How To Start A Blog Challenge, Month #12: Welcome To The Beginning

The final month!

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…Not so fast.

Ahem. Need I remind you of our objectives when we started this how to start a blog challenge 12 short months ago?

  • There’s no magic bullet to successful, organic marketing. But disciplined, valuable, regular blogging is about as close as we can get.
  • Plus, blogging is both cost-effective and multiplies ROI. How many marketing methods boast that?
  • Knowing how effective blogging is and easy on the pocketbook (another component of marketing), establishing a new habit, especially one that’s so good for you, is tough and takes consistent time to develop. (Thus, here we have a challenge lasting 12 months.)
  • How did we set out to establish this new habit? By laying the groundwork for AND accomplishing realistic, sustainable goals every month.
  • Along the way, month by month, you’ve learned blogging best practices and moved incrementally toward your long-term goal of blogging effectively.

You’ve come a long way, baby. Consider this your graduation from Blogging 101 (a course I just conceptualized). Does that make me a teacher? Professor? Not important.

Here’s what you, oh talented blogging student, have accomplished over the course of 12 months:

  • You’ve written and published multiple blog posts each month and have found an effective way to delegate the writing of those posts
  • You’ve begun tracking your blogging (and know now that marketing rooted in data and analytics is healthy marketing)
  • You’ve started, built, and refined a sizable list of blogging ideas
  • You’ve organized your blog posting strategy with an editorial calendar
  • You’ve begun researching and understanding the value of keywords in SEO and have invested in a tool to assist
  • You’ve incorporated calls-to-action into your blog posts to drive reader action during or after reading your posts
  • You’ve shopped around for guest blogging opportunities and learned how essential they are for external link-building, improving the domain authority of your site/blog, and widening your reach
  • Perhaps you’ve also learned the value of outsourcing those posts to BlogMutt and the time wins you get back as a result

But Blogging 101 is merely a foundational course. Without building upon it and exploring what blogging means for your industry specifically and how to best position yourself in a progressively crowded content landscape, you have plenty more work on your hands. With these in mind, you’ll well know that this 12-month journey is only the beginning to fruitful, consistent blogging as a necessary, meaningful prong of your company’s overall marketing plan.

But before you embark on post-Blogging-101-grad life, we have one more month to get it right. Let’s dive into this last, critical set of to-dos.

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1. Review baseline measurements and inform your plan for next year.

Remember back in Month #1, when we talked about getting Google Analytics set up for review later? That day is finally here.

Check out what you recorded a year ago and record updated numbers for those metrics in a separate column/row. And if you haven’t yet read and put what BlogMutt recommends for blog metrics to track into action, I highly recommend clicking this CTA below to remedy that… 😉

Start to discern trends or gaps in what you’ve been tracking, and make a plan to record at least monthly or quarterly metrics for the blog to assess these at regular intervals.

To further organize topics for the upcoming year, download BlogMutt’s latest version of an annual editorial calendar. And with that, you’ll be set.

2. Write the last 8 posts of the year.

Back in the very first hours of your blog, do you remember how daunting it was to write a blog post?

How long does it take you to write one now? Hopefully much less time.

However, if you still toil over the early drafting phases of a post and need guidance on how to write a blog post most effectively, check out this post: BlogMutt’s Advanced Guide To Writing A Blog Post.

Write some, outsource some. Now doesn’t that feel good? You’re handling it.

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3. Migrate your list of blogging ideas if needed, ask for input.

At least once a year, be sure to ask your company, customers, family members (yes, everyone, not necessarily just those that contribute to the blog), or blog or social media subscribers what posts would be valuable to them for you to cover in your blog content. It’s a super valuable feedback loop to get this objective input at regular intervals. Trust me.

Plop those ideas into your list and migrate it to your new editorial calendar doc, or just keep your running list in one place. Up to you.

I’ll leave you with the quote we started with, because it’s as important a reminder going forward at it was at the beginning, newborn blog stages.

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” -Mark Twain

Keep it near and dear and let it propel your blogging efforts. It’s shockingly easy to slide down the slippery slope to making perfection the baseline standard, when it should be the enemy of your productivity and progress. (By the way, this is a tenet of successful blogging I have to continually remind myself of too, almost two and half years into blogging regularly. It never quite goes away.)

And this wouldn’t be an effective blog post without a call to action, so be sure to subscribe to our blog to keep up on the latest news in content marketing, more than enough blog post/content ideas to keep your editorial calendar fat and happy for months to come, and any other updates on best practices and life at BlogMutt.

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Congratulations on completing Blogging 101! Excited to hear more questions you have and share other blogging tips you might need to continue your already successful blogging journey.

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Reach out to me at kali[at]blogmutt.com if you have questions for me or other blogging tips that work great for you—I’d love to connect. 🙂

(Want a review of all 12 months to guide your next year? Download or print the full guide here.)

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Kali Greff

I write and market (yes, verb) at Verblio. Whether that's a blog post, email subject line, social media update, or a lousy author bio like this one, if you've been around Verblio you've likely seen some letters I threw together. I love helping get the word out about Verblio to get all sorts of folks good content to market themselves. Apart from Verblio, I'm really passionate about puns, foreign languages, Colorado at large, staying active, and leprechauns.

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