Blogging 101: Success Over the Next 30

You did it! On your last day, plan for success over the next 30 — and give your co-bloggers some pats on the back for a job well done.

Welcome to Blogging U! This course isn't currently active, but you can learn more about what we offer and register for upcoming courses on the BU home page.

What a month! You’ve created your blog from the ground up: personalized it, built a growing network, and published posts and pages.  Today’s our last day, so let’s make sure you’re in great shape for the next 30 days! A little planning now goes a long way toward keeping the momentum up.

Today’s assignment: sketch out an editorial calendar to cover your next 30 days of blogging (or just set a few goals), then visit and congratulate five other Blogging 101 bloggers.

Why?

  • Your blog is a work in progress, and having a sense of where you’d like to take it will keep you motivated and focused.
  • Everyone likes acknowledgement of a job well done.

For many of us, blogging is a way to express ourselves and interact with others during our free time. The idea of setting deadlines and making plans can put off those of us who do it for the sheer fun, but the great thing about editorial calendars is that they can be as rigorous or elastic as you see fit. A calendar — even a loose one — gives you a foundation from which you can add and subtract posts rather than constantly asking, “What should I write about today?”

Something as simple as “publish a post every other Tuesday” is a calendar of sorts; making any pact with yourself is a huge step beyond the “whatever, whenever” of having no plan whatsoever. When you mix regular posts (like your new feature) with spontaneous, off-the-cuff material, you create a dynamic, engaging blog.

If you write it, send me a link — I love Korean BBQ.

A calendar also lets you make smart decisions about the mix and the timing of your posts. Busy week? Schedule posts that are shorter or easier to write. More free time? Dive into that essay on the history of Korean BBQ you’ve been meaning to start.

Based on this month, how frequently do you think you can publish? What topics do you want to address, and in what order? Write up an informal outline for yourself, and use it to keep you on track. Consider asking your readers what they’d like to hear more about, and use that feedback to sketch out your editorial notes.

A few guidelines as you think this through:

  • Be realistic. it’s better to schedule two posts a month you know you can publish than a daily post you’ll miss six days out of seven.
  • Budget for interaction. Remember that publishing is only part of blogging — make sure you leave yourself time to engage with the community.
  • Write it down. if it’s only in your head, it’s not really a calendar. Use your phone’s calendar, a note-taking app, or pen and paper. Having written notes helps you stay on track and measure your progress

If a calendar doesn’t feel right for you, set a goal or two for your next month instead. What do you want to accomplish next: publish twice a week? Double your follower count? Get feedback on your poetry? Finish a piece of long fiction? Learn CSS?

While you’re mulling your goal, think about how these 30 days have gone. What was the most fun? The most rewarding? The most challenging? Your goal might be different from what you’d originally thought — the serendipity of blogging means we’re always heading in unexpected new directions as we interact with the learn from others.

Finally, close our your blogging day off with a few kudos: visit five other participants, and congratulate them on a job well-done. Try to include a few people you haven’t yet interacted with. (But if you have some favorites you’ve been following all month, be sure to include them!) The other bloggers will appreciate the acknowledgement, and you’ll make some new connections who’ll stay with you post-Blogging 101.

You’re now free to move about the blogospheric cabin! Feel free to write a post about this experience, what you might need to reach this next goal, and what’s next on the horizon. We’ll see you around The Daily Post!

That’s a wrap! On behalf of Rachel, Brooke, Fabiana, and everyone at The Daily Post, thanks for sticking with the challenge! We’ve had a great time and have really enjoyed watching your blogs and relationships develop. We hope it was also a happy and helpful experience for you.

Assignment posts will remain accessible here on The Daily Post so you can continue to refer to them. The Commons will remain open for conversation for one more week, through Monday, October 20; after that, you’ll be able to read and refer to your comments there, but you’ll no longer be able to publish new ones. If you’d like to continue chatting with bloggers and getting feedback, we invite you to visit the Community Pool here each Monday; it’s an open thread where any blogger can seek (or offer!) support and critique.

If you’re not ready to stop, Blogging 201 starts on Monday the 20th, and Photography 101 kick off on November 1 — look for signup to open in a few days.

Happy blogging!

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Comments

  1. Yeiii! I did it this morning.. I got up and decide to organized Belo a bit more and I rename my categories and plan the posts for October and November (A very adaptable calendar because I like to have an idea but also be able to change it if I get a feeling or something like that)….

    Now off to visit 5 blogs and congratulate them 🙂

    Liked by 10 people

  2. Thank you to the team who facilitated the Blogging 101 course. You do such a great job. You are all very supportive and encouraging. Us baby toddlers appreciate you cleaning up our messes as we learn 🙂 It’s a lot to learn when you’re a beginner, but I for one have so enjoyed my experience as a blogger on WordPress! Cheers!

    Liked by 9 people

  3. Thank you for putting up with some of us newbs! What a great experience, and I am lucky to have literally stumbled upon the Blogging 101 opportunity. I have several friends that I socialized with over the weekend, and they also write blogs (or have one but put it aside). I talked up Blogging 201 and hopefully they will join. I have over 90 followers now, (had 6 before, LOL!) and a pretty good start on my blog site. Cheers to everyone and see you in the blogosphere!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. It was a very informative month and I can’t wait to continue … i used the prompts and the daily posts as guide to my thoughts and on how I want to tell my story so it’s good to have it from time to time 🙂

    You’ve been most helpful, I am getting hooked really even though I’ve been doing this for a while it’s only this time I did learn the ins and out of wordpress blogging (and in general).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooh!!! Photography 101! I’d love to take part in that as well!! Blogging 101 was really helpful (though I blog for more than 6 years) and yes, creating an editorial calendar is one of the things I’ll surely do!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well well, I love using my calendar. And I always tend to fill it with way too much stuff. I think my biggest problem is to motivate myself writing in two languages (German is my first language). Maybe I should stick first to the one that suits me more and if I’m in the mood, I can add English every now and then.
    So much about that. Thanks a lot for all these tips!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. This is hard lol…I’ve been mulling over the scheduling thing, and it’s going to be on a bigger scale for me.

    Although some of my blogging is reaction-and-current-events-based, I like the idea of choosing which posts to eliminate in some sort of a blogging plan. Very dynamic indeed!

    I learned a lot…Thank you, Michelle! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks again. I learned a bunch and followed a number of fellow participants. And gained a few new followers.

    I am traveling a bunch this month, so I just scheduled a few posts for the next month. I plan to use a writing calendar to help me keep up with when I can write and when I can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A massive thank you to the folks on WordPress. It has been a memorable learning experience. Got a lot more to do but hey, Rome wasnt built in a day!

    Also, on the subject of planning, I thought id offer my 2 cents- im using mindmaps (via mindmeister.com) to brainstorm, as it gives me some interesting ideas and helps avoid the dreaded ‘writers block’. Good luck everybody!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m Italian and somethimes for me it’s quite difficult to follow your post. Anyway I try. I really love my blog and I feel really upset thinking that one day for some reason I won’t be able to see all my posts anymore. Could it happen? Behind each post there are ours of job and I can’t think to loose all what I’ve done. Please suggest me what I can do to avoid this. Thank you very much Beatrice

    Like

  11. Hey 🙂 Finally I am writing not to my fellow-bloggers (they already understood whom I love and whose blogs I follow) but straight to Michelle. I thought I knew something about blogging and that my blog is good enough. I thought I will cope alone. But this challenge showed me how much further can I go without even pushing that much, and how those fantastic people I’ve met are my every-day support. It took me two times to finish the course, but I think it is worth to do it from the start till the end. Thank you for teaching us, your time and passion 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Many thanks to the team at WordPress. Enjoyed the course and finally figured out how to post an image gallery. Thanks too to all the bloggers who answered questions and shared tips. Off to visit some more blogs and (sigh) to draw up an editorial calendar.

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  13. Thanks for trying to keep us all moving forward, as usual life got in the way for me and I fell off the blogging wagon. Not that it was a bad thing, I got started cleaning up my blog and I am still at it, soon I will go back and do all the lessons.

    In the meantime, we are in Japan and having a blast, check out my latest post about a great trip http://wp.me/p2MBqr-ek

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Blogging 101 has been a fruitful experience for me, although there are some pending assignments I have yet to complete.A big thank you to the wordpress team and fellow bloggers for their continued support.

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  15. Thank you very much to WordPress for organising this class, and to all lovely fellow bloggers who took part – you are such an amazing community! I will shortly be visiting five of you to congratulate you.

    As for my blog plans, I actually don’t keep a plan and write at the spur of the moment. I have a big thing planned though: an interview with my favourite rock singer who accepted my invitation for an interview (yoooo hooo!). I haven’t got a bucket list, but if I did, this would be on top of it. Also, I am proud to say that a fashion designer for tall clothes wants me to blog about her brand! How cool!

    In the meantime, while waiting for these two articles to happen, I’ll just blog about what has inspired me. See you on my blog – and on yours!

    Like

  16. I have had so much fun here 😃. It will be strange not checking everyday for ‘the assignment’ but I have learnt many great concepts, picked up great habits too. Being a new blogger I like the idea if an editorial calendar and am implementing that in combo with a monthly feature from the last assignment. I have also started learning CSS and its amazing so far!

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  17. I enjoyed this so much, and made a bunch of new cyber-friends! Thank you for putting this together, and for all the great lessons! I never knew WordPress had so much to offer! I’ve enjoyed learning all of the ins and outs, and I even got chosen for a couple of ‘awards’ during this process. Thanks again! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I’ve been using my “sticky note” app on my pc to keep notes on thoughts and topics to blog. This helps a lot when I have a serial blog and am mapping out content to arrange at each post…

    Like