Although I love vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, it didn’t feel right to end the month-long WordCount Blogathon challenge without a post that sums up the experience – and the benefits – that come with blogging every day. (A big thank you to Michelle Rafter from WordCount and Jan Udlock from Imperfect Mom for organizing another successful and fun challenge!)
Other than the Blogathon, the other blogging challenge I’ve heard of is the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April, but I’m sure there are many others out there. If you’re on the fence about joining a challenge, here are four reasons to participate (and benefits that come with participation) to sway you:
1. The chance your posts will be picked up by other media. I’m extremely grateful to The Baltimore Sun, which featured two of my posts – “How to make an herb planter box” and “Presentation’s role in the school lunch battle” – on their home page this month. This brought in new readers, increased my stats, and just plain made my day.
2. The opportunity to meet new blogging friends. This month I loved reading Sheila Callahan’s personal essays on Help! I’m Blogging and Barb Freda’s reflections on food on Babette Feasts. Abra Alani from The Magical Miss takes beautiful photographs that were an inspiration to look at every day. Lisa Carter from Intralingo introduced me to the fascinating life of a literary translator (have you ever thought about what’s involved in translating TV scripts?). Then there’s the bloggers I wrote about in earlier posts, both those who write about topics other than food and those who wrote about their “second acts.” I would have never found any of them if not for the Blogathon.
3. The prospect of gaining new enthusiasm for blogging. This is my third year participating in the Blogathon, and the challenge came much more easily to me this year. I’m proud of my posts. I think I’m starting to find my voice. And I’ve gained new enthusiasm for blogging after taking several months off. I’m hoping to ride this energy into a regular weekly blogging schedule.
4. The chance to increase work and life productivity. This benefit may be more applicable to freelancers, but having a daily deadline and a group that I felt accountable to brought benefits that bled into other areas of my life. Turning in an assignment always gives me confidence, and a Blogthon or other blogging challenge essentially means you’re turning in an assignment – and accomplishing something – every day. This made me feel more productive in my work and in my life.
What benefits does blogging bring you? Have you ever done a blogging challenge? What did you get out of it?