I ended the Winter 30 Day Blogging Challenge with the blog post Lessons Learned 30 Days of Blogging. It seemed only fitting that I end this Summer 30 Days of Blogging Challenge with even more lessons learned. Some of the same people from the last challenge took part in this one as well and we had new people join us. It was a great month of sharing each others content, reading, commenting and retweeting.
What I learned this time is that even the best laid plans fail sometimes and you simply must readjust and move on. I had mapped out all my planned blogs posts before the challenge got started. I stayed on track for 10 days and then the rush of deadlines for Selah Press clients made it impossible to write blog posts that required research. I needed to be able to write off the top of my head or use material I had prepared for other uses.
Other bloggers learned incredibly valuable lessons.
Elin Criswell wrote, “I very much enjoyed participating in the 30 Day Blog Challenge. This was my first one. The main thing that I learned is that I should continue writing and will do so under elincriswell.com. My favorite blog post was Walking Together. This is my favorite because it’s just where I’m at right now.”
Kathy White wrote, “I had fears and doubts before making the commitment to do the challenge. Even one of the organizers advised to not try to do all 30 days if you hadn’t blogged before, which I hadn’t. (I’m not counting 3 or 4 starts, with one post and then the sound of crickets for weeks or months.) With only a few days left, I’m confident that I can make it because I’ve had some days that I thought for sure I wouldn’t have the time to write – but I made it work. Now I know that if I set my mind to do something that feels like it may be too hard, I can push myself to get it done. The part I liked best about the challenge was that I was only competing against myself, and the result was to give me more confidence and improve my writing skills. My favorite blog post from the challenge was The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Craft Show Tales.”
Ann Kuchera Stoll wrote, “The Power of Elderberries was the most popular so far. What I learned this go around, is that I really need to plan for this. Every day was a challenge in itself to come up with an idea. I also should maybe be a day ahead of myself since I tend to wait till the last hour to write and post. Problem with that is our sketchy internet. Last night it took an HOUR for my photo to upload. If I’m ahead of myself, then I don’t have to feel the crunch of the clock and the slow internet. And finally, and I’m sure it’s not a good thing, but I write like I think. My ideas, when they come, tend to just roll out and it doesn’t take me very long to produce a document. Maybe I could do better.”
Emily Caswell wrote, “My favorite post that I wrote during the challenge was “The Anatomy of a Lip Balm Favor” because it was fun to put together the graphics. Through this challenge I learned that there’s nothing like giving yourself a “no excuses” deadline to break through whatever blocks you think you have about blogging. Also, there’s tremendous value in having a journal with blog post ideas, a template for blog post graphics, and a blog post (or two) written ahead of time in case of emergencies. But most important was learning that if I wanted to, I really could blog every day. If I can blog for 30 days in a row, there is absolutely no reason I can’t do it 2 or 3 times a week. Anyone who thinks they have nothing to blog about needs to try a challenge!”
Claire Weinberg wrote, “I had mixed feelings about BYB. I learned a lot- but it was way too intense. What I loved was reading and commenting on other blogs, loved, loved, loved getting comments and liked seeing how other blogs were organized and their layout. I’m hoping that I will get a few ‘blog buddies” who will comment on my blogs and I’ll do the same for them. The comments made all the blogs look so much richer. A blog a day was just too intense for me and my business. I felt I moved from Blog My Brand to “Slog My Brand” and that meant some of my goals for blogging I dropped. One was graphics, I want to Pin from my blog but just couldn’t spend the extra time to work on graphics. Also since I really wanted to Blog My Brand I didn’t want to write for the Indie audience so suggestions like write about inserting videos I didn’t follow up on because that’s not my target audience. I thought you had a perfect set up with multiple sites. I also wondered talking with a web designer if I wasn’t looking spamy to Google because I changed from 1 a week to every day and it was a sudden and drastic change. I have lots of blogs to re-do and repost so that’s good. I showed a lot of perseverance in the challenge but I like my life when it’s more balanced. So- all in all a mixed bag but hopefully the connections will continue because that was my biggest take away.”
Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo wrote, “This particular Blog Your Brand challenge has changed me because as I continue to write, I feel like I have finally found the exact personal brand voice I was always aiming for – where class and sass meet for a glass (of wine). I have built authority around my brand and I have become recognized for the unique cross-over skills I have to offer as both an educator and an entrepreneur. My favorite post from this challenge was the “#HEREIAM – The Revolution of Body Image” post. This post was as honest and raw as I could be about the challenges women face regarding body image, and I hope it is one tiny piece of a larger revolution for women to recognize all of our beauty and strength.”
Mary Humphrey wrote, “Collaboration, teamwork amongst colleagues, is priceless. Small business owners lifting up small business owners is incredible in the sense that we’re uniquely in the same boat. We all face the same challenges, and we faced this one (the 30 Day Blog Your Brand Challenge) with a measure of unity, which ended with a note of growth for each of us. Total blessings abounded! My favorite blog post, which I found helpful for ME and others was The ABC’s of Overworked, Tired, and Burned Out.
Seth and Loral Pepoon each write for their own blogs and shared some priceless lessons.
“1) Writing drives momentum—we don’t know how our writing is going to be used to generate future ideas. We also don’t know how our writing is going to touch others.
2) Being in a group lets you know if some of the technical struggles are your lack of knowledge or larger Facebook issues. For me, knowing others are having the same glitches is wonderfully helpful.
3) My most popular blog post (Loral) was Tips for Enjoying the Trail With Your Man…reaffirming that useful, personal lessons are what people want. Seth’s most popular blog post was 9 Ways to Decorate a Campsite.
4) Blogging is helping us know what to take pictures of on our trips!
5) We got better at writing longer content faster.
6) We got ideas about what to write about from reading other people’s blogs.
7) It takes activity to grow your following.
8) Posting during the day got us more likes than posting in the evening on Facebook. On Instagram morning posts performed better.
9) You can create content on the go by talking into your handheld device, or by taking your computer on the road. We didn’t let being gone stop us this time.
10) Diversify your brands or content so that you get to write about a variety of subjects.
11) Once you get a larger number of blogs, you might have to look into getting a better theme to get it more organized or get some help with design
12) Correct after you publish if you are on a publish time deadline rather than not making it
13) If you have more than one brand, plan your content so that you can cross promote logically
14) We learned what type of content we love writing by doing blog challenges versus those that weren’t so fun for us. That is helping us further shape our goals.”
I particularly liked what Elin Criswell said, “…it’s just where I’m at right now.” It is good to assess where you are and be comfortable in it.
Kathy White hit it on the nose when she said, “The part I liked best about the challenge was that I was only competing against myself, and the result was to give me more confidence and improve my writing skills.” Yes! We were not competing against each other, only ourselves.
I live in the country just like Ann Kuchera and suffer from sketchy internet so I totally identified with, “If I’m ahead of myself, then I don’t have to feel the crunch of the clock and the slow internet.”
And in other moments I could totally identify with Claire Weinberg, “I felt I moved from Blog My Brand to “Slog My Brand” and that meant some of my goals for blogging I dropped.”
I second Emily Caswell’s comment, “Through this challenge I learned that there’s nothing like giving yourself a “no excuses” deadline to break through whatever blocks you think you have about blogging.”
I too loved Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo’s blog post #HEREIAM. It was raw, powerful, transparent and real.
Mary and I collaborated on one blog post together and it was such much fun to work together. Mary captured exactly how I feel when she said, “Small business owners lifting up small business owners is incredible in the sense that we’re uniquely in the same boat.”
Seth and Loral had many great lessons. I actually had technical difficulties when I loaded their lessons, what gave me a chuckle since they mentioned the same issue in number two. And I did exactly what they said one night when I had only 20 minutes left to post, “Correct after you publish if you are on a publish time deadline rather than not making it.”
Here is what my blogging ended up looking like…
30 Days Blog Your Brand—Summer 2016
July 10th KaylaFioravanti.com—30 Day Blog Challenge
July 11th KaylaFioravanti.com—18 Lessons from 18 Years of Marriage
July 12th RedCedarBison.com—Roasted Tomato Pesto with Bison Steaks
July 13th Selah-Press.com—Big List of Copywriting Resources
July 14th KaylaFioravanti.com—I’m Only Super Human on Tuesdays
July 15th RedCedarBison.com—How to Cook a Perfect Bison Steak on the Grill
July 16th KaylaFioravanti.com—Why My Family Loves Medi-share
July 17th Selah-Press.com—Everything You Ever Need to Know about Copyrights
July 18th KaylaFioravanti.com—Meet the Bison
July 19th KaylaFioravanti.com—How Write a Book
JUST ABOUT THIS TIME IN THE CHALLENGE CHAOS HIT MY LIFE. I got off track with my plan but kept blogging.
July 20th RedCedarBison.com—Umami, What?!
July 21st KaylaFioravanti.com—Living in a Virtual World
July 22nd KaylaFioravanti.com—Where are You From?
July 23rd KaylaFioravanti.com—The Battle of Fear
July 24th KaylaFioravanti.com—Top Ten Reasons to Have a Virtual Assistant
July 25th KaylaFioravanti.com—Reinvention is the Key to Success
July 26th KaylaFioravanti.com—Build Your Business with the End in Mind
July 27th Selah-Press.com—You’re Published, Now What?
July 28th Selah-Press.com—Social Media Cheat Sheet
July 29th RedCedarBison.com—Bison Steak with a Red Wine Shallot Sauce
July 30th KaylaFioravanti.com—The Magic of IN versus ON
July 31st Kayla Fioravanti Introducing my First eBook
August 1st SelahPress.com—KL Press Releases The Art of Schlepping
August 2nd KaylaFioravanti.com—Brewing Kombucha Recipe
August 3rd KaylaFioravanti.com—Ginger Lemon Turmeric Kombucha Recipe
August 4th KaylaFioravanti.com—Lessons from Dance Moms
August 5th Selah-Press.com—Everyone Needs a Good Editor
August 6th RedCedarBison.com—Raw Pet Food
August 7th Selah-Press.com—Why Ingram is the Path to Big Box Stores
August 8th KaylaFioravanti.com—Lessons from 30 Days of Blogging