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How Participating in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge Changed Me

Well I’ve reached the end of the challenge. I didn’t do too shabby…missed some days…but learned a lot in the process.

1.) I burnt out a bit. – I started out the month ahead of the game. I had my editorial calendar all planned out and I had a few posts written ahead of time but I slid and lost control of my time management. I found myself staying up late to write a blog post for the day and eventually it caught up to me. I am looking forward to going back to 3-4 posts a week in November. I love being able to create so much content but with my busy schedule it’s hard to keep up with a daily post.

2.) I diversified my content. – With having so many days to write for back to back, it pushed me to expand my content. I loved that. I found new ways to look at things and to write about. I think this also helped to expand my audience. That’s the benefit of being a lifestyle blogger because life incorporates so many topics.

3.) I learned more about affiliate marketing in this challenge. – A portion of this challenge was affiliate pins on Pinterest. I learned how to create them and how to market them within my Pinterest boards. Through this process I also built the confidence and more knowledge to market more in general, both myself and my affiliates. This will be a larger focus in my November goals.

4.) I learned more about life balance.I was burning out because I gave too much at the beginning. I was working all day at the office and then coming home and sitting in front of the computer more into the night. Sitting in front of a computer that long can suck the life right out of you. I was staying up late to get posts written, I was working in blog sharing into my lunch breaks – I wasn’t taking a break from it. I know I  have to put in the extra time to reach my goals but I still have to keep my work-play balance in line so that I can recharge.

5.) I didn’t beat myself up so much. – Hey I got 22 posts out of 30 up…that’s 73%. That’s like a C right? Okay, so yeah I prefer A’s but I did this while working a high-demanding full time job, working on some paintings for upcoming art shows, spending quality time with my son and my mom and scheduled activities with my friends, started cleaning out my closet, and while starting a fairly involved fitness training program, so heck yeah I’m feeling good about where I landed at the end of the challenge.

Lesson 5 was my biggest take away from this. I can be so hard on myself but I was able to see my progress instead of my pitfalls in this challenge, I was able to accept that even though I was missing a couple of days I came out of this with some great lessons and discoveries.

Through this experience I’ve come up with a little schedule plan to try out in November:

2 Days Blogging – one day to write up posts for the week, one day to build marketing images and schedule

5 days working out per week, 2 rest days – 3 days running, 2 days weight training, 1-2 days yoga practice – this will vary depending on the week with class schedules, also some of those are combined (I know that added up to more than 5 – i.e.: run and do arms kind of thing)

2 Days Class/Labs for Health Coaching Certification

3 Days for activities/relaxing/time with friends and family

My goal is to build a routine that allows flexibility. A schedule that allows me to work towards my goals and to keep me on track but still allows me to live my life while I’m at it and to also put an end to the burn out cycle! 

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5 Easy Ways to Promote your Blog

Ready to get your blog out in front of more people? Here’s five ways that I’ve tried and are true to help grow your audience and increase your blog traffic.

  1. Promote on Social Media
    • Build a Facebook Page to share your content with. By sharing my content consistently I was able to grow my Facebook Page from 174 followers to 1313 followers in less than a year.
    • Don’t be afraid to share some of your work on your personal Facebook Page too.
    • Share on Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Instagram. 28% of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest, 17% comes from StumbleUpon, and 13% comes from Facebook. I just started promoting my blog on my Instagram account but I know several other bloggers that have had great success with Instagram.
  2. Join Share Groups – This is a great way to connect with other bloggers and to promote your content. These groups work as a share program – you share their work and they share yours. I have founds some wonderful groups on Facebook and Pinterest.
  3. Guest post on another blog – Building relationships with other bloggers is a wonderful way to expand your following and audience. Partner up with like-minded bloggers and swap guest posts. The key to this is to promote both blog posts (yours and theirs).
  4. Promote your posts through an e-newsletter – This helps build more loyalty with your readers, keeps them coming back. It creates an easy way for your subscribers to connect with your blog and see new posts.
  5. Host a giveaway – Creating a giveaway is a wonderful engagement tip. People love to win stuff. Use this to collect new email subscribers and drive people to your blog and Social Media accounts. I grew my email subscriber list from 19 to 180 subscribers with the help of a giveaway.

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How to Keep Control of Your Inbox

I don’t know about you but the amount of emails I get in my inbox on a daily basis can easily swallow up my whole day. There’s an email for everything and from everyone now a days. I have email for the office, I have my personal email, I have my blogging email, we have messages from social media accounts – we are constantly being hit by numerous notes and communication. Keeping your inbox organized and in control will not only help you feel calmer but it will also improve your productivity. 

1.) Create folders – keeping organized folders will help you assign your messages to projects and tasks.

2.) Set up rules – in most email accounts you can set up rules that will send the email directly to the folders you have assigned them to. I find this especially helpful at the office.

3.) Unsubscribe to junk mail – if it isn’t information that is relevant to you don’t allow it to clog up your inbox.

4.) Use programs to manage promotional emails – I use unroll.me. I’ve been using this for a few years and I love it. It collects all of the emails I assigned to it into one place and then I receive one daily email to link to it.

5.) Set designated times to check emails – schedule out email time to allow you to review your emails. I check my emails once in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening. Though this doesn’t work for me for when I’m in the office because our prime communication method is email this is great for my personal and blog email accounts. This keeps me from getting stuck reading email after email and losing track of time.