Blogging Monthly Challenges

Evaluation – Exploring Blogs and Social Media

Last month, I challenged myself to:

Spend 1 hour per day browsing other blogs

Post at least 10 tweets per day

Post on Instagram at least twice per day

It’s been a very successful challenge. I managed to complete my goals every day, apart from the very last day! It was a busy day and I didn’t have a lot of free time. I also wanted to get a new blog post out, as I like to post at least once every 6 days. I prioritised writing the blog post which meant I ran out of time to finish my hour of browsing other blogs, and I only posted on Twitter and Instagram once. It would have been possible to finish my goals in the evening, but it would have taken me until after midnight. I was tired, so I decided to sleep instead!

Browsing other blogs

At the start of the month, I posted a Tweet saying that I was going to spend an hour every day in February reading blogs. I asked for links to people’s blogs. I got a massive response to this! Looking through these blogs kept me going for at least half the month. I looked at them all, read one or more posts, and commented when I had something to say. If I liked the blog, I subscribed to it. I also followed people on Twitter and Instagram, commented on their reply to my Tweet, and posted links to any blog posts that I found particularly enjoyable or useful.

After I got through all the blogs that were posted in reply to that Tweet, I read blog posts that had come to me via email from the blogs I had subscribed to. I moved all ‘new blog post’ emails into a separate folder as I received them, and during my blog reading hour I went through them. Again, I commented on and shared the posts I especially liked. 

When I ran out of blogs to read from both these sources, I made use of Twitter ‘follow threads’. I posted a link to my latest post, and looked at the blogs of other people who had posted on the thread. This had the advantage of getting some extra viewers, followers and comments to my blog. However, I did find that it was often the same people posting over and over again on these threads, so I didn’t always find much new material to read. 

In the initial rush when I first posted my Tweet, I got a big influx of new Twitter followers, and discovered lots of new blogs to follow. This gradually tailed off throughout the month. Overall though, all of my blog and social media statistics (followers, subscribers, traffic) have increased throughout the month, which is great. Hopefully that will continue!

I have enjoyed reading other blogs and I have genuinely learnt things from some of them. I will continue to read blogs, but not for an hour a day. I’ll subscribe when I find a blog I like, and I’ll read blog posts as they arrive by email, if they are interesting and relevant to me. I will keep commenting on blog posts when I have something to say. 

Posting on Twitter and Instagram

On Twitter and Instagram, I got into a routine with the sort of things I posted. My most common types of posts were:

  • Sharing good blog posts that I had read
  • promoting my own blog posts
  • little sayings overlaying photos
  • quotes from books I have read
  • things I am grateful for
  • pictures of food I have made and / or eaten

Sometimes, when I couldn’t think of much to post, I got myself up to 10 Tweets by posting quotes I had written down from books I read in the past. This was an ‘easy option’, but I think people liked the quotes because I got likes and retweets on them. I will definitely be noting down my favourite quotes from the books I read in the future, and continuing to post them on Twitter.

On Instagram, I used an app called Geulgram to make most of my posts. I used little sayings, mostly of my own invention, overlaying photos that I took. My Instagram follower count is slowly growing, and I get a consistent number of likes on all of my posts.

I hoped that by posting lots on Twitter and Instagram, I would get better at learning what sort of things to post about. I feel that I have got slightly better at this, but in general, I just stuck to the same kinds of posts anyway, as mentioned above. These were all good things to post, but I hope to keep expanding my ‘repertoire’. My conclusion is that it’s best not to sit there thinking about what to Tweet, but to get on with life and do interesting things, and get into the habit of Tweeting about them as I go along. 

I have engaged a lot with people on Twitter, and I feel that I have got to know some other bloggers a little bit. I’m grateful to have been tagged in some posts during the month, and especially to have had one of my posts shared to a Facebook group, which resulted in lots of views for my blog!

What’s next?

In March, I will continue reading blogs, and posting on Twitter and Instagram. However, I won’t set specific goals for how long to read for, or how many times to post. My main focus will be to spend time making improvements on my blog, as well as creating new content. I will keep cruising with the social media, and I think my Twitter and Instagram accounts will continue growing. I have created a lot of momentum this month!

2 Comments

  1. Great job with posting and growing your following. I don’t post as much as I should, I know it really helps to grow engagement. Anyway, I know that you were nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award twice, congratulations by the way. But, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Mystery Blogger Award as well. There is info about it in the post on my website along with a link back to your blog. There is no pressure to take part in it, I just wanted to inform you of it. I think you’re doing a great job. Good luck!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Thank you so much Kendra! I definitely managed to grow my following, but since the beginning of March I haven’t been posting as much – my blog views and engagement have dropped right down so it just goes to show, we need to keep on pushing and posting lots!
      I’m so grateful that you’ve nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award, thank you so much! It means a lot to me. I will definitely take part, when I get time over the next few days 🙂

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