Bloggers have been meeting every month at Lake Hart this year for tips, networking, and encouragement. After our last get-together, Maggie Bruehl wrote me an eMail that I thought I’d share…
I think you have several different audiences in the room:
- beginners who can easily be overwhelmed – they want to write but don’t know where to start! Technology seems overwhelming.
- “seasoned” bloggers who have done it for years with differing formats and large readership. Technology is exciting to them.
There didn’t seem to be much in between. I was trying to think of what would help the most. I really appreciated what you did with me several years ago, just asking me basic questions like:
- Who is your audience? What is it that you want to share? These two questions go hand-in hand in that what you want to share could determine your audience, etc.
- How often do you think you want to communicate? One time, intermittent or on-going? It’s good for bloggers to have a commitment to your readership — they are real persons who get connected to you — you’re not just throwing words into cyberspace. Set expectations for them, and for you, like committing to writing weekly, for example, or let them know that you will post as the mood hits. And you can always take a break or terminate the relationship, just like any friendship. (It’s good to communicate what you’re doing instead of just disappearing.)
- What form/technology would communicate your message best? If your message is only for family and friends, then letters and eMail may be good enough; but if it’s for a wider audience, then blogging is a great option. Some may want to write a book, articles, etc. – then a writer’s for publication group is very helpful.
- Who can help you? It’s great to have a partner or mentor for encouragement as well as expertise. I’ve found that you might have to “date around” for potential partners until you find one who thinks and works best for you. (It’s okay to only go on one date!) Also, potential partners need to make sure that they listen to the person who needs help, and not run ahead with their own vision and excitement. The idea is to walk together, no matter how slow the process is.
These are just some thoughts in reflection. I think before someone helps someone else, these questions form a good base. Thanks for all the help you have been to me…no matter how slow I go!
Guest Post by Maggie Bruehl. Maggie is Staff Emeritus with Campus Crusade for Christ, co-author of Leading a Child to Independence and surviving cancer. She blogs at www.thebruehls.com.