Photo by Mel on Unsplash

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

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

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!

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla, and generously SPONSORED BY Bugshield Clothing – Enjoy Outdoors More!

34 Comments

  1. Vasumathi, I have enjoyed your posts during Jan Blogaberry Dazzle. Glad see you in Feb hop too. Blog hops are fun when you get to read new content. Its a great way to expand your circle. I have liked all the comments you posted on my posts. They were very thoughtful.
    The reason you have mentioned in first point about no pushing your publishing towards end is exactly what I do. Once I am free from my writing, I am able to concentrate on other posts and can do justice with them.
    BTW, I liked the font of your blogs. It felt as if I am reading something hand-written.

    1. Thank you Alpana. I have gotten to know many women who share similar thoughts as me through this blog hop. It is nice to be part of such a welcome & inclusive community.
      The font is called Handlee 🙂
      Wanted something new this year…so tried it out for readability.

    2. Thankyou for the pointers. This is my first blog hop and I am so glad to be a part of this. I faced some of the issues you mentioned specially with commenting so this tips have come in handy

  2. Yeah i also like the fonts here hahaha… I just saw Alpana’s comment when i was just thinking that since the beginning of January… And yes im glad this blog challenge opened up new doors for you! Ive seen that you have taken that leap and are participating in other blog hops too! All the best!

  3. Vasumathi I love your post as you write from your heart. I am too new to this blogging world and I think these blog hops are wonderful way to reach more audience and to read great content.

  4. Your post sums up the blog hops..infact the blogging in general. I am someone who procrastinates a lot. I have made many personal calendars and failed to follow them. Bloghops gives me the necessary push. And your tips are helpful in utilising this push to the max.

  5. Vasumati, I really enjoyed your posts during the first season and that gave me a feeling about how orderly you can be about your posts. But making a reckoned to keep track of comments and replies is something that I can never imagine in my wild dreams too. I am not much of a planner, but do things at the earliest. I guess my planners exist only in my mind. As filling up those planners is one task that I really hate. ☺

    1. Thank you Suhasini. I guess this planning became a second nature to me when i was working and handling multiple portfolios. Just so nothing gets missed out & everything is done on time. For a blog i made a very easy one…will be glad to share it with you if you want to try it 🙂

  6. I too have the app so that I can approve the comments, plus I schedule my posts in advance because when I write it just keeps on flowing. Other than that I also agree on a point with Alpana about no pushing your publishing towards the end.

  7. This is actually my first blog train, I am so glad you wrote this because even I faced issues while commenting on other blog posts. Thaks for the pointers. I think I am too going to keep a written rocord of sorts to keep track of all the linkys

  8. I agree Vasu this blog hop helped us to stay connected. Writing is a lonely job and sometimes you need company, I am enjoying the company of amazing co-bloggers like you people. Reading different stories, comments surely gives us a new perspective. I hardly participate in blog hops but this one came via one of my fav people Noor and I signed up 🙂 I am glad I did. I second Alpana, even I liked the font of your blog 🙂

  9. I realize we are on the same line. I love blogging and started back in 2013. But got serious with own website in Oct 2019.
    As a mom of two toddlers and no schools, I find it difficult with writing. And then came along this blog hop! Eager to get back in track, to learn with amazing bloggers.
    Good luck! 😊

  10. Congratulations on your new-found blog continuity through these blog hops. For me last year was my best ever but this year has not been too kind to me healthwise. I enjoyed reading your posts in the January hop. Looking forward to reading more of you this month, Vasumathi. I am a freelance content writer as well. But right now not getting any assignments. If you have any leads [lease gimme a holler.

  11. This is really very well written.,,, and i could so relate to it, Most important to not push the blog post to the end.
    and so true about reading…. my weekend is made reading such blogs

  12. Vasumathi I have loved reading your posts and engaging with you. Not just your posts but even your comments on others posts are engaging. If I am a part of any blog hop I usually try to finish my writing part before the blog hop starts. If there are 4 posts a week I try to finish atleast three before it starts so that once the blog hop has started I can concentrate on reading and engaging on others posts more.

  13. This is my first blog train and I am looking forward to it. I will try to not make mistakes you mentioned. Thanks for penning down this so honestly.

  14. I loved reading your January posts. I also enjoyed this blog train. Rules were not strict or theme based. Maintaining a blog posting schedule is sometimes difficult. It’s good that you have installed wp app I am a big fan of WordPress app. I always edit my posts or approve comments through this app only.

  15. Thank you for these points!! These are helpful for me as I am trying the Feb challenge. The comments for 27 posts are getting a little difficult but I ll get there!

  16. So glad to connect with you, Vasumathi, through Blog Hop; I also got to know more about you through the post. I have learned a lot from Blog hops. In fact, still learning. Undoubtedly, Blog Hops is the best way to be disciplined on the writing and reading part. In 2021, I started maintaining a diary of my weekly, daily work; honestly, it really amazes me to attain all the ticks by the end of the week.

  17. You have shared great tips for participating in a blog hop. I also read the posts a few at a time. This is my first Blogaberry Dazzle and I have read some really good articles.

  18. I truly enjoyed your posts in January. And the thoughtful comments you left on my posts. Like you, the blog challenge has worked great for me too to get back to the habit of regular writing. Reading was never the issue. I love the way you have meticulously laid out how you went about the challenge.

  19. Hi Vasumati, It is so good to read a blog, which begins on a positive note. Positive messages always give encourage you. Writing always help in making you a better person. Wishing you a great year ahead.

  20. Blog challenge always brings new learning and a well planned schedule for your blog. It also gives you change to meet with talented people. I was very happy that I have completed all my task in January and now continuing with February also.

  21. Vasumathi, I must say I really enjoyed reading all your blog posts in January. This Blog Hop has indeed introduced me to a new set of bloggers, with some great thought processes and unique writing styles. You are indeed one of them. Blog hops have also made me more focused and plan the topics to be covered for the month. I am glad that you are participating in February blog hop too. Love to read your wonderful posts!

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Vasumathi

Vasumathi

Blogger, Content Creator, Knowledge Facilitator, Hobby Photographer & Mom To A Naughty Dalmatian.