… And Finds Herself Inspired to Whip Off a Huge Email Response
I just recently found your blog via Big Bright Bulb. Your success and exceptional blog content are an inspiration for me.
[Dear Kristen. I am stealing the foregoing sentence for unabashed flattery in every email I ever write from this moment forward. Regards, Kelly.]
I’ve been looking for someone who’ll let me pick their brain along the bumpy road, as I launch my freelance/entrepreneurial journey and try to make my blog more visible…. [I’m] looking for a mentor of sorts…. who might be suitable and willing to put up with me.
I’m so glad you’re feeling inspired. Thanks for writing!
Brain picking is probably easiest done by reading backwards and forward, as I generally throw whatever’s in the brain out onto the blog, with respect to Experience Design. A blog IS about Customer Experience, with your customers being your readers, so you’ll find lots to pore over at MCE.
Not knowing exactly what you are seeking, my best mentorish ideas for a starting blogger:
I don’t get into the writing/ blogging process, usually, at Maximum Customer Experience, but if you take a look back at my 100th birthday post last Friday, you’ll find a lovely P.S. filled with several who do (and where I am constantly commenting with anything that does belong on their blogs and doesn’t belong on mine), especially Copyblogger (Brian), Problogger (Darren), Men With Pens (Harry and James), IttyBiz (Naomi), and Big Bright Bulb (Crystal).
Big tip: Many fine bloggers are in the comments section adding to the discussion. Always read the comments!
Brian and Darren handle the how-to-be-visible stuff, as well as Caroline Middlebrook at her blog, and Chris Brogan at his. All great resources. Again, they’ve probably answered all your questions, and the great thing about a blog is you can search through and find whatever you want to know that day, then come back again later without making an appointment, so to speak, to find the next answer!
Leaving comments on a relevant post (mine or others) will almost always get the blogger’s comment back to you pretty quickly (not usually Darren or Brian, though), so you can have half a dozen “mentors” at your disposal, customized to your needs. In addition, if the question catches other commenters’ eyes, you may get a lot more advice than just the blogger’s.
Subscribe, so you stay with the flow of a blog, if you like it. If you aren’t subscribed at Maximum Customer Experience, of course I recommend it highly!
Occasionally do a little social bookmarking (Stumble, Technorati favorites, etc.), because bloggers often notice when someone helps them drive relevant traffic to their site. When you give to other bloggers, they feel good about giving back.
Read a lot, soak it all up, comment when you can add to the conversation, and ask questions. Best practices.
Write about what your readers need to hear. Think about what words they might search for, if they needed what you know, then make sure you use those terms now and then. Write like you are talking to just one person, and take the time to fully imagine who that person is in your head. Pretend it’s a cocktail party. Be fascinating when possible, witty if useful; never be a boor, and never say all that can be said. Your blog is a conversation.
Oh, yeah. The one thing you may not hear anywhere but right here: This takes a lot of time to work. You will not have 50,000 readers next week. Or next month. Or in all probability, next year.
I am not saying all this to put you off an email here or there, but because you will absolutely get more out of a more public approach to learning about blogging. Guaranteed. (In addition, if your comments are well-written and interesting, this is one of the very best ways to increase traffic to your blog! People want to know who the woman who has that neat opinion is, they click on your name, and voilà! traffic to your blog!)
Hope this helps!
All right, fellow bloggers, your turn to mentor: What’s your advice to Kristen?
If you liked this post, please take a moment to talk it up! I’d love to get lots of mentorish comments from blog authors far more deserving of Kristen’s high praise than I.
Thanks, Kristen. You made my day.