Admittedly I did a few days research before the challenge and thought to myself, yep I’m up for it.
And then it started…
It was only a few days before Blogtober before I finally committed to the idea, and I was unable to get together a backlog of blog posts that I could’ve use during unexpected events during the month.
Lesson Learned #1 – Make sure you have a few uncompleted drafts ready to go if you get sick
My month started off pretty well, and although I put together a rough editorial calendar, I found my focus changed day to day anyway.
Some people work well within strict editorial guidelines and others may prefer a more organic approach.
Lesson Learned #2 – I don’t work well with Editorial Calendars
Now I was committed to maintaining my standard of blog posts during the month because the perception is the quality of blog posts goes down when you post daily.
When you’re a full-time blogger there aren’t any excuses you can use for not consistently pushing out posts worth reading.
Lesson Learned #3 – Find your own path, because other people write about their own experiences
Although I don’t feel I let this blog suffer, my other blogs were not so fortunate as I discovered my personal limit of blog posting. No matter how much I tried, once I finished one post for the day it felt like it was enough and I would often lose focus.
So what this really meant was only one blog was getting updated and I felt like Blogtober wasn’t flexible enough to change that.
Lesson Learned #4 – Blogtober is once a day for a month. So be committed to blogging once a day. Yes, every single day.
What Blogtober did help me with was writing consistency and am really happy I managed over 1000 words a day for 31 days straight. Usually, I get a few days off here and there and it always feels harder to get back into the swing of things when I do.
I just need to make sure I continue to write and keep the habit going, which wasn’t in my plans for this next month, but I’ll try to write at least daily now I discovered this is easier than writing with a few days break every now and again.
Lesson Learned #5 – Blogtober is great for building your writing habit
Now there were days that I just didn’t feel like writing, or a felt like life needed my attention. Usually on those types of days I’d find something else to do and just skip publishing something for the day, but not during Blogtober.
During Blogtober, I felt like I was expected to work on my blog, and I didn’t want to break my writing streak, so I kept pushing through even though it resulted in a later finish than normal.
Lesson Learned #6 – Blogtober is great for making you accountable.
One of the great rewards from Blogtober is the volume of content you’ll build. I was creating the content at three times the speed as previous months and it works great for a blog like this one where it’s based on educational style posts.
Perhaps that’s not such a plus if you’re a lifestyle blogger, but regardless of the style of your blog, Google appreciates blogs that have a lot of relevant content so it’s not going to hurt your chances of appearing more frequently in Google search results.
So I’m thinking a mini blogging challenge when you start a new blog isn’t such a bad idea to help build your content quickly and could also help you to build your writing habitfrom day one.
Lesson Learned #7 – Blogtober is great for building up your content quickly.
So one of my concerns for Blogtober was overwhelming my readers with too much content. And it wasn’t until I started and looked at the variety of blog post types I was publishing, that I realized this was totally under my control.
Just because you publish something every day, doesn’t mean you have to aggressively promote it. It’s totally up to you what you heavily promote and what gets a softer launch.
Anything that didn’t get your full attention could always be promoted long after Blogtober has finished. This works for most blogs as they aren’t like chapters in a book and can usually be read in random order.
Lesson Learned #8 – The blog posts you create during Blogtober can be promoted in the following months.
Did I get more traffic?
I’d have to say my readership didn’t increase an awful lot, but I’m not so focussed on the immediate returns as my content tends to be evergreen and will be valuable in the long term.
However, I did get more retweets, favorites and likes from social media but I’m thinking this was because I was around a lot more and was probably just reaching more people with my content.
Lesson Learned #9 – You probably won’t get a flood of traffic by blogging once a day for a month
Overall this experience was positive for me but it didn’t really suit the way I like to work. I felt like Blogtober needed a structured approach and I’d actually started blogging because I’d spent too many years in structured corporate work environments and needed a change.
But I could have been a little more flexible and just posted at least once a day on any of my other active blogs, but I felt like that was cheating because other people doing the Blogtober Challenge were just focussed on a single blog.
Will I do it again?
Probably not structured like this, but I’ll try to have my own mini-challenges throughout the year. I also want to try writing for 4 days and then publishing one mega post on the 5th day to see if that improves my reader engagement.
However, it’s been great for developing my idea muscle and has provided a lot more ideas than normal. The biggest challenge during the month was keeping my focus on the current challenge and not the new ideas. (I failed most days at this)
But Blogtober’s over for me, so this month I’ll be publishing my first udemy course, writing my first kindle book and launching a new video series on Youtube, where I aim to post a video once a day for the next year. Gulp!
Without Blogtober, I’d be still thinking daily blogging would be nearly impossible, but with the lessons I’ve learned at least I know what I’m up for.
If you took the Blogtober challenge this year I’d love to hear what your ‘lessons learned’ from the month were. Please post them in the comments below and congratulations, we did it 😀