If you've EVER gotten ANY value from ANYTHING I've ever done, I'd really love it if you would take the time to read this ENTIRE post. It's probably the hardest post I've ever written, but hopefully one of the most liberating ones (and I'm not saying that just to sound good).
I remember when I first started my Biology Blog, I started getting comments relatively quickly. People started asking a bunch of questions and I started feeling like – “Man, this thing is SOOO worth it”. I was helping people with a SERIOUS pain point.
Some people were literally failing and about to give up on their dreams of becoming a doctor (and many other things), but they found my stuff, it helped them, and they were reassured that they could do it.
Can you imagine how that feels?
But then it reached to a point where I was getting sooo many emails and SOOOO many questions that I just couldn't do it anymore. I was spending so much time answering questions that I wasn't getting anymore done.
I was forced to ask the following question: Is it really helpful to spend sooo much time responding to email if the side effect was that my content production decreased SIGNIFICANTLY?
The answer was obvious – a resounding no. So, I did what I knew I had to do. I put my assistant on it 🙂
Ohh mann, let me tell you – that was soo liberating. Not only because it saved me A TON of time, but also because my AWESOME assistant started doing a MUCH better job responding to people than I would, because it was one of the main things she was doing.
The fact was, my responses were getting much shorter and less helpful.
One of the benefits of doing this is that I was able to spend more time working on, and building, Become A Blogger.
Now imagine this – With my biology blog, it's mostly me trying to help the world, and in the last month, the blog has been accessed 57,983 times by 44,835 people.
With Become A Blogger, I get to help YOU, and MANY others like you, so that they can build something like I did and help their own 44,835 people. Can you see how AWESOME that is?
Since I'm a teacher by nature, I personally feel like it doesn't get any better than that. In fact, I think it's based on the exact same concept that Jesus played out in His life. He Focused on his group of 12, while helping MANY others. Then, those 12 went on to Literally change the world.
Now, I'm NOT claiming to be Jesus, but I think He's an EXCELLENT example – moving on 🙂
It has now reached a point at Become A Blogger where the engagement is BLOWING ME AWAY. I love it. No really, I LOVE IT. Just check out the comments on my last post, which had absolutely nothing to do with blogging.
You should see some of the emails I get on a daily basis. It's an amazing thing, and once again – I'm in a place where I truly feel like I'm making a difference in the world and it's exciting.
I LOVE the fact that I'm getting so many emails, many from people pouring out their souls and sharing a part of their journey with me.
I feel blessed, and I REALLY do mean that from the bottom of my heart.
However, this weekend was decision making time. I'm at the point where I feel like my content production is not where it needs to be. I don't feel as if I'm providing enough value to you.
I have SOOO many ideas of ways that I can improve what I'm doing right now to help you more, but SOOO little time to actually work on those ideas. Yep, something has to change.
I'm glad you asked. I shared my concern a few days ago on the Become A Blogger Facebook page a few days ago, and I was overwhelmed with the positive responses. I'll be honest – I wasn't sure what to expect. This is what I posted:
I need to find a better way of dealing with all the emails, comments, engagement and overall GREAT stuff that's happening at Become A Blogger. The only downside is that it's taking SO MUCH TIME. Any suggestions? Should I just stop communicating with people? (JK on that last part. all the rest were serious questions).
Here are a summary of the responses:
- Start sharing some of that responsibility with your Virtual Assistants
- Don't respond to every single message, only the ones that need a response
- Only respond to comments left within the first 2 hours
- People realize you are human, allow yourself honest limits. It's obvious you try to help people.
- Start charging everyone 🙂
What was clear from the responses was that people were giving input because of the fact that they care, and that they genuinely had my best interest in mind. That's such a blessing. For those of you who responded – THANK YOU!
I've actually taken some of your ideas and will be implementing some of them in the changes I'm making (and don't worry, I won't be charging everyone).
Ok Leslie, what are you changing?
I'm glad you asked. Here's the thing – I still want to help, and I still want a significant amount of that help to be free. Why? Because I believe there are many people who can't afford my help who can benefit tremendously from my help.
So, I'm implementing 3 aspects of change in my business from now on:
I've come to realize that my responses are best used when they can help multiple people at the same time. For this reason, our communication with each other will be more public from here on out.
The reason for this is so that others can benefit by our exchange. Not only that, but I really believe that this will help to strengthen the sense of community that we're experiencing here at Become A Blogger.
The Community Relationship
I'm not sure if you've noticed this, because it's something I implemented without making a big deal about. However, it is a pretty big deal. I've created a Get Help section of the website. This is a growing knowledge base of answers to common questions that you may have.
If you go there, you can do a search for a particular issue and if there's an answer, it will automatically show up.
IF the answer isn't there, you can go ahead and Post A Public Question. When you do that, ANYONE can chime in (including myself) to answer your questions, and the community can vote on the best answer. It's like a new kinda forum, but easier to manage.
It's quite awesome. Go ahead and try it out.
Also, keep checking back to see if new questions are posted that you can answer, or even learn from. It's a beautiful thing. You can even see a list of “Community Questions” in the Sidebar right now.
Ok, it's obvious that you will need some individual support concerning memberships, technical difficulties and other things that are better handled via email. You will still have that option available.
But here's the thing – many times, you may have a technical question or something of that sort and may choose to send me an email. Sometimes I answer them, but many times I end up asking my assistant and then responding to you personally.
Why? Because in many cases, my assistant knows better than I do 🙂
So, my assistants will be responding to emails on my behalf from now on. My main assistant's name is Noemi and my technical assistant is Myreen. They will be the ones you'll be interacting with via email from now on.
It may take a little while to get that going smoothly, but we're up for the challenge. So feel free to shoot us an email, and you'll get a response.
And IF there's an email that only I can respond to, it will be forwarded to me directly for me to deal with.
But Leslie, What If I Want More?
I'm glad you asked, because I have something else that I'm working on behind the scenes. Next week, I will be starting a small mastermind group. This will be a group that will have a MAXIMUM limit of 10 people.
We will get together every two weeks to have an ACTION oriented coaching call, where we talk about our businesses, brainstorm ideas, come up with action plans, get homework assigned, and just really focus on building.
One thing I've seen in my business is that most of my progress has been made with the help of trusted mentors who have guided me in my blogging career, and it has been invaluable.
I KNOW for a fact that by really focusing on fewer individuals but in a more dedicated way, we can all see some serious progress in our businesses.
Ok, that's all I'm going to say for now, but stay tuned for more info, because it's gonna be SWEET (and I'm a little excited).
What I'm Hoping Will Be The Results
- I hope to have more time to work on producing HIGH QUALITY content to help you build your blog. That is – create content that will inspire others, resulting in positive change in this world.
- I hope to increase the quality of our interactions by focusing our interactions on two platforms – the blog and on Facebook. By not trying to be EVERYWHERE, I can focus my energy on being a few places in a better way
- I hope to increase the sense of community at Become A Blogger. It's great that I get to know you, even personally. However, I believe that if you all can connect with each other and support each other through this journey, it will be even more powerful.
So, there you have it – but that's not the end. In fact, I see this as an ongoing conversation and I'd LOVE to get your feedback. Go ahead and voice your thoughts in the comments below. I'll be here 🙂