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Challenge BYOB: Day 5

You did it! You made it to the last day of the small business blogging challenge! There is just one more task to do for your blog in this course and then you are done! If you did all of your blog posts in real time or if you pre-scheduled them for a little bit later, you can take a little blogging break after today. You’ve put in quite a bit of work this week and that should give you some time to rest and focus on other things. But, don’t rest too much! Keep up the blogging motivation that you learned with this challenge and don’t let your blog slip off of your to do list!

This is the last day of the challenge, but you can go back through and look at any of the challenge days at any time. Within each challenge day, there is a task as well as the reason behind each task. I love giving you the explanation for why I chose each task, because I think it helps to do something when you know why it matters. It is easier to keep things on your to-do list if you fully understand their importance.

I know how powerful my blog is for my stylish wedding garter design business, so I never let it go. I keep up with my blog and I am constantly sharing bridal garter advice with my potential clients. And, you can do the same for your potential clients too. Your blog is the biggest cheerleader for your business! It is an amazing, free marketing tool!

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

Ok, on with today’s blogging challenge task…

TODAY’S TASK: DAY FIVE

Today is Friday, the fifth and last day of the blogging challenge. Cheers to the weekend and to making it to the end of the blogging course. On this last day, it is a writing day. I’m not going to hide it! You’ve had two other writing days during the challenge this week and hopefully today’s writing task will the easiest of them all.

Not all of blogging is about writing, there are plenty of other things that you can do to keep up with your blog (check out day two and day four!), but at some point you will need to do some writing. And, that brings us to day five! Here is the information and tips for today’s blogging challenge:

Writing Day

For the last day of the challenge, I’m calling it a “brag day.” I want you to give your business a little pat on the back today and write one blog post celebrating a success from the past year. Did you get featured somewhere? Did you make it onto a “best of” list? Are you particularly proud of something?

Write a blog post about one of your successes from the past year and use your blog to brag on your business.

Why

You’ve heard the expression that starts, “If a tree falls in the woods…” If you don’t tell your blog readers (i.e. your potential clients) that you’ve achieved something or had success, then no one else will! Your blog is your chance to brag about your business and no one can stop you or will judge you for it!

In fact, your potential clients want to hear about your success. They want to know that you are good at your job! It makes them feel more confident about their choices and that you will do a good job for them too.

Remember, there are no judgements on your blog. Your blog is your one and only chance to fully, unapologetically promote your business and talk about your business with no filter and no editor. So, use it!

Also, talking about your successes shows potential clients that you are active and busy. And, people love to hire busy people!

You can post your blog post right away or pre-schedule it for another day.

To Do

Once you’ve written your bragging blog post, share one photo of your successes on social media. Use the hashtag #challengebyob and tag me (@gartergirl or The Garter Girl). I want to share in your success too! Most importantly, I want to congratulate you on making it to the end of the blogging challenge.

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You did it, you made it to the end of my Challenge BYOB, small business blogging course for creatives! I hope that you’ve had a good time and learned a few things along the way about blogging for your business.

You can check out the full challenge and blogging schedule anytime on my blog. I hope that you’ll pay particular close attention to the reasons why for reach blogging task. I spent quite a bit of time explaining why doing certain things on your blog is important. Hopefully, if you know why it is important, you’ll stick with it for the rest of the year!

If you want to catch up, here is a list of the challenge tasks that you missed this week:

  • Day One: Monday Work It Writing Day
  • Day Two: Tweak It Tuesday
  • Day Three: Work It Wednesday
  • Day Four: Thursday Oldies, But Goodies
  • Day Five: This is the post that you are on right now!

Come on over and check out the hashtag #challengebyob to see what everyone else is bragging about on their blog on today, the last day.

The Workshop

If you want to truly kick your blog into gear and learn a little big more about SEO (search engine optimization), I hope that you’ll check out my upcoming workshop on how to blog for your small business. This is a very intimate workshop designed to help you get more business from your blog and show you how to use your blog to grow and expand.

Congrats on making it to the end of the blogging challenge! For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.

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Challenge BYOB: Day 4

Welcome to day four of my small business blogging challenge, called Challenge BYOB! This is a week long boot camp for your blog for your creative small business. I designed this course to give your blog a little boost in the new year and give you a little motivation to keep up with your blog for the rest of the year. Your blog is the biggest cheerleader for your business! Your blog will work so hard for you, as long as you work hard at it!

If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still plenty of time to join the blogging fun. This is a free and you can jump in the blogging challenge anytime by joining the Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here. You’ll be notified of the blogging task for each day. You will also get information about why each task was selected, because it is important to not just keep up with your blog, but to understand the importance of it all.

If you join the blogging course this week, you’ll get a discount on my upcoming workshop on how to blog for your small business. At the workshop, I’ll go through all of this and so much more to help you truly get your blog in tip-top shape!

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Photo Credit: Michelle Lindsay Photography

Onto to today’s blogging task. For those that don’t love writing, then you will love today! Today is not a writing day. There is so much more to blogging for a small business than just writing blog posts.

TODAY’S TASK: DAY FOUR

Today is Thursday, day four of the blogging challenge. You are so close to the end! Only one more day after today. And, luckily, today is not a writing day.

Here is the information for today’s blogging task:

Your Task

Today in the blogging challenge is all about updating the oldie, but goodie blog posts. I want you to find at least one (but, hopefully more!) of your old blog posts and update it. This should be a blog post that you love or that brings you more traffic than other posts.

Updating the blog post can be adding a new photograph, fixing any broken links, rewording the advice or adding more information. You should’t re-write the post, just update it. Give it a little refresh and breathe some new life into it.

You can update as many old posts as you want, but I recommend that you start with one and see how long that takes you. Whenever I do it, I always get really excited and want to update all of my posts! But, that’s another subject for another day!

Why

Updating old blog posts is so important. Why? Because you don’t know what page or blog post will attract your potential clients to your site. And, because of the way search engines work, potential clients don’t always come your website or blog via your home page. More likely than not, they will find you through an old blog post.

You want to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward no matter how potential clients find your business. The search engine did it’s job by bringing a potential client to your website, now you need to do everything you can to book them.

To Do

Once you’ve updated at least one blog post with one photo, share your photo along with what you updated on social media. Use the hashtag #challengebyob and tag me (@gartergirl or The Garter Girl) so that I can check it out and give you a little pat on the back!

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This is day four of the blogging challenge! Come on over and check out the hashtag #challengebyob to see all of the old blog posts that everyone else is updating on their websites and blogs.

Who is with me?

If you haven’t signed up, be sure to  join the free Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here! If you want to catch up, here is a list of the challenge tasks that you missed so far:

  • Day One: Monday Work It Writing Day
  • Day Two: Tweak It Tuesday
  • Day Three: Work It Wednesday
  • Day Four: This is the post that you are on right now!

For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.

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Challenge BYOB: Day 3

It is hump day in the small business blogging challenge! Congrats on making it this far in my mini one week blogging course. I promised that it really wasn’t that hard to keep up with your blog, you just needed the motivation to do it, and hopefully this week is proving it to you. If you do a little bit at a time, it is possible to keep up with your blog for your creative small business.

If you haven’t signed up yet for the challenge, join the Challenge B.Y.O.B. and get moving! You’ll be notified each day of the new blogging related tasks to keep your up-to-date in the new year! If you sign up for the challenge, you’ll also get a discount to my upcoming workshop on how to blog for your small business.

This challenge was created to inspire you, educate you and help you blog your own business for the rest of the year!

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

TODAY’S TASK: DAY THREE

Today is Wednesday, the third day of the blogging challenge. This is a writing day. Yes, I know! I can hear the grumbles now! I know that if you own a creative small business that specializing is something else, like a craft such a making wedding garters (!) or a service such as a wedding planner, you probably don’t think you are a good writer. Maybe you lack a little confidence when it come to the written word. I totally understand!

While today happens to be a writing day, there are only three writing days total in this blogging course, because blogging isn’t just about writing. There are plenty of other things that you can do to keep up with your blog that don’t involve writing and we’ll get into that on days two and four of the course.

Here is the information and tasks for the third day of the blogging challenge:

Writing Day

Your job today is to write a blog post that answers the number one question that your clients ask you. What are you sick of answering over and over again? What do you wish your clients knew before they contacted you? If you could implant the answer to your most common question in the brain of your potential clients, what would it be?

The questions that your clients ask most often makes for great content on your blog. If one person has the question, then chances are there will be others asking the same thing! (And there will be others searching on the Internet for those answers to common questions too!)

If you are stumped for what to write about or what question to answer, check out this blog post that I did on the 10 blog posts you already have written. Your advice post can be a question and answer format, it can be a general, subject matter post – it can be anything that you want as long as you provide some type of helpful information to your potential clients.

You can post your common question advice blog post right away or pre-schedule it for another day.

The Why

It is good to write answers to common questions on your blog. Why? Because it shows you are the expert! If you can’t show you are an expert in your field on your blog, where else can you do it!? You need to show your blog readers that you know what you are talking about and that you are here to help them. Don’t wait for them to ask you a question. Answer it before they ask.

Answer their toughest questions before they ask and they will be more likely to hire you, because now they know you are the expert. After all, you just answered a question that they didn’t even know they had!

With this advice post, I can’t promise that your potential clients will stop asking you these questions, but you can at least put it out there that you know what you are talking about! So, use this as a chance to show your potential clients that you are the expert and you are here to help them.

To Do

Once you’ve written your blog post, use a photo to go along with your piece of advice in your blog post. Then, come on over to social media and post that photo. In the caption, tell us what your most common questions is and that we’ll have to come over to your blog to find out the answer. (Do you see how I am helping you to create a little traffic to your website through your social media account?!)

Please use the hashtag #challengebyob and tag me (@gartergirl or The Garter Girl), so that I can check it out and see what you are an expert in! Also, I want to cheer you on in your blogging challenge.

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So, that is day three of the small business blogging challenge. You are halfway to the end. Are you hanging in there and doing OK with all of it?

Come on over and check out the hashtag #challengebyob to see what everyone else is sharing as their number one piece of advice. And, you can check in on my blog a little bit later to see my advice post. It is a good one!

Who is with me?

If you haven’t signed up, be sure to  join the free Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here! Here is a list of the challenge tasks that you missed so far:

  • Day One: Monday Work It Writing Day
  • Day Two: Tweak It Tuesday
  • Day Three: This is today, the blog post that you are on!

For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.

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Challenge BYOB: Day 2

Hello and welcome to day two of my small business blogging challenge! I’m so glad that you made it through yesterday and are still coming back for more blogging tips and advice. If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still plenty of time to join the blogging fun. You can jump in the blogging challenge anytime by joining the Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here.

Remember, this is a free one week course designed to give your small business blog a boost in the new year! If you sign up for the challenge, you’ll get a special discount to my upcoming blogging workshop in February. So, look out for that after you sign up! More information and register for the blogging workshop here.

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Photo Credit: Renee Hollingshead Photography

Yesterday was a writing day for the blogging challenge, and so today is not. (Click here to see day one of the blogging challenge.) Many of us do not consider ourselves writers and so there are only three writing days in this blogging course. Today is not one of them! So, if you don’t like to write or you can’t seem to find the time to do it. Lucky for you today! There is so much more to maintaining your blog for a creative small business that just writing tons words and tons of posts.

TODAY’S TASK: DAY TWO

Today is Tuesday, the second day of the blogging challenge. Here is the information and tips for today’s blogging challenge task:

Your Task

Go through your website and/or your blog (or both!) and freshen it up! Today’s blogging challenge is all about tweaking your website and your blog pages to give it a little facelift. Do you need to update your headshot? Do you have a gallery (or 12!) to add from work this past year? Do you want to re-word copy on your FAQ page or update your pricing list?

For today, read through the copy (the written words) on your website and tweak anything that is outdated or awkward. I also want you to look through the pictures on your website and your blog, and update these as you see fit. I suggest that you start with the “low hanging” fruit and update the words on your pages, then the pictures. Last, if you still have time, update any galleries. Updating the galleries will probably be the hardest part because you’ll have to gather the pictures and get it all prepped before posting.

Why

It is important for potential clients and search engines that you are keeping you website up-to-date. If your website is inaccurate, what does that say to potential clients about what you will do for them? And, for search engines, they love fresh, updated content

It is hard to keep up with our website and blog during the busy season when we have so many other things going on. The off season is a great time to make those necessary, but minor tweaks and updates to your website and/or your blog. It is a time when we aren’t distracted with running our businesses that we can make those minor little tweaks that always seem to get pushed to the bottom of the list.

I don’t know about you, but I keep a running list on my phone of things that I want to update on my website when things slow down in my business. I’ll be opening up that list today and getting to work!

To Do

Your job today is to update at least one photo on your website or blog. I hope that you’ll do more today and update words and galleries too. But, try for one photograph! Once you’ve updated at least one photo, share your new/updated photo on social media. Use the hashtag #challengebyob and tag me (@gartergirl or The Garter Girl) so that I can give you little love and cheer you on!

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This is day two of the blogging challenge! Come on over and check out the hashtag #challengebyob to see what everyone else is updating and tweaking on their website.

Who is with me?

If you haven’t signed up, be sure to  join the free Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here! Here is a list of the challenge tasks that you missed so far:

  • Day One: Monday Work It Writing Day
  • Day Two: This is today, the blog post that you are on right now!

For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.

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Challenge BYOB: Day 1

Welcome to the first day of my small business blogging challenge! If you are new here or you haven’t signed up yet for the challenge, head on over, join the Challenge B.Y.O.B. and get yourself on the list. You’ll be notified each day of the new tasks to keep your blog fresh and up-to-date in the new year! This challenge was created to inspire you, educate you about blogging and help you blog for your own business for the rest of the year!

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

So, the blogging challenge: This is a one week course that I designed to kick your blog in the you know what! It is a week long boot camp for the blog for your creative small business. If you own a business like you are a wedding florist or a photographer or in my case, a wedding garter designer, but you have a blog to support your business, then this challenge is for you!

In addition to giving you the shot in the blog that you need, the up side of the challenge is that will give you blog content for a week (or longer if you choose to pre-schedule the posts out). Keeping up with your blog is so much more than just writing, so there are only three days of writing in this course. As an extra bonus, the blogging challenge will also give you social media content for a week! As you complete each day’s blogging task, use my #ChallengeBYOB hashtag and post about your success.

The Workshop

I’m hosting a small business blogging workshop called The B.Y.O.B. Workshop here in the Washington DC area in February. I hope that you’ll check it out and consider attending. (As a bonus for signing up for the blogging challenge, you’ll get a discount on the workshop, so look out for that!)

Through the workshop, I’ve reviewed the websites of hundreds of creative small businesses. I’ve noticed a common thread. We all need a little blog motivation, myself included.

There is no better time to breathe a little life into your blog than those quite months in the off season. After the holidays and the new year, but before the weather turns nice again, this is the perfect time to hunker down and pre-schedule some blog posts. The winter is a great time to fix all of those little tweaks on our website that we’ve been putting off for months. (For more, read my blog about how to get control of your blog in the off season!)

The blog neglect stops this week. We are going to blog it like it is hot all week long!

Keep It Up

Keeping up with your blog, on whatever schedule is realistic for you and your business, is so important. And, up-to-date blog tells your potential clients that you are busy and you are active. A blog is also one of the best ways to keep your website fresh and current, which search engines love. And, when search engines are happy, your website can be more easily found by potential clients. If you still need convincing, read this post that I did about why blogging still matters.

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TODAY’S TASK: DAY ONE

Today, is Monday. This is the first day of the blogging challenge. Here are the details for today:

Writing Day

Since it is the new year, today, I want you to write one blog post with your industry trend predictions for the coming year. This can be a list of ideas, it can be niche specific, it can be things that you hope will be trends, things that you know will be trends, it can be advice for implementing trends. Whatever you want it to be, is what it should be. It should just be about trends! It can be long, it can be short, it can have tons of photos or just a few. It is up to you! The important part here is that you write a blog post. (As many like to say: Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good!) Just get the blog post done!)

If you use photos in your trend predictions (and in any other blog post, for that matter!), be sure to properly credit the photographer. Remember, Pinterest is not a photographer! Click the link within Pinterest and find out who took that photograph and give them the credit they deserve.

You can post your blog post right away or pre-schedule it for another day that fits into your blogging schedule.

To Do

Once you’ve written your blog post, please come on over to social media (Instagram or Facebook) and share one photo of one of your trend predictions. Use the hashtag #challengebyob and tag me (@gartergirl or The Garter Girl). I can’t wait to see what you come up with and I can’t wait to cheer you on! And, who knows, I might just check out your blog post and give you a few tips and pointers!

Why

This is the most important part of the small business blogging challenge. For each task, I’ll give you the reasons and the explanations for why I’ve selected a certain task. Blogging takes so much time and energy. And, as a business owner, this is time that could be spent on other things, like actually doing your skill, service or craft. I believe that you must blog with a sense of purpose. You must fully understand the importance behind each blogging task. When we are educated about blogging, we can blog faster, smarter and harder! So, today’s “why”…

Trend prediction blog posts are good because they show your potential clients that you know what you are talking about. They prove to your potential clients, without you having to come out and say it, that your are dialed into your industry. You know what is going on. You can bring the best of the best to them, because you know what is going on.

Potential clients will come to your blog to do research. Pinterest is a big place, so they can come to your blog and see your curated selections. You make their job easier by weeding through the noise and carefully selecting trends worth knowing about.

Also, trend predictions help your potential clients get to know you better. They get to see more of your personality and see what you like. It helps them to see if your aesthetic matches theirs before they hire you.

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This is day one of the blogging challenge! Check back in a little bit on my blog and find out what my trend predictions are for my industry! Oh that’s right, I’m participating in the blogging challenge too!

Who is with me?

If you haven’t signed up, be sure to  join the free Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here! You can also keep up with the whole challenge and see all of the future days right here on the small business blogging challenge tag.

For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.

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Join The Small Business Blogging Challenge

Are you looking to pump up your small business blog this year? Maybe give it a little boost? If you’ve neglected your business blog for months while you were busy, or you keep up with it every day, I invite you to join The Garter Girl’s Challenge BYOB (Blog Your Own Business). This is a free one week, post holiday diet for your blog designed to kick it in the you know what! Whatever level you think you are on with your blog, let it go this week and join my blogging challenge!

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

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How It Works

The free blogging challenge will go from January 16, 2017 through January 20, 2017. It is just five days, that’s it! At the end of the week, you’ll have three blog posts written and ready to go for the new year. More importantly, you’ll have a renewed sense of purpose and a new found passion for your blog. Because of the way I designed the challenge, you’ll also have social media content for each day of the week too!

Each day of the challenge will be a different blogging to-do task. Don’t worry, there are only three days of writing and each day includes the reasons “why” for each task. It is important for you to understand the intention for each task so that you can blog with purpose in the new year! (Be sure to read my blog post about the biggest small business blogging mistake!)

You can sign up anytime for Challenge BYOB and get started right away! I will be blogging right along with everyone and I can’t wait to see how it goes. Be sure to tag your posts with #challengebyob so that I can cheer you on! You can tag me on Instagram @gartergirl and on Facebook as The Garter Girl.

Workshop Discount

Your blog is your biggest cheerleader and sometimes all we need a little motivation to get going with our blogging. If you sign up for the challenge, you’ll get a special discount to my small business blogging workshop that I am hosting in February. There will be two different workshops in Maryland and Washington DC.

No more blogging excuses! Join the Challenge BYOB and kick your blog into gear for the new year!

Can’t wait to blog it like it’s hot with all of you!

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Be sure to check out my small business blogging tips for more advice to keep you motived and blogging the right way.