All my thanks to Thread M.B. for conducting this super-fun interview!
There are coaches for everything these days – life coaches, diet coaches, dating coaches. The list is endless and spans well beyond the playing field and into everyday life. In this highly competitive, over-ambitious, stressed-out world (where maximizing time and skill will give you the edge over the guy behind you nipping at your heels at every turn) hiring a coach seems to be the current trend, even in the world of bloggers and writers.
Sound ridiculous? Not particularly, in my opinion, especially if you want to ‘get read.’ With so many blogs and journalistic websites to contend with, finding the right coach to help teach you the ropes of how to write to attract eyeballs is imperative if your goal goes beyond merely writing for personal satisfaction, therapy or your friends and family.
Hilary Lauren is one of those coaches. A seasoned blogger and author, Hilary is sharing her knowledge and skills through her blog J. Hill Marketing & Creative Service’s Quillpower to educate other bloggers and writers eager to transform their writing to the next level, whether that be expanding awareness about their blogs and themselves, increasing their blogging and writing opportunities or monetizing the goods they already have. Hilary’s got the answers and she shares a bit of those and more in her interview below.
What is your full name?
Briefly describe you and your life, including where you live, children (if any), and whatever else you would like to share?
I am a 40-something mother of two sons and a daughter, living with my fiancé in a suburb about 20 minutes outside of Minneapolis, MN. By a twist of fate, I have the best job in the world, which feeds my insatiable lust for writing and psychological fascination…i.e., “why people do things”.
My background and education in marketing and advertising gives me an edge in the copywriting field. All writing, whether emotionally-based or not, is still based in the touchy-feely and when effective, stirs attachment to the author or brand. Brands and people are endlessly interesting to me.
The pit and The peak:
The pit: This past month, I have been reminded about my human-ness, about my limitations due to the fact I am one person. And even though I wish I could do and be more – similar to people who are not living with a chronic illness (transverse myelitis) – I have also since recognized the benefit of “quality over quantity.” This recognition benefits both me and my clients.
The peak: One of my clients has just started writing for Forbes and in a moment of what-is-not disillusionment, I edited his debut post. I also kicked myself in the arse to refresh my website and my words. It makes no sense to run a marketing/copywriting business without making time for your own due diligence.
If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?
Compassionate-perseverance. See what I did there?
What is your personal mantra?
Honesty – even if it’s painful — being authentic is not just a trending topic it is vital to the way I live. I am honest about my own strengths and weaknesses, whether that extends into business, my lifestyle choices, or relationships. When you are authentic, you can truly own your accomplishments; you can recognize your struggles and strides. You can be transparent with clients and well, everyone!
Share with us the name of your blog or the organization in which you blog for.
Explain what compelled you to begin blogging. Include In your answer the date you actually began blogging.
I’ve always been a voracious reader. When other kids were playing outside, I was deep into my Nancy Drew, Judy Blume and Shel Silverstein. Maybe it was easier that way as when I did venture outside, I merely pretended to ride my bike as I pushed it along the sidewalk, pretending I was too exhausted to pedal it one more block. LOL. When I was four, I wrote a book about a potato chip that got married. At the age of twelve, I became one half of a team writing an advice column for the sixth grade. In high school I was the feature editor, sniffing out the major drama.
Share with us the primary focus of your blog post and what you hope to accomplish through them.
My writing for GMP and the diagnosis of my chronic illness came within days of each other and it has turned my interest toward blogging for compassion, acceptance, positivity and reflection. I believe it is one of the reasons I am sick — to finally, become vulnerable and to show people it is okay to do the same.
This year, I will continue to underscore the message I am charged with — that chronically ill patients can work but with modifications. Improved communication with our clients and superiors can help to change the perception of the working sick population.
What is the most surprising benefit to you and your life that has resulted from your blogging.
Reaching people. Reassuring people that they are not alone. Discovering that validation goes a long way for someone who might be struggling to find the right words. We all have a voice and when we are able to affect good; we also have a responsibility to keep talking.
Which social media outlet works best for your public relations/marketing efforts?
Facebook, but Twitter is a close second—based on an entirely different strategy and process.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone interested in beginning a blog?
There are a lot of bloggers out in Internetland right now. It is harder to cut through the clutter than ever before. People love brave writing. Make sure you stick to the storyline, the format that works…the beginning, middle and end. Consider your intention and your audience. Then work out your idea. Edit, edit and re-edit. If you are not sure, look it up!
Publishing on sites that don’t pay, except in terms of potential visibility, is worth it! Learn how to leverage your visibility and you will earn paid jobs as you increase your credibility.
Finally, never, never read the troll comments…at the very least don’t meet the trolls on their level with a flip response.
When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
Loving, courageous, not afraid to stand up for the truth, a model for my children to do the same. Be a rebel with a concerted purpose; listen to both sides; and never sweep a person’s opinion to the side before you understand them. Listening has gone out of favor. Let’s bring it back.
Seems to me, Hilary isn’t the only one who recognizes the importance of building relationships in the blogging and writing world and doing it well. Is there any question of the value in that, today, of all days? I think not. Suffice-it-to-say, I urge you to familiarize yourself with Hilary Lauren and what she has to offer. You never know where the procurement of a good pen (metaphorically speaking, of course) will take you. Just ask Ms. Lauren or Mrs. Clinton. They’ll tell you.