"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, February 27, 2012

Benefits of the Blog Challenge

Many authors struggle with keeping a blog. Writers lose focus and let them fall stagnant. One successful way to inspire blogging is to participate in a blog challenge.
What is a blog challenge? A blog challenge is when you decide to write/publish/post to a theme during a determined time frame. This could be done in a solo or group atmosphere. The rules of the challenge vary depending on host, but often include: topics, length, syndication, and/or publication date.
For example, this will be my second year to participate in the “A to Z” challenge: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/2012-to-z-challenge-sign-up-list.html  This is the third annual “A to Z” challenge. In 2010, there were 100 participants, last year there were approximately 1,000 bloggers and this year, approximately 800 people have already signed up with more than a month left until the event begins.
The “A to Z” challenge is held in April. Each day a post is inspired by a letter of the alphabet. Ex The April 1st post will be inspired by the letter A, April 2nd by the letter B and so on. There are 26 letters and 30 days in April, so you will have Sundays off after the first week.
What did I get out of the challenge last year? I connected with some creative and talented individuals, developed a new system for my blogging, refined my communication skills, and initiated what turned into an amazing relationship with some of my readers!
What are some benefits of a blogging challenge?                                 
  1. Establish accountability partners.
  2. Develop your writing skills.
  3. Cultivate a habit of writing.
  4. Create, authenticate and advertise your personal brand.
  5. Build relationships with fellow challenge participants.
  6. Increase your confidence and motivation in writing.
  7. Educate yourself through reading blogs in different niches.
  8. Build back links through comments on participant’s blogs.
  9. Grow your social network through the syndicating of posts through social media sites.
  10. Increase blog traffic.
  11. Develop new marketing ideas from other challenge participants.
  12. Receive constructive feedback on ways to make your blog/platform even more effective.
Whether you decide to participate in the “A to Z” challenge with me or not, I hope I’ve given you a bit of encouragement to participate in any blog challenge, even your own!

Have you participated in a blog challenge before? What was your experience?


Laura said...

so looking forward to it. I actually started my blog with the sole purpose of entering last year's challenge... here I am a year later!
Laura x

Paula Martin said...

I've signed up again, but not sure whether I'll actually manage it this year. It was so time-consuming last year, trying to visiting many different blogs each day.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for plugging the Challenge! We are working hard to make it the best year ever.

Rob-bear said...

I'm up for a challenge most days, and this is no different. I got a bit behind in my postings last year; this year I expect to be more timely.

You've given us 12 reasons for doing this, all of which are good. But for this Bear, the rule is that I blog for the halibut (and the occasional pun). Meaning I need no rules. I just blog to have fun, fun, fun (til her daddy takes the t-bird away).

I like your new pic with the hat. NO, I don't think you're the Mad Hatter.

anthony stemke said...

Thank You Sylvia, I am looking forward to the A-Z Challenge this year.

James R Tate said...

This is awesome! Thanks for the tip. Maybe I can build some readership and learn some things along the way.

Bish Denham said...

This will be my third year doing the challenge and I'm already working on my posts.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sylvia .. how right you are - I enjoyed last year's .. and as you say it's the people we meet - who make the process such fun ..

I think you've summarised the benefits so well - and set out the advantages .. there's no pressure either - we do what we can.

Cheers and see you there .. Hilary

Unknown said...

Sounds interesting.

Christine Rains said...

I've participated in blogfests before and they have been excellent experiences. I've met so many wonderful people. This year will be the first time for the A to Z Challenge. I'm very excited!

Arlee Bird said...

Great reasons to join the Challenge! If I weren't already, you would have convinced me.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out
Twitter: @AprilA2Z
Blogging from A to Z

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Sylvia, nice to meet you *waves*
This is an excellent post which would encourage all those who are still undecided about whether they should join the A-Z Challenge.
This will be my second challenge.
Good luck!

Kern Windwraith said...

Great list of benefits! My main motivator in signing up was #3 -- I'm bring to cultivate a habit of writing regularly. I've managed it with the fiction, but the blogging is definitely still a work in progress.

It's great to connect, and I'll be looking forward to your A to Z posts.

Bethie said...

You have inspired me to join the challenge. This will be my first year so I hope I do it right! Looking forward to it, though, and am already thinking about what I'm going to post.

rch said...

Hi I agree that such challenges can stimulate creation and increase your blog visibility, those are the main reasons I've joined. I will add your site to my links later after work, and look forward to reading your material, thanks for visiting my blog, have a great day.

Unknown said...

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