Behind the Scenes Plus Blogging Tips
Hey Creative Friend,
I had the pleasure of chatting with Abby Glassenberg, who’s a journalist, on her podcast – the Craft Industry Alliance. Some of you, just like me, may have followed her for years. I started following her While She Naps Blog then her While She Naps Podcast and now her Craft Industry Alliance Podcast. All those years, I didn’t think I’ll be a guest on her podcast.
You know how in this space, I like to get behind the scenes (BTS) of the things I’m doing. So, go grab yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, and let’s get into it. I also have some blogging tips to share.
Before the Craft Industry Alliance Podcast
Well, as is usual with me, when I got the invite, which came by email, I not only put the interview date on my calendar, I also set up reminders for it and exactly what I needed to do before the date.
A couple of days before the interview, when I got my first reminder, I started becoming nervous. In the past, whenever I’ve had the opportunity to interview someone, I know they may be nervous so, I try to calm them down before I start the interview.
Now, here I was with the shoe on the other foot and I was nervous. The night before the interview, I told my daughter that I was nervous. She said to me:
“Mom, just be yourself.”
During the Craft Industry Alliance Podcast
So, that morning I wore some comfortable clothes and donned on a baseball cap. When the interview was about to start, I told Abby that I was “a little nervous”. And she said to me, “I have no worries that you’ll be great.” She assured me that since I’d been on video so many times, she was confident that I’ll do just fine.
That was so nice. She did for me exactly what I’d done for others on several occasions. She calmed my nerves. It felt good.
Since the interview, I’ve thought about this a lot. I’ve wondered why I was nervous. For one, I think it’s just natural. Secondly, I think it’s because of how much I respect Abby. She’s an expert in the sewing industry (I’ve followed her for years ) and she’s an excellent journalist.
To get an idea of how brilliant she is, you should go listen to my chat with her. She got me talking about many things I hadn’t talked about publicly before. Through both laughter & tears, I shared with her the story of my creative journey.
I’ll really love for you to go listen (available on Apple podcast and Spotify) and come back here to this post & tell me what you think and also ask me questions that you may have after you’ve listened to me on the Craft Industry Alliance podcast.
I find that when I listen to podcasts, usually, I wish I could ask the podcast guest a follow up question. So, if you’re like me, I want this post to be a place for you to be able to do that. Ask those questions. I’ll answer them here.
Monday Morning Quarterback
After replaying my chat with Abby in my mind, there’s one thing I’ll like to expand on a little more. Well, more than one; but I’ll talk about only one. Abby complimented me on being a good blogger. Then she asked if I could give advice on blogging. Looking back, I don’t feel like I gave enough value to listeners with my answer. I think partly because I was still processing Abby’s blogging compliment 😀. However, I feel terrible about that missed opportunity to help others. So, I want to add some more meat to the answer I gave. This way, the information will be super helpful to people who blog or really want to start blogging.
In addition to what I said on the podcast (go listen), here are a few more tips on how I’ve successfully blogged for years.
1. Have an Audience of One
First, you need to have a target audience in mind. When I say audience, I mean one person. One person you can see in your mind’s eye. (That person should represent the group of people you want to reach – your target audience). Then, when you’re writing your blog posts, write as though you’re talking to just that one person. It makes it so much easier to write when you know to whom you’re writing.
2. Write with Emotion
Secondly, don’t take the fears, doubts, joy, and excitement out of your writing. Think of it this way. When you’re writing ask yourself:
Am I a news anchor or an embedded journalist?
You don’t want to be a news anchor who’s collating information from different reporters and presenting it to an audience.
To be a good blogger, be an embedded journalist, not a news anchor.Clara Nartey
What do I mean by that? To be an effective blogger, be the one who does not only see and hear what’s going on around you, but feels and expresses your emotions as well as that of the people. Don’t just report. Write with emotion. Emotion is basic to all humanity and people can relate. Emotions make you authentic.
3. Tell a Story
Thirdly, teach a principle or life lesson and use a personal story (yours or someone else’s) to illustrate the point. Or the other way around – tell a story and pull the teachable moment or lesson out of it. Storytelling makes important information easy to digest.
These are three specific things you can do in addition to what I discussed in the interview.
Revisiting the Power of Feedback
As I come to the end of this post, I’ll like to briefly touch on another topic Abby and I discussed. That is feedback. I believe very strongly that when you’re open to feedback and you learn how to use it effectively, you’ll grow by leaps and bounds.
It’s so funny that a few days after Abby and I chatted about feedback, I turned on the television and there was Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix promoting his new book, “No Rules, Rules – Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention”. He was explaining the unorthodox culture behind Netflix’s success and how other creatives can benefit from it.
He talked about Netflix’s “culture of radical candor.” At Netflix, “you don’t try to please your boss, you give candid feedback instead”. He explained how giving and receiving feedback among their team has helped them grow as a company. He used an analogy that I thought was very powerful. Here’s what said:
“Feedback can hurt, just like exercise hurts; but it makes you stronger”Reed Hastings
I thought it’ll be nice to share that little snippet on feedback with you. If you haven’t read my post on How to harness feedback to help you grow, this will be a good time to do that.
Creative Friend, I really enjoyed chatting with Abby Glassenberg on the Craft Industry Alliance podcast. Within minutes of starting the interview, I was folding my legs under me & sitting on them. When you see me sit that way, you know that I‘m totally relaxed.
I hope you go listen to the podcast. Then, take a minute, come back here and tell me what you think (feedback, remember? 😀) as well as ask your follow-up questions.
PS: In addition to the tools I suggested on the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, I also love this app called Notability. This is the first blog post I’ve written in the app and I know it won’t be the last. Handwriting is so much more natural than typing. It really made me write this blog post in record time.