1) Why did you start the Post a Day/Week Challenge?
- I started the Post A Day Challenge because at the end of the year 2010 I was at an extremely low point in my life and I desperately needed something to give me a purpose. I thought that a daily commitment such as producing a blog post would be challenging enough to make me want to get out of bed without being too taxing and would hurt me (my health was delicate at that point to say the least)
2) Describe the state of your blog at the time you started the challenge.
- Threadbare! I had only ever posted on my blog occasionally and it was usually to have a whinge and a moan so it wasn’t particularly audience friendly.
3) How did your blog evolve over the course of the challenge?
- When I set out on the challenge I purposely did not turn it into a journal of my own pain so I had a challenge-within-a-challenge of finding material that didn’t include anything of my own health problems. I tried to compose articles that would be entertaining and a bit educational as well as perhaps thought-provoking and occasionally challenging. Over the course of the year my articles have started to include a little bit more personal stuff and I have said a few things about my health problems. More recently, as my life has begun to evolve so too has the content of the personal stuff.
4) Did you post as often as you had hoped? Why or why not?
- I certainly did!! I am so proud of myself for not only meeting the postaday challenge EVERY SINGLE DAY this year but also posting two or more articles on some days as well. When I went away on holiday in the summer I scheduled a series of posts to go (no mean feat getting all those ready!) and I even managed to blog every day the week I was hospitalised in June.
5) What type of blogging strategy works best for you?
- I don’t think I have a strategy as such, but the way I do it is to have a hand in a couple of memes – not too many because it gets boring for my readers – and mix it in with the odd “today in history” post and personal things that are going on. I try to blog by teatime each day and you can usually tell at what time of day I produce a post because of the length of it and the detail included in it. The longer it is the earlier in the day I did it. Transparent much!
6) If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently?
- Nothing. It has been a journey of discovery and how can you do it differently and still learn the things you have learned?
7) What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?
- Never breaking the challenge, and striking up so many online friendships with people all over the world.
8) Name 3 great blogs you discovered through the challenge.
- Joyce’s From This Side of the Pond
- Five Little Halos
- Simple Woman’s Daybook
9) What surprised you about the challenge?
- How much positivity I have gained from it and how much I have learned.
10) What advice would you give to others who want to blog regularly?
- Be on the constant lookout for ideas for posts and even though you can’t always write them up straight away, bear ideas in mind for later
- Set up a timetable – eg, Saturday is going to a personal post, Sunday a religious one, Monday will be a blog-hop, Tuesday will be a comment on something in the news etc.
- Keep a couple of spares up your sleeve for those days when time is short or when ideas are sparse.
- Share positive thoughts or a photograph if the words don’t come
- Read other people’s blogs and leave comments. It will generate interest in your own blog which gives you the encouragement to keep posting
- Don’t be scared of self-publicising your blog. Feedback is a wonderful drug and you will get ideas for more posts from what people say back to you on Facebook or Twitter.
11) What are your blogging goals for 2012?
- I have really enjoyed being involved with a couple of memes this year and I would like to set up my own. Not to rival any of the memes out there already but by finding my own niche and widening my circle of online friends.
- I want to let the world know more about Great Britain and Manchester in particular. The vast majority of blogs are from the US and there’s a danger of all blogs becoming flavoured with the same stuff – turns of phrases, expressions, language, topics, views, opinions etc – and I want to work on making my own blog more English.
- Blogging every day has been a wonderful experience – sometimes easy, sometimes hard, sometimes impossible and sometimes it has been the last thing on my mind – but I want to keep the momentum going in 2012.