Blogging Update: Tales Of The Better Bloggers

blogging buttonDo you remember my post of 30th January about the creation of a Better Bloggers group? Here’s what happened.

In a rush to start with a group of twelve or so, a Delicious Dozen, Marion and I accepted the first twelve applicants which meant we had to turn away about twenty equally fabulous people.

We did say we would run this group again and we shall, albeit in a different format based on what we’ve learned in the pilot and both Marion and I will circulate that news when we are ready to go. For now, I thought I’d update you with stories from the lovely and lucky twelve we manifested:

  1. John O’Flynn, our token man. John’s blog is called YouCanAchieveIt and he’s a corporate coach. Due to the day job, half term and a personal family matter, we haven’t seen nearly as much of John as we would have liked. No doubt he was overwhelmed by the 1300+ messages in our Google Group over the first 23 days of February.
  2. Kerry Hales, The Communications Coach, – look at that gorgeous photo on her banner of her son, who Kerry calls her “Little Man”.
  3. Sally Kirkman, Media Astrologer. Sally was another affected by half-term but she took a trip to Cologne and blogged all about it. Sally’s taken to blogging like a duck to water. She has also posted some very nice personal photographs, I feel Sally is a gifted communicator.
  4. Amanda Thomas, Acupuncturist from Whitstable, in Kent. Amanda writes about Shonishin, parenting, her adventures, her practice and self-actualization. Wikipedia doesn’t even have a page on Shonishin so you will have to refer to Amanda for more info on what that is.
  5. Liz Dew, the WeddingMarketingDiva, or Scully as she’s known to me.   Liz is very busy looking after her own clients and even writes their blog posts for them. She’s also dead keen on social media marketing and our expert on Pinterest.
  6. Yvonne Halling, the Yvonne was launching a brand new business at the start of this; what better time to be blogging? She also started to promote her Champagne Day App during February so a creative time for Creator Yvonne.
  7. Bianca Tait’s Creative Circles. Bianca is a pal who I had been nagging about blogging for ages and she just didn’t get it. She does now – and how! During February Bianca appeared in the Daily Telegraph one Saturday and you can read all about that and other gems at her blog.
  8. Ntathu Allen of Ntathu is one of our more experienced bloggers and she inspired us all with her regular features of Poem of the Week and Prayer of the Week and she’s just committed to go on an exciting trip with her daughters for Christmas. You heard it here first. No doubt Ntathu will be blogging that story in due course and let’s hope blogging will get her there.
  9. Jan Marchant, a life coach who has 7StepsToPositiveLiving.   Visit Jan’s blog to catch up with her Inspirational Insights, also a regular feature. My favourite post of Jan’s involved sand, sea and snow, an intriguing combo.
  10. Sarah J. Allsop (or Sarah J. Green as she was known to some of us before she wed) writes a travel blog called Wed & Fled, based on her intention to have the longest ever honeymoon with her new husband on their motorbikes. Read how life intervened and brought them back to the UK far sooner than they could have imagined when they set off. Sarah uses her own photography to good effect and intends to be a travel blogger. She’s well on her way.
  11. Janet Swift is another good writer with multiple blogs and many a technological challenge. However, the last few days have seen Janet become more prolific than ever as she caught the blogging bug at her LifeChangingCafe. My favourite stories of Janet’s are about her beloved pets.
  12. Last but not least is Allison Galbraith. Allison is a very proficient and businesslike writer, having previously been a diligent delegate at one of Marion’s Article Marketing Bootcamps and a lesson to us all when it comes to the creation of a SEO-sexy blog post title. Check out Allison’s leadership coaching and mentoring blog MacintoshWright.

So, what have we learned and shared?   We’ve learned the joys of blogging and to commit to the deadline and publish three a week without fail, giving up procrastination and perfectionism. Between the Delicious Dozen, at the time of pressing Publish on this, my own post today, they have published 100 blogs and generated 642 comments.   100 blog posts in the first 23 days of February when nearly half the posse were affected by half-term. Wow!

They have created a community which has encouraged and supported them to start to find their own authentic writing voice and showcase their expertise, opinions and stories.

They’ve learned how to create a compelling headline for their blog post, grab themselves a gravatar so we can see their lovely faces on their comments, source and credit an image without copyright infringement issues, create hyperlinks, and how to comment in a way which makes them look good on third party blogs and websites.

We’ve encouraged them to get their websites looking as sparkly and shiny as possible as what’s the point of all this blogging if not to bring people back to yours for a look-see, how to be a bit more confident working in the back end of their own websites, how to make it easy for visitors to share your posts via social media, auto-tweeting your blog posts, a bit about Google Analytics, why are you blogging at all, what to do with your visitors once you get them, using Twitter and Facebook effectively and getting your visitors to return again and again. Phew!

I must say it was not our intention, Marion’s and mine, to get into most of that stuff but we were led by the enthusiastic and knowledge-hungry delegates. We just wanted them to get the blogging bug and the blogging habit and to write three times a week and post without fail, ready or not, to comment proficiently, to encourage and support each other to write as well as they might on blogs and websites which are as presentable as they could be.

I am sure our delegates would each be the first to admit that after only twenty three days, they all still have a long way to go but a broad understanding of most of this and an average of 8.33 posts each is something to be very proud of, no doubt about it. And not to mention the content they are all beginning to stack up now on their websites, allowing their readers to start to know them, like them and trust them; attraction marketing in action.

This caused Marion and I to have to up our game. Marion has created another  handful of nifty little videos on her YouTube Channel and I’ve written twenty-five posts myself and one of those brought over 380 visitors to my site in one day. Wow again!   It also brought me two emails yesterday from long-lost people in my life because they were able to find me so easily online. I am convinced that is because of the energy a blog creates.

I love blogging. I love bloggers. There’s no point in pretending otherwise. And I am very grateful to my co-pilot Marion, and to the Delicious Dozen in John, Kerry, Sally, Amanda, Liz, Yvonne, Bianca, Ntathu, Jan, Sarah, Janet & Allison. We’ve got these last few days for a final push, Team. Let’s breast that tape on the 29th with joyous abandon. We’ve put ourselves out there in the virtual world and nothing but good has come of it.

What we do know now is that a lot of people are interested in blogging and being a lot better at it and in how blogging can help you grow your business and get better known in your niche and be a lot of fun.

More than 180 people looked at our advance publicity for this pilot, that’s how much interest there is out there. And I’ve spoken separately to three people who missed the deadline to join the course but gently persuaded me to give them some tips any way. My pleasure. Loved it.   And Marion and I discovered a reader who missed the pilot (shame) but whose writing brings us both joy. It’s written by Sue Engle and it’s called YourJoyfulHeart. There’s aspirational writing for us all.

I wonder where all this blogging will take us next?

Blogging Update: Tales Of The Better Bloggers

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12 Responses to “Blogging Update: Tales Of The Better Bloggers”

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  1. I’ve really enjoyed being a Better Blogger with the leadership of Judith and Marion, and the help and encouragement of my fellow bloggers. The month really challenged me to get my blogging back on track after a delay to the travel plans of my husband and I had severely dampened our enthusiasm. The blog was horribly out of date, without an update for over a year.

    Joining the Better Blogging team gave me the kick I needed to get back into blogging, and through that to remember how much I enjoy it. Judith and Marion’s gentle yet firm direction was just right for me, and although I didn’t quite achieve the full 3 blogs a week, getting 9 out in a month when we were also finalising a house clearance and sale is something that I am immensely proud of.

    Not only has this group given me a much needed push, we’ve now been asked to share our story of how we met by a fellow blogger who is based in Canada. Proof if needed of how blogging regularly can really get your story or message out there to a receptive worldwide audience.

    Good has come of this indeed, on so many levels – great big thank you to Judith, Marion and all my fellow BBs!

  2. Sue Engle says:

    Thank you so much for your lovely mention on your blog. I just discovered this tonight! Through your publicity I know I’ve received several followers from all around the world and it is such a thrill for me. So wonderful to be learning to know two such generous souls… I’m looking forward to more collaboration!

  3. Jan says:

    My thanks echo each and every sentiment already expressed so eloquently by the Better Bloggers. Judith and Marion are stars and if you get the chance to work with them grab it with both hands.

    I’ve learnt so much about myself and my blogging. My readership has doubled plus my twitter list has grown. And that’s the least of what I’ve gained. The shared experience has been a joy – an unexpected bonus from the group dynamic.

    Guillaume Apollinaire said “Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.” Well we’re all flying now.

  4. Liz says:

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being in this pilot group of Better Bloggers. Even if one friend I mentioned it to thought I’d taken up flying!

    I’m now starting to get comments on my posts from people outside of the Better Bloggers which is a big result for me.

    Don’t worry Judith I’m working on the next 13 titles and will be scheduling them in my editorial calendar.

  5. I’m writing this on 29th Feb, last day of the Better Blogging Group, and I feel excited and exhilirated. It’s been a brilliant experience and I am so grateful to Judith for inviting me. I have achieved much more than I thought possible, my writing’s improved immeasurably, I’m way speedier and tackle deadlines with gusto and, most importantly for me, I believe in myself again.
    I had lost my way recently with my work but through this whole experience of sharing, encouraging, laughing and learning with a wonderful group, I feel revitalised and positive and see the value in what I do. I want to keep the momentum going and continue to work hard and fast and share my knowledge and expertise with others. I want people to benefit from what I have to offer them as an astrologer.
    Wow… all that from writing a few blogs, except it was much more than just writing a few blogs, as each member of the group knows.
    So.. a huge THANK YOU to Judith and Marion for being incredibly attentive, inspiring and giving us valuable input on a daily basis. And an equally huge THANK YOU to everyone in the group. Your input has been supportive, instructive and offered with love and laughter.
    Signing off… for now.
    best, Sally

  6. John O'Flynn says:

    I have to echo everything said above. I am the token male and have enjoyed the learning experience of trying to keep up with so many talented bloggers with the guidance of two guru’s Judith and Marion. Unfortunately I have had a lot of going on as Judith said above so I haven’t been able to keep up the tremendous blogging rate the others have but I have been writing in the background. I will schedule a series of posts for the future which I can now do as a result if being a member. Great group, great support, great learning, thank you all!

  7. Amanda Thomas says:

    Ditto all the above comments. Before I joined this pilot I had only written one post on my blog. Being part of the Delicious Dozen has given me the confidence to trust in my written word and to just put it out there. We have all supported each other giving each other encouragement and constructive feedback. Have really enjoyed reading others’ blogs and learned so much. Judith and Marion have been tremendously supportive, not only with their feeback but with their expertise. I feel incredibly fortuitous for having made into into this first group. If you get the oppportunity to do this in the future. DO IT!! You won’t look back. Thank you Judith and Marion for all your hard work and for making me laugh a lot. Finally, I know my back end from my front : )) Amanda x

  8. ntathu allen says:

    I love writing and blogging offers me a way to express my inner muse and form a platform for my business.
    I have worked with Judith and Marion in the past and love the way they bring the best out in me and help me to grow–professionally and more importantly, personally.

    Blogging is one of the tools I am using to build my business. And the more I learn, the more I realise that building a business is an inner and outer job. As bloggers we are fortunate that we can “indulge” our fantasies whilst earning our daily bread. Being part of the group enables me to explore different ways of writing as well as gain a better understanding of the technic part of the business. Marion has a way of taking the fear out of techic/geeky stuff and making it simple and understandable for folk like me. The group support and vibe is incredible. At times I felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emails, comments and positive feedback flowing through the group – especially as I am trying to find that delicate balance of being there for my family, making time to care for myself and grow my business. I remember Judith gently chiding me and reminding me to do what I can and don’t worry about answering every email–and go at my own pace–sometimes I need someone to tell me to stop and slow down and smell the roses. All in all, BB is a nurturing space to learn more about blogging and grow as a person.

    Thank you.

  9. Allison says:

    This project came along at the perfect time for me – I knew I needed to put some more focus in to my blog writing. I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for because I have worked with both Judith and Marion in the past but oh I got so much more than expected! Lots of great new tips, not only from Judith and Marion, but also from others in the group.
    Lots of encouragement and gentle feedback also from the whole group. And from Marion and Judith – the perfect combination of ‘kick and cuddle’. Enough cuddle to keep me going, enough kick to improve my writing.
    My confidence has come on in leaps and bounds. After just three weeks, I am now writing not only for my website but also for three publications

  10. Ditto what both Bianca and Kerry said. I’ve been blogging on and off for some time, so I knew how it worked, but I didn’t have the discipline to do it regularly, even though I know that when I blog I get more visitors to my site, and thus more sharings and eventually more bookings at my Bed and Breakfast in Champagne. During this frenetic month, I launched a new business as Judith said and I’m off to a flying start. Thank you both, Judith and Marion, for your enormous patience with us all, and your generosity of heart through it all. You have created a great, supportive community. I do hope that others will come along behind us and you can continue to coach, cajole and badger in your inimitable and loving style. Thank you from my heart to yours 🙂

  11. Bianca Tait says:

    I just want to express my huge gratitude to you Judith and Marion for giving me the absolutely fantastic opportunity of being on the Better Bloggers Group. HOW lucky am I! What an inspiring bunch of people i have met virtually this month in my co-blogging team, we have all become friends and forged relations as we stepped up to this educational challenge. I have learned so much about websites and blogging, some things I had absolutely no idea about before. Marion’s super helpful videos and general all knowing advice from you both. Those video posts are so helpful that in fact after only one viewing, I no longer need to look at them because I am up and running on so many things now. Thank you again.

    I think I was terrified at the prospect of blogging before this group got started but I am now diving right in with gay abandon. The month of February has simply roared past like a Grand Prix Motor Car.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to you both for guiding us so beautifully and launching my blogging career. What a ride, I have loved it and I can’t bear to think the month is drawing to a close.

  12. Kerry hales says:

    I ditto all that B says!
    Plus… I knew February was going to be a great month, what I didn’t know was how much I was going to learn, love and laugh! This group of women and one man were all inspiring to start off, but each time we posted it was reaffirmed how much support we had. Both Judith and Marion gave such insight not only into how to write, what to write, ideas for blogs… and how to know your front end from your back!
    I am already in mourning. It was one of the best months i have invested in my business. I am not exaggerating. If you get the chance to do this, please, please, reply straight away and beg to be included. You won’t regret or forget it!

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