Today, as we wrap up a 30-day blog challenge, many in our group wrote about lessons learned. I had many of those too, and shared them with one of my mentors, who posted them in her blog. She did a fantastic job synthesizing those lessons. Read her post here.
I am going to put a different spin on the lessons posts I have seen thus far though.
I do need to mention a few successes and opportunities. And, please know there are many more on both sides that I have noted to address at some point. But my focus here is to determine actions I want to take in the next 30 days and make them public.
Why? Because the public declaration and accountability helps me do them!
- Intentionally reaching out to people, as I mentioned in my post, Write Notes to Those You Love. And Send Them. I met with several people in my area, since I posted this blog. I have also have sent several notes with the following results: deepening healthy relationships, perhaps making inroads to repair a few that have slipped in the business of life, and letting others go who, for whatever reason, have chosen to be not responsive.
My related next step: I plan to continue to trying to reach out to 2 people a week to meet with, and to send an encouraging text or Facebook message three days a week.
- Sticking to this challenge, despite several obstacles, writing everyday. This theme of writing despite hurdles was mentioned from everyone in the group member who documented their lessons learned! My obstacles were sickness for the first two weeks of the 30-day challenge (Seth had said he had never seen me that bad, and we’ve been married nearly two years), a dramatic increase in freelance writing demands and unchangeable summer plans. My related next step: Spending two hours a day five days a week on my own content, just like I did during this blog challenge.
- Producing diversified content. I was so excited when I got to write one of my mentors and colleagues, Kayla Fioravanti, to tell her that I had finally finished the assignment she had given me last November. That assignment was five blogs on my business site. Since the challenge began, I have done 22 here (although I don’t have the right theme to display them all in a way that I am happy wit—ugh). I didn’t neglect writing for our other brands though. I wrote six posts for hikingwithyourhoney.com and two for clivethecat.com, but am going to also post one I wrote for this site there as well. It’s always a bonus if the content in your posts apply to multiple brands!
My next related step: Continue to blog three days a week, at various sites. Get our current sites upgraded to be able to more easily see this newly created content in a list format somewhere!
- Putting working on my business first—instead of working in my business. I mostly wrote these blogs, which are to grow my business or sell my own products, at the end of the day—after my paid clients’ work was done. I see this kind of like putting my oxygen mask on first. If I’m doing this work, I’ll do better work for my clients. Although my blogging content from the last month is decent, it could have been better and seen on a wider scale, had I not always published right up at the 11 p.m. deadline. When I posted so late on Twitter, I was mostly getting responses from people in other countries where it was morning. That was great—but I’d like to know how I would have done if I had published when it was morning here in the States. I do know that I got more response on Facebook the one day that I published earlier.My related next step: Spending at least that two hours that I used on the blog challenge at the beginning of the day from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and starting my client workday then. Still using one hour on selected evenings during the week to further my business goals in conjunction with my husband.
- Not using Instagram. This lost opportunity for exposure needs no explanation. I just need to pull out all the various Instagram for dummies articles I’ve bookmarked or saved for when I have time.My related next step: Get up and running on at least two accounts by the beginning of November.
- Planning my blog content around my writing and business goals. Before this challenge, I’ve been working on a large book and brand, and I had promised myself I would blog to finish it or have a first draft done by my birthday. Well, I didn’t have the Website content written before the challenge started, and I diverted that energy so I didn’t have time to do that. I also haven’t planned out my content to finish my book by rounding out my cat blog.My related next step: I will make a blogging plan for the fall and get my book and author Website up so they are ready to blog on when the fall blog challenge comes up (assuming it does in October and so that I can be ready for the NanoWriMo in November).
- Commenting/liking/retweeting more blogs I read. I realize how encouraging it is to get notes on your blog. I read so much and didn’t like or comment much outside of my blog group—and I didn’t even do that nearly enough.
My related next step: Like or comment on at least three things I read a day (not just a picture with a quote. Tell others I see how much it helps me when they like or comment—and ask them too!
Those of you who have read or commented along the way, thank you. To the Blog Your Brand organizers, thank you so much for helping all of those grow together as we climb!