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Day 30 – 30 Day Blogging Challenge – Final Review

Posted on : 03-03-2016 | By : admin | In : 30 Blog Writing Challenge

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It’s here – my final blog post of my 30 day blogging challenge! It’s been quite a journey involving late nights, frantic Google searches and lots of cups of tea. Along the way, I’ve made some friends and my blog is definitely better for it.

sparkler by Markus Grossalber on Flickr CC

sparkler by Markus Grossalber on Flickr CC

I began my challenge, hoping that I would be able to find 30 different blogs to post, and I have ended it with so many more ideas on where I want to take my blog and the kinds of subjects I want to post on. I had posted sporadically for a couple of years, struggling to find topics to talk about, now hopefully I will be able to continue blogging once or twice a week. My blogging muscle has grown, just as Sarah predicted it would.

So here are some stats for my final review:

Fastest blog post to write:

Day 25 – 3 Quotes for writers

This took less than half an hour, and felt like a very lazy post, although I do know a website that just seems to create author quotes. I was very short of time that day, though

Most fun to research:

Day 23 – 7 More crazy business ideas

There’s another couple of blog posts in there some time…

My favourite blog post:

Day 21 – Infographics. I had so much fun creating those. I will definitely be making more in the future.

Most visited blog post:

Day 17 – Testimonials about my work (51 impressions)

Day 3 – Five qualities of a freelance writer came a close second with 48. It’s telling that the keywords ‘freelance writer’ are in the second post and I might have got some random traffic because that is a popular keyword.

Most commented on blog post:

Day 28 – Procrastination & the Writer really got a good reaction. People seemed to relate to it well and I got some comments on Facebook too.

Day 29 – 30 Ideas for Blog Posts came a close second. I reckon I’m going to go looking for another 30 ideas at some point! Just to stretch myself.

Most recommended blog post for other Challengers to do:

Day 27 – Five Retro Blog Posts. It was great fun to go through my old blog posts and pick five of the best. I tidied them up, and added new pictures in some cases, but it’s a great way to showcase yourself to people who are just discovering you.

I have had such fun with this challenge. Thanks go to Kevin and Sarah for all their encouragement, emails & stickers! I would hope to come back to this challenge again in about a year for another 30 blog posts because it has been a challenge well worth taking.

If you are reading this in the middle of your own challenge then I would encourage you to keep going, you will gain so much from it.

If you have enjoyed this post, then please share it to social media.


Day 22: 30 Day Blogging Challenge – Third Week Review

Posted on : 25-02-2016 | By : admin | In : 30 Blog Writing Challenge

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Week 3 and I’m still here. I’m really glad that I took this challenge. Finding time to blog every day has not been easy, but I have managed to do it. Hopefully from here I can finish this challenge.

My public lands summer road trip by Bureau of Land Management Flickr CC

My public lands summer road trip by Bureau of Land Management Flickr CC

This week, I have:

  • continued to edit my story, looking at setting, plot, conflict and resolution, all of which are important parts of a story
  • Rewritten my ‘About’ page
  • Written up some of my testimonials which was quite nice to do
  • worked out how to use infographics and discovered a nice little free program to help me do it
  • finally set up that editorial calendar by adapting Sarah Arrow’s template
  • enjoyed reading and commenting on other blogs also taking part in the 30 day blogging challenge

This week, I am back into the full swing of school, college and work, so free time has been a little more limited. It is not always possible to post every day, but I am determined to have 30 blog posts by the time I have set myself.

This is what I have learned this week:

  • to keep chasing testimonials, because they are very nice to have. In the past, although I have asked for testimonials, clients sometimes forget to send them. I need to try and get them if I can.
  • I liked my ‘About’ page when I read it, but it did need some updating – apparently I last rewrote it about 3 years ago!
  • To keep finding time to blog – even small bits of time can be used productively if you are ready to go and know what you want to write.
  • initiating other calls to action rather than just inviting comments on the blog. I always try to ask a question for others to answer in the comments but asking for a social share was not something I had (embarrassingly) thought of!

Another week, another learning curve! Roll on Week 4!


Day 16: 30 Day Blogging Challenge – Halfway

Posted on : 17-02-2016 | By : admin | In : 30 Blog Writing Challenge

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Wow, suddenly it’s day 16 and I‘ve been blogging consecutively for 15 days! I’m really glad that I took up this challenge and I’m learning a lot from it.

April 2012 Art Challenge Tulips by COLOURED PENCIL magazine Flickr CC

April 2012 Art Challenge Tulips by COLOURED PENCIL magazine Flickr CC

So far I’ve learned:

  • that finding topics can be fun and that it’s important to choose a topic that I feel I can offer some information on
  • that I need to think about keywords more
  • that prioritising time to blog pays off in terms of the pleasure of seeing this blog grow and improving it with new content

This challenge has reminded me how much I do like blogging about my own subject (as opposed to writing blogs for clients) and that it is really pleasing to see the number of blog posts increase substantially. I also love getting emails each day.

Could do better:

  • need to set up that editorial calendar – I can see the benefit of it, but unfortunately it’s been a bit of a frustrating week at work. No excuses, though, should’ve done it!
  • Keep improving SEO. I use All-in-One SEO and I am finding that I understand it better so I can use it more effectively. I may investigate some other options when I have time, though.
  • it would be nice not to be blogging so late at night sometimes, but when you’re running other jobs alongside, better to blog late than not at all.

All these things will help me to blog more effectively and enable my blog posts to be found more easily when the challenge is over. It will also help me to continue writing blog posts more regularly.

What next?

  • I’m in the middle of a series of blog posts on writing a short story and editing it. I intend to continue that
  • Take some of Sarah’s email challenges. This is something I have not been so good at – usually because I already have some content in place
  • Try and be more organised with my blog posts

It’s amazing how fast the first half of this blogging challenge has gone. As I said, it has not been easy: I have had issues at work to contend with and this week the family have been around because of half term. However I am doing my best to keep blogging and I am determined to finish the challenge.

If you are reading this, thinking, ‘Shall I?’ then I would encourage you to sign up for the 30 day blogging challenge. Your blog will thank you for it.


Do You spam? There is another way to promote your website.

Posted on : 24-01-2011 | By : admin | In : Blog, Writing Help for Businesses

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Photo on Flickr by adamkemper

Not a day goes by that I don’t get some tempting offer to buy some little blue pills. Or I might get a comment that sounds legitimate, but it has been posted 20 times by different people. Some comments also seem OK, but when you click on the link (or even just read the url) then it is obvious that it is not a link that I want my website going back to.

So why do people do it?

Probably because sometimes these tactics work. Some website owners may well just put the link up without checking what the comment is linking back to. Then the commenter will have a one way link back to their website.

That’s not enough!

The link is completely without merit. It does not have any relevance to the website that it has been left on, and often the website from which it has come has no relevant content to its own subject. This is not a link that is valuable to anyone. It has no use to the website owner where the comment has been left, there is no point to linking to the website because sooner or later the Google algorithms are going to work it out and ignore the website. It is a waste of time – especially if the website owner is me because even if the comment seems OK, if the website it came from is not relevant then the comment will not be added.

Your time and resources have been wasted in sending out all this spam mail when it could have been spent in building legitimate links instead.

Google likes links that:

  • -are one way
  • -are content linking to similar content
  • – that are spread around lots of websites

Using spam comments on websites only fulfills one in three of that criteria and even then if you take into the account the need for similar relevant material, then it doesn’t fulfil any of them. Surely it is a waste of time and simply annoys the website owner who then deletes the comment.

I’m sorry to say that I have seen jobs for commenting on blogs on some job vacancy sites. It seems to me that it is not much of a job leaving spam comments on a blog that no one will ever read.

Finding backlinks is essential for all of us who maintain websites and blogs, but there are ways to do it which may be harder work but which are essentially more rewarding. Do comment on blogs, but make them relevant blogs to your company and make the comments add to or start a discussion rather than just simply ‘well done’.

Join relevant forums and answer questions. Most forums will let you link back to blog posts if you are a registered user. Answer Yahoo questions if they relate to your area of expertise or if you have a genuine answer. Offer link exchanges with websites which are similar to yours in size and content. Also you can write free articles for places like Ezine and GoArticles which allow the articles to be downloaded complete with a link to your website.

All of these are legitimate ways to gather backlinks to help your website gain some notice.

If you spam, then it can be seen as an unwanted nuisance. It is a lazy solution which just creates annoyance and inconvenience.

If you do want to sell some little blue pills, then I suggest you find another website to do it from!

Photo Credit: Photo on Flickr by adamkemper