Another month of the Ultimate Blog Challenge has come and gone and I have spent hours exploring the rich content of daily posts by both favorite bloggers from past challenges, as well as newly discovered talent. The participants of the July 2012 UBC Challenge were definitely a lively bunch! The awards and honors were flying, along with a friendly game of blogger tag that kept the love of sharing going.
Along the way I was thrilled to be honored with three blogging awards, The Fabulous Blog Ribbon Award, the Sunshine Award, and The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. What makes these accolades such an honor is that they were presented to me by fellow bloggers who are also making their way through the challenge and enjoying newfound blogs. I was excited to join in sharing the blogging love by passing these awards on to my own favorite sites.
I have failed to mention the most important part of this month’s Ultimate Blog Challenge…
I COMPLETED IT!
This was my third attempt, and while I have been close to succeeding in the past, this is my first time actually concluding the challenge on-track. Let me tell you how good it feels! The increase in actual visits to Refreshingly Riki has been amazing, and the interaction with my readers through comments has been fulfilling and gratifying. I’m so excited to post the finishers ribbon to my blog!
What was different for me this time around? My secret to success lies solely in the hands of the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin. It is an amazing tool that allows me to plan out my posts in advance and provides a visual reminder of what is pending and drafted along the way. At the beginning of the month I went ahead and added ideas for posts on each day and as the challenge progressed, I moved the drafts around on the calendar to suit my needs. Not only did this keep me on track, it also showed me where the holes in my content were. I highly recommend downloading this plugin for your own blog.
Another key to my success was the decision to participate in the 30 Day Letter Challenge at the same time as the UBC. This approach gave me concrete content ideas that kept me going on days that I had no other inspiration. I decided that I would also intersperse other blog content along with the letters to keep things interesting and varied along the way. I have only published thirteen of my thirty letters so far, but will continue to post them in the future until I am finished with that challenge as well.
All of us participating in the UBC owe a huge thank you to Michelle Schaefer for her dedication to posting daily tips and inspiration as well as posting her own amazing and helpful content to her blog. I also want to thank all of my fellow UBC bloggers who participated on Facebook and Twitter. I loved sharing your creativity and thank you for also promoting mine. I hope to continue blogging more regularly, although every day will be an awful stretch for my schedule. I’m aiming for three or four times per week from here on out!
Happy blogging and congratulations to all UBC participants!