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