I’ve joined several blogging challenges, some with a group of others and some I’ve done alone through an ebook, during my time as a blogger. Some of these challenges I enjoyed and some I didn’t for a variety of reasons but whether I really enjoyed them or not, it was about something bigger for me.
I do want to point out that I am a firm believer on focusing on what you love AND I realize that sometimes, we have to do things we don’t love to get where we want to go. Now I really enjoy blogging and I feel like there is so much more in me to be shared and, yet, sometimes I don’t make it a priority and it doesn’t get done. I’ve let it slide and blamed the pressures of something greater as the reason (no need to go into specifics here). This is the part I’m talking about not loving. I know how important it is to blog regularly and I’ve seen the negative results (and heard many stories from others) that happens when just a few days are missed. I’ve noticed:
- A drop in visitors and comments.
- I’m not as present with it and forget to reply to those who do comment.
- A drop in my Alexa ranking.
- I become less and less motivated to do something I know is good for me and for my community.
- It gets harder and harder to get back into the routine.
- My blog begins to feel more like a chore than my voice – the voice I long to express.
It’s a lose-lose for all.
One thing is really clear to me. I want to choose to make it a priority. This has to come from inside of me. And much of what makes it a priority that’s easier to include in my schedule is challenging myself so I am continually renewing my commitment to it and I’m reconnecting to the habit, in the event I’ve gotten a bit derailed.
Commitment + Habit = Successful Blogging
Blogging challenges have been one of the best tools to keep me on track and they come with a cost. I don’t mean money, although time is money. I really talking about the time it takes to participate. They take a lot of time. Most of them are not just about taking the time to blog, they are about sharing your blog with others and supporting other bloggers in return. These are just as important as the act of writing your own blog. I’ve spent hours trying to honor my commitment and comment on the blogs of the participants only to not be able to without signing up for some special account somewhere or to try and have my comment disappear into oblivion because of the format they used or to have it held in moderation for hours and hours where no one can see it’s there.
But I’ve learned there is an easier way.
I’ve started specifically looking for bloggers on a self-hosted WordPress platform. 99% of the time, these are so much easier to comment on and I know the comments are going to work so I’m more likely to post a meaningful one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve posted a great comment on another platform, only to lose it all when I try to post because of the funkiness of their set up.
And it isn’t just the platforms that can create a challenge. Oh, I know, how nice it is for someone’s social klout to have our comments shared on Facebook but I don’t want to use my Facebook profile to comment on someone’s blog and most people don’t.
Now, I’m not here to “bash” other platforms. They all serve a purpose and people choose them for a variety of reasons and we all get to do what works best for us. And what works best for me is connecting with others where I know I’ll be able to easily comment on their blogs because I only have so much time in the day and there are so many wonderful blogs out there.
I’ve got a great group of self-hosted WP bloggers supporting each other already and recognize that it’s still a challenge to blog regularly and, depending on your goals, blogging regularly is really important.
And now…I’m going to dive in and offer my first blogging challenge for self-hosted WP bloggers!
Let’s spend February, the month of love, showing our blogs just how much they mean to us.
Here’s are the basics…
- Must have a self-hosted WP blog.
- Blog at least 20 times during the month.
- Comment on other blogs.
- Share your blog and the blogs of others in the challenge via social media.
Want the details as soon as they are available? Sign up here: