S4E1: Geraldine DeRuiter, @everywhereist (#44)

Social Media Storytelling with Geraldine DeRuiter

Geraldine DeRuiter, acclaimed author, world-renowned public speaker, and the voice behind the award-winning Everywhereist blog, joins The Storytellers Network to launch Season 4, Social Media Storytellers.

Besides travel, Geraldine also writes about dessert, feminism, and Jeff Goldblum’s entire filmography. TIME Magazine described her work as “consistently clever” and The New York Times said her writing was “dark and hilarious”. Her blog has received accolades from The Independent, Forbes Magazine, and The Huffington Post, because as she says, sometimes features editors get drunk.

When not on the road with her long-suffering and infinitely patient husband, Rand Fishkin (my guest from season 3), Geraldine can be found in Seattle, usually fighting with people on the internet.

Besides her blog, Geraldine uses social media for some amazing storytelling. I love her passion on anything from equal rights to food replacement soylent… which we talk about in our conversation. For Gerladine, social media has proven to be a great, diverse story platform to expand our knowledge and networks.

“When my knee-jerk reaction is ‘I don’t want to read that,’ [Rand] tells me I need to evaluate why. Once that wall comes down, it becomes very, very easy.” - Geraldine DeRuiter on the power of contrarian stories/perspectives

You need more than just a ‘good story’

Whether it’s in social media, video or in writing, engaging an audience takes more than just a good story. You might have been a special forces agent or a deep undercover spy, but if you can’t tell the stories well, they simply fall flat. As a storyteller, you have to give your audience the good stuff. Don’t make them go looking for it. Geraldine can speak from experience.

“My father joined the Air Force and he did all this amazing stuff for American Intelligence and he had multiple passports and code names… and if you talked to him his stories were so boring it’s unreal! You would have to tease out all the interesting things!” - Geraldine DeRuiter on good storytelling

The difference between success and failure: Do the work

When people ask Geraldine what it takes to get to where she is - a contributor for publications like Oprah’s website, Mashable, CNN and more - she says the answer is simple even if it’s easy. The secret is to do the work.

Even she admits the numbers sound crazy, but major publications want to see consistency and quality. They won’t see that on just a few stories. They need to see a plethora of works.

“People always ask ‘What do you have to do?’ and I’m like ‘500 blog posts.’ If you can get to 1,000 posts, that’s when publications pay attention.” - Geraldine DeRuiter on how to make it in writing

Connect with Geraldine:

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