This month, I participated in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to write a blog post for every day of the month and promote them on social media. There is also a challenge to comment on and share posts of other participants. The challenge is designed to make connections and reach more people to potentially build a following.
Since this is the last day of the challenge, I thought I would share some of the lessons that I learned through doing daily posts for 31 days.
Joining a community provides accountability and motivation
Stating your intent to write daily is an incentive to live up to the plan and share your posts. Also, it is fun to have new people reading and providing feedback, especially when you are just starting or trying to expand a following. When you want to extend your reach – and not just be writing for yourself – it is really amazing to have others share with new audiences.
It has also been a wonderful treat to discover many inspiring blogs and bloggers. I will continue to follow several and hope to have opportunities for future collaboration.
Writing A Daily Blog is Not Sustainable (for me)
It takes me too long to do each post. Even the one that I think will be quick take too much time. I need to develop some efficiencies and set stricter time restraints before I can produce quality posts every day and balance that with other things that I want to accomplish in my business and my life.
It helps to have a plan
To make it more manageable to write every day, I found it useful to have an outline for a couple of posts ahead. Even a general theme or format for each day of the week. For example, many people identified ‘Wordless Wednesday’ as a day to post an image or multiple images with limited text. I have started ‘Friday Finishes’ to present progress on some of my creative work each week. Having some consistent themes provides structure and means that you don’t have to struggle every day to chose a topic.
Some posts are more fun to write than others
With daily writing, it doesn’t take long to realize what types of posts and topics come more easily or more quickly – and which are more of a struggle. And it can be surprising which flow more easily. It makes sense to have a list of topics or titles that I can do more easily on days when I have less time or feel less creative. And it is equally important to have some that I want to write and I know will have value but also recognize will take more time, research and/or creativity. Those are ones that I can pull out when I am feeling motivated and ready to be more focused on writing.
The writing challenge drives more than content
My main goal in joining this challenge was to develop more content through regular writing. That certainly happened. What I did not anticipate was how much I would be motivated to develop my site. For example, I added an ‘About Me’ page in response to a question about my background and learned how to add and format ‘Social Share’ buttons because of a suggestion in the comments.
Be sure to enjoy the process
If you participate in a challenge, I recommend that you fully engage and commit. However, it is important to not add extra pressure. If you miss a day along the way, it is not the end of the world. Sometimes unexpected things happen. Remind yourself that can make it up and post two posts another day – or accept that missing a day doesn’t mean failure. Just keep going the next day. Also, you can take what you want from the challenge. The host of this event posted daily writing prompts, which can be very helpful. I found some really inspiring; others didn’t really resonate so I just skipped them. The same goes for any forums or meet-up sessions. You might want to try everything once but should not feel that you need to do everything, every time. It is your challenge so make it your own to learn and grow according to your priorities.
Interested in boosting your blog?
Take the Challenge
The Ultimate Blog Challenge has been running quarterly for more than five years. Many people return often to take the challenge and meet new participants. If you would like to take 30-day blogging challenge, you can register and take part for free. It is a great opportunity to get in the daily writing habit and join others with the same goal.
There are other month-long challenge communities that have different schedules. Some of them focus on certain skills or niches. If you have particular goals or interests, you can find others — or make a group of your own by starting with your own followers or even a few friends.
It is not necessarily easy but it can be great fun – and very rewarding.
I hope you will continue to visit. I will be developing more resources and writing regularly. But not every day. For the immediate future, I am planning to do 3-4 posts a week, with at least one of them a little shorter.
Please tune in – and keep commenting and sharing.