtain From Your Book – Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into The Light – A Blind Man’s Inspirational Guide To Success?

Matthew Loomis: Cool.

I want to ask you about that book.

It’s called – Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into The Light – A Blind Man’s Inspirational Guide To Success.

Maxwell, what are some of the reasons why a new blogger should want to read this book?

Maxwell Ivey: It really doesn’t have to be a new blogger.

It can be anybody with a goal or a dream.

We’re specifically talking about blogging now but the book details my life experiences. The lessons I learned from them and eleven actionable exercises, people can go through in order to move down the path towards whatever goal it is they’re going after.

The book also includes email support where they can communicate with me on their progress. So while they’re going through this new challenge, opportunity whatever you want to call it.

They’ll have at least one person that will listen and understand when they have some news to share about starting their blog or writing their first post or getting their first comment or whatever.

Tell Us What You Did When You Won the Writing Prize From Amtrack?

Matthew Loomis: By the way Maxwell,

I’ll be linking to your book and everything we talk about.

I’ll have the links in The Show Notes of this podcast.

Did I read recently that you won an Amtrack writing trip?

Maxwell Ivey: I’m one of this years twenty-four winners of the Amtrack writers and residents.

They choose these people and send them on a cross-country trip of their choice to work on a writing project.

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I chose to go to New York City during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

I’m actually just now back from New York City. I’ve been home two days my suitcases aren’t even unpacked yet. It’s one of those things I always tell people just press in even if it doesn’t look like you’ve got a chance in heck.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go ahead and apply.

When I was reading the blog post from Amtrack about applying for this thing. I started reading some of the winners past bio’s and profiles I was like ”Max, you’re not in the right place here this is not… these people are far more successful and a lot further down their path than you are.”

Then I read a comment from somebody that said ” I wish that you all didn’t take six people who are already successful because if you did take people who were on their way up I would apply.”

That just made me sad and I’m like ”that is just horrible that somebody would think that.” That actually decided me to fill in the application and turn it in.

Since they require a long writing example I used the first four chapters of my book – Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into The Light – and I was blessed enough to get picked.

It was interesting that Amtrack never had a second thought about picking somebody who was blind to get the award. They never talked to me in any of the emails or phone conversations as if they thought this was a bad idea.

Trust me I’ve got lot’s of friends and family who thought it was a horrible idea. I’ve had people projecting fear onto me for the last two-three months.

I’ve had to go to my own private place and meditate and read and listen to good books. Do whatever I can just to block out the noise because a lot of people thought it was a bad idea.

With Amtrack, they never thought that maybe I shouldn’t win. 

The only thing they told me was Mr. Ivey we realize that you are blind so if you want to you can bring somebody else along and we will pay for their expenses as well.

I was floored by that of course. Nobody was able to go with me because think about it if you’re going to be gone for a week or two or more. Most people have jobs and they have daily family responsibilities.

Or they’re a little bit scared going on the train with you thinking they might be responsible for you while you’re in whatever city or country you happen to be visiting.

Matthew Loomis: And maybe the holiday season too.

Maxwell Ivey: Yeah.

I think that’s a good story.

In my life, there are lots of cases where I did what I should have done or I didn’t do what I should have done or I went the easy way. In this particular case, I said to myself ”Max, you just won this amazing thing you can go anywhere in the United States where do you want to go and when do you want to go?”

That’s the only question I asked myself and I said ”you’ve never been to New York City before and everybody says New York is it’s best during the holidays.”

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And that’s what I settled on because it’s a good story and a good example.

Far too many people do what is expected of them. They get caught in that ”I should or should not,” which we say is some of the worst words in the English language.

Matthew Loomis: I’m so glad that you ignored the naysayers and pressed through and took that trip.

I saw a few photos of that trip and it looked really really fun.

I know you met our mutual friend Ryan Biddulph.

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I’m really glad that you did that, that is so exciting!

Maxwell Ivey: I would say that meeting Ryan was one of the top ten things that I did while I was in New York City.

Normally he’s not even in the country much less here for a long enough stretch of time that you can get your schedules together and meet him in person.

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That was just an amazing opportunity!

We talked for about two hours and he’s like ”I’ve got to go!” I pressed a thing on my phone to find out what time it is and ”yeah we’ve been sitting here drinking tea for over two hours.”

That’s just something that usually doesn’t happen to me.

We talked about Law of Attraction about mindfulness and how you open yourself up to the possibilities that God and the universe have to offer.

Just so many things that me and him and I believe also you and I agree on when it come to being successful as a blogger or any type of activity.

Oh, it was lots of fun.

Matthew Loomis: Yeah, I bet.

Maxwell Ivey: I got to go to a performance of Wicked.

That was great!

Matthew Loomis: On Broadway.

Maxwell Ivey: Yeah, on Broadway.

I got to go skating at Rockefeller Center.

I’ve got some great pictures but I still haven’t gotten them off of my camera that you haven’t seen yet. So I’m hoping to post a much longer slideshow any day now.

The pictures at Trump Tower and Tiffany’s and Rockefeller Centre and just the other places I went like I rode the Pedicab.

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I went to Katz’s Delicatessen.

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I think I did pretty well for somebody traveling by themselves in a big city.

I would say in the twelve days that I was there I probably had five days where I did a lot of stuff and had another six or seven days where I did one thing each day.

I just didn’t want to be one of those people who came home from a trip and is tired when he gets there.

It’s a Great Accomplishment To Win the Amtrack Award, Well Done!

Matthew Loomis: Congratulations on that!

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I mean the Amtrack Writers and Residence is a big deal.

That’s a great achievement.

Maxwell Ivey: Yeah, I had no idea how prestigious the thing was.

Until they started telling me how many people applied for it.

I obviously started seeing who the past winners were and who some of the current winners are and some of the people who won this year awards.

This is my first award of any kind as an author and most of the other people who won have lots of awards in their trophy case.

Matthew Loomis: This is just the first of many more to come, right?

Maxwell Ivey: I hope so.

I really hope so.

I am always putting myself out there. If there is an opportunity I would stick my hand up and say ”pick me I’ll do it!”Some people tell me I’m a little bit too aggressive sometimes at putting my name here.

I feel that most of the time when you apply for something you’re basically sending a bird out into the world you never know if it’s going to come back or not.

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You have to send out a lot of applications.

You just never know which ones are going to come and which ones are going to be amazing and which ones are just going to be another day for you. 

In fact what’s amazing is being able to be on your Show and because we both know Ryan and he speaks pretty highly of you.

Matthew Loomis: Ryan’s a great guy!

We can talk a long time about him.

You may know him more than I do or longer than I have.

I have interviewed him and plan to have him on again sometime for sure.

Maxwell Ivey: The thing that’s amazing about Ryan is that he’s traveling all over the world.

Sometimes he stays in places where they don’t have the internet.

Or what they do have isn’t what you call reliable and he hardly ever turns down an interview. If someone has a brand new podcast and they have the guts to send Ryan an email and ask him to come on your show. The odds are sooner or later he will come on their show.

How Did People Close To You React When You First Came Onto the Blogging Scene?

Matthew Loomis: Yeah.

He’s a very giving person.

Maxwell, you talked how your family or friends were freaking out.

Or were not supportive of your trip.

Back when you first started blogging how did your family and friends respond to that?

Maxwell Ivey: I have an unusual story.

When it comes to that part of my life.

I’m one of the few people who’s family is more supportive of him blogging and writing than they are of me selling amusement equipment.

Which you have to remember I would say 75 or 90% of my family direct and extended either are in the amusement business or have been one time in their life. You would think that they have a natural interest in supporting the Midway Marketplace.

Most of them couldn’t care less about the Midway Marketplace.

The same ones that couldn’t care less about Midway Marketplace, though. They follow my blog. They follow my social media posts and they are really supportive of my writing and of the books and the interviews and everything else that I’m doing.

The funny thing about the Amtrack tricky trip is including my immediate family my mom who was very worried about me going. Everybody that was worried about me up until I got on the train as soon as I got on the train. They were all like ”man this is cool I love this post.” Click on this post click on that post.

”Hey Max, we’re really excited that you’re having this great adventure!”

Like I say the same people a week earlier who were scared to death or were telling me I needed to be safe. ”Who knows what might happen to you in New York” kind of stuff.

As soon as I got on the train the whole thing changed.

Their attitude towards the trip changed and a lot of people became a lot more supportive of me going.

I tell you I wish I could get this kind of response to post about the amusement equipment. I’m getting thirty to fifty more likes on a Facebook post actually getting comments on my YouTube videos for a change.

So it seems my family is much more supportive of the writing blogging and all that stuff than they are about the Midway Marketplace.

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Even though The Midway Marketplace actually generates more income than The Blind Blogger does at this point.

Did Your Carnival Encounter Inspire You To Start a Blog?

Matthew Loomis: Right.

Did your experiences in the carnival business help you to naturally take to blogging as far as the entertainment aspects go holding audience’s attention and that sort of thing?

Or getting your name out there?

Maxwell Ivey: You know.

I haven’t really thought about that part of it.

There probably is something to the idea that somebody who spends a lot of his time contacting events to get bookings. Or out at the Midway Marketplace trying to get people to spend money on this game or… you know those kinds of things where you’re constantly dealing with the public probably did help.

I generally like to think more though that what has helped me with blogging is that when you run a small business and most anybody that has a family business can relate to this.

What is more especially true is that when you’re in the amusement industry whether in a carnival or a circus or a rodeo or something like that.

People do not care about your excuses.

All they care about is that the rides are open and they can buy a  bag of cotton candy and a funnel cake on Thursday or Friday.

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So you learn a lot about finding solutions to difficult problems overcoming a lack of resources and talents or skills. 

Because it often comes down to finding some way anyway to get open to get to the next week.

I think that has really served me well with the blog with the online business and with the website with pretty much anything that I do.

I don’t know if you know David Ralph from Join Up Dots?

Join Up Dots Business Coaching, Inspiring Podcasts Interviews & Coaching With Todays Top Entrepreneurs

He told me a couple of years ago he said ”Max, after hearing some of the stuff you had to do being successful as a carnival owner I would call what you did in that part of your life a PhD program in Hustle and Muscle.”

Matthew Loomis: I like that.

Hustle and Muscle!

Maxwell Ivey: So I stole that from David Ralph.

Matthew Loomis: That’s a good way to put it.

I figured you were drawing on something from your experiences in the carnival business so that’s fascinating and good to know.

Maxwell Ivey: You know when I was in New York City.

I was reminded that there is still a carnie in me.

While we were walking around Times Square we passed the Ripley’s Beleive It or Not Museum.

Image result for images for ripley's believe it or not hitting nails into your head

Matthew Loomis: I love those.

Maxwell Ivey: They had an old school barker out there.

A freak that was nailing nails into his forehead.

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He was working the crowd the whole time he’s doing this and I actually had to stop the guide who was with me at the time and said ”look man we’ve got to get this on video.” Because this is something you never see anymore anywhere in the world and this guy is really really good at it.

So we did we actually took a video of this guy whose barking out in front of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. We even went in and walked around to the free exhibits that they have in the lobby.

We didn’t decide to take the tour because Ripley’s Museum in New York City is a very expensive attraction.

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Matthew Loomis: I’ve been to a couple of them.

The latest one was in Branson Missouri.

I think I’ve been to one in Colorado. I love those museums.

That is true you don’t see guy’s hammering their heads with nails very often.

Image result for images ripley's believe it or not guy hammering his head with nails

And doing it in an entertaining way.

Maxwell Ivey: He was definitely working the crowd.

People were standing there taking pictures of him and taking video. We weren’t the only ones getting it on our camera.

I actually talked to his manager and actually told him just how good the guy was. He was like ”yeah we know how good we’re just afraid someday he’s going to decide he doesn’t need to do this no more.”

Do You Think It’s a Trick or Are Those Nails Actually Going Into His Face?

Matthew Loomis: Is there some trick to that.

Or is he actually doing it?

Maxwell Ivey: I think it’s a little of both.

I don’t have any experience with the sideshow part of the industry so I couldn’t tell you.

But I think it’s probably a little of both.

While he was doing it he was explaining where on your forehead you drive the nail.

Matthew Loomis: Alright.

Interesting. Whoa!

I’m getting squeamish here thinking about it.

Maybe that guy needs a blog!

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Maxwell Ivey: Yeah!

Maybe sometimes not being able to see what they’re doing is a good thing.

How Would You Describe How Blogging Has Changed Your Life!

Matthew Loomis: Absolutely!

Maxwell, let me ask you this, as we wrap up here.

How has blogging changed your life?

Maxwell Ivey: I would say the one thing it’s done as far as the websites and the blog and the books.

Is that every time I’ve done something new it has reminded me that there is a lot more inside me that I ever thought before. 

Image result for Images for what blogging did to change my life

When I was a kid I thought the only thing that I wanted to be was a carnival owner.

Then later when the carnival failed it was an equipment broker. As I have done more of this other stuff it’s like every time you do something new it’s a reminder that the only reason you can’t do something or don’t… ”maybe you can maybe you can’t.”

A lot of the times it comes down to do you feel like you can put in some effort that you can find a way and that you could learn from other people.

You can take action and move forward.

In the last three years or so I have written a blog written two books won the Amtrack award and working on my third book. I started singing on YouTube people asked me to sing on interviews and everybody’s cool with that.

I am now at least talking about a book tour and a speaking tour later this year or next year depends on how long it takes me to finish the book.

Someone asked me a while back ”Max if there is one word that you could use to describe yourself before all this what would it be?” And I said LIMITED and they said ”what word would you use now?”  And the word I used was PANORAMIC.

I think that’s the best way I could answer your question.

The more you do the more you feel like you can do.

How Do You Respond To Excuses Some People Give For Not Wanting To Get Ahead In Life?

Matthew Loomis: How do you respond to somebody?

When you hear somebody give a lame excuse to getting out of something or prevent themselves from doing something great. 

How do you respond to that?

Maxwell Ivey: I don’t usually have to respond to that.

Many people that visit my blog or that have listened to me on the radio.

They will say ”if Max can do it then what is my excuse?”

In general, people don’t bring me their excuses because they know that I’m not the kind of person who’s going to listen to them or appreciate them.

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I guess that’s a good thing for me, but of somebody did come up with a lame excuse I would just have to ask them whatever questions would come after their excuse.

Just to see if I couldn’t get them to admit that it’s just an excuse.

Quite often that’s all it is. We don’t really want to do something so we’ll find reasons not to. A lot of that has to do with comfort even if where we’re at isn’t comfortable.

While we have to do with the fear of ”what if I try something new in my life gets worse?” People don’t generally bring me their excuses but I’m not one of these people who accepts them I don’t give them in my life.

I’ll give you a perfect example, I was in New York City and they wouldn’t let me go up in The Empire State Building because I didn’t have a guide with me and they didn’t have a guide they could give me.

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The next day I decided not to try to go to the 911 Memorial or The Empire State Building.

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Because I wasn’t sure if the same thing would happen there.

The next day on got on the train to Chicago my plan when I got up that morning was ”You know Max, don’t they have a big-ass tall building in Chicago called The Sears Tower?”

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We had a four-hour layover.

I didn’t end up getting to go up in The Sears Tower because I had a problem with my ticket that took over two hours to address.

I had already decided ”Max making excuses isn’t your thing you know.”

Deciding not to try to do something because the last time didn’t go well ”that’s not who you are.” I think that’s going to be a great lesson in the end of the book or close enough at least.

Matthew Loomis: He’s taking away all of our excuses!

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He’s Maxwell Ivey – The Blind Blogger.

Max it’s been great having you on The Blog Chronicles today

Maxwell Ivey: Well, Matthew I’ve really enjoyed being on the Show with you.

I had a great time talking and hopefully, people listening are getting a lot out of this.

I just want to mention one thing people ask me if I mind being referred to as an inspiration or inspirational and I tell people ”no I don’t mind as long as people tell me what I have inspired them to.”

So if you decide to leave a comment on Matthew’s Show and you’re going to say that I’m so inspirational. Then the comment needs to include either something that you’ve done or are going to do in the next hour to forty-eight hours kind of thing for me.

That’s what I like to hear.

It’s okay if people said I’m inspirational but it’s really a thrill if I see that by people listening to me they actually took action and did something in their lives that they wouldn’t have done before hearing it.

Matthew Loomis: Boom.

I love it!

We’ll be looking for those comments.

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How Can We Connect With You Online?

Maxwell Ivey: Sure.

They can go to – The Blind Blogger dot net

Twitter I’m – @maxwellivey

YouTube I’m  – YouTube dot com / Maxwell Ivey

If they would like to email me they could go to – [email protected]

And for people who visit the website and sign-up to the email list. I am now offering to review at least one email pitch for them.

I feel like one of the best things I can do for people is to get them over their fear of press and send. Most people have at least one thing that they would like to ask people either to be on a show or have a mentor or maybe be one of next years Amtrack writers.

A lot of people are just afraid that they’re not doing it right or they have that perfection issue that just keeps them from going ahead and sending it out.

So that’s one thing that I’ve decided I really can do is to help people review their most important email. Give them some good quality advice on it and encourage them to just press in.

Matthew Loomis: Alright.

Sounds great!

I know this is true because I have seen some of your videos that you do a little singing online as well.

I was wondering if you could close off the Show with a verse or two of a song?

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Maxwell Ivey: I can do that.

I don’t know how good I’m going to be today but I will do it.

I always tell people don’t ask a singer to sing because the answer will never be no.

Matthew Loomis: You knew this was coming so…

Maxwell Ivey: No I didn’t know this was coming.

It happens often but you never know for sure until you get to that point in the show.

Maxwell Ivey: Alrighty.


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Oh there’s a million oil wells popping like black gold all over the world

She sends cowboy billionaires with limousines loaded with sparkling girls

Money can’t buy happiness

Just listen to the story they tell

All you need to really succeed in life is one good well

It takes one good well deep and ever flowing 

One good well to draw from night and day

It’s pure refined and it’s your and mine it is I know

We got one good well overflowing with that everlasting love

Matthew Loomis: He’s one good well.

Maxwell Ivey – The Blind Blogger.

Maxwell Ivey: The Blind Blogger.

Matthew Loomis: Max it’s been a pleasure.

Maxwell Ivey: Well thank you.

I’ve really enjoyed it and I look forward to the Show going live and staying connected with you and hanging out with you online.

The Show Notes

Maxwell Email – [email protected]

Maxwell Ivey – The Blind Blogger

Maxwell Ivey – About Me – The Blind Blogger 

The Blind Blogger – Books

Maxwell on Twitter

Maxwell on YouTube

Maxwell Ivey – YouTube Midway Market Place 

Maxwell on LinkedIn

Maxwell Ivey on YouTube – A Blind Man’s Guide to Success 

Facts About Retinitis Pigmentosa – National Eye Institute

Maxwell Ivey – The Midway Marketplace


WordPress – WordCamp Central

Billy Brandon – The Blind Periscoper

Adrienne Smith – How To Build a Blog Community

Maxwell Ivey – Online Courses

Marilyn Shannon – Books

Ryan Biddulph – Blogging From Paradise

Amtrack Guest Rewards

David Ralph – Join Up Dots


Thank’s For Tuning Into This Episode of – The Blog Chronicles.

Image result for images of Matthew Kaboomis Loomis

I’ll see you next time!

Author Bio:

Matthew Kaboomis Loomis is the owner of Build Your Own Blog. Follow him onFacebook and Twitter


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  1. Ryan Biddulph says:    •   3 years

    Hi Matthew and Max,


    I dig how Amtrak did not give a second thought to you being blind. Good for them. Empowering attitude there which rocks and reflects beautifully on their brand.

    What a fun interview. Honest to goodness, I only read or to listen to a handful in entirety because I do so much traveling and creating/writing/video filming myself. I just filmed a video of a morning salah, or Muslim prayer, at 4:58 AM here in Doha, Qatar. Beautiful. Anyway, this is one of the few podcasts/reads I completely absorbed and then I see you spent time talking about some guy who travels the world and cannot keep his mouth shut LOL. Thanks for the shout guys.

    Those 2 hours went by in what felt like 15 minutes. Brilliant. We talked LOA and putting out good vibes and doing things with love, and lemme tell you, Max walks his talk big time when he shares inspiration about challenging your excuses.

    Gotta go dudes. Experiencing some major jet lag but I need to meditate…no excuses 😉

    Much love to you both for the fabulous interview. You both rock!


    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   3 years Author


      You know, Amtrack has a brilliant thing going with this program. Brilliant move on their part.

      Much love back at ya, my man. I learn from your travels. For example, I didn’t know the pronunciation for Qatar sounds like “Cutter”. Good to know.


  2. Adrienne Smith says:    •   3 years

    Hey Matthew and Max,

    What a great interview and I did listen to the entire thing.

    I appreciate the mention Max and it was just some advice I felt would be helpful to you at the time but I also agree that we each have to do what we feel is best. That’s how we learn right? Overall though I think you’ve done a great job with both blogs.

    I’m so glad that Amtrak chose you as one of their recipients. Let’s face it, you’re always sharing with people your own experiences so they would never go wrong having you be included to help spread the word about such an amazing thing they do. I had no idea it existed either until you had shared with me that you had entered. Whenever you need support you can count on me.

    I enjoyed the entire interview and of course I’ll continue to tell you just how inspirational you are. I know I sound like a broken record. I told you early on that the reason for this is because if ever I have a bad day or just not motivated enough to do something, all I have to do is think of you. For goodness sakes, all that you’ve accomplished and as a blind man. I have NO excuses, no one does really. I just always think of you Max whenever I do get in that place which I’m so grateful that it doesn’t happen often. We’re only human though right!

    With each new day, week, month and year I know that the only place you’re headed Max is up. I’m just so very very proud of you my friend and I know that there are many more things coming in your future. I can’t wait to learn what’s next because you’ll always have something up your sleeve.

    Thank you Matthew for bringing Max on as your guest and I definitely enjoyed listening to this interview. I wish you both a terrific weekend, month and of course year. I think the world of you both.


    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   3 years Author

      Hey Adrienne,

      The blogosphere misses you. 🙂 So good to see you again in the domain that you once ruled.

      The Comments

      Max is a swell guy and I’m sure many more of my guests will mention you because of how much you impacted the blog community.

      Hope your new venture is kicking butt!

      Don’t be a stranger,


      1. Adrienne Smith says:    •   3 years

        Hey Matthew,

        I SO miss the blogging community too… So good to be back and how could I not respond to Max mentioning me. I will also include that if it weren’t for blogging I know he would not have a lot of the people in his life that he does now nor be where he is. I think a lot of us pushed him to pursue the direction he’s going right now because people need someone like him.

        I’m always around although not blogging but it’s so touching to hear about the lives that I did touch while here. Pure joy Matthew, pure joy.

        Thank you my friend.


  3. Darrell Harris says:    •   3 years

    Hello Matthew and Max
    That was really a very informative and insightful interview usually I wouldn’t take 20 minutes to read one but it had a great flow. And a huge congratulations to Max on winning the Amtrak award. I know Max said don’t just tell him he’s inspirational but that is truly the case. Keep up the super work Matthew with these value-packed post. I also enjoyed your podcast with Minuca thanks again have a super day.

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   3 years Author

      Hi Darrell,

      Glad you are enjoying these interviews! Minuca and Maxwell are a lot of fun.


  4. T. M. Cole says:    •   3 years

    Hi Matthew and Max,

    Reading this took me back to my days at the Foundation for Blind Children; learning to use all of the assistive technology. I also have a genetic degenerative condition. It’s called Cone Dystrophy. I am not totally blind, I am what is considered legally blind. Writing and working from home are great options for me, which is why I decided to start my blog.

    The tips and step by step instructions were such a help. And I like being able to contact Matthew on live chat when I get stuck.

    T. M. Cole

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   3 years Author

      Hi T.M.,

      I’m happy to hear how helpful all this has been for you to start a website. I’m quite pleased how WordPress is user-friendly for vision impaired people.

      You can instant message me anytime you need help.