BLOGGING 16/30: Taking Time Off

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 16 of 30

Taking Time Off

30 Day Challenge Accepted 16

I didn’t quit the 30 Day Blogging Challenge after just getting half-way through! I just took some time off.

I purposely decided to use the time I would normally write a post and spent it learning instead.  As I said in Day #15, “blogging about trying to blog doesn’t change much in my 24hours.” I have so much to learn about blogging if I’m going to be blogging about blogging.  (Did you follow all that?)  So, I allowed myself only 3 nights self-educate.  I ended up only taking 2. But here’s what I worked on:

Facebook

When I created this website I also went ahead and made an associated Facebook page, but haven’t done anything with it. So Night1 was trying to figure out how to auto-publish posts from WordPress to Facebook. Following suggestions from google searches I tried the Facebook plugin, which was too confusing and took me longer than I liked. Then I tried Jetpack, which was easy but too expansive for my needs.  Then I finally came across a wonderful YouTube channel that recommended the AccessPress Facebook plugin, and I was good to go!

WordPress

Since day1 of creating this blog I’ve been trying to learn WordPress through trial-and-error. So on Night2 I went about searching and reading up on tips and tricks of WordPress. Specifically, things you must be doing as a blogger. And just as important, things you should not be doing. I somehow ended up back at the same wonderful YouTube channel focused on the ins and outs of WordPress and must recommend it.  Check her out: WebTegrity.

Yoast

It didn’t dawn on me until I was scrolling through WebTegrity’s videos that I should take the time to understand the Yoast plugin better and improve what I’ve been entering into the snippet editor.  One of Sark eMedia’s first suggestions for this 30 Day Blogging Challege was to use this SEO tool in order to optimize each post. WebTegrity has a 4part series on how to use it, and I’m so happy I came across it. I thought I knew what I was doing, but there was a lot of room for improvement.

I know there’s so much more to learn but I didn’t feel like continuing with Night3.  Instead I wanted to write this post!  I’m glad the first 30 Day challenge I chose for my blog is Blogging and that I took the past 2nights off to expand my knowledge on the above topics.  I will put them to the test for the remaining 15 days of this Blogging Challenge.

 

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 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