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Do you often find yourself intensely focused on the things that interest you?Do you enjoy solitude and quiet? Do you prefer deep conversations over loud parties? Do crowds drain you? Does alone time energize you? If so, chances are youre an introvert. Either youre giving a knowing nod or youre confused because you thought introversion meant you were merely shy. And maybe youve despaired that that introversion and
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C on te nt M ar ke tin g C op y wr

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shyness have held you back from achieving your business goals online? Introvertscanbe shy but so can extroverts. Likewise, introverts can also be confident, social, and inspirational in their own right.Take self-described introverted bloggers like Brian Clark, Chris Garrett,Chris Guillebeau,Guy Kawasaki, and Sonia Simone. Or to take things to a higher level, revolutionary thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, and Rosa Parks. Susan Cain,author ofQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking, clarifies that introversion is different from shyness, which isa fear of social judgment.

iti ng SE O C op y wr iti ng E m ail M ar ke tin g Ke y w or d Re se ar ch La nd in g Pa ge s Int er

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Introversion simply means you are more energized and at your best in less stimulating and quieter environments. So, how can introversion help you achieve world domination, how can you the introvert capture the hearts, minds, andtrustof an audience?

ne t M ar ke tin g

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The myth of the unprofitable introvert


The advice usually revolves around you putting yourself out there in some way. But as an introvert, you might be a little wary about how much you expose yourself. This would be considered problematic in our extrovertfavoring American culture.Your cautiousness gets criticized as being not bold or assertive enough to

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stand out and command the confidence of an audience. But its not true.We often forget that there is always more than one way to accomplish something.Whats important is knowing what works best for you. In fact, qualities of your quieter nature give you an advantage in building your trustworthiness and credibility.Lets look at five of them

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1. Be bookish
Sometimes you find spending a night with a good book more exciting than a night out. And when it comes to a topic that interests you, you could easily spend hours reading more about it.

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But you know what the critics say: You learn by doing, not by sticking your nose in a book. Yes, we do learn a lot by doing. But it would be silly not to take advantage of books since one of their greatest purposes is to educate. The funny thing I notice is that these critics are usually the ones who have no patience for reading in the first place. Ask any popular content publisher how to become a trusted authority in a niche and theyll tell you this simple reality: You need to build expertise. And that usually involves reading a lot. This means reading, researching, and obsessing

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overeverythingin your niche. It also helps to diversify your reading to improve your general knowledge and spark new connections. Trust grows when you support your writing with knowledgeandunderstanding of your audiences needs. The more you know, the more you can blog with authority and credibility.So, read on.

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2. Be quiet (and listen)


We introverts prefer to listen more than talk. But when we do speak, its only when we think we have something useful to say. And in todays noisy world of increasingly short attention spans, we need more good listeners.

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The problem is that most people never truly listen anymore.Instead, people just wait to talk about themselves. Same thing online. Many writers online mistakenly focus on themselvesinstead of on their readers needs. We cant trust a self-centered writer. But we can trust a writer who listens first and offers solutions later. By listening, you understand the minds and needs of your readers. And when you know whats on their minds, you can craft more focused content to solve their problems. Listening online is just like what youd do in reality. You observe where the conversations on your topic are happening.This can be in

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your favorite social media hangout (like Twitter or Google+), your site comments, forums, or (if youre starting out) your favorite sites comments. Listening deeply takes patience and understanding. Do it well and your readers will be sure to lend you their ears (and eyes). But if you dont have anything useful to say, dont say anything at all. The Internet is cluttered enough as it is.

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3. Be serious
When were focused on something we care about, we introverts can pour some serious time into it. Your thrill-seeking friends might even say youre too serious.That you need to
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have some real fun and go crazy. Today, being called too serious is like being called a killjoy.But we dumb down the act of being serious when we substitute its meaning with an inability to have fun. By definition, to be serious means to be earnest, sincere, and characterized by deep thought. And in the case of the content youre creating, if you want to win the hearts and trust of readers, you need to be damn serious. Being serious means having a sincere interest in improving the lives of your readers, being consistent, and getting back up from every fall. Being serious sometimes means skipping fun time in

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order to finish your product and deliver on your promises. Being serious means really committing to your readers and the life of your ideas. Trust is a precious thing that isnt given away freely. You need to work hard to earn it. And if you want to gain and keep that trust, you need to be someone they can rely on. Theyre counting on you to be serious.

4. Be sensitive
Youre usually considered a sensitive soul if you frequently reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. If you get started on a topic youre passionate about, you may occasionally surprise yourself and others with your

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emotional firepower. Or maybe youre easily moved by sad movies. Of course, the know-it-alls will say that being emotional makes you too delicate. Clearly not the strong figure readers need. But you know what? Readersdont trust know-it-all towers of strength.Thats just unrealistic and uninspiring. Readers trust human beings with heart and emotion. They want someone sensitive and empathetic. Someonewho getsthem. Someone who can feel as vulnerable as they probably do. Readers want someone who can inspire them with so much passion that theyrebrought to

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tearsandmotivated to get off their asses. To share great passion, you need to feel great passion.And great passion thrives on intense emotion. Readers love an open heart, not a hidden one. And having strong feelings aboutsomething is better than not feeling enough of anything at all.

5. Be alone

The true test of a mans character is what he does when no one is watching. ~ John Wooden

For you,solitude is a vital source of not only energy, but

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also the very quality of your work. Its a nice break from the noisy world when you can think clearly, creatively, and deeply. But solitude offers you much more than that. When you are alone, you are your true self. In solitude, you dont have to perform for anyone. Free from the influence and pressure of your peers, yourthoughts and opinions are at their most authentic. And becoming a trustworthy and memorable writer depends on your ability to be authentic to yourself and your audience. Yes, its important to listen to what your readers need (refer to #2). But when you finally sit

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down to write, you musttake a position. And that means knowing yourself well enough to know what you believe in, to know what you stand for. In the end, if you ever want to have a trusting relationship with your audience,you need to first know and trust yourself. Your solitude is key toaccessing yourself. Dont let anybody ever take it away from you.

The world needs quiet

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. ~ MahatmaGandhi

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One of my favorite points on Susan CainsIntrovert Manifestois Quiet leadership is not an oxymoron. Its a useful reminder that there is no single set of standards on what makes a respectable and trustworthy figure. Fitting in with the status quo to fulfill someone elses ideal is an injustice to yourself. The world needs the quiet and contemplative, the soft-spoken and gentle, the thinkers and dreamers. Because if we were all the same, then we would have no need for each other. Starting out, maybe only a handful of people will appreciate what you have to offer. But continue to build your trustworthiness in the quiet ways that suit you and your followers will grow.

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Now, go forth and gently conquer.

About the Author: Melissa Ng [Eng] is a doodler, entrepreneur, and inspirationseeker. Download her free Introvert's Care Package. She doodle-blogs about entrepreneurship, passion, and self-awareness at lumecluster.com. She is also co-founder of PianoVerse, a place to play, learn, and love piano and voice in New York.

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Comments
ALI ZIA
November 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

Hi Mellisa, I liked the quality number

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one; be bookish (Maybe because I am of that nature). You said right, a good book is better than a night out but just reading is not enough. I think if we change quality number 5 in ourself and instead of being alone, discuss what we read with like minded friends, we can built more thriving audience online. Thanks for the great article
Reply

MELISSA NG
November 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Hi Ali, My points are really aimed at highlighting the common misunderstandings of popularly underappreciated

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qualities. Its true that there are benefits to discussing our ideas with others. However, solitude is equally important as socializing and is just as vital to growth, understanding, and the creative process. Thanks for your thoughts
Reply

DARIN L. HAMMOND
December 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I absolutely agree with this as an experienced introvert

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and one who has studied how to overcome this deficiency in my social self. For so many years I tried to be social, work together, feel comfortable in front of people, manage other people, etc. However, you do well in pointing to the strengths of introverts,

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and there is plenty of research out there now that values the shy and independent. Quiet and solitude are helpful to all in some situations, but for many people they are the right environment most of the time. I read an article recently that pointed to Gandhi, Bill Gates, Al Gore, Warren

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Buffett, Albert Einstein and many other geniuses who needed solitude and quiet in order to be most productive and creative. A great myth of our time is that everyone must be equally social, or even worse, that the highest person within an organization must be

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the most outgoing, social, and collaborative. We are wise to remember that people are unique and work optimally in different environments. Few things are more painful than a person who feels comfortable working independently but is forced into social environments where she cannot give her

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best effort. Feelings of guilt and shame combined with anxiety are the result, and this is a recipe for eliciting the worst performance possible. Skillful managers and leaders recognize the qualities of each individual and tries to help them do their best. In blogging,

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most experience more freedom which is why I feel so comfortable with it. Unfortunately its not always profitable, but your tips help point us in the right direction. Thank you for the insightful post. I needed it.
Reply

MELISSA NG

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December 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm

It can be difficult to resist the social pressures to conform but all we can do is keep tryin to understand and stay true to ourselves. Thanks for the thoughtful

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comment.

Reply

SONIA SIMONE
November 27, 2012 at 9:53 am

I really enjoyed Susan Cains book. My favorite from her Introvert Manifesto is: Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some, its a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.
Reply

JAC
November 27, 2012 at 11:31 am

Sonia, This is SO true. Everyone can shine under the right circustances. Thanks for bringing out this quote from Susan Cains book.

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A great introvert )
Reply

MELISSA NG
November 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Cheers to that
Reply

BRENDA GOLBUS
November 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

I love this quote but I have to add that even as a consummate introvert I occasionally like the limelight. I shine on the right stages but then crave the solitude of a lamplit desk.

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Reply

DEMIAN FARNWORTH
November 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

Heres the thing: I enjoy people. I like talking to them. Hanging out with them. But on my own time. And in a very limited amount of time. Like 2% of the time. The other 98% devoted to solitude. We need people, however, and they need us. And a successful introvert learns how to scale that wall and get in front of people. Build relationships (which are often small in number but insanely deep). Not for himself. But because he cares about other people. Invtroverts can make some of the greatest leaders because they do listen, reflect and research. They are Platos Philosopher King.

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True story: the first time my wife met my moms side of the family (a very large and loud family) she casually mentioned that I was shy. They absolutely lost it. It just takes me a while to warm up to strangers. Great article.
Reply

SHERICE JACOB
November 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

I found myself nodding and smiling throughout this whole article. Thanks for giving us introverts the chance to shine (quietly and brightly!)
Reply

MELISSA NG
November 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

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Im glad it made you smile. Whatever we are (introvert, extrovert, etc.), we must remember to give ourselves the chance to try (and keep trying) and not let our peers define who we are. Shine on
Reply

MARCY
November 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Wonderful and inspiring article as usual. I really have no idea if Im and introvert or extrovert, but I know the truth of this article speaks to both. Listening, being authentic, and truly caring are necessary to connect with your audience. Thanks for the encouragement!

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Reply

JOANNA PENN
November 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Thanks for posting this I loved Susan Cains book and recommend it a lot. It helped me recognize aspects of myself that I can now accept and celebrate, rather than chastise myself about! Its also important to remember that introvert doesnt mean shy that introverts can be social and be international speakers and network etc, but we need to manage our energy in a way that allows us to do that. I have now learned from experience that to speak for one day, I need to schedule time either side to store energy and then replenish it. And I cant do 3-4 day conferences fulltime or I die from overstimulation.

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Energy management is therefore the most critical thing! For those who might not know what they are try the Myers Briggs test helps to understand where you are on the spectrum.
Reply

It

BRIAN CLARK
November 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

People always wonder why after I speak at a conference, I tend to disappear in my room. Well, now you know.
Reply

MELISSA NG
November 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm

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Yes, knowing you need that time to yourself is crucial. Everyday, I spend a lot of time speaking to teachers and students at my company. Every now and then I like to hide in the storage room to re-energize
Reply

MALINDA JOHNSON
November 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

As a successful introvert, I couldnt agree with you more!


Reply

PEGGY VARNER, BAFFINPADDLER


November 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

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The sign of an excellent article is that you read every word, and go back and reread some of it, and then take the time to thank the writer and the publisher. Thanks for this great article and opportunity to find a good book. Also, thanks for explaining what the word introvert might actually mean. Most think its a word for a bad thing. Ill bet a lot of writers and bloggers are introverts. And thats certainly not a bad thing. Thanks and cheers from Canada. I enjoy following Copyblogger.
Reply

MELISSA NG
November 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thank you for your warm

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comment, Peggy. Being an introvert is certainly not a bad thing at all


Reply

LINDA MURRAY
November 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

In the grocery store I may have a 10 minute chat with someone about salad but most often only say things like Yes, No, or Thank you. In a tennis match I plot with my partner and play to win then chat up our opponents with a smile afterwards. I return home to peace and quiet before my noisy kids are out of school. I love the solitude of fly fishing and having a beer in a pub with happy cheering about football. Introvert or extrovert? After reading this post I feel better answering

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introvert. I guess its like trying to divide the population into 12 personality profiles based on the month you were born in. Humans are too diverse to categorize in a small number of categories. Yet there are many truths to be found and better understand ourselves by acknowledging our commonalities. Thank you for the great post.
Reply

CHRIS
November 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Melissa, This is an article I find very helpful! I consider myself an introvert and, having just recently started my own blog (www.startsmallmarketing.com),

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its important to follow the 5 points you discussed. In fact, every post I sit down to write, I try to think about the topic, the side I am on, and how to explain it all. I find being an introvert is great for productivity as I am very efficient during my alone time!
Reply

DAVID PENNINGTON
November 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I have been an introvert forever. Introverts, while not necessarily shy, certainly need different platforms to thrive. Thanks for writing this, I know that the internet is 100% the reason I am where I am today.
Reply

MELISSA NG

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November 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Glad it was helpful. Oh, how I <3 the Internet.


Reply

LI-LING
November 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Melissa, thank you for this very timely reminder! In this day and age of attention always being given to the loudest voice, it is so easy to forget that it is not always necessary to join the fray. Although I am a social person and enjoy communicating with others, I am not by nature an extrovert and find it hard to blow my own trumpet, thank you for reminding me that there are other, sometimes better ways to make a difference.

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Reply

ERIC GALE
November 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm

As an introvert myself, I was very excited to read this. Thank you for sharing such powerful insights. I really enjoyed Susan Cains book as well. I strongly agree enough with Quiet leadership is not an oxymoron. Thank you again for letting the world know that being an introvert is not the same as being shy and that we have value to contribute.
Reply

DEBORAH GABRIEL
November 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I wanted to mention the the beautiful, fluid doodles, the quiet motion of the introvert. thank you

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for sharing those. dg


Reply

MELISSA NG
November 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Thank you, Deborah. Im so happy you enjoy them!


Reply

LINDA MOSES
November 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Interesting article. There are bloggers who do terrific work as long as they can blog without be seen. So many now are calling for transparency; and those who do not want to be seen will have to make sure their content is bigger than life.

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Reply

SALLY MAYOR
November 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Hi, Thanks for an excellent article. Forgive me for being a pedant but shouldnt it be online audience rather than audience online? Sally (a bookish introvert).
Reply

SONIA SIMONE
November 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Depends on what you see Online as modifying. As it is now, it modifies build, but if it was Audience online it would modify audience. Two slightly different

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meanings, either works.


Reply

ANDREW
November 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Melissa you naile dit! I can relate to all of those traits and so often feel that Im not the type to make significant progress bu then still waters run deep.. I particullary like this line Introversion simply means you are more energized and at your best in less stimulating and quieter environments. Thanks for a really good post.
Reply

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JARED LATIGO
November 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Very insightful post! I learned that Im an introvert. Never knew that. Never really tried to understand the definition of it of course, but still. Thanks!
Reply

MELISSA NG
November 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Were all learning things everyday. I highly recommend Susan Cains book if you want to find out more about introversion. Its a great place to start
Reply

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GABE
November 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Thanks for this, Melissa. Its good for me to be reminded of these things regularly. A great goal in life is to be the best me I can be the way I was made, not the way I think everyone wants me to be. I love that Im able to see growth in confidence in who I am over the last several years. Working online is a great place for an introvert to shine!
Reply

MELISSA NG
November 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Im so glad this could help. The path for self improvement is tough and never ending. At least know that youre

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not alone on that journey


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RICHARD
November 28, 2012 at 12:19 am

I feel as if this post is written for me only. Being an introvert, I do agree with most of the points.
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TOM KING
November 28, 2012 at 12:50 am

I really liked this article as it hit very close to home. I know personally I can not work well unless I am alone!
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PAWEL PIEJKO
November 28, 2012 at 3:31 am

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Well, I think writers who dont like being alone and quiet, dont like reading and listening do not exist. But most of copyblogger readers are writers AND introverts, so nicely done Melisa, at least at the know-andsatisfy-your audience part

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MELISSA NG
November 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Perhaps. But there are some writers who enjoy doing work in busy cafes. I even have a friend who can only write with music or TV running in the background. I personally enjoy writing with a single track on repeat We

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humans are a diverse bunch with diverse needs.


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JENNIFER
November 28, 2012 at 6:45 am

Thank you for highlighting the positive side of being bookish, serious and sensitive!
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ANGIE
November 28, 2012 at 10:20 am

Thank you for lightening my load. I oftentimes find myself among people who take my introvertedness for inability, which I find thoroughly irritating! Yes, I am a quite leader; bookish, serious and passionate (especially

http://www.copyblogger.com/introvert-content-marketing/

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when I am absolutely certain of my convictions.) This article was refreshing and encouraging!
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MELISSA NG
November 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Im so happy it helped. Keep doing what you have to do


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NTATHU ALLEN
November 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for publishing this blog. i am really enjoying the views and thoughts and comments. My daughetr, who has recently started university introduced ME to Susan Cains work..Like most new students, my daughter

http://www.copyblogger.com/introvert-content-marketing/

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was feeling swamped and overwhelmed by the whole process of typical student life so it was a god send to her to come across Susans work and regain her confidence nad self belief that quiet and being myself is great! and as chance would have it, today I read this post! Thank you. keep spreading the word.
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MELISSA NG
November 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Its wonderful to know your daughter is able to find herself in the midst of the pressures of university life. Thank you for sharing such a sweet story.

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HELLOPRESTO
November 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

This is the 2nd post Ive seen today referencing Susan Cains Quiet. Looks like I have more fuel for your #1 tip.
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LISA WEIKEL
November 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Melissa, Thanks so much for this great post. I love solitude and find the hours whisk away far more quickly than Id like when I permit myself to dive deeply into whatever I am reading or writing. Youve described me to a T and inspired me to purchase Susan Cains book. Id heard it mentioned on NPR, I

http://www.copyblogger.com/introvert-content-marketing/

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believe, and only heard the last bits. Im thinking, now, that I should follow up on it.
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MELISSA NG
November 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Would love to hear your thoughts on the book. I know I thoroughly enjoyed it
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TINA
November 29, 2012 at 12:46 am

Wonderful post Melissa. An as introvert myself, Ive often wondered about how being an extrovert or an introvert impacts on building a successful

http://www.copyblogger.com/introvert-content-marketing/

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business. Very insightful post. Thanks!


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ANN
November 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

Wonderful article! As an introvert, I found myself agreeing with all of it, as well as everyones comments. Thanks for all the great insights. Always be true to who you are.
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BRIGITTE VAN TUIJL


November 30, 2012 at 11:18 am

Hi Melissa, Great post, thanks for sharing! I am an extreme introvert myself, and it has taken me quite a while to totally accept and embrace it, and see it as a

http://www.copyblogger.com/introvert-content-marketing/

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quality and a gift instead of a burden I had to learn to live with. And finding a way to successfully build my business and fulfilling my mission while being a hermit has presented me with an interesting challenge over the past couple of years (to put it mildly Your post shows that, yes, all of us CAN thrive in our own unique way, whether were introverts or not. Everyone has unique qualities and gifts to share. Thanks Melissa! (P.S.: I recently wrote an article about my own journey and challenge; you can read it here if youre interested: http://www.brigittevantuijl.com/breakthrough/messagefrom-the-cave/ )

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MELISSA NG
December 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Im so happy for you. Lets keep up the good fight!


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PHYLLIS EDSON
November 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Thanks you so much for writing this article. Its taken me years to realize Im an introvert and what that means. I cant wait to look up some of the books you mentioned. Thanks, again.
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ARI HERZOG
December 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm

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I find most successful bloggers (who have community, not necessarily money from it) are introverts. Enables them to say what they want.
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ROSHINI
January 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Beautiful post. Felt as if you are talking directly to me and about me. Thanks for sharing
Reply

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