Your blog is a mirror, a beehive, a teacher . . .

Your blog isn’t just some neutral, formless page out in cyberspace; it’s a projection of your consciousness, an externalized, virtual room hung with mirrors: a world of light and shadow, conjured out of your own imagination. As such, like all projections of the psyche, your blog is going to test every personal edge you’ve got.

It will remind you how afraid you are to let people in; how shattered you are by criticism; how orgasmic you get when someone you admire offers praise. Your blog will walk you straight up the plank of enlightenment and invite you to plunge in.

This is a good thing. In fact, it could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you – but only if you stay the course, and open to the lessons that your blog will, inevitably, present.

Your blog will change your life.

There’s an entire book in this, and one day, I may write it. For now, I offer up this list – bloggers love lists – to inspire you to consider what your blog might teach you.

1) Your blog is not about you. It’s about one reader – sitting at his or her desk, reading your words. Visualize this reader as you write. When your audience starts to build, notice what it responds to. Most of this is intuitive. Be intuitive – about your audience and about yourself. When a post that you just zipped off generates more excitement than the one that you slaved over for days, how do you feel? Delighted? Annoyed? Hemmed in or limited in some way? Use this as guidance about yourself.

An audience is a community that will tell you why it’s forming. It’s like a beehive, buzzing with energy. Tune into the energy of your tribe. Who are they? Allow that to tell you something about who you are and what you have to teach.

2) Blogging is a team sport. The most successful bloggers form alliances – clubs, groups and real-life meet-ups, where they support the heck out of each other. They link to one another, and retweet and comment on posts. They connect through email and at conferences and Tweetups. They build tribes.

Get to know other bloggers as people – in real life. When I did, I was blessed by the deepest and the warmest friendships (and some of  the brightest, most inspiring people) I’ve ever known.

3) Tell the truth. Even the ugly bits. You don’t have to open a vein but let people know you. Share your questions, your curiosity, your challenges. Ask your readers to share their own. When they do, honor them, comment on their comments Listen to them.

A blogger is a teacher. Be willing to step up to the front of the room.

4) Write from fullness– even when you write from pain. Share your fascinations, your curiosity, your bewilderment. Share, also, every ounce of wisdom you’ve got. Empty your cups – and watch, amazed, as your cups refill. There will always be more ideas, more wisdom, more opportunity. This is a secret all mystics know: “When we give it all away, more comes.”

5) Give everything away. Your wisdom, your stories, your heart, your shoes. Be as generous as it is humanly possible to be.  If someone takes advantage, let it go – bless their path to learning. Allow their unfolding to be part of yours.

6) Let the world have its way with you. This is a line that I picked up from a Mary Oliver poem. I made it into a practice: I hold my mind and heart open. I watch life arrive and, even when it’s rough, I do my best to stay engaged. I use everything that happens as inspiration. It deepens my writing – and my life.

7) Stop competing and reach out. Scott Stratten (unmarketing) is one of the most successful business bloggers out there. His tagline is: Stop selling and start engaging. Remember those blogger clubs? Form one. Reach out to the people who are doing exactly what you’re doing. There are billions of people on this planet. Surely, you can share the abundance.

Every time you catch yourself envying or competing with someone else’s success, remind yourself: this is guidance that I want what s/he has. Then, reach out.

When you live in a world without an ‘other’ – without enemies, the world changes. Overcome the conditioning that taught you to hoard resources against some future calamity. Give up the notion of scarcity – and let yourself open to the Universe’s promise of infinite abundance. Know that this is a ‘call and response’ universe – and as such, that which is withheld by you is withheld from you; just as what you give is given back to you, multiplied.

8) Dream bigger. Aim for the real goal: you want to save the world – that’s the truth of your cupcake business, your coaching practice, your surfboard shop. Widen the container of what you think your life is for.

When we surrender the false humility, the dissembling about not being ready, or qualified or powerful enough,

  • the coaching practice becomes a platform for grace;
  • the cupcake baker becomes a beacon of sweetness and joy;
  • the surfboard shop owner becomes a teacher who shows us to ride waves in the ocean so that, later, we can ride the waves of the world.

Use your blog to zero in on your mission. What are you always writing about? What themes are most people responding to? After I’d been blogging for over a year, I realized: I’m not writing about angels at all; I’m writing about calling – that’s what I love. That’s who I am!

Out of that, I rebranded myself: Today, I’m a Soul Caller: teaching my audience to tune into the call of the soul; and the constant call of the Divine.

9) Waiting murders inspiration. Remember that image that came to you in the shower (or while you were driving)? It was the one that made you laugh out loud before, a moment later, you convinced yourself: I could never do that…

Do that… now. Let yourself believe this: inspiration arrives at the perfect time – the time when you can best put it to use. Like all perishable items, the longer you wait, the less appetizing it becomes.

10) Let your wild heart lead you. Write a blog post that makes you tremble a little bit and quickly press ‘publish.’ Edges are the most powerful places in the world.

11) Let your slip show. Release the video where the camera was looking up your nose but the content was amazing. Tell your readers about that crazy new idea before you’re completely ready to sell it.

In the new blogosphere, nobody’s perfect. In fact, everyone’s imperfect. Being human lets people in – on your blog and in real life.

12) Be you, your way. After you’ve done the inner work to discover what makes you you, take it all the way. If you’re kinda shy, be outrageous enough to be shy – but then, draw a circle around it. Leo Baubauta did it – his blog, Zen Habits, was gentle, simple, quiet – and wildly successful.

13) Honor your audience. Each is a mirror and a drop of liquid gold. They are also, all of them, diamonds – each flashing with her own light, color and brilliance. Cultivate that – help your readers grow and to shine.

Remember that you, too, are a diamond – and for the teachers you follow, you’re a precious drop of gold.

Stand where they can see you. Wave. Do this by supporting them; by reaching out. Where there is resonance, your teachers will recognize you, and they’ll wave back.

14) Try to have fun. Otherwise, why play this game? Use your blog as a space where you can unfold, and let yourself out of all the boxes you’ve stuffed yourself into.

Your blog is a room, a neighborhood, a world that you’ve invented in community with people who cannot wait to connect with you.

Make yours the kind of world you can’t wait to return to. When you do, you’ll have built a blog – and a world – that your readers will want to visit, too.

—-

(Excerpted from a post that I did last year for Judi Knight’s wonderful ‘Big Dog Series‘. )

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Dancer

Just beautiful, Amy. What a pleasure. I just started my blog days ago, and I’m drinking in your words thinking yes! yes! yes! As soon as I figure out how to follow a blog on my blog, I’ll be following yours. In the meantime, I’ll be back to check out more. Thanks for offering your voice, and singing your song.

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Amy

Oh, that’s just wonderful! So pleased to be here, at the onset of your blogging journey. You will love it! xxoo

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Debra Eve

Amy, these are the most profound words I’ve read about blogging. Thank you!

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Amy

Thank YOU for stopping by – and for sharing your comments, here and on Twitter. :)

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Reticula

I love this list! (A friend posted it on my Facebook wall.) You’ve concisely put into words so many things I’ve experienced and also things that I need to remember.

I still have no idea what to do about those little posts I throw out because I don’t have anything else to say that get big attention …. and those posts I put a lot of time and sweat into that barely make a splash. Just goes to show we’re not in control.

Thanks for a thought-provoking list.

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Amy

I, too, am always surprised by what readers respond to. That’s what makes blogging and building a community online so fascinating – and rewarding! And I’m so glad you stopped by to leave a note.

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Reticula

I will ask you this question then, Amy. How do you go about building a community online? How did you seek out blogging friends, make the connection and keep it? Many of my readers are people I know in real life, but so far I have made only acquaintances in the blogging world. I’d love to know if you have advice on how to intentionally connect with other bloggers.

Tracy

This was beautiful, Amy! The best charter on blogging I’ve come across too! I’ve been blogging for 6 years and it’s change and expanded my life in profound ways. I see my blog as love and a gift I give… but I receive so much in turn. :o)

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Amy

Yay! Thank you for this. So glad it resonated.

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ingrid

This is so beautiful, Amy, thank you!. I want to print it out and put it on my wall. Thank you, too, for letting me use one of your posts as a guest post over at my blog/world- you had written words that I and my community really resonated with! Blessings and love, Ingrid

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Amy

I was honored to be included in your blog/world. Thanks for visiting mine today!

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Joy

Thank you for a beautiful reflection :) My experience in the blogging world has expanded my life beyond what I knew possible, and transformed me (and my life) in ways I couldn’t have fathomed. Some of my closest online connections have become my offline loved ones and friends…and the rest evolved from there.

As you share, it has been one huge heart opening, it is with overflowing gratitude that the experience continues :)

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Amy

I know! Every now and then, someone who doesn’t ‘get’ blogging will be totally baffled by the amount of time and energy I pour into my online world. So nice to connect with you – and others who do get it. Thanks for stopping by.

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Andrea Maurer

Well… this is particularly poignant for me this week, isn’t it? I think I just did a demo on number 12. Oh, and 9, 10 and 11 too. And that part about dreaming bigger. And a couple of others toward the beginning. Yup… that about sums it up! XO

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Amy

You are all about 10 right now…. letting that wild beautiful heart lead the way. I am so in love with the work that it’s leading you toward. :)

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Edward Colozzi

Thanks Amy for your powerful insights and wisdom. Bottom line, BE Truthful, BE yourself, and BE in a state of Giving to Others without attachment to outcomes knowing that if your Heart’s Intentions are Pure, the Highest and Best will spring forth.

Blessings to you Amy and your work EdC

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kelly

Well thank you so much for the big, big smile. I am so honored to be included here, most especially under the moniker of wild heart. :)

Lately, I find that is exactly what I am doing, letting my wild heart lead me, because, really, what else is there?

This is a wonderful post, and such good blogging advice!

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Lynn / Power Chicks

Amy, I’m surrounded by a community of women who long to blog with depth and heart. Thanks for doing just that …what you offer here is integrated tip to toe within yourself and it’s such an honor to read your posts. : )

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Tracy

Hi Amy

I loved this articles and your use of words to create meaning at a deeper level. I have just decided to start blogging and wrote some words but not yet got a blog to put it on, so going to look at creating one this week on Wordpress.com. Thank you. Tracy

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