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How to Write Through a Monthly Challenge

Publishing daily for a monthly challenge

monthly challenge
I may have met these folks for real at breakfast today.

Daily publishing during a monthly challenge isn’t always usually your best work.

Last month I participated in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. To make writing through a monthly challenge more manageable, I split up the posts between several blogs, since I have several I manage. When I missed a few days, Paul did not berate us but encouraged us to keep going. So I did.

Last year I did NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. From that experience I learned something. When I knew I was not going to be able to write, I wrote more words the days before. The calendar was MY KEY!

So a participating in a monthly challenge is not new but it remains an exercise in organization, determination, and discipline. For some reason, writing does not get easier as I do more and learn more. Just so you know I have written posts on Nov 1 and Nov 2, but I’ve posted on other blogs. The Nov. 1st post I wrote will air on Nov. 3. I’ll come back and share the shortlink on this post tomorrow. (if I remember)

Do you participate in challenges? How do you do it? How do you get from here to there? (the end of the month and 30 blog posts?)

monthly challenge requires planning
On the road again – writing up a storm

5 Tips to  Do a Monthly Challenge

Print up a calendar

I have photo challenges listed on the calendar, but I have plenty of room to fill in blog topics. Terri Webster Brandt has a great book, Better Blogging with Photography to give you many life-saving tips for using photos in your blog.

Some influencers think it is not good to schedule over a month in advance in order to keep the blog fresh and relevant. Other experts suggest that most of your blog should have “sticky content.” Sticky content means it is timeless.

Check Your Stats For Popular Topics & Research

To help you determine your topics for the challenge find out what content is most successful for you. Last month the best topics for me were time management for bloggers and establishing relationships through blogging. Other topics include travel, book reviews, marketing, and technology (mostly problems!).

I keep a list of my best topics and links to each post I’ve written at the top of my blogging journal to help me add links when I write a new post about that topic. That way I don’t have to flip back and forth trying to find it on my website.

Some experts suggest checking what is most popular with the search engines. If you are a professional content writer, this is helpful. If you don’t have 8 hours a day to research, stick with what you know best and interests you.

Research & Refine Your Topics

Now it’s time for Google, Yahoo, Bing, whatever is your favorite search engine. Check to see if your keywords have been used and read those articles. Be sure to cut and paste the URL not only in your post but in your Transformational Blogging Journal, too.

Use your blogging journal again for friends who might have articles about your topics. They may not have made it to the Google page until about page 100. For example, Elena Peters wrote a great article about journaling. Linking your friend’s posts create better or sticky friendships. Look for some guest posts for your regular topics.

My friend Debby commented on this topic of using guest posts by reblogging or pressing.

“I don’t reblog a lot but I share all posts I read. I only reblog maybe one article a week of interest to my readers, and posts I don’t usually see reblogged over and over. I try not to let my blog be all over the map. I write personal posts, weekly book reviews, author interviews, and post about helpful apps and/or articles I’ve come across that would be helpful to my readers.:)”

Guest posts take some time, but also save you time. You can schedule them ahead if you know you are going to have a busy week.

Topics that fit well with other challenges

Do you like to kill two or more birds with one stone? I do!

Look at photo challenges and figure out how you can weave in some of your personal writing to those challenges.

Travel posts fit especially well with photo challenges. Community events also work out well.

Topics Flow From Posts You Are Currently Writing

Since I publish weekly book reviews, many posts flow from those posts. I started to review blogs that my friend Janice Wald from Mostly Blogging quoted in her new book, Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog. Checking out her quoted experts expanded my knowledge, dare I say 100%. The questions I had from that book alone kept me busy for more than a month. It also led me to read other books. One book was Mike Allton’s Blog Promotology.

I look forward to telling you about what I’ve learned. My blog may look the same, but I guarantee it is going to be changing as I continue to review her book and others and begin applying what I’ve learned.

Before I get my calendar solidified, do you have any pesky blogging or writing problems you could suggest that I research?

monthly challenge requires time and planning
Puppy Girl is annoyed at the lack of attention she is receiving.

When I finished this post the first time for the monthly challenge, it was 11:19 pm. I pressured myself to post it. My eyelids drooped, and suddenly I saw words that I did not type. One good thing about writing through monthly challenges, you can rewrite them.

Are you participating in monthly challenges? Do me a favor and leave me a comment as to what direction you’d like to me write. And/Or share this on social media.

12 replies »

  1. Lol! Help yourself! Yes, I did and even wrote a review. But AMazon won’t let me post it, since I’ve never bought anything. And I don’t have the money to buy anything now. 😦
    Yes, she is!!
    When I was a teacher, I barely had the energy to eat! Much less have a 2nd career!

    Like

  2. I love those heads!! I try to get my post written for the next week ahead of time. It makes me very nervous to not have a post scheduled for the next day! I never know when I’ll have the girls- then NO writing gets done when they’re here!

    Like

    • I’m struggling to keep up with a post every day! I have several posted ahead of time, but I do some of the easy ones way ahead of time, and sometimes miss the longer harder ones. I have two blogs, though, one that is more personal, and the other is more of a niche for writing and blogging. That one takes more thought sometimes. Sometimes I can spend hours just fiddling trying to find the right picture. 🙂

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      • I certainly understand that!! 2 blogs?? Why ever did you take on 2?? you must have more energy than me!
        Oh pix!! I gotcha there too. My main problem tho, is forgetting to take the befores!
        What is your other blog??

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        • My other blog is https://tchistorygal.net/. I just changed my About Me page for the 24th time. Check it out, and tell me what you think! I do all my photo challenges on that blog. I can not give it up, and maybe it fits in this one well, but I like some of the benefits of the free wordpress.com blogs compared to wordpress.org. So I keep it and switch back and forth writing for both on different days.

          Like

          • Thanks, again. I love the sound of amazing. Maybe I could just print this up and carry it around with me. Have you read Janice’s book yet? Now that woman is amazing. My husband has to give me a pep talk after I read a few chapters because I can’t imagine doing. LOL the blogging she does let alone teach. I’ve been a teacher, and my days never ended before 11:00 pm.

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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