The 1st year I learned how important it is to start early: Research, write all posts before April 1. Exception: X and Z, usually put off until the last moment. I edit or tweak each post near publication date.
The 2nd year I learned how important it is to visit as many blogs as possible leaving comments. Your blog stats will go up the more you visit others. I am following at least 20 new blogs.
The 3rd year I learned how important the presentation of a blog is. Readability, ease of navigating the site, clarity of background/font, an uncluttered presentation that does not take away from the point of a blog…to be able to READ the information. Short posts work best not only during #The Challenge, but all year long.
The 4th year I learned how important it is to pick a theme that works with the nature of #The Challenge. If the point is to encourage new readership, the subject matter better work for a one time visitor. A long tale that makes no sense on day 12, or a subject that is depressing, worthy as it may be, isn’t great for a “26 day expiration date opportunity.” Careful consideration of the goal: offering an interesting theme, which demonstrates that your blog is easy to read, worth someone’s valuable time to follow. Understanding what you are try to accomplish will impact the success of this exercise.
Once last tip: Make note of your stats as the #Challenge begins. How did it all turn out? What do the numbers tell you? Do you need to reconsider the template you are using for your blog because it is not user friendly and discouraged visitors. Did you pick a theme that in hindsight would have been better published at another time?
In case your interested: On 3/31/16 I had 430 followers. On 5/4/16 I 461 followers. On 3/31 I had 1768 followers on Pinterest and on 5/4/16 now have 1791. I only sold 3 books during the month, but truth in advertising, I didn’t buy any one else’s books either this year. 142 likes on my author Facebook page in March. Now 145. In March I had 669 visits, in April 1412. Not exactly over whelming results I suppose. However, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I LOVE the #Challenge, my theme, the research, the writing, chatting with the bloggers who leave comments. I love finding new wonderful blogs. I am a better writer because of the discipline it takes to participate. I write a 2nd blog, Mainstreetrockymount.com that has benefited from Stephenyhoughtlin.com and brings me deep satisfaction. The blog will now revert to things you would expect a writer, gardener, addicted reader and book-alcoholic to be writing about. I would love your company.