It didn't exactly surprise me when Marla wrote me, "Thanks to my syndicated post on BlogHer, my fiance and I were just flown out to LA to be guests on The Jeff Probst Show on CBS to talk about snarking."
The benefits of blogging extend well beyond the tangible (advertising revenue) and the intangible (friendships) as many bloggers have found out over the years. In a BlogHer economy survey, participants stated many other opportunities came from being in the network:
- 41% attribute landing freelance writing gigs to being part of BlogHer
- 34% attribute media/press opportunities to being part of BlogHer
- 22% attribute landing speaking engagements to being part of BlogHer
- 15% acquired consulting gigs and 14% acquired new jobs because of their relationship with BlogHer.
It's not just syndicated posts; those extra opportunities arise from curated features directing traffic back to your blog or simply writing and posting on your own space in the network. I spoke with Marla about what came next after her post was featured on BlogHer. Her post went up on April 12th and brought out 108 comments, and I had to wonder how she felt seeing the response since it spoke about an emotional topic.
It's funny, I felt less vulnerable about posting it on BlogHer than I did on my own blog - even though I knew that BlogHer has so many more readers! On my own blog, I knew that people that I know in real life would be reading it, and I felt so naked and weird to openly talk about how my appearance had been criticized.... like they'd be looking at my crooked tooth and picturing me crying about it. With BlogHer, I felt more empowered. I had a feeling (and a hope!) that people would relate and that reading my story would make them feel better about whatever their hot button flaw is.
I was so excited about the response to my post. It was a dream come true for me to be able to touch people in the telling of my story and how I handled it, and I felt really honored that it made them want to share their own experiences or voice their frustration at internet meanies. It also made me realize how powerful it is to really spill my guts as a blogger, that to affect people it is more important that I share from the heart than be some hot shot expert.
Interestingly enough, her post was a reaction to a very different social media experience that came from rude comments on the Internets. I asked her how the comments on the post changed her experience with those rude comments, if at all? And, like many of us, the rude comments spoke louder than all the kind ones, seemingly more believable in their cruelty than the ones that spoke from a space of kindness. Still, she also discovered she could release the hold those mean comments had on her.
The benefits sometimes come long after the post, as Marla found out when the show contacted her.
They contacted me four months later. My reaction was "WHOA... I LOVE BLOGHER!" When I saw the email, I figured that they would just have a few questions for me as research for the show. When I found out that they wanted to fly us out to LA to be interviewed for the show, I was completely and totally shocked. After that, I got really excited. After that, I said, "If this is shown online, I am so not reading the comments."
Going on television to discuss a post was a surreal experience for Marla and Jonny:
They had both Jonny and I as guests, so it was awesome to share the experience with him and also a really fun conclusion to this leg of our wedding planning adventure.
Jeff was very easy to talk to, and the people who worked on the show took incredible care of us. It was much less nerve-wracking than I thought it would be, and Jonny felt the same. It was almost like the thought of being filmed for TV is so foreign to me that my brain couldn't even comprehend it enough to get anxious about it.
I was so surprised at how fast the time flew by when we were being interviewed, and how hard it was to make sure that the important aspects of the story came across. After our segment ended, we both felt like, "Wait wait wait - we've thought into this so much further than it sounds! Let us keep talking!"
Overall, though, I'd say I much prefer blogging to being interviewed on TV as a medium of expression. Blogging gives me the time to think through exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it, TV is over in a flash and you have to fly by the seat of your pants a lot more. Though I did love getting my hair and makeup done. Maybe what I really prefer is blogging in the company of a professional beauty team.
Would you ever want to go on television to discuss a post (and which post would you like to use as a spring board)? Who knows... you could be next...
*** Marla and Jonny's segment on the Jeff Probst Show will air this Friday! ***
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