Are you excited by that title? I know I am! Welcome to the official Blogging Breakthrough Challenge. Yep, starting on January 4th we’ll be going through a challenge to help push you out of your comfort zone and get a real breakthrough with your blog.
You heard right. For 28 days we’re going to be doing some game-changing tasks to get your blog ready for a brand new year and take it to the next level. I’ve been planning this challenge ever since 2015 started. It’s easy to just coast along, doing the same things for our blogs all the time. So I’m saying, why not switch it up a bit?
But this challenge is different. These tasks won’t take you hours or days. It’s all about working smarter, not harder. You know High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - where you do a lot of work in a shorter amount of time? That’s what this is going to be like.
So really, there’s only one thing I need from you. A maximum of 30 minutes each day, for 28 days to complete this challenge
WHO IS THIS FOR?
You. All of you. If you’ve not started a blog yet, this can be your launch checklist. If you’re a beginner, these are great things to tick off as you’re starting out. And if you’ve been blogging for 6 months or 6 years, this is for you too.
If you’ve never taken part in a challenge before or you’re thinking you want to reach the next step with your blog, the #BloggingBreakthroughChallenge is for you.
If you feel stuck, uninspired, unmotivated or you’ve simply lost your blogging mojo, this is for you. And hey, I’ll be doing it with you. So we can be accountability partners too.
OK, I'M INTERESTED. TELL ME MORE...
The challenge will start on Monday 4th January with Day 1 and will end on Sunday 31st January. Every day during that time, there’ll be a new post up on ABOH with the next task in the challenge. We’ll be covering everything - small things that make a big difference.
You can choose to start the challenge with me on the 4th. Or you can pick it up and start it whenever you want. That’s the beauty of it. There’s no set way to do it. You don’t even have to do it over 28 days. You could do one task a week if you wanted to. It’s all about doing it at the pace that works for you.
But this is doable. If you’ve got a full-time job, a house to look after, a family - this is doable. And it’ll make a difference.
So, to get your mind rolling, here’s a quick overview of what we’ll be looking at on each day of the challenge.
Day 1: Look at where you are with your blog right now
We can’t get a breakthrough with our blogs unless we look at what we’re already doing. The first day is perfect to take some time and reflect on your current situation. We’ll be looking at how you’ve been feeling about your blog over the past year.
We’ll also be setting up a spreadsheet to help you track your progress during 2016. I don’t believe in obsessing over numbers, but in order to get a breakthrough, they’re important to keep track of. I’ll be helping you to pick out a few things from Google Analytics for you to keep an eye on.
Day 2: Run a survey
We’ll be signing up to Typeform, SurveyMonkey, or whatever your platform of choice is and launching a reader survey for a month. Reader feedback is crucial. If you’ve already done a survey like me, that's OK. We’ll also be going through what you can do with your results.
Day 3: Set an end of year goal
Or set more than one. This is where you’ll be looking at what you want to achieve with your blog over the next 12 months to get the breakthrough you deserve.
Day 4: Plan your editorial calendar
Here, we’ll be looking at planning your content calendar for the next month or two. You’ll be deciding what categories you want to blog about and also reviewing your publishing schedule.
Day 5: Introduce something new
This could be a new category, a new series or a new form of content like video. We’ll be thinking outside the box on day 5 - it’s one of the most important days of the challenge.
Day 6: Write your brand statement
Don’t let the words scare you. This won’t take you as long as you think. I’ll be taking you through an exercise I did with some final year Journalism students which turned out to be a real game-changer for them.
Day 7: Organise everything
I know it’s a daunting task. But if you get everything in a certain place it’ll make your life a whole lot easier. Having dedicated places on your computer for all your blog-related items will save you so much time. On day 7 we’ll be talking about how you can do this and get it done quickly.
Day 8: Write a list
You’re going to write two lists. A master list, which will include absolutely everything you’ve got to do, and your list for each week. I’ll explain why there’s two lists when we get to this task.
Day 9: Develop a diary/calendar system that you’ll use
I hate to break it to you, but having sticky notes plastered around your desk isn't a system. On day 9, I’ll be sharing with you the system I use for my blog and helping you create one that works best for you.
Day 10: Create a space at home purely for blog work
You’ll get more work done and achieve more if you’ve got a dedicated place to work on your blog. This is when we’ll be figuring out where this space is and how to create it.
Day 11: Stop writing about things that don’t inspire you and write about things that do
We’re getting towards halfway through the challenge and it’s time for a pep talk. Here, we’ll be talking about how getting a real breakthrough with your blog starts and ends with you.
Day 12: Publish content everyday for a week
You’re going to highlight a week in your diary where you’re going to publish a blog post everyday for a week. It could be next week, it could be during summer. The point is, you’re giving it a go.
If you already publish content everyday, don’t worry - there’ll be an extra task on day 12 for you.
Day 13: Find your image style
You’re going to research and experiment. This task is going to be about taking inspiration and creating your own style.
Day 14: Tidy up your website & sidebar
I'm going to be taking you through the process that I go through when it comes to tidying up my website. This is such an important thing to do as a blogger and can make a real difference to your online presence.
Day 15: Tidy up your social media channels
Day 15 is going to be exactly the same. I’ll be taking you through my own process to make sure your social media platforms are all completely up to date.
Day 16: Edit your about page & update profile pics
It’s good to update your profile image at least once a year. The start of a new year is the perfect time to do it. We’ll also be looking at editing your about page to get it ready for a brand new year of blogging.
Day 17: Find your optimal posting times for social media
I’ll be taking you through a ten minute task where you’ll be able to create a posting schedule for social media based on the times when your audience is most active. Genius, right?
Day 18: Develop a social media plan
Social media plays a huge part in getting a breakthrough with your blog. We’re going to be looking at creating a proper plan and being more intentional with your social channels.
Day 19: Create some Twitter lists
On day 19, we’re staying with social media. I'm going to be giving you some tips on how you can create Twitter lists to stay up to date with everyone in your audience and industry.
Day 20: Get on Snapchat
I don’t usually tell you what to do on this blog, but when it comes to Snapchat I will! We’re going to be looking at why this platform is so great and how you can use it.
Day 21: Follow and interact with five new people on Twitter/Instagram
I want this to become a weekly task for you, friend. Day 21 is all about spreading the love and showing support.
Day 22: Try Periscope
All we’re going to do is try it. I'm going to tell you exactly what you can talk about and you can go for it. If you don’t enjoy it, that’s fine! But you’ll never know unless you try.
Day 23: Start a mailing list
If you haven’t already, we’re going to be talking about why email lists are so important to get a breakthrough with your blog, how to start one and what to send to your VIPs.
Day 24: Reach out to other bloggers about guest posting
Guest posting can really give you a big boost when it comes to growing your online presence and community. We’re going to be looking at everything to do with guest posting, including who to reach out to and how to do it.
Day 25: Buy a book
This could be a blogging book, an inspirational book, a self-help book - whatever you feel is going to help you during this year. On day 25, you’ll be getting some recommendations so you can take your pick.
Day 26: Have a content inspiration session
This is when you’re going to set your timer for 30 minutes and write down as many different ideas for content as you can. We’re going to set you up with a big sheet of paper before you get going and then you’re going to let your mind wander.
Day 27: Take a break
On the penultimate day of the challenge you’re going to take a break, but still do something creative. It could be baking, reading, writing in your journal - do something for you.
Day 28: Put it all into action
The final day of the challenge is when we’re going to take all of these tasks and kick start your blog for the rest of the year!
So there you have it, a review of the 28-day challenge. I’m telling you about it now to get your mind rolling and to give you time to prepare. But I really can’t wait to get going with this in the new year.
Are you ready for the #BloggingBreakthroughChallenge? Use the hashtag and mention me on Twitter and Instagram as you go through each day and remember to check back here every day from January 4th to see each task. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to achieve!
Do you want to take on this challenge with me? Tell me in the comments. Let's do this!
P.S I'd also really love it if any of you reading this wanted to pick a day and write a guest post for the challenge. If you're interested, leave a comment or hit me up on social media!
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