Learning from Others can be instructive and encouraging to you. I recently visited the website of another author who I not only admire but consider a friend. Her vision and imagination show up immediately upon her website. I was immediately attracted to two items on her home page.
It was her menu which had two particular tabs that interested me. The first was Events and Engagements, while the second was Previews and Offers.
I expected to see a calendar on her Events and Engagements page but was pleasantly surprised by the attractive layout of what I will call Diary. It was actually two columns, Engagements and Events. The way she laid it out was easy to read and follow.
But what really caught my attention was her Previews and Offers page. When you click on that page you get another page like the Events and Engagements, but with three columns. These were a Preview of an upcoming book, Excerpts from a previous book, and a Special Offers column. I was and am impressed. Ideas flooded my mind.
All of this brings up today’s topic: Learning from Others. This is a key principle to writing success. It is a principle that I practice with every post, every blog, and every vlog I create; namely, learn from others.
Is Learning from Others Stealing?
Yes, in a manner of speaking. But it is ok. This is not doing something illegal, frowned upon, or unethical. Rather it is a foundation of all learning. You learn from others such as teachers, coaches, and the like. Not only from what they teach, but what they do and how they do it.
I have a coach who regularly puts out content that encourages others to make use of his advice. I study him and copy some of his approaches. I put on my own spin, but it starts with his teaching an idea or concept.
Learning from Others Sounds Complicated.
If you mean trying to take someone else’s idea and exactly replicating it on your own website, then yes, it is complicated. But that is not what I am talking about. I said earlier that when I saw my friend’s website ideas flooded my mind. These were on how I might incorporate them into my website. Change the word ‘steal’ to ‘hitchhike’ and you might understand better. Her setup blends to her page perfectly, but might prove difficult on my website. The key is the concept.
My friend has one page divided into three columns. Because I have a longer, more complicated menu, the page name would have to be changed. Secondly, I could create submenu pages, one for each item. This would better suit my design.
Whatever I choose to do, it all springs from what I saw on her page. She didn’t create that page for me to see, but it inspired me to think about how to do the same thing without messing with my current theme, etc.
If I do that then I have learned and applied.
What Does Learning from Others Mean Then?
It means you keep your eyes open. You never know when or what you are going to learn something new. Don’t assume you know everything. In a sense, all authors face the same problems. The difference is the who, what, where, when, and how of the problem. We may solve these problems differently, and that is where we can learn from one another just by observing.
Another Example of Learning from Others is:
My coach’s methodology. He often creates posts while driving. That is not something I would encourage you to do, but it inspired me.
Because it came across as personal and relaxed to me. Perhaps it was the fact that his attention was divided. But it was very relaxed and almost like sitting beside him and listening to what he was telling me.
I was impressed, but Could I Do That?
Probably not. Most likely I would end up in a accident. But the real question was could I create a post the is relaxed and personal. The answer is yes. What I did was set about searching for the right mix. I tried different backgrounds which worked somewhat and found their way into my posts. But it was the simple tool of a whiteboard that clicked. Here I can be more relaxed, do my teaching or coaching, and make the entire post more relaxed.
I may change my presentation in the future, but I received one of the nicest compliments I could have imagined when I got this comment, “I like your relaxed presentation.”
Will You Start Learning?
I hope you will.
I suggest you make it a practice that when you visit a website, any website, you look at it with a critical eye. Does it get its message across? What one thing does it do to connect with you? Can you learn something new?