Hello, beautiful readers! Today is the final day of the #RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge! With as busy as my life is, I met my goal of posting every day on my blog for the entire challenge! Woohoo!
Today was a normal work day, but it ended with the Teacher of the Year dinner. This year, I was nominated by my school to be the teacher of the year. Out of all the teachers in my region, I was chosen as one of five finalist for the Regional Teacher of the Year. I did not make it to the next level, but I am beyond honored to have made it that far. So, tonight, they held a dinner to honor all of us who were chosen to represent our schools, to celebrate the four regional finalists, and then to announce the district's teacher of the year. My principal reserved a table for our school and allowed me to bring three people, so my parents and my sister joined me. I had a wonderful time being there and celebrating excellence in education.
As I close out this challenge, I'm a bit relieved but also reflective. If you have been following my blog throughout this journey, you know I live a very busy life. Except for Sundays, I am nonstop almost every day. There was a part of me that hesitated in even making the commitment because I didn't know how I would fit one more thing to do into every day. Once I did sign on for the challenge, though, it was game on! I love challenges, and I hate breaking my promises. So, I stuck it through, and I'm proud of myself for doing so.
The title of the challenge was "A Day In My Life." Our instructions were to share what our day is like, and I've made sure to do that every day. When we first started, I remember thinking no one would want to read about my days. They are just wake up, work, rinse, and repeat. The first week was easy because I was on vacation and filled my days with great activities like scuba diving. Week two was fairly easy because it was my first work week, so I was able to show everyone how very busy my life actually is. Then, the rinse and repeat started since my work weeks are usually the same. That's where visiting my fellow author blogs helped!
By week three, I wasn't sure I would have much to talk about. Then, a few of the other bloggers shared a trip or two they had taken, so it inspired me to share my trips. I figured there would be some people who would enjoy reading about them and perhaps even use them to plan their own trips. Blogging about my trips brought back great memories and helped me stay in the challenge.
I enjoyed visiting the other bloggers, though it took a lot of my time to do so. I believe in reciprocity. If I'm asking others to invest in me and my blogs, it is only right that I repay the favor by visiting their blogs and promoting them to bring them more followers. I subscribed to those that had a subscribe/follow button so I would get email reminders. For those that didn't, I relied on the RRBC Member Chat page to send me their links. Still, with those authors and other authors I follow, I was visiting 10-15 blogs a day, which takes up a LOT of time. I fit a lot of it in during down time throughout the day. Two minutes here, four minutes there. Then, at night, I'd tweet everything out before I went to bed.
So, did this challenge serve its purpose? When Nonnie Jules put this challenge together, I believe her purpose was multi-fold (this is solely my opinion; she may have had other goals). 1 - Get authors writing again and show us that we do have time to write. 2 - Help us build/rebuild our blog. 3 - Assist us in attracting more blog followers. I'll take each of those separately.
#1 - This challenge definitely got me writing again. I'm back to writing poetry with my poetry community, which I missed greatly. I enjoyed writing the posts and interacting with other authors. Will it turn into writing stories? I hope so. Fitting in a few minutes here and there to create a blog post isn't the same as separating time to write a novel, but it has shown me that I have some time throughout the week where I can separate a half hour or hour to write. So, I'm hoping to find at least three times a week to work on my current WIP.
#2 - In 2021, I wrote 31 posts in the entire year. Last year, I wrote 47 posts for the whole year. In January alone, I've written 33 posts, so I would say this challenge is on its way to rebuilding my blog presence. The problem is I still don't know what my niche is for my blog. Most authors I follow have something specific they focus on, and I just haven't found that segment idea yet. I know I plan to continue posting my poetry, so that should be four posts a month. I'm thinking of sharing my book reviews each month, like some authors do. That will be another post. I just don't know if I have a regular "thing" to write about on a weekly basis, at least not yet.
I also have learned that Blogger isn't user friendly for some of my visitors. I'm sure there is a solution, but I'm not the greatest at searching the internet for solutions. I prefer speaking to an expert, but there doesn't seem to be anyone I can call. Before I decide to become an avid blogger, I need to learn more about how to enhance my blog so it's more user-friendly. I've considered switching to WordPress, but I have so much already invested in this site, and I'd hate to lose it all.
#3 - I'm not really sure this challenge has helped build my followers. That number has stayed the same, though that may have something to do with my Blogger issues. On most days, I had maybe 3-8 people comment on my blog. The only exceptions were my poetry posts. There, I have over 15 visitors. There were a few visitors who shared my posts on social media, but it was just two or three people, and there weren't many retweets.
My stats show a little bit of a different picture, though. (Thanks, Nonnie, for letting me know there are stats! I'm still learning this blogging world.) In the past 30 days, I have had:
- 4,307 views, including views from USA, Germany, Canada, France, Belgium, the UK, and other places. This shows me that hashtags made a difference. Even though the likes and comments don't reflect these numbers, it still shows readers are stopping by.
- 497 comments. This includes my comments, so it's more like half of this. Again, most of these comments are on my poetry posts, but it does look better than the 3-8 I listed above.
- My top three posts were: Day 11 (399 views), Day 19 (219 views), and Day 8 (202 views).
- The top referrers were t.co (not sure what that is), Rave Reviews Book Club, and my poetry community.
So, while there have been more visits than comments, I don't know that I'm using my time wisely. For now, I think it makes more sense for me to spend that time working on my stories and creating 2-4 posts per month.
All in all, I don't regret participating in this challenge. It has reminded me how much I miss writing and that I need to make the time to write more often. I've enjoyed visiting the blogs of my fellow authors and supporting them through this challenge, and I look forward to continuing to support them in their posts.
Thank you to those of you who came by to visit me, even if just once. A special heart of gratitude to those of you who visited me on every post and left me comments and words of encouragement. I truly appreciate it. 💗💗💗
Did you enjoy my posts? Do you have any suggestions on what you'd like me to write about? I'd love to hear from you.
It might be helpful if you open a Wordpress blog and run it simultaneously with the blogspot one. I share articles across a few media. Afterward, you can compare the results and decide if you want to keep one blog or all of them. I've found that I have no interaction on Tumblr except for people liking or sharing. On blogspot, I've accumulated many followers, but they don't speak to me. On Wordpress, I get the most comments. You can even set up an Excel chart and compare the results. I'll check on you and see if you blog in the future. I like to blog at least once a week to keep the few people I have. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Yvette, your posts were so varied and interesting, you have no worries there! I so enjoyed your travel blogs and was really impressed by how much you remembered and how many places you and your son have visited. It doesn't surprise me that you were nominated for Teacher of the Year - your love of teaching and for your students, as well as a the originality and passion you bring to your profession, really shines through. Congratulations on completing the challenge - here are some fireworks for you - 🎊🎉💥ReplyDelete
Aw, thank you, Maura Beth! I truly appreciate your kind words and your constant visits! :-)Delete
I did enjoy reading everyone of your posts and especially the ones about your travels in the USA. Having traveled to 32 states, it was like bringing back old, pleasant memories. I am subscribing to your blog as of today. I want to support you in your poetry writing and that you post only once weekly, helps me to move in that rhythm. I like supporting other writers, but if they are blogging more than once a week, I choose the topic I want to support and only go to that one. Otherwise, I would never be writing. So, I'll be seeing you around. You have done a great job, and I almost forgot, CONGRATULATIONS!!! So proud of you being selected from your school as TEACHER OF THE YEAR! I am very proud of you.
Please let me know if you receive an email from me when I post. I've been hearing that others no longer receive them, and I'm hoping to figure out why and fix that. I appreciate you continuing to following me, Pat! Thank you! :-)Delete
Hi Yvette! It's been a pleasure interacting with you!!! I found your vacation posts helpful for planning purposes, but more than anything, it was lovely getting to know you and making a new friend. Congrats on being nominated teacher of the year! You're obviously a fabulous, writer, mom, teacher and all around kind, loving and strong person. My very best wishes to you on all your future endeavors. : )ReplyDelete
Donna M. Atwood
D. M. Atwood
Thank you for your sweet words, Donna! I am happy to gain you as a friend as well. I look forward to following your blog and learning more about your experiences. :-)Delete
Congrats on finishing your challenge, Yvette :) I enjoyed reading about your trips and daily challenges. XoReplyDelete
Thank you, Denise! I've got a poetry project I need to work on for the next two weeks, and then I'm getting back to Drake. Fingers crossed I get a chapter written soon. Thank you for always being so supportive. XOXO :-)Delete
Yvette, First, congratulations on winning teacher of the year. That is a great honor! Secondly, congrats on completing the 30-day blogging challenge! I know as a teacher you must be very busy since I am also a teacher, and I know that staying in the contest and remembering to send links and comment is a lot to keep up with. I couldn't keep up; I blame menopausal ADD. LoL. One thing I like as an indie writer is making up my own rules. At any rate, kudos to you, and good luck!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Pamela! I honestly didn't think I could do it, but I'm really happy I stuck with it. I'm going through your posts now and am really enjoying them. Thanks for stopping by! :-)Delete
Hi, Yvette! I have enjoyed every one of your blog posts! You've taken us on a beautiful, breathtaking journey through your travels, and have left us with some great tips and templates. Thank you! Your school got it right when they nominated you for Teacher of the Year. You should have won it, in my opinion. You pour so much into your students.ReplyDelete
I received emails about your blogs until July, 2022. None after that. Maybe you need to contact someone about it. Does blogspot have a help chat function? Susanne made a great suggestion. Open a new blog in Wordpress and post to both until you get your Wordpress the way you like it.
Congratulations on finishing the challenge strong!
Love and Blessings!
Thanks for letting me know about not receiving emails. I'm pretty sure Blogger made some kind of change, and I missed it. I think there is a help group. I just need time to sit and figure it out. Finding that time is the issue. Lol! I don't know if I have the energy to start (and maintain) another web site, but I might look into it over the summer.Delete
I truly appreciate your support and encouragement throughout this, Patty! :-)
Yvette, you are due double congratulations. Your selection as a teacher of the year candidate is wonderful. Finishing this challenge is another feather in your cap. As you noted, this shows that you are doing a job you love (and doing it very well), and that your love for writing is stronger than ever. I am still amazed at the length of your posts. I never have THAT much to share. Good for you.ReplyDelete
Lol! I am a wordy writer, for sure. I worry that the length of my posts probably turns off visitors, but I just never felt like cutting anything. I am who I am. People can always skip over parts that are not of interest to them, I guess. Thanks for sharing your congratulations, Karl! I truly appreciate it. And you are right - I love what I do, both teaching and writing! :-)Delete
Hearty congratulations to you, Yvette. You rocked! The challenge and then the teacher award. Amazing. I wish you all the best going forward. Blessing you. Selmamartin XoXo 😘ReplyDelete
Thank you for your kind words and well wishes, Selma! I truly appreciate it. :-)Delete
Congratulations on your nomination, Yvette love your corsage it is very pretty :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Carol! It was a gift from my principal. She's so thoughtful and kind. I'm blessed to have her leading our school. I appreciate you visiting today. :-)Delete
Congrats, Teach! I did enjoy your travelog posts and photos the best and also think this last post should be part of your top five of the month. With a busy life as yours, don't get caught up in it to the point where you burn yourself out because of deadlines and 'must do' items. Take those breaks and do things that bring you pleasure like watching scary movies with your son and enjoying your time with him. I see you finally went diving, did you post about it?ReplyDelete
Thank you, John! Yes, my diving post was Day 4 (https://yvettemcalleiro.blogspot.com/2023/01/a-day-in-my-life-day-4-rrbcorg-2023.html). We still have to do the boat dive. I'm just waiting for better weather.Delete
I appreciate your kind words and your advice. I try to balance my time as much as possible so I have time to relax and rejuvenate sprinkled throughout the chaos. :-)