Tips, Tricks and Thoughts on Starting a 30 Day Blogging Challenge
If you search for terms like ‘30 day blogging challenge’, you’ll find a lot of posts where people started, completed, and experienced significant success through the challenge. But is it for you? Does it really work?
I wanted to do this right away when I started blogging at Medium, considering that I had spent almost 2 years as a blogger who didn’t blog.
But I had exams as well as a month long trip coming up (which got cancelled), so there was no way I could keep it up.
This is my first post for the challenge, and I’ve divided it into two parts:
- Who should or shouldn’t try daily blogging, along with some tips on how to get started
- My own detailed reasons for trying this out
Part One: Why you should (or shouldn’t) blog daily:
When you start blogging, you need to populate your blog with posts. As the number of posts increases, your writing improves. You begin getting recognition. Slowly, your page views also increase.
This process will happen whether you post every day or every week. But it is proportional to the number of posts you have on your blog. That way, you can greatly accelerate your blogging success by posting more frequently.
When comparing daily vs weekly blogging, you’ll have ~7X more posts (4 posts a month for weekly posting vs >28 posts a month if you publish daily).
This isn’t about the number of posts either, your credibility also increases. Think about it, if you found 3 posts on one blog and 50 on another, which one are you more likely to read?
That being said, I still don’t recommend daily blogging for newbies, unless you are already used to writing a lot. This because there’s already so much to learn, and if you are stressed about publishing daily on the top of that, your writing will suffer instead of improve.
Of course, you can always choose to develop a daily writing habit, without publishing every day.
I’d say you should try daily blogging if:
- You’ve been blogging for at least 2 months
- You are familiar with the whole blogging process
- You want to take your blogging to the next step, be it in terms of your writing skills or in terms of blog traffic and leads
Want to get started? Great! Here are a few things I recommend doing before committing to this monumental task:
- Make a list of posts to write about: It is not essential to follow this list, and I’ll probably have many more posts from impromptu ideas. But it’s better to have it handy just in case.
- You can also search for ‘daily blogging prompts’ to get more ideas.
- Have a writing schedule: For me, this is first thing in the morning, though I’ll probably publish in evenings, after making edits.
- Maybe keep the weekends optional: For now, I’m assuming weekends to be optional, to find featured images and make final edits (if I am writing posts in advance). That way, my daily blogging actually means 5 posts a week.
- Make a blogging checklist: I haven’t done this yet. If you are publishing on Medium, this means stuff like: add images, tags, quotes and formatting, subtitle and description etc.
- You will also need a social media checklist, if you plan on promoting your blog. I have decided to skip this, except for answering questions on Quora.
- Optionally, know some specifics, such as at what time you will publish your posts, or how long your posts will be. Mine can be anywhere between 500–1000 words, or even longer if I have a lot to say (as is the case with this post).
- This is the space where I’ll add stuff like know your why, enjoy the process, don’t get stressed etc etc.
Part Two: Why Am I Doing This?
My reasons for blogging daily are more than just about boosting my stats or improving my writing abilities. I’ve summarized the more personal reasons below:
Share more experiences:
I’ve noticed that some of my more popular posts are the ones in which I shared detailed personal experiences. The problem is that, until now, I’ve never been able to make these posts the norm. I’ve always said that I need a month or more to come up with such detailed ideas.
But there are so many experiences that are worth sharing, even if they are not so detailed, even when I’ve not spent months or years learning from them.
Blogging daily will force me to share these experiences, to look into my daily journal entries for valuable insights.
Discuss more ideas:
There are so many ideas I’d like to write about. Some of them are written somewhere in my journal, many aren’t written anywhere because they are the deeply held beliefs that I never needed to express on paper.
They are the running themes in my head which I couldn’t share because I never fleshed them out with enough details. They are also things I’ve avoided sharing due to fear of criticism.
A pressure to publish daily will help me tap into these untold and ignored themes and finally give them a voice.
Write about diverse topics and in different styles:
Continuing with the theme of the above two points, not writing about different experiences or ideas means that I am usually stuck with the same kind of posts, written in the same kind of manner.
What I want to do is write about a variety of topics including learning new things, culture, technological progress, and science. What I end up doing, out of habit, is writing about the same old stuff in motivation and productivity.
A blogging challenge seems like the perfect excuse to experiment with more diverse topics and styles.
Add some creativity to my days:
I need some element of curiosity in my daily life. I tried finding it through reading articles and books, or watching productive videos. But I’ve now realized that I can only find it through one of the following things:
- Making things I love
- Learning new things
- Connecting with people
- Exploring places
Focusing on the making part, writing can help me add that hugely missing element to my days.
Have a purpose:
I need a purpose to keep going and improving. For most of my life, that purpose came from studies, but that’s not been the case during my medical education because:
- I don’t want more A grades in my life
- I am no longer impressed by the rote learning that passes for education and intelligence in India
- There’s so much more I am capable of doing, instead of just studying (or later, having a job)
As such, blogging comes in to give me that sense of meaning and purpose.
So that’s it, all my ideas about Blog A Day challenge and why I am starting one.
I’d never thought that I’ll ever consider blogging daily. I believed I need several days to polish my posts. I didn’t think I was disciplined enough to keep doing this, and I wasn’t sure if I enjoy writing quite as much.
However, I now have a better understanding of what kind of writing I do or do not enjoy. Also, I’ve gotten much better at working regardless of my motivation levels or flow state.
Basically, I am now as ready as you can be before actually beginning, which means this is the perfect time to get started!
What about you? Have you ever blogged daily, or do you plan to do so? What are your aims and expectations regarding such a challenge?
Wanna cheer me for the challenge? Try clapping! 👏👏
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