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Big Ideas. Short Books.

Want the rewards of becoming a published author? START HERE

Founded by Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book

I am not Seth Godin (but you knew that)

I woke up this morning with a jolt of humility.

When Seth lifts his pinkie finger, hundreds of thousands of people listen. And thousands of them put down money – if he asks them to. This happened with his recent Kickstarter campaign. He raised $40K, his goal, in the first couple of hours. His total at the end of 30 days was over $287K.

I am not Seth Godin. More in a minute about Seth and how he does this.

When I lifted my hand this week and waved it vigorously – to tell people about Beta Author Boost – not much happened. At first I was hugely disappointed. The first two times I offered the program it sold out within hours. Enrollment is limited as I can only work with a certain number of authors at a time.

I thought and I fumed (and I rewrote the sales page 10 times). Then I realized what the problem is. Not enough people are listening, nor do they care – and it’s my own damn fault.

I haven’t been blogging consistently enough. I haven’t been sending enough useful emails to my list. I haven’t been guest posting on big name blogs. I haven’t been tapping into my network of influencers to ask how I can help them. The list goes on.

In other words, I’ve been coasting. I was the blogging Queen (as author of one of the first books about business blogging). But I haven’t been taking my own advice.

I have close to 10,000 followers, if you add up subscribers to my blog and e-newsletter and my Facebook page. And another 12,000-plus followers on Twitter. It sounds like a lot but it isn’t. A small percentage of these followers are true fans. And the rest are, well, who knows.

I’ve been hanging out online for close to two decades. I launched my first website in 1995.

But I haven’t worked hard enough recently to increase the number of different circles of people who might be interested in what I offer.

If I may tell you one thing today, it’s this: content is still king and queen.

If you publish provocative content (written words, spoken words, audio interviews, videos) consistently and predictably. And enough people – the right people – notice and find it useful, then you will have a bigger audience.

When you need it (the bigger audience). That’s key.

Back to Seth

When I think about his massive following (over 500K blog subscribers, perhaps close to a million) I like to ask this question: how many of those people has he inspired in a meaningful way? How many have broken out of the same old, same old mindset to begin thinking differently about work and marketing – and life? And to do something about it?

I bet a lot. Many, many thousands.

Count me as one of them.

Seth is a lovely and generous guy. He wrote a blurb for my book. I’ve been to many of his events.

By contrast, how many lives have I changed over the past year? If I’m honest with you, it’s about 25. That’s the number of Beta Authors I’ve worked with one-on-one.

I’m pretty sure I’ve found something that is meaningful and useful. And that I feel passionately about. It’s a gift I can offer. I can help people uncover their best book idea and start writing a short eBook.

I kind of want to tell the world about that. But it’s going to happen slowly. And I’m going to have to work a lot harder.

Like Seth, I need to start being relentlessly useful. That’s what he does on his blog, where he writes every day. Not every one of his riffs will resonate with every reader. But over time, drip by drip, he makes a deep impression.

So is he a magician? Or just really lucky? No, he works very hard.

Thanks for indulging my riff, if you read this far.

Yours in humbleness and vulnerability (thank you Brene).

– D

Useful resources

Watch this video interview that Jonathan Fields did recently with Seth (it’s lovely)

Watch Seth’s TEDx talk about Stop Stealing Dreams

Read Brene Brown’s new book: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

What I can offer you

Check out my Beta Author program. It’s open for registration. I’d love to work with you. And dang that sales page is good reading…


  • Rachel Rodgers

    I love this honest, vulnerable post, Debbie! And I can totally relate! Thank you for sharing.

    And just so you know, I will be one of the peeps in your Beta Author Boost program. I just haven’t taken the time to actually sign up yet but I will soon. Can’t wait to work with you on my short ebook!

    • Debbie Weil

      Rachel, am I allowed to say I love you?! Have a lovely weekend.

      • Rachel Rodgers

        Absolutely! I love you too! Me and Pam Slim had a whole discussion about loving our clients. Nothing wrong with that! 🙂

  • Sonia Quinones

    “I need to start being relentlessly useful.” I’m taking your words to heart and letting them inspire my actions, Debbie.

    And 25 is way too low of a number. I bet that if you think about it, the number of people whose lives you’ve changed is probably much, much higher. Your family, friends and colleagues are grateful to have you in their lives.

    • Debbie Weil

      Sonia, I almost put in something about my 3 grandbabies. And yes I was being way too literal about “book clients” — I think I can safely say that I’ve impacted dozens of lives if I count in friends and colleagues and my immediate and rather large extended family. 🙂

  • Nick Usborne


    A truly great post. What you describe is an issue for all of us “old timers”. Sometimes we forget the advice we give to others…which is to be persistent, give all that we can, and always find new ways to remain useful and relevant.


    • Debbie Weil


      How great to hear from you!

  • Joshua Baron

    Sometimes we think that we are past having to spend time on the fundamentals. But that’s what it takes. You have to put in the work day after day. It sounds like you are inspired to be remarkable in your work and I’m sure that you are relentlessly useful to your clients. Keep up the good work!

    • Debbie Weil

      Thanks Joshua. Your comment makes my day.

    • Debbie Weil

      Thanks Joshua. Your comment makes my day.

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