I’m so excited to introduce this new series to you all!
I really love collaborating with other bloggers – especially when they can share their expertise and offer something a little different from the “usual” topics you’ll find here.
“I Can’t/She Can” (and maybe a “he” once in a while?) will do just that, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with my first “expert”!
Melanie Biehle – my dear friend and the creative mind behind Inward Facing Girl and Genuine Mix – is no stranger here. She was not only a subject of “blove“, she also created the Donuts, Dresses and Dirt logo.
Melanie has just written a fabulous e-book entitled, “Blog with Purpose: It Takes More Than Topknots” (love that title!), and I can’t speak highly enough about it. Melanie offers great advice and hands-on exercises to help you get your blog up and running (if you’re new), or where you want it to be (if you’re feeling a bit stalled). And she does it all employing her signature warmth and humor, to make this book feel anything but generic or formulaic.
But what really impressed me about “Blog with Purpose” is that it would benefit anyone looking to making a leap to a more creative and/or fulfilling career. Melanie is doing a little on-line “book tour” and I’m so pleased that she’s agreed to answer some questions just for us!
1. As the title implies, this book is geared toward bloggers – or businesses that have blogs. But I think it could inspire anyone – whether a blogger, creative or “other” – who wants to make a career change – can you elaborate?
Well, the book is really a workbook because it gives you information then asks you to immediately do something with that information. That was one of my top priorities in writing it. I wanted people to really think about and apply what they were learning to their own blog or business. Although I didn’t plan it this way, looking back through the exercises I noticed that a lot of them can be used for “soul searching” as well as deciding what you want to blog about. In one exercise I ask readers to think about all of the things they love and are good at, and to complete an exercise based on that. Spending time on these types of questions can be useful for many different points in life and for figuring out the best ways to spend your finite amount of time on this planet.
2. Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – the list goes on and on. It can be such a time suck, and yet seems to be an essential tool for marketing your blog or business. How do you successfully integrate social media into your workday without it taking over your life?
You’re talking to the person who literally spent 42 minutes pinning cakes last week. Luckily, that’s not a normal day for me. I have certain things that I do every weekday on social media. I always use HootSuite to schedule my blog posts on Twitter three different times during the day. I always pin an image from my blog post and at least repin some images from others if I don’t have time to search for new images to pin. I always post my blog post to my Facebook page and groups where people share posts. So, that’s three forms of social media that I always use and how I use them for sure each day. The thing is, you can’t just post your own stuff and schedule your own stuff and leave it at that. You have to also make time to be involved, chat with people, and build relationships. You have to build a community if you want to have customers or readers.
3. I love how you talk about the importance of community. It can get lonely out there in cyberspace and the value of a good support group – both personally and professionally – is immense. How does someone who’s making a change find “her people”?
One thing that is so great about the time we’re living in is that you can find your people online and offline. Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn have all kinds of groups you can join to find other people who are into the same things that you are. Meetup seems to be a good place to start if you’re looking for local, in-person groups. I think it’s cool how the internet has made us more aware of things that are going on in our own cities.
4. I’m way too biased to answer this objectively so I’m turning it to you. For those who don’t know you or Inward Facing Girl, what would you say is the #1 reason someone should buy your book?
Because I said so. That used to work for my mom. I hated that. Okay, but for real… This workbook will help you be a better blogger because it teaches you how to take your own interests and ideas and turn them into original and relatable content.
5. I’m so nosy – can you give us a peek into any new projects that you’re working on now?
Yes! I’m launching an online workshop in mid-April. It’s a six-week interactive course all about creating content. There will be exercises, feedback, and a Facebook group for all participants. I’m even trying to work in a way to use Pinterest in one of the exercises because, you know, we like to pin stuff. Especially cakes. I had such a great response to the exercises in Blog with Purpose that I wanted to do more with that form of teaching, and I wanted to do something interactive as well so I could be more involved and give feedback on assignments. If you’d like to learn more about it be sure to sign up for my email list. I’ll be sending out information about registration soon.
photo credit: Sandra Harris, Raincoast Cottage
Do you love her? I love her. And this book’s a keeper, I tell you. You can even download a free sample to see for yourself!