Blogging every day for a month is tough. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I did my first 30 day blogging challenge back in November 2007. It took place on a site called BT Tradespace and I was joined by a group of people who became very dear friends:- Angela Boothroyd, Anita Hunt, Elaine Sturgess and Charles Conway. We decided for some mad reason to blog every single day during November.
Like I say, blogging every day for a month is tough and we became very close friends. The friendships have survived to this day, and our blogs have gone from strength to strength. The benefits of blogging daily for a month are immense; your co-bloggers become your accountability partners and you boost your online visibility significantly.
When we started with the Zero to Blogger concept in January 2010, it was going to be spread over 31 days. But Warren's a slow writer, and others came along with their challenges and Z2B evolved into something different, something stronger. More on that another day :)
Why are you getting all of this back story? I want you to be assured that you are in safe hands when it comes to using these prompts and blogging for 30 days (or 31 depending on what month).
Before you set off on your mad blogging adventure you need to complete a few checks.
- You have a list – meaning you've joined Get Response or similar
- You have an ethical bribe in place for your newsletter list
- Have ethical bribe (AKA a lead magnet) loaded into Get Response and your newsletter capture set-up
Resources to help you with the above.
- Zero to Ebook (£14)
- Ebook Toolkit
- Product Creator Pro Review
- Get Response
- Which Pop-Up works best for list building
It helps to install the Editorial Calendar Plugin if you are a WordPress user.
Revamp your about page. You will get a lot of activity and traffic coming to your blog, make sure your pages are up to scratch.
A lot of people think that posting like this is about traffic. It's rarely about the traffic it's usually about the discipline and becoming stronger as a blogger. The traffic is just a bonus along with increased subscribers. This is blogging activity is similar to running a marathon, rarely do you run a marathon to get fit (you have to be fit to start with). It's about endurance, discipline and becoming better at what you do.
Planning your posts
If you get my blogging challenge emails, look out for the editorial calendar on day three. Alternatively get a diary and on each day for that month write down an idea. Sure, I'm going to supply you 31 prompts here but there will be things that are essential to your ideal reader in that time span, industry events and other things that affect your reader – this enables you to target your content effectively. Write the event / activity down and schedule them in so that you have a post idea ready for that day.
WordPress allows you to schedule blog posts, so you can write a batch of posts in one go and schedule them to go live on certain days and at a specific time. You do not have to write 31 posts in one sitting and you do not have to write one each day. Find what works for you.
31 Blogging Prompts
- The Tao of XXXX – this prompt works really well as Tao has a certain air about it and speaks to a certain demographic. The word Tao means way or path and can be used to share a business journey or route. Replacing XXXX with a benefit works incredibly well as business post.
- The productivity tips from a master XXXX – we all want to streamline our processes and work more efficiently and productivity and this type of post works well.
- Simple XXXX fundamentals. Here XXXX can be business or an aspect of business that will appeal to your ideal reader.
- When willpower is trumped by XXXX, this prompt captures the imagination when shared socially :)
- Simple daily habits to ignite your passion to / for. Again we all love an insight into a businesses or person's routine. This post allows you to showcase your skills and habits. Done well this post will convert readers into subscribers.
- Effortless XXXX, In my case it would be a post about effortless blogging, for you it might be something you find incredibly simple but others get frustrated with.
- How to be XXXX at any time – how to be marvellous, how to be wonderful, how to be supercagafragilistically awesome… okay, you get the picture
- Life lessons from a reluctant XXXX, perhaps semi autobiographical
- Lessons for XXXXX – with XXXX being your ideal customer
- A business book review – remember to add your Amazon affiliate links in
- Finally, the truth about XXXX – A product review
- The Story of me and XXXX. Share the story of you and how you got into this industry
- Simple XXXX, the lazy person's guide. Depending on who your ideal reader is you may also want to make that the smart person's guide.
- How to be XXXX at any age. If you are targeting a certain age demographic this prompt will work well for you
- The myth of XXXX – readers love myth busters, so get controversial and bust one or two
- 10 Simple tips to deal with XXXX – solve the problem in quick and simple tips and of course one can be your product
- The really simple way to get XXXX, again it can be adapted to smart people, crazy people, cat people – whatever you call your ideal reader
- The really simple way to get XXXXX
- Get started: From to Zero to XXXX (I use this one a lot)
- The small-scale approach to XXXX. Again this is a great connecter for small biz
- XX of lessons I’ve learnt in XX years. Lessons learnt can be popular and conversation generators.
- Breaking free from xxxx <—- A great one for promoting your product or service
- The little guide to XXXX
- Surround yourself with smart people. Share a post about the team that you have around you and what they bring to your business
- The ritual of XXXX
- Create a case study of how you helped a customer with a specific problem – make the reader feel the pain of the customer and the relief when the solution was put into place.
- The simplest cure for XXX, a nice keyword rich prompt here :)
- Secrets of the XXXX industry
- Can’t find a perfect XXXX. Create your own XXXX
- XXXX: The first step to XXXX. The first set of XXXX is your target audience and the second is the benefit they are seeking.
- 31 blog posts you shouldn't miss. A link post of all your blog posts from the month of blogging
Additional tips and tactics
- Get some guest posts in place – it hurts to write 31 posts, you will be brain fried at times. Get some guest posts as a back up.
- Perfect your call to action – you may need three or four and each post would have a different call to action
- Practice your headline writing, yes you have prompts here but you need to take them and hack them up to suit you and your audience
- Every 7 days collect the links from that week and create a link post good for your SEO and good for readers just discovering your blog.
- How to posts are great for converting but they are not the only post you should be writing – use a variety of different posts
- Images in every post
- Experiment with WordLess Wednesday and Silent Sunday where you only post a link to images
- Look for videos to embed in blog posts to support your advice.
- Get interviews via email. This can be timeless content so even if you don't use it in your 31 days of blogging then you can use it after. On Birds on the Blog in October we'll be publishing 31 breast cancer survivor stories, all of these are interviews.
- Be prepared to promote your posts. Install tools such as BufferApp and Hootsuite to make your life a little easier
- Find some accountability partners
I hear a lot of talk that quality of posts will go down if you write every day. I don't think that's true, writing is like a muscle; the more you do it the stronger it becomes. You write emails on a daily basis, reports for work etc. You write far more than what you think. However if you write rubbish now, your writing will be a heck of a lot stronger after 31 posts. You'll start to tidy up your writing, your content will become succinct and you'll improve significantly. The good thing about blogging is you can tidy up posts long after they have been published.
Secondly you are unlikely to have just one ideal customer. You may have two or three. Here's how you write to more than one ideal customer. Each time that you post you can be reaching a different segment of your audience.
And finally, when you have completed your marathon remember to go over your stats and see what your audience liked and disliked.
After you've completed 31 different blog posts you will need to make some changes on your blog, so make sure you have the time to make the changes, and remember to enjoy the journey.