When did you first hear about blogging’s benefits for a small business or marketing agency? Chances are, it was months or years ago. And what have you done since then? Asked a more junior staff member to do the blogging with limited success, maybe you’re blogging once every couple of months, or—worst of all—you’ve only written the cursed, standalone post entitled “Hello, blogging world”? It’s time for a blog challenge.
Or, maybe you still don’t know how blogging can serve as one of your most effective marketing channels. Let’s change that. Use this resource to help get a blog set up if you still need to get started. (Spoiler: It’s also got loads of compelling reasons why blogging will benefit your company.)
Blog Challenge Ideas
If either of these applies to you, then this series is for you. This ain’t no crash course, no 10-day cleanse. Face the facts: there’s no magic bullet to successful, organic marketing. But there are proven methods to get there with a heaping serving of discipline that are cost-effective and multiple ROI. One of those is blogging.
This challenge is for establishing a healthy habit of blogging by accomplishing realistic, sustainable goals every month. Building your blogging strategy from the ground up—starting with Google Analytics, a master list of brilliant blog ideas, editorial calendar, guest blogging, all the way to the granular writing of a few posts per month—each and every piece is needed to complete a well-executed, scalable content strategy.
Plus, even if you do write one post, it takes more than just one to get rocking on content marketing. Much like any habit, it takes discipline and a serious, consistent time investment to see results. Consider this challenge the righteous way to your all-around blogging wellness.
This is the first blog post of 12 (yes, 12) in our series on “How To Start A Blog: 12 Months To Blogging Success”.
(Why a challenge? Well, we love a good challenge. Join in!)
Enough rambling. Let’s get to it. Buckle up and hop in—here are your to-dos for month 1.
1. Get Google Analytics set up. Record baseline measurements.
Nothing too fancy, okay? We’re just starting with the basics. What’s a year of work going to do if you have nothing to compare it to? Consider this your initial weigh-in to check in on your blogging wellness.
Go to Google Analytics > Audience > Overview. Save the information on this screen.
2. Bookmark free stock photography sites.
It may be news to you that you can’t just pull images straight from Google. Here’s why.
Luckily, there are plenty of free stock photography sites for folks like you just getting started cultivating an online presence with shoestring budgets. I offer a couple to get you started, though this is just the tip of the iceberg:
- 53+ Free Image Sources for Your Blog & Social Media Posts (Buffer)
- Canva‘s great for whipping together easy images with design in mind
Save ’em to grab easily later.
3. Write one blog post. Then, publish it on your blog.
This may be the hardest task for the month, but truly, do not make a mountain out of this molehill. Write on something you know well, or something you just researched. Make sure it’s at least 250 words in length.
It doesn’t have to be composition gold. You’re not applying to a job or writing a thesis for a doctorate degree. Think of this post a momentum-starter. Heck, write about taking this challenge and what goals or reservations you have. That would be a good place to start.
The point is to start small. And start small we shall.
4. Brainstorm 10 future blog topics.
We at Verblio (formerly BlogMutt) had a really tough time coming up with enough topics to keep our blog humming in the beginning. It happens to everyone. But as soon as we started recording every little blog post idea that popped into our heads in one place, it immediately lifted that burden and got us collectively that much closer to publish.
Establish a list for yourself and crank out 10 ideas of your own this month as a start.
Who cares if they’re crap.
Don’t lose this momentum! Keep at it. See you next month for the second installment of the blog challenge.
(Want a preview of the rest of the months? Or just a printable checklist to keep you honest? Download or print the full guide here.)