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Build a Successful Creative Blog

Lesson 24 of 26

Fostering Relationships

April Bowles-Olin

Build a Successful Creative Blog

April Bowles-Olin

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Lesson Info

24. Fostering Relationships


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Know Your Ideal Reader Duration:52:03
3 Put Fun Back into Blogging Duration:35:03
4 Best Practices for Success Duration:26:50
5 Developing Your Content Plan Duration:46:24
7 Your Unique Style and Voice Duration:31:49
8 Design Tips Duration:21:38
  Class Trailer
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1 Writing in Your Voice Duration:34:10
2 Exploring Different Voices Duration:28:23
3 Copywriting 101 Duration:19:45
6 Visuals For Your Blog Duration:30:04
7 Photos For Your Blog Duration:55:35
9 Promoting with Social Media Duration:39:29

Lesson Info

Fostering Relationships

I'm so excited you guys, to introduce you to Michelle Ward. Also known as the when I grow up coach. She is amazing. You guys are going to love her. She helps women get out of those soul sucking, awful jobs that they can't stand and finding grown up work that they really love and care about. Hi Michelle. Hey April. How are you? I'm doing so great. Oh my gosh, this is so wonderful. Congrats on all of it and thanks for having me. Yes, thanks for being here. We're so excited to hear, I wanna talk a little bit about how you met Jessica Swift who you wrote a book with. How you guys started that relationship and met and how you decided to collaborate on such a big project together. Absolutely. You know, I was watching just the prior segment and I went, she is so smart to put me on right after this segment because this is how this book was made. This is The Declaration of You, how to find it, own it, shout it from the rooftops. And I co-wrote it as you mentioned with my internet bestie, Jessic...

a Swift and if you talk to both of us you're getting two different stories, but we don't exactly remember how we first connected but we know it was from blogging and/or Twitter. So I found a blog that she wrote at the time and this was back in, I wanna say, 2008 or so. 2009, it was called Peekanoot and it was all about inspirational art and quotes and loved it. And commented a lot and she found me and my blog and started commenting and we tweeted and just started emailing. She became my client, I hired her to do custom art for me and she just read my mind one day. Just a few months into our online relationship. And she said, hey what would it be like if we were to collaborate on something? I'm thinking of something with my whimsical creative art and something with your coachy exercises. What would that be like? And The Declaration of You was born as an e-course. We ran that three times. We put it out as an ebook and then it got picked up by a traditional publisher and was published last June. That's so exciting. I know that lots of people think, I wanna somebody online that I really connect with and that I could have some sort of partnership with like that. I have one like that with Mayi from Heartmade who you know. So what tips would you have for finding somebody like that? You know, I think you just have to be really authentic and genuine and not push it. I think that there, when we're looking to expand our blogging audience or to make those connections and find our community, I think sometimes there could be an era of desperation about things. But really if you are finding blogs and the bloggers that speak to you that you are genuinely excited by and interested in and they are in your feedly list and you are reading everything that they post, send an email, put out a comment, follow them on Twitter, say something, start the conversation. And I think on paper, Jessica wasn't a life coach. She's an artist and an illustrator and so initially us becoming friends, it wasn't for a mutual benefit our business. It was just like, I love what you're doing, I love what you're doing, we're speaking the same language. Let's be friends. Exactly, I love that. So it happens very naturally. Absolutely. And if you send out that email or that tweet or post something on Facebook and you don't get a response or the response you wanted, then that's okay too. And another internet bestie or potential collaborator is out there waiting for you. Absolutely. So don't just stop at one if you don't get the response you want. Yeah, absolutely. It's kind of like dating. It's kind of like, you're not gonna find the right person right away sometimes. It's so like dating. I mean, especially, and I met my husband on the internet. So now that I'm meeting my best friends on the internet. There is part of me at first going, oh my gosh, these are my internet friends. Am I like, back in 2009, 2008, it wasn't as kind of wide leap. (speaking to fast) now, but I'm going, maybe these people are gonna be crazy. Maybe I'm gonna meet them and they're gonna try to kill me. Like I don't, who knows? But it's all worked out extremely well and there was a point where Jess and I, we had already started working on this e-course across the country. She was in Atlanta at the time and I'm here in Brooklyn. And when we met for the first time, we had known each other for over a year and she was staying in my apartment for a few days because she was doing a big convention here in the city. And it was like oh, I hope we really do like each other because you're staying here. And thank God we did, it all worked out. Yeah, Mayi and I had one of those moments too when we were gonna meet at Rotapian Hot Live and we were planning to do all these things together and have dinner together. And we were hoping like, really we hope we are going to end up being best friends and that this isn't just an online thing. Absolutely. I have found out normally my instincts have been right. So if there's someone that I've met online and there's a real connection, it's very rare that that doesn't transfer over into real life. So it's nice to know that you can trust that gut feeling. Yeah, absolutely. And I would love to talk about, you guys did such an amazing book with your blog tour for your book. Thank you. You got so many people involved. I don't know how many people. It seems like well over 100. I mean, how many people were involved in that? Oh my gosh. Well we had, I could tell you the exact number of posts we got up. That number was 444. Which is amazing. Yeah. I don't have the number of people that put up those 444 posts, but yes it was well over 100 people. And the blog party which is really what we called it was over the course of eight weeks. So what we did is that there's eight topics in the book and we just assigned each topic a week and we approached a whole bunch of people with the help of a wonderful assistant, if we could call her that. And we said to them, here are the weeks, here's what we're doing, it goes over eight weeks. What would you wanna write about, let us know. And so we had it very, very, spreadsheets and organized in this net and what ended up happening, and we were aiming for 100 posts. And what ended up happening was, obviously people were seeing what was going on and wanted to jump on the train and because it was such a long tour and party, they had the time to do that. But there were some people that posted every week. They would see the topic, you know, what's the topic a week from now, two weeks from now and so they decided they were writing on that them every week and it was really exciting to see the same people come back and add their link to our little mister linky list and see, oh what are they writing? Oh this week they're writing their topic on money. And next week it's about trust. And the week after it's about celebration. So people were able to get involved in more than just one post. Yeah. And so getting that many people involved and asking that many people to be a part of the blog party. I remember receiving one of those emails. And even though it was coming from somebody else, because it was you and Jessica, I immediately said yes. Yes, yes, yes, I'll be a part of it. Of course, whatever it is, whatever you need from me. Just let me know. But how do you think you got that many people interested in saying yes, I'll be a part of this? I think it goes back to, not to repeat myself in the short amount of time I've been here, but it goes back to being genuine and authentic. We were A, reaching out to the people we already have relationships with. So that I think made it an easy yes all around. B, we were thanks to our blog tour, party president, Abby, we were so extremely organized and we got the feedback over and over again that A, Abby was a dream to deal with. Everyone was so happy to communicate with her. And B, we were so organized that they were using the emails that she had given them as kind of templates for their own blog parties and so I think when you make it easy for people to say yes and you give them everything that they need upfront so that they're not coming back to you saying, oh where are those sample tweets and do you have an image and I don't really know, what day am I supposed to go. Being really prepared and proactive with that I think is huge, huge, huge, huge. And then Abby did do a lot of research for us and ended up contacting people that Jess and I did not have a relationship with and I think that worked so well and we got so many yes's from that was because she personalized each and every email. So while the details of the blog party were the same, she was saying, I think that you would be perfect for this blog party because I just saw this post you write on blah, blah, blah. Or I noticed this series and we were telling people, we think you'd be perfect for the money week. Would you be interested in the money week? We think that's where you fit, but if you want something else, let us know. So I think it wasn't just this templated email that it looks like a million people got. And I think that that's really important. Yeah, yeah do we have a question? Yeah April, hey Michelle, this is Chris. I'm one of the hosts for the workshop here. And we have some people in the chatroom who just want a little clarification on some of the terminology that you guys have been using. Because we do have some new bloggers out there. Now could either one of you or maybe both, kind of just give a quick definition of what you mean when you say blog party and blog tour? We're using those interchangeably. Basically blog tour, blog party same thing. Michelle, if you wanna explain what yours was and why you guys decided to do it, maybe that would help. Absolutely and let me give you the visual which might explain things better than I can. If you go to and click on our press page, that is the page that gives every single link that went up during our blog party, blog tour. So what I'm talking about when I refer to that is we got together, we're saying, this is harder to describe than I thought. We're saying for these eight weeks, we are leading a group of bloggers to write about a certain topic that has to do with our book and coincides with the launch of our book. So our book launched in June, it came out in June and this was something that happened July and August. So for these eight weeks, here is what's gonna be written about and either we, like I mentioned approach the bloggers and ask them to join in advance and add it to their editorial calendar. And then also promoted it while it was happening and had certain language for people to put on their blog saying this post is part of the Declaration of You blog, love, and party. And I'm one of 100 and plus bloggers to participate. If you wanna learn more about it or join the party yourself, go to And then they'd be able to see all of the details. So I hope that that's a good way to explain it. No that sounds good, thank you. Yeah, yeah, I think that's a good explanation. And so how much of this do you think helped with the promotion of your book? Oh my God, tons, I feel like. It was tons and tons. I think at the end of the day and what's interesting about Jess and I being collaborators with that, I'm extremely extroverted and she's extremely introverted. So what worked out so well with us with the blog party was that it was a really great way to kind of play to both of our strengths because we knew she didn't wanna like go and speak different places and things that would excite me and I didn't want to necessarily be hiding behind the computer in a way. So this was a way for us to build community and that really was the bottom line for this book and the promotions for this book. So it just, it got the word out again, in such an authentic way, genuine, valuable way. Which also made it kind of easy for us because we weren't writing the post for other people. They were picking up the slack and doing the writing. So I think there's a lot to be said for that. But yeah, in the long run we think that it played a really big part in getting the books in the hands of people who want them and getting them sold. Yeah, it seemed like it. And at the time as an outsider, there were so many of these posts going up that were in this blog tour or in this blog party, but it was not in a way that it felt like, oh my gosh another one of these posts because it was in everybody's unique voice. Yes, yes, yes thank you. Thank you for pointing that out. Yeah and I think that that's a piece too. If it was an eight week blog party tour of the same post over and over again or something that was very promotional based then it probably would not have gone over very well. And I think the appeal of it and why we had so many people say yes right away and then jump on the bandwagon was because, oh I can add my voice. It was giving them an opportunity to add their own voice and you know, I think bloggers are always looking for themes to write about. And if it fits with their own blog and the things that they write about they're, oh my God they're thrilled for the prompts and to be part of something bigger. That way we gave them those prompts as well when we approached them. Not only, oh you're gonna write about money during the money week, but here's some questions you could think about and answer or you could write about your thing about this. So we gave them I think five or six different questions for every topic to think about and hopefully help them along with their posts. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And the main reason that I wanted to invite you into this segment and to talk a little bit about this is because I think, when I think of who's the best at building relationships online, your name is the first name that pops into my mind. I feel like-- Oh my God. Yeah I feel like you do it so well. And you've been able, it's obvious because you were able to get so many people interested in doing a blog party and also that you do interviews on a regular basis and all kinds of things. So do you have any kind of last minute tips for us for relationship building online because you are amazing at it, you are a pro. Thank you. Oh my gosh, that's like the biggest compliment I could get. I always say that I became the when I grow up coach selfishly because I am a relationship builder over everything and I do this for the relationships. The relationships I get to build with my clients and with my readers and with my internet friends and besties. So I think, and again, I am very extroverted so a lot of that stuff comes naturally to me. But you know, I would say when you're just kind of dipping your toe into those relationship waters give yourself a good challenge and say, I'm gonna email one new person every week. And I love what you said earlier, April, it's not about asking them for everything. Just giving them a thank you. If they have, oh my gosh, if they have their address anywhere on their site and you send them something to their PO Box or their address, just a thank you with your URL or your email address and very genuine, I think that that just comes across so well. And you know, I don't know, I think it's again just being genuinely interested in people. Paying those compliments, telling them how they've helped you, thanking them and they're gonna be there for you when you wanna maybe ask them for their help with something and vice versa. Offering to them, saying I'm this new blogger, I'd love to be involved in anything that you would want me to promote. That's the start of a great relationship right there. Absolutely, those are all great tips. Do you guys have any questions for Michelle? Any questions? Any questions online that are coming in. I see you think of something, Jane. I'm stumped. (laughing) Well I thank you so much for being here, Michelle, and doing this. Thank you. It's so nice to see you and I think you added a ton into this segment. Thank you so much. Thanks again for having me and enjoy the rest of the workshop. Thank you, bye. (applauding) So one of the things that Michelle said that I think is really awesome and I did not include in this is that if they do have a mailing address up and you wanna get in front of somebody, you can send them something. Like one of your post cards. That would be really nice and that stands out. I've had creative entrepreneurs who have read my blog for a really long time that wanna send me a thank you and they'll send me the jewelry that they make. Or I've had somebody send me these personalized wine glasses that were really nice. She just said, I just wanna say thank you. I remember these people. So we talking about moving the relationship offline. The picture right here is from Marie Forleo's Live Your Dream website and one of the things that I've done is I've gone through B-school which some of you may know of. And I was able to really use what she taught and do some great things with it. And I was able to provide her with a case study. And so in taking her advice and being successful with it, like something that Jennifer did with some of my advice and emailing me, I did the same thing and was able to get in front of somebody who has a huge audience, who otherwise may not know who I am. But I met her in person. We took pictures together. She put me up on her website with my case study. So moving those relationships offline, I think can be really important. And we talking about giving, giving, giving with Michelle, right? Give as much as possible. Always consider how you can give to the other person, not just what you can get from them. The more you give, the more you'll get back. And these are just some example tweets. For instance, show your work by Austin Kleon is amazing. I'd eat it if you know books tasted good. Then I linked to his book on Amazon. If you're not following @studiojewel. She's somebody I talked about, Lisa Lehmann. You should be, she's fabulous. The talented designer, super mom of four, and a dog lover. This is just because I think that people should follow her because she's amazing. Want someone great to follow? check out Sage Grayson One because she's funny, positive, and tells it like it is. So I do this on a regular basis. I think about how can I give to other people. How can I help their businesses? How can I help them promote something they have going on? And I cannot tell you that it comes back tenfold. It really does. So even if you were just to say, okay every Friday I'm gonna write a tweet like this about somebody that you should be following and promote them. Even just doing that can make a big difference. Sharing somebody else's stuff on your Facebook page. Doing that once a week can make a huge difference. So ways to give and support others. This is in your workbook, page 69. Brainstorm at least five things you could do today, like could leave today and give support and promote others. They can be in your niche or out of your niche, it doesn't matter. What could you do? Could you send, who could you think of that you could send an email to today saying, thank you so much for the work you do. Write down one person that could send an email to thanking them. Write down one person-- yeah. I'd probably send you an email thanking you for all the-- Awe, thank you. Fabulous tips you've given us. Thank you so much. Think about one person that you could say, follow this person on Twitter. Or check out this person's Facebook page because they have this. Or I just bought this jewelry from such and such and it's amazing. Anytime I buy from somebody on Etsy or somebody who is in the handmade community, I try to give them shout outs once I get their product because I know that they've put a lot into making it. A lot of makers are watching this. And so they know how much that means to them, so do the same thing. It feels so good when somebody says to you, I got this and I love it so much. Or thank you so much for the coaching call, it was amazing. Seeing that on Twitter, it just makes your day when you get stuff like that. So how can you do that for other people? We chatted with Michelle and she was amazing. Find your people and hold on tight. This is something I cannot tell you enough. Find on to your right people. There aren't that many of them. You're gonna find your closest people. Like Michelle has Jessica and I have Mayi. There are other people that I consider very close friends that if I'm having a rough day on social media or a rough day via email or a rough day, whatever's going on, my website has crashed, I can chat with them. They're gonna make me feel better. Or we can just give each other support. Those people are so important. We talked about accountability partners. They make such a big difference. So when you find those people, hold on tight. Do something with them on a regular basis. Mayi and I, we chat every Tuesday at 4:30 on Skype. No matter what. Tuesdays, 4:30, that's our time to chat. We do it if we're working on a product together or a course together, or we do it if we've got nothing going on together. Just to have that feedback, just to have that person there, just so that that relationship stays really strong. Always give credit, always, always, always. And if you're talking about somebody online, include a link. Because credit means nothing really online unless you link. So always, always include a link. Share other peoples' products and services that you love. Think about how it makes you feel. Create that feeling for somebody else. I'd love to hear if you guys have done this. I talked about how I've done it on Twitter. How I talk about, you should follow so and so. Do you guys do this when you get something that you love and share it? How do you do it? Well I was gonna say, I already do, I've been making things out of crafty books and sharing those on my website too. And the people, link back to the people who created them. Do you tell those people, like hey I made your project and I put it up here? Yeah Yeah. Have you gotten any response from it? Well one per-- Yeah one was part of a book tour so I already, like she knew I was gonna be blogging about but then she retweeted my link to the post and stuff. Yeah, I've emailed people to let them know that things were there. Okay. What else? What else have you guys done? So I get Books To Me. It's an Instagram, they automatically send your Instagram pictures to yourself in a book. And I think that's amazing because I don't have to put any effort into it and every three or four months, I get a new book with my pictures. So the first time I got one, I held up my book and I was hugging it and I said, Thanks Books to Me, this is amazing and I tagged them in it. And yeah, they responded, or at least double tapped on it and liked it and hopefully they liked it even more than that, but yeah it was really cool. Yeah, I'm sure. Yeah? I just thought of another one. It's kind of related. There's another company that does things related to Instagram and I incorporated one of their products into my business cards because they're little pictures of your Instagrams and shared about it on Instagram and then they commented and they're like, oh you're local, come to our happy hour at the end of the month and I went. All right, and did you make some connections? Sure, yeah there was a lot, it was really, it was like a double thing with another company and it was a lot of fun. I love it. When I bought my new pair of glasses from Warby Parker I tweeted about it, they replied to my tweet. We hope you're gonna love your glasses. I do this whenever I can because it feels good, you guys feel good when it happens. I'd love to hear about some of the things that you wrote down that you think you can do today to give to somebody else. That you're working, you're gonna build those relationships, the stuff you can do today to give to others. That if you left here, this is what you could do. Yeah. I would mention everybody here. Just say, you know, just got to spend three days with everybody here and just you can trust them. Go see what they do and yeah. So how would you do it? Would you do it in a blog post or would you do it on social media? I think I would do social media. I've gotta start using Twitter so I think I would do that. Okay and follow everybody on Twitter. Exactly. Right. What else? I think I'm going send a tweet out this evening to a woman that I've met recently. Her name is, I can't get the pronunciation right, but I think it's Helene, but it's spelled H-E-L-E-N-E Scott and she has a, a product coming out, course coming out called brand on purpose. And it's just completely amazing because it really just speaks to me and what I'm trying to do and it really talks about finding your voice, having a mission, looking at your values and how you want to share that with the world and doing that with your website, your words, and everything. And how you want to make other people feel. And so that really resonates with me because I really just want people to fall in love with education, with teaching and just getting their ideas out there. So I want to really just kind of send a tweet out and link to her program that's upcoming just because I just know it's such an amazing, amazing course and program that she's putting out there. Just from the fact that she's done so many other things, like her free training and her blog posts. They just really resonate with me. And you just gave her a plug just now too, right? So everybody that you guys are talking about right now you're plugging as well. And I'm gonna give a little shout out to Creative Live as well. I can't forget that one. What else? What could you do today when you left to give to somebody else. Well I'm kind of embarrassed that I haven't done anything because this one company has changed the way I blog and changed the way how I interact on social media. And I really need to thank them. In the past two months I started using a new word plus plugin that is an editorial calendar and a social media scheduler in one. And it's called Co Schedule. And it revolutionized everything that I do. I'm saving so much time and I love them so much. And when I signed up, they sent me in the mail a journal with like lined pages and everything and it says, I'm blogging this, on the cover. And with a handwritten note, and I'm like, why haven't I thanked them yet? I need to do it because it's changed everything and I've gotten great customer service from them and it's awesome so I really need to thank them publicly. Well we get busy. We forget about things, but you're doing it now, right? That's what this reminder is about. It's about trying to do this on a regular basis. If I can remember to do something like this everyday, I feel like my business is stronger. It just is, it just gets better. And I feel more a part of a community. I don't feel as alone. I work from home by myself, behind my laptop. I'm behind my computer and it can get, it can feel a little lonely. And so if I built this community though, it doesn't feel that way. And I also feel like it helps to build engagement on Blacksburg Belle too. I think about how can I make that engagement stronger as well. Yeah? Yeah, we're getting some feedback from the chatroom as well and my big apple city New York was mentioning brands and they say, brands love it when you tweet about them. Especially if you show their products in a picture of yourself. They often retweet me or send me a thank you to tweet so it's good to make that connection with brands that you love. Now Vivara from Russia says, what I did to connect is I linked the blogger that I admired to the stuff that I knew she would be interested in. For example, I linked her to the course about flowers on Creative Live because I knew she was interested in flowers. She appreciated it so much and it helped me build additional connections. That's great to hear those. Keep those coming in. Yes and helping other people connect. That can also be really helpful. You should meet so and so. Or you should know of so and so. And making that connection for people. They'll remember that for you and it helps them as well. It helps everybody involved. Or letting people know about things that you know that they're gonna love, but they might not know about. That you know that they're gonna be, that they're gonna enjoy. I'll do this on Blacksburg Belle as often as possible. I try to introduce my audience to books or other blogs or makers that I think they're gonna love because they match my ideal reader and it always, I always feel like I'm paid back from it. Even though I'm not going into it thinking what am I gonna get out of this? I'm thinking about how can I help other people. Relationship building don'ts. Don't ask people to follow you back. If they're interested, they will and it just is a little bit sad. Don't ask for favors in public places like Twitter or on their Facebook page. Don't say, hey I sent you an email three days ago. Why haven't you replied to me on their Facebook page. People are busy, usually it is nothing personal if they don't reply right away. But don't ask for like an interview or a guest post on Twitter or on their Facebook page where everybody else is paying attention. Do that stuff via email. And it's usually not your, you don't mean anything by it. You think it's easy to connect with somebody on social media, on Twitter or Facebook. And so it's easy to say hey, I'd love to interview you for my blog, but then they have to respond and if the answer is no, it puts them on the spot. Makes them feel worse about it and you don't want that. Don't get upset if somebody doesn't respond. Usually it is nothing personal. I know that I am back logged on my emails right now for about a month because I have been working around the clock on this workshop. Pouring everything that I have into it. And so I have not been answering the emails like I usually do. I'm answering all of my customer emails if anybody has an issue or anybody needs help accessing something or whatever. But I'm not answering the emails that I normally do like when people say this is my biggest business struggle. Usually I answer all of those. But for the past month, I haven't been. So don't take it personally if somebody doesn't respond to you. It may just be that they are crazy busy or they're on vacation or they're sick or whatever. You have no idea what's going on in their life. If they've had a personal issue or a death in the family. I see so often people get really miffed about the fact that somebody didn't reply to them and it's usually nothing personal. So just don't take offense to it. Usually just send a follow up email. If I email somebody about a guest post and I don't hear back from them, I'll follow up a week or a week and a half later and I'll say, hey I know you're super busy. I just wanted to touch base. I sent you this email about this guest post. If I don't hear back from you in such and such days, usually I say in about three days, then I'll know this just isn't the right time and I hope we can work together again sometime soon. That's usually what I'll do. So you should follow up if you send something and you don't hear anything back. Because often people will send me a second email, especially if it's about an interview and I'll go, oh yeah I forgot about that one. Or it has been a week and I haven't replied to that one and I'll reply then. So do follow up but just don't, don't get upset if somebody doesn't respond. People try, we get busy. Don't feed the troll. So if people are mean to you on social media, just don't reply to them. If they say something really nasty, if you can delete it, if it's on your Facebook page and you can delete it, delete it. If it's something on your blog and they're saying something really mean. I'm not talking about constructive criticism that everybody can benefit from. I'm talking about somebody coming to your online home and saying, hey you look fat in that video. Just delete that comment and don't respond to that person. Same thing on Twitter. Nobody else is gonna see it, only their follower will see it unless you respond so just don't respond to those people. The bigger you get, the more of that kind of stuff you'll get. Dealing with criticism. The more popular your blog becomes, the more criticism you'll receive. Delete the negative, non-constructive comments. I know that some people say, well I don't wanna delete any comments, I'm gonna leave everything up there. I say mm-mmm. This is my online home, I choose what the vibe is. I choose what the feel is. And people are affected by those negative comments. You have to think about how you want your readers to feel when they're on your blog. You don't want them to feel bad. You don't want them to feel that negativity. So just delete those comments. It's not worth spending the time worrying about. I know for me, sometimes I will have gotten 20 amazing emails from people that day saying, I love this, you're so great. And then that one email from that person who says you looked fat in that video or I don't like your videos or the way you speak or I didn't like this, or whatever it is. It's that one email that I can't get out of my head. But I tell you not to worry about it because it really isn't worth your time. And I think this is a pretty fun quote. Sometimes when people hate something about your work, it's fun to push that element even further. To make something they'd hate even more. Having your work hated by certain people is a badge of honor. And we talked about not being vanilla and how that's so important. So you're gonna have people that don't like what you put out there. I don't know if you have to push it as far to make them hate it even more, but I thought that this was a fun quote from Austin Kleon. I think it makes it a little, adds a little humor to the topic of dealing with people who say they don't like what you're doing. Because a lot of times we take it personally. Like I've made this piece of art and you're telling me that you would never pay $200 for it and that it's ugly. We don't wanna hear that. Don't forget where you began. So as you grow, try to remember what it was like in the beginning. Help others, answer their questions. Continue to give as much as you get. I really do, if you know, if you've emailed me before, I really do try to respond to my emails. Especially to people where I say, I've been in that situation. I know exactly what that feels like. Here is what you can do to move forward. Or here's my advice. Or here's how it worked for me. And I often tell the creative entrepreneurs that I work with if they're thinking, if they've got questions within their niche that I don't know the answers to, I will often tell them to ask somebody who's been where they've been. To send them an email because often people are more open than what think. You get nervous that they're not going to reply to your email, but often people really are open. And the more you give, I cannot stress this enough, the more you will get in return. So don't forget what it's like when you have tons and tons of people following you and you've got people who are saying, how did you start in the beginning and asking you questions.

Class Description

There are over 200 million blogs on the Internet, so how do you cut through the noise and stand out in the crowd? A quality blog boasts great content, a powerful voice, and relevant, useful information. The problem is, putting all of those pieces together, understanding how to find the right audience, and marketing your blog is no easy juggling act.

Join the founder of Blacksburg Belle and author of Marketing for Creatives April Bowles-Olin for a comprehensive course dedicated to teaching you how to write, create, and market a successful blog. Drawing on the same methods she’s used to help successful entrepreneurs around the world grow their online presence, April will teach you how to find your own voice and get more comfortable writing like yourself. You’ll learn how to develop a strong editorial strategy, attract the right readers and write engaging headlines that will drive traffic to your site. April will also explore some of the key problems that hold bloggers back -- from writer’s block to boredom to insecurity about what you’re writing -- and explain how to overcome them. Best of all, April will teach you how to save time and have fun while contributing to the success of your blog.

After just three short days with April, you’ll possess the perfect foundation for better copywriting and creating a powerful, traffic generating blog.



This course is absolutely amazing. April is so enthusiastic and inspiring. It is clear she has spent a lot of time preparing for this course with a wealth of useful information in the videos and the workbook and the resource pack. Having just launched my new photography website, I have been looking for ideas and help with the blog- a new area for me. This has made me feel excited about my business. It's helped me plan my blog posts for the coming months and highlighted the importance of a good blog for keeping a website fresh. I found myself excited for each new video and sad when it was all finished! I've purchase a few courses through Creative Live but this is my favourite so far and April has a lot to do with that.

Kristina Zambrano

Where to start? ... Um I took my blog to the groomer ha! you guys must be thinking how on earth you take a blog to the groomer pretty easy actually you just go and click where it says "Build a Successful Creative Blog with April Bowles and you are taking it to the groomer. Now leaving my pet-related talking if you are creative and have no idea where to start in blogging this is your place to start she (April) will teach you everything about the blog world with a touch of joy, fun and creativity. She will take you from Zero, Nada, Nothing to Something or better say to a brand new groomed blog. And if you need more to convince you to get this workshop you just read April Bowles "26 post you gotta read - blog tour" and if that doesn't make you get it, then you are totally not ready to Blog. Thank you so much April for everything you shared with us.


This course gave me both the impetus to begin the blog whose domain I was sitting on for nearly a year and the skills to do it well. April was - and still is - supportive and helpful to all of the people who participated in the course. It became a community of people, supporting and helping each other to follow through with the amazing instructions that she gave us during the course itself. The resources she gave us are still useful, and the connections I made on her site and the sites she pointed us to have made my blog successful in only a few months. AWESOME course!