Monday March 28, 2016
We are continuing our month's theme of March Your Way to Success and today's topic is blogging! I knew I would discuss this topic and I knew exactly who I should ask - my friend Chrysta Bairre. Chrysta and I met in Amanda Griffin's networking group, CBC, before Christmas 2015. I knew once we met one on one that great things were going to come from our relationship. Chrysta has been a great sounding board for me and we are planning on attending events together as well as partnering up sometime in the future. So I just knew I had to ask her about blogging and she graciously accepted the invitation to talk with me more about it.
Chrysta is a blogging queen and has been blogging for over six years; she has two blogs, but the blog that she focuses more time on is her Live and Love Work blog. It started out as a work/life balance blog, but over the years it has became more about bridging the gap between person and professional development. These skills that Chrysta focuses on helps people take their personal development skills and plug those same skills into their growing business.
So what prompted her to begin writing a blog? Six years ago, Chrysta was working where she was constantly overworked, overwhelmed and really burned out. “I took on way too much stress to the point where I was having a lot of health issues and began having a health crisis.” This lead to seven surgeries in six years.
Chrysta developed the shingles and it was at this time that her doctor told her she needed a better way to manage her stress or she would get shingles again. That was the rude awakening for Chrysta to do something different in her life; that is where Live and Love Work came into play.
It was the way to hold herself accountable to her writing and artistic side to figure out how she could take on less stress and to be healthy all the way around. This blog also helped Chrysta develop her own business where she assists women who are seeking confidence and value to their work life, whether they are in business for someone or for themselves.
What is blogging?
I define blogging as a way to share ideas in a easy to read format with people all over the world.
Why should you blog?
There are so many benefits to blogging such as finding your voice. “As a woman and a survivor of violence, that it took me many, many years to find my voice and be able to express myself. Writing is a great way to explore that voice that has been hidden inside of you for a long time.”
“When you write a blog, it’s an act of bravery, it’s an act of courage, and to begin expressing yourself in a way that people can read, especially when your voice has been squelched.”
Blogging is scary, but it’s very powerful and empowering when you do it because you’re being seen and heard the way you want to come across. This also helps with be seen as the expert in your field and build trust with potential clientele you may have.
If you’re a businesswoman (or man), blogging can help you gain a promotion into a different area in your job and it shows that you know what you’re talking about because you’re able to back up with what you say.
What are three tips you can give people who want to start a blog today?
Tip 1: Don’t expect perfection in the beginning.
Blogging will never be perfect, even after six years of blogging, it’s still not perfect. When you are first starting out, don’t get caught up in the idea that everything has to be just right (or perfect). “It will get better as you keep writing. The most important thing is to just write and publish, write and publish, write and publish.”
Few people will be looking at it anyways, so you’ll have time to become better and the more you write, the faster you’ll get better at blogging.
Tip 2: Write and publish often.
Decide how many times a week you want to blog; maybe it’s once a week or even twice a week. Blogging twice a week will build an audience faster and you’ll get better at writing and publishing faster. Search engines will begin responding to you better the more often you’re posting.
You can publish daily, but that’s hard to do unless you’re a great writer to begin with. But once to twice a week is a great starting point.
Tip 3: Write with your reader in mind.
When you’re sharing your own experience or talking about something you know, be speaking to your reader as you’re writing. Think of your blog post as a conversation with your readers; it’s not a diary nor is it all about you, it’s about them. Write your blogs as if you’re grabbing a cup of coffee with your friend.
How do people gain a following?
Share your blog to friends and family to let them know what you’re writing about. Share on your social media (places you already are on and actively posting on).
Have business cards with your blog URL on them. They don’t have to be fancy, print them off cheaply so when you’re having conversations with people and you’re talking about something you’re blogging about and they are interested, you can give them a card to let them know where they can find more information, read your blog, or have a later conversation with you. These people will have better connection with you when you meet them face to face, which is better for you in the beginning anyways.
If you have enjoyed today's topic, then consider downloading the Blogging Worksheet that I have provided for you (click on the picture to get your free worksheet!). Here is what the worksheet looks like in a smaller file. I hope that Chrysta has given you guidance if you have been thinking about starting a blog, but didn't know what to do beyond the thought. I also hope you'll connect with her! Happy blogging!