It's the one thing that gets me every time.
The thing that made me cry when people sang "Happy Birthday" to me as a child.
The one quality I wished for my daughter to have when she was born.
It's no surprise that Kind Over Matter is one of my favorite sites. I get their posts delivered to my inbox and I rarely delete them without reading. I "like" them like nobody's business (as my facebook groups can attest).
What Amanda creates with her site is right up there with JK Rowling in my book (and you all know there is no higher place than JK...) Amanda creates her own kind of magic by giving to others as she also builds a beautiful blooming business for herself.
What does she do that's so special and how can you pull in a little of that sparkle for yourself as you build your own unique, thriving business? Here are a few little nuggets that I see:
Amanda shares the work of Etsy Artists that tie seamlessly into the theme of each post. The beauty draws me in. She creates (forgive the cheesiness of the expression) a "win-win". The artists' she features get amazing exposure to an obscenely large audience (130,000 pageviews/month and 19,000 facebook fans!) and she drives more traffic to her blog from people who follow the featured artist as well. I say that's pretty damn spectacular in its simplicity.
How Can You Use This? How can you set up your site to create win-wins? How can you help others and yourself at the same time so that you both benefit? Is it through sharing or highlighting the work or stories of others that complement your services? Think in terms of mutual benefit.
Amanda uses guest writers which is Mensa-genius if you're a professional blogger because it takes the pressure off of you to constantly create content. But even better-what I think is especially Amanda-style magic is that she encourages guest posts from her community of readers. Not just polished people who already have it made. Not paid writers. Real people who have the chance to share their story and again get the exposure of her vast, specific audience (and thus giving them the chance to increase their own audience). Sharing your words on her site is a gift both to you as the sharer, to her readers and to herself.
How Can You Use This? First you could check out Kind Over Matter's guest posting set-up and see if there is an area where you could contribute to help get your name out there. Then you could look at how you might get people involved in contributing to your site. Is it through interviews, sharing each others work or guest posts? Use that creativity to think of other ways could you involve others in your site.
Amanda uses advertising to generate revenue but still manages to do it in a heart-centered, deeply giving way. She's able to support her site AND create a forum for like-minded, creative business people to share their offerings. She offers advertising at decent rates: $75.00/month for premium and $55.00/month standard and she helps you design it for $10.00 if you need. I have checked out many of the offerings in her sidebar and they were right in line with my interests. If I ever offer a class online, I would consider advertising with her.
How Can You Use This? You could use her site to advertise your products and reach a wide audience or you could create the same type of set-up on your own site if you've developed a strong audience. You don't even have to feel sneaky about it because it benefits everyone when you create it with that intention.
Amanda's willing to make herself vulnerable: She posted a video interview and revealed her deep fear of public speaking, she posted hoop-dancing videos of herself, she shares her experiences having a son with autism-she's one gutsy kindness guru who's really pushing her comfort boundaries.
I wouldn't say this is something you can "use." It's just a willingness to be open and to stretch into your true greatness.
I don't know Amanda nor am I on a first name basis with her (artistic liberty!) or an affiliate or anything like that. I'm just a student of what works and what does not.
Begin to study the blogs you most love online. What is it that's working? Where's the best juice coming from? How can you make your own special formula?
For me, kindness works every time.