5 lessons from the A-Z Challenge

The April A-Z Challenge is over, and I completed it! Yay! Yeah, I started late and ended on the first day of May, but overall, I’m pretty proud of myself. Wait brb.

Okay, back now, and, WOAH! So, I just did that thing that Obama did once where a fly flew at me and I def caught it in my hand and smushed it SO I AM A SUPERHERO! I am feeling pretty good about myself at this moment! I mean, I’m basically Obama now, right?

Ahem. Anyways, as I wrote this weekend, I wanted to share my (beware corporate speak) KEY TAKEAWAYS from the experience for my fellow bloggers out there to compare and contrast. These “lessons” are very personal to me, and are in no way meant to tell anyone else how to blog, but in case others are interested I thought I’d put ’em down on virtual paper because I always like reading about others’ blogging and writing processes.

Lesson 1: I’m a planner: In the past, I’ve always had a vague goal of blogging a few times a week. Sometimes I’d accomplish this, and other weeks I’d fail, usually due to procrastination or pure laziness. During this challenge, however, I made a planned commitment to blog pretty much every day for a month, and I set aside a time to do it–around 9 pm every night for the following day’s post. And, guess what? It worked! With the exception of this past Saturday, which was supposed to be Z but got pushed back due to my being in NOLA for JazzFest and then getting a killer cold virus, I didn’t miss a day, and I finished the challenge. So, moving forward, I’m going to commit to posting minimum 2x per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with my planned blog writing time being Monday and Wednesday evenings. Huzzah for planning!

Lesson 2: Less is sometimes more: I felt better about (and got more views on) many of my shorter posts over the course of the challenge–especially humor posts. I’m going to try to keep my posts under 800 words, unless I feel like I need to go in depth on a topic. I can be a rambler in my writing, and since I don’t really edit my blog posts I need to just cut myself off. Lol not every thought I have is gold!

Lesson 3: Personal stories always connect: I love writing humor on my blog, and a lot of readers like it, too, but the post over the course of the month with the most views was the most “serious” one, F is for Fatass. It was hard to write, but it was worth it. I’m not saying my blog is going to become The Sad Sob Stories of Jackie–sometimes I need to write about boobs whether y’all want to read it or not–but issues I deal with like mental illness and body confidence connect with my readers, and are important for me to share, so I will continue to share them.

Lesson 4: Ask and you shall receive: Bloggers are always saying, “If you want people to comment, ask them to do so!” For the longest time I didn’t, but now I do and the frequency with which people comment has increased a ton. YOU WERE RIGHT, OTHER BLOGGERS, OKAY?

Lesson 5: Fun and engagement are the goal: Throughout the challenge, there were several times I started posts and deleted before publishing because I didn’t have fun writing them, or didn’t feel engaged while writing. I’m glad that I did this, because if I don’t like writing a 500 word post at all, or am not interested in it, then why the fuck would you want to read it? For instance, I’m liking writing this blog advice shizzle right now because I think it is useful and sort of funny, so I’m gonna keep typing away. If a topic doesn’t engage me, I won’t force it. It’s not like I’m gettin’ paid for this, so I’m NINE YEARS OLD I DO WHAT I WANT, ya know? So, have fun out there!

 

Anyone else participate in the challenge? What were your takeaways? Did you have fun? I had a blast 🙂 Lmk what you think in the comments! ❤

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