In just a couple of days, we will wrap up the month of July and the 31 Day Blogging Challenge.
A 31 day blogging challenge is a lot like the name implies: the goal is to publish a post a day for 31 days.
The vast majority of people who sign up for a challenge like this won’t make it to 31 posts. But most of them will have published more during the challenge than they did before… and that, really, is what the challenge is really about… to push us to do — just a little bit — more than we did before.
This July marks the 3rd time that I’ve hosted the Challenge. The first time was a year ago.
While I got a lot out of hosting the event in the past, I’m not sure the participants got that much out of it. This year, however, things were different.
I’d like to share with you 10 reasons that I’m grateful for the 31 Day Blogging Challenge this year. And I’m going to do it a la Dave Letterman style and start with number 10.
Top 10 Reasons I’m Grateful for the 31 Day Blogging Challenge:
10. The 100 new names on my mailing list. Hosting the Challenge IS a list-building tool and having so many say yes and add their names to my list helps to make all of the work worth it.
9. Twitter Ads. The Twitter platform has been a big source of traffic to my website for as long as I’ve had an account. I used their new Ads feature to promote this Challenge and found it to be pretty effective. I’ll be using it again.
8. Seeing the traffic to my website increase. Between May and July, my traffic doubled, much of that attributed to promoting the Challenge and from the participants in the Challenge visiting my website.
7. Increasing backlinks to my site. Backlinks are links that point to your website from other places on the web. Search engines use them as an indicator that your site has valuable content. It will be awhile before I can know for sure how many new links were created, but between the participants linking to the site and the comments that I left on their posts, I’m sure there were many.
6 Meeting my enrollment goal. I decided that I wanted 100 participants this time around, which was a 10x increase over the last Challenge. When I hit that 100 mark, it made me happier than just about anything I have yet experienced in my life.
5. Experiencing, for the first time, what allowing 3 full weeks for promotion of an event really gives you. Putting together a new event or program takes time. So much time, in fact, that you often don’t leave yourself enough time to promote your new venture. This has been true for my clients… and for me as well. This time, I actually allowed myself a full three weeks and I discovered that extra time is really and TOTALLY worth it: Less stress, time to actually meet your goal, and the space to allow the process to unfold in the way it needed to. In the future, I’ll push out my launch date if I have to to allow myself enough time for promotion. It is worth it that much.
4 Actually publishing more posts this month. When I hosted the Challenge in the past, the work involved actually prevented me from publishing any new posts, although that had been my goal for hosting the first time. This year, I was more organized and was able to actually get posts done. My goal for next time is to shoot for doing 31, just like the participants.
3. Increased engagement on Twitter around the Challenge. Sometimes when you post a tweet, it seems like no one is listening. But with this Challenge, I actually saw the engagement that was happening: My promoted tweet was retweeted 29 times (!), many of my tweets about my posts were retweeted, as well many of those posted by the participants, and there were actual conversations about the Challenge happening on Twitter.
2. The connections that I have made with the participants. Between reading their posts, sharing comments, and answering their questions, I feel that I’ve made new friends.
1. The number ONE thing I am grateful for is the connections the participants made with each other.
When I set my goal of 100 participants for this Challenge, I did so because I had a sense that somewhere around that number — maybe more, maybe less — a community would begin to form.
And I was right.
In fact, I saw signs of that community beginning to from even before the Challenge officially started!
Then, getting feedback like this brought tears to my eyes:
This challenge created new momentum for the future!
I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful posts and the encouraging emails for those of us who took your blogging challenge this month. I have made such great progress and am enjoying all of the new friends and contacts I’ve made. This challenge has really changed the course of my business and created new momentum for the future! Thanks!
Womens Life Link
Being able to see that I’m making a difference has been making me tear up…
It’s been wonderful already. I’ve had 3 new people post on each of my 2 blogs already and just being able to see that I’m making a difference with my postings has been making me want to tear up. This is an AMAZING thing that you’re hosting Lesa! I’m so glad that I decided to participate. I may not do more than 2-3 postings in a week but for me that’s FANTASTIC, so…thank you!
Claim It Live It
Just when I thought I’d be at a loss for words, I find them flowing…
I heard about this challenge from a friend, who is also participating. I’ve started and never kept up with, a million blogs in the past. I took this challenge as an opportunity to push myself to carrying through with a blog for once, LOL. Just when I thought I’d be at a loss for words, I find them flowing and manage to put together posts one to two days ahead. Thank you for putting this together. Its giving me a personal mission to complete and the fact that I made it to day 5 is progress in itself! LOL
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
I can’t even begin to tell you how rewarding this challenge has been for me. It is changing my life! And my blog’s life and my business health. Thank you for the work that you have put in to arranging it. I am blessed and proud to be part of it!
Dream It Achieve It
When you are in business, it can be easy to get caught up in making a buck, in figuring out how to monetize everything that you do. That focus can blind you from experiencing the rewards of making real connections through your business.
I didn’t host the Challenge to make a buck. I didn’t even really do it to increase my mailing list. My motivation for hosting the Challenge the first time was to invite my friends to do the Challenge with me.
And this time, that is exactly what I got. I just didn’t realize they would all be new friends.
If you’d like to join us for the next Challenge, it will be October 2013. You can sign up here.