I finished my 300 in 30 days blog commenting challenge last weekend; you might have heard the sigh of relief from wherever you are.
If you don't know why I would attempt to do such a thing then my initial post will explain more; plus, it's better than me trying to tell you about it now, as that earlier post was written while the idea was still fresh, while I was still hopeful for what it could achieve, and before all that typing aggravated my old war wound [well, my dodgy elbow/tendon from the time I fell off my bike and met a pavement rather suddenly back in 2008.]
Like I say, my 30 days ended last Saturday, but I'm only just writing about it now as I've been ill ever since. Whether those two things are connected ... who knows?! It could be a nasty case of blog-commenting-itis.
So if you're joining in with the challenge yourself ... just watch out ... if you wake up one morning and your partner says "Your voice has gone down an octave overnight" ... you might want to think about taking the next week off work and finding a way to sleep upright.
You might also want to squeeze in some sexy voiceover work before you get better.
But ... back to the commenting challenge:
It started with a noble intention: 30 days of aiming to maintain and broaden my blogging network. But the reality was more taxing, more time-consuming and yet ultimately more enlightening than I ever imagined it would be.
Another time I'll share some of that enlightenment, some of the broader lessons I learned during my 30 days ... if nothing else, it might save you some time and effort if you plan to do something similar. But until then ....
Here are some of the statistics I clocked up during my challenge:
[BTW: if you're a fan of tracking things with statistics then you might like to join in with My Month in Numbers one time - everyone's welcome.]
First things first ... no, I didn't reach the 300 I set out to:
- Instead I made it to 270 comments, which felt like a huge achievement considering how far behind I fell at one point.
- 300 in 30 days may well sound feasible when you think of it as an average of 10 per day yet ... that doesn't take into account the fact I had to FIND 10 posts per day that I felt I could genuinely comment on.
- On most days this just did not happen and on the days it did that still meant READING 10 posts first. Again ... not as easy as it first sounded!
I kept a record of where I'd left each of my 270 comments on a colour-coordinated spreadsheet:
This allowed me to analyse what I was doing as it showed that those 270 comments were shared out between:
- 137 individual blogs.
- 26 of which were familiar to me prior to the challenge and were places where I regularly left comments already.
- Then there were 11 places which I had visited before ... but mainly as a reader/lurker, so I corrected this by leaving comments this time round.
- While the bulk of the challenge saw me leaving a comment for 100 new-to-me bloggers. [Yes, I did work hard at the end to make that a nice round number!]
I saved each of the 137 blogs I commented on [plus a few extras ] to my 300 in 30 Days Pinterest board:If you're looking for some new-to-you content ... visiting the board and clicking a few of the likely candidates will cut out a lot of browsing time for you. [You can thank me and my aching elbow later.]
And, in case you don't use / can't view Pinterest I also added each of the 137 blogs to a Google doc [just click the image to visit and save the full list.]
Of those 100 new-to-me blogs [up to now] I've added approximately 12 of them to my regular blog-reader.
While I feel I've made a genuine friendly, reciprocal, connection with maybe 5 or 6, a handful, at most.
And while that's quite some attrition rate ... I'm not despondent; there's a lesson in quality over quantity in there somewhere; which I'll no doubt explore further in my 'Lessons I learned while leaving 300 blog comments in 30 days' post soon.
- you could visit some of the 137 blogs on the list and maybe find new places to visit, new bloggers who you'd be happy to hear more from in the future.
- you could dip your toe into just seeing what else is out there, beyond your usual blog visits, by visiting just one new blog.
- you could think about how and where you're connecting with people these days. You could blog about it. You could send me a link and I'll come and visit.
- you could send me recommendations of blogs you think I'll like ... I'm still open to finding new connections.
- you could share my challenge with someone you think would be brave/eager/experimental/misguided enough to try it out!
- you could come and massage my overstretched elbow*. [*You couldn't. That would be freaky. I'm going to leave that to the nice lady who does my deep-tissue massage. She's a professional.]
I'm still deciding between whether that will be 5ml of 'Catarrh Relief Formula' or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc ...
Catch you soon.