Blogging 101: Lessons Learned from 31 Days of Blogging

Blog for 31 days in a row?

Are you kidding me?

Soon to be I did it! Blogathon Badge

I made it! 31 days of blogging.

I didn’t think I could do it. Scratch that. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. Then I read Jackie Dishner’s guest post on Michelle Rafter’s blog and figured, why  not? Gaining readers can’t be a bad thing. Improving my visibility with Google wouldn’t hurt.

And really, can I sell the idea of consistent blogging if I can’t come up with (and implement) a 31 day plan myself?

So I’ve done it. Today marks Day 31.

In the book, the Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell writes that to master anything, one must hit the 10,000 hour mark. I’m certainly nowhere close to 10,000 hours but, through consistency, I’d hope I’ve learned something and maybe even gotten better at what I do. I like to think so.

1. Blogging daily made me market myself first.

Though I had other projects awaiting my attention, I knew I had to give my own blog its due time in order to complete my commitment. I’d like to keep that priority and transfer the daily urgency to produce at least one query or LOI each day.

2. Blogging daily made me measure my reach.

If I’m putting in the work, I want results. When I began blogging, I was happy to have a platform for potential clients. Now I’m hoping to get found. But getting found uncovers a long-term strategy that consists of layers of SEO, relevance, key word optimization and consistency. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, which I learned to use during this month, showed me how far I am from my goals and where I can improve my blog.

3. Blogging daily made me know I can.

My dirty little secret is this: I am not a goal setter. I once sold advertising and when the bossman would give us an incentive goal, I would think to myself, “Nah, my base salary is good.” (Obviously, I’m no longer an ad rep.) High bars generally discourage me. Going into the Blogathon, I figured I’d do my best but wouldn’t let it stress me out–that’s code for I’ll give it up if it infringes upon my American Idol consumption. But lo and behold, I found myself locked away in my room, churning out two or three blog entries at a time. I wanted to say I did it.

In the end, I’d say I’m a better blogger with a better sense of my editorial strategies. I’ve also made some excellent connections and opened doors to future guest blog opportunities.

So, thank you, Michelle Rafter. I needed the challenge.


10 thoughts on “Blogging 101: Lessons Learned from 31 Days of Blogging

  1. Jackie Dishner says:

    Carrie, thanks for the mention. Maybe you're a closet goal-setter. At least you have some competitive spirit in you, since you wanted to say, "I did it," and you did. Congratulations! Next, if you're a member of, join the Query/Marketing Challenge. That'll get you sending out more than a query a day. Glad we met.

  2. Michelle Rafter says:

    Love this wrap up, and I'm so happy that you joined us this year. My goal for this blogathon was not to let it run my life and I'm proud to say that I only missed one of my twice weekly 5:45 a.m. workouts. To me, that's mission accomplished.

    Michelle Rafter

    • CarrieSchmeck says:

      I imagine the Blogathon takes a bit more of your time than it did mine. You’ve changed many a life for your efforts and we thank you.

      Good for you on the 5:45 a.m. workouts. I’ve been going to a 5:15 a.m. spin class. At first I thought I was out of my mind, but there is something about walking into my house, feeling all worked out and hearing my coffee pot click on. Ahhh. Otherwise, I never get around to the keep your body healthy bit. :-)

  3. CarrieSchmeck says:

    It actually plateau’d but I’m still trying to figure out why. I was making lots of SEO changes during the month, also, and had a few periods when my DNS wasn’t submitting (?) to Google.

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