Have you ever sat in a workshop, absorbed piles of exciting ideas and left feeling inspired, ready to put it all into action? And – did you actually do it?
How often do you leave that workshop with a head full of plans, but never actually get around to doing it? I have – plenty of times. I’ve been to marketing workshops, identified my ideal customer, explored PPC and other forms of advertising, and then done nothing with it. I’ve been to an array of January goal setting workshops, explored my mind map, created a vision board, and left it in a pile of things I’ll get around to one day.
My excuses are plentiful – usually to do with time or confidence, sometimes through lack of understanding, (what makes sense in a group discussion is confusing when it’s time to put it into action alone) or lack of interest (vision boards are not my style). But they are excuses.
The start of the Blog & Brunch writing group
I run workshops to introduce business owners to DIY blogging. So often I see the enthusiastic attendees a few weeks later, and they haven’t written a thing. This is very frustrating – for them and me. I felt like the workshops were not giving them enough of an answer. I provide a lot of information – we talk layout, length, SEO, subjects and so on, but perhaps they needed something more.
So, I started Blog & Brunch. Once a month we meet in a local cafe, I provide copious amounts of coffee, and nag business owners to get their blogs written. We had a 6 month trial – because you need to do it regularly to get into the writing habit – and every member started to put more content on their websites.
The evolution of an idea
The aim of Blog & Brunch is to give you the support and confidence you need to get your blog written. The group is friendly, everyone chats about their business – and sneaks in a little networking – and we brainstorm together to develop ideas. I’m on hand all the time to answer questions, and I provide some editing to every member before they publish their post so you can see how to change and improve things. Learning as you go. Oh – and we have a private Facebook group so we can share our social feeds, increase engagement and get feedback.
Over the first six months we added a small education section to each meeting. Twenty minutes, based on any question the group as a whole want answering. But the focus – the point – of the writing group is to write, so I throw in some nagging too.
Virtual writing group became a thing
Of course, along came Covid-19. Everyone had to change their business model or close for a few months. I asked the Blog and Brunch members what they wanted to do, and we went virtual. We also went to weekly meetings, because during such a weird time a little structure is a comforting thing.
It feels a little strange, having a group Zoom call and not spending the entire time chatting. But the point is to write. So, we have our chat, we brainstorm ideas, and then it’s head down and get writing. As always I’m on hand to help. The members just shout up with any comments or queries, throw in a bit of chat. It’s not a classroom, after all. We’re all adults, there’s no need to put your hand up. Just a virtual group of co-workers with some on hand writing support when it’s needed.
The future of blogging together
We’ve decided that we do like virtual weekly meetings, and we’re going to carry them on. The members who have been with me all the way like to start the blog one week, and get nagged to finish it the next. It’s not a case of starting, going home and never finishing.
Going forward Blog and Brunch will be in-cafe once a month, and virtual 3 times a month. The membership options will give you the choice of coming to them all or just virtual meetings.
You end up with a structured time blocked off in your calendar where you focus on your own business and content marketing. Your blog adds content to your website that speaks to your readers and helps your business perform better in search results. You get your writing done, and you have all the support you want to feel confident in publishing it.
How do I know Blog & Brunch is for me?
Let me just refer back to my original excuses, and ask you some questions.
Do you actually want to do your own marketing? If the thought of writing your own blogs is just completely unappealing, then why try to force it. I love writing blogs, but I’m less interested in other forms of marketing such as PPC adverts. When I need them, I’ll outsource them. Be honest with yourself – if you don’t even want to start writing, then don’t. Talk to me about my blogging options – I’ll write them for you.
Is the problem a lack of understanding? If you have not blogged before, and don’t know how to begin, then start with my “What’s in a Blog?” workshop. In 3 hours I’ll show you everything you need to get started, give you insight into SEO and answer the question “what is the point of blogging in the first place?”. This is Blogging for Beginners. Email me to be added to the waiting list for the next date.
Is there a lack of confidence and motivation? Blog & Brunch is the best place for you. Scheduled time in your diary and a little gentle nagging will be the motivation you need. A friendly group, on hand support at all times and an editing eye before you go public – everything you need to get more confident in your own writing skills.
The revamped Blog & Brunch with new membership options will be updated on my website soon. But in the meantime, if you just want to come along one week and see what we’re about, join us next Wednesday. It’s PAYG, you are not tied in, but you will need to bring your own coffee.