Today is the first day of my own 30-Day Blogging Challenge. As I looked back on last year, one of the strategies that really moved me forward was the blogging challenge I did about 14 months ago. Before then, I had a fresh new website, very little content, and big dreams.
Why You Need Great Content On Your Website
I knew I had to create content for my site visitors to access so that they could get to know me and how I approach marketing and business. From there they could decide, at least at the most basic level, if it made sense to engage further – either through a phone call for direct consultation, signing up for my emails or purchasing one of my online courses.
But as we all know – life can easily sidetrack even the best-laid plans.
So after a few false starts – and still only 4 posts in my library – I decided it was time to take things seriously and throw down the gauntlet and embark on a 30-day blogging challenge.
While it started off slowly, eventually I hit my groove, and I’m proud to say that I ended up writing every day and providing great, quality, actionable content for my prospects and clients. After the challenge, I dialed it back a little and moved to an every-other-week posting cycle.
But then, around the holidays, as I was focused on family (and course development) my content grew stale.
After some discussion with my accountability group, I’ve decided that it’s time to start another challenge. (This time I’m cheating a little bit – writing for the 28 days of February, but “30-Day Challenge” sounds catchier so I’m going with it.)
Here are some things I’ve already put in place to help ensure that I have a successful challenge. If you decide to have your own blogging challenge, maybe these will be helpful for you too.
First Step to Ensure a Successful Blogging Challenge
Start with a Plan.
Sure, I’m fired up now, and creativity is flowing through my fingers – I can’t type fast enough! But I know, somewhere around Day 12, I’m going to hit a wall, it happens to all of us.
So – I’ve already written out a content plan for the next 30 days. I have the topic for each day, and if I was able to really flush it out, I have the headline, targeted keyword and a brief outline.
This way, when the natural flow of creativity is working against me, I can just stick to the plan and keep moving forward through my block.
Also – as I go through my challenge and new topics come up, I add them to the calendar and move things around.
A content planning calendar is more than just a helpful tool for my 30-Day Blogging Challenge – I use a content planning calendar all year long.
Second Step to Ensure a Successful Blogging Challenge
Make it Public.
Thank about it – what’s the difference between David challenging Goliath in the open, in front of everyone versus the guy in the tent, drinking with his buddies, saying “Why, if I had a chance, I’d get him! He’s lucky he’s not here!”
When you make your challenge public, you then end up being accountable to your own pronouncements.
It’s also important to note, that before you make it public, make sure it’s a promise you can keep. If it’s your first time, maybe keep it small – a “15-Day Blog Challenge” or even five days. Whatever the length of time, make sure it’s doable for you.
Third Step to Ensure a Successful Blogging Challenge
Pace Your Publishing
Just because you’re writing every day doesn’t mean you need to hit “Publish” every day. For example, during my current 30-Day Blog Challenge I’m going to write complete posts every day, but I’m going to pace out my publishing. This way I have a consistent, fresh flow of content.
Also – a 30-Day Blogging Challenge, dripped out even every other day is suddenly 60 days of fresh interactions with your audience.
Plus, you’re asking a lot of your audience to keep up with reading 30 days of new content. I’m sure they will appreciate the time to really think about what they’ve read.
Fourth Step to Ensure a Successful Blogging Challenge
Hold Yourself Accountable
One of the best things I’ve done for my company is join an Accountability Group. Not only does the group keep me moving forward a little bit each day, they also work to help me out of the inevitable “e-slumps” (entrepreneur slumps) that come with being an entrepreneur.
So I’m going to be leaning on my Accountability Group to keep me moving forward through my challenge too. I have each blog topic on my daily “promise list”, and at this point I always make sure I do everything possible to not let the group down.
My accountability group has become so important to my success that I recommend them to all of the entrepreneurs that cross my path. In fact – you can read more about how to start you own in this blog post here.
I’m really excited to get started on this challenge. I know there are going to be challenges along the way – but I’ve been there before, and I’ve gotten through it so I will get through it again. The good thing about having already gone through a challenge is that I know on the other side will be a full library of great new content that folks like you can use to learn how to move your business forward – and really, that’s what I’m here to do, so it’s time for me to get to work for you!