Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Jessica Swanson 50-Day Blog Post Challenge

Over the past few days, I've shared with you a couple of the challenges that have been keeping me from being as active as I'd like to be on continuing to develop Resume Writers' Digest. It's not a matter of interest or passion (I've got those in spades for the careers industry), but rather a lack of focus, priorities, and time. (But even that's just an excuse. I can make the time if I make it a priority, if I just focus on what I want!!)

2011 marks the 15th year of the business I own with my husband, Image Building Communications. Jon and I started the business while we were still seniors in college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I can tell you, however, that the idea that we had for our business in 1996 is a far cry from what we ended up doing over the past 15 years. (We thought we'd be providing marketing and public relations support for the SOHO market. Remember SOHO? Small Office Home Office? No one even uses that term anymore. What we found out, pretty quickly, is that SOHO clients didn't have the money to pay someone to help them with their hands-on marketing. They were doing it themselves, or not doing it at all. I did find that writing resumes was a legitimate business opportunity.)

I didn't consciously think about a plan for revitalizing my business this year. In fact, I had actually forgotten it was our 15th year, until Jon mentioned it on Facebook earlier this week.

I have two sayings that I use all the time: "There's only one of me" (usually, when I get my 50th demand for a pressing issue in a particular day), and something along the lines of "I need to focus on growing our business, not everyone else's." (It's like the resume writer who helps her clients get a $100,000 job with a $150 resume and then gets resentful.) You're not going to be able to stay in business if you can't/won't/don't charge what you need to make money doing it. As far as I know, there aren't any resume writers who work from grants and donations!! (You're not a charity; stop acting like it!)

Anyway, I digress.

I've spent the month of January focused on a theme: LEARNING. Taking the time to sign up for free (and paid) teleseminars and webinars on topics that are going to help me move forward. It's given me lots of ideas and inspiration. And 4-5 notebooks full of great stuff.

But so far, I'm still having trouble moving forward.

I have two main challenges:

1) I need to find a resume writer that I can work with who can handle the resume writing clients that come my way. At this particular time in my life, I'm not interested in taking on new resume clients, or working on resume updates/rewrites for past clients. But because I've been writing resumes for 15 years, I get calls all the time. I keep saying yes, but it's not what I want to be doing right now. (And I keep thinking that I just need to send out an email to my subscriber list and see if someone is interested in working with these folks, in exchange for a small referral fee for me...)

2) I need to make working on Resume Writers' Digest a priority. Getting the newsletter out. Lining up advertisers and joint venture partners and affiliates. Researching and developing content that will be new special reports. Heck, going to a conference again (it's been too long). Speaking at a conference again (it's been way too long). But I keep getting distracted by other interesting projects (mainly, outside clients that want my help in growing their business or improving their social media presence) -- but they're not leading me where I want to go. I need my subscribers and blog readers to tell me that they need me to do this ... to let me know that if I "build it" they will "come" (consume the content, buy the special products!)... Ironically, I get a handful of these emails each time I publish an issue of the newsletter... but I haven't published an issue in a while ...

The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So I'm going to start with my February theme. The theme for February is WRITING.

I came across a great Facebook note by Jessica Swanson, Shoestring Marketing expert. In it, she outlines 50 blog topic ideas for small business owners. Along the lines of the Julie/Julia Project (without the F-bombs) or a little more like The Happiness Project (highly recommend the book, by the way). This one is going to be shorter. I can't commit to a yearlong project at this point ... that's why I'm taking it a month at a time (January = Learning; February = Writing; March ??).

I'm starting what I'm calling "The Jessica Swanson 50-Day Blog Post Challenge" -- starting Feb. 1, I'm going to take one of Jessica's 50 suggestions and turn it into a blog post. From what I've seen already, some of them are going to be easy. Some are going to be hard and require me to learn some new skills (posting a video or screencast? I've thought about those, but never done it before).

So, starting Tuesday, you're going to see posts that will be labelled as part of "The Jessica Swanson 50-Day Blog Post Challenge." I'm not taking them in order (mainly because #6 is that video/screencast idea). We'll see what I'm able to come up with... stay tuned!

Here's the links:
Day 2: Biased "Resume Writer" Evaluation Websites

1 comment:

  1. This kind of blog which is informative and up-to-date is what I really like to have for. I've been planning of creating my own blog but I feel like I am experiencing a writer's block. :( I know I can surpass this as long that my gathered topics are worthy kind.