Last month, I opted to participate in the February NaBloPoMo Blog challenge. I wanted to see if writing on a daily basis (5 days a week) would affect my overall performance as a writer and whether I would see any noticeable changes in my audience. After reflecting on the effectiveness of such a rigid routine and looking at my blog’s analytics, I can summarize the 5 lessons that I learned from my NaBloPoMo blog challenge.
Deadlines. There was no time to procrastinate when I had to post a blog by a certain time each day. Having a set time made me more disciplined and motivated. I did not have the luxury of saying I’ll do it tomorrow. By adhering to my routine, I became more determined to accomplish my goals. I will now need to establish and adhere to a reasonable schedule.
Balance. I realized that even though I was able to conform to a daily posting schedule, I was not totally comfortable with this routine. I was outside my comfort zone. My priorities shifted. I let other responsibilities slide. In the future, I will find a balance between the time I spend on my blog and the rest of my activities.
Content. I am continuing to experiment with different types of content. Writing frequently caused my thoughts to flow at a more even pace. Some of the prompts addressed sensitive issues that were connected with segments of my memoir. Within the next couple of months, I will need to determine whether I am going to narrow my focus or continue to write on a wide variety of topics. Feedback from my audience would be helpful. Getting my readers to respond continues to be a challenge.
Readers. Posting on a regular basis, improved my analytics in several ways. The overall number of visitors increased. Some posts generated a significant spike that I will try to duplicate in the future. I now have a higher percentage of people returning to my website. My bounce rate dropped as well. Almost no posts generated a 90-100% bounce rate. Disappointingly, only a handful of readers came from the NaBloPoMo website. I anticipated more of NaBloPoMo followers to check out my direct feed. Overall, the February challenge had a positive effect on my readership and has provided data worth analyzing.
Audience Participation. One of the shortcomings of my website is a lack of engagement. Few people comment on my posts. My questions are rarely answered. A small number participate in my book giveaways. I’m baffled. I’m open to suggestions. Don’t be shy. If you are reading this, please share your opinion.
Posting daily provided an enriching opportunity to write on a variety of topics. In the process, I learned 5 important lessons that will improve my blog. Time will tell if the changes I make will continue to have a positive effect.
Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.