Creating content for your website or blog is a never-ending challenge. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of interviews with other experts in your industry, or even performing Q&A sessions with your audience of readers. This is something BloggingTips.com has been doing for a while now, with their Meet the Bloggers series.
Thanks to the power of WordPress commenting and social media, it wouldn’t be hard to set up something similar for your own brand or blog.
Website content and question-and-answer sessions go together like peanut butter and jelly or salt and pepper. In fact, anyone who has ever attended a presentation or keynote speech would likely be caught off guard by the absence of a designated Q & A session. It seems intuitive: Deliver information then make sure nothing slipped through the cracks and expound on the most noteworthy points.
But not all Q & A lessons and collaborations are created equally. For example, take a look at how many websites will interview just one expert, while others will create expert roundups. It’s much easier to create individual interview posts, but in the long run, you will likely see more benefit and promotion from a roundup with 50+ experts included in one post. When executed well, this time provides audience members to interact with speakers in a meaningful way—clarifying burning questions, circling back to important concepts and making important conceptual connections. But when Q & A session go poorly, they tend to be nothing more than a waste of time for everyone involved.
Facilitating an effective question-and-answer session is a matter of planning, reacting well at the moment and having the right tools to make it all happen. Here are a few guidelines for capping off a presentation with successful audience interaction.
Anticipate Certain Queries
Some questions will inevitably seem to come out of left field. But many submissions will be at least somewhat predictable ahead of time, at least in the subject matter. Thus, it pays to make sure your speakers are prepared to answer these important inquiries without skipping a beat.
As Toastmasters notes, “How you handle questions determines how the audience feels about everything that preceded it. They recognize it for what it is—it’s the prism through which they evaluate your performance, your message, your competence, your credibility, and the success of the entire meeting.”
Fumbling the answer to a key question bodes badly for the session in general, interrupting the flow and challenging the speaker’s authority. Part of pulling off a successful Q & A session is ensuring each speaker knows their subject matter inside and out. Then they can predict what their audience may ask and brush up on the relevant information they need to develop exemplary answers.
Allow for Anonymous Submissions
Allowing anonymous audience submissions encourages people to ask the Q and A questions on their minds. A real-time audience response system, for example, allows people to submit questions—anonymously or with a name attached—using their mobile devices rather than the old-school method of passing around the microphone. This approach has several benefits.
- People can ask their questions without the social pressure of speaking in front of a group.
- Anonymity promotes honesty because participants don’t have to worry about blowback for their candidness.
- Audience members can upvote questions as if to say they “second” them, which allows the most pressing inquiries to rise to the top.
Chances are, if one audience member has a question, someone else does, too. Using anonymity as a vehicle for honesty serves to truly open the discussion. This sense of clarify means everyone can walk away from the session feeling they got the maximum benefit.
Answer the Question at Hand
This tip seems basic. But speakers often inadvertently talk around questions—answering something, but not necessarily the actual query at hand. This tends to leave audience members either confused or dissatisfied. Avoid talking around a question; the audience will quickly see through this tactic. The speaker should also make sure they fully understand the question before launching into an answer. Good listening skills will come in handy here because interpreting the question is just as important as responding. Speakers can always ask for clarification as needed so they can avoid wasting time or going off on a tangent.
With ample preparation and the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to facilitating an effective question-and-answer session for any audience.
Does Blog Content Make You Money?
starts off with a Bali Bang. I slammed into the ground during a wicked motorbike accident. Pain followed. Big time pain. Excruciating pain. What was my life and blogging lesson? Never take your eyes off of the road. I looked at a dog for a split second who’d been hit by a car or motorbike. Shaking my head at his injured paw, I missed the oil slick ahead. Ouch. 2 seconds later, I felt like 40,000 monkeys stabbed me in the back and lungs, after hitting pavement, Superman-style.
Blogging is similar. You will be punished if you take your eyes off of the proven, straight and narrow road of blogging fundamentals. One such fundamental is knowing YOU, not your blog, and not your content, makes money. Sometimes, we say blogs or content makes money because we speak in casual terms to help people see importance in creating and connecting. But getting clear, and helping you understand this simple concept, behooves me to stress how your generous practice, your creations and your connections make you money through your blog. Never, ever is it the other way around because blogs are inanimate objects. Content is an inanimate object too; it cannot do anything, or be anything,
You are the one, the blogger, the being, that puts everything into motion. This involves your generous effort, your willingness to learn a skill and your daily practice, creating and connecting for years, to make your content pop. Sure I sell stuff THROUGH my content but it was me, and my generous effort, and not the content itself, that did the selling. The content is not anything. Content cannot do anything. Content is worthless unless bloggers inject worth into it; see what I mean? The blogger makes it pop, or, makes content a dud, and that pop-dud outcome bases itself solely on a blogger’s generous effort and full commitment to learning their craft, day after day, for years of their lives.
You can and will succeed. You can do it. Really. But you need to understand how you are the center of it all. Everything moves according to your focus, practice and generosity. Content is a tool; like a hammer, if by itself, totally useless. Hammers need humans to work, and hammers need skilled carpenters to really sing. Content needs skilled, generous bloggers to make it sing, too, and the skills increase as your focus and generous practice, and service, increases.
Does blog content make you money? Nope, not at all. Put in the time and energy to helping folks for free. Improve your skills. Increase your exposure. In time, slowly add multiple streams of income to your blogging campaign. Allow cash to flow to you as people see you in all types of spots, making a serious impact where you show up, because of your blogging skills. Everything gets easier if you commit 100% to honing your skills blogging-wise because the content genuinely sings when you get the job done, with your prodigious, polished blogging skills.
Content makes zero dollars.
You, through your practice and generous service, develop the skills through which you make your content top notch. Profits follow.
Why Do You Want to Publish an eBook?
One subsection of my eBook on writing eBooks is:
Know Why You Want to Publish an eBook
Knowing why gives you clarity if you write to free yourself and to free your readers. But if you write just to make money or to be well know, clarity lessons. Fear invades your mind because you write mainly to get, not to give. Shifting from fear to fun intent-wise just takes a little decision on your part. Small potatoes really. But this shift does feel a bit uncomfortable if you are new to the eBook writing process because you need to face fears. Who wants to face fear? Nobody, really.
But facing fear is one tax to pay for being successful in blogging and life. Ditto for your self-publishing journey. I largely faced fears to be who I am today, although I keep uncovering fears along the way. Part of the journey. I am cool with that. I had to ask why I wanted to publish an eBook about 4 years ago when I went on a tear, but even before, in 2014, I asked why I published an eBook in the first place? Simple. I created a new blog and brand in Blogging From Paradise and just believed having an accompanying eBook would help me be successful. I only had one eBook in mind. I never thought beyond the single eBook. But someone told me I deserved to write another eBook so after my first, I wrote and self-published a second eBook. I caught the writing bug.
100 plus eBooks later, here I am, writing eBooks for years, and now, promoting the eBooks effectively. The why, the emotion I chose in writing eBooks, propels me forward because I do what I do to have fun, to spread love and to help you, largely. One small part of me wants to make money online too. This is OK. As long as it is a small part of what you do, eBook-wise. Moving that money aspect mostly to the side gives me the energy to keep writing and to keep promoting, should I choose to write another eBook. Now I am all about promoting those suckers.
Why did you consider writing and shipping an eBook? Be honest with yourself. Think through your driver. Money? Fame? Sweet passive income stream? Each primary driver saps your energy because money, fame and passive income flow to you years or minimum, months, after publishing your eBook. What do you do during that zero dollar time? Money drives you, but you see no money. Since you lose your motivator, you quit. This is why so many authors fade into obscurity. Poor driver. Sell 3 eBooks, get flustered because you made $4.35 over 6 months, and quit, because money drove you but you made no money. On the flip side, bloggers and authors who choose a fun, freeing intent promote and write every day for their online career because the work is the reward. All else feels like a bonus, gravy, extra, or icing on the cake….including money.
Be straight with your eBook driver. Do not bother writing an eBook if you mainly want money because you quit and fail when money does not arrive. Even in rare cases if you make money pretty fast, you lose your heart and feel bad reaching money goals because we are mainly designed to have fun and help people, not to make money.
Do You Believe You Deserve Blogging Success?
My friend Alonzo Pichardo sent me an interview recently.
Pay close attention guys; one concept behind the video can be destroying your blogging success. Sure killed my career, for years.
Boxing legend Evander Holyfield went bankrupt, it has been claimed, as of 2012. He lost/spent $530,000,000 USD, 530 million dollars. Allow that idea to sink in. I read how Mike Tyson reportedly went bankrupt after spending/losing over $300,000,000, 300 million dollars. Most of these ideas astound people because we do our best to manage money effectively. I could live 40 life times on 500 million dollars. Anyway, a recent Mike Tyson interview highlighted one reason why he went bankrupt after amassing 300 million. I deeply suspect Evander blew through 500 million largely due to the same mindset. Iron Mike noted how he believed he did not deserve the big bucks. He saw himself as a broke kid from a rough neighborhood who did not deserve money, because he loved fighting for free, and also, clung to the past, keeping the same self image from when he lived in poverty.
If Tyson believed he did not deserve 300 million, the quickest way to get rid of 300 million is to spend like mad and blow the money irresponsibly. Most humans say he is foolish but this is not true; HIS BELIEF SYSTEM ensured he would do everything to get rid of the 300 million he did not deserve…and it became so.
Blogging and Deserving
Do you genuinely believe you deserve $10, or $100, or $100,000 through blogging? Most bloggers do not believe this, so they never make much money. Other bloggers make some money but lose it quickly through poor financial decisions, ensuring that they do NOT keep the money that they believe they do not deserve. Blogging, money or financial conditions have nothing to do with the money woes. The blogger’s belief system concerning money is 100% the root cause behind the problem. Change the deserving issue, and you change the income. Or cling to deserving problems, and keep slamming into blogging financial problems.
I recall not believing I deserved more than 99 cents for an eBook. I slammed into financial issues, sold few eBooks, then decided to face my deserving issues and deep fears concerning money and my self-worth. I eventually rose all my eBook pricing to $6.99, $9.99 and $20. Why? I deserve to sell 7 to 20 dollar eBooks. People buy at these prices – far more than at the dirt cheap prices – because I BELIEVE I deserve to make sales at those prices. Why? I faced deep fears concerning deserving. But if I never faced deserving-fears, I never make the money. Plus I would quickly lose money I made because if I still believed I did not deserve much money, my subconscious mind would find a quick way to lose my money. My belief system creates the experience. Ditto for your belief system; even if your ego does not agree with this point.
Like I say in my eBook:
you may leave your comfort zone if you learn new, scary techniques for monetizing your blog effectively. One scary and uncomfortable tactic involves observing your money limiting beliefs in the light of truth. If you do not believe you deserve money, you never make money or you make money and lose it incredibly quickly. Belief created the experience. You believing you do not deserve money creates the experience. Clear the fears, release deserving issues and money will flow to you more easily. Plus you will keep the money, too. Pure win-win, if you ask me.
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