As you consider the special year-end bundle that includes the Blog Boost and Press Push, I wanted to give some more context as to who we’ve created these programs for.
Both are created with a similar goal in mind: to remove the barriers that are stopping you from sharing your work on the regular.
There are a million reasons why you don’t blog more frequently or do PR. Some of these reasons are related to process, especially in PR, but most of them are psychological blocks that are holding you back.
You’re scared of alienating people, whether it’s the audience you already have or your favorite blogger. You don’t want to say the wrong thing, break any hidden etiquette rules you don’t know about, and you certainly don’t want to bother people.
What I learned in my PR agency days is that the only way to get past this discomfort is to do the work.
Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action.
You don’t have to wait to be confident.
Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.
* * * Carrie Fisher * * *
Because what you will find is that your world will not come crashing down if an editor doesn’t reply to your email, and that any reluctance you feel to put yourself out there is far outshone by the feeling you get when your favorite magazine decides to pull your product or interview you for an article they’re writing.
The reason it feels so impossible to promote your work now, whether it’s on your blog or through media outreach, is that you haven’t been doing it with any regularity. When sharing your work and ideas becomes a habit, it doesn’t matter that one particular post didn’t take off with your audience, because you know that next week is another opportunity to connect with them. It’s okay if that website didn’t accept your contribution, because you haven’t put all your eggs in one basket.
The more you share, the lower the stakes for each individual post or pitch become.
This is the mindset Megan and I want to instill in you through the Blog Boost and the Press Push. That sharing your work and ideas regularly are an essential part of running your business, and they’re not a big deal. There’s nothing to dread or worry about, because promoting your work is as natural as breathing.
Now, we might not quite get you there in a 6-week course, but we hope to instill in you the habits and a safe environment for asking questions and trying new things so that you can get much closer to this ideal.
So back to the question — are these programs for you?
If you’re already confident in sharing your ideas on your blog at least once a week and have had success in pitching bloggers and magazine editors, you probably don’t need to take advantage of this bundle. The only reason you might is if you’ve let your good habits slide and want the extra accountability of getting topics (Blog Boost) and pitch angles (Press Push) from Megan and me within a structured program.
The accountability and emphasis on action over planning is the #1 benefit of our Blog Boost and Press Push programs. If you need a little extra nudge to follow through on your marketing commitments, these programs are an outstanding opportunity to get support.
If you feel doubts about the value of your content (does anyone care?), or have a hard time following through on your plans, then this bundle is a wonderful option for you. Megan and I are committed, caring teachers, and we are very invested in getting you to take action each week.
But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what Jill Maldonado had to say after going through the Press Push this summer:
“Worth the price of the course alone, was the ability to participate in the Facebook group. I watched your feedback on other people’s assignments and learned a TON from that. Much gratitude for your generosity of spirit!”
If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, I hope you’re having a very wonderful holiday. The little gathering at my place this Sunday was wonderful.
I’m popping in to write you in the midst of my vacation, because Megan Auman and I are offering a year-end special that could be just what you’re looking for.
Through December 30th, Megan and I are offering a bundle that includes our popular Press Push program and the inaugural Blog Boost that we’re running this January.
We decided to offer both programs together, because we know that attracting more people to your website or online store is a huge pain point for you. The question of how you can build your audience weighs you down, often to the point where it’s paralyzing.
Should you concentrate on creating content for your own site and driving traffic there from social media? Or should you be using PR and media outreach to build your profile and leverage other people’s platforms?
PR and your own blog content work together to create results for your business.
The Blog Boost and Press Push work together to give you the support, training and guidance you need to move forward with more clarity and confidence in 2017. That’s because blogging and media outreach naturally complement and build upon each other.
For ideas-driven businesses, blogging and PR both:
- Establish you as an expert in the eyes of your audience.
- Bring traffic (aka potential clients and customers) to your site.
- Help your audience understand what makes you unique, so they’re more likely to buy from you.
While for a product business, your blog and media coverage serve to:
- Build awareness for your products.
- Attract more customers to your online store.
- Raise the profile of your brand, leading to more sales.
A lot of my clients want to know where to start, and the answer I always give them is that your website should be the main portal for your audience to get to know you.
Publishing regular content is the building block of online marketing success.
Not only does your blog content serve as an opportunity for you to share your point of view with your audience, every post gives your audience an opportunity to spread the word on your behalf.
Whether you publish a weekly outfit post, tell the story behind your brand, or give your audience a flash of insight, you are able to powerfully build a connection to the people you most want to reach, all on your own turf.
That’s why the year starts with the 50 Day Blog Boost, a 6-week program that helps you develop a blogging habit while creating (at least) one post a week for your blog and building momentum for your business.
In addition to weekly blog prompts, Megan and I will give you a promotional activity to spread your content and a writing tip that will make you a better communicator and help your content flow more easily.
Then we take a break, so you can keep up your new-found blogging habit with ease.
We come back in May with the 60 Day Press Push.
This year, we’re adding a second track for idea-driven businesses, in addition to the programming that is specifically geared towards artists, makers and designers.
This is because the types of PR opportunities available to these business types are very different, and we want to focus completely on the media opportunities that are right for you.
We’ve taken over a hundred creative entrepreneurs though the 60 Day Press Push, and the skills you learn in the program will help you maintain a publicity program for your business with ease. The core of our method is focused on action — there’s no drawn-out or complicated planning process. Instead we teach a new pitch style every week, so you can try out different approaches and email templates and figure out what works for you.
The hallmark of both of these programs, though, is the personal attention Megan and I provide through the private Facebook group. At least one of us is in there every week day (excepting holidays!), giving feedback on your pitch ideas (and blog posts in the Blog Boost) and answering questions.
If you’re looking for an extra leg up in the new year to grow your audience and customer base this year, this bundle is for you.
We’re offering the Blog Boost and the Press Push together for a $498 — a $200 savings off the full price for both these programs.
Through this special offer, you get access to:
- The Blog Boost this January and the Press Push in May (you get to choose which track of the Press Push is right for you). All materials are emailed to you, so you can complete the exercises when it works in your schedule.
- Access to the private Facebook groups for each program, where you can workshop with your fellow participants, ask questions of Brigitte and Megan and get our feedback on your drafts.
- Access to 4 Q&A calls hosted by Brigitte and Megan.
The Blog Boost kicks off Monday, January 9th. Each lesson is delivered to you via email, so you can fit in the weekly activities into your own schedule.
As I come off this epic cold, I’m struggling to get my writing mojo back. Before, I was in a nice groove where the ideas were flowing, and I could finish a post in a little over an hour. But now, I find myself struggling to come up with topics to write about and abandoning drafts a few paragraphs in.
In college, creative writing was my major, and no matter how much I didn’t want to write that day, the need to maintain my GPA to keep my academic scholarship was ample motivation. In my agency days, I got accustomed to my manager calling and asking me to send a press release over about such-and-such occurrence within the hour. The ticking clock ensured my productivity.
At this stage of my career, nothing is holding me accountable to writing other than knowing it’s what I need to do to keep my business growing. I’ve had to come up with my own strategies for coming up with ideas and the get the creative juices flowing.
What I’ve found is that it’s very hard for me to write content that doesn’t feel urgent in some way — I find the greatest motivation in feeling connected to a real question or problem that some segment of my readers is facing.
As the end of the year approaches, I expect you’ll be taking some time off. I certainly am — I’m going to Seattle for New Year’s Eve! You might find yourself needing to overcome a little holiday-induced writer’s block of your own, or maybe you’re struggling to find the motivation to write now.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you three questions I ask myself to come up with relevant content ideas, no matter how blocked I feel.
1. Is there anything in particular my clients are struggling with right now?
The highest compliment is hearing “Your post came at exactly the right time. It feels like you’ve been sitting around the table with me and my advisors as we’ve been working out what to do around xx…”
Obviously I don’t receive these emails every week, but my aim is to make at least some readers feel this way with every post I write.
Here’s the key to relevancy: in any given culture (business culture or community), there are seasonal ebbs and flows to certain types of questions or issues. Right now is a clear example, as a lot of businesses are doing what they can to reach their year-end goals or to plan for the new year.
When I am struggling to come up with post ideas, the first thing I do is try to ground myself in an awareness of what’s bubbling up for my audience right now. I want to see if there’s anything I can help with that’s most useful in this very moment.
2. What’s in the news?
The analysis I described in the first prompt only works when you’re feeling connected to your audience. Sometimes you get back from a break and feel totally removed from your work.
When this happens, I look outside myself for inspiration. Bloggers and magazines and podcasts are all excellent sources of content ideas.
I don’t like to rehash the content I find online, not because it’s wrong or somehow unethical to cover an idea I’ve seen elsewhere, but because it’s boring.
And if I’m bored doing this work…well…why would I continue?
So what I look for are two things:
- What topics feel most relevant to my audience right now? Traditional media nearly always prioritizes timely content. So if you’re not sure what’s relevant to your audience right now, looking at media coverage is a good way to figure it out.
- How can I put a fresh spin on the topic? Like I said, writing the same-old thing is boring. And it’s also the fastest way to fit in with the crowd. That’s the opposite of what you want to achieve with your content. Instead, what you want to look for are the ways you disagree with the messages you’re finding in the media.
For me, this process is energizing. It’s intellectually stimulating to think through why I disagree with a particular piece of advice, and interesting to think through what I would offer instead.
3. What have I learned recently or failed to address?
Sometimes even my media research fails to inspire. Maybe most of the articles I find are fairly evergreen (could be published anytime), or I don’t have a strong disagreement with the advice I’ve come across.
This is where I turn the lens back on myself. I can almost always find a topic by looking to my own experiences, or even looking through my archives to see what I’ve missed.
Often I’ll realize that I never covered an important concept on my blog, or write myself to a solution for my current problem. Funny enough, even if I’m not aiming for timeliness, these are the times I’m most likely to hear from someone in my audience, “I’ve been struggling with this exact same thing.”
If you’re struggling to get into your writing groove, I hope that one of my strategies will help you get out of your slump. The more you’re in the habit of writing, the easier your content flows.
And on that note, you might have heard that Megan Auman and I are running a blog training and accountability class that’s all about getting you into a regular blogging habit. A little bird told me we’re running a year-end special between Christmas and the new year, so keep your eyes peeled. :-)