23 responses to “Checking in: How did the 2010 WordCount Blogathon change your blog?”

  1. Dina Santorelli

    For me, the best thing to come out of this year’s blogathon has been the relationships I’ve made with other bloggers. Great, generous, supportive, intelligent bunch. Looking forward to next year. 🙂

  2. Stephanie Suesan Smith

    I took part because my Mom is a writer and had a book coming out at the end of the Blogathon. She needed to be blogging regularly, so we both signed up. I made it through every day. I learned a lot about things I didn’t even know existed. I entered Famous Blogger’s blogging contest and came in 9th, winning $150. I switched from a weird blogging platform to WordPress and now have a paid blogging gig and more possibilities. I really appreciate the comradry and helpfulness of my fellow Blogathon participants. The chats that continue are helpful, too. I had hoped the Google group would continue to be active, but it seems to have gone dormant. Perhaps it can be revived for Blogathon 2011. Looking forward to that one, if you can manage it, Michelle.

  3. Jason Lancaster

    Michelle – Thank you for the kind words. You’re absolutely correct in that blogs don’t have to be written for search engines in order to garner search engine visits. By writing good alt tags, using smart permalinks, naming files correctly, linking back to old posts with keywords, etc., a lot of search traffic can be gained.

    Having said that, some blogs are more able to write keyword-sensitive titles than others. If you blog about something more business-oriented or technical, I think it’s a really good idea to write your blog posts so that the title incorporates a common search term. My blog post “Constant Contact vs. Vertical Response,” for example, is a short little review that gets me some a handful of very targeted searchers each month.

    Anyways, thanks for the opportunity – looking forward to the next Blogathon!

  4. Joanne Mason

    I was glad to participate in the Blogathon, although I burned out before we reached the end. Lesson learned: plan ahead and then plan some more!

    I’d like to get more interaction and discussion going on my blog, so I’m trying to put more energy there. This morning I set up a Facebook page for it, hoping that might add some conversation opportunities. I’m very curious to see how that works out.

  5. Caroline Clemmons

    I garnered a few new followers/readers, so it was worthwhile to me. I will participate in future Blogathons if invited.

    I try to list key phrases to snag search engines, but am not sure how successful I am.

  6. Jackie Dishner

    The most important thing the Blogathon does for me, as it has every time I’ve participated, is be that reminder that regular posting is key to blogging success. Having that badge on my blog is a proud marker of that. While I know regular blogging is just one key, it’s a very important one for me.

    I also realize from it the benefits of regular commenting and the building of community. So it inspires me to think of ways to do that, which is why I’m almost always going to ask questions at the end of my posts. The Blogathon serves as a good reminder that you want to always think of your readers. It’s good practice for that.

    One more valuable lesson I’ve learned is that theme-based writing is the best way to focus on regular posting. I started doing that in the second year, and now I really favor that approach. Whenever I utilize a theme, I get in a zone that keeps me going for the entire length of the themed experience. It’s maintains the passion or the interest, which is going to bring my readers back.

    In fact, right now, I’m reading The Artist’s Way book. It’s a 12-week process, so I decided to invite anyone interested in participating with me to use my blog as the check-in place. There are about half a dozen or so of us, and we report on our weekly progress with the book every Monday. That’s been yet another inspirational way for me to make my blog useful to my readers.

    I can’t wait to be inspired by the Blogathon next year. That’s what it really does. It inspired me to get creative, to think of new ways to attract a readership, to look at different ways to build the community. And you can’t do that alone. You need the team to work with and learn from. So, thanks, Michelle. You’ve been a great catalyst for growth.

  7. Charles Newbery

    Six months – wow! A lot has changed. I entered on a whim to clear a backlog of posts and to see if I could write a post a day, and to see if blogging would lead to anything. Has it? Not monetary or anything. But I do feel more plugged in, like I understand how blogging works.

    As importantly, it has led to a redesign. I switched to WordPress from Blogger and kept a steady posting schedule of every Monday and Thursday. It helps me to plan posts, and makes it feel more like part of my work as opposed to a hobby. I hope it keeps readers in anticipation of the next issue like me as kid waiting for the postman to bring a new issue of Surfer Magazine. There’s still plenty to learn about SEO and still plenty to do to take the blog to the next level, what that may be.

    I think the change from hobby to a regular thing is the big change for me that came from the Blogathon, as well, of course, as the kick-ass SEO review.

  8. Amanda

    I feel like a blogathon failure! I think the problem is that I’m still casting about to find what, exactly, I want to be blogging/writing about. I wrote Creative DC for 4 years (http://www.creativedc.org), but since moving to NY last year, I’ve been struggling to define my focus and voice with a new blog. I was doing Tastee Pudding during the blogathon (http://tasteepudding.com), but it felt too unfocused. In July, I closed up shop there and launched ZENyc (http://zenyc.info), my current blog, which is about staying centered amid the chaos of NYC. I thought it would be analagous to Creative DC – responding to a deficit in the place where I lived (creative community in DC… zen/calm in NYC). But I’m just not feeling inspired. I have such a hard time coming up with story ideas, and my only regular feature (“3 Ways to Relax in NYC This Week”) doesn’t get much traffic. So, I’m a bit of a lost soul as a blogger. If anyone has navigated a similar challenge, and has any advice – I’m all ears!

  9. Su-sieee! Mac

    The Blogathon helped me get off the fence to blog. I have been posting regularly at both my blogs, http://www.thisthat-herethere.com and http://www.take25tohollister.com. Yep. I got domain names, which means I take my blogging seriously. 🙂

    Since the Blogathon, I’ve been assertive about putting my blogs out there. I have Facebook pages for both of them and I link up my This and That blog at various blog parties and hops occasionally, which has allowed me to meet a lot of bloggers worldwide with different interests. I haven’t jumped to Twitter, yet.

    I have no idea where I’m going with these blogs, only that I’ll continue blogging until it’s no longer enjoyable. Thanks, Michelle, for hosting a blogging place/event/tool that’s just plain helpful.

  10. Kathleen Murray

    Oh, where to begin? The blogathon did so many things for me as a writer and even for my writing biz. As others have noted, it got me into a regular habit and taught me the value of doing posts in advance. It also helped me rediscover my voice and fed other writing projects, as well as introducing me to a group of supportive bloggers who showed how a community really can grow and feed a blog.

    Since the blogathon, I’ve dropped back to a post or two a week to concentrate on paying work. Nevertheless, an agent recently approached me about doing a book on the subject of my blog. I had to decline the opportunity as it did not really fit in with my business plan. Still, it was a nice confidence boost and a reminder that even if you’re not drawing thousands of readers (which I’m most certainly not!), a blog can still establish you as a niche expert.

    I’ll definitely be back for the blogathon this year — although I may be using the month to start a new blog. Either way, I wouldn’t miss this great opportunity!


  11. Kathleen Murray

    Well, I’m doing something, anyway. 😉 Almost forgot to add: another great thing that came out of the blogathon for me was learning about one of your sponsors, writing coach Marla Beck. I’ve been working with her since September and she’s been amazing. With her guidance I’ve started to focus more on the types of writing I enjoy and landed some of the most interesting projects I’ve had in years. I can’t say enough about her!

  12. Alexandra Grabbe

    I loved the comraderie the Blogathon provided. I have not contacted you, Michelle, because the summer has been so very full and we have not come to a complete stop yet. I’m still blogging every day.

  13. Shelley Clunie

    I wrote one or two blogs after the blogathon, but stopped. It was most interesting to get feedback from one or two fans. I emailed them replies.
    Suddenly it seems as if I now have found something to write about even though there have been plenty of personal stories right in my own day to day life. That sounds like a good blog theme!
    It is the comparisons that depressed me. Here I thought 200 hits was really something when I discovered others were getting in the thousands!
    Focus, Shelley, focus! Is popularity what I really started blogging for? No. It was to take this widow out of her self enclosing prison of ‘Can’t do’ into a world of fearless flying!
    It was icing to find a few who read my ‘voice’ and found time to respond positively that made me blink back tears. “People out there took the time to read my voice and validate it!”
    Thanks, Michelle, for heaving me up where I could spread my wings!

  14. Guest Post: What in the Hell am I Doing Here?

    […] contributing a guest post. Brandi and I recently swapped one post for another during the 2010 WordCount Blogathon and we decided to keep the door open for occasional future guest posts. That’s why you’re […]