hen I took the 30 Day Blogging Challenge I set out to prove to myself I could write a quality post each day for 30 days that it would keep my interest, and would have enough material for each day. There were a few surprises and I accomplished my goals.
You may have read in my post, Why I Took the 30 Day Blog Challenge, that I set out to accomplish the following:
- To learn the actual steps it takes to blog every day so I can train others how to do it effectively. I am called upon to write about and train people to perform complex tasks. I often learn how to do something so I can effectively train on the subject. How can I expect someone to follow my training if I haven’t done it myself?
- To prove that I can actually do it. Sometimes you are your worst critic. This crops up in a number of ways, my problem is extreme procrastination. Since this in an experiment, there should be no pressure to perform, however I am a perfectionist and that seems to stop me more often before I start something than not.
- To improve my writing skills. I have to write a fair amount in my various roles as at work and at play. I write at least a little each day to perform my job, but, it seems
I have to admit, I did miss a several days due to unexpected scheduling conflicts and some planning issues on my part, but overall I feel like I satisfied each objective as well as learned some valuable lessons. Writing each day has helped me make improvements across the board and IT WAS FUN!
Seven Valuable Lessons From the 30 Day Blogging Challenge
- Use short, punchy, interesting titles for my blog posts to get them read. Include your keywords to make them easy to find. Since my blog is a combination one where I write about topics that interest me, my objective is not for profit or traffic. I recognize I need more experience with choosing keywords, niche research and generating traffic. I am developing these skills on some of my other blogs. Over time, this personal blog will become more focused too!
- Scheduling. Writing takes time, you need to set aside time EACH DAY to research, write, edit, format, publish and promote your posts. I did have trouble with my schedule and needed to modify it to accommodate the challenge. I ended up staying up later than usual and this was a burden. I am much sharper during the day, especially in the morning; I am able to be much more productive.
- Good is good enough, but is excellent better? A friend of mine, who is constantly under deadline, advised me that good is good enough, you should always publish and ship when under deadline. Put out your best work possible but being a perfectionist can hurt you. I struggle with this concept but am getting better at it. For instance, it is 11:33 PM and I just started writing this a few minutes ago. Fortunately, I made notes about this post over the past few weeks so I had material to work with, I was able to put this post out in just 30 minutes because of the prior planning, which brings me to the next lesson I learned.
- Plan your content in advance. I could have done much better in this area but I did carry a notebook around with me and whenever I got an idea I made notes and even created outlines to give a general idea of what I was thinking. This was very helpful and I now carry a notebook everywhere to capture random inspiration!
- Meeting other bloggers. It was easy to meet other bloggers because of the challenge. I could have done this a lot more than I did. I will continue to monitor my fellow 30 Day Blogging Challenge Brothers and Sisters to further connect with them and learn from each other.
- I learned the WordPress Admin functions. I was familiar with how to publish pages and posts. But I got a crash course in organizing my blog, customizing my theme and getting a workflow together. I will create a future post documenting that workflow. One surprise I got was reacting to the generous comments from fellow challengers. This was the coolest part. I look forward to getting more comments in the future.
- Using social media connections to inspire blog posts that are useful. I met some people on LinkedIn asking about blogging and generating traffic, seeking answers about keywords and to get feedback. This interaction led me to write 3 different posts about Authenticy, SEO and Blogging Mistakes. I would have never discovered this had I not gone searching for good topics to write about. This was probably the most valuable lesson and pleasant surprise I had.
- BONUS! Promote your posts on social media. I hesitated to promote my posts on social media at first, but once I did I experience traffic spikes on the days I did. I look forward to exploring this more!
Now that I proved I can do this blogging thing I have plans to continue writing my personal blog, probably 3 posts per week. I am planning a weekly blog for the non-profit I work with and one or two others I might get involved with writing guests posts for. I also write for a print newsletter and I will recycle some content from my blog, expand it slightly and publish follow up articles there.
Drop Caps courtesy of Jessica Hische at Daily Drop Cap
Suggested reading from the 30 Day Blogging Challenge
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