Claim It with Love

Own Your Greatness. Claim the name of your being and purpose. Why you are here. Your gifts. Your vision. Your greatness. Maybe it’s sleeping or lying dormant. And the way to claim it is in the name of love. Wake it up. Wake up the power and capability sleeping within. Claim your name. It is time for Owning Your Greatness.

Do whatever it is at the root of your being with great love and care. Do it with love for the words you use in the creation and about and around the creation. Do it with love for the backstory behind the creation. Do it out of love for the challenge you address. Love the problems you solve, because those “problems, issues or challenges” are the gifts that have tested you through the fire to create the person you are today. And love the solutions and answers and suggestions and approaches you can offer to others out of the fire of your own experience.

Of course you do it out of love and care and compassion for the people in your circle and community, the ones who can only hear it from you. You love your peeps! They are the reason you do all that you do.

Awaken yourself. Claim your own true self that emerges from your deepest love and compassion.

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Marketing According to Tolkien

I originally called this post “Writing and Weaving Your Marketing Bridge,” because that follows the theme of several of my posts so far during this 30 day blogging challenge.  Instead, I want to give credit to the source of my inspiration. This is also a post in the occasional series “Wisdom from unexpected places.”

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy,  one of my favorite sections is in Volume 1, of the Fellowship’s visit to Lothlorien, the treacherous land of the elves, under the care and protection of the Lady Galadriel.

To get there, the men, hobbits, and a dwarf (along with the elf in the Fellowship) must cross a cold and rushing river on two strands of hithlain, the uncanny strong rope woven from all that is beautiful and loved by the elves.

Not sure I could have done it! But picture that bridge of two thin ropes, seeming not much stronger than a spider’s gossamer, created with the immense love reflected in the quote below.

More wisdom from unexpected places, something I want to share from this book. Consider this quote, spoken of the elvish cloaks, gifts to the Fellowship travelers, “Leaf and branch, water and stone: they have the hue and beauty of all these things under the twilight of Lorien that we love; for we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make.”

That is what to aim for, writing and weaving your heart and light into the message that will make the connection between your creation and your community. It may be as thin as the elvish rope, but it is made strong from the essence of your heart woven into the words.

That’s marketing, and it’s using words to weave the bridge out of all that you love. It’s at the heart of Write Synergies: The Words that Bring Heart to Your Marketing and Soul to Your Business. These are the Write Synergies you need to generate results, (communications, connections) greater than the sum of the parts.

Wouldn’t writing from the heart be helpful here with this marketing task? And is there a way to make writing bigger, expansive enough to encompass these Cs?

*Your Creation
*Your Commitment
*Your Community
*Your Connections
*Your Communications
*Your Content

Is there a way to  put some juice into the words, to get results that are bigger than just word + word, greater than the sum of the parts?

Tomorrow: You do what you do, you do what is yours to do. But how do you put your particular gifts and magic and greatness into the words to build that bridge?

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Creation and Commitment

Love is the continuous birth of creativity within and between us.”
–John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

On the near side of the bridge, where you are looking across and seeing your circle or community across the gap of where the bridge needs to be, there with you, on your side of the bridge, is your creation.

How is it doing? How is your book coming? How is your business thriving? Are the paintings being painted? Are you teaching the classes, connecting with the clients, creating from the heart?

Does your creation have your full commitment behind it?

Yes, it’s two more Cs for the near side of the bridge. Are you creating your creation, your creative project? And are you fully committed to creating it and imbuing it fully with your gifts?

Fully committing to your creation means nurturing it with love, with passion, and with dogged determination sometimes.

I just watched  The Road this evening with my son. It’s a dystopian future as envisioned by Cormac McCarthy.  It is love clothed in a dogged determination of the father to care for his son, even when all else  fails.

Somehow the sense of commitment to his child, even in the midst of a flat, colorless and sometimes horrific world, is the level of commitment that we too are called to bring to our creations.

We create out of love, because creation is the nature of love. We commit to create, then we love and nurture our creation into manifestation. The act of creation strengthens us, as creators. It strengthens our community. It draws forth the creation itself, as it sings into the world something new.

Have you measured your commitment to your creation today?

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Embrace Your Marketing Mindset (4Cs)

“I’d really rather just be doing the work that is mine to do, practicing my art or craft or therapy or career or profession. What is all this about marketing?!”

I’ve heard variations on this phrase for years — starting with the authors I worked with at the publishing company that employed me. They saw marketing, at best, as a necessary evil.

Now that I’m a free agent, hiring out to write and market and coach and strategize with and for my clients, I regularly come across writers, artists, healers, coaches, therapists, designers, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and even bankers who deeply dislike (hate?!) marketing. They see it, at best, as a necessary evil.

These are perfectly capable people who seem baffled when it comes to marketing. They tap fearfully into the seemingly endless supply of  variations on “marketing.” There’s corporate marketing, database marketing, SEO marketing, LOA marketing, internet marketing, social media marketing, MBA marketing, marketing trends, marketing research, marketing segmentation, branding, Superbowl marketing, direct response marketing, B-to-B marketing, B-to-C marketing, and we haven’t even touched advertising or PR, which might be included if you talk about integrated marketing or its longer-winded cousin, integrated marketing communications.

Are you intimidated yet? Are your palms sweating? Is fight or flight kicking in? Maybe this is why you hate marketing. Where are you in all this foreign-sounding gibberish? Where is your heart? Where is your gift? Where, even, are your people?

At the most fundamental level, for Conscious Creators, soul-preneurs, world-changers, visionaries, healers, and others in the soft sell marketing community, it really is all about your people. It’s about you and your community and connecting the two. We can talk about marketing without even going past the letter “C.”

Marketing is all about your Community. You can call it your circle, your clients, your customers, or even your audience. You can even go past “C” and call it your tribe. It’s all about your people. Well, what about them?

Marketing is all about Connecting. Connecting is a two-way process. You connect with them, and they connect with you.  How do you connect? From my perspective as The Write Synergies Guru, I’m partial to making the connections via words.

But connections come in every sensory variety. Music connects. Visuals connect. Paintings. Sculpture. Movies. Architecture. Movement connects. The healing touch of massage therapy connects. Even the tantalizing smells from your local cafe-bakery make a connection.

Marketing = Connecting + Communicating. So you make this connection, and from this connection you communicate. As with connecting, above, all your senses have their ways of communicating. But unless you’re right in front of the bakery or the painting or on the massage chair, the actual connection is tough to maintain. Distance isn’t a friend for these ways of communicating.

That’s why words as a medium (though imperfect) can paint the sensory details in a way that makes the communications possible over long distances and across time and space. Words can connect. Words can bring alive the connections across the world.

Words may be stories (Jeanne Kolenda is a master at stories with a purpose.) or metaphors. Words may be how-to or checklists. Words make up the books, the info products, the blog posts, web sites, brochures, business cards, press releases and even the 140 character tweets that are the currency of our communications.

Words weave the background texts of our lives. Words, both spoken and written, are how we communicate!

You mean marketing is just about talking to people? In the broadest sense, yes. That’s exactly what marketing is.

Connect with your Community by Communicating your Content. We prefer, all things being equal, to do business with people we know, like, and trust. How, in this digital marketplace, do we learn to know, like, and trust strangers?

The bakery cannot communicate its smell across the city to connect with bread-lovers in another neighborhood. But our words, imbued with meaning, with the content of our expertise, shared appropriately and clearly, focused on helping our people address whatever issue they face, packaged in a way to be useful, our words can communicate valuable content.

Marketing is that remarkable bridge, weaving together you, your heart, your creation. It weaves these “Cs” of Community, Connection, Communication, and Content into your message and beams it to your people in a way that they can hear it, can take it in, can process it. Suddenly the two-way span back and forth across your bridge is open.

They walk across the bridge to you. You meet them on this bridge constructed out of words that communicate your content and connect with your community.

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Blown Away Blog Challenge 30 of 30 The Peeps Edition

Blown Away 1: Todd
I didn’t even think about winning a contest when I used (some of) the social media tools I’ve gotten more comfortable with over the past month to spread the word about Todd Temaat‘s “Win Your Local Market” contest. He was looking to generate interest in his work and his upcoming training/membership program.

I was speechless when I heard I’d won his incredibly valuable grand prize of two months of his coaching for communicating all things local online. I literally couldn’t even process the news. Thank you Todd. I look forward to participating in your magical process. And, I think it’s sometimes tough for local market-focused people to “get” all that they can actually do with social media. Many are in the beginning stages, and the steps of your contest might have seemed daunting for someone not already somewhere in the stream already.

Blown Away 2 – ??

Can’t even count all the pleasures and friendships that have grown up over the past month from #blog30 community that grew up around the 30 Day blogging challenge. Of course, to start, there’s the incomparable Connie Ragan Green herself, the woman who convened, gathered, and offered the #blog30 group a “home base” throughout. She’s an inspiring, self-made empire builder who wants to help others build lots of other empires!

Then I connected with writing maven Debra Marrs who started the #blog30 challenge. It worked so well that she got so busy with clients that she didn’t finish. Her encouragement out of the starting gate really fueled me in those early days when I didn’t “know” anyone else. (We’d met through Christina Hills’ Web Site Creation Workshop.)

Can’t even say where to begin to thank all the remarkable people I’ve shared the past month with. Some I’ve gotten to know better than others, but each of you is remarkable, as a person, entrepreneur, and a creator. Thank you. I look forward to staying connected and deepening the conversations as we proceed onward. Hope to see some of you on the June #blog30 under the guidance of Dr. Jeannette Cates.

When in Southern California, I know I have a second home with Melanie Kissell and all the love from the Solo Mompreneur crew. Her heart is bigger than the state of California.

When headed to the East coast, to South Carolina, there’s storyteller and businesswoman extraordinaire, Jeanne Kolenda. Jeanne’s stories are alchemical transformations of everyday life to something  more. She’s partnered in biz with Sue White (on Twitter as @WhiteSue )

Greetings to Terrie Wurzbacher in San Antonio, a warm-hearted doc sharing the wisdom from universal laws at getunstuckllc.com.

My new go-to techXpert: @MyWebGal, Deb Augur, in Washington state.

Heather Bestel in Scotland shows us all how to move from mad dash to organised simplicity with great warmth and charm.

New friends, resources, experts, supporters — Many thanks to all who commented, retweeted, posted, and generally spread the great energy as part of the #blog30  including

Martha Giffen, online maven extraordinaire.

Marcia Hoeck, for all things breakthrough for your  business.

Geoff Hoff, writer’s writer w/ a theatrical flair.

Piotr Krzyzek on marketing and social media.

With gratitude to Annette Nack for her part in the 30 Day blog challenge.

Get fit with 50 and Fit founder, Kazi

Meet Vernon Harleston on The High Road

Find all things health with the All-health expert Robert Britt

Get happy with Happiness Guru Evelyn Roberts Brooks

Where to go for innovation ideas? Innovation Expert Steve Sponseller

Thanks to Gwen Tanner who is inspiring me to reshape my offerings in her role as  @ecoursemaster.

Kudos to Helen Raptoplous an energetic proponent of Moving your Business Forward: Action Habits that Matter Most.

Acknowledging Janet Eisenbise from Coach4LifeChange, sharing insights with grace and wisdom.

Oh, my.  Loving apologies for omissions and those I haven’t caught up with this time. Let’s connect in the follow-on #blog30–coming in June and hosted by Dr. Jeannette Cates! And it will use the same twitter #blog30 hashtag! Thanks to everyone for your support!!

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Copywriting: The Case of the Missing Keyword — Blog Challenge Post 26

Copywriting. There. I said it. It’s part of the name of this site. It’s a valuable keyword. But it’s practically invisible, rarely written about here. What gives?

In post 25, defining Write Synergies, I said I’d address the case of this missing keyword—copywriting. I started with Write Synergies, but tacking on a popular keyword seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

On my longer marketing journey from starting this site (and even before) to now, I’ve come to realize that copywriting is a tool. It remains an important tool if you want to connect with your community, your niche market.  Copywriting helps you tell the story of your product or service in a way that connects to your people.  You identify the obstacles and challenges they are facing, then proceed to engage them in a process of understanding and accepting your offer — what will solve the problem or help them overcome the obstacle — the thing that’s most present and painful relating to your topic. (And if you’re like most of my ideal clients, you’ll add lots of value and transformations along the way, what those clients need but didn’t know they could even dream of asking for.)

The old definition of copywriting was “Salesmanship in print.” You’ll still find that traditional kind of copywriting around: hard sell sales letters, fear-based mailings, screen after screen of online letters, flashing buttons and arrows, an urgency that feels false and forced. “Salesmanship” is changing even as the jaded, cynical and info-overloaded world of people out there surfing, texting, tweeting, are finally realizing they are hungry for something else, something different, something more nourishing to both body and soul.

For those of us calling ourselves soul-preneurs, conscious creators, authors, writers, artists, healers, those in conscious business or soft sell marketing or mindful service providers and messengers with a message of change, hope and transformation, we are the ones committed to contributing and serving our communities.  For us, that kind of copywriting doesn’t ring true. Our people are looking for a genuine connection. In the old regime, authenticity and genuine connection are in short supply.  Our people hunger for our authenticity to touch their hearts. We know it, yet all that seems to be available are the old tools.

My writing journey and client interactions have indicated that copywriting, as a tool for outer expression, is best partnered with an inner journey first.  Many of the posts at Write Synergies Copywriting set the stage and make the case for the importance of that inner journey, what I sometimes call your creative or marketing vision quest. In fact, if you’ve followed along the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, you’ve joined me on an inner journey here.

While I’ve said very little about copywriting, it’s not because copywriting is not important. Rather, it’s because for those of us who bring the fire and passion of service and contribution and leadership to our work, copywriting, at least in the old sense, is necessary but not sufficient.

Some of my clients don’t even like it that I have copywriting as part of the name of my site. “That sells you short. It doesn’t get close to all you do!” they cry. But it is a piece of what I do. Crazy as it sounds, the big vision at WriteSynergiesCopywriting is to literally redefine the model and best practices for what copywriting really means. Copywriting, by the way, is but one of the many pieces of magic I do with words. The point I emphasize to all my clients is the crucial role that the inner journey plays, even in a seemingly straightforward process like copywriting.

Part of the magic, in doing this inner Write Synergies work with clients (and before getting to the copywriting per se) is that we excavate each client’s inner voice. We uncover the vision at the heart of her purpose, why she is here, why she is called to share her message.  We tap into the deepest level of authenticity that he is willing and able to bring to forth at the present moment. Who knows? Maybe in the next iteration, we will go deeper.

Copywriting is a tool, a powerful tool. During its heyday in the 20th Century, it convinced us we needed things that we didn’t even know we needed.  (Maybe, as it turns out, we really didn’t need them…) Now in this paradigm-changing moment, we reshape the old tools to the new world. We reconfigure the tools to serve the highest purpose that we can manifest in our work and creations. The new reforged tools are malleable partners with you (more synergies magic!) to communicate the highest message, the conscious and mindful path that your project, venture or creation offers to your tribe. We are in the midst of a transformative and visionary moment. I urge you to reforge the tools at hand using the heat and fire drawn from your inner journey first.

There are plenty of practical tools and many great teachers. I was inspired to write about my own “missing keyword” when I read this post by my colleague Connie Ragan Green, the brilliant and diligent teacher who convened this 30 day blogging challenge. It seems keywords are a challenge for many of us.

For practical, hands-on insights around keywords for your tribe, check out Connie’s post: http://ebookwritingandmarketingsecrets.com/free-keyword-research-how-to-use-keywords-to-build-your-internet-business/#comment-4427

Hey #blog30: We are sprinting to the finish line. It’s been a blast!

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Embrace Your Vision — Project, Message, People — Blog Challenge Post 23

Embrace the heart and soul of your Vision.

Why would you not? Well, sometimes it’s the very bigness of it. The profound meaning it holds for you goes right into your bones. Or owning that the vision really is yours — it’s  your project, venture, or creation; it’s your message, and it’s all directed to your tribe, community, circle — this is just more than you can take in, especially when you are feeling small, depleted, or lacking in self-esteem or self-confidence. (Or, as my colleague Evelyn Roberts Brooks in the #blog30 challenge pointed out, “Hey I’m feeling fragile today.“)

Sometimes it’s like trying to get your arms around an elephant. It’s impossible. It’s too big. You’ll get trampled. It hurts. A million reasons to not embrace the big vision that unfolds along with the purpose for why you are here.

To embrace the vision, we have to own the bigness and greatness of ourselves, to stand in owning our gifts and greatness AND the greatness of the project we are here to create.  We have to be strong enough, big enough, flexible and adaptable enough to be able to open our hearts and wrap our arms around the big vision. Hug it. Cherish it. Encircle and enclose it.  Welcome it. Call it forth into the greater whole of our lives. It lives inside as the gift of our expression we are meant to bring out into the world as our service to our people.

It’s important to embrace these three elements that make up the vision, so as not fail it or yourself or your greater purpose.

First, you need to create the thing, the creation –the “art” as Seth Godin would call it in Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?. That is, the business, the painting, the writing, the project, the novel, the web site, the passion for service however it plays out in your world. Your need and desire to create it? Driven by love, a profound love for the project.

Second, you need to be willing to share the creation, to find a way to communicate the essence of what you have created. It’s the message of the creation, the ways that it can transform the lives of the people you have created it for.  This second step is the bridge between what you create and the people it is meant to serve. It means sharing the story of the creation. It means loving the telling of the project’s story.

Third, you have to love the people, your people, the ones who can only hear it from you. Without all three, all powered by love as the bottom line, the vision does not stand strong out in the world. This is all another way of reiterating the importance of embracing these elements as part of your foundation

We have been taught, in every situation, to play small. We’ve been admonished — from the time we were great spirits inhabiting small bodies — not to be “too big fer yer britches.” I officially deem it’s time to bust the seams on those too small britches. You are WAY too big to play small. Your project, creation, and message are far too important to the people you came here to serve, the people who need to hear it from you. Britches be damned.

Go ahead. Hug the elephant.

Post 23 in the 30 day blogging challenge, #blog30 on Twitter.

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Delight Your People — Blog Challenge Post 22

What will it take to bring spine tingling delight to your people, your perfect customers, clients, to your tribe, circle, audience, community, readers, viewers, listeners?

Following this Write Synergies Path, we’ve traversed the inner path of awakening awareness. We’ve added accountability, built momentum (inner and outer) for your foundation, and we’ve talked about creating and implementing.

But who is it all for? And how can you create your vision in such a way that it really resonates down to the tippy toes of your perfect people? People talk about niches, of not trying to serve the whole world. But that often feels, in particular for the heart-full soul-preneurs, visionaries and thought leaders who don’t want to leave anyone behind, that they are being forced into a box that they’ve worked so hard to get out of, the smallness box.

You don’t want to leave anyone behind, and you resist forcing yourself and your message back into a tiny, ill-fitting box.  Reflect back to your own experience working with people. You know there are certain people who are more fun to be with, people with whom it’s hardly “work” at all to serve them, to offer your products.  These are the people who need to “hear it from you,” as Jan Stringer and Alan Hickman like to point out. (You also know in your bones that there are people for whom the whole thing is just an uphill climb. Those may be the clients who need to hear the message from someone else, not you!) The people who can only hear it from you: This is the essence of a niche — your tribe.

There’s something compelling about the basic idea of like-attracts-like, the law of attraction. In the coaching I’ve had with Jan and Alan, co-authors of  BEE-ing Attraction: What Love Has to Do with Business and Marketing , and with their BEEing Attraction work, this like-attracts-like principle leads to a “trick” question. You ask, “What makes my perfect customers/clients tick?”  As it turns out, it’s probably the same thing that makes you tick.

Hmmm. So in essence you are creating your business or program or service that addresses a singular challenge or obstacle that you have somehow successfully dealt with for yourself. The delight comes, on your customers’ side, when they so totally “get it” that you “get them” and their obstacle. They see themselves reflected in the words on your site or that they hear in your teleseminar or in your conversations. They know that you have a deep understanding, not only of the pain of the obstacle, but also the solution to release that pain. That is the beginning of the delight. And there’s more.

More than even the solution to their problem or a way to address their challenge, what they most appreciate is your Presence, loving them and their problem, loving offering the solution, listening for their particular nuances.  Developing Presence in your own way, your authentic content and presentation and voice, creates a dramatic result, a Presence you can share with your customers. By taking the time to develop yourself on this inner path work, you have more to offer the people you are here to serve, and you will be serving them at an even more profound level.

Your Presence — in your words, in your articles, blog posts, videos, audios, in your conversation —  is a source of delight to the people who need to hear it from you. It is the deep listening that you bring to your client interactions. It is the deep understanding and empathy that you have for the challenges they are going through.  It is your authenticity and the love that you bring to heal the pain of the obstacle, problem, or challenge by offering your services and products as solution. And at the foundation of your products and services: It’s you. Your Presence, honed to a crescendo of power to be totally with your clients, meeting them wherever they are on their path.

Delight is a pale imitation of what they will really feel when you, your Presence, is completely in the moment with your clients.

As my mentors, Judith and Jim say, “It’s all in the connection.” Developing your Presence is the path to creating the connections that matter.

Connect with our 30-day blogging challenge on Twitter at #blog30

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Create and Implement

Create and Implement: Sounds simple. And it’s the heart of the matter, isn’t it? If you are a visionary author, writer, messenger, thought leader, or conscious creator with a mission to heal, the idea is to get the work (and its healing results) out there into the world, to start serving the people you came here to serve.

I just read a review for a creativity process book over at Amazon, and there are now comments on the comments. One of those subcomments really struck home. Do these creativity process books help you take action on making your art (whatever it may be)? Or does the process lull you into endless loops of reflecting on the process?

It’s a fine line, I think. Because the inner journey, as discussed in prior posts, is important to building a strong foundation for the outer expression of your work and gifts and greatness in the world. But at a certain  point, it’s time to just do the work, to build the house, write the book, call the clients. How can you use these “process” approaches to launch you into the doing of the actual work (art) you came here to do (make) — and not as an excuse for endless procrastination and preparation?

Note to self: Is this a potential danger of the Write Synergies Path work that I am creating? How may I structure this “process” so it’s more about moving my people forward with doing whatever is the important work/art/creation/venture?  How do I prevent myself and others from falling into the thrall of something completely impractical and tail-chasing as an excuse to avoid the work of creating?  How can I make sure there is practical traction?

My personal challenge IS in doing my “own work,” whatever that may look like. It looked for a time like poetry. And for time it looked a lot like collage/assemblage. Then photography. Now it seems to want to shape itself into a book. Or several. And collaborating with visionary thought leader clients to support and mentor them in creating their most important writing projects.

This post, “create and implement,” is really all about encouraging you in the doing of your work. To do full justice to “create and implement,” it really calls for more detail than a  single blog post here.

You ask, “Do I just start creating?”  Yes. Sometimes you just start. Sometimes, instead, the creation “starts” you–its call is so persistent that it seeps out of your pores and your pen or across the keyboard without your even being full aware of it. This is the luscious process of what I call “divine dictation.” Something comes out, flows out the pen and onto the page.  I know I wrote it, but I don’t have a clue where it came from. These are the moments of the gift. It’s important to grab the gift moments, treasure them, and build on them. They are the gold.

Then there are the other moments, when the engine is cold and it’s tough to start. These are the times when the “Just do it,” motto comes in handy. Times that call for the admonishment to be willing to write what Anne Lamott calls, the “shitty first draft.” Get something out there. Pen to paper even when you don’t really “feel like it.” (And here, a perfect time for acknowledging the gift of the 30 day blog challenge, to get stuff done and out in spite of resistance, procrastination. So thanks #blog30 community!)

Remember: It’s a stronger house with a foundation, and it’s a stronger creation when it has the grounding and foundation of having done the inner work first, tapping into the vision and building on your authenticity, gifts, and greatness.

Be grateful for the gifts and moments of golden flow. But keep on writing (creating) anyway, even if you feel like you are plugging along up a steep incline. Think of the view when you get to the top. Just make sure you are climbing the right mountain!

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Content Plus Community Blog Challenge Post 15

In Connie Ragan Green’s 30-day blog challenge, the level of commitment, knowledge, and overall good vibes of all the participants  is simply stunning. So much so that I have created a new category of links on my sidebar. Check out the “Tips from my Colleagues” on the sidebar. You’ll find links to specific articles overflowing with insights and practical tools and tips. It’s an ongoing project, so check back regularly.

To connect with me on Twitter:

@bobbyemiddendor

From the river of Tweets earlier this week, I came across this message from @iandavidchapman who retweeted from @problogger 140 Characters and the Swing to Longer Form Content
My take on the conversation: Community+Content=Twitter&FB+blog.  The basis for an online business is community plus content. And yes, content may also include products, either our own or affiliates, and ideally both. Actually community plus content isn’t a bad model for non-virtual businesses as well: The “content” is your expertise about the products and services offered.

Darren Rowse @problogger concluded his post saying, “Short Form content is powerful in driving traffic to and building conversation and community around your longer form content.”

The community of us gathered in response to Connie’s 30-day blogging challenge is seeing this principle at work. The challenge is not only about creating 30 days of content, but also about getting in the habit of creating content. What I’ve observed after sporadically posting on my blog for just over a year: It’s deflating to just whistle into the void. And that is the amazing piece of this blogging challenge, because the third part of it is stepping into a flow of making connections, which we are doing via Twitter and also via Facebook and the Facebook Networked Blogs application.

There are just an amazing number of ways and places to connect, so it’s a challenge to keep all the pieces straight. And it’s so delicious to connect into a conversation with real people who are doing high-integrity work online, learning and supporting each other in the 30 day blog challenge. There’s great diversity of expertise, yet each colleague speaks with authenticity and authority. Check it out on Twitter at #blog30.

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