Follow the Arrows
Have you ever fallen off track?
Like so many things, I had a vision and lost track. With my social media background I had an idea of what I needed to do. The first of which was to blog more consistently. It seems when you are ready for a challenge to grow – one will pop up in your feed.
The post that snagged me was actually a review post from another blogger. Which is why I think it’s my turn to share with you, what I think of Sark e-Media’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge!
Who Should Do This?
Right off that bat, you might wonder who this challenge is for?
- It’s for new bloggers and blogs. This challenge will help you get started right! This is one of the few that will set you straight with all of the basics. It’s now the first place I would recommend to anyone who wants to seriously become a better blogger.
- It’s for experienced bloggers. I thought there was nothing new they could share with me. I was wrong. Sarah and Kevin really changed my perspective. More than that they introduced me to new tools.
- It’s for bloggers who want to get back on track. This challenge was perfect for getting me to think about the direction my blog was going.
- It’s for bloggers and businesses who need better support services. Ultimately this challenge is a try before you buy. This a great way to see the kind of quality you can expect. If you need more – they can deliver!
Why Did It take more than 30 days?
I decided to commit to this challenge in November, but it took me about 50 days to complete. Here is why.
- I made the grave mistake of also committing to NaNoWriMo. Trying to write my ideal book and write for my blog turned out to be a struggle. The blog won. Although technically by word count, the combined effort of blog and book would have qualified.
- Finding the time to write was an uphill battle. Everyone wanted time with mom! It didn’t matter if I scheduled a day, made an announcement to my family, stayed up later, got up earlier – they found a way to unravel my plans.
- Sometimes writing took a different direction than I intended!
- Sometimes I felt the need to do more research. I needed more time to think about the task and how it applied to me. For example one challenge was about considering the use of a comment plugin. I like the way CommentLuv uses a gamification model and the Facebook comments would make it easier for some of my readers. I haven’t jumped on either because I don’t know if I was to stop using those services, if I would retain the comments on my blog? On the other side of this is every blog that uses it appears to have a higher engagement and visibility.
I knew that as I re-branded my blog this year I need to post more consistently. I did this challenge to help myself be more accountable.
I blogged during an emotionally tough season. The last three post in the challenge were the hardest. Between our busy holiday schedule and taking the time to remember the past, I averaged a post a week in the end.
The thing is I did it anyway. It’s not a challenge unless you fight your way to the end. The key was not to beat myself up. I knew my limitations going in. I had high hopes that were dashed and I recovered. If something is holding you back, you only need to ask yourself one thing… Will you grow from the experience?
In the process here is what I learned
- I learned that I could write more in “30 days” than I previously wrote in a year!
- I learned that my writing style has changed over the years! The more I write the more it may change. This challenge helped me to understand my current writing style.
- I not only learned from Sarah and Kevin how to be a better blogger. The other bloggers who participated also made an impact in my learning.
- I learned to be more confident in my niche. This may shock people who know me, but I am am introvert who has learned to be an extrovert. Putting myself out there in a way people can judge me is uncomfortable! Long ago I decided it was necessary but I was hesitant.
- During this time I tried out a couple of new blogger support networks to find more organic posts to read and share. Every blogger loves and needs new comments. I compared my notes and 2/3rd of all my comments and visitors came from my regular readers and from the Facebook Challenge Group. This challenge was a better stepping stone to building quality relationships with other bloggers!
The best part about this blogging challenge is that it will create a snapshot of your blog! The more you blog the more your readers will know what you are about.