Finding your voice, building your platform and learning all the different aspects of blogging is challenging work. Feedback and encouragement are valid needs as we craft a vision and carve out our niche. You may not be getting that feedback from your readers yet–what you need is a mastermind group!
“But mastermind groups are for bigger, professional bloggers!” Yeah? How do you think they got there? Ask any successful blogger and they will probably name 5 or 6 close, online relationships that supported and encouraged them back when they were small. A small group of like-minded bloggers can give us the support and companionship that will enable us to thrive and enjoy this adventure.
“A Mastermind Group has given me a place where I’m comfortable bouncing off even ‘wild ideas’ and knowing I’ll get good, honest feed back and encouragement. I’ve made new friends who understand and support me in my need to write and my desire to do it well and that is a beautiful thing.” –Chantel
Starting Your Own Mastermind Group
Begin with identifying some of your close online friends who share similar goals as yourself. They need not be bigger or more savvy than yourself—you will all grow together in the fertile ground of accountability and the combined talents of the group. Share your vision for creating a mastermind group, and invite them to each invite a few more friends. This should give you the variety essential to a productive team–but keep it small (12-15 people max.). The power of these groups is in the closeness of everyone knowing each other well – it’s not just a discussion board.
“Anyone can think – but only in a group of more than one, can ideas be processed and refined…a mastermind group is the same feel as a Bible study–but for blogging.”- Katie
Next, choose a place to gather. My team uses a private Facebook group for discussions and sharing links. If your friends are within driving distance, you could get together in person on a monthly basis. Conference calls, Skype-ing, or group email are great ways to share and connect. On our Facebook page we’ve created documents containing all the team member’s contact info so we can email, snail mail, or call each other with questions or encouragement.
Let the fun begin!
Once you have your group, you can begin enjoy the benefits–it’s like having your own cheerleading team and board of directors for your blog! Use the group to bounce ideas around, challenge growth, share what you’ve learned, and post all those great techy links that your blog readers or Facebook friends just don’t get. ☺
- Introduce a topic of discussion each week, like ‘Using Twitter’, ‘Creating a Media Kit’, and ‘Comment Policies’
- Trade services and share skills
- Critique each other’s writing, blog, or guest post submissions
- Support team members by liking their Facebook page, retweeting them, and promoting their projects.
“As I start to recreate my blog to bring in readers for my upcoming book, I am excited to know that I have a wealth of information, help, and support from the women in my mastermind group! Blogging seems less overwhelming now that there is someone coming alongside me in the journey.” –Ginger
The Benefits of a Team
Many of us are intimidated by the many aspects of blogging and social media. In a group with various talents we can learn from and help each other grow. My friend Natasha says, “it’s just like another body of believers, one where each member has their own niche and everyone brings something of value to the table.” Jessica has enjoyed the transition from trying to figure it all out on her own to being part of a team that continually inspire and push her to new heights. Surrounding yourself with a close group of like minded, intentional bloggers can help you gain vision and make steady progress toward your blogging goals.
We know we can’t do this blogging thing alone, but often we small bloggers fight the feelings of insecurity and isolation by trying to elbow our way into the ‘in crowd’. We spend time and tweets, energy and stress trying to get noticed. But this energy is often wasted and our impact is weakened trying to ‘fit in’. Success will come from pursuing excellence, not acceptance. (<-Tweet This!) I challenge you to build a team where you’re at and then together grow toward excellence.
- Read Amy‘s Post “Why You Should Be Part of a Mastermind Group”
- Create a private Facebook group (be sure to choose the setting for a Secret Group-so only members can see who belongs and what’s posted)
- Invite 2 or 3 intentional bloggers you already have a personal connection with, and ask them to invite a few more.
- Once you have a team, begin to get to know each other and seek how you can support your new team members.
Many thanks to the ‘Ladder Blogger’ gals–my mastermind group: Kateri, Chantel, Diane, Ginger, Katie, Cynthia, Jessica, Kristina, Mandy, Natasha, Gretchen, Rachel, and September. Thanks for the quotes for this post and all your support–I couldn’t do this without you!