The Blogging Class (and Its Beautiful Creator) That Helps You Find Your Voice and Share Your Message
These days, seems like there are a million and one solopreneurs out there hustling at the online blogging business game and offering their own blogging class or email class or webinar to help you do what they have done. But there are a select few that are truly killing it and rising to the top. Count Nikki Novo among them.
As a self-help author, Millennial speaker, creative career advice-giver, and Blogging for Purpose Bootcamp creator, Nikki is the light in your life that will help you find your voice and feel REALLY good doing it. Like, she has got the whole minimizing your fears and self-doubt thing DOWN.
I'm lucky to be able to call her a friend, and have gleefully been on the receiving end of her greatness over coffee. But what I looooove about Nikki is that her genuine presence and interest in bringing you to life through creative endeavors is transmitted through her online persona--and nothing is lost in translation.
Hers are one of the few emails I always open, because I know, no matter what her subject matter, her message is going to teach me and reassure me that I'm doing A-OKAY.
She just has this knack for telling a meaningful story in such a way that hits home for you every. single. time. In a good way. In a way that gets you to think and fearlessly assess where you're at.
And, trust me, she will teach you how, too.
You've been through a few iterations of your site. I think it's so important for creatives to understand that their vision will shift over time to accommodate their passions and purpose. In terms of focus, where did you start and where are you now?
Oh gosh. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, actually. We start off with this really narrow view of things. We can’t see the whole road in front of us and nothing makes sense, which is why a lot of us get so scared to begin. And since we don’t understand how it will all play out, we don’t trust the path enough to start.
Luckily, I started the path and didn’t even know it. I started off writing a dating blog, just to fuel my need to express myself outside my in-the-box magazine job. I was too naïve to think anyone would read my work. And while I received a lot of feedback about my perspective on dating, the feedback I received the most was people asking me to teach them how to blog. Go figure!
I’m a huge advocate for writing and blogging, because I think it’s a great self-discovery tool, so I was happy to teach the topic. From there, I dabbled into teaching new-agey type personal growth courses.
What I’ve learned as a business woman, is that you have to find that middle ground where something that excites you is also something people are willing to pay you for. That’s what teaching writing is for me. It’s one of my passions, and there’s a clear need for it, so I’ve been able to make a business out of it.
Teaching bloggers, writer hopefuls, and small business owners how to spread their message and write well is where I am today. And I only found that because I was open to evolving and trusting.
How did you know it was time to shift focus and move to the next stage of you business/site?
I’m a good listener. It’s really important to listen to the people who are consuming your work. Are you really solving their problem, or is there something else they want you to solve? And if so, can you solve it and do you want to solve it? That’s what you need to ask yourself when thinking of shifting.
You want to start somewhere — anywhere— and then listen for problems and gaps in people’s knowledge. In the beginning, since I didn’t really know what I was doing, I would just listen — to both my readers and myself. Eventually, I decided to attempt to solve problems I was fit to solve. And sometimes, that takes you places you didn’t even know you wanted to go!
I also realized at some point that you can’t help everyone, and you will be more effective if you niche down.
What's been the most important lesson you've learned since originally launching this?
I would say the most important lesson I learned was to take myself seriously and commit. I spent a lot of time doubting myself and my abilities. The way I used to do that was by jumping from thing to thing and being unclear. I wasted a lot time, and in the end, I ended up where I always knew I was supposed to be.
When did you know you were really onto something with your site?
The day I taught my first in-person class on blogging. I had bring chairs from my house, because the venue did not have enough seats for all the people who signed up.
What's been the best advice you've received? Given?
Best Advice Received: You can’t do everything all at once. As a multi-passionate person, I thought I could do several things at once and be great at all of them. A good friend taught me to start, focus, finish, and go on to the next project.
Best Advice Given: When you’re not sure where you’re going, take the small step you see in front of you. With each step, a new one will show itself.
Is there a student's story that stands out? Perhaps one that you draw upon to keep you motivated when you're lacking inspiration?
Hmm, so many. I’m always really proud of one of my mentees, Nicky Valdes, who had no writing background, and now has clippings with Refinery29, HelloGiggles, and Zagat.
Emily Nolan, of My Kind of Life, took one of my blogging classes way back when, and she just hit ground running. Last year, she spent her time touring with Lululemon promoting her body-conscious event, Topless. Amazing.
What's one thing you wish every woman understood before starting a blog and/or blogging business?
It takes time and work! I think most people know this, but perhaps we tend to think we’re the exception
What can you never leave home without?
I wish I had something more interesting for you, but I’d have to say my iPhone. I’m really attached to my Evernote app and my Podcast app.
How has your personal life had a positive influence on your career?
Well, for one, you learn to really honor your time. Before I had kids, I really had no agenda. It was great, ha! But I also wasted a lot of time. Now, every minute is used intentionally.
Also, I’m learning to not take my business so personal. When your brand is your name, you look to be defined by your brand, which puts a lot of pressure on your brand. There’s no way your online company can embody the whole spectrum of you. When I had more time to obsess over myself, I thought my business was supposed to show the world how complex I was.
Now that I have a husband to reflect off of and two humans to keep alive, I’ve learned that I am not my business.
The book I'm currently reading is...
An ENORMOUS thanks to Nikki for answering my Q's! For more from Nikki, you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and Instagram, and sign up for her FREE Blogging for Purpose Bootcamp here.