This guest post is by Annabel Candy of Successful Blogging.
The Dalai Lama recently came to visit me on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Well, not me specifically but the thousands of people who drove miles, piled into buses, and waited under bright skies to hear him speak.
It wasn’t what I expected. I joined Toastmasters to learn the art of public speaking but I don’t think the Dalai Lama needs to. His speech wasn’t polished but his message came over crystal-clear, and it’s obvious why he’s built up such a massive following, even without the help of social media.
Here’s a man who doesn’t need to use blogging to build his business, earn more money or establish himself as an expert in his field. He’s already the spiritual leader of the world.
He doesn’t even write a blog, but the Dalai Lama still has a lot to teach bloggers.
1. Have a sense of humor
The prayer flags on stage hung a bit low and the Dalai Lama peeped out from behind them, instantly making the audience laugh. Then he worried that the Aboriginal dancers, clad only in a small red cloth, might be feeling the cold.
There’s already enough dry, tutorial style information around. People learn more and want to come back to a blog that’s fun to read and bloggers should make the most of that.
2. Be humble
There was a comfy sofa sitting centre stage for the Dalai Lama to recline on while he spoke. He’s an old man but he said we wouldn’t be able to see him there so he chose to stand at the front of the stage under the hot sun where we could see him better.
Blogging is all about relationships, interacting with your readers and being present for them on your blog and on their favourite social media outposts
3. Be human
The Dalai Lama wasn’t sure of the protocol. He didn’t know if he was to speak first or if someone was going to introduce him. He’s just a normal human being like us trying his best.
We all make mistakes—typos slip into blog posts or links are forgotten. Just acknowledge them, fix what you can, and do your best.
Be happy and show that happiness. More people will want to hang out with you. It definitely works for the Dalai Lama who spreads happiness wherever he goes.
Do you like hanging out with and working with happy people? Then make sure your blog and gravatar photos makes you look friendly and open.
Don’t use photos where you look cool or sexy … you may come across as bored or grumpy instead. Unless you’re really cool and sexy, of course.
5. Be you
You can shave your head like the Dalai Lama, wear thick glasses, and sport deep wrinkles on your face and arms. It doesn’t really matter. As long as you are you, people will only notice the good things—your smile, your twinkling eyes, and your dimples.
There’s a lot of talk about authenticity in blogging and social media and being you makes your blog stand out better than anything else.
6. Speak from your heart
The Dalai Lama didn’t need to read his speech from notes. His message is there in his heart and in his soul. We know he really believes it.
Bloggers need to really believe their message and be passionate about it. Practically you need to blog about what you love because you’ll be blogging about it long-term. Passion will shine through on your blog and in your writing, videos or podcasts.
7. Take time
The Dalai Lama didn’t feel the need to rush his words. Sometimes he had to reflect and think a bit about what he wanted to say.
Don’t rush your blogging or try to keep up with other bloggers. I only post once a week own blogs (I have two) because I have other writing to do and I like to spend time making sure all my posts are as good as they can be.
Blogging is a long-term investment so you need to be patient to see the results.
8. Get help
The Dalai Lama had a friend to hand who whispered in his ear when the right word didn’t spring to mind.
Bloggers need to get help with the bits they find hard. For some it might be blog design, others need help with content creation, others with Facebook.
Accept that you can’t do everything, do the bits you love and the fun bits as best you can and seek help for other things.
9. Have a strong and universal message
Thousands of people flock to hear the Dalai Lama speak because his message of peace and love is crystal-clear.
Bloggers will have to work out what their message is before they can share it fully with their readers.
10. Use stories and anecdotes people can relate to
The Dalai Lama used relevant stories mentioning local Queenslanders who showed co-operation, friendship, and trust by helping each other out voluntarily during the floods.
Bloggers need to capture their readers’ imagination and give people concrete examples they can relate to. Story-telling is the best way to get your readers reading and keep them hooked until the end.
Does the Dalai Lama’s popularity resonate with you as a blogger? What else can bloggers learn from him and other inspiring leaders?