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A New Year & A New Experience In My Journey As A Blogger!
This year got off to a good start for me in terms of writing, creativity, and doing something new. One of the new things that I tried was to sign up for a blog train challenge – the #BlogaberryDazzle Season 1. This was my first ever blog train and I had quite a bit of fun participating.
I have been freelancing as a content creator for the last 8 years. Though I had been penning down my thoughts, my journey of posting blogs started much later when tragedy struck. Unable to give voice to my feelings, I found an outlet in my writing and shared it for the first time in 2018 through my post “Forever In My Heart”. Though I wrote regularly on what I was passionate about, I posted only a few that I felt would connect with people. I signed up for the Blogaberry Dazzle challenge out of curiosity. The experience has left me enriched.
Photo by Alysha Rosly on Unsplash
Earlier, my blog posts were sporadic and followed no particular schedule. Since I am a content creator and also teach as a guest faculty, most of my time is taken up by writing for my work. This blog train ensured that I followed a calendar of sorts and posted once a week at least. Now hopefully I will keep up the momentum and share more stories about things that make me tick.
It was also a great opportunity to virtually connect with other bloggers. Some of them have been blogging for a few years now and it was great reading all the posts. The topics were an interesting mix as well – covering fiction, poetry, politics, parenting, food, mental health, books, and blogging tips. Apart from the posts themselves, the comments too offered new perspectives in some cases and provided food for thought.
Of course, since this was my first blog, I was nervous and unsure if I would be able to do justice to the schedule of posting and reading. Being a compulsive stickler for rules, I checked and rechecked if my responses were reflecting or not as I faced a few system errors while posting. By the second week, I found a method to my madness, and taking a cue from my previous corporate life I created a check sheet of sorts and was more relaxed after that. Sharing my learnings from the experience.
- I try to upload my blog post at the beginning of the party instead of pushing it till the last day. This helped me articulate my thoughts well instead of writing in a rush to meet the deadline. Also, I was able to read through my own post and make minor corrections. I practice this while writing for clients, so that helped me.
- I also tried to start reading the other posts when the linky opened. I read about 7-8 posts per day so that I was able to do justice to the other bloggers and not overcrowd my thoughts.
- I got a lot of errors the first week when submitting my reactions to the post. Some of this could have been due to server/system errors. However, some I realized were self-created when I posted too many comments in a short time. So the last day was a little stressful to ensure that all responses were received. From the second week, I made sure my log-ins were in place and that my responses were split through the day. I noticed fewer submission errors.
- Also, I made a simple reckoner which helped me keep track of which posts gave me an error or where my responses were not showing, or if they were awaiting moderation.
- I added another column to the same reckoner which helped me track the responses of other bloggers on my posts as well. Since one of the key requirements of this blog train was to respond to all posts, I reached out to other bloggers whose responses I wasn’t able to see even after confirmations from them (I am sure some of you are smiling or nodding at this sentence J ). The intention was to help other bloggers achieve this key requirement in case there was a system error or genuine oversight.
- I also downloaded the WordPress app on my mobile. This helped me approve responses of other bloggers that were awaiting moderation, on time & on the move. The idea was to confirm to the other bloggers that their responses were received.
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I would love to hear of any best practices you follow for blog trains, blog challenges or to simply track task completion and to stay on top of assignments. Do write to me and share what works for you.
This #BlogaberryDazzle blog train has opened new doors of interaction and collaboration with like-minded bloggers and I have gotten to read some seriously good content. Though an avid reader, I have been sitting on the fence w.r.t a few reading lists – some of the posts have inspired me to take the leap and make a decision. I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Cindy & Noor for hosting us – this blog train will always be close to my heart as this was my first!