Become a Top Blogger By Arvind Devalia A guest post by Arvind Devalia of Make It Happen If I were to ask you why you blog, what would you say? I guess I would get answers such as: For fun I enjoy writing I love to communicate I want to get a book deal I want to spread my message I have something to say that will help others And so on. You get the idea. However I would like to invite you to ponder this – what about blogging because you ultimately want to make a difference in the world? That’s what each one of us is doing – giving someone an idea of how to do things better, faster or just making them smile. Your blog must be serving some higher purpose for your readers for them to keep coming back for more. What would it be like to raise your game even more, so as to help alleviate world poverty? Alleviate world poverty – surely a startling proposition! With so much chronic and deep-rooted poverty how can one blogger make a difference? However if a lot of bloggers were to join forces along with their readers, that could surely work. And no matter what we do, it will ultimately make a difference. How blogs can change the world In the past I have done some charity work in India and seen at first hand how hard life can be for some people. My own life is considerably more comfortable in the material sense, purely because of being lucky where I was born, but that is no consolation when my fellow human beings are struggling so much. Though India, the country of my ancestors, is growing in leaps and bounds, day to day life is still a huge struggle for most. And that is also the situation for many people around the world. However despite their struggles, most poor people do not just want charity or straight donations. Everyone has their own pride and dignity and they want to be able to look you in the eye. What’s really inspiring is that no matter what their life situation, poor people around the world can be incredibly enterprising, hardworking and determined to improve their life. And yet they face seemingly insurmountable odds even to survive each day. Each community has a number of enterprising leaders who have started off tiny businesses and enterprises which they hope will lead to a better life for them and their families. All people want is a helping hand to improve their lot and simply be given a chance to get ahead a little bit. They are not looking for hand-outs. But they need a hand-up. What if blogs could unite to give a hand-up to those leaders who are willing to change their circumstances and those of their community? Today, you and other bloggers can do just that! The “Blog with Heart Challenge”, or how bloggers can join to alleviate world poverty. Here’s how: My blog at Make it Happen, as well as Mary Jaksch’s Goodlife Zen, is hosting the first Blog with Heart Challenge this December. The Blog with Heart Challenge 2009/2010 uses Kiva, a highly respected non-profit micro lender. Kiva allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world and as they repay the loan, you get your money back. Watch this short video to see how Kiva works: The “Blog with Heart Challenge” encourages a friendly competition between blogs to see which blog is willing to raise the most loans through Kiva – relative to it’s subscriber numbers – during December 2009. How the Blog with Heart Challenge works Each blogger who wants to participate in the Blog with Heart Challenge joins Kiva and forms a lending team that carries the blog’s name. (If you’re a blogger who wants to participate, click here for details on how to enter your blog). Readers can join their favorite blog’s lending team. Once you are part of a blog’s lending team, you can choose to have a loan on Kiva “count” towards your team’s impact. The loan is still yours, and repayments still come to you – but you can choose to have the loan show up in your blog team’s collective portfolio, so your team’s chance of winning the Blog with Heart Challenge 2009/2009 will grow. The ten winners of the Blog with Heart Challenge will be the blogs who have the biggest Kiva portfolio, relative to their number of subscribers. This means that small blogs can compete with large ones. We’ve already contacted some bloggers and have had a great response. One of the first to join was Leo Babauta of Zen Habits! And even though the Challenge has only just kicked off, it’s already generated more than $10,000 in Kiva loans! What YOU can do: Read more about the Blog with Heart Challenge here; Bloggers: find out how to join the Blog with Heart Challenge; Scrape all the content you like from our Resource Page for bloggers. You’ll find articles and videos (with embed codes). Check out the cool Kiva videos here. Join the Kiva lending team of your favorite blog and lend $25; Email and Tweet your favorite bloggers to encourage them to join the Challenge; Tweet up a storm about the Blog with Heart Challenge! If you want to know more about the Challenge and about Kiva, you can read more about the Blog with Heart Challenge here. Will the Blog with Heart Challenge alleviate world poverty? It’s a start! Each loan of $25 can change a life. Let’s join hands and minds, and our writing pens and typing fingers and do this together – Bloggers unite! What I find really amazing and inspiring is this – bloggers through their vast collective readership have so much power to impact and change the world through their writing and by providing leadership. There is so much we can all do through the power of our blogs – let us join up this month and make the Blog with Heart Challenge a great success. Let’s sort out world poverty first – and then we can take on something more challenging 🙂 Let’s make it happen! Enjoy more posts by Arvind on his blog Make It Happen or grab his feed right away.