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Experiment Report: Week 1

“What you appreciate, appreciates.”

I think I first heard this from Sarah, but it's one of those things we just all know to be true. When you turn your attention and intention to something, it flourishes like flowers in the sunlight.

Whether it's starting a business or learning to knit, anything you give your time and effort to, improves.
I knew this…but yet, somewhow, everytime it happens, I'm surprised. When I started the experiment, I didn't expect what happened: a flurry of new ideas. My idea bank appreciated.

Within a day of just setting the intention to write here daily, I had a rough outline of a schedule and a small list of real posts. Those first few ideas were difficult. I had to reach for them, to really think about it. But within two days of actually writing, I was brimming with ideas. I was recording them via voice note on Evernote, scribbling them down in my journal while cooking dinner, even waking up thinking about it. Where there once was a dearth, now there's an abundance.

What changed? 
Me. I started to bring attention everywhere I looked. I began to turn stray thoughts into full-fledged ideas.  I opened my eyes, and suddenly I can see the possibilities.

It's not that it's easy to write five things worth publishing each week. I still have to set aside the time, sit down, block out the time from other client work. (I'm scribbling this in the Dr's waiting room.) Honestly, I feel a little behind on everything else.
So it's not that this is easy – turning your attention to one thing necessitates that you're turning it away from something else.

But it's also encouraging: if you want to improve something, give it some attention.

That's it.
Just focus on it, a bit everyday or in one lump of uninterrupted time…and you will get movement or learn something.

Where could your business use some appreciation?

How could you give it some attention this week?
If you've joined the Experiment, how's it going? Are you seeing an appreciation of your skill, interest or ideas?

Irony

It's a little ironic that my next class is about how to blog for your business when I am not, how shall we say, much a blogger.

What a "day off" looks likemy fancy note-taking process

The truth is, most of the work I do is behind the curtain. I spend most of my day working with people, not trying to find new people (which is what a regularly-written blog can do). I answer questions, teach Starship-only classes, send yarn to subscribers. I do my best, I write most helpfully when it's for a specific audience, when I know exactly who needs my answer (this is why I create free mini-courses via email instead of just blogging them).

This is why we created the class.

Because not everyone needs a big flashy blog to create a booming business.

Our new class (which I'm teaching with Diane, because she is a woman who knows how to blog!), is about that, the process of figuring out what you want from your blog, what your people want from it, and then creating a plan for it. Instead of numbers, you focus on reaction – What brings in your best customers? What helps them move towards you (and your products?)

When you pay attention to what your customers want, and what you want to communicate, you may even find you don't need or want a blog.

That's what happened in my crafty business, at Blonde Chicken Boutique.
I realized that even if blog posts got comments, they didn't do anything for sales. My emails helped people buy. My special customer-only emails have an crazy high open rate and an even crazier click-through and buy rate. I realized (after quite a few years of fighting it) that my yarn lovers aren't blog readers. They visit my site, sign up for the emails and then expect to the emails to remind them to buy.

So now I use the blog as a resource. I show off what customers have made and give pattern ideas… but it's less of a blog  and more like an archive of helpfulness. When my retail customers (which represents the largest percentage of my business) ask me what they can make with my yarn, I send them to past posts. Since I don't have an active shop (I sell one yarn a month, to email subscribers only), I don't need to do a lot of showing off of new products, I just email it directly to the people who want to buy it.

This is weird, I know. When all the rest of the world is tell you to blog! And make videos! And tweet! I'm telling you – you have permission to do what works.

It's not particularly glamorous.
But it works (really well).

Your way, the way that works for you and your people, might be something else entirely. You might want to blog daily. Or weekly. Or never.
I want to help you figure that out.
And more than anything, I want you to know that you have permission to use whatever works for you.

To Blog or Not to Blog…is that the question?

“Is it absolutely necessary to blog, or can I find my Right People without one? I have never been a blog reader myself; I've found most of my favorite shops via Twitter, and the idea of blogging kind of gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies”

 

 

“But I don't like blogging! Do I have to blog? If I don't, how will I get the word out?”

 

A few months ago, two Starship captains posted the above questions.

So we started to have the conversation: To Blog, Or Not to Blog?

Another mindmap, this time for my upcoming class with @sisterdiane

As I was thinking it through, I emailed Diane, she of all Blogging Knowledge (seriously, that woman knows how to make an addictable blog!) and  we started talking about it. Is there some way we can help people answer this question? For their own business and their own strengths?

We started compiling all our thoughts on it; the stuff she's learned through helping people tune-up their crafty blogs, what I've learned exploring crafters' businesses.

And what we came to realize is that To Blog Or Not To Blog is not the question. 

 

The question is: How do you make  a blog (or ANY marketing) work for you, your goals and your people

Where's the balance between what you  want to say and what your people want to read? 

 

 

As we answered this question, we found we shared a little system. A system that anyone can apply to any business, to make their blog (or their emails, or their twitter stream) balanced and in congruence with the rest of their business.

We'll be sharing this system (along with lots of worksheets to make sure you apply it to you) in our new class. You can read more and register here.

 

A different perspective of my hand #febphotoaday

PS. Don't miss Diane's experience (and myth-busting) as a Lucky Blogger.