Creating content for your website or blog is a never-ending challenge. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of interviews with other experts in your industry, or even performing Q&A sessions with your audience of readers. This is something BloggingTips.com has been doing for a while now, with their Meet the Bloggers series.
Thanks to the power of WordPress commenting and social media, it wouldn’t be hard to set up something similar for your own brand or blog.
Website content and question-and-answer sessions go together like peanut butter and jelly or salt and pepper. In fact, anyone who has ever attended a presentation or keynote speech would likely be caught off guard by the absence of a designated Q & A session. It seems intuitive: Deliver information then make sure nothing slipped through the cracks and expound on the most noteworthy points.
But not all Q & A lessons and collaborations are created equally. For example, take a look at how many websites will interview just one expert, while others will create expert roundups. It’s much easier to create individual interview posts, but in the long run, you will likely see more benefit and promotion from a roundup with 50+ experts included in one post. When executed well, this time provides audience members to interact with speakers in a meaningful way—clarifying burning questions, circling back to important concepts and making important conceptual connections. But when Q & A session go poorly, they tend to be nothing more than a waste of time for everyone involved.
Facilitating an effective question-and-answer session is a matter of planning, reacting well at the moment and having the right tools to make it all happen. Here are a few guidelines for capping off a presentation with successful audience interaction.
Anticipate Certain Queries
Some questions will inevitably seem to come out of left field. But many submissions will be at least somewhat predictable ahead of time, at least in the subject matter. Thus, it pays to make sure your speakers are prepared to answer these important inquiries without skipping a beat.
As Toastmasters notes, “How you handle questions determines how the audience feels about everything that preceded it. They recognize it for what it is—it’s the prism through which they evaluate your performance, your message, your competence, your credibility, and the success of the entire meeting.”
Fumbling the answer to a key question bodes badly for the session in general, interrupting the flow and challenging the speaker’s authority. Part of pulling off a successful Q & A session is ensuring each speaker knows their subject matter inside and out. Then they can predict what their audience may ask and brush up on the relevant information they need to develop exemplary answers.
Allow for Anonymous Submissions
Allowing anonymous audience submissions encourages people to ask the Q and A questions on their minds. A real-time audience response system, for example, allows people to submit questions—anonymously or with a name attached—using their mobile devices rather than the old-school method of passing around the microphone. This approach has several benefits.
- People can ask their questions without the social pressure of speaking in front of a group.
- Anonymity promotes honesty because participants don’t have to worry about blowback for their candidness.
- Audience members can upvote questions as if to say they “second” them, which allows the most pressing inquiries to rise to the top.
Chances are, if one audience member has a question, someone else does, too. Using anonymity as a vehicle for honesty serves to truly open the discussion. This sense of clarify means everyone can walk away from the session feeling they got the maximum benefit.
Answer the Question at Hand
This tip seems basic. But speakers often inadvertently talk around questions—answering something, but not necessarily the actual query at hand. This tends to leave audience members either confused or dissatisfied. Avoid talking around a question; the audience will quickly see through this tactic. The speaker should also make sure they fully understand the question before launching into an answer. Good listening skills will come in handy here because interpreting the question is just as important as responding. Speakers can always ask for clarification as needed so they can avoid wasting time or going off on a tangent.
With ample preparation and the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to facilitating an effective question-and-answer session for any audience.
1 of My Secrets to Being Kinda Prolific
I have written hundreds of guest posts for this blog.
I have written about 1000 on Blogging From Paradise between posts and travel pages.
A few moments ago I checked my DA for a sponsored post opportunity. The business owner wanted to know blog domain authority before deciding to place a sponsored post on the blog.
Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 48 and 22,457 external links in.
Not super shabby.
I am kinda prolific.
If you want to publish helpful content frequently, just run with my most basic of tips.
Do not wait around for folks to read your content, comment on your content and share your content before writing your next blog post or guest post.
Do not wait to create.
Do Not Wait to Create
The old me – and most bloggers – became highly attached to any single piece of content I created because I feared the content would not register enough shares, comments, page views and sales. Fear drove me to share this piece of content in many places to boost my stats. All well and good but because fear drove me, I resisted my prolific nature, allowing worry and lack to goad me to do stuff that led to me being the farthest thing from prolific.
Eventually, I observed how bloggers who seemed to be in 10,000,000 places at once simply prolifically created a high volume of helpful blog posts, guest posts and videos. Success found these folks because they did not wait around for readers to check out their blog posts. Said bloggers moved on to writing and publishing their next blog post.
Acting abundantly – not allowing their fears to eat into their prolific nature – promoted these blogger’s success as they created generously, publishing a high volume of content across multiple platforms.
I finally learned of this secret and used it effectively when I chose NOT to wait to create.
Now I publish 3 posts daily on Blogging From Paradise. I also publish the odd guest post from time to time. My success accelerated and my online presence expanded when I decided not to get attached much at all to any one blog post, because the next blog post called me.
No sense waiting around for folks to read my stuff because they simply will read at their own leisure. My job is to keep creating helpful content to help readers build successful blogs. As I move in this direction, everything keeps expanding for me.
All because I chose not to wait to create.
Being Prolific Impacts Folks
Peep this tweet from my friend Corey Hinde of The Good Oil Marketing:
awesome!! Congrats Ryan – one of the hardest working bloggers on the planet you are!!
— CoreyHinde-GoodOil (@thecorsta) July 16, 2018
I am humbled by such kind words from an established, super successful internet marketer. This is pretty much what happens when you are prolific; you impact folks in a positive way, and you also expand your reach and help more folks, all because you refuse to hold back.
Tips to Be Prolific
- Blog mainly for the fun of blogging
- Nudge yourself out of your comfort zone daily
- Surround yourself with prolific bloggers to feast on their creative energy
- Do not wait to create
- Beware getting attached to any one piece of content; promote posts freely across a wide range of channels but look toward the next blog post, guest post or video to create, in order to become incredibly prolific.
Guys; this journey gets a little uncomfortable at times but if you love fun and freedom more than you fear doing some uncomfortable things you will become a highly prolific blogger.
How to Get Your Blogging Mojo Going if You Feel Hopelessly Stuck
I lose blogging momentum sometimes.
You may be in the same boat, being human and all.
But if you regularly find yourself saying “I need to get serious about building my blog” over the course of years it is time to own this fact: you need to get your blogging mojo going before you become permanently stuck in a blogging rut.
I was rut-stuck here and there for many years, on and off. Maybe I didn’t quit blogging totally but I’d start blogging, then stop, and continue this process for weeks on end. Not good.
You can find your blogging mojo and get unstuck by following these blogging tips.
1: Pick a Dream that Makes You Feel Alive
I am led by my dreams, not pushed by problems, because I picked a big old dream a while back. I wanted to circle the globe. Bingo!
Since I wanted to travel the world more than I feared doing uncomfortable, blogging-building things, I built a rocking blog and kept on moving, keeping my blogging mojo going.
What is your dream? Figure it out. Hold it tight.
If you need inspiration watch my video from New Zealand. I filmed this one at Mount Cook a few months ago.
2: Feel Fears Fueling Your Struggles
Some folks believe they lack motivation to blog. Others feel they are lazy. But at the end of the day, if you are not acting, you are afraid of something or someone.
Laziness is fear manifest. So find your fears, by shutting a door and sitting in a quiet room, and if you feel the deep fears you purge the energies and proceed from an inspired, loving, persistent, energized space.
I kept putting off writing an eBook for many years. Turns out I was not lazy; I just feared nobody would buy the eBook because I saw myself as a loser who knew little. I also feared people would criticize me. But I went forward and wrote my first eBook to get out of my fear-rut and to keep on moving.
Some of my eBooks do not sell as much as others and people sometimes post negative reviews of my eBooks but since I do not fear these outcomes, neither have any power over me. I just keep expanding my success, helping folks and befriending blogging pros because I move forward, unburdened by many blogging fears I faced, embraced and released.
3: Study Persistently Energized Bloggers
I am no Tony Robbins but blog persistently from an energized space.
Each day I:
- do 1 hour of deep yin yoga
- exercise for 1 hour
- usually take an icy cold shower
- focus on having fun with my blog versus attaching to money or traffic outcomes
I have written thousands of guest posts, over 10,000 blog posts (old and new blogs combined) and I have also written over 100 eBooks. Toss in the thousands of videos I created over many YouTube channels (since closed) and you see I am a pretty prolific dude. An energized, prolific dude at that.
You’d be wise to see how I go about my energy ritual daily to take a few pointers. Consider deep yin yoga to open up your body, to open your mind and to form the habit of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Maybe meditating daily opens your awareness. Exercise is definitely a must, every single day.
Circulating your energy freely moves you from being fear-based, lazy and sluggish to being love-based, energized and prolific. I was once pretty dang lazy before I dove deep into energy work.
Wrapping it Up
Keep at it guys. I know this blogging journey feels scary sometimes but if you grab the right blogging resources and follow the above tips you will avoid common blogging ruts that appear to cripple most bloggers.
1 Clever Way to Find Blogs for Reading and Commenting
Have you missed me?
I dove full bore into promoting my eBook through blog commenting a number of months back. Toss in a prolific blogging campaign over at Blogging From Paradise and some serious video creation and you see I am a busy bee.
A few days ago I uncovered an incredibly neat and pretty clever way to drive traffic to your blog through blog commenting, via a neat method of finding new blogs for your collection.
Do you feel stagnant, blog-reading-wise?
I did. For a minute.
Turns out I dug deep into my blogging comfort zone for too many years, reading and commenting on the same blogs week after week, month after month.
If you know anything about successful blogging you likely know that all blogging growth occurs well outside of your comfort zone. So I had to venture out of the familiar by finding new blogs in both the blogging and travel blogging niches because my readers gravitate to both.
Enter a cool method for identifying new blogs for reading and commenting.
Google Image Search
The other day a neat little idea knocked on my mind’s door; why not use a Google image search to find blogs in my niches?
5 minutes later I literally had an unlimited number of blogs for enjoying, commenting and for connecting with fellow bloggers.
The method is simple. Google a competitive keyword in your niche. Example; I Googled “blogging” to start my search.
I then clicked on the “image” link by the top of the page. A series of images popped up related to that keyword.
Some images link to business sites but for the “blogging” keyword, most images linked to well-read, reputable blogs. Perfect.
Blog by blog, I slowly worked through each image, clinking on the blog post URL related to each picture. After reading each post I published a personalized comment and retweeted every blog post, adding the #blogging hashtag for increased targeting on Twitter.
Why this Strategy Is So Powerful
I – like you – have run into stagnant blogging circles on social media and through forums. Even if new bloggers join sites like Facebook and G Plus daily you cannot access and unlimited number of new blogs on a daily basis through either channel once you become an established blogger.
This is not the case with a Google Image search because the sheer volume of new blogs – for competitive keywords – yielded through such a search boggles the mind. Even better? Ranking high for an image search usually indicates a high quality blog for reading, for commenting and for building friendships with top shelf bloggers.
Some of these blogs linked to images are low quality offerings. Resist the urge to grab and scarf down rotten blogging low hanging fruit. Stick to quality blogs.
Some images point to business sites. I found this to be especially true when Googling major cities and islands around the world to find new travel bloggers. A high volume of images found during a search linked to tour operator sites. Sifting through tour sites or local chamber of commerce sites to find legit travel blogs requires a significant amount of time and energy.
Spending the time and energy to find new blogs is worth the effort but if you find some keyword image searches seem dominated by business sites – not blogs – feel free to try another keyword that may be linked to predominantly blogs for an image search on Google.
I only dove into this traffic driving strategy a few weeks ago but I noted new bloggers finding me daily through this approach.
If you are stagnating in familiar blogging circles commit 100% to this Google image search method. Reach out to new bloggers, build brand awareness and drive traffic through an easy to follow tactic.
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