Well, I made it! 31 continual days of blogging. The question is – did I learn anything and in particular will I make any changes to my blogging routine? What will I do more of, less of or not at all?!
Today I’ll cover a little of what I discovered and in my next post I’ll detail what I intend to do about it (more of, less of, stop doing altogether!)
I embarked on the Ultimate Blog Challenge on 1st January 2013 in the hope of kick starting my desire to write after experiencing huge resistance just before Christmas to opening up my blog dashboard. I described the experience here
Here’s what I found…
The first week was hell. I struggled to think of topics I wanted to cover (even with the help of daily emails from UBC which were full of ideas). Some days I only managed to get something written down with the threat of bedtime (and another day) looming. Phew. Just made it.
After around 6-7 days, I sensed a change. I must have primed my mind by then as nuggets of ideas would pop into my head all throughout the day, not just when I sat down and opened up my blog. I felt the first fleeting sense of enjoyment – I began to look forward to creating my next post.
My attitude towards daily blogging early on in the challenge can be described thus:
Resistance … Acceptance … Enjoyment
From week 2 onwards, the process was much easier.
My posts became shorter – not because I struggled to write more but because when I was trying to read posts from others, my task was made much easier if the posts were fairly short. I decided to encourage others to read my posts by posting in brief.
By the third week I was really enjoying posting every day. I had also ‘met’ some lovely friends via the challenge and looked forward to our interactions each day. My only reservations concerned my subscribers – my blog inevitably became less focussed as I expanded the topics I blogged about. Some of these were prompted by UBC’s useful daily suggestions. Would my subscribers still be interested? Would they get fed up of daily posts dropping into their inbox? “Oh no – not her again!” Would they ‘unsubscribe’ en masse? Luckily, subscriber numbers did not drop (actually went up a little) during January so I obviously didn’t drive anyone totally mad!
There are several factors I could have looked at in determining the effect of a month’s daily blogging on my blog stats. Today, I’ve chosen to focus on comments.
I was delighted with all the blog comments (thank you everyone!) and also interested to discover which posts drew the most comments. Overall, I think it is true to say that the more personal my post, the more comments I received. It’s also interesting to note that the only day when I received no comments at all, I was on aeroplanes the entire day and unable to promote my post much or interact on social media. There’s a message there…
Here are my post titles throughout January along with the number of comments received (includes my replies).
|Jan 1||8||Blogging And You: How Is It Going?|
|Jan 2||10||We’re Smarter Without Our Smartphones|
|Jan 3||10||The Most Beautiful Trees I’ve Ever Seen|
|Jan 4||16||The Most Powerful 3 Minute Message I’ve Seen In A Long Time|
|Jan 5||16||How I Get My Blogposts Written On Time|
|Jan 6||6||Am I Missing Something?|
|Jan 7||6||Scribblings On Blog Promotion|
|Jan 8||12||Prime Your Mind And Promote Your Blog|
|Jan 9||12||How To Write The Very Best Title For Your Blogpost|
|Jan 10||22||In Photos – My Favourite Places To Write. How About You?|
|Jan 11||0||My All Time Favourite ‘Cheer Me Up’ Image|
|Jan 12||4||Enter The Canon Powershot G15|
|Jan 13||2||Learning About Fruit Tree Grafting|
|Jan 14||2||One Million Pounds For a Fish!|
|Jan 15||8||Women and Wine!|
|Jan 16||2||Book Club Choice: The Secret Life Of Bletchley Park|
|Jan 17||12||103 Year Old Says: To Stay Alive, You Have To Move|
|Jan 18||6||My Favourite Walking Quotes|
|Jan 19||6||As Nimble As Mountain Goats|
|Jan 20||8||The World’s Most Dangerous Hike|
|Jan 21||2||Unbeatable Dorset Apple Cake!|
|Jan 22||22||A Fruitful Day|
|Jan 23||20||7 Random Facts About Me|
|Jan 24||2||Book Club Choice: Still Alice|
|Jan 25||2||How To Instil Kids With A Love Of Hiking|
|Jan 26||6||3 Of My Favourite Recent Sunsets In Cyprus|
|Jan 27||2||Walkie Talkie?|
|Jan 28||14||Winter Warmers: Celery, Leek And Potato Soup|
|Jan 29||24||Why Do I Want You To ‘Like’ My Facebook Page?|
|Jan 30||2||The Ultimate Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet|
|Jan 31||We shall see!||What I Learned From The Ultimate Blogging Challenge|
On the subject of comments – I’ve talked a lot about my own here, but I think it’s essential to get stuck in and comment on other people’s blogs. Yes – it will direct a few eyeballs towards your own blog but the real key lies in making a point of trying to add value to that person and their post with your comments. Try it. Make it a discipline. It’s impossible to read many on a regular, daily basis of course but aim to add your thoughts to a few a week. Be sure to interact. Blogging is social.