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Case Study: How One Writer Grew an Engaged Social Media Following (7/19/2019) - Writer Alison Taylor-Brown just reached the milestone of having 6,000 followers on Facebook. This, in and of itself is not a big deal though. I have seen many people amass a big following, but one that is not engaged. Again and again I will see someone with 10,000 followers or 20,000 followers on Facebook, but … Continue reading "Case Study: How One Writer Grew an Engaged Social Media Following" How Boston’s GrubStreet Went From Teaching 8 Writers Per Year, to 6,000+, with Eve Bridburg (7/17/2019) - Each year, Boston’s GrubStreet offers more than 600 courses and programs for writers. They began in 1997 with 8 students, and today, they serve more than 6,000 writers per year. In this episode, I talk to GrubStreet Founder and Executive Director Eve Bridburg. We dig into how she and the GrubStreet team make decisions, take risks, … Continue reading "How Boston’s GrubStreet Went From Teaching 8 Writers Per Year, to 6,000+, with Eve Bridburg" The Truth About Book Launches (7/12/2019) - I’ve been a part of hundreds of book launches with authors over the past decade. Today I want to talk about some of the things that are rarely discussed publicly about about the reality of book launches. These are the uncomfortable truths that many writers are surprised to discover when they are going through their … Continue reading "The Truth About Book Launches" A Book Launch Case Study, with Author Audrey Monke (7/10/2019) - Earlier this year, author Audrey Monke and I talked about her plans for her upcoming book launch. I knew that she had been preparing for it for months — even years — ahead of time. But I waited to have her on the podcast, because I didn’t just want to discuss what she was planning, … Continue reading "A Book Launch Case Study, with Author Audrey Monke" Taking creative risks (7/5/2019) - Nine years ago, I took a huge creative risk. The corporate job I had for a decade ended, and I didn’t look for another one. Instead, I started my own company. The only problem? I wasn’t quite sure what it would be. What I would do. How I would really earn a living with it. … Continue reading "Taking creative risks" How to make serious progress on your creative goals (6/28/2019) - Yesterday I received a surprising email. It was from someone who I worked with in my mastermind group earlier this year, Karen Lock Kolp. We hadn’t spoken in a couple months, and she wanted to give me an update on the progress she has been making on her creative goals. But it wasn’t just an … Continue reading "How to make serious progress on your creative goals" “You have to be willing to begin again”, My Interview with Literary Agent Lori Kilkelly (6/25/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift Podcast, I talk with literary agent Lori Kilkelly about two creative shifts that she made in her career. The first is when she left a successful career in advertising and sales pursue a career in publishing, starting as an intern. The next one is more recent, the launch of … Continue reading "“You have to be willing to begin again”, My Interview with Literary Agent Lori Kilkelly" Give yourself permission to create (6/21/2019) - All day I talk to writers and creators, digging into how they can create the work they love, share it in a meaningful way, and truly reach people and have an impact on them. Today, I want to share three core skills that I encourage writers to consider to reach these goals: Give yourself permission … Continue reading "Give yourself permission to create" Getting Out of a Creative Rut (6/19/2019) - Today I want to share my process for getting out of a creative rut. So many writers and creators I speak with struggle to develop the habits they need to feel fulfilled in what they create, I wanted to share my way of staying on track. In this episode I also mention my next Creative … Continue reading "Getting Out of a Creative Rut" A 90-Day Plan to Reach Your Creative Goals (6/14/2019) - Heads up: I’m hiring! If you know of anyone who likes graphic design and social media, please have them check out this part-time position. They can work from wherever they live. Details here. This week, two different writers told me that they wish they had found me 10 years ago. They have been digging into … Continue reading "A 90-Day Plan to Reach Your Creative Goals" I Opened the Doors to the Next Session of The Creative Shift Mastermind (6/11/2019) - For the past three years, I have woken up every day and engaged directly with a small group of writers and creators in my private mastermind group. We dig deep into establishing rock-solid creative habits, defining our creative identity, and getting radically clear on creative priorities. These are some of the amazing people I have … Continue reading "I Opened the Doors to the Next Session of The Creative Shift Mastermind" I’m hiring! Come work with me. (6/9/2019) - All day every day for the past 9 years, I have been working with writers and artists to grow their platforms and ensure that their creative work has an impact. If you are inspired by writers and artists, if you have a graphic design background, if you love social media and content strategy, then I … Continue reading "I’m hiring! Come work with me." I Helped a Writer Create Her Podcast (with a 30-Episode First Season) (5/31/2019) - One of my clients just wrapped up the first season of her podcast that I helped her launch. She’s a psychologist who tends to specialize in helping people through trauma, and she is writing a book about how to overcome whatever holds you back. Her work is inspiring. The first season of her podcast, called … Continue reading "I Helped a Writer Create Her Podcast (with a 30-Episode First Season)" Less Information, More Action (5/31/2019) - Today I want to share with you the end-to-end process I take writers through to develop their author platforms and ensure their books connect with readers. I’ve been honing it for years, it’s called the Creative Success Pyramid. This is it (click the image to download a full-sized PDF): It’s comprised of five basic parts, … Continue reading "Less Information, More Action" This Marketing Strategy Works (5/24/2019) - Last weekend, I was part of a panel discussion at the Biographers International Conference in New York City. This was the presentation just before I went on stage: I was there to discuss how to promote your book. In our panel, one marketing strategy kept coming up again and again: Show up in the lives … Continue reading "This Marketing Strategy Works" What I’m learning about the creative process (5/17/2019) - This week, I simply want to take you behind the scenes into my creative practices, and what I’ve been working on. Every day, I sit here in this private studio, and what I share below is what I am earning about the creative process. But first, here is a studio tour video: Okay, here is … Continue reading "What I’m learning about the creative process" Chuck Wendig on Owning Your Voice and Choosing the Path of Your Career as a Writer (5/16/2019) - I’m excited to share my interview with bestselling author Chuck Wendig. He gets really honest about: How he got a 3 book deal to write Star Wars book via a Tweet. Why he says Twitter won’t help u sell books, but that it is filled with a lot of professional opportunities, giving you access to … Continue reading "Chuck Wendig on Owning Your Voice and Choosing the Path of Your Career as a Writer" How I Helped This Author Grow Her Platform From Scratch (5/10/2019) - Today I want to share the specific steps I took to help a first-time author establish her platform and release her book. The topline results of our work together so far: Her book was released this week. It hit #1 New Release in the Divorce category on Amazon. She now manages a thriving private community … Continue reading "How I Helped This Author Grow Her Platform From Scratch" “The support of my work often stopped at a Facebook Like.” My interview with author Leigh Stein (4/30/2019) - Leigh Stein did something that few writers do: she talked publicly about how many copies her books have sold. Her novel sold 8,000 copies. Her memoir that followed it sold 1,345 copies, which was hugely disappointing to her. In particular because it came out at a time when she was running an organization of 40,000 … Continue reading "“The support of my work often stopped at a Facebook Like.” My interview with author Leigh Stein" The joy and the risk of clicking publish (4/26/2019) - As a writer, there is this moment you dream of: the moment of publication. It used to be that the moment of publication was a rare event. The publication of your book, after years of crafting it. The publication of an article after months of writing and trying to getting it placed. But now, the … Continue reading "The joy and the risk of clicking publish" A Love Letter to the 1970s, My Interview With Author Brian Heiler (4/23/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift podcast, I share something completely different. I interview author Brian Heiler about how he developed a thriving online community around his love for 1970s toys and pop culture. He runs PlaidStallions.com and is the author of the book: Rack Toys: Cheap Crazed Playthings. I can’t even express to … Continue reading "A Love Letter to the 1970s, My Interview With Author Brian Heiler" An Incredible Marketing Case Study, with Author-Illustrator Lori Richmond (4/17/2019) - “The most interesting marketing opportunities are those that are unconventional.” That is how author-illustrator Lori Richmond sums up the case study we are about to present here. In today’s episode of The Creative Shift podcast, we take you step by step as to how Lori discovered a way to get her work seen by more … Continue reading "An Incredible Marketing Case Study, with Author-Illustrator Lori Richmond" Craft and Connection (and David Bowie) (4/12/2019) - Reminder: Today is the deadline to register for my new program: Blogging & Email Newsletters for Writers. Get direct feedback from me each week to develop or improve your blog/newsletter strategy. Register here. I’ve been hearing a lot of advice from successful creators recently that I think may be chilling for you to hear. Like … Continue reading "Craft and Connection (and David Bowie)" Writers: own your connection to readers (3/29/2019) - My friend Sean Blanda has this expression he’s been using: “Always Own Your Platform.” He even has this adorable graphic that he uses when referencing it on Twitter: This is general theme I talk to writers about a lot. People can define an author’s platform differently, but I’ve always defined it as: Communication Trust Your … Continue reading "Writers: own your connection to readers" How to develop a non-negotiable creative practice (3/27/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift podcast, I share my system for how to develop a daily creative practice. For some of you, this may be to double-down on your primary craft, such as your writing or art. But for others, it may help you better stay connected with your ideal audience through your … Continue reading "How to develop a non-negotiable creative practice" Why I stopped writing (3/22/2019) - For a very long time, I had established this daily writing habit. First thing in the morning, I would work on my next two books. Often I took a photo of it, which ended up looking something like this: But last summer I stopped this practice. I stopped working on both books. Today I want … Continue reading "Why I stopped writing" “I Needed to Own My Style.” My Interview with Artist and Author Samantha Dion Baker (3/20/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift podcast, artist, illustrator, and author Samantha Dion Baker takes us inside her career. She tells us how a simple daily practice of drawing radically reshaped her career, and helped her stay true to her creative vision. She is the author of the book Draw Your Day. You can … Continue reading "“I Needed to Own My Style.” My Interview with Artist and Author Samantha Dion Baker" Even successful writers struggle with this… (3/15/2019) - Something I obsess about is this idea of a ‘creative shift’ — how someone takes their writing and craft to the next level. In the past week or so, I shared podcast interviews with three successful authors, and each shared something that may surprise you: Seth Godin: Before he became the bestselling author we know … Continue reading "Even successful writers struggle with this…" Seth Godin on His Career and Creative Shift (3/14/2019) - I’m excited to share my interview with author, entrepreneur, and teacher Seth Godin. He just released a new book, This is Marketing, and has spent his career sharing advice in his 17 other books, 7,000 blog posts, and many other resources. In this podcast, we dig deep into Seth’s career, and the many decisions he … Continue reading "Seth Godin on His Career and Creative Shift" “I don’t want my art to be good or bad, I want it to be me.” My interview with Rebecca Green (3/10/2019) - In this remarkably honest interview for The Creative Shift Podcast, author and illustrator Rebecca Green gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how she continues to find her creative direction, and navigate growth in her career as a full-time author/illustrator. Some topics we dig into: How she finds the clarity to grow with her creative work, … Continue reading "“I don’t want my art to be good or bad, I want it to be me.” My interview with Rebecca Green" I was stuck. This is how I got unstuck. (3/8/2019) - Today I want to talk about the practical steps you can take to actually take your writing to the next level. By this I mean: Establish rock-solid creative habits. Define your creative identity. Get radically clear on your priorities of what you want to create. If you are like many writers I speak to, you … Continue reading "I was stuck. This is how I got unstuck." The Hopelessness and Hopefulness of the Writing Life. My conversation with Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (3/6/2019) - On Instagram this morning I saw a series of videos from author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore where she talked about how she keeps writing, even when she has some bad days with it. I asked if she would hop on the phone to talk about this topic, and she was up for it! In this conversation, we … Continue reading "The Hopelessness and Hopefulness of the Writing Life. My conversation with Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore" What comes after your book is published (3/1/2019) - Two years ago, I clicked the “publish” button on my first book, Be the Gateway. It can be scary to click that button. To not just put your voice in the world, but to be heard. For me, publishing the book was an important milestone, but not the end goal. For the past two years, … Continue reading "What comes after your book is published" A Masterclass in Human-Centered Book Publicity. My interview with Seale Ballenger. (2/27/2019) - Today’s episode of The Creative Shift podcast is a masterclass in human-centered publicity. I speak with Seale Ballenger, who is the Publicity Director at Disney Publishing Worldwide. He has worked with legendary writers, and shares his experience of what publicity looks like within the publishing industry. He has worked within Random House, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins … Continue reading "A Masterclass in Human-Centered Book Publicity. My interview with Seale Ballenger." Common pitfalls authors should avoid (2/22/2019) - I spent this past week helping 700+ authors better understand author website essentials. In the group there were lots of conversations and questions. It was a great reminder of how confusing it can be to be an author trying to be public with their work, and how easy it is to step into common pitfalls: … Continue reading "Common pitfalls authors should avoid" “I was allowing people to talk instead of me.” Inside the Creative Shift of Comedian and Author Nina G (2/19/2019) - In this week’s episode of The Creative Shift podcast, I talk to comedian, author, and speaker Nina G. She walks us through the moment when she made a profound creative shift in her life: “I was allowing people to talk instead of me. I cleaned house and started a new life.” She was working in … Continue reading "“I was allowing people to talk instead of me.” Inside the Creative Shift of Comedian and Author Nina G" Is my writing good enough? (2/15/2019) - A writer emailed me a question the other day: “The thing I struggle with most is the fear that my writing will stink. The fear comes from my tendency to compare my (theoretical) work with things I read, which tend to be classics — some of the best works ever created. I would enjoy any … Continue reading "Is my writing good enough?" Why Marketing (Your Writing or Art) Matters. My Interview with Author and Professor Tim Calkins (2/12/2019) - In this episode of The Creative Shift with Dan Blank, I speak to Tim Calkins, Clinical Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. We discuss the cornerstones of marketing and his experience in launching his latest book: “How to Wash a Chicken – Mastering the Business Presentation.” We dig into his book launch strategy, … Continue reading "Why Marketing (Your Writing or Art) Matters. My Interview with Author and Professor Tim Calkins" Author Website Essentials (2/8/2019) - I want to invite you to a free 5-day program I am running from February 18 – 22 called Author Website Essentials. Each day, I will share a video that walks you through the purpose of an author website, the essentials you need, what content to share, and how to create (or optimize) a minimum … Continue reading "Author Website Essentials" The Creative Shift Podcast (2/5/2019) - I’m happy to announce the new name for this podcast: The Creative Shift with Dan Blank. Last week I asked for your feedback, and was blown away by all of the response I received. In this episode, I reflect on what I heard from you, and what you can expect in this podcast moving forward. … Continue reading "The Creative Shift Podcast" I Need Your Help With My Podcast (1/30/2019) - I recently published three incredible interviews on my podcast: Your Book is a Gift: A Book Launch Case Study with Dr. Beth Ricanati Inside Children’s Book Publishing, My Interview with Emma Dryden “It takes one person to write a book,” My Interview with Author Joseph Finder It occurred to me that even though I started … Continue reading "I Need Your Help With My Podcast" Human-Centered Marketing for Introverted Writers (1/25/2019) - I’m excited to announce a brand new program I’m launching called Human-Centered Marketing for Introverted Writers. I invite you to join me for a four-week program to create an outreach plan to find and engage your ideal audience. What you receive in the program: The Reader Connection Plan template and videos to guide you through … Continue reading "Human-Centered Marketing for Introverted Writers" Your Book is a Gift: A Book Launch Case Study with Dr. Beth Ricanati (1/23/2019) - In today’s podcast, I dig into a book launch case study with author Dr. Beth Ricanati. Last year she released her book, Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs, and we dig into the entire process of writing, publishing, and promoting the book. When I asked her to summarize the book launch, she said: “It … Continue reading "Your Book is a Gift: A Book Launch Case Study with Dr. Beth Ricanati" 500 Writers Came Together for This (1/18/2019) - Last week something unexpected happened, I’m still trying to process it. I announced a weeklong free program I was going to run called Social Media for Writers. I invited people into a Facebook Group that I had used for a different program back in the Fall, there were 203 writers in there from that time. … Continue reading "500 Writers Came Together for This" Inside Children’s Book Publishing, My Interview with Emma Dryden (1/16/2019) - Today I share my interview with Emma Dryden, who in the course of her career has edited more than 1,000 books for children and young readers. She spent more than 25 years working in traditional publishing as an editor and publisher, working within Simon & Schuster and Random House. A decade ago, she founded her … Continue reading "Inside Children’s Book Publishing, My Interview with Emma Dryden" Social Media for Writers (1/10/2019) - I want to invite you to a free program I am running from January 14th through the 18th, it’s called “Social Media for Writers.” That week, I will share advice on four steps to develop your author platform via social media in a manner that encourages meaningful connections with readers. You can join me in this … Continue reading "Social Media for Writers" “It takes one person to write a book,” My Interview with Author Joseph Finder (1/8/2019) - In this conversation with New York Times Bestselling Author Joseph Finder, we dig into the value of a writer connecting with their audience, how he got his agent and made writing his full-time career, his experience having his books turned into major motion pictures, and what his creative process looks like today. I loved how … Continue reading "“It takes one person to write a book,” My Interview with Author Joseph Finder" How I Helped Create a Successful Online Summit for 600 Writers (1/4/2019) - A lot of writers I speak to want to engage an audience online. Today I want to share a case study of the exact way that I helped one of my clients do this. Her goals were similar what many writers want when developing their author platform and growing their audience: To truly help her … Continue reading "How I Helped Create a Successful Online Summit for 600 Writers" How to Define and Achieve Your Creative Goals (1/1/2019) - In today’s podcast episode, I share specific strategies to define goals for your creative work, and practices to actually achieve them. If you feel like you have hit a plateau with your craft or are in a rut, these are the steps I would recommend you take to create momentum. You can listen to the … Continue reading "How to Define and Achieve Your Creative Goals" The Best Time To Be a Writer is Right Now (12/28/2018) - Celebrate the Stories That Matter to You As we look to the year ahead, I want to encourage you to capture, share, and celebrate the stories that matter to you. Sure, this can be by writing a book, but it doesn’t have to be that big. The other day I recorded an interview: … with … Continue reading "The Best Time To Be a Writer is Right Now"