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Lessons Learned from Taking on #NaBloPoMo Nov 2014

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NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, was in November and it was certainly a challenge posting everyday on the blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed the content I’ve shared with you. I have been working hard getting posts up everyday!

Recap

I’m a numbers girl by nature and former profession, so here’s the rundown of the numbers:

* 31 posts in 30 days (the Small Victories Sunday Linkup will post tomorrow)
* 6,390 views (my highest of the month so thanks for reading!)
* Most people found my site through search
* Pinterest referred the most traffic followed closely by Facebook
* Top 3 posts written in November were:
1. Small Victories Sunday Linkup {25} – so excited that this linkup is still doing well after our break. Be sure to join us tomorrow for this week’s linkup!
2. Top 10 Books to Reread
3. Be Our Guest Fridays {7}: My Novel Opinion on Facing Her FearsMy Novel Opinion was nervous about sharing her deeply personal story so I was so happy to see it get an overwhelmingly positive response. Her story of gratitude is inspiring!

Lessons Learned:

1. Taking the time to plan out ideas in my editorial calendar was the best thing I did. I use the Editorial Calendar plugin for WordPress and jotted down ideas including what linkups in which to participate at the beginning of the month. So when I was ready to write, I already knew what I’d be posting about. I did have some backup ideas too that were not scheduled so in case I needed something quick and easy or didn’t feel like writing what I had scheduled, I could be flexible and switch topics around easily.

2. Daily writing is fun. I hope this exercise helps me continue to write at least 30 to 60 minutes a day. Spend 10 minutes outlining my idea, 40-50 minutes writing it out and 10 minutes editing. Set a timer so I don’t get too bogged down in one phase. If I can’t get the post done in an hour, take a step back and try again later till the post is how I want it.

3. It’s difficult maintaining quality when I’m in a rush to get a post up. I do best when I can schedule posts a couple days ahead and have time to really edit it to make it it’s best.

4. I tried my best responding to comments and visiting everyone in my linkups but this is the area that suffered the most from spending so much of my free time in the writing phase. I missed the interaction with visitors. Posting 3-4 times a week is ideal for me to be able to return comments and visit all linkup participants on the days that a new post is not going live.

5.  Don’t forget to schedule social media posts! With holidays and life, it’s easy to forget to promote a post or ask questions to get interaction on social media. I was doing well using Viraltag to get Pinterest posts scheduled, especially from my linkups and perhaps that’s why Pinterest was my #1 traffic source, hard to tell. I need to do better using the Editorial Calendar and social media planner I got from Blog Clarity’s Content Brew class to improve both post planning in #1 and social media engagement. I tend to remember to post to Pinterest and Facebook but then forget about the others and of course, my stats reflect that.

6. I need to make time for activities to improve my blog. Writing is great to attract new readers but to improve my blog, I need time for some of those maintentance items (like backing up my blog) and learning opportunities. Blogging takes a whole lot of work and care behind the scenes, more than I ever imagined. I was glad I went through the self-paced Content Brew course as a refresher to be able to write my review, and it made me want to invest more time in working through all those blogging tips, videos and courses I pinned on Pinterest. Thank goodness there’s a Blogathon and Bloggiesta both coming up in January so I can devote more time to my blogging tasks.

7. Surprisingly, I didn’t get too many new views from BlogHer itself. I didn’t get the same traffic boost I get when I participate in other events like Armchair BEA, the Blogathon or Bloggiesta. The linkup for everyone to post their posts was just overwhelmingly huge. It seems it is best if you copy your post or write directly in BlogHer to get maximum exposure to their readers and a chance for syndication. I didn’t have time to do this because I was too busy keeping up with writing!

Overall, I think this was a great learning opportunity and it stretched me to my writing limits. I am glad to have made it through the month but think I will endeavor for smaller challenges in the future unless I can schedule the posts far enough in advance so I can leave my time to promote them and engage on social media.

Have you ever done NaBloPoMo? What did you learn from the experience? Would you do it again?

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13 Comments

  1. Tanya,

    Thanks for sharing this post at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy! I first read it through my email subscription but definitely found your pointers worth a second read!

    You did a great job of posting during November. I enjoy reading all that you write! 🙂

  2. I love your advice. I’m definitely going to start setting a timer. That’s impressive you were able to post everyday! I try for 3x a week. It can be difficult though. Pinning this!

    1. Thanks Tricia, the timer worked well for me this morning. Hope I can keep it up. My goal is for 4 posts a week since two of mine are linkups, Thursdays and Sundays. Hope you join our Small Victories Sunday linkup, it’s open all week long!

      I agree it’s been difficult for me to maintain consistency but the worst thing I did for my blog was take a break for a couple months. I missed it and then I took a big hit to traffic and readers when I came back. Good luck with your blog and thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love that you are going to continue writing every day – if not actually publishing. I hope to do that as well.

    I signed up for Content Brew (finally) so I’m looking forward to really working on that…but I’m probably going to wait until January to do it.

    1. Glad to hear you signed up for Content Brew, I hope it’s as helpful to you as it was to me! January I will be taking her Pinning Perfect class which I won during the Blogathon Games, I can’t wait to get a better handle on Pinterest since it is driving most of my traffic now.

      So great getting to know you and your blog more this month Tracie! Hope you’ve linked up some posts with our Small Victories Sunday Linkup. It’s open all week and would love to have you join us!

    1. Thanks Jennine, I’m glad it’s behind me but hopefully I can at least keep the writing part going. Thanks for stopping by, always love to hear from you!

  4. A great post, Tanya. Love this. I think you’ve captured a great feel of the experience and think that you’ve made some important points on why writing every day would be a great thing for you – whereas posting every day is not as much your thing.

    Either way I’m glad we had this month to connect more and I think we’ve got a good group going to support one another!

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