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5 Things I Learned about Blogging from April Bowles Olin

Posted by parade1989 on June 3, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Thank you, April Bowles Olin, for one of the BEST workshops that I’ve participated in at CreativeLive.com. The folks at CreativeLive really hit the jackpot when they asked you to present this workshop.

It’s been just about 1 month since this workshop changed my life. I’ve learned so much from you, April – the most important thing is that I should keep moving forward! It’s been a whirlwind this last month. Since the workshop, I’ve changed my blog name, I’ve created a simple website with my own domain name and committed to a weekly newsletter for my readers. I’m not gonna lie! It hasn’t been an easy month…

April, before we met, I was seeing everything from the mind of a prepress typesetter – my former occupation. Ahh, you say… a graphic artist! NOT!!!!!! My training came in the transition of linotype machines in the mid-1970s and to make matters worse I ended up specializing in the pre-press production of college textbooks. Can it get any more boring?

 

Then I found CreativeLive.com and, more importantly, April Bowles Olin. The top 5 things I’ve learned from the Blogging Workshop at CreativeLive.com:

  1. Push past my comfort zone. Staying safe while blogging tends to fall flat with the readers. This comment really did resonate with me. My writing tends to be direct and very matter-of-fact.
    What do I know now? COMFORT = BOREDOM
  2. Make a commitment. I’ve tried before to start a blog. Went to a free blog site, created and account and I was off to the races, or so I thought. I didn’t know I had to attract my readers. I thought they’d just show up. After the CreativeLive Workshop, I actually asked 20 customers to subscribe as my “blog testers.” I told them they will receive a newsletter EVERY Wednesday. I’ve kept that commitment so far. I’m even starting to get some feedback…readers are asking for certain topics.
    What do I know now? CONSISTENCY = FOLLOWERS
  3. Reach out for support. This is a big one. I spend a lot of time at the keyboard, but a lot of that time is “alone” time. Just writing… no research, no interaction, basically no life! April showed us that reaching out to the blogging community only enhances everyone’s life and, in turn, their blogs. I’ve met real people, with real ideas and willing to share those ideas and help a beginner get off the ground.
    What do I know now? MENTORSHIP = SUCCESS
  4. Find my target readers. This was huge! The idea of this changed the way I presented my blog. I actually had a picture in my mind of the people that I was interacting with. I wrote words specifically for them. I was no longer writing for everyone… just for those that were interested in what I was writing about. I no longer had to worry that I wasn’t “speaking to the masses.” When I stopped that, my writing got easier.
    What do I know now? PERSONALITY = CONNECTION
  5. Find my niche. My blog is still a baby, maybe a toddler. It is in the early stages of development. I want to share the entire process with my readers. The last month of making dramatic changes, taught me that I can put my unique personality into this blog. I don’t have to hold back on my quirky side. Changing the blog name and creating a new website to express my personality is the beginning. I’m stepping into a world that I think was made for me! I’m finding so many ways to express my unique creativity and share it.
  6. What do I know now? PASSION = QUALITY

Thank you, April, for showing me what it looks like to be a successful blogger. I look forward to your mentorship and support in the future.

Here’s to the new me!

 

This post is a part of the “What #BelleLive Taught Me” blog tour. To continue your journey, visit  Nela Dunato {6 Things I Learned From a Successful Blogger (And How I Applied Them)} and Consu Tolosa {10 Best Blogging Bits from #BelleLive, and one important DON'T}

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11 Comments

Reply Renay
2:49 PM on June 5, 2014 
Pushing past my comfort zone is the hardest one for me. I guess that's why it's so important to work on though!
Reply Vivayne
1:52 AM on June 5, 2014 
every single one of your takeaways were spot on! Great poat!
Reply Carolyn Smith
12:59 AM on June 5, 2014 
I love the way you have embraced what you learned! Good for you!
Reply krystal
9:19 PM on June 4, 2014 
Having a mentor is pretty cool. I'd love to find one!
Reply Marcie Norton
10:01 AM on June 4, 2014 
Reaching out for support and finding my niche are two I could not agree more with. Thank you for the reminders of what we learned. The continued support in the Facebook group, is beyond helpful. When you find your niche, and it is something you enjoy writing about, you cannot wait to wake up and blog. This also helps you maintain consistency, and build trust with your audience. Thank you for sharing your blog.

I am coming from the New Blogger group on Facebook enjoying the Blog tour. There really is too much to share from April. She is amazing. I enjoyed reading your blog because it is so conversational. Great job! If you want, you can check my blog out at www.timecapsule.com/blog. We love to receive comments and shares about our decorative Baby and Wedding Time Capsules as well.

I learned a lot from April about ways to help our business through our blog, so my husband was very understanding that I was watching Creative Live for several hours, to help us advance our lives and business.

Best of Luck to you,

Marcie Norton
@NewTimeCapsule
www.timecapsule.com
Reply Michael
9:14 AM on June 4, 2014 
Wow! You have been old and courageous in your steps forward and I so admire you! I also enjoyed how you broke down your points and need each with a memorable equation. (e.g. passion = QUALITY). Thank you so much!
Reply Amanda Sue
6:34 PM on June 3, 2014 
Passion=Quality I LOVE that. :)
Reply richelle
6:31 PM on June 3, 2014 
I am so glad I participated in April's class and got to "meet" all of you wonderfully supportive people! Great post, Kathy! Looking forward to witnessing this group's growth!
Reply Lynne Cobine
1:54 PM on June 3, 2014 
Hi Kathy, great Blog! you have made a great start, and now I know what your geek in a cart means, I think its a great name! Look forward to reading more of your experiences.
Reply Kris
7:24 AM on June 3, 2014 
Great start! I love your blog so far - even if it's still just a toddler :)
xo
K
Reply Jo Cavagnis
7:14 AM on June 3, 2014 
My blog is a toddler too, actually, more like a new born lol! I love point number 5 though am finding it quite challenging and keep reverting to a narrative type post rather than writing it in my own voice :(