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Archive for May 4th, 2012

4 great reasons to participate in a blog challenge

You’re an author, you already have a blog, and you post regularly. So why participate in a blog challenge? Lots of reasons, but in my opinion, the four primary ones are:

  1. Improve your traffic.
  2. Increase your subscribers.
  3. Become part of a supportive community.
  4. Make great new friends and connections.

IMPROVE YOUR TRAFFIC

A blog challenge gives you reason to post regularly, and the more often you post, the better your blog will rank in the search engines. By expanding your participation to your social networks, you can leverage the power of all the participants in the challenge to increase exposure for everyone’s blogs. Additionally, the blog host will usually create links to the home page of your blog, and possibly to certain individual posts, further helping drive traffic your way. And, according to a guest post by Michael Ooi at AllBloggingTips.com, visitors who are recommended to your blog by other bloggers generally spend twice as much time reading your posts than those who find you through search engines.

INCREASE YOUR SUBSCRIBERS

More traffic is good; more targeted traffic is better; additional subscribers and regular readers are like gold. Since beginning to participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge on April 5, the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog has seen our subscribers increase by 25 percent. According to a post by Alana Garrigues at Technorati.com, “If the quality is there, that increase [can be] sustained in the long term, and the blogger gains followers, which can translate [in]to potential friends, contacts, and buyers in the ‘real world.’”

BECOME PART OF A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY

Managing your own blog can be a lonely endeavor. You write, hoping people find your posts, read them, and interact via the comments section. Those comments and “likes” are a form of validation, and who can blame us for desiring some sort of confirmation that we’re on the right track with all our posts? Participating in a blog challenge gives you a built-in community of like-minded bloggers, particularly in a themed challenge like the Author Blog Challenge. While your reasons and goals for participating may differ somewhat, you all have certain things in common, and you’re in the perfect position to read, comment, and support each other.

MAKE GREAT NEW FRIENDS AND CONNECTIONS

Further to the idea of a supportive community, you may find through your blog participation significant new connections, and who knows where those connections can take you? You should not feel obligated to read every post from every participant; in fact, certain bloggers will likely resonate more with you. However, give as many blogs as possible a chance, and you may find yourself creating unlikely alliances that would never have happened under any other circumstances.

For more benefits of participating in a blog challenge, read Heather Stephens’ post at CleverMarketer.com. She offers a list of 20 personal benefits and 20 blog benefits. My favorites from each list are:

PERSONAL

  • Get noticed by industry leaders.
  • Expand your comfort zone.

BLOG

  • Create content you can turn into products, other than your book, for sale on your blog.
  • Receive suggestions for improving your blog posts, layout, SEO, etc., from more experienced bloggers who are participating in the blog challenge.

The Author Blog Challenge begins June 2, 2012. Hope to see you on our participants’ list!

Happy blogging!

MARCIE

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

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