‘Inspirational’ is a word that is often used, and I heard it quite a bit at ProBlogger 2016. I used it myself in my previous post on the 1 thing from ProBlogger that inspired me the most. However some of the speakers talked about moving beyond inspiring people to influencing them. It’s great to feel inspired. But it’s more important to follow through and take action, as I know readers have done as a result of something they read on my blog.
In a recent post I spoke about supporting rural Australia by shopping there when visiting. Because I was planning on making my own washing liquid, borax was amongst the odd assortment of items that I bought whilst in Goondiwindi. After reading this post, my cousin’s wife contacted me for the recipe. But rather than just having good intentions, she immediately made the washing liquid and shared the photos on FB. The daughter of another cousin told me that she started her first vegie patch after reading about my summer harvest. And an old friend left a comment saying how much she enjoyed one of my pumpkin soups. Ros, Penny, and Gabriella were all inspired but more importantly influenced to act.
So the first thing that got me thinking is:
I suspect that the answer lies somewhere at the intersection between the appeal of my ideas & the ‘why’ behind them, and the motivation and personal qualities of the reader.
The other thing I have been thinking about is my use of social media. Actually, lack of use is more accurate. Whole sessions at ProBlogger focused on maximising your blog’s exposure, increasing influence, and self-promotion through being active on a wide range of social media platforms. I avoided all of these.
I’m staggered and perhaps a bit mystified by the amount of time people spend looking at and doing things on their phones and computers. I even noticed it at ProBlogger. It seemed difficult for some people to simply listen and take notes. I saw constant swiping, scrolling, tapping, & checking. Perhaps many were tweeting about the event, or posting photos of the beautifully presented morning teas on Instagram and FB. But not me. As is evident to my readers, I don’t have a FB page dedicated to my blog, nor do I tweet about what I am doing, post photos on snapchat and instagram, do podcasts or have content on you tube.
So here’s the second thing that got me thinking, and it is closely related to the first:
It’s perhaps helpful to consider my current position on social media from 3 different perspectives: mine, that of the reader, and in the context of the purpose of my blog.
From my perspective, the more time I spend communicating via a range of social media platforms the less time I have to grow, make, and bake things. The less I do these things the fewer ideas I have to share and the less there is to write about on my blog. This defeats the purpose of having the blog!
Thinking about it from the perspective of the reader, do you want a range of additional platforms on which to ‘follow’ me? Would it influence you to take action? Or would it just add to the information overload that many report feeling?
And finally it seems to me that spending time on the maintenance of multiple social media platforms, and then expecting my readers to follow, re-post, re-tweet etc, is not aligned with the purpose of my blog. People can admire a photo of a delicious looking soup on FB, instagram and snapchat, and tweet about it. (Can you even tweet a photo? I’m ignorant of such things!) But I would rather they plant a pumpkin seed, watch it grow, go out in the garden and pick it, then make the soup. Or buy a basil plant, and make their own pesto rather than using a store-bought one.
For now at least, I’ll hold my position regarding social media. I hope that you continue to be inspired by some of my ideas and actions, and that you will connect with the ‘why’. And I will issue the following challenge. As a result of reading my blog, what will you commit to doing? Will you plant some seeds, or reduce your food waste, perhaps knit a dishcloth, or make most of your meals from scratch?
I’d love to hear what you have been influenced to do, and what you think led you to taking action.
Up next on the blog: 3 Things I was influenced by ProBlogger 2016 to do.