Dwelling in the Gift...
Recently, I came across an awesome blogger named April Bowles Olin, who I was introduced to through the course she taught on "Building a Successful Blog." It was one of those things you can watch for free at the time, and then if you love it, you pay for it so that you can have anytime access.
Feeling quite smug about getting something for nothing (who doesn't love that?) I tuned in on the first day with mild curiosity and, I'll admit it, a hefty dose of superiority and disbelief that this freebie could teach me much that I didn't already know.
Well, let's just say that an hour and a half in, I gratefully gave them my credit card number and cleared my calendar for the next three days so I could watch the course uninterrupted.
One of the things that got my attention was April's assertion that as a blogger, you want to start from and dwell in the place of gifting your community with your very best. Hold nothing back, she said. "Be someone worthy of following and worthy of fans."
This really touched me. In the world of marketing, and copywriting, we're told over and over again to tease our readers so that they'll give us something: their email address, their time for a half an hour free consultation that we hope will get them to sign up for our programs, their money in exchange for an automated online course.
But April's perspective resonated so deeply with my own values and experience as a writer: give your very best away to your readers. Share what you have to say with love and a deep commitment to service, and trust that coming from the intention of gifting will lead to collaborations and energy exchanges that mutually benefit everyone involved.
On a practical level, we know that our own favorite bloggers and internet heroes and heroines do this. They pop up on our facebook feeds and in our email inboxes and offer us something of true value without us feeling like there are invisible strings attached-- otherwise, we unsubscribe. No one likes the ooey gooey feeling of daily or weekly advertisements in their email inbox or tweeted at them.
Beyond that, beginning a relationship in a way that clearly lets us feel the care, dedication, and passion that a person has makes it a million times more likely that we'll decide to go deeper with them -- whether that means private coaching, asking them to write for a publication that we are involved with, or featuring their work on our own blog or website.
So, today's mission is about dwelling in the gift that your writing is for your tribe. And to help you get there, I'm gifting you a handout that I made for my most recent blogging program, which is an exercise that I adapted from the inspiring, amazing April Bowles Olin herself.
In this handout, creating a vision board / collage is mentioned but not emphasized that much. For you Blog Your Heart Out-ers, I'd like to redouble my efforts to include creating a visual manifesto as part of the process of finding out what you'd like to express and gift to your readers.
If this is a new idea for you, you can get some great info on vision boards here.