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11 Heads Are Better Than One #QLDBLOG

This guest post is by Jodi Friedman of MCP Actions.

When it comes to the world of blogging, multiple people working together almost always achieves better results than just one. So you can imagine the energy that happened when ten lucky, talented bloggers from around the world were selected by Tourism Queensland to join Darren Rowse in Australia in June. We discussed, brainstormed, critiqued, and networked with each other about the topics of blogging and business.

Since I own a blog for photographers about post-processing in Photoshop and Lightroom, I typically attend photo-related conferences and workshops. A blogging get-together was new to me.

In addition to the amazing excursions to see wildlife, marine-life, and incredible views of the Great Barrier Reef, we had plenty of time to interact with each other.

We had two blogging workshops, one of which included critiquing each participant’s blog. I listened closely to the observations and advice given about my blog and company. I took notes and then made to-do lists and processes to implement the changes that were suggested.

I also asked questions of the other bloggers about how they run aspects of their businesses. Again, I documented things that I could apply to my company, MCP Actions.

Here’s what has happened since the trip.

1. Blog design

Critique 1: The text on my blog was hard to read.

I was told that the lines of text were too close together, and the text was slightly too small. Great suggestion. I adjusted the sizing and spacing of the text on my blog.

Critique 2: It was hard to find my products from the main blog.

My blog has two goals: to educate photographers on photography and editing, and to lead people to our Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets.

Up until now, I had a slideshow at the top of the blog with links to some older posts. A few people said to me, “How do we get to your products to see what you have to offer? Nothing exists for this above the fold.”

Since the trip, I have gotten rid of the large images leading to older posts and replaced them with buttons that take you to our actions, presets, and training classes. As others mentioned, this is a much better use of the real estate at the top of the blog. The key here is to make it easy for people to get to where you want them to go.

2. Social networking on more platforms

Critique 1: I put too much time and energy in Facebook and not enough in other social networking platforms.

MCP Actions has a large presence on Facebook—it’s approximately 124,000 strong. Since Facebook made drastic changes to its service, our posts are shown to fewer fans. So some of the bloggers suggested I build a stronger presence on more sites.

Since the trip, I have increased my Twitter presence slightly and started building communities on Pinterest and Instagram.

One challenge I face is that it’s difficult to keep up with so many social networks. I am still working on the best way to manage so many. I still have not integrated Google+ as I leave frustrated every time I visit it. I’m unsure the best way to use it for my business, but I am open to suggestions.

3. Figure out a way to better manage my time

My concern: I don’t have enough time to get everything done.

The recommended solution? Outsourcing. When I returned, I finally took the big step I’ve wanted to take for a long time: I hired a virtual assistant company. They helped me implement blog changes and helped me put some other systems into place so I can work more efficiently. This is a work in progress as I decide which responsibilities I can turn over to them.

My concern: I have too many emails taking up too much time.

This time, the solution that was recommended was to create a support desk. On the trip, I discussed with some of the bloggers how every email for the company gets filtered through me. After returning, I researched help desk software and set up a database of FAQs along with canned responses. The virtual assistant now filters my email. She answers some basic ones about downloads and unzipping. She forwards me the Photoshop ones to answer. And she forwards other team members the ones for their area of expertise. This has helped immensely.

My concern: Blogging and social networking take a huge chunk of time.

The solution here was to hire people to do these things. I utilize guest bloggers, in addition to my own posts, but blogging and social networking are a huge portion of what I do every day. And the truth is that I need to do more.

I have not implemented a solution at this point as identifying the best person for the job will be extremely hard. I am also not 100% sure how to “let go” or be less involved in these two areas. I will be on the lookout to contract with someone who is well versed in photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and writing. The hard part is finding someone with all of those skills and an entrepreneurial spirit, who can both follow directions and work independently. But someday I may find this person… Until them, I will juggle these responsibilities myself.

4. Exposure for Queensland, Australia and my photography

The Tamron adAfter I posted some images from my trip to Australia on Facebook, one of my contacts at Tamron lenses asked to see some contact sheets of the images I’d taken with their new 24-70 2.8 lens.

The outcome is that two images from the trip, along with some quotes of mine, are in a Tamron Advertorial in the September issue of Popular Photography.

With a little help…

As you can see, many of the things I have accomplished in the past few months are the result of interacting with ten other bloggers from around the globe. The insight they provided made a difference in my business, and hopefully my ideas helped some of them too. I will also have lasting friendships and collaborations with many of them both now and in the future.

So next time you are thinking you can do everything alone, consider reaching out to other bloggers. You never know where it will lead.

Jodi Friedman is the owner of MCP Actions. Her company makes photo editing easier and faster for photographers with their highly acclaimed Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, online training and an active photography blog. Jodi lives in Michigan with her husband and twin daughters and loves photography, travel, and teaching.

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Comments

  1. Kacey says:

    This is really great info. Thanks for sharing. I get to learn vicariously through your experience. There are a few things I’d like to see how to apply to my blog.

  2. That is right , I am always trying my best to make a successful Blog well known around the World !

  3. Drewry says:

    as the old saying goes… When two or three come to gather and agree, great things can happen for the goodness of everyone :-)

  4. Obi says:

    Great post. I will be back

  5. Hi Jodi,

    Connect with more people. Ask for their help. Your job becomes much easier. Super advice!

    Few reach out…which is why most fail.

    Help people. Share their content. Leave helpful comments on their posts.

    Grow your network. Some of your friends promote you, helping you reach new audiences.

    Some of your friends provide you with helpful tips. Be open to this advice. It can promote your success quickly, because friends can help you see your blind spots.

    Tap into our One-ness. Reach out to fellow bloggers.

    Help them out, build your relationships and watch your circle of influence grow.

    I attribute much of my growth to the people around me. Without them I wouldn’t be where I’m at…because I know you simply can’t do it by yourself.

    Thanks!

    RB

    • Drewry says:

      Ryan,

      Well said. It’s very true that when we do the transformation work in our hearts of genuinely reaching out and helping others meaningfully without expectation, there’s no telling how GOD will move in anyone’s life. Jesus is good to everyone, even those who don’t deserve help. Thanks so much for leaving your comment :-)

  6. Ben Troy says:

    Great advice. Chunking down projects is really helpful, but for me it’s all about focusing on priorities. I’m a Type A personality so I have a tendency to create massive to-do lists because I want to be in 3 places at once and just do everything, so I have to constantly reign myself back in and focus on what’s going to actually help me make progress

  7. Brad Pitt says:

    What a nice article of yours ! I like your post very much because its importance. THANKS.

  8. Jeff says:

    So cool, It’s awesome to have your hands in a lot of different things. You’re doing the trip, testing a lens, expanding the business…Those are some of the great things that come along with working unstructured. I hope I can be there someday…

  9. Joseph says:

    that right if you find people that can understand you (and you too , you must understanf others listen to them)

  10. Shelby Roth says:

    This is great post indeed! I really support your thought about team group. When many people share one mind, obvious the outcome shines with great hopes of success. I really like this. Actually awesome writing, keep u and thanks a lot for sharing Jodi!

  11. Daniel Hill says:

    Really great info. Thanks for sharing. I get to learn vicariousl through your experience.

  12. infoinbulk says:

    you are representing australia as a blogger..it is good

  13. Santosh says:

    Hi Jodi Thanks for very important post. It is very helpful post for other. which doing SEO. So I’m interested with your post.