Having just completed a Blogathon that was initiated by Michelle Rafter, I am reminded of the Blogathon I initiated last January with a group of speakers I associate with here in Phoenix. I've organized three such events in the past three years, and I'll do it again if they want to participate, as I highly value the experience. There are so many reasons why.
In January, I was asked to write a guest post for a friend related to the last event I'd planned. She wanted to know about guest posting. So I wrote about how you can do it successfully. After this latest event, I think it's time to consider how blogging relates to my BIKE philosophy and how a blogathon can help enhance your overall blogging efforts. So here are my blogging BIKE lessons, one letter at a time:
_When I'm at my best, I'm a helper--both to me and to others. That being said, I think blogging allows a person the opportunity to see first-hand what your best self looks like. Are you open to exploring other people's blogs and commenting on their individual posts? If so, they will generally return the favor. You can gain many new readers through this kind of exploration. Participating in a blogathon can help make it easier, as it brings the bloggers to you. You don't have to spend a lot of time doing long and drawn out Google searches. Even if these bloggers aren't in your target market, they may help you find others who are. It pays to be generous. That's who you are when you are at your best.
_Blogging requires a tenacity that may not be everyone's normal mode of operation. If it's not yours, a blogathon can help you develop that will power. It takes staying power to blog for 30 days straight, or more. You have to be willing to show up, even if you're tired or cranky or uninspired. If you can rely on your inner strength to guide you, blogging regularly can cure all of those ills. The more you blog, the more ideas you have, the more eager you are to post, the less bored you will be with your blog. Your audience will recognize that in the content you bring to them. When you see for yourself what you are capable of, you will want to repeat the success.
_Honing in on what really matters to you as a writer of your own blog can be discovered much more easily when you blog regularly. Perhaps you can remember when you first started out. You had no clear understanding or vision of what you wanted to accomplish with your blog. Maybe you had an idea, but it wasn't fully fleshed out; you were just becoming aware of the possibility. As you added more posts to your online collection, you began to see a pattern. Your vision gained clarity, and your instincts kicked in. You could actually plan ahead and maybe even pre-write some posts. It makes sense that the more you pay attention to an activity, the more comfortable you'll feel with it, and the more you will want to participate in it. A blogathon can be the impetus you need to develop your finely tuned, or killer, instincts. Trust that they will help you hone your skills and develop the acute insight that makes you the writer you really are.
_A blogathon is also the perfect method to develop your voice. Once you have your topic, realize you can show up regularly, and trust that what you have to say matters to someone, you'll begin to see your voice emerge. You now become willing to share your message. You can see it's a worthwhile endeavor, that someone beside yourself gets satisfaction from your words and might even want to participate in this endeavor with you. Your readers begin asking you to share posts or exchange dialogue. Ah-ha! You see? You are making a difference. It's time to reach out.
You can now see for yourself, blogging is a group effort. Hopefully, my BIKE philosophy has clarified this for you. We are in this together. Of all the lessons learned in a blogathon, I believe that is the one that will have the most impact.