Mentoring: The Two-Way Street to Success

travel writers help each other achieve success
22 March 2010 Post Author:
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You Mentor Me and I’ll Mentor You.

My blog is less than a year old, yet it now holds position 51 in Travel Blog Sites’s top 100 travel blogs.

I could not have achieved this spot without my blogging mentor.

Keith of the Velvet Escape and I met on Twitter 10 months ago. I was very, very new to blogging. I may have had a dozen posts up at the time and I knew enough to know that I knew nothing and that I wanted to learn fast.

Generosity is the key to a successful mutual mentoring relationship

Mutual Mentoring

I have been self-employed since the 80s and the beneficiary of many kind mentors over the years. As my experience in business grew, the mentoring changed from a one-way scenario to two-way, win-win mentoring relationships.

That’s what I wanted. A blogging mentor that I could learn from and maybe offer a bit of my expertise as well.

Formalizing the process

Through Twitter, I suggested to Keith that we meet via Skype – we hit it off immediately. Over the next few months we mentored each other on an ad hoc basis. Periodically, about once a month, one of us would get in touch and suggest a Skype meeting. We usually had a specific reason for the meeting – there was usually a question to be answered or a problem to be solved. But at each meeting our conversation would wander to other topics like a useful plugin found, a new resource, an article by a blogging expert… Each conversation brought new information and renewed energy.

Once we saw the value of these ad hoc meetings we quickly switched to regularly scheduled monthly meetings. By December, we were meeting weekly. It was at this point that we came up with the our joint venture, the Global Bloggers Network – all as a result of our mentoring relationship.

Finding a mentor

Finding a mentor is a relatively simple process. Look for a blogger who you respect and ask for a Skype chat. Have questions ready to keep the conversation going. If it goes well, suggest that you do it again sometime. If their response is enthusiastic, you may be on your way to a great mutual mentoring relationship.

You could also join the Global Bloggers Network where we will match you with a blogger buddy and provide a guide for your mentoring meetings.

The bottom line

Generosity is the key to a successful mutual mentoring relationship. When you learn of something that could be of benefit to your mentoring partner, share it. A quick email may be all it takes but the goodwill generated is great. And you can be sure, they’ll be sending you tips as they come across them as well.

~Janice

Are you in a mentoring relationship? Share your experience!

6 Responses to “Mentoring: The Two-Way Street to Success”

  1. Rebecca
    Twitter:
    says:

    Mentoring is a great idea. As long as you find the right person. This is key. I’m kind of sort of in a mentoring relationship for my screenwriting. I consider it more of a “barter exchange.” One of the script consultant’s I interviewed agreed to review one of my short films. She agreed to review it again in exchange for another interview. So far, she’s reviewed my short film four times. The information is invaluable because I’m a new screenwriter and can use all the help I can get. This same technique can be applied to travel writing. Find people to interview and ask them to review your articles, eBooks, guidebooks, etc…it’s a win-win situation!

  2. Maria Staal
    Twitter:
    says:

    Mentoring sounds like a great idea. I am also a novice blogger and I’m sure I still have a lot to learn.
    .-= Maria Staal´s last blog post: A Conversation in a Map Shop =-.

    • Hi Maria – thanks for stopping by! In that case, you should definitely consider joining Global Bloggers Network – at the very least be sure to sign up for their mailing list to get some great tips, but if you can afford the monthly fee their webinar series is also a great place to learn. :)

  3. Dave and Deb
    Twitter:
    says:

    Janice! You and Keith are proof that mentoring works. You two have skyrocketed to the top! Thanks for the information on finding a mentor. We have had difficulty keeping in contact on the road and are looking forward to settling down for the summer to reconnect with people.
    I already think of Trisha as a mentor. She is the best, with incredible advice and is always so helpful. Travel Writers Exchange is my favorite site on the web!
    We are joining GBN next month. We have put it off until we slow down. We have so little time while traveling through India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Europe should be much easier to connect and we can’t wait to take advantage of what you and Keith have to offer. Cheers.
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Our favorites from India: A Photo Story =-.

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