Lessons from a 7-Day Blogging Challenge

I signed up for a 7-day blog challenge with Jeff Goins and it was fun, interesting, challenging, and just what I needed. I got some things accomplished that I should’ve already done, and tried some new things that I wouldn’t have thought to do. Here are some things I learned.

Day 1: Know what you’re about. This challenge was to write a manifesto. To identify what you and your blog are about. This was fun and helpful. It helped me crystallize my thinking and objectives.

Day 2: Make your blog matter to others. This assignment was to create a lead magnet on my blog to collect email addresses. I had to repurpose my manifesto or something else and offer it in exchange for the email address. I didn’t quite know how to do this, but I figured it out and got it done. Partially. It still needs a couple of tweaks to automate. In other words, I can collect the address, but I have to manually send the file when I get a sign-up. That will be fixed by the end of this week. This was one of the best things I did. I’ve been procrastinating on doing this, so this challenge made me get it done.

Day 3: Pick a fight. We had to write about something controversial. Not obnoxiously, but logically and passionately so that we could defend our point of view. This was a bit challenging because I didn’t really know what to write about. I ended up doing the assignment, but compared to other people’s topics, I felt like mine was a bit benign. It was a good exercise, and one that I can get better at.

Day 4: Spread you message with a guest post. I didn’t know how I was going to do this. I’m fairly new at this game and I don’t even have an audience yet. But I reached out to a couple of new friends and asked if they would let me guest post on their blogs and they both graciously said yes. I offered to reciprocate by letting them guest post on mine, so we’re going to work it out. But this was exciting and I wouldn’t have done this without this challenge. At least not this early in my blogging “career.”

Day 5: Be generous. This assignment was to give something of value away. I got slowed down by this one for two reasons. I didn’t know what to give away. And I didn’t know how. I finally decided on a friend’s ebook and found a polldaddy plugin in the WordPress toolbox. So I played with the plugin (it took awhile and was a bit frustrating, but I finally got it set up. And then purchased my friend’s ebook to give away. Another first that I wouldn’t have done this early. Nor would I have thought of this so early.

Day 6: Ask People to Share. So this was to ask people to forward a post to their friends and spread the word that way. This was a little intimidating because some of the friends I asked are friends that I haven’t spoken to in awhile. So I may have missed the mark on that, by reconnecting with them through an “ask”. But, I needed to do it and I they were on my list to contact anyway to share my blog, so this just pushed me to speed up the timetable again.

Day 7: Take a break and reflect. Which is the point of this post. Looking back, this was a great learning experience and I’m thankful for doing it. I didn’t really get any new subscribers to my blog, but I did get a lot of new traffic. So this tells me that I need to work on making my blog content more attractive and appealing to get people to stick. I also learned some new tips, tricks and tools for making my blog more visible.

Finally, in reflecting on this challenge, it occurred to me that the steps to creating a successful blog are also applicable to creating a successful life:

  1. Know what you are about—your purpose
  2. Be attractive to others—not in the physical sense so much, but rather more in your character, your values, what you stand for, etc.
  3. Stand up for what you believe in—even if it means ruffling some feathers
  4. Get out of your comfort zone—meet new people and network
  5. Be generous—enough said
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help
  7. Rest and reflect from time to time

Thank you, Jeff, for the challenge and the opportunity to participate. I owe you.

And for you, my readers, I hope this benefits you, too.

If so, what can you take away from this?

For your advantage,

Brian

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