Blog for 31 days in a row?
Are you kidding me?
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.