Coaching Blog

How to Start Blogging for Your Coaching Business

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach blogger

 

I think blogging was invented for coaches.

Or it may as well have been! Blogs are a natural fit for us partly because we are social creatures and partly because we have a lot to say.

We're naturals at forming meaningful relationships, because we're all about service and listening. That makes us social. And blogs are a highly interactive, highly social form of communication.

We've got a lot to say, perhaps because of all those hours we put in while coaching, asking questions and being silent. We learn quite a lot in the process and sometimes we're bursting to share it! No wonder then that coaches write so much and create thousands of hours of audio that they share freely.

 

And where better to post our philosophical musings, our solutions, and our favorite tools, than on a public blog?

 

Blog effectively and you will attract new clients and like-minded colleagues. A blog is a marvelous place for people to get to know you. But do learn the basics of blogging before you dive in. Otherwise, your blog could be hard labor, instead of a labor of love.

In honor of the Best Coaching Blogs 2010 contest that School of Coaching Mastery is hosting right now, we're releasing a brand-new free ebook on how to get started blogging effectively for your coaching business. Even if you've never blogged before, you could be ready to win in time for Best Coaching Blogs 2011!

Get the FREE eBook below and get started with your own blog right away!

 

How to Blog Effectively for Your Coaching Business free ebook Go here to download your free copy of the 'How to Blog Effectively for Your Coaching Business' ebook

Topics: coaching business, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, How to

Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Open

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2010Best Coaching Blogs 2010 opens this morning. Enter your blog to win!

The Best Coaching Blogs 2010 contest 'officially' opens this morning. A few of last year's participants entered over the weekend, so you can begin voting right away.

However, we will still be in the 'entry period' until the end of May, adding new blogs as they are entered. Right now is the time to enter the coaching blog contest.

How does the Best Coaching Blogs contest work?

Any self-described coach who blogs on coaching themes may enter for free. You'll get a badge, similar to the one above, to post on your blog, website, and social profiles, with a link to the contest, so your readers, clients, followers, etc., can all vote for you. Only one vote per blog entry, per IP (computer) address. And of course, you'll want to blog about it and post about it on social sites. Last year, major coaching organizations, professional coaches and even student coaches all entered - and won!

'Thanks again, Julia, for this competition. I joined for a lark, and got into the top ten! Incredible!' - Coach Gaye Wilson  

How are Best Coaching Blogs winners chosen?

Initial votes are cast by the public, so be sure to mobilize yours. Final results will be determined by the Semi-Finalists, themselves, in a closed vote (online survey). Criteria for winning include the quality of blog content and good sportsmanship. A summary of the final vote counts will be made public in a downloadable PDF document. The contest winners will be announced in this blog on July 1st.

 What do the Best Coaching Blogs win?

Every blog that makes it past the initial entry period will get a badge that describes what level they won (1st Place!) to display on their site, plus bragging rights. And this year, we're adding prizes - winners will receive free memberships to Coaching Insiders. More on that later.

Why should you enter Best Coaching Blogs 2010?

Well, you just might win. Last year, 50 blogs entered. New coaches, as well veterans, competed and won. There were 30,000 hits to the contest page within 2 months and visitors continue to visit the list of last year's winners, which links to their blogs. Winners also got picked up by other online lists of best blogs.

'Wow, thanks so much! This means a lot to me, especially considering the standard of the other blogs - many colleagues whose work I know well (and love reading regularly) were featured in the competition. So this is a real honour. Thanks to everyone!' - Coach Cath Duncan, 1st Place, Best Coaching Blogs 2009

Perhaps the real reason to enter is that you'll get new readers and perhaps new subscribers and clients. That's what last year's participants told me. They also told me the whole thing was a lot of fun!

'...an amazing experience. I'll be following some of the blogs from the contest and have had new people subscribe to my blog and newsletter. It's great to share with those of like mind and receive inspiration and support along the way.' - Coach Marian Kerr 

Last, the Best Coaching Blogs contests are designed to spotlight great coaching and how it helps others do great things and have better lives and more successful businesses. Coaching is changing the world.

'We are very honoured to have been voted one of the ten best blogs - especially among so many other incredible entries!' - Coach Linda Dessau, editor IAC VOICE

Please share this post with as many people as you know, especially coaches. Our social share buttons at the top of this post make that easy for you. And if you decide to enter, good luck!

Enter Best Coaching Blogs

 

Enter Best Coaching Blogs Here.

Topics: Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, contest

Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Preview

Posted by Julia Stewart

bloggerLast year's Best Coaching Blogs 2009 was hugely popular.

Over 30,000 visitors read and voted on their favorite blogs and the winners, from all over the world, ranged from big coaching organizations to new coaching students.

We're getting ready to do it again. After reviewing a variety of approaches to help us upgrade security and fairness, we realized we already have eveything we need to run another great contest.

Who can enter Best Coaching Blogs 2010? Any self-described coach who already has a blog. Please don't enter if you aren't at least a coaching student and obviously don't enter this year if you don't already have a blog.

What's the benefit of entering Best Coaching Blogs 2010? Hundreds, if not thousands of new readers, potentially getting picked up by lists of top blogs, connecting with other thought leaders in the coaching world, prizes and bragging rights (including a badge for your site) if you win. Oh yeah, and it's fun!

Right now, we're looking for sponsors to help kick in some prizes in exchange for a little promotion on our site. If you offer a product or service that coaches would be interested in and want to be a contest sponsor, let me know here. (Sorry, contestants can't be sponsors, so you have to choose how you want to play.)

The contest last year ran from May through June, but we'll be accepting entries earlier this year. Watch this blog for upcoming announcements. I recommend you subscribe by email or RSS.

Why do we hold a Best Coaching Blogs Contest every year? Lots of reasons, including:

  • Reading blogs is one of the best free ways to learn about this business.
  • Participating in the blogosphere is a super way to establish yourelf as a thought leader, even if you don't have your own blog.
  • Connecting with bloggers and readers can bring you ideas, opportunities, collaborators and clients.
  • Much, much more. 

Subscribe to the Coaching Blog

Subscribe to the Coaching Blog above right, to keep informed about this exciting coaching contest.

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, Coaches, coach

Dear Coach: Are You an Online Social Butterfly?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Online Social ButterflyRemember the proverb about the butterfly that flapped its wings and caused a hurricane halfway around the world?

It's been attributed to many sources (An old Chinese proverb, maybe?), but this story often gets quoted as a simple way to explain Systems Theory.

In short, systems theory tells us that large systems (like planet Earth) appear chaotic to the human eye, but actually are mathematically perfect. They are just so complex, that we can't always see the patterns that are at play within them. Everything works together and because it all works together, sometimes tiny actions can catalyze exponential outcomes, like a butterfly's wings causing a hurricane thousands of miles a way.

Of course, a butterly can't actually cause a hurricane, all by itself. There's a huge differential in the amount of energy required, but tiny actions at the right time and place can be leveraged to create incredible outcomes. That's one of the great lessons of systems theory and every great coach has seen it happen again and again.

Computers have made it possible for humans to comprehend complex systems and how mysterious events actually occur. Before computers, systems theory was pretty much just a theory. It was difficult to measure the evidence.

So it is, that especially online, where a seemingly infinite amount of data can be tracked and measured, tiny actions can have been shown to create incredible outcomes, and things as silly as a social networks, like Twitter or Facebook, can be used to fight runaway forest fires or influence the outcome of a Presidential election.

 The Online Social Butterfly has been born and she is powerful, exponentially powerful.

Remember Susan Boyle, of Britain's Got Talent fame, and how she rocketed to stardom for hundreds of millions of YouTube visitors? Even compared to television, the internet is extraordinarily influential. Tiny events can be leveraged to incredible outcomes.

Coaches are in the business of leveraging 'flutterby' activities (a.k.a. baby steps) toward great successes, beautiful lives and even huge fortunes for our clients. And the business of coaching often turns on the tiniest of butterfly activities, like posting a comment on a blog, or tweeting about an event.

Add to that the permanent quality of the internet, which creates a public record of you and your activities for a lifetime and you can see how those activities create your identity, brand and reputation in ways that nothing else can. And it just keeps creating more and more momentum for you.

Your online 'reach' or following makes a difference, of course. But knowing what, where and when to leverage is even more influential. That's what distinguishes true Online Social Butterflies from everyone else. OSB Connector Badge

Are you a true Online Social Butterfly? Or would you like to become one? At School  of Coaching Mastery, we have an actual job description for Online Social Butterflies. Currently, it is a volunteer position for coaches who want to learn how to leverage their actions and monitor their effects, so that they create an impact of tsunami proportions.

AsteriskIf you are interested, go here to apply for the Online Social Butterfly position and learn how to create small actions that change everything.

 

 

Topics: Coaching, blog, School of Coaching Mastery, Coaches, Facebook, coach, twitter, play

Winning Blogs Get Picked Up by 100 Best Coaching Blogs List

Posted by Julia Stewart

And the winner is...Great fallout from the Best Coaching Blogs Contest continues to roll in.

 

The contest had a few bumps, but in the end, there seem to be a lot of pleased coaches. Of course, a few people were disappointed that they didn't win, but most were philosophical, since their blogs picked up new readers and subscribers. They should have! The contest page received over 30,000 hits in two months.

Coach Marian Kerr, of New Zealand, shared this lovely comment,

‘Thanks for all your work on this Julia. Despite some glitches, it was still an amazing experience. I'll be following some of the blogs from the contest and have had new people subscribe to my blog and newsletter. It's great to share with those of like mind and receive inspiration and support along the way.'

Marian also mentioned that quite a few of the contestants' blogs were included in a list of 100 Best Life and Career Coach Blogs, right along side of Tony Robbins and Martha Beck. Not too shabby!

I was please that Mastery Coach Exchange, SCM's own social networking site for coaches, was included in the category called, 'Best Communities for Coaches', along with the IAC, the ICF and a few others.

As the list says,

"Coaches or someone just looking for a coach will enjoy visiting this Facebook like site. In addition to the groups, forums, and blogs, there is also a special section for becoming a coach."

One of the cool things about the web is that it catches us doing good things and creates a ripple effect that can keep expanding for years. I hope this contest continues to expand success for all of the contestants.

Thanks Marian, for passing this on!

photo by notsogoodphotography at flickr creative commons

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, coaching blogs, ICF, coach, Tony Robbins, IAC, Martha Beck

Announcing Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Winners!

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs WinnersWe have our winners for the 2009 Best Coaching Blogs Contest!

Forty-five wonderful blogs were entered and I've heard  from countless people that it was a terrific introduction to blogs and coaching. Kudos to everyone who entered and participated faithfully. Watch for an announcement about next year's contest in this space. 

But you want to know who the winners are, right? Here they are.

Congratulations to our top three winners!

1st Place: Mine Your Resources by  Cath Duncan

Here's Cath's reaction to learning that she won:

"Wow, thanks so much! This means a lot to me, especially considering the standard of the other blogs - many colleagues whose work I know well (and love reading regularly) were featured in the competition. So this is a real honour. Thanks to everyone!"
Cath has a new coaching site that goes live today:  www.bottomlinebookclub.com

2nd Place: Good Vibe Blog by Jeannette Maw 

3rd Place: Stirring the Spirit Within by Jude Eastman

Jude's reaction to winning third place: 

"Wow-I'm in Hawaii enjoying the surf, flora, and fauna of the big Island. It's hard to imagine winning third place! I feel like Woohoo! I write my blog as inspiration for others who are trying to change their lives. Hopefully,they will be pulled forward into their highest and best life whatever circumstances they are currently in." 

The following seven blogs complete our Top Ten Winners:

Somedays Syndrome

Prosperous Coach Blog

Laurie Foley

All Paths to Victory

Your Web Coaches

Lose the Excuses


Sixteen additional bloggers were semi-finalists. All in all, this has been a really fun project. I've been introduced to some amazing coaches and blogs and learned a lot about how to run a contest! 

Our ultimate goal was to compile a list of Best Coaching Blogs that anyone can visit to learn more about coaching and personal & professional development.

Visit all our Best Coaching Blogs Winners here.

Topics: Coaching, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, Coaches

Cries of Foul Play in Best Coaching Blogs Contest

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2009Last week I wrote about how competitive the Best  Coaching Blogs 2009 contest had become.

Thousands of votes; lots of excitement. Well, we seem to have turned a corner with that. One blog recently got more votes in a period of a few hours than the number of visitors to our entire website! Hmm...if each person is supposed to vote once, then...

Today, I also received an email from someone who says she's been bombarded by bloggers who are asking her to vote multiple times for their blogs. Not cool. Not cool at all.

The voting software is designed to prevent anyone from voting more than once, but any system can be "gamed". How naive I must be to think that coaches would be above all that!

When I first caught wind of some cut-throat activity, I started watching my web analytics for irregularities and they revealed mostly positive behavior, plus some that I wasn't so sure about. I made some mental notes about how to change the contest for next year, but it meant that possibly I had missed some activities that should have disqualified a few blogs this year and it was too late to be sure. That's not good.

Now I'm thinking that I can't guarantee the fairness of this contest. That makes me really sad, but I'm not one to stand around sniffling. 

Clearly, some changes need to be made. And although I was hoping for a "People's Choice" award for coaching blogs, I think it would be much fairer to let all of the bloggers vote for each other, including those who didn't make the previous two cuts. The web "votes" will now be for "entertainment" purposes,only.

I'm asking myself what I've learned here. Should I have tested the software with a mock contest? I don't think a mock contest would have elicited this result. Maybe experience really is the best teacher.

Perhaps the real lesson is that temptation can get the better of even good people, so it's best not to tempt them. Or judge them.

My hero in all of this, though, is the coach who disqualified herself and withdrew from the contest. She said it was the negative vote option that was her downfall. She did the right stuff to bring people to the site to vote for her, but others kept voting her back down, so she started adding the votes back in. As she said,

'I know the playground excuse of “She started it!” won’t fly and I won’t even try to go there.'
 
Kudos. I was going to invite other bloggers to step forward and disqualify themselves, if needed, but since the contest rules are now changed, there is no need, except maybe for your own integrity. Let's all take a moment to shake off that bad ju-ju and step back into our best Selves.
 
Last points: The contest has succeeded in its main objective, which is to spotlight the best blogs by coaches and encourage more people to read them.  And the remaining bloggers didn't necessarily do anything wrong.  Most of them got to the semi-finals by writing great blog posts and inspiring their readers.
 
Expect more announcements about the contest in this space. 
 
I'm really curious about your thoughts. Did you vote? What was your experience? Were you concerned about fairness? If you're one of the bloggers, what are your thoughts?

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coach

Best Coaching Blogs Competitive Round is REALLY Competitive

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching BlogsThe Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Contest is in full swing.

The Qualifying Round ended with 19 blogs being cut. Now the more competive blogs are jockeying for the first page and top positions. The option to vote a blog up or down, makes the competition particularly fluid. Not sure we'll keep that option for next year, since voting a blog down feels a little un-coach-like, but it makes the contest fun!

With 16,000 hits to the contest page in the last few weeks, votes and positions are changing rapidly, especially between the top five blogs. 

The most common question that I get from owners of the blogs is, "Why isn't my vote count changing when someone votes for my blog?" There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. A blog can actually have negative votes, but the lowest grade you will see for it is zero. When someone votes for it, the vote will be counted, but it won't change from zero until the net vote is one or higher.
  2. The system remembers your computer, so you can't vote it up more than once. In this case, your second vote won't be tallied.
  3. With 16,000 hits to the page, the odds that someone else is voting at the same time that you are, are pretty good. If they vote down, while you vote up, the net vote is zero. Sounds incredible, but I've seen votes go up and down dramatically in minutes and I've seen votes stay "stuck", as well. This contest is very active.
  4. The position of a blog won't change unless you update the page.

For readers of blogs, this is a great time to read the best coaching blogs, because they are all in one place. Don't worry, here's a strategy for finding the time to read them all. It's also a great time to cast your vote and help determine who gets declared the Best Coaching Blog in 2009.

And for those of you who own coaching blogs and are regretting that you didn't enter the contest in time, there is always next year.

In the meantime, VOTE! 

TweetIt from HubSpot

Topics: Coaching, blog, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, coach

So Many Blogs So Little Time - What's a Coach to Do?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Blogger on Fire

What's the real reason School of Coaching Mastery is sponsoring the Best Coaching Blogs 2009 contest?

It's the same reason we started our own "Find a Coach" social networking site, Mastery Coach Exchange. 

We're doing it because it gives our students a real-world laboratory in which to learn how to leverage the Internet's most powerful marketing tools, so when they leave SCM, they don't flounder trying to find coaching clients, but have hands-on experience - and success - at finding their ideal clients and coaching them to transformation.

That doesn't mean that our students are the only ones benefiting, though. Everyone is winning. In the case of Best Coaching Blogs, the coaches who write the blogs are getting read much more than usual. They're creating new fans and new subscribers. Some of those new readers will become clients, and so on. And winning will give them distinction and bragging rights!

And of course, the readers get to learn great stuff from the bloggers, like how to set up a successful coaching business, how to transform your life, and a lot more. By putting the best of the coaching bloggosphere in one place, with votes and comments from the readers, we're making it easy for you to find the very best coaching blogs efficiently and you can help the bloggers out by reading, voting and commenting. Plus it's free. Great stuff!

But the benefits don't stop there. The bloggosphere is one of the most powerful tools for both learning and marketing, but that does not mean you need to be writing your own blog. Actually, unless you like to write and really have something to say, I would advise you NOT to start your own blog. That doesn't mean you can't leverage the bloggosphere to grow your coaching business, though. 

If you want to be more successful as a coach, start with other people's blogs.

Here are six steps to get you started:

1. Start reading several good blogs every week (Better yet: Everyday).
2. Start subscribing to the best ones.
3. Start commenting on the posts that really speak to you.
4. Start developing relationships with the writers and readers at your favorite blogs.
5. Those relationships can be nurtured into joint ventures, linking, opportunities and clients.
6. It's a way to learn and a way to market, all at the same time, and it's fre*e.

I'm teaching students at SCM a whole lot more about how to leverage the bloggosphere, but I've put together one very awesome tool for everyone, including you - gratis - and that's the Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Contest is going on, on our website, right now. Some of the best blogs in the coaching industry are already entered.

So you don't have to spend hours searching down the best blogs for you to read. You can pick the ones your friends are voting on and even read the comments they left, so you know which ones you want to try out.

Because they are all in one place, you can bookmark the page and return again and again, when it's convenient to you, while the contest continues, and read more blogs, cast your votes and add your comments (Be sure to add your website address to your comments).

Commenting on blogs is one of the smartest ways you can use Web 2.0 to market your business. Do you comment on blogs everyday?

While you're at it, don't just read the front runners. There are some real gems in this contest that not many people have heard of. You can help bring them to light by reading, commenting on and voting for them.

Approximately 1,000 people have already participated in this contest. Are you curious what brought them there?

Visit the Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Contest page now and bookmark it, so you can return, read, comment and vote at your leisure.

Winners will be determined by both votes and comments.

Oh and if you have a great blog that you want to enter, we're still accepting entries through Sunday, but the sooner you enter, the more votes you'll get.

Have fun and keep being great!

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, coaching blogs, School of Coaching Mastery, SCM, coach, School of Coaching

Stamp Out Boring Tweets

Posted by Julia Stewart

TwitterThe other night I was at a dinner party where I was the only rabid Twitter fiend present.

No, no other coaches were present. Someone mentioned Twitter and asked me what all the fuss was about, so I tried to explain how fun, useful, etc. Twitter is, but all I got were puzzled BFD looks.

So the next morning, when I opened Twitter, I had to assess: Just how fun really, is Twitter? And I started to notice that I'm not THAT entertained most of the time.

Here's the thing: I follow some top-notch Tweeps. And although I don't expect all of them to be brilliant all of the time, out of twenty or so tweets, shouldn't one or two make me laugh, enlighten me, connect me to some amazing new person, website, etc.? Well, they don't always.

Am I asking too much?

Maybe we ALL should be asking a lot MORE. What if Twitter really is getting more boring? What if the honeymoon is over and the relationship isn't all we thought it would be?

Or what if tweeps are just getting lazy? Are our standards high enough for the junk we expect our followers to read? Attention is the new currency. Are your tweets worthy of my notice day after day?

I've heard Twitter is the new art form. If so, who are the Leonardo Da Vincis of Twitterville and how can I follow them? Better yet, how can we all master this new high tech haiku?

I don't have the answers yet, but I'm doing a little research and I invite your feedback. Take the following poll today, or everyday, if you like. You'll answer just one question:

Are the tweets your tweeps are posting in your Twitter feed more interesting today than they were yesterday or are they more boring than they were yesterday?

That's it. I'll update the trending results in my Twitter feed each day: Either more boring or more interesting. http://twitter.com/masterycoach 

We're all on notice now. Stamp out boring tweets! 

Take the "Is Twitter Getting More Boring or More Interesting?" poll.

And recommend the most interesting tweeps you're following in the comments, below. 

Topics: blog, Coaches, twitter, Mastery Coach

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