How to Use Reading to Your Advantage as a Blogger + Influencer
Six months ago, I was sitting in a corporate-style conference room with 5 other guys…all who were talking about global current events, new tech startups and what the great business minds in the community were saying about them…
…and I’ll never forget the look on their faces when, not only did I chime in, but I started leading the conversations.
And they looked at me like, “Who the f is this 24-year old blonde PR girl? Isn’t she just like supposed to be posting on Facebook or something??”
The whole reason I could contribute (and contribute intelligently) is because of reading.
And what I try to do to keep my mind sharp and pointy.
For bloggers and influencers, I think it’s so fun + valuable to leverage your reading knowledge in business situations.
Especially especially as female entrepreneurs, I am always just internally cheering SO loud when a young woman I’m in a meeting with speaks up at a business dinner, raises her hand at a conference, adds in a tidbit to the conversation that is SO smart + knowledgeable.
And for that reason, I’m a HUGE supporter of reading + mind-sharpening.
Why Focus on Mind-Sharpening as a Blogger?
1. Duh, creativity.
Stepping outside of your own mind to get into a mystical world or inside the mind of a billionaire finance investment banker, it’s amazing for your writing and amazing for your worldview as a blogger + influencer.
But my point is, it’s an amazing tool for keeping your creativity and inspiration flowing.
2. Participate in the big conversations
Like I said above, keeping your mind + wits sharp is just so game-changer in the business world.
As a blogger, you ARE a business. And when you’re working with brands and launching products and collaborating, you’re in meetings, lunches, dinners, cocktail hours, etc. and it pays back in spades to sound intelligent.
3. Your writing + vocabulary also gets a boost
Research shows that as you read more, your writing + vocabulary naturally get a little boost.
Reading gets your storytelling vibes down – at the core of all content creators is the fact that we tell stories.
Whether it’s a YouTube video or an Instagram post, we’re telling a story with our content captions photos etc.
When you dive into books, all you’re doing is reading stories – that let you see how other people write their narratives, what you like about a certain storytelling style, what you don’t like about a certain storytelling style, etc.
How to Sharpen Your Mind as a Blogger
So now that we know how much I love + support the diabolical plan of mind-sharpening, here are some strategies for building your own reading + learning plans.
1. Organize banger reading lists in Trello
Guys, Trello has literally changed both my life and my business.
I use Trello to keep track of what I want to read each month.
To make sure I stay on track with reading and analyzing books and, I use Trello to organize my monthly and quarterly reading list. That way, I can plan out my books and make sure I am reading a delicate balance of weird fantasy box and nonfiction mind sharpener.
I break it down into a Q1 List of January, February, March, so I can track new releases, books I want to keep on my radar, and basically helps me know what I need to order from Amazon every month.
I’ll also break down my January reading list below, so you can see why I choose what to read.
PS – Trello is the home base of how I organize my entire life and the best part is…it’s completely free. You can sign up for Trello for zero dollars and work on systematizing your workflows, keep documents all in one place…literally best case scenario. I cannot emphasize this enough that it costs me $0.00 a month and is the most AMAZING resource for any blogger.
2. Search for books in Goodreads
So, my reading list lives in a mix of Trello and Goodreads.
Goodreads is an online site, owned by Amazon, where you can categorize books that you want to read, have read, etc., and it’ll give you book recommendations based on what you already like.
I created three shelves to plan out my Q1 reading list in Goodreads –> you can see that exact shelf here
3. Dive into non-fiction
Now, non-fiction can get a bad rap for being boring, but I aim for 2 non-fiction books a month.
And okay, I’m going here again…
Sometimes, bloggers + influencers are portrayed as “airheads,” “Instagram stars,” “people who go to cocktail parties, lattes, and talk about what they wear…”
There is nothing I love more than seeing women be able to sit in a poorly-lit room full of guys who are talking history, current politics, start-up technology news…and I watch the look on their faces when these girls chime in and mic drop with knowledge that no one ever expected them to know.
Use your non-fiction books to educate yourself on the world – nationally, globally, and historically.
Dive into a few non-fiction books slowly, and I guarantee the next time there’s a high-level conversation happening around you, you’re going to kill it.
My Non-Fiction January Reading List
I’m only going to break down non-fiction section because maybe you guys don’t want to know about the weird YA fiction books I read??
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Can’t wait to read this. I just NEED to know the inside head of the first woman to run for President.
Also, I feel like there has to be some bomb lessons on picking yourself up after losing, right?
Get it on Amazon –> here
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday
Guys, this book title speaks to me at a cellular level.
Ryan Holiday is like an OG PR, press manipulator – he did some early campaigns at American Apparel that were so disruptive, got national media attention, and also brought a relatively unknown clothing brand into being the major player it is today.
I am fascinated by his thinking.
Get it on Amazon –> here
Stepping outside of your own mind to get into a mystical world or inside the mind of a billionaire finance investment banker…it’s amazing for your worldview as a blogger + influencer.
If these mind-sharpening hacks sound right up your alley, drop your name + email below to download my EXACT Trello board that I use to organize my reading list.
Give it a whirl and try planning out your own mind-sharpening lists, and if you do, tag me on Instagram Stories because I’d love to see what you guys are reading!