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 30/30: I Actually Did It!

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 30 of 30

I Actually Did It!

My first published post was on 08/09/16.  It took me 33 days to complete this challenge, and I’m not mad at that.  I still can’t believe I actually did it! When I say “it” I mean both 1) a 30 day challenge and 2) blogging.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 30

I’ve tried, but I’ve never completed a 30 day challenge on anything.  Now I can say that I have!  And I created a blog with no knowledge of how.  Here I am… 30 posts under my belt! I couldn’t have done it without the guidance of Sark eMedia’s program.

Here are 5 reasons I think this worked for me:

1. Daily Emails

Blogging sounds like it would be easy, but there’s an art to it if you actually want to see success. The daily emails by Sarah Arrow helped me navigate the world of blogging. The resources she provides were relevant, easy to follow and executable. Before I started, I was already behind – because I was blogging blindly.  There were a few days I skipped.  But each morning an email popped in my inbox, reminding me of why I decided to start this particular challenge.

2. Goals

On Day4 I laid out my personal goals with this challenge.  Goal One was to make and maintain my own space, on the web and in my life, giving myself a creative outlet and stimulating my brain in a way I felt I was missing. I’ve done it by dedicating time each day to enjoy the process of writing.  Goal Two was to be able to put it on my resume.  Blogging is a key element to inbound marketing and building businesses in today’s world. Through this practice, I better understand Wordpress, SEO writing and optimization.

3. Community Support

I have my personal motivators, but was extremely shy about making my blog public.  Sarah Arrow provides a safe space through her Facebook Group page where 30 Day Blogging Challengers share their daily post, and get feedback from one another.  I was so scared that I didn’t join until day7 with my post “Confession: I’m a Closet Blogger“, but since then I’ve shared all my posts.  I’m still taking baby steps out of the closet to the outside world, but have been less reluctant because of the constructive input. There are some amazingly supportive bloggers out there and I’m proud to be part of this community.

4. I enjoy writing

I guess I always have, but I didn’t realize how much.  So I’ve rediscovered my joy of writing.  I’m not the type that likes to hear myself talk, but when I start to type, it flows out of me.  I even created an extra category and posted a bonus blog.  To be able to put structure to my thoughts has been meditative and trying to make my words resonate to a audience besides myself makes me feel productive.

5. Not a business (yet)

My intent going into this was not to make money.  I know blogs have the ability to be monetized, and lucratively.  My objective on the onset has been to create valuable content.  But with Sark eMedia’s lessons, I have the tools available once the opportunity to make this something more presents itself and then I can work even harder to become the boss in my blogging niche.

So, this is the end of my first 30 Day Challenge.  The Blogging Challenge was the perfect challenge to start this side project. I learned so much about myself, which was my purpose for doing challenges.

If you’ve followed me through this journey so far, THANK YOU (you know who you are!). There’s more to come as I continue onto the next one.  So join me for my the next 30 Day Challenge.

 

CHALLENGE: BLOGGING – ✔️ COMPLETED

 

 

BLOGGING 15/30: Challenges of This Challenge

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 15 of 30

Challenges of This Challenge

I’m half way through the 30 Day Blogging Challenge!

I think this a good time to pause and evaluate my experience so far and pinpoint my hurdles so I can focus on overcoming them during the second half. I’m not going to rewrite my biggest challenge, you can read it here.  I’m going to focus more on the logistics.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 15

  1. Photos – not ready to pay for “free” images
    • I’ve tried so hard to find a photo that captures my message for each post.  Yesterday, I failed.  My go-to, pexels.com, didn’t have the image I wanted and the other sites required subscription, which I’m not ready to commit to.  Being in advertising I knew about licenses and the requirements for that industry, but it’s still an area I need to understand better. I’m glad that one of Sark eMedia reference emails regarding this topic.
  2. Commenting – be a better neighbor
    • I wrote about this in a previous blog, and I’ve tried to comment on at least one new blog a day since. This forces me to check out other bloggers’ site and to find ones with intriging content and style that I can get inspired by too. But I still find myself hesitating. This includes being a better participant on the 30 Day Blogging Facebook Group Page.
  3. Post topics – I’m blogging about blogging
    • I have a editorial calendar as my planning and writing process, and I’m constantly editing it in an effort to have the posts flow day-to-day.  But blogging about trying to blog doesn’t change much in my 24hours.  I’ve done a good job making the time to write each night, but I haven’t made the time to learn new things, ie. WordPress, Facebook, SEO writing that will improve the credibility of this blog I’m trying to establish. Then I can start writing about what I’m doing versus what I’ve been scared of doing.

I’ve personally felt like I’ve stumbled over a few hurdles already and at times was ready to stop.  But like Haiti in the 110m semifinals at the recent Olympics (who completely faltered on the first hurdle! video here), I’m going to finish! I’m going to keep taking on my personal blogging hurdles and make myself proud.

 

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