Vicki McLeod.

Vicki McLeod.

Untrending: The power of blogging

There is power in our personal stories.

Recently I took a trip into Vancouver to hear Courtney Carver speak on her sold-out Tiny Wardrobe Tour.

Carver is the founder of, and is the author of four books including the recently released Soulful Simplicity. She got her start in 2010 when she launched Project 333.

Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge that invited people to dress with 33 items or less for three months. Carver wrote about the challenge on her blog, posted it on social media and almost immediately, a hundred people committed to the challenge. A community was born.

Since then, thousands of people from around the world have accepted the challenge. Project 333 has been featured on television, and in articles and magazines. Carver is now widely considered to be a North American thought leader in the minimalist and simplification movements.

All this, because she decided to clean out her closets and blog about it. Perhaps, I am simplifying. Carver’s work is about significantly more than the how-to’s of creating a capsule wardrobe. Through the blog she shares her journey.

She reveals the personal story behind her decision to radically reduce her wardrobe and encourage others to do the same. Her posts offer insight, advice, and wisdom on decluttering and discovering what really matters. She talks about the ‘why’ of minimizing, and emphasizes the impact her choices have made on improving her life.

There is power in our personal stories. Adding a blog to your website, crafting and posting short videos (vlogs) or podcasts, that tell your story and demonstrate your expertise can help you build your online community and your brand. Since she launched in 2010, Carver has grown an online following of over 130,000 on Facebook, 50,000 on Instagram, and 30,000 on Pinterest. Her success is not just the numbers. Her community is highly engaged, writing about their experiences and championing each other.

What are the keys to Carver’s success? She is incredibly focused, blogging consistently about relevant themes that resonate with her followers. For eight years she has blogged at least weekly, sometimes more frequently, offering inspiration to the overwhelmed. She accompanies her posts with simple graphic quotes that emphasize the topic, and are easily shared online. She offers consulting services and online products that meet her community’s needs.

As far as I can tell, she walks her talk. She has lived what she writes and speaks about, and offers up her experience in a warm, straightforward way. She is authentic. She nourishes and nurtures her community, responding to comments, answering questions, offering value.

Carver’s story is just one example of the power of blogging. Your product, service or cause may not be related to self-improvement, but whatever you offer is solving a problem, relieving pain, or empowering the dreams of your customers or clients. That is the story you, and only you, can tell. Blogging, vlogging or podcasting are excellent ways to tell it. Doing so will grow your influence and increase your profile.