Find your voice and have the courage to share it with the world

Write until you are not afraid to write.

Seth Godin, What to do when it’s your turn [1]

Sharing ideas and experiences are some of the greatest gifts we can give each other. That is one of the things I learned at last night’s Get School’d workshop hosted at the Gladstone Hotel.

Well-known Toronto blogger, Casie Stewart shared insights about her journey to blogger stardom, provided tips on how to start one and most importantly discussed the importance of “embracing your weirdness” to express the authentic you.

Her electric energy and positive spirit filled the room of onlookers who wanted to know the secret to her success. Casie began her blog in 2005 as a way to document her life. She focuses on fashion, travel and technology. Throughout the years, she’s developed a strong following, received some great sponsorship opportunities but always remained true to herself.

Remaining true to oneself is the secret sauce to her success. Sorry folks, you can’t buy it in a bottle at your local grocery store.

In simple terms, to be a successful blogger:

  • You need a personal brand.
  • You must be unique.
  • You must put in the effort.
  • AND you can’t compromise.

Here are three other things I learned from Casie:

  1. Be deliberate: Think like a company who is creating a new product. They are deliberate and strategic when developing a value proposition, designing the logo and selecting the colour palette. This also holds true for your blog. Every aspect of your blog, whether it’s the font type, the tone you write in or the pictures you select, all convey your personal brand.
  2. Know your audience: Gain a good understanding of the heavy users of your blog, especially those who share your content. These readers are your brand champions, so treat them like one. Build a relationship with them by understanding their preferences to ensure you deliver content that resonates. Take a look at your highest viewed, shared or liked blogs to determine patterns in themes or topics.
  3. Prove your worth: Like any marketer knows, proof is in the data. Prove what your blog is worth through the use of analytics before a sponsor comes knocking. Regularly check your blogs’ performance to understand what’s working, what’s not and adjust as necessary. If you’re gaining speed, don’t be shy to share your successes. Clearly demonstrate your ability to influence and distinguish yourself as a thought leader.

All of us have a responsibility to share our talents. If you’ve been thinking about writing a blog—just do it. It’s a great way to express your creativity, improve your writing skills, get connected with your community and meet some really amazing people.

Avoid certainty. Pick yourself. Postpone gratification. Seek joy. Embrace generosity. Dance with fear. Be paranoid about mediocrity. See the world as it is. Be the boss of you.[2]

[1] Godin, Seth. What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn). Canada: Do You Zoom, Inc., 2014. 84. Print. #YourTurn

[2] Ibid, 72.

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