Lessons Learned from 31 Days of Blogging

For the last 31 days, I’ve been participating in Michelle Rafter’s Blogathon. I signed up because I had just started to blog here on my portfolio site and needed to build up content and traffic. Blogging for 31 days straight seemed like a daunting task – it is a daunting task! – and I did it! During the past month, I suffered the loss of my dear cat, had family staying at my house unexpectedly and had to find a way to juggle blogging, working on my book, doing client work and having a life.

Here are a few lessons I learned during the journey:

  1. Having a plan is good – Before the challenge started, I sat down and brainstormed 20 ideas for blog posts. Some of these ideas became blog posts and some didn’t, but I felt better knowing I had a reserve I could draw upon.
  2. Spontaneity is also good – There were a couple of days when I didn’t know what I was going to write and didn’t feel drawn to any of the blog topics I had on file. On those days, I visited the Google Group for Blogathoners and read other participants blog posts and each time this triggered a blog post idea. I found that reading blogs that had nothing to do with writing or freelancing often triggered the best ideas.
  3. If you want comments, you should comment on other blogs – Getting comments on blog posts was so rewarding, especially the heart-felt messages of condolence I received when I revealed that my cat had died. I made a point of visiting other Blogathoners and commenting on posts, because I know how much it means to people.
  4. Be open and authentic – I read blogs because I want to learn something about the author, so I like blogs that strike a balance between being personal and providing useful information and tips. I’m still working on that balance.
  5. To get better at blogging, you must blog – As I mentioned earlier this month, I’ve had two other blogs that I didn’t put a lot of time or effort into. Not surprisingly, I didn’t build up traffic or make any connections. I think I’m still trying to find my voice as a blogger, but I have learned that I just need to keep blogging and I’ll figure it out.

I’m not going to continue blogging every single day of the week, but I am going to try to blog 4 – 5 days a week. Some of those blog posts might be inspiring quotes or a list of links. I’ve met some really interesting bloggers through this experience and want to keep building these connections.

Based on traffic, here are the top five blog posts from the past month:

Owning My Age

Finding My Way

Taking the Leap

If I Started Blogging Today…

Top 5 Tech Tools for Writers

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  1. Jackie Dishner says:

    I can appreciate your lessons, especially that you realize there’s a balance between having a plan and being flexible. I am not a scheduler, so I work with a theme and that helps keep me organized for the month. It also leaves room for spontaneous ideas that appear when I need them. I’m glad you got something out of your first blogathon and hope you’ll come back again next year.

  2. Annette Gendler says:

    Victoria – regarding your #5, all I can say is, “Indeed!” That’s why the Blogathon is such a great exercise, it forces us to blog a lot, and consequently we discover that not only can we do that, but we get better at it. Congrats to making it to the finish line!

  3. Tia Bach says:

    I’ve loved your blog and will be following going forward. You are so right about comments. I found myself overwhelmed with trying to “meet” Blogathoners this year. I hope to visit all the participants on the Blogroll in the next two weeks.

  4. Abra Alani says:

    All great points! I feel better having a reserve of potential photos to post and blog about if nothing I’ve photographed that day suits my mood.
    I have enjoyed reading your blog too, even though I’m not a writer or an aspiring writer myself, and plan to continue! :)

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