I honestly don’t remember how I stumbled upon Sarah Arrow’s 30 Day Business Blogging Challenge.

I am not even a business blogger but blog reasonably often covering both – work-related (www.customerdark.wordpress.com) and personal (www.tectonicshifts.wordpress.com). Writing (according to my arrogant self and BEFORE the challenge) was not a problem I thought. It was just a matter of getting down to it. I admit also, that when I started, I was quite sure that I would NOT finish the challenge in the stipulated 30 consecutive days. I knew that things would come in my way and I’d drop the ball somewhere. Still I was determined to do it. Oh… and did I mention that I have a full-time 9 and a half hours job with an average of a 3-hour commute? How possible was it that I’d manage this?

But today is DAY 30 and I’ve done it!!!

If there was a before and after picture I’d put it here but all I have is a before and after blog. And what I’d like to do here is put my learnings in Groups of Three!

THREE THINGS I LEARNT

  1. WordPress – I had failed miserably at setting up a WordPress blog earlier. This time I set up a new blog and armed with the knowledge that I could turn to Sarah or the Group for help, I set up my blog and now am managing it fairly well. And I am thrilled. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. The Zero to Blogger – 30 day blogging challenge book helped with this too.
  2. Perfection I learnt that I needed to let go of perfection and being out there was more important. This is something Sarah wrote in her very first ‘hard talk’ mail. But you know how it is when you think you can do it all. I know I would have stumbled if I had not let this go
  3. Focus – I learnt to focus, focus and focus. Nothing makes you focus and get things done like a deadline and this did it. It also let me know that if I focused the work got done faster (Duh-uh)

THREE THINGS I COULDN’T HAVE DONE ON MY OWN (THANKS SARAH!)

  1. I used tools that I never used before. I used Canva which I had downloaded earlier and not bothered with. Sarah’s encouraging mails made it more approachable. And now it’s (suddenly) so easy to use.
  2. I learnt to use and acknowledge links in my posts, create curated posts, and while I did get lost one day in trying to do too much, I stopped in time. But I do know I can go back to do it if I wanted to.
  3. I learnt to put things in a content calendar. Being a writer, I am never short of topics to write on, but being a writer sometimes comes in your way. A content calendar empowers you. You know you can fall back on it anytime.

THREE THINGS I WILL CONTINUE DOING

  1. I can already see the results in the numbers. Although I am not really selling anything I’ve got reasonable traction on my blog. But more important, I know I have to keep at it. Maybe not every day but at least 3-5 times a week.
  2. I will continue being part of the Blogging Group – there is so much learning here – from Sarah and Kevin and also the other bloggers. It’s a lovely community and it’s great to be part of it.
  3. I will continue to read other blogs – I haven’t had time since I was constantly rushing to meet my own deadline. Now I want to engage more. Comment more. Learn more.

I DID IT! Or did I? 

Finally I want to say that I am so happy I took the challenge and completed it. But I can take only 50% of the credit. I think the Challenge is extremely well designed; it’s beautifully paced and thoughtfully arranged so as to encourage you to keep going but not be overbearing. There’s always a helping hand and there’s always a suggestion and yet you are on your own. It has been the key reason why I could complete it. And I’d recommend this to anyone who is even remotely thinking of writing/blogging or starting a business.

Thanks Sarah and Kevin. I am glad I ‘followed the Arrows’!

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