Is it the end of January already? Time flies when you’re mastering the blogosphere, and Zero to Hero has come to an end. We hope it was a positive experience — personally, we laughed, we cried, we thought it was better than Cats.
Today, we’re handing out kudos, taking stock of where we are, and helping you figure out what comes next, so each new month can be better than the last.
Am I a hero now?
You already were; you’ve always been heroes to us. (Cue sappy music.)
Next week, we’ll post a rundown of everything you accomplished this month. Here’s a tease: Zero to Hero participants published a total of 16,000 posts this month. That’s 5,000% more posts than a random sample of 5,000 non-Zero to Hero bloggers — not too shabby.
As for your blogs, they’re doing great! Your blogs are looking good, reading great, and you’ve made connections with lots of other bloggers. You’ve started developing good blogging habits like reaching out to others, taking advantage of all the tools your blogs have, exploring many avenues of inspiration, using social networks, and more.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: most new bloggers don’t even post in their first month, let alone post an average of 11 times (as you all have) while amassing readers, followers, and commenters. It warms the cockles of our bloggers’ hearts — we hope you appreciate what a great job you’ve been doing.
So, it just ends?
Sort of, yes; you knew it would. Here’s what happens now:
First, the main Zero to Hero page will remain accessible through the end of February, so you can refer back to any of the tasks and resources (or finish up, if you started the challenge mid-month).
Second, we’ll open new forum threads through February 5th for those who need a bit more time, and will continue closing the existing threads as they get older.
Third, you’ll be getting a survey at the email address you provided when you signed up way back on January 1st. We’d love it if you took a minute to respond to three quick questions about your experience. There will also be a link to a longer questionnaire (think 10 minutes) — if you’d like to give more detailed feedback, we’d love to hear it. If you never signed up, the form is still open.
Finally, we’ll be working on making the next version of Zero to Hero even better, as well as exploring ways to integrate it into the new-blogger experience. We’ll also explore booster challenges and other, focused courses. Blogging 201? Photoblogging basics? Honing your writing? Exploring CSS? All possibilities — so make sure you share your feedback and wish list.
What do I do now?
What happens when noon tomorrow rolls around and there’s no new task? You smile a rueful smile, glance wistfully at your Zero to Hero badge, and forge ahead into the wide world of blogging. But if you still want some tips and guidance, we have a few ideas for you. (Don’t we always?) There are still lots of resources for you on WordPress.com:
- Jump into the Community Pool. We have a support and feedback thread here every Sunday called the Community Pool — it opens at noon EST (17:00 GMT). It’s filled with bloggers who take the time to review your work and offer thoughtful, respectful feedback, and it’s a great place to get and give support.
- Keep using the forums. Our daily forum threads have been in the Ideas subforum, and you’re more than welcome to continue posting there; it’s meant as a place to share WordPress.com-related ideas and talk blogging shop.
- Use the support documents. There will be more things you’ll want to figure how to do with your blog. The support documents are chock full of clear explanations of every feature WordPress.com has to offer. We also publish lots of tips and tutorials here, but the support documents should be your first step.
- Set a posting goal for yourself. On your account settings page, you can set a weekly posting goal. We’ll send you weekly emails with tools and inspiration, like great posts from other bloggers to get you motivated, writing prompts to push you past writers’ block, and tips for making the most of WordPress.com. We’ll congratulate you when you’ve met your goals, and give you a gentle nudge if you’re falling off the pace.
- Check out one of our ebooks. The editors of The Daily Post have put together 365 Writing Prompts and Traffic and Growth ebooks. They’re free to download, and you can work through them at your own pace.
- Visit us here at The Daily Post. Along with writing prompts and challenges, we’re here to help you hone your storytelling ability, take better photos, build your audience, and do whatever it takes to meet your blogging goals.
There are also lots of resources on the wider web:
- Writing challenges like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) can help you keep your blogging chops primed. Although the main NaBloPoMo takes place in November, there are monthly events — if you really need a new challenge right away, you can start tomorrow.
- Sites like Scribophile offer another place to connect with writers and get great feedback on your work, or you can look for a bloggers’ group here. For the photo-oriented, platforms like Flickr and Instagram have groups focused on all kinds of photo niches, where you can interact with and learn from other shutterbugs.
- Many individual bloggers host challenges on their sites, as we saw on Day 22. They’re an excellent way to stay motivated to post, build your readership, and make real connections with people.
Congrats again, and thank you. Really.
We’ve had a lot of fun doing Zero to Hero, and we learned a ton from you. You inspire and motivate us, and we can’t wait to see where your blogs go. Thank you.
Now get out of here and enjoy your weekends! What? We’re not crying; we just having something in our collective eyes.