Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Free Writing Challenge Week 3: pros & cons of creating a blog challenge

Blog challenges can be lots of fun. There are many great reasons to host a blog challenge but there are also several things to think about before planning to host one. This post will describe some pros and cons to creating and hosting a blog challenge.

What is a blog challenge? A blog challenge is a just that; a challenge that can help motivate you to write and get others involved in an activity on your blog.
There are many great reasons to create a blog challenge or a linky party and I have brainstormed a few to share with you:
*Drive traffic (new and returning) to your blog.
*Build community involvement on your blog.
*Linking up creates opportunities for new readers to visit your blog just by seeing your link on a blog they often read.
*Encouragement and motivation to write consistently and weekly.
*Some blog challenges give you structure and a topic to write about each week. This can help with writer's block.
On my way home from my cousin's bridal shower, I scribbled down some blog goals. One of my goals for 2012 is to write more consistently. I asked myself, "What motivates you to write more consistently?" Of course I answered to myself, "When I have content, I am more motivated to write consistently."

One of my biggest challenges as a blogger is knowing what I to write about. Sure, I have lots of tales to tell. But are they interesting enough to write about? Will my readers be interested in reading about my daily activities and experiences?

I reflected back to college and how I enjoyed writing. I wrote all the time whether it was in a journal or just doodling in a spare notebook. Specifically, I enjoyed free writing. Just writing to write, with no rhyme or reason and seeing where the pen led me.

I decided to challenge myself to try out free writing again in turn hoping that I would be motivated to blog more often. I would need some motivation and a starting point so I thought, "Why not start by creating a blog challenge about free writing?"

And so I did. I posted for a couple of weeks and then noticed that nobody was linking up. People were reading and commenting, but there were no links to my linky party.
There are several things that can be done:
*First things first, do not give up.
*Re-evaluate the blog challenge. Did you adequately inform your readers about the challenge? Did you inform your social media outlets about the challenge? In my case, I wrote one blog post introducing the challenge but did not really follow up on my social media outlets.
*Get your blog pals involved. Ask them to link up.
*Perhaps partner with another blogger so that there is more than one hosting the challenge.
*Be consistent and do not give up. There is much to learn even if you are in week 6 or 7 or 8 or...you get the point.
*Create a button so that readers can post the blog challenge on their blog and in their post(s).
*Have fun with the blog challenge. If you are having fun and displaying that in your posts, photos, and social media outlets, others will want to join in on your fun.

Do not get discouraged. Keep trying. Re-evaluate and move forward.

When to give up?
When you have given it all you got and are not getting the results you were hoping for. Be sure to still inform your readers that you will not be hosting the challenge any longer. It is quite possible that some readers may stop by to read what you have to say but do not link up. They may be looking for your posts and be disappointed not to find them anymore. It is just a good idea to mention it.

What tips do you have for hosting a blog challenge?
hiya luv

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