BLOGGING 4/30: A Plan Without a Goal is Just a Waste of Time

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 4 of 30

A Plan Without a Goal is Just a Waste of Time

Most challenges have an obvious change you’re hoping to accomplish by the end. Doing squats for 30 Days results in a plumper butt. Eating clean for 30 Days results in losing weight. What is the goal of a Blogging Challenge?

I’m a planner by trade. With marketing, the goals are straightforward depending on the campaign, ie. increase brand awareness, increase revenue, decrease cost per acquisition, etc. Then the KPIs and metrics to measure how well you’re reaching these goals are aligned. Since this is how my brain works for business, I’m approaching this 30 Day Challenge with a similar mindset.

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Plan:

Goals:

  1. Have my own space. Both literally and metaphorically.

In an ocean of blogs, I know I’ll be binary numbers lost among many established blogs rich in original content and imagery. But creating this website in completion – having my own space in the world wide web of blogs – even if its a black hole that nobody reads or follows, will makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something I can be proud of.

The requirements to create a legit blog are allowing me to use my business school skills in a different way than I imagined, and frankly needed.  The main requirement being time.  As a mom, this practice forces me to set time aside for something non-mom-mode. For things other than tending to my toddlers, sorting out the house, or wasting free time watching Bravo. I’m creating space in my life to do something for myself.

2. Put it on my resume

Leaving the workforce for three years at a time that social media marketing was evolving was a blow to my advertising career that I’ve been trying to rectify. This past year I’ve put myself out there – I created a non-paid internship just to be able to get right into the trenches. I self-taught myself Google Analytics, AdWords, and took Hubspot courses just to update my knowledge on the new marketing landscape. I’m working part-time and getting trained in AdSwerve and DoubleClick. Yet, none of it seems to be enough to employers making this job search so frustrating. It’s like my job applications go into that same black hole. But I’m not stopping. So here’s yet another attempt at expanding my learning by putting social media marketing to practice.

Metric:

  • As each day goes by, it’s a tally mark towards 30. I don’t expect a certain number of website visitors or Facebook followers at this point of my blogging journey. So my KPI is when I write the title “BLOGGING Challenge: Day 30 of 30”

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 3/30: Blogging Blindly

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 3 of 30

Blogging Blindly

I was completely naive to assume that blogging was simply writing and posting. It’s only Day 3 of this challenge and I’m already overwhelmed by the amount of setup and back-end work required. Because of that, I couldn’t start this challenge for a few days and was already behind before I could even start. Between learning WordPress, figuring out keywords and SEO writing, and I don’t know what else yet… I feel like I’m blogging blindly, stumbling my way through a dark tunnel, hoping to make it to the other end.

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These are my three biggest hurdles so far:

1. What’s a good blog name?

Coming up with the domain name for my blog was not easy and took hours of exploring. “30DayChallengeAccepted.com” was 1 of 13+ names I generated and vetted, and it was not my first choice.  But now I’m very happy with the short, simple and descriptive name. Getting the site up and live was another task I was not prepared for and struggled with, and finally had to ask my tech-savvy husband to handle.

2. WordPress

I’ve never used it, but so far it’s user friendly. I know there are functions I’m not utilizing and because of that this site’s aesthetics isn’t looking exactly how I envisioned. There is so much potential, so this is definitely a work in progress. At least by the end of 30 Days I can put this new skill on my resume!

3. SEO Writing

Writing for computers, but to humans takes practice. That’s the purpose of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge – practice, practice, practice. A few months ago I completed the Inbound Marketing Course at Hubspot.com and got certified. I highly recommend this online course. It was a great refresher on basic marketing principles I learned long ago at business school. It also goes in depth on the concepts of content marketing and the best practices for blogs and social publishing, CTAs, landing pages, thank you pages, social monitoring, etc. I also supplemented this with Google’s Guide to AdWords, a quick and easy series of videos. Having this recent education, in addition to my 10+ years in advertising, I feel like I can see a little light at the end of this tunnel.

Truth is, blogging can be as simple as putting together a few paragraphs and posting randomly and treating it like a personal diary that happens to be online. But the reason I’m doing this challenge is to start a successful blog – to create remarkable content that can be found and shared. That is why the internet was invented after all.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 2/30: There’s a 30 Day Challenge for EVERYTHING!

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 2 of 30

There’s a 30 Day Challenge for EVERYTHING!

On Day1 I explained why I wanted to do another 30 Day Challenge.  In this post I tell you how I decide between the Blogging Challenges – because yes, there are multiples ones to choose from.

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Blogging wasn’t my first choice. I follow one blogger and watch a lot of YouTube. I thoroughly read a blog post only if I’m searching for something specific, treating them as completely credible reviews. My search was one that I’ve typed in many times before: “30 Day Challenges”. The usual spit back at me; all fitness – squats, abs, beachbody, butt, burpees, flat abs, planks, arms. Is Google trying to tell me something?

So I skipped to SERP page 3 and things started to get more interesting. Challenges start to range from fun lists of Instagram photos to touchy daily spiritual practices. Then I fell upon a 30 Day Blogging Challenge. I wanted to know more.

Here’s my background:

  • I don’t read blogs regularly and don’t know the standard practice.
  • I am not a writer by trade, or an english, journalism, publishing or communications major. But I hope my business degrees in marketing count for something. (I’ve always been complimented on my memos and emails!)
  • I had a blog once that I kept during my pregnancies, only accessible by my family. After four years, it was a struggle to keep alive, but I love going back to it and reading about what we did. I wish I kept it going.
  • I’m not tech savvy, but my husband is.

There were three 30 Day Blogging Challenges I compared:

Why did I choose to attempt Sark eMedia’s program?

  1. it’s truly completely free of costs
  2. the focus is not about monetizing your blog, but growth and depth of content
  3. I’m a complete noob and need a friendly and supportive environment.
  4. Run by blogger couple, The Arrows, Sarah and Kevin (= Sark)

My initial idea was to share my experiences doing 30 Day Challenges. What better than my first challenge be blogging, and what better program than one that was created by a bloggers who are still the face of the program to-date.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 1/30: What Am I Doing Here?

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 1 of 30

What Am I Doing Here?

The short answer is –
I was looking to do a 30 Day challenge.  This is my next challenge: 30 Days of Blogging. 30DayChallengeAccepted_Blogging01

Now, the long answer –
I’m in between jobs. Technically, I paused my career to focus on my family and it’s time to go back to a full-time job. While I’m taking the actions required to return to the work force, my heart isn’t there. Part of it is still wanting to be with my kids every minute of the day, but most of it is wondering if all that effort I put into my higher education and years working my way up the ladder… if this field was what I was truly meant to excel at or just something I happen to fall into.

So, I’m here because of a recurring conversation about my career, trying to address the adage: “Do what you love. Love what you do.” The sad realization is that I don’t have a passion for anything specific. I mean, I know what I’m good at, but I don’t know what I’m great at.

Some people just have it – they cook instagram worthy dishes, sing covers better than the original version, do magical makeup tutorials, or put together effortlessly cute outfits. They have a wealth of knowledge, are motivating, or have strong opinions, no filter and a thick skin. How did they figure it out? And how can I?

When I get in these ruts, I look for something new to explore. Sometimes it comes in the form of a vacation, in a new class, or a DIY project. This time around, it’s coming in the form of yet another 30 Day challenge.

Then I realized – I’ve started so many of these mini-programs, tell my friends about, but never complete them. Now here’s a 30 Day Challenge I will be held accountable for because for the first time, I’m logging it.

Actually, I’m blogging it.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE