Random Ramble: 2017 Word of the Year – COMMIT

2017: Word of the Year – COMMIT

Recently I joined a Facebook group: Blogging 101, and the admin, Nicole Floss of UniquelyWomen.net, asked “Today is the last day of 2016! Have you chosen a word for 2017? Mine was: COMMIT

30DayChallengeAccepted

I didn’t start this project to make money, but obviously I would love for it to be successful. But what is my measurement for success? I’m not really sure. At first it was simply to do it. To blog. Literally, the idea (to blog about doing 30Day Challenges) came one night at the end of Aug2016 when I couldn’t go to sleep and the next day I pulled the trigger, because if I didn’t, then I never would. I had no idea what I was doing and I still don’t.

I’ve made goals for each of the 30Day Challenges I chose, and today I realize that I never made goals for this blog.  With the new year, I feel it’s the perfect time. If I’m going to commit my time, energy and heart into 30DayChallengeAccepted, I need milestones to work towards.

So here are 3 measureable goals.

  • Blog site – more consistent views per week and per month.  Since I don’t post daily, I’ll have to figure out the story behind my statistics, but it goes without saying that driving traffic requires me to posts regularly and market through networking.
  • Facebook – Have 200 followers by the end of the year.  Currently I’m at 34
  • Instagram – Have 200 followers by the end of the year.  Currently I’m at 28.

30DayChallengeAccepted Goals

 

 

BLOGGING 22/30: Who The Boss?

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 22 of 30

Who’s The Boss? 

Day21 I wrote about figuring about who my reader is.  Today, Day22, my homework for the 30 Day Blogging Challenge is to figure out who the leaders are in the blogging space I define as my niche.

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Step1 – what is my niche?

From my point of view, I can be narrow or broad. Based on my intent, I can narrowly define my blog as – personal life experiences, specifically doing 30 day challenges.  Based on yesterday’s post, I could be more general and define my space as self-help/motivational.

 

Step2 – who is the leader in my niche?

Unfortunately I can’t rely on my own knowledge since I don’t follow blogs. So I’m going to go to my friend Google.

If I narrow my blog niche category to – 30 day challenge experiential bloggers – I’ve only found a handful and it required digging deep into the SERP pages. When reading through their blogs most didn’t last long and stopped posting years ago. There are, however, endless posts on bloggers’ one-time experiences with a challenge, usually targeted to whatever their blog focuses on, usually fitness.   From what I can see, there’s no main influencer in this space.  Maybe I can be that person. Maybe I can be the #boss.

When I widen the niche net to the broad category to – motivational blogs – the results were a lot more interesting.  Although I was overwhelmed by the lists from the search results, I was inspired by what I came across in the first few minutes.  I’ve actually been seeing over the past 21 days as I learn to blog.

1 TED.com – motivational short videos spreading ideas from though leaders all over the world. If you want to go down a rabbit hole, but not necessary waste your time… take a visit (after you finish reading this post).  And start with this short ~3-minute video with almost 8million views where Matt Cutts speaks about trying something you want to add to your life for 30 days.

2 Gary Vaynerchuk – If you haven’t seen this guy, you need to. Every single “influencer” I do follow has referenced him as a motivator.  He’s the leader in the digital marketing/social media marketing space.  Although his medium is more video, I find his business blog is a wealth of information for a new blogger like myself.  Check it out.

3. MarcAndAngel.com – I discovered this site around 5years ago when I came across a link to their post “30 Lessons to Excel in Life in Your 30s and Beyond”.  It was happy to see them listed in the 2016 Top 100 Personal Development Blogs by StartOfHappiness.com I love the timeless manner of their content.

 

While I don’t have a direct blog influencer in the 30 Day Challenge Experience space, there are some major players I can look up to in the motivational blog category.  The reason for this homework is to follow the influencer’s footprint and figure out what content resonates with their audience… and therefore your audience.  I still have a lot more work to do. But maybe one day I can end up on a “Top” list.

 

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

BLOGGING 9/30: How Public Speaking is Helping Me Blog

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 9 of 30

How Public Speaking is Helping Me Blog 

Right now, my fear is public blogging.  Meanwhile, one of people’s biggest fears is public speaking.  It’s defined as “to give a speech to an audience in a structured manner in order to inform, influence, or entertain.”  Pretty similar, no?

One of the most useful courses I completed as an undergrad was Public Speaking.  I took so much away from it, professionally and personally.  You would think that since I’m somewhat comfortable with public speaking, I wouldn’t have an issue with blogging.

30 Day Blogging Challenge 09

As I build my blog and this brand, I’m reminding myself to focus on that confidence I actually have and apply the takeaways from that class toward completing the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

They’re There for a Reason

If someone goes to hear you speak, or goes to read your blog, something brought them there.  They chose to give you their time. They ARE interested.

No One Wants to See You Fail

Remember that your audience sees part of themselves in you and wants you to perform your best.  Think about when you watch someone giving a speech.  When you see them stumble, you cringe for them. You don’t laugh at them (hopefully!). You send them vibes of encouragement.  When they are amazing, you give a standing ovation.  Remember that your audience is doing the same.

Don’t Lose Your Personality

Don’t let nerves or the need to be “perfect” take away from being relatable. Emotional connection is a basic human desire. When you share genuine feelings in a genuine way, you get back what you give.

Prepare. Practice. Practice. Practice. Present.

If someone is going to give you their time and attention, then you should be doing the same. Take the time to arrange your words, to communicate your message thoughtfully to your audience. If content is king, then context is queen. In business I say, “it’s not about how you want to sell it, it’s about how your consumer wants to buy it.” And finally, when you present… be present.  Don’t just ‘get it over with’.  Follow through and deliver.

I think the best way to end this 30 Day Blogging Challenge post is with a quote on confidence: “The road to confidence is paved by daily accomplishments.” Good luck!

 

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.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 03

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