Last night The Port Mahon in East Oxford was buzzing! Why? Well because the Fe-line Women of Oxford got together for Word of Mouth, that is why!! We were very lucky to be joined by Hero Brown, who writes the blog Muddy Stilettos. Hero came to tell us all about the blogging adventure she has been on for the last year.
Hero took to the floor and told us that she wasn’t much of a public speaker, this was very self effacing. Personally I thought she was a natural, she spoke from the heart, she was funny, warm and even did impressions. I have to say that I throughly enjoyed her French accent.
It is so impressive what she has done with Muddy Stilettos in just over a year, 30,000 hits a month. But she kept her talk very real and shared with us her achievements, her fears, her failures and her hopes and dreams. I am not going to go into the details of Hero’s blog, as you can read it for yourself here, what I want to share with you are the best parts of her talk and some of the advice she gave the group.
The first thing that I loved about Hero’s talk was when she described how she felt when she found blogging and started Muddy Stilettos: “I felt like running down the beach with no clothes on.” I thought this was a great way to describe that moment when you realise that you are doing what you should be doing or a Eureka moment as Hero put it.
This leads on nicely to her next funny anecdote about when her husband gave her a much needed “kick up the butt.” He really pushed Hero to turn her blog from ‘lovely creative nice have’ to money making business. This spurred her on to contact potential advertisers and look at what her blog has to offer compared to a local newspaper. A blog has a much more targeted audience and advertisers can track exactly how much traffic they are getting from Hero’s site.
Her next piece of advice was to have a big ambition and a clear idea of what you want to achieve. To do this you might have to be brutal at times but it will be worth it. Hero is proof that if you put your mind to something you can achieve it.
A piece of advice that comes up time and time again from the speakers at Word of Mouth is: be prepared to make mistakes. Hero described how she’d had a really difficult time with her new blog design. But this is all part of running a business, if you spend too long thinking about what might go wrong then you probably will never do it. Things will go wrong, it is how you deal with a problem that is more important. This also links with Hero’s point: Don’t be afraid of trying something different. So basically leave your fears at the door!
Unfortunately non of this comes easily and to make it in the blogging world you really have to put in the milage, as Hero says you have to post regularly. Watching Hero talk about her blog it was really obvious why she is good as what she does, because she loves it and it is her natural state. We all need that Eureka moment, because when you love something it doesn’t feel like a chore to put the milage in.
Another one of the things that Hero said whilst she was speaking was that you have to let your voice come through on your blog. So this is my voice and I wanted to say how unbelievably happy last night made me. The audience was packed with ambitious and courageous women, who are doing amazing things. Looking around the room, I just thought “Wow, what a group of amazing, inspiring people”. And I felt really really proud. Proud that there are so many women out there who are strong, powerful, courageous and ambitious and proud of myself for bringing these women together. I think you might call this a Eureka moment!!
Word of Mouth will be back on Tuesday 26th March, when we will be joined by another inspirational women, Lisa Cherry. As soon as I met Lisa, I knew she was Fe-line, as she writes about other women. Lisa will be telling us about her journey through adversity and how she came out the other side and is now a successful writer, speaker and business woman.
Until next time my lovely Fe-liners,
The life of a blogger, freelancer, business owner is busy. Life is a juggling act and if you Fe-liners are anything like me then you are always striving for more. The creative brain can be a wonderful thing but it also can be your own worst enemy! A friend of mine, Bex, writer of the great blog, Bexceptional, described to be how she feels like an octopus juggling a million things and her friends are all neat little circles. I thought this was the perfect explanation of a creative brain. Ideas, plans and project pouring from every pore like a Octopuses tentacles, unable to neatly wrap them into a circle.
I tried for about 10 years to become a neat little circle and for a little while I had no lose ends at all. But occasional one would come lose and I would quickly push it back in, incase someone saw I was actually an octopus. But as I pushed one back in another would pop out from somewhere else. It was impossible and in the end I had to hold my hands up and say: “My name’s Joanna and I am an octopus!” I have many unneat edges but I am who I am.
But there will always be times, as an octopus, where you find it difficult to control all of your tentacles and there will be moments when you yearn for the circle life. But hold steady because there will be days when all your tentacles are moving and flowing freely and not tangled. These are the days when you will want to yell: “Being an octopus is amazing, I love my life!!!”
This week all my tentacles have felt a little tangled and out of place, and I have felt like retreating a little. But I have found some great solace from the blogosphere, where many octopi live. Three posts have really stood out to me and gave me hope, calm and solace.
Shauna posted on Nubby Twiglet a blog called The one thing I wish someone had told me when I started blogging, in which she made a point that I really needed to read that day: “Eventually, you will get to where you’re trying to go and it doesn’t matter if someone else gets there first. All that matters is that you get there on your own terms.” Hell yeah Shauna!!
Jessica posted on Color Overboard Balancing three life essentials: Time Love Money, her awesome advice, “The truth is, there is no cookie cutter I can give you that will make your life just pop out in a perfect, balanced, delicious treat. I can only tell you to remember who you are.” YES YES YES!!
And Tom, who is actually an old school friend of mind and I have just discovered is a blogger, wrote a great post Our time will come about what to do when motivation dwindles.
Basically I end this week feeling more balanced and holding steady, I will make it by working hard and staying true to my octopus self.
Thank you lovely fellow bloggers for helping me untangle myself!!
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