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Having an Elevator Pitch Isn’t Enough – How PostSecret Improved in 2007

Improve-BlogI mentioned earlier in the week that there was one more response to come in from bloggers responding to my 1 Question interview on how they improved their blog in 2007. Today I’m happy to present it – a response from Frank Warren – the blogger behind the wildly successful PostSecret.

I come from an entrepreneurial background and have composed more than one “elevator pitch” for past ventures. So when I started PostSecret one of the first things I did was come up with a short but precise description of my Blog. (In fact, it is still the first line at www.PostSecret.com) But I soon discovered that just having an “elevator pitch” wasn’t enough.

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I found that my friends wanted a deeper explanation of my project. “Why are you collecting secrets from strangers?” Was the most common question, and it took more than one sentence to answer it. I began to talk about meaningful secrets I had seen and recount poignant email messages from people who, like me, had been moved by the courage and art on the postcards.

Struggling to answer these questions helped me further locate where the true value was in my Blog. It also prepared me for a consequential meeting with a publisher. I was not given a book deal from Harper Collins because I had a great “elevator pitch”. It was because PostSecret had become a community and I was able to convey that through the stories and vignettes I had been shaping and sharing with friends.

All this really came together to help me improve my Blog during the book tours. Public speaking was a great challenge for me but going to dozens of cities and talking face-to-face with members of the PostSecret community gave me a better understanding of how to share the full value of the of the project.

Speaking at bookstores, colleges and museums has lead to other unexpected opportunities. I was invited this March to deliver one of the keynote speeches at SXSW. I can’t wait to meet some of my heroes there; and I can’t wait to learn more ways of improving my Blog by talking about it (and actively listening).

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I love this blog.. I try to read it from time to time. Some of the stuff that people submit are hilarious or plain shocking!

    It is always interesting to read how successful bloggers started and maintained their successful blogs.

    Thanks for sharing this with us! :)

  2. esvl says:

    Great find. Will add it to my reader.

  3. Justin Dupre says:

    I just stumbled upon PostSecret today for the first time. I thought it was an amazing concept, and the postcards written in were amazing.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your technique, and ideas behind the beginning of a blog.

    Justin Dupre

  4. Yes, your elevator pitch is just that, for the “what do you do” questions where you only get 30 seconds to answer. Beyond that then you have to answer questions such as, “Why?” and then you get into public speaking, something that’s frightening to many of us. Interesting blog.

  5. Mark says:

    The elevator pitch gets you in the door…then the real selling work begins :)

  6. Mike Goad says:

    Cool post! I’m adding PostSecret to my reader, too.

    Darren, you keep adding to the reasons that you’re blog would be one of the last one’s I’d ever delete from my feed reader. Thanks!

  7. ALan says:

    Long time fan of Post Secret. Some concepts are difficult to “get” immediately, and you really have to see Post Secret to really understand it. The whole spectrum of human emotions is there in its most raw form. Shakespeare was right when he wrote

    “All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players”

    Most of us are acting out a role in life – Post Secret allows people to throw off the mask for a moment.

  8. Sangesh says:

    Its great to read the way how the author of PostSecret turned his passion to his blog.

  9. Sue says:

    I’d forgotten all about Post Secret. What a delight to find it again! Added to my reader.

  10. sir jorge says:

    I love postsecret.com and their books are definitely worth owning.

  11. Iesha says:

    Firstly, I really dig the concept of the one interview series.

    Secondly, this one in particular I find to be very inspiring. Things like Post Secret can only come about when people follow their gut- I can only imagine what people would mail in! It’s like a peek into the life of a stranger…

    Anywho…thanks for the post, good work.