Have you signed up for blogging challenges this month that require you to post daily, for 31 straight days?
Day one was intoxicating - you spent time reading and commenting on a lot of blogs.
Now it's day two. You know there is no way you are going to do this. You are already running out of ideas and energy. Are you thinking of quitting? Are you wondering how you are going to survive the next thirty days?
I have been blogging daily since late April of 2011. When I took my first challenge in May of that year, I had been blogging for almost two days, but my schedule was irregular, and almost no one (except friends and relatives were reading my blog.
Several days out, I hit a wall. Yes, I almost didn't do it. I remember that feeling so well, and want to help anyone feeling they need the extra boost to succeed.
I'm just an ordinary woman. You don't have to be a super person to complete a blog challenge.
The challenge is worth it! And I am going to show you how to do it.
1. You can do it! You MUST believe in yourself. You WILL do it. Believe in yourself.
2. Use the prompts your challenge provides, at least at first. If not, find prompts online. One nice place to find prompts is a site called NaBloPoMo, which gives prompts each month for Monday through Friday blogging. Eventually, you won't need them except if you run out of inspiration.
3. Pre scheduling is your friend! No, it's not cheating. All of us have obligations, and sometimes you know you aren't going to be able to write a daily post. All the major software (I use Blogger, but many bloggers use Wordpress, either the Wordpress hosted or self hosted) allows you to.
4. Keep a supply of "evergreen" posts - always relevant posts that can be written months in advance, and kept in your drafts, just in case. They should not have any material in them that "dates" them - and, if you use links, please make sure the links still work before you post.
5. Read and comment on other blogs, but not so many that you feel overwhelmed. A blog challenge with thousands of participants will overwhelm you. But do read and comment on blogs that sound interesting. And, learn from them. What content interests you? What turns you off? Reading other blogs will give you inspiration.
6. If something isn't working for you, don't be afraid to change. If you don't enjoy your blog, it will show, and you will run out of energy.
7. Make sure you are in the right challenge. Is the challenge giving you what you want? Are you looking for writing practice, increased page views, encouragement, support, or something else? If the challenge isn't right for you, you will get discouraged. But do give it a chance. Wait several days and see if you still feel the same way.
One of the most supportive challenges I have found is the Ultra Blog Challenge. There are several "levels" of participating, but there is a free level, and there is nothing wrong with staying "free", if it meets your goals. It has an excellent moderator, and is held monthly. Other challenges I have enjoyed, and participated in, include Write Tribe (excellent articles), the four times a year Ultimate Blog Challenge, and the WordCount Blogathon (June only).
8. Post daily, even if your challenge doesn't require it. I can't emphasize this one enough. You MUST develop the habit of writing, of blogging, of reading/commenting of other posts.
9. Don't get discouraged if you don't meet your goals right away. Overnight successes rarely are overnight. You are seeing the tip of the iceberg if you look at overnight successes.
10. HAVE FUN! Without having fun, it is hard to succeed.
Do you have any other suggestions for those participating in challenges?
I am linking back to the Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge: writetribe.com/write-tribe-pro-blogger-challenge/