Lessons Learned from the Ultimate Blog Challenge

Well, it’s day 31 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and while I haven’t managed to spit out a post every single day this month, I feel pretty good about having done 18 posts since January 1, especially considering I was away on a family trip for 4 days and then lost power and internet for two days this week.

I thought it would be fun to reflect on what this process has taught me, as that might help you focus when it comes time to building your business blog.

Firstly, if blogging is not your primary bread and butter, you are not a magazine, a newspaper or a publishing house. You are a business.

I’ve seen plenty of blogs which are media outlets but for most small business owners, blogging is about informing, reaching and serving the needs of potential clients, building relationships and trust so you can get on with doing what you do best, in whatever area you specialise.

My thoughts on this are that if you try to be a media outlet when you want to run a business and serve customers, you’ll lose focus. Blogging is not a competition. It’s not a case of the person with the most blog posts a week wins. Sure, if you blog frequently, your traffic will increase a lot and that’s good for business but don’t wear yourself out and burn out on blogging.

Secondly, having a blogging strategy in place is just common sense.

I’ve always been able to conjure blog posts out of thin air, and have rarely had difficulty thinking of topics to write about. However, lately I’ve found myself stretched a little thin trying to write for four blogs. So, I’m finding a need to put a strategy in place to manage the workflow. I’ve decided to focus my efforts on this blog and post more irregularly on my other blogs. I wish I had time to sit here and blog all day. If someone could pay me just to write all day I would. But I have other things to do, like strategy and design work for clients, and spending time with my kids and husband. As a small business owner you have to prioritise and having a blogging calendar in place is a great way to keep yourself from getting stressed out and burned out.

By the way, if you want to write for either Mumatopia or Support a WAHP, please do let me know. I’m always on the look out for quality guest bloggers (those hawking paid links need not apply).

Thirdly, having great social sharing tools in place makes life easier.

There are two tools that have improved traffic to my site dramatically. One is the Facebook Recommend Bar which pops up in the right hand bottom corner of the browser, promting readers to read other posts on my site, and the other is the Digg Digg plugin. I use the latter to share posts on different social platforms. It takes about 5 minutes.

two useful blogging plugins

And lastly, bloggers, you are part of a blogging community… respect that.

The blogging community works like this: Fellow bloggers share and comment on your posts and you share and comment on theirs. It’s just not the done thing to post and run. Now, in saying that, I sometimes have difficulty keeping up with the various blogging groups I’m in, but it is definitely worth the effort if you can share and comment on others’ posts a few times a week. Building relationships with fellow bloggers helps you expand your audience and attract potential clients and it is great to give each other support through the blogging journey.

As you can see, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t manage 31 posts in 31 days. You’ll learn heaps and your business can only benefit.

So, the next time the Ultimate Blog Challenge is on, are you going to give it a go?

  • http://twitter.com/JanetBrent Janet Brent

    great advice! i love blogging and it’s hard to pick between wanting to be a popular ‘A-list’ blogger or just wanting to be good at my craft. I guess my ultimate goal is to have more clients and being a popular blogger doesn’t necessarily relate to that. I posted 11 entries this month for UBC. Could have been a lot better, but even with that amount, I managed to raise my traffic under 1,000 to 1,600+ and get my highest traffic day!

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      That’s awesome Janet. Geesh, I haven’t even checked Google Analytics. Must go do that now. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Cher

    Fabulous post Cas, I so relate to what you say – I never have a problem with what to right about, I wake in the morning with too many ideas and have to reign the thoughts in ~ and I could rant on forever, but ~ 4 blogs ~ Oh wow!
    Great tips Thanks

    • cher

      oops #write :O

      • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

        LOL… happens to the best of us.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Yes, am bit of a machine when it comes to writing. Am trying to be more sensible about it these days though. : ) Thanks for your comment Cher.

  • http://www.marquet.com.au/ Michelle Nichols

    Congratulations Cas! A good point that we a business, and that life can get in the way sometimes, but most important business and clients are your bread and butter!

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Yes, here’s to our clients, our real bread and butter! Thanks Michelle!

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.aleckson Anne Aleckson

    Some great points Cas. I only managed 9 or so day in the challenge a few months ago but I did learn that blogging is not my ‘bread and butter’ and I’ve allowed myself to not worry so much about creating more and more blogging content and put my focus on other, more important to me and my business, actions. Thanks for sharing your recommended plug ins..always good to know what is working for others.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Thanks for your comment Anne. I’m so glad you figured out what was most important for you to focus on. Blogging for blogging’s sake is kinda pointless after all.