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How to prepare for the Author Blog Challenge

For those of us who post regularly (as in 4 or 5 times a week), a blog challenge is not too terribly demanding. We may have to stretch a bit to post a few more days (or double-up on some days), but overall, the push isn’t that great. Many, many bloggers, however, post much less frequently, so a 28-day challenge can be a huge demand on their time, energy, and creativity.

Here are some tips from Jan Kearney, my recent co-participant in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and author of My Local Business Online:

What can you learn from my 30 day blog challenge?

  1. Don’t dive in head first without planning. I decided on the spur of the moment to take part in the challenge. I had nothing prepared. I would have been easier for me and more coherent for my readers if I’d followed a theme or a plan.
  2. Give yourself “me” time daily to work on your business online. I didn’t realise just how much I was neglecting my blog and finishing my own projects.
  3. Traffic does increase with regular blogging…
  4. Sharing your content and getting it out there is important.
  5. Commenting on others blogs helps with traffic and links.

What will I do better on my next blog challenge?

  • I found I was often pushed for time, due to lack of planning, and neglected to do any promotion at all on some of my posts.
  • I would also schedule in time to read and comment more on other people’s blogs. The time factor definitely played its part there.
  • Certain participants’ blogs required commenters to login via WordPress.com or other comment systems like Disqus. I blogged early on in the challenge about my account being suspended at WordPress (this is a reason you need your own domain!) and Disqus just hates me… So, I’d often read without commenting to avoid the hassle of trying to log in/set up accounts.

As you prepare to take part in the Author Blog Challenge, I encourage you to do a few things:

  1. Take your commitment seriously. I realize we’re not “requiring” you to post any specific number of times, but it is a 28-day challenge, and the more you post, the more you will benefit.
  2. Decide up front how many posts you will commit to – and stick to your goal. If you decide you will post all 28 days, make it a point to do so. If you know that’s simply an unrealistic goal, don’t commit to it. Commit to 14 or 21 posts, and then keep to your goal. It would be far better for you to make a realistic goal you supersede than to set a goal you know you probably won’t meet and beat yourself up about not meeting it when the Author Blog Challenge is over.
  3. Schedule time to write. This is different for everyone. If you’re a morning person, do it then. If you’ve got a job, write at lunch. If you’re a night owl, write after everyone else has gone to bed. Just make sure you give yourself time to fit these posts into your schedule, particularly if you’re pushing yourself to write more posts than you normally do.
  4. Schedule time to read other participants’ posts. Same as above – make time to do it, though. A blog challenge works because everyone supports each other. You really can’t succeed if you go into it with a myopic “all about me” attitude. Not to mention, you’d be amazed at the things you will learn from the other bloggers, and the incredible relationships you can create!
  5. Have fun. If it becomes a chore, you will lose interest and your posts will become robotic. That benefits no one. Be creative, funny, forthright, and just enjoy yourself, and you’ll get more out of the entire experience.

If you’re not ready yet, don’t worry – you have a whole month to get things in order. Remember, this is a challenge that will help you promote your blog and your book, not an onerous punishment! We look forward to blogging with you!

Best –

Laura & Marcie

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The Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Please visit Marcie’s blog for loads of great info about low- to no-cost methods of marketing for self-publishing authors.

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