Welcome to 2014’s first edition of Digital Media Deconstructed. DMD is a monthly interview series were we interview digital media makers who are thought-leaders or trend-setters (or both!) in a niche, sharing their experience with creating a consistent compelling content strategy, establishing their own signature story and developing a strong online brand.
This month we’re speaking with Alex Blackwell (@thebridgemaker), who is the founder of The Bridgemaker, one of the most established Inspiration Blogs on the internet. Along with his blog, Alex is also the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Alex has done an amazing job not only using The Bridgemaker as a platform to establish his own thought-leadership in the Inspiration niche, but he has used his blog to create a platform to create a community of contributors who are all sharing their stories of inspiration and positivity.
We began working with Alex several months ago for a client of ours who had herself become a source of inspiration for others after she recovered from an additional to crack cocaine and wrote a book about her journey. The Bridgemaker was a great opportunity for us to further connect our client to her niche through contributed content. Alex’s community continues to grow and we’re thankful that he has welcomed so many of our clients to take part in sharing their stories of inspiration, positivity and personal development.
What interested you in wanting to start the BridgeMaker blog?
I first became interested in personal development 10 years ago when it was clear I had to begin making changes in the choices I was making if my marriage was going to last. My journey started when I attended a personal transformation seminar that gave me the tools and awareness that the life I wanted was waiting for me – all I had to do was make the choice to go get it.
A few years after reconciling my marriage, I was inspired to start The BridgeMaker as a way to inspire others to seek meaningful change in their lives, too.
Is there a common theme to your blog posts?
For the posts I write (which are published every Monday), I provide a properly-sized window into my life so readers will know they are not alone with their hopes, dreams and challenges. My posts explore the power of love and forgiveness; letting go of the past and celebrating the beauty found in life’s ordinary moments.
What is your impression of the blog’s community? How have they taken to you and your site’s mission?
The BridgeMaker community is awesome. They inspire me to continue sharing, growing and changing. I love replying to their comments as well as the interaction on Facebook and Twitter.
For many bloggers, the measures for success come from online metrics and analytics. Do the measures for success go beyond that for you because of the nature of your site?
Absolutely! For me, the most important measure of success can be found the emails I receive from readers who tell things like, “your post is just what I needed to read today,” or “you have inspired me to…” My focus is on providing honestly-written content. By doing that, the business side of my blog takes care of itself.
What advice would you give for bloggers, be it inspiration-focused or not?
Blogging is hard work. If you want to build a large blog and audience, be prepared to write every day and do things that builds your community like commenting on all other blogs and being involved with social media.
In the six years I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen so many blogs come out strong, and then fade away. I think this happens because there may be an expectation that starting a blog can bring overnight success – it does not. But, if you are clear on your blog’s purpose, and have the passion to work hard, blogging can be very rewarding, both financially and personally.