With a big sigh of relief I have reached the finish line of the 30 Day Blog Your Brand Challenge hosted by Indie Business Network with 32 blogs posted! The best part about it is that I reached this finish line with a whole bunch of friends. We all learned a ton from the experience. I was greatly blessed when I read what the others bloggers posted during the 30 day challenge. I was reminded that you can reach crazy goals when you put your mind to it even when the timing is not convenient. A week long vacation in the midst of the challenge plus the start of NaNoWriMo in the middle required a lot of planning on my part, but it was very doable. At the very bottom of this blog I have included links to all 30 blogs.
My favorite blog post I wrote during the 30 Day Blog Your Brand Challenge was The Unglamorous Life of Writers. I asked my cohorts in this crazy challenge what they learned in the experience and what their favorite blog was from the 30 Days. This is a long blog post, but it is much easier to discover whether a challenge like this is worth it, from people who took part, than it is to jump into one unprepared. Sit back and enjoy some valuable insight from this brilliant group of bloggers.
Kenna Cote of Modern Soapmaking, “As someone who has always highly valued blogging and encouraged other makers to blog regularly (I often credit Modern Soapmaking’s success to blogging itself!), the 30 day challenge pushed me back into the mode of more regular and scheduled content creation. It usually takes me six to eight hours to write a full blog post, and this challenge forced me to stop pushing for so much perfection in my writing and hitting publish much sooner than I would have before.
I also found myself writing and publishing more content with personal backstories and anecdotes than usual because I needed to get a post published, rather than having the time to find a way out of sharing those parts of my life. I don’t mind writing about mental health, anxiety, or the fears found in entrepreneurship, but bringing in the facets of my personal life (being a mother) has paid off. With posts like Being a Mompreneur: Why You Can’t Do It All and Six Business Lessons My Six Year Old Helps Me Remember, I found my target audience related to these posts much more, and I’m working on redefining my line of what is or isn’t too personal to share.
There have been a slew of interesting statistics and facts that have come to light, but I already knew how much of an impact blogging has on my traffic and how important it is to my brand. I’m incredibly thankful to have pushed through 30 days of new articles to share over and over again in the future, and know it will pay itself off ten-fold!” Read Statistically Speaking: How 30 Days of Blogging Changed My Website Traffic for a thorough breakdown.
Ann Kuchera Stoll of Blossoms Barn, “Being under pressure caused me to keep up. While I missed the very first day, because I wasn’t going to do this, I’ve posted every day since. The downside to being under pressure is that I’m not sure if I came up with the best content. I tend to write like I talk, so things come out maybe in a strange fashion. I didn’t take the time to polish or add more interesting words. But I continued on anyway. I learned how to efficiently find and use graphics. I prefer my own, but I’m not taking photos all day long in order to have a pile to choose from.”
Caron February of Two Blooms, “Blogging this time around for 30 days has changed my life (and not in the way you’d think). It became something that just had to be done every single day, there was no option. Didn’t feel like it? Too busy? Doesn’t matter, it must get done. We translated that into our personal lives and have become more efficient with our time; we’re exercising and eating better. So not at all what I expected, but really grateful.” Favorite blog to write was Ready Set Run.
Beth Learn of Fit2B, “This challenge has taught me that my writing is a huge part of my ministry to broken women who are trying to put their bodies back together. It’s revealed how I’ve run from that aspect of my ministry, because while I’m good at it, I’m lazy about it. It’s showed me how smart (and dumb) it was of me to keep dumping ideas into draft posts so that I’d have (too much) content to sort through on rainy days. It’s highlighted what my fans do and DO NOT want to hear from me. It’s forced me to create outlines, learn some new tricks, and finally figure out how to yoast my post. I’ve also discovered that regular blogging really does increase traffic to my website!”
Chris Greten of Westbound Soap, “I participated in the 30 blog challenge in June. I found it very hard and I felt I was not a good writer. Fast forward to this challenge. I feel that my writing has improved greatly and I have even rewritten some of the June Blog posts. I also feel that it has gotten much easier to come up with topics this time than it was in June. I think that everyone should participate in it. I did not allow myself a day off and just kept going. I have to say if the challenge was not there I probably would not have blogged a tenth of what I did. Why Should I buy from Westbound Soap is by far my favorite blog post it was nice to get it out of my head and on paper!”
Esther Jo of Holistic Serums, Skin & Hair, “Thank you, Kayla! You are a marvel. Avenger even. Thank you for tweeting and re-tweeting. I couldn’t be in the challenge- Being a single mom of 2, care-giving to parents, and giving a hand in a co-located business covers my time and thoughts. This post above, Chris Greten’s, Why I should Buy from Westbound Soap was of the few I read, my favorite, as I was looking for direction. I was struck by how she answered the questions she was asked, put down the advantages, and gave a personal glimpse and connected. After reading it, I made over an old post entirely- based on questions I am asked. I am vague, metaphorical & dreamy and Making is intuitive- and (what I get asked). So I use a metaphor to explain.
Theresa Mendez of Wandering Thistles Studio, “What I learned: I actually enjoy blogging. I used to be intimidated even thinking about it, and It has definitely gotten easier each and every time. Another thing is when I begin to write, the story takes on a life of its own. Sometimes it is in the opposite spectrum of what I thought I was going to write about. I will keep it up, not daily, but at least 3Xs a week. I was inspired by reading the ones I could, I still want to go back and read them all. I felt I got to know some of you better and really looked forward to seeing what “all y’all” would write about today. Oh the funniest one was Caron February and her new evening routine of running with a head lamp, oh my side was hurting I was laughing so much. Kayla Fioravanti you taught me about new things to learn to help make writing easier, and to retweet when you were retweeted, and (pet peeves). Gosh, it is hard to pick just one that I enjoyed writing. I think the one about a Heartfelt Prayer was very personal and cathartic, the most fun was about Speaking Texan. What I saw in others was tenacity and the do it or die spirit, even when faced with storms, hospitals, technical issues, writers block, and the loss of loved ones. I feel I am a changed person for the better for attempting this challenge and the opportunity to get to know you all a little bit better.”
Seth Pepoon of Hiking With Your Honey, “Two quick things I learned: 1)I was doing this to be supportive of my wife Loral Robben Pepoon and found out I love it; and 2) build an idea framework before you write to include an outline and pictures—then the words flow better having something to guide them. Thanks Kayla Fioravanti for encouraging us to take this challenge!”
Loral Robben Pepoon of Clive the Cat, “ 1) Just start where you are at. I didn’t have my ideal blog topic ready or planned (about my upcoming book), but chose a fun topic to just get me used to the blogging process since I haven’t done it before. It made it less overwhelming that way. 2) It’s better to put good (yet imperfect) content out there rather than holding it back until you think it is amazing–you never know who it will encourage or make laugh. I’ve been so excited by people I don’t know sharing nice comments on my blog and on Twitter. 3) Don’t compare yourself to others…I am a Twitter newbie. My followers have gone from a handful to more than 40! I am excited about this. I have had to fight not to think about how much further ahead others are than me. 4) Many people who aren’t liking or sharing my posts are still being inspired/touched/entertained by my blog. At a family wedding last weekend, many told me how cute they thought my blog was before I mentioned it, even though they had never liked it. 5) I can push through “work” that is meaningful to me in the same way that I would for a paid project. No more treating my interests as secondary. 6) Expect unexpected blessings. I had no idea when my husband agreed to do it with me that it would bring him such joy. The challenge has truly changed the trajectory of our future plans, fueling the fire to pursue our dreams of our own content-based business.”
Susan Lewis Varga of Aromatic Passport, “I’ve often thought I’m not a writer because I’m more visual. I feel this challenge allowed me to get to the heart of my voice. Sadly my favorite blog to write and have read was about dying. I had so much loss during this challenge and the challenge kept me going. Biggest criticism from those who saw my posts-too many.”
Kristen M Fusaro-Pizzo of Candle Moment, “From the 30 Day Blog Challenge, I learned how to tell stories about the why behind our products. Our whole vision is about Moments, and how candles and body products create those special moments for people. We understood this, but the blogging challenge allowed me to express our vision in the way it was intended. My favorite blog from the challenge was A Candle by Any Other Name: A Blog Story on How We Name Our Candles.”
Haleigh Doyle of Eternal Returns, “I was very intimidated by this challenge, especially because I have taken on so many side projects this month, while working almost 2 full time jobs. It taught me to stay committed and to PLAN. No matter what the circumstance I HAD to complete a blog post. As time went on, writing each post became easier. I realized that I loved to write on the things I truly cared about – and that I wasn’t too bad at speaking my mind! It has me excited for what I can do in the future, when I’m able to take more time with each post!”
Sharon T McLaughlin of Health and Beauty Facts, “I have heard that blogging becomes easier, I disagree. It takes me at least two hours to do a post. I am not just writing off the top of my head, I research a topic then try to break it down where it can be understood. I have always struggled with writing so this was a challenge as well. Blogging everyday was definitely an effort. Coming up with new interesting ideas was hard. That being said I do have more followers since the beginning of the month. I am determined to use other marketing tools that I can incorporate into my blog such as periscope which I will record than upload to YouTube. Going forward I doubt that I will blog everyday but I will adhere to a schedule a try to focus more on the quality of the content as well as different streams to market the information.”
Marilyn Schendel of Ritual Waters, “I participated in the June challenge but missed several days and am determined to complete this one fully. I have participated in other’s blog challenges but the ones here at IBN I have been a lot more determined to complete them. This is mainly from the support from all here as it helps to have more than just chirping crickets encouraging us. I am amazed by what catches someone’s eye when I write. I am one that just lets the words flow and what I have found is that when I just speak from my heart those are the posts that touch. I have learned allot and feel so much more at ease at writing. My best post was My Greatest Joy.
Preston Tillotson of Sudz by Studz and Gratitude Soapery, “There are several things that I learned during the 30 day blogging challenge. First, I discovered why I do not blog regularly and avoid blogging in general. A proper blog post requires quite a bit of time, effort, creative energy, formatting and proofreading. Even then, I’m usually never satisfied with my completed work because I’m a perfectionist. Second, this challenge has taught me that being a decent writer and having the time to post are not sufficient conditions for completion of the challenge. In order to be successful, you have to have a tremendous amount of commitment, dedication and resolve. That is to say, you have to show up and put in the work independent of what’s going on in your life, business or otherwise. Last, this blogging challenge has shown me the benefits of putting myself, and my brands, out there for the world to see. Admittedly, I feel very vulnerable when I publish a blog post. However, I’m starting to understand the value of it all because I’ve witnessed a sharp increase in website traffic and engagement from my customers that’s unrivaled from social media referral alone. I’m very glad I embarked on this journey with the rest of the group and will definitely be enjoying a few nights off very soon.”
Holly Port of The Lotion Bar Cafe and author of Make it Fizz, “I have learned that a lot of us struggle in this area . . . I never blogged this much, because of the feel of failure. I just started writing and tried to be transparent in the topic. The timing was at the worst time for this with 3 of my largest craft shows are during this challenge. But I pushed through and made it part of my day!”
Donna Maria of Indie Business Network and host of Blog Your Brand, “As a seasoned entrepreneur who has been blogging for over a decade, I enjoy seeing people successfully complete a blogging challenge because it’s a sign of perseverance and leadership — two things one must have to build and sustain a profitable business. Blogging for business is not about writing and sharing so much as it is about leadership. It’s a public demonstration of the fact that an entrepreneur are being proactive about using technology wisely, and taking the time to know, love, and engage his or her customers. Blogging is hard work, and blogging for 30 days straight is not fr the faint of heart. Congratulations to all of the entrepreneurs who completed the challenge!! I have made many new friends. I am so proud of you and look forward to continuing to read your blog posts and share them with the world! If you want to learn how to blog to increase customer engagement and expand your sphere of influence, join us at Blog Your Brand. I look forward to meeting you there!
Here are my blogs from The 30 Day Blog Challenge
- October 19 Joining the 30 Day Blog Your Brand Challenge
- October 20 Positive Shift for Indie Publishers
- October 21 Bison Tongue Tacos Recipe
- October 22 Why You Should Own Your Platform
- October 23 Chores-O-Matic System
- October 24 Blogging 101
- October 25 Big List of Inspiring Business Books
- October 26 The Importance of Kindle Pricing AND BONUS POST What to do When Injured While Using Essential Oils
- October 27 The Basics of SEO
- October 28 Homemade Ground Bison Helper Recipe
- October 29 Life & Grief Interwoven AND BONUS POST Happy National Cat Day
- October 30 Glossary of Online Terms
- October 31 Blogging 201
- November 1 Day 1 of 30 NaNoWriMo
- November 2 Chicken Fried Bison Recipe
- November 3 Best Day & Time to Post Blogs
- November 4 Lasagna Gardening
- November 5 How to Use Hashtags
- November 6 A Day in the Life of Riley
- November 7 Basics of Stumble Upon
- November 8 The unGlamorous Life of Writers
- November 9 Pulled Bison Chuck Roast Recipe
- November 10 Em dash, en dash and Hyphen
- November 11 Allergies & Intolerances
- November 12 The Story Behind Selah Press
- November 13 Living Firmly Outside the Box
- November 14 Resources for Bloggers from Bloggers
- November 15 Becoming an Author-preneur
- November 16 Porter Bison Short Ribs Recipe
- November 17 Lessons Learned from 30 Days of Blogging