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blogging

31-Day Blogging Challenge Wrap-Up

April 30, 2014
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I’m not sure what happened to April (or the second half of March for that matter).

With the 31-Day Blogging Challenge (#31dbc), I started out strong, with posts every day. Then, life happened, work got insanely busy, and it’s been a month since I last posted. I was a bit discouraged by this failure at first, but I learned a few things along the way.

For veteran bloggers, this information might be something you already do, but for us newbies, it was helpful advice:

  • Block out time in your schedule every week to blog. For me, just putting it on my to-do list isn’t enough. I need to plan time in my schedule where I don’t answer the phone or schedule meetings during that time.
  • On days that you have time, write multiple posts so that you have filler material when you are slammed with work. I was too literal about the directions in the challenge. I only wrote one post a day, even on the days when I was on a roll and could’ve written more. It took me awhile to realize that I could set the publishing date in WordPress.
  • Jot down your ideas when they occur to you. I carry around a small notebook where I can jot down ideas when they occur to me, even if I’m not near my computer. The trick is remembering to look at it later when I’m staring at a blank screen.
  • Set a publishing schedule. Publishing content on a regular schedule helps your readers know what to expect.
  • Publish a few posts before publicizing the blog. Several people recommended this to me when I started. They suggested getting some blog posts up and getting into the habit of posting regularly before you start marketing the blog. It’s good advice because it allows you to decide if you are serious about the blog or not. I will start publicizing the blog more widely once I have some more of my website pages filled in. I hope to launch both by the STC conference in Phoenix.

What recommendations do you have for maintaining your blog? Post your comments here.

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31-Day Blogging Challenge: Who are the Bloggers?

March 8, 2014

Day 8 of the 31-Day Blogging Challenge (#31dbc)

Today, I finally had time to look at the list of bloggers who joined me on the blogging challenge, which is being led by Lesa Townsend. I actually read at least one post by each blogger.

Most of the participants are women who do some form of life coaching (spiritual, physical, business, dating, etc.). There are also a couple of homeschooling mommy bloggers and fashionistas, plus 2-3 business consultants and 2-3 male bloggers. About half were work-related blogs and half were personal. Brenda Huettner and I are the only Technical Communicators on the list.

What struck me was not the wide difference in politics, approach, focus, or writing skill. But rather, I was struck by the common themes, expressed by almost everyone, either in their posts or in their About pages:

  • Make the world better by your actions and presence.
  • Be conscious in your dealings with others.
  • Be kind.
  • Have a gratitude attitude.
  • Our stories matter and are part of what makes each of us unique.
  • We all want to be heard and understood.
  • Many of us have quirky, interesting hobbies and interests.
  • We all have something to contribute.