I stared at my inbox, enraged. The email, sent to 73 people on my email list, said it had come from me but I hadn’t written it.
AWeber (my email list provider) had made a big mistake. While testing, they had inadvertently used my actual account, rather than their dummy account, and now a whole bunch of people – who trusted me with their email address – had a nonsensical email in their inbox.
I was fiercely upset. Email lists are about solid relationship building; not only do you show up consistently but you show up professionally. Would these people unsubscribe? Would they reconsider taking the Blog for Clients course because they now doubted my competence at understanding social technology?
My blood was boiling; it was about so much more than this one errant email. If AWeber could mess up once, who else might receive an email that says it’s from me? And what might it say?
And then, cutting through my anger and anxiety, came a familiar refrain: This will make a great blog.
Blogs Make Sense of the Crazy
There’s a running joke within my team: if something bad happens, don’t worry – Corrina will turn it into a blog.
I used to pour my woes into a diary. (You too?) Throughout my teens and twenties, pages and pages of existential angst. A few years later I’d read it back, cringe and shred it.
I don’t keep a diary anymore. Since 2006, when I started writing a blog, things that are painful, things that go “wrong”, I find a way to use them in a blog somehow. My parents separated; I blogged about it. I had an uncomfortable experience in front of a group; I blogged about it. Someone called me a parasite; I blogged about it.
In life generally, the cliche “Everything happens for a reason” feels so trite when you’re in the thick of something, but choosing to blog for your business, for your current and prospective clients, gives you a powerful catalyst to actually look for that reason.
So, if you’re wondering why on earth you might want to blog through your business, forget for a moment that it’s ridiculously effective at leading to clients. I’ve written about that a lot (for example, here and here) but for now I want to highlight this other benefit.
Blogging can save you from the crazy, from feelings as “light” as irritation, and as “heavy” as despair. When you blog, nothing can be wrong, nothing can be the end of the world, because it all becomes blog fodder. The hard stuff can be alchemised and turned into gold, not only for yourself, but for others.
Felt annoyed with the driver who pulled out in front of you? Use it. Got flustered in the shopping queue because you couldn’t find your bank card? Use it. Find yourself wanting to give up? Use it. Share your story as it is, or disguise your experiences and extract the principle or the metaphor. (Hey therapists and counsellors! – great to meet you last week; that tip is for you.) Use these to illustrate your blogs – for example, about relationship harmony, or improving your memory, or finding purpose.
When we blog, we go about life not just trying to find the deeper meaning in the ups and downs for our own benefit, but because we now have a vehicle – to use our discoveries to make life that little bit easier for someone else.
Over to You
Scan your life for the hard stuff. Write down the first few personal stories that spring to mind. Look for both the mildly annoying and the quite devastating. Then, apply this powerful line: “This will make a great blog” – what changes?
Then, share your gold with us below. How could your insights help others? I look forward to hearing about your alchemy!
Blog for clients, blog for you
There’s an art to this alchemy; if you want to learn how to get the balance right so that you can help others most powerfully (and avoid coming across as self-obsessed or boring-snoring), then book your place on Blog for Clients. Six weeks of expert guidance, peer support and accountability so you start writing engaging blogs that people want to read, want to comment on, and that lead to paying clients.
(Friday 18th is the last chance to join as an early-bird; click here to save £100.)
P.S. PASS IT ON
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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2013
The hard stuff can be alchemised and turned into gold, not only for yourself, but for others – @CorrinaGB