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7 Reasons I LOVE Running Webinars for My Blog Readers

Over the last couple of years I’ve run semi-regular webinars for ProBlogger readers (sign up to get invitations to these free webinars here).

These webinars have not only received a lot of positive feedback, they’ve also been among the most energising things I’ve done on this site.

Here’s a few quick thoughts on why I love doing webinars:

1. Real time Interactions

When I first discovered blogging, one of the things I loved was that it opened up the potential to have almost immediate reactions and feedback from readers. You can have a post up and then 10-25 minutes later there might be a comment or two there.

A webinar speeds up this interaction to the point where it is virtually instantaneous. I can ask webinar attendees a question and within seconds, see a stream of responses.

Someone can submit a question and I can ask for clarification and get it immediately.

I can share what I’m thinking on a topic and get a gauge on whether it is resonating with those listening very quickly.

I find this live interaction is very energising. It keeps me on my feet and thinking fast too!

On the other side of this interaction is that after a webinar I notice that those who attended are more interactive with me. For example, I often see webinar attendees leaving more comments on blog posts, tweeting and even writing blog posts that link to mine on their blogs.

I guess a webinar has the benefit of opening the flood gates of interaction with some people – a very valuable thing.

2. It is personal

Quite often, the reactions I get after a webinar are readers telling me that they felt like they ‘know’ me more as a result of listening to my voice for an hour – as opposed to reading words on a page.

While I try to write as I speak, something often gets lost in the written word. A webinar allows me  to more easily convey emotion, humour, tone – all of which has a big impact upon those listening.

Webinars have the ability to humanise your brand and break down false perceptions of you.

3. Verbalising your ideas has benefits

Verbalising your ideas in a webinar type situation also forces you to think about your topic in a different way. As a result, I quite often get moments of clarity on issues I’ve been struggling with in the preparation or running of a webinar. I’m not sure exactly what happens but something about ‘hearing’ myself rather than reading myself seems to crystallise my thinking.

4. ideas for content

One of the biggest benefits for me about doing a webinar is that I ALWAYS come away from running them with ideas for things to write about here on the blog.

Quite often, as you’re speaking, you get ideas but the ideas also come from questions and responses from your audience.

One of the things I do every time we run a webinar is include an option on the signup form to submit a question for us to answer on the webinar. These questions are GOLD!

I also like to run purely Q&A webinars at times which are great for this too.

Earlier this week we ran one of these Q&A sessions and had 600 questions submitted! While we could only get through a fraction of them I read each question and many of the posts I write in the coming weeks will come directly from those questions.

5. They scale ‘you’

One of the challenges that bloggers face when their audience begins to grow is that there is a ceiling on how accessible you can be to all of your readers.

While you start out responding to every question, email and tweet there comes a point where the incoming messages get beyond what you can respond to while still maintaining creating content and managing other aspects of your blog and business.

I’ve grappled with this for years now and find that webinars go a long way making yourself more accessible to readers.

6. Webinars Lend Themselves to Different Types of Communication

I’ve tried a variety of different styles of webinar over the last few years including:

Interviews/Story Telling – where I interview a blogger about their story and what they’ve learned. This story telling approach has been very well received. A couple of popular ones include webinars with Tsh Oxenreider and Ana White.

Teaching – in these webinars I almost ‘lecture’ on a topic. I use slides and take attendees on a journey through a topic from A-B. For example recent webinars on Finding Readers for a Blog and Monetizing Blogs

Q&A – in these webinars I’ve either had open Q&A sessions on any topic or have named a topic and made attendees focus their questions on exploring more narrow areas. For example here’s last weeks open Q&A session in which we covered a heap of topics.

Selling – I’ve not done much selling in webinars (I like to keep mine pitch free) but occasionally have run webinars with a pitch at the end (I warn attendees that there will be). I still make sure that these webinars are high in value/usefulness so that even if they don’t respond to the pitch that they come away satisfied.

7. Great Practice for Public Speaking

Lastly, webinars are a great way to get practice and experience for public speaking.

One of my favourite things to do is to speak at events. However, due to my location in Australia and the fact that the majority of speaking invitations I get come from overseas, I’m not able to accept the vast majority of them.

Webinars are a great way for me to get a ‘fix’ of speaking but I’ve also noticed that they’re a great place to hone my presenting skills. They’re also a good place to showcase what you can do and land you presenting gigs too!

What is Your Experience with Webinars?

I’d love to hear your experience with webinars.

Have you run them? How did they go?

Do you attend them? If so – what makes a good webinar in your experience?

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 can see the benefits of running webinars but have still yet to do one, need to build the traffic to my blog a bit more first. I’ll have to keep my eye out for your next webinar Darren, hopefully pick up a few tips for when I eventually have enough people to do my own :)

  2. Marty says:

    Thanks for that last webinar. Sure am glad you like doing them, because it’s equally stimulating for those of us on the receiving end. Blogging can feel lonely, and attending webinars gives us the feeling of community and shared struggle.

  3. Jotpreet says:

    Hey, Darren. I too am thinking of running a webinar, podcasts, etc. Is there any post of yours that you can refer me to. If not, maybe another idea for a post. !!

  4. Kevin says:

    I really want to get into doing webinars for my audience but it’s pretty intimidating. And the webinar services seem super expensive. I really need help making this seem easier and more affordable!

  5. Ti Roberts says:

    Awesome post, Darren.

    I agree that webinars are a great way to engage directly with your audience in live time. I love the leverage of webinars because, as you mentioned, they allow you to leverage your time and kill several birds with one stone.

    I’ve not done too many webinars; however, I do plan on doing more webinars in the future for my audience as I realize the potential and power of them.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this up, Darren; it’s been a while since I’ve since a post from you and I was excited to see it. I’ll be sure to share this with my social network.

    I look forward to reading more of your content and connecting more with you soon. :)

    Ti

  6. Lakhyajyoti says:

    I never participated any of your webinars. Surely I’ll join the next. The best thing I like about webinars is Q&A round. I can clear all my doubts here.

  7. Darren can you tell me which software do you use for webinars? I may try it out in the future, but not sure which video conferencing tool would suit me the best. Most of those offering free trials will only allow one attendee to join in, but I like to test it out with 5-6 people.

  8. Beth Hewitt says:

    Hi Darren,

    This post is great timing for me, as I am just starting to do more webinars and I often wonder what the best format should be. I also love the instant interaction and the energy it builds.

    I am looking forward to doing more webinars this year and the results it brings :)

    Beth :)

  9. Absolutely agree! As an attendee I feel more connected. I also come away with it with great ideas! Thanks for keeping up the great webinars!

  10. Brad says:

    Hi,

    Excellent post. Webinars can help you in many things. I have been doing webinars too and i have learned many new things from it. People ask you some times those questions which are helpful in creating new content and learning new methods.
    Thanks for the great post.
    Brad

  11. Sia says:

    Hi Darren,

    I participated in your recent webinar and found it very useful! And I’ll probably put my hand up for any other webinars you plan to do in the future. I am a living example of your description above: someone who feels like I know you better after listening to your voice for an hour, and more likely to post comments on blog posts (like this one).

    Thanks x

  12. Max Brown says:

    I agree that webinars are the way forward. If done correctly, it is the easiest way to transmit complex ideas to your peers. Not only are they very engaging, but having the content in a comprehensible audio/visual manner is by far the easiest way to learn a subject. I have been holding and attending webinars on a variety of issues for several years now and find them indispensable to the area that I am in.

  13. shahalam khan says:

    Webinar helps me with lot’s of stuffs, thanks for the share and keep posting. regards.

  14. These reasons definitely help me to run my own webinar, good job guys….keep it up , really helpful!

  15. I’ve never been able to attend a live seminal due to the time zone difference. I really hope to try one day.

  16. Ahmad says:

    Great post. You have perfect way of describing the topic. I like your grip on the topic. No doubt the whole blog is worth reading and informative.

  17. john says:

    Blog commenting is also a part of Social media which is basic element of communication which enhance human attention Engage people, compelling interaction, interest, values and many other factors can help to increase traffiic. Thank you for promotion to engage with all interaction factors. keep posting.

    https://twitter.com/DebtSettlers_uk