there is power in the female conversation

while we make the transition from Utah to Arizona, i have some wonderful guest bloggers lined up to fill in on the blog. i hope you enjoy their awesome posts and show them all the love & respect they deserve!

this post by Rachel from Chasing Kite Tails brought tears to my eyes.
first, she was way way too kind and i was just blown away by that.
but second, she humbled me so much, reminded me why i started blogging in the first place.

as life has gotten busy, the move has taken up most of the empty spaces in my brain, and everything seems to be changing around me, i have noticed a shift in how i used to blog.
maybe you have noticed it too.
maybe it’s not a good shift.
and maybe it’s even turned people away.

while i’m taking this break to move, i’m also glad to take some time to remember what i really want for my blog, what big dreams i had in the beginning when i started a year ago.
Rachel’s post help reiterate to me that this beautiful blogging community has so much good, positive power in it if we learn how to reach out to others and connect with one another.
i am so so grateful for her sweet, yet powerful reminder of what this whole thing is about.
i hope you all feel as inspired as i did and helps you in your own blogging endeavors!
[and really your life in general :)]

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Rae Flower Picture (1) 

I am sitting at an empty table in a room full of 650 women. Everyone has stood up to leave, lunch is over and it is time to move onto our next workshop. But I cannot move. Instead of rising to my feet, I sit still at my empty table, looking at all of the half-full and half-empty glasses of sweet tea (this is my first time in North Carolina; I'm a New York girl, I'm used to drinking water with lunch, not sweet tea!).

There are about 8 glasses left on the table. But it's not just glasses that I see left over. It's impressions of fingerprints on the glasses that I see left over. And that catches my attention.

You see, all of us women came here with dreams and passions and desires. And with those dreams and passions came blogs and books and women with hopes of speaking. We are all women with a mission to get out our "message." And so, to effectively get our message out and into the world, we all came here to this She Speaks Conference to learn how to grow our platforms and fine tune our blogs. We came to learn how to gain readers and how to get our "messages" clear and concise with tips from editors, professional marketers, design teams...but in the midst of all of this learning about growing and maximizing...I came to the realization that I have been going about the growth of my blog with the wrong motives and the wrong means.

Lysa Terkeurst, one of the speakers here at this She Speaks Conference, was speaking on the topic of maximizing blogging and speaker platforms. Yet in the midst of all of her (VERY) practical and AMAZING advice and insight, she said this one thing that just convicted the little old Blogger heart right out of me. 

"There is power in the female conversation," she said, teaching us about the importance of straying away from bombarding our readers (and fellow bloggers) with advertisements and self-promotion. Instead, she emphasized the importance of relationship between women. Actual conversation taking place between blogger + blogger and blogger + reader; the swapping and sharing of testimonies. Chatting about how a blog (or book, or song, or sermon, or Jesus!) changed your life and why and how it reached so deep into your heart. Rather than obsessing with just collecting blogs and people and organizations as potential people who will help market your blog (message...business...etc...) and help boost your platform, we should be cultivating friendships. Stories. Actual, real-life relationships.

Right then and there. I realized, I had been going about growing my blog, in such a gratifying, convenient...and sometimes very impersonal way.

One of the things that I love about Megan is this:  s h e  c a r e s.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Megan entailing what my sponsorship with her would look like. It was factual, informative and told me everything I would need to know - and anything that I needed to do, as one being sponsored by her.

I was excited. Filled with glee, anticipation. I was eager to see how my blog would grow from her sponsorship. Eager to see how this ad would help boost my stats and numbers. But all of this eagerness waned in comparison to the one other thing (which actually was the VERY first thing) that Megan had included in her email.

She said: "First, if you are a new sponsor and we haven't had the chance to email before, I would love to get to know you better!...I would love to be able to get to know you on a more personal, not so business-y level!"

She is the only one who I've sought sponsorship with who has ever done or said this.

It is only just now that I am able to piece together Megan's email with the lessons that I have been learning at this conference.

It shouldn't be about the promotion, it should be about the people.

The relationships. The sisterhood.

Yes, there is power in platform. There is reach, there is growth. There is profit, maybe even financially.

But power, in female conversation. In relationship. In sharing and telling and unfolding and unraveling stories. Engaging with one another.

There is power in that, too. Not only does that have the power to bring more people to your message. But - in and of itself, it's the power of change. Long lasting life, change.

Visit someone's blog today. One that you've neglected to comment or care for. Read something, strike up a conversation and tell the author (blogger, writer) that you appreciate them and that you appreciate their story. Show them they are not just a number, but that they are a person. A relationship that you value...and care for.

In our individual blogs and businesses and endeavors...may it be about the people and not about the platform or promotion or popularity.

7 comments:

Amanda Schroeder said...

Jeez. You couldn't have said it better.

THANK YOU for sharing this.

we & serendipity

Rae Marie said...

Love you Megan :) Thanks for the kind works and the sweet chance to feature on your awesome blog :)

Stacey said...

To Rachel- Thank you for sharing this with us! I'm a newbie blogger, and I so appreciate this perspective. It's so applicable to not only blogging, but everyday real life too. I'm looking forward to checking out your blog!

To Megan- I have been thinking of you so often as I know you are in the midst of your move and lots of changes! No matter if or how your blog changes, it's important to remain true to YOU. After all, I can truly say that your honest and caring heart is what attracted me as a follower of your blog in the first place! Building a friendship with you is such a wonderful "bonus" for me!

Pamela said...
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Pamela said...

To Megan: i just found your blog and I have to say, I absolutely LOVE it. I am your newest follower now :) Im LDS too!:) I am so excited to have found your blog, you totally seem like someone id hang out with! :) hope your move is going well!!

To Rachel-I can't agree with your post more. I was thinking lately how much I'd love to get to know more bloggers on a more personal level, rather than the comments I sometimes get of "visit my blog" and that's it.
It's one of the reasons I love blogging: to read others thoughts and adventures and see if theyre going through what I'm going through too. I especially love finding a blog & connecting with the person & catching up on entries! It's wonderful to actually get into a conversation and to get to know someone! So thank you...you couldn't have said it better!

Brittany T. said...

rachel, what a beautiful and spot on truth of a post!! I too, have been emphasizing the relationship/connection/sisterhood with my readers & sponsors..while yes they are/there are sponsors, i think of them as friends and in process of getting to know ea other better. I love that, "there is power in the female conversation!"

and i love megan and her blog as well..

Ashley said...

This post seriously came right on the heels of me saying to another blogger that I am a tad bit jealous of some of the real, genuine friendships that she has formed through blogging. I am a social person by nature and love forming new relationships, which is why I like blogging so much. But.... I think we sometimes forget to place importance on those relationships and focus on the numbers sometimes. :( I know I have been guilty of that and it's not what I strive to do or be. Thanks for the reminders. :)