Originally published November 26, 2010 at 11:33 p.m., updated November 26, 2010 at 11:33 p.m.
If you’ve ever started a blog, you know exactly how difficult it is to keep it going. After the initial rush, they can be difficult to maintain, no matter the level of encouragement received from readers. Sometimes it’s just hard to find time to work on them, or maybe it’s hard to stay motivated when the only person who consistently reads is your mom.
That said, a few brave Lawrence bloggers have taken up the brave task of agreeing to post every day for the month of November. Yep, since Monday, Nov. 1, they’ve made the time to get in a daily update, no matter the case with work, school, family or motivation.
Welcome to National Blog Posting Month, aka #NaBloPoMo to you Twitter addicts. A take off of the popular National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo), where writers attempt to create a full-length manuscript during the month of November, bloggers are challenged to write every day for 30 days. (Bloggers can sign up or get more information at www.nablopomo.com.)
Lawrence blogger Eric J. Gruber says he decided to sign up specifically to get back into the rhythm of posting after a lag.
“I like to write and used to post quite heavily on another personal blog. In the last few years I haven't written as much and it's been of my goals to get back into it,” says Gruber, whose blog can be found at www.ericjgruber.com/blog. “When I heard about National Blog Posting Month, I thought it was a good opportunity to write and be encouraged by others doing the same.”
Emily Mueller randomly decided to take the challenge on the very first day of November on a total whim after reading about NaBloPoMo. She says that the challenge has definitely streamlined the posting style on her family, photography and baking site, scottnemmiefamily.wordpress.com.
“Before NaBloPoMo, I’d usually post once a week on our family blog. That one post is typically bursting at the seams, a monster of a write-up consisting of many rambling paragraphs broken up with random photos taken throughout the week,” Mueller says. “I think forcing myself to post every single day helps me to keep it short, to the point.”
Unlike Gruber and Mueller, Megan Stuke is a regular poster and a many-time participant of NaBloPoMo. Stuke, who writes The Flying Fork blog for Lawrence.com, also has a personal blog of the same name, www.theflyingfork.com. That’s where she’s been posting daily, discussing everything from what she’s cooked most recently to life with a toddler. She agrees with Mueller that the exercise changes the way she blogs.
“You have to dig a little deeper for content. Or, you have to settle for less. I have done both,” Stuke says. “Some of my posts this month have been downright sad, but some of them were really special, and born of that ‘Oh my God, I have nothing to say today!’ moment of panic. So I’d say the bar has been both raised and lowered because of this project.”
Besides adapting content style all three of the bloggers we talked to say they’ve seen their blog traffic go up, and Mueller says she’s noticed a lot more interaction with her audience.
“Every time I publish a post, a notification also automatically post on my Facebook page. I assume people used to just look at them and then move along, at least no one ever commented on the Facebook posts in the past,” Mueller says. “Since starting NaBloPoMo and posting every day, I have been getting several comments and ‘Likes’ on my Facebook posts. So, it seems to have helped some readers open up and comment on what I’m posting now.”
Stuke says that though she hasn’t seen the level of comments increase, she does have a compelling reason for wanting to support the challenge year in and year out.
“Oh yes, it’s sort of my ‘thang,’” she says. “Plus, I love Eden Kennedy (the originator of this whole thing) and maybe someday she will show up on my doorstep with thank you flowers for being such a loyal blogger.”