I’m going to be completely honest; I did not enjoy participating in Blogtober. There, I said it. I went into it knowing it would be challenging and that I would have the added complication of international travel with toddlers. What I hadn’t anticipated was how many unforeseen factors would conspire against me or how hard it would be some days to find the inspiration (or the motivation) to write. There’s literally nothing worse than needing to put words down and having none to offer because of mental and physical exhaustion.
My posts felt rushed, I wasn’t thrilled about the writing, and there was little time left to promote content. It became very arduous to keep the challenge going not long after the month began. That was extremely disheartening. I really wanted it to go differently, but if life has taught me anything, it’s that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
“The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew.” – To a Mouse, Robert Burns
In looking back at the stats from the month, I have to admit that it wasn’t all bad. While I was far off from publishing 31 posts in October, it was far more than anything I had done since beginning this endeavor almost four months ago – and I saw the difference when it came to Likes and Views. Not being able to devote adequate time to promoting content and engaging with the content of others did have an impact on the number of Comments and Unique Visits the site received. You win some, you lose some, amirite?
This exercise also validated some of what I had been reading about how long blog posts should be. Many bloggers, like Blog Tyrant, clearly favor longer content even though there were some great arguments about the value that shorter content can offer. What’s the upshot? It all depends on what you wish to achieve, who you’re trying to reach and what you have to say – as Search Engine Journal expertly explains. What I learned through this Blogtober Challenge was that my longer blog content was more successful in eliciting comments than the shorter posts, which garnered more likes and kept people on the page longer. In reality, four months may not be long enough to form a strong opinion.
I mused in my Day 8 post about what I may learn from taking on the Blogtober Challenge. My obvious lesson; keep the content coming thoughtfully, but be sure to balance it with promotion (both on and off social media) and engagement with the audience I want to attract.
Are you trying to strike the right balance between content creation and promotion? How have you worked it out for your blog?