Blog Like a Pro Lesson 5: Be Generous

This is Day 5 in our 7-day Blog Like a Pro (BLP) Challenge. If you missed yesterday’s lesson on spreading your message like St. Patrick start there. Also, check in on Facebook to see what others are doing!

While I was growing up, my dad used to say to me, “what goes around, comes around.” It took me 20 years but I’ve finally learned the truth of those words.

Blog Like a Pro Lesson 5: Be Generous

It wasn’t until I began trying to write full-time that I realized how important relationships were — to everything. Every job I’ve had, every lucky break I’ve received, can all be attributed to relationships.

Give and take

As you probably know, all healthy relationships are two-sided, built on a system of giving and taking. But the people who ultimately end up winning in life are the ones who give more than they take.

Adam Grant wrote about this in his book, Give and Take, in which he shared that the world’s most successful people were givers. But he also noted that the world’s least successful people were givers, too.

So what does it take to be the right kind of giver? The kind that isn’t a doormat or a pushover?

You have to be strategically generous, according to Grant, giving in ways that can create a network of people who will continue to pay you goodwill so that everyone benefits. This doesn’t mean you only help the people who can help you or that you use your generosity for selfish gain. But it does mean that your time is limited. So where you invest it better count.

Strategic generosity in action

Here’s how I apply this: in all things, including blogging, I try to give more than I take, offer more than I ask, and share what I learn along the way.

One thing I’ve learned with a blog is the community is contingent on generosity. You can’t build a tribe of dedicated followers without a spirit of giving guiding it. Otherwise, people will assume you’re only out for your own gain. And nobody will trust someone they know to be selfish.

So here’s what you do. You want an audience for your words? You want a popular blog? You need to give your way into influence. Before they make it about you, you will have to make it about them.

Developing a generous mindset

The exercise today is quite simple. You must give something of value away to your audience. This is the best way to build trust and even earn the attention of a larger audience. We all implicitly trust those who want to give more than take. So be that kind of person. In the end, you’ll learn what goes around does indeed come around.

By the way if enjoyed yesterday’s challenge to guest post, you’ll love this free eBook on writing guest posts. Download it here.

And since I believe in putting my money where my mouth is, I’ll be doing a giveaway myself. Read the challenge below to find out more.

Be Generous

Assignment: Find something you can give away on your blog. Use a plugin like Rafflecopter, or keep it low tech and just let people enter by leaving a comment. Once you do this, drop a comment here and you’ll be entered to win a year’s subscription to SumoMe Pro, the tool I use to grow my blog. I’ll pick one lucky winner in the next 24 hours.

What will you be giving away? Share in the comments.

103 thoughts on “Blog Like a Pro Lesson 5: Be Generous

  1. I decided to give away the opportunity to set the topic of Monday’s blog post in the form of a random drawing contest. Basically, submit your question as a comment and I will draw one at random and answer it.

    Of course, I also generate a whole list of questions.

    The post is scheduled to drop at 10am PDT (I have an article dropping at 8). At that time, it will be available at:

    It doesn’t have tangible value, but with my regular readers, I think it will be a fun thing they like. That’s the point, right? Eventually, I hope to write a course and book (for starters!) on the use of story. I can see using excerpts from that work as promotions and giveaways. Maybe even the whole book, someday (I’ve received a few of yours, that way).

    1. Caedmon, I really like this. May I piggy back off of it? I seek your permission before moving forward. Thanks!

        1. Thanks! You are terrific. Please share how it works out for you. I can’t wait to hear what your Monday topic turns out to be.

  2. Here is my two cents gift? My life. 🙂
    I have posted a comment to thank Jeff for his Guide to build an audience. I don’t exactly know if that comment is posted in the right place. So? Plz bear with me. The comment again: A Comment On Jeff Goins The Beginner’s Guide to Building An Audience.

    Friday, March 18, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Father? I need to record a comment on Jeff Goins The Beginner’s Guide to Building An Audience.

    I have read Jeff’s Guide and profited by my reading but? The matter is not novel to me. Let me confess.

    Our Father/Creator leads me all the way. So? All the wonderful suggestions given by Jeff and many other best seller authors?

    Everything, every important piece of info to achieve all that I have not been able to achieve before?

    It all comes to my inbox just when I need it leaving me to wonder, Where, how that came from? I did not request such information.

    It all started the past 2015. I got an invite to join 101 Blogging. No idea what Blogging 101 was nor where the invite came from.

    I joined it. From there? Check my blogs. That will give you an idea of how surprised I am at the success achieved just in the last few months of 2015.

    The point? It totally astounds me to experience the same experience of the best of the best even when I am not the best.

    I am successful but? I can honestly say, not by my own efforts. It has all fallen into place after I quit looking for love in all the wrong places.

    I quit looking for love in all the wrong places? Yes, but not because I made up my mind to quit. Nay! I quit because? It was too painful to keep trying.

    Surprise! When I quit trying? I started trusting the invisible Power that descended on me. What power?

    The Power of Love from on High! This is not fiction. This is not imagination. This is not positive thinking. This is not a feeling.

    The Power of Love from on High? It is not anything subliminal or mysterious likened to all those practices rampart nowadays.

    By all means! The Power of Love from on High? It is a reality. It is a simple reality without definition. An experience of the real.

    The Power of Love from on High? It is the experience of the love of our Father/Creator for all and each one of His children.

    This love is the same filial love from our parents. Likened our love for our parents? This love does not require that we ‘meditate’ and set quieted times or any other ceremony to show it or practice it.

    This love means submission, obedience, respect for the authority of our Father/Creator.

    It is a loving relationship between a loving Father/Creator and His child, whoever that child be.

    My journal is an example of how I relate to my Father. He is as real to me as the best father in this world.

    In a round and about way? Jeff Goins et all? Are experiencing such love. Thus comes their kindness to share their wealth of knowledge with us all.

    Thank you for your Guide, Jeff. It has truly encouraged me to continue in the path our Father/Creator has marked for me.

    Hope ye all be inspired to visit the blogs created by yours truly under His direction to confirm what here by I have written.

    His love in my heart for all, thiaBasilia

  3. I wasn’t paying attention on the landing page and all the infographic says is ©. What is the copyright? May I, with proper attribution, use it in a blog post? The thing is spot on and helping me put some things together. I’d like to share that process with my readers, but not if that violates the sharing agreement.

  4. What is the general expectation when folks give away their eBooks for free with affiliate links inside? I am thinking they assume the receivers of those books my in turn give them away and that they are OK with that. Could I bundle a couple of my favorite eBooks from other writers and give them away? or should I not?

  5. Did my giveaway: one of three Writer’s Digest books (on the fb page)
    Jeff, I think this is the best one yet! Prompting us writers to give more than we take is an important reminder. Thanks so much for doing this challenge!

  6. I just wanted to share two successful giveaway options I’ve done in the past. If you have a print copy of your book, you can run a Goodreads giveaway. I’ve usually done them for about a month at a time, one book at a time. Most people add the books to their “to be read” shelf on Goodreads. I’ve also used Amazon giveaways in the past and they now allow you to give away e-books too. You can gain twitter followers, Amazon followers, or other options like directing people to your website. I’ve opted for Amazon followers. I did a Starbucks gift card there and just did 3 ebooks. Amazon does no promotion for these so it’s up to the sponsor to promote. I used twitter. Just my two cents, fwiw.

    1. Hi
      I have followed you on Twitter and Facebook and left a message on your blog. Your contest hasn’t started yet. I hope I don’t miss it.

      1. Janis, Thank You. I posted a comment on the blog. My contest starts at 12 am on 3/19/16. I couldn’t change the time with the basic version of Rafflecopter.

  7. I am in the middle of updating my eBook – 101 Interior Design Secrets. This is the original one I have greatly improved it, and it should be ready to download on Monday. It is chock full of valuable advice and inspiration that anyone can use to improve their home, and their life. I will give it as a free gift to my tribe!

  8. Funny that this is today’s challenge because I started a giveaway last night on Instagram! And I’ve done a few over the past couple of months. Love doing giveaways. And I definitely gain readers through doing this!

    1. Hi! Nice giveaway. (I signed up.) 🙂 By the way, the email confirmation of the subscription says “six-week” coaching program in both the subject line and the body of the email.

      1. Hi Sara,
        Thanks for pointing that out. Originally it was a 6-week programme, but I have shortened it to 4. In any case, I’ll provide you with 6 weeks worth of coaching because of that.

        1. Oh, that’s super generous of you — which was the point of today’s challenge, of course — but, really, four weeks is generous enough. I only wanted to point that out so you could correct it; consider that my gift to you (since I have yet to figure out what I can give away on my blog). 🙂

  9. I’d like to give something to THIS community today. Because I think we’re each trying to live our purpose & I love to help people do that. It’s a 64-Day Purpose Dweller Bootcamp (created from my somewhat “anti-establishment” Jesus-lover perspective). If you dig that sorta thing, take a look- I’ll sponsor the first 5 people over to who reply “yes” to this comment!

      1. Hi Sara! I’m excited you will do bootcamp with us. Use the link in my comment and sign up for the free trial on that page. Once you’re signed up, I’ll convert you to the whole 64 days. Great to have you, Sara!

      1. Hi Williesha! So glad to hear you want to do bootcamp. You’ll find a free trial button on the link in my comment. Sign up there and I will convert you to the whole 64 days! So fun! Can’t wait to hear about your journey!

  10. Enjoying this challenge even though it has been emotionally painful. Today I set up a Goodreads giveaway for my book.

      1. The top two sharing option/buttons will let you share your lucky link to your Facebook and Twitter followers (you do Linked in and Pinterest, too). If you want to do it manually, just copy and paste the link that’s shown just below those buttons and give that to anyone who wants to enter. Hope that helps.

          1. Janis, I decided to do the training for everyone who enters the giveaway. So if you’re entered, you’ll get the notification. Thanks!!!!

  11. Since I started Tribe Writers I have started to do author interviews but didn’t do giveaways. Last week, for the first time, I gave away a copy of Lisa Murray’s book, Peace for a Lifetime. Next week with another interview I am giving away Milk Eggs Prophecy by Debbie Kitterman.

  12. I doubt that I can meet this challenge yet, because I have nothing on my website to give away that is not already free. I’d like to give away an eBook, but it’s not complete and likely not good enough to sell anyway. I’d like to give away my friendship and my time too, but as friendship is also free, time isn’t always. I’d like to give away my ears and my soul to listen to anyone who needs a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to bend, but then, who wants to share such things with a bloke who is gay and has serious concerns about religion? Hey ho, so I’m last in class again, not for the want of trying. Besides, while it might work for some, I’m not entirely comfortable with bribes just to get people to sign up or read my posts, at least while I’m still on this very steep learning curve. As my dear old dad used to say, ‘don’t let the buggers beat you down’. Hehe, no chance!

  13. Only 3 entrants so far, so posting here and on FB Let’s do this! If you subscribe to my award-winning business, social media and writing blog I will pick one person to win my “Short or Sweet” VA package for free: either a 1-hour consult and action plan reviewing your social media and other blogging or marketing efforts or written content up to 600 words. The value is $150. Plus, you’ll be getting my e-book on pitching to editors for paid guest blogs.

    Now to go enter all of these contests. WOOHOO!

  14. Not really having anything to give away at this point, I opted to give away a $20 gift card to either Apple or Google (winner’s preference). They must subscribe AND comment to any post on my site. Hoping to foster a community of husbands and dads that want great marriages and awesome kids. Community is going to take some interaction, which takes comments.

  15. I incorporated a “coupon” for a free social media strategy session in my lead magnet, an ebook. I’ll be running a contest for non subscribers too so everyone has a chance.

  16. Jeff Goins has challenged some of his readers to be generous. I am taking that challenge. Of course, you can get the PDF of my book, Impossible to Forgive: What God can do when you can’t, by signing you for my monthly newsletter and blog post, but now I am offering more.

    If you IM me on Facebook or leave your Email address in the comments below, I will send you the PDF of my children’s book The Bee in the Blackberry Bush.( It is a short read especially good for bed time reading and my illustrator, Don Lee, really makes the story come alive. The story is about sacrifice and is a little sad but it is a great story in light of the Easter Season. It is about the friendship of a small bird and a honey bee. You will love it.

  17. Well, I kinda am blown away by the giveaway I’ve got! My giveaway is an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Joshua Becker’s soon to be released book “The More of Less”, due out in May. All I’m asking for is a sign up to an email list on my blog and I’ll have a sign up page of my facebook page tomorrow. A quick email asking if it was okay to give away his pre-order and bonus and he offered to make it even better with an autograph! THAT IS GENEROUS. He has always been very generous by sharing my posts and I’m so excited that I get to help him spread the word about his new book with my readers!

  18. Attention Food Lovers who are Making Daily Meals and Want More Time! I want to give you a simple, step-by-step plan that will leave you with a renewed love for cooking and spending more time each evening doing what matters to you. My gift is to create a meal plan; customized for you. It will include a 7-day plan with ideas for daily movement and exercise, and links to the recipes.

  19. Okay, been struggling with this one all day. I do not feel that I have anything to give away that’s related to my blog. The only thing I can think of is that I also sell Essential oils and there are a couple geared towards inspiration, relaxation and what not. Would that work? I appreciate your input…cuz you’re all brilliant!

    1. Have a contest of some kind – maybe all they have to do is subscribe, maybe they have to get other to subscribe – and send them a free bottle of Lavender to one lucky winner – or maybe pick a new winner every month. No one can say no to Lavender – it does everything! Good luck 🙂

  20. I have been thinking about doing a contest of some sort, so today’s challenge was perfect. I look at generosity as a way to Pay It Forward fo honor those who have influence me. I wrote about how my grandfather’s influence impacted me in my creative goals. As part of that, I discovered some writers and bloggers who have provided the jumpstart I needed to get back into the writing groove. I am giving away a book bundle inlcuding Michael Hyatt, Jon Acuff, and of course, Jeff Goins 🙂

  21. I’ll give away a Q and A webinar with me answering questions on how to avoid the biggest social services pitfalls that I’ve lived through and hopefully overcome. It has to help someone else in a similar situation avoid wasting their time!

  22. I’m using Amazon Giveaway to give away a copy of one of my newest book obsessions, Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Two people will win a Kindle version, and in order to enter they have to subscribe to my blog and follow me on twitter, as well as make sure they click the right Amazon button on my blog.

  23. Taking useless supplements? Have a science-based holistic nutritionist give you an expert review. Everyone who signs up for my newsletter by April 4 will be entered into a draw for a free evaluation of all those pills & powders. You will get a summary of the scientifically proven health benefits, as well as the safety considerations for your personal list of supplements. http://Www.NutritionInteractions. com

  24. No minute like the last minute right?! I’ve set up a giveaway on amazon for an eBook that provides 365 days of inspiration (My goal is to write one of these on my own, but someone else’s will have to do for now 🙂 ). Apparently Amazon has to approve these requests so I don’t have a live link yet, but when I do I’ll make sure to share it :).

      1. Hmmm, that’s weird, I just tried it and it worked for me, but thanks for the heads up, I gotta get that checked out.

        1. I’m able to access your website now, but the name, email and website fields won’t let me enter anything (to leave a comment). I try to click in the box but no curser ever appears. Do those fields work for you?

          1. Same here! That really sucks 😀 no wonder I don’t have any entries for the giveaway, thank you so much!

  25. I’m a little late to the party for this assignment, but I wanted to play anyway.
    Take the poll, be entered for a chance to win a free e-book called “The Search” by John Henderson. Here’s the link to the poll:

  26. Oh jeepers, this blog challenge has been awesome….and challenging!!! We started spring break in Rome in Friday, so I’m still finishing frantically and hope to within the next few hours after a long day touring the city! Nonetheless, I’ve learned a lot and can’t wait for the next challenge (if there is one)!!

    I LOVED that feeling pressure to do the challenges actually gave me the accountability I needed to forge ahead, despite fear! I loved the encouragement, camaraderie, and challenge that I’ve felt and been able to give this week! I’ve learned from many people and grown so much! So thank you!!! I’m still in the beginning launch phase of the blog. 🙂 I’ve been diligently working on it since January!!! Blogging is no joke! Holy guacamole!

    So this week I finished writing my manifesto that I started a month ago. I posted my manifesto, “The Modern Woman’s Manifesto: a passionate call to throw off the world’s expectations and radically live out of our identity in Christ”, as a lead magnet using SumoMe (so user friendly!!!) and set up mailchimp to deliver it to my list (not sure if it’s working yet… had a hard time getting it to actually send) Bah!!! I hope it works now! I started a post to pick a fight about Law vs. Grace (about which my initial question started quite a stir on my FB page)! I connected with a few gals to do future guest posts!!! Yay!!! I’ve also asked my FB peeps to check out and share my blog, which is not easy for me! Bah! Super stoked and can’t wait to see what God has for this blog! Trusting Him, despite fear (terror!!!) and doubts! Thank you, Jeff, for the challenge and the push! You rock!!!

Comments are closed.