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 19/30: Almost Broke My Blogger Promise

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 19 of 30

Almost Broke My Blogger Promise

Today was one of those days, where I’m ready to curl up in my covers and say good bye to another fun Monday (*eyeroll*).  I laughed at myself, as I got ready break the promise of blogging after just writing a post that I wouldn’t be THAT person.  Then I saw my next hour flash before me – still laying in bed, scrolling through nonsense on my phone going down rabbit holes. So I snapped myself up and started reviewing (and commenting on!) the latest posts on the 30 Day Blogging Challenge Facebook group page and got inspired by my peers.  What did me in were some quotes.

The blog and post I came across was by Words-Encouragement.com and the first sentence alone woke me up: “Don’t despair when doors seem to close that were once open. Be aware instead that it may be a blessing in disguise for  new opportunities to just show up out of the blue.”

I’ve always loved inspirational quotes. Two Instagram accounts I follow are ThinkGrowProsper and SelfLoveMantras and every day they perk up my mood. Like horoscopes, you read it and shape it to fit whatever you’re going through. Three things are going on for me at this moment – job searching, attempt at blogging, getting out of my rut. Even though I’m “too blessed to be stressed” (a quote that always makes me smirk), I find these little words of wisdom help me push away my “stinking thinking” (from another 30 Day Blogger post, K’Lee Banks)

So here are some recent posts that are helping me through, and I hope they kickstart something in you too.


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

BLOGGING 18/30: I Break Promises

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 18 of 30

I Break Promises

Today’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge tasks is about making a promise, which as a parent I do all the time and break!

30 Day Challenge Accepted 18

I promise my kids that they’ll get something, that I’ll do something, that we’ll go somewhere… just to get them to cooperate with whatever I need them to do for me at that moment. And if I don’t follow through, they will call me out on it. In my mind it’s not a promise, it’s a compromise and not that serious. But there is it… right in the word: comPROMISE.

They might be kids, but they’re teaching ME things about life, constantly.  What lesson am I teaching them by not doing what I say?! I preach to them about consistency, and about keeping your word, and not lying. Yet, here I am on what I feel is a minuscule scale, not delivering on my end. But regardless of the degree of promise, there are consequences.  What happens when I don’t follow through? Distrust. Loss of credibility. Uncooperativeness. Reciprocal disappointing behavior.

Now, I’m being a bit dramatic in order to prove a point.  Truth is, more often than not, I do what I say I will and my kids know this. But when I forget, I never forget how it feels that I let them down.

As a blogger, there’s a fundamental promise we give our readers… that we will provide informative, entertaining, quality content, consistently.  My promise is to happily compromise my time for yours. I’ve stopped following bloggers because their content didn’t evolve.  Or because their personality became too sponsored. Or simply because they stopped posting.  I would hate to be THAT blogger, because I would never forget how it would feel to fail at yet another 30 Day Challenge.  So, see you for Day#19!

 

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

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 5/30: How I Steal Time

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 5 of 30

How I Steal Time

“I have so much free time!” said no mom ever. I’ve had the experience of being both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom, and regardless of your mothering status, the last thing you have as an involved mom is “free time”. Minding my active toddlers starts around 7am and ends around 10pm. If I’m home or at the office (and for me, right now its both because I’m working part-time) those 15hour days are filled. So finding time to tackle this 30 Day Blogging Challenge means stealing time from being a mom, wife, and employee to be a blogger.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 05

Here are 5 things I’m doing to make time to blog:

1. Make a Date

Set a time every day, at the same time, with an agenda.  I dedicate at least an hour of my day to this blog (this is just a side project after all). I’ve always been more productive working at night, so every evening after the house and family are settled in, I take my 1hour, and I actually look forward to it! I go into that hour with an agenda so I know exactly what I’m going to accomplish during that time.

2. Find your happy place

Since my time is limited, it’s important to be efficient and for me that means being in a productive workspace. At home, that means leaning back on a stack of pillows, legs out, another pillow on my lap, laptop on my pillow. Doesn’t matter which bed or couch in the house, as long as I’m distraction-free.  No kids, no husband, no TV.

3. Make an editorial calendar

In addition to a daily agenda, I have my own editorial calendar, scheduling out what I plan to write days and weeks ahead. How do I want my story to play out? Sark eMedia provides tools to help as part of participating in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  You can customize it to what fits you now, and it will adjust as you’re inspired and as you evolve.

4. Have a Support Team

My husband doesn’t understand what I’m doing, but he understands why and what I need to get that done. Whether that means asking for technical help and using him for his geeky computer knowledge, or giving me my space and leaving me alone for an hour a night, he’s happy to oblige.

5. Have Goals

“Having a plan without a goal is just a wish”, or as I titled yesterdays post… it’s a waste of time. Without a goal, there’s no reason for me to commit. No motivation. No reason to take precious time out of my day. I write down my goals – what am I looking to accomplish with this single post? how does it fit into the blog’s objective? – and assign metric(s) so I know exactly when that goal is met. I celebrate when I’ve reached it, then start reaching for the next rung.

How do you make time to do your best work?

 

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