The Blogging for Benjamin contest concludes

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This is the final day of Daniel Espinoza’s Blogging for Benjamin contest and I’m happy to say I managed to post every day in december – a great achievement. I covered a variety of topics including:

  • 9 topics on WooCommerce
  • 11 topics on plugin development in general
  • 2 workflow related posts
  • 3 posts on WordPress and the WP ecosystem

And then there were some personal posts and reviews. I even built a new plugin.

Keeping on top of the blogging was sometimes difficult, but got easier towards the middle as I got into a routine. Towards the end the difficulty increased again as I ran out of interesting topics to cover, but I got there in the end.

Finding a routine which works

Throughout the competition I blogged every day – I didn’t schedule any posts. I did however try to think up a topic the night before and write some bullet points. Doing this (and sleeping on it) made writing the full post the next day much easier.

I did most of my outlining on the iPad Mini – I took this everywhere. If I got a spare second, I wrote. When I went to bed, I wrote. If I needed to go number twos, I wrote. Twas much more convenient than the laptop.

Lessons learnt

During the competition, I learned quite a bit:

Writing is easy…when you find a good topic

The biggest challenge for me was finding a topic to post about every day which interested me, and what I felt would beneift my readers. Once I found something the rest was easy.

I mostly found inspiration from the support I do, and my daily routine, but I also listened to WordPress podcasts and read a lot of other blogs. This helped me find topics of interest.

Competition is a great motivator

I doubt I would have hit publish so often if it wasn’t for the competiion. Coen, Patrick and I were level pegging throughout the competition and I think thats what drove me to blog every day.

Hitting publish is easier under pressure

I’m fairly certain half of my posts woulnd’t have been published if it wasn’t for this competition and the need to post daily. When you must publish something, I find that it makes it easier to just get things done and worry less about what people will think of your writing.

If your mind is blank, don’t just sit there

Near the start I did find myself sitting at my desk thinking “what should I write about?” quite a lot. This does not help. I found that if I just did something else, like work, go for a walk, or play some games, a topic idea would come to me eventually.

Will the blogging stop?

Although it was fun, I don’t think I’ll do this daily – blogging takes time, and I’d rather spend time building things. I do however hope to blog more often, probably at least once a month which will make finding a decent topic easier too.

Mission accomplished

To quote Daniel:

My goal isn’t to turn all of the ninjas into daily bloggers. My goal is to enliven the spirit of blogging in our company with a friendly competition and monetary motivation. I hope that on the other side of this month that the guys who blogged a few times per month will start blogging even more and the guys who blogged once per year (or never blogged) will start blogging a few times per month.

Mission accomplished I think. Happy new year!

Photo by Neosis, CC-BY-2.0

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  • http://lifewithamission.com/ Daniel Espinoza

    Thank you for the effort and time you put into the competition. I know I’m not the only one who has enjoyed your posts and learned something new along the way.

    It would be great to see more content in 2014, perhaps not daily, but as often as possible.

    Thanks for being a great participant Mike!

    (And the bit about blogging while doing number twos was a bit much ;) )

  • http://341design.com.au Chris Howard

    Mike

    Really appreciate your writing. It quickly became a must-read each day. Will very much miss it.