Have you successfully survived a monthly writing challenge on your blog recently?
If you haven’t noticed I’ve been pretty awesome about writing here everyday. Every. Single. Day. It’s not magic nor is it large amounts of caffeine – although coffee is my lifeline. Writing on here has been challenging in terms of scheduling time to plan, write, edit, fine tune, prioritize SEO, and finally hit publish. Then it’s spending time sharing it on social media, responding to comments, etc. and this is just for one post! Imagine all of this on top of managing my home with an eight month old who’s learning to crawl. I suppose challenge doesn’t adequately describe it.
It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but as a new blogger it’s important for me to grow and evolve in my writing. I aim to push myself and hone in on the skills that need practice both as a budding blogger and as a writer. How do I manage that?
My participation in monthly writing challenges throughout the year.
For example, NaBloPoMo is the short version for National Blog Posting Month and is hosted by BlogHer every November. It’s a writing challenge for bloggers to write a blog post for every day of the month. Prompts are provided weekly leaving weekends free for your own inspiration (although you don’t have to stick to the prompts if you don’t want to).
I have found that since joining this writing challenge for 11 days thus far I have already begun to see a difference in the quality of my writing, the inspiration that flows from the prompts each day, and the connection I make with my readers. My writing has become even more authentic and I’m sharing more about me in the process – which is the fun part about blogging and reading other blogs in the first place!
But, how do I manage to sit and prepare daily posts…for 30 days straight? Here’s three easy tips that have helped me along the way and have kept me excited about writing in the process. (To find other tips on what you can do with your blog when feeling uninspired read that here).
Plan your writing in advance.
Typically daily blogging challenges will provide you with the prompts ahead of time. Bailey from Brave Love, who hosts her annual Blogtember Challenge, provides all of the prompts for the month for September. BlogHer for NaBloPoMo shares them on a weekly basis, which is a little bit more on the fly than even I’m comfortable with, but thankfully you don’t have to stick with their prompts every day. Also, be authentic. Writing challenges are great, but if you are just turning out unauthentic content everyday it defeats the purpose of the challenge and the vision of your blog. Be mindful of the quality of content you’re sharing and make sure it continues to align with you on a personal level and to your readers.
Tip: Breathe new life in an old post from your archives that fits with the scope of the prompt. Sometimes I already have a post that fits perfectly with whatever the given prompt is so why write the same idea twice?
Time management is everything.
To sit and write original and authentic content is super important for your readership and so managing your time to get it done is as equally important. Especially if you’re trying to publish a post every day. If you’re easily distracted, remove yourself from those distractions by going to a local coffee shop to write. Be diligent about setting time aside every day to write or edit your posts.
Also, determine whether or not you can be successful at posting every day. Some months are busier than others and if your schedule is already crammed perhaps skipping this year’s writing challenge – and it’s okay too! There will be other opportunities at a more convenient time for you.
Tip: I do the majority of my writing around Greyson’s nap or bedtimes, which I can get a few hours to write, rewrite, and edit my posts for the week. Find those little nooks and crannies of time that are uninterrupted and capitalize on them!
Schedule your posts and social media shares.
This is a huge time saver! Using whichever platform works for you (I use Hootsuite), or whether you schedule them manually, having your published posts scheduled is crucial to how you manage your time. This way you can enjoy doing other things that don’t require you to sit at your computer all day.
Have you joined in a writing challenge before? How did it go? What other tips helped you be successful?
This post is also a part of a series called NaBloPoMo 2016 hosted by BlogHer. NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month and it challenges writers and creatives to post on their blogs once a day (at least) for the month of November.
Feel free to join in and share your post either here or on my Facebook comment thread for each day’s post! I’d love to see my fellow blogger friends join in!