I must confess, when I set the first challenge for Blog Exchange to ‘Blog like there’s nobody reading‘, I had no idea so many people would jump on board or actually hit publish on their blog posts. To say I’m overwhelmed with the response is an understatement.
Blog Exchange – Thinking Outside the Niche
The community factor already emerging through our private Blog Exchange Facebook group is just what I needed to see and feel this past week.
A week where you could say I short circuited my blogging brain after a whirlwind trip to Melbourne for a blogging masterclass the weekend prior. It was a mixture of 40ish hours of no sleep and a room full of talented bloggers that had me questioning not only my approach to blogging but the direction the blog is heading.
Why if I’m honest, there were more than a few moments this week when I found myself questioning my right to be in the blogging arena at all. An arena where there seems to be a strong focus on niching down and following a set monetising formula for success. Can you relate?
As a result, I could hardly string a sentence together, let alone publish a blog post. So like all good bloggers do, when struck with blogger’s block and doubt… I blogged about it (here) and threw up the
white flag ‘gone shopping’ sign.
Instead of shopping I went blog hopping, starting with your Blog Exchange challenge posts. Looking for inspiration and desperately wanting to connect with like minded bloggers. Which is what Blog Exchange really is all about.
I think we all like to feel like we are connecting with people/readers on a meaningful level and by being open and raw with this exercise that connection may be taken to a deeper level. Pretty cool to think that peeling back a layer and being slightly more vulnerable has the potential to speak deeply to someone. When we have the wobbly courage to do so.
Sandra Kelly (What Lies Within)
Asking bloggers to step outside their niche and share their raw and real posts this month, certainly has been a thought provoking exercise. While some have shared their blogging endeavours to date, others have taken a different approach.
There were no right or wrong ways to approach this and there were no expectations that your posts would ever see the published light of day. It’s the exchange through conversations that these posts and the exercise itself has evoked, both on and offline, that has given me some real food for thought on what comes next.
For me, it was all about thinking outside the niche and my current approach to blogging. As a result, there just might be a few changes around here. I don’t think I’m alone with this side of things following this exercise??
It’s been interesting to see everyone’s interpretation of the brief and even more intriguing to see so many published posts. Which is why in the scheme of how Blog Exchange works, I approached Kirsty from My Home Truths who hosts the I Must Confess linkup each Monday to see if she might include our ‘Blog like there’s nobody reading’ challenge as this week’s prompt. It was a YES from Kirsty.
Regardless of what stage of blogging you are at, link ups are a fantastic way to not only embrace and support your blogging community but they are also a great way to grow your blog.
I particularly love I Must Confess and the community of bloggers that link up each week and the audience that regularly visits to see what I’m confessing week in week out. Although not all weeks are full on confessionals or have me following the weekly prompt.
When Kirsty headed overseas recently, I was first to put my hand up to host the link party in her absence. It almost made up for having to live vicariously through her travel adventures. Almost? Okay, try not even close.
I discovered I Must Confess soon after I started moving into more personal style posts here on the blog and found the weekly prompts a great source of inspiration for blog content. A prompt that doesn’t need to be followed to the letter each and every week but I find the weekly prompt is generally something that can easily be tweaked or approached to suit my style and my blog demographic.
Linking up, like everything to do with blogging, is definitely a case of the more you put in the more you are going to get out of it.
My Top Tips for getting the most out of Link Ups
- Don’t link and run.
- Take the time to leave a comment.
- Visit other blogs that have linked up.
- If something resonates with you or will be beneficial to your audience hit the share button.
Thinking about hosting a link up of your own? You need to head back next week and case my top tips for hosting a link party.
Wanting to link up this week? If you’ve joined Blog Exchange and hit publish on your ‘Blog like there’s nobody reading’ posts, head over and link them up for this week’s I Must Confess (HERE!!).
What comes next for Blog Exchange?
Apart from discussing your posts and your blogging direction via our Facebook page, I have a couple of projects in the pipeline for Blog Exchange. All will be revealed in good time. You could say it’s the Mystery Case factor.
I’ve become aware of the fact that not everyone is on Facebook (oh how I wish this was me), so I will look to open a closed Blog Exchange forum here on AMC in the coming weeks.
Our next challenge will be kicking off here on June 30. I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun with this one and will hopefully be dragging you along for the ride. I just can’t wait to get started. From then on in, Blog Exchange will be heading out into the big wide world of blogging, exchanging hands with a variety of bloggers who will be jumping on board to host a different blogging challenge each month.
If you could suggest a prompt for I Must Confess… what would it be?