I'm so so excited! We're doing our first challenge! And it's all about creating a banging blog post. We are going to spend an entire 7 days *yes, SEVEN* creating this post. The reason? I want this post to last. I want this post to be an ever green post for you. What that means is that people will come back to this post again and again. Whether that's through Google or Pinterest or other ways, they will keep finding your post.

I wanted to give you a glimpse at all 7 days to see the tasks. Now, this doesn't mean that you need to stop posting, you can of course keep up your regular blogging schedule. But, we are going to create a banging blog post together.

Let's take an in-depth look at the challenge:

DAY 1 Write out ideas and brainstorm

First and foremost, we need to come up with a post topic. But don't just stop at your first lightbulb. Go deeper. Brainstorm topic ideas and come up with a few different posts. What I really want you to do is to think about these questions:

- What will someone LEARN from what I write?

- How will this INTEREST the reader or my audience?

- How can I break this down into a deliverable post? 

Before you write, make sure you can answer those questions. 

Let me give you some examples. If you're talking about traveling to France, that's a lot to cover. So maybe focus on your first time to France. The reader might learn what to see and do in France. They will find it interesting to learn about some of the customs in France. Break this down into deliverable chunks by putting it into sections of where to stay, what to eat, where to go, etc. 

You can do this with ANY post topic!

Bottom line, we want to create exclusive content. Content readers really cannot get anywhere else. 

Day 2 Research your post topic

I want you to spend some time researching your post topic. Look it up online and try to learn something new about your topic that could be a piece of useful information. This might help you figure out some of the above questions if you have not figured out all the answers yet. Save some of the articles that were really helpful. NOW here's the real challenge: I want you to include these links in your post. 

Linking back to others on your post helps give you more authority. You're showing people that they can trust you, because clearly, you know your stuff.

For example, let's say I'm writing a post about the best time of day to go for a run. What if I referenced the "Society for Runners." In doing so, I give myself credibility and also I am showing the reader that I'm not the only one that agrees with this. Here's an example of a post that I wrote where I reference others: http://www.heleneinbetween.com/2016/03/how-to-stay-alert-throughout-day.html

Day 3 Create a Catchy Headline

By far, this is one of the most neglected areas for bloggers. Think about this, if you create a catchy headline everyone that sees it will click on it. You can increase hits immensely and right away when you create a headline that counts. 

Here are some examples of catchy headlines:

- This ONE Trick Will Blog Your Mind

- The Absolute Best Way to Create Squash Pasta

- 7 Insanely Cool Ways to Wear a Blanket Scarf

- How to Start a Squarespace Blog From Scratch

- Photography Tips For Every Newbie Photographer

- Create Beautiful Handlettering with This One Simple Step

- How to Start an Etsy Shop

- Your Guide to A Healthy Lifestyle

- This Budget Trick Saved Us $500 a Month

- The Proven Method for Organizing Effectively

- The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Your Home

- The 3 Rules to Creating the Perfect Wardrobe

- How to Pose Your Photography Clients

- 10 Ways to Effectively De-stress and Feel Good

- How to Paint Art For Your New Home or Apartment

- Step-By-Step Guide to Planning a Romantic Honeymoon in France

Create a headline that people cannot click away from. A great place to research headlines? Buzzfeed and Elite Daily, all of their headlines are VERY clickable. And let me tell you this, when it's clickable, it's shareable!

Day 4 Create a Reason to Follow

Okay, now that we've got a great post, it's backed up, it's got a catchy headline, let's get these people to STICK AROUND! If you have a newsletter create an extra bonus they can only get if they subscribe to your newsletter. Or, maybe say that you'll be giving an extra tip on Instagram. Then, link directly to your newsletter or social media. Make it SUPER EASY and SUPER OBVIOUS for people to follow you.

We want to give people a reason to stick around and find out more from us. When we create this in a post that lasts, you'll keep gaining followers! It's a win-win. So spend some time on this. Chat about this in the forum to get some ideas :).



Day 5 Create a Pinnable Image

Images are HUGELY important for your blog. We are a visual society and people often look before they read. What if you wrote the greatest post of all time and your image is blurry? PASS. So, we are going to focus an entire day to create a great image.

If you, yourself do not have photos here are some free places :)

8 places to find free stock photos


These are direct download links! 

Stock Photo Pack 1

Stock Photo Pack 2 (Bloom Collection)

Okay, now that we have an image, we need to make it pinnable. Now, not everyone's images are going to follow the same path. Some will have text overlays (text over the image) some won't. The bottom line, it needs to be CLEAR and easy to see/read.

The best size for pinterest is 735 X 1,102 so you need to see the width of your blog and find what image size works for you. Mine, for example, is 675 X 1042. You'll need to scale yours down based on the width of your blog.

***There will be a live tutorial on how to create great images for your blog :)

Day 6 Focus on Social Shares

Now that we have ALL of the above, and we've edited the post to check for misspellings and grammar it's time to PUBLISH! Whoo hoo! But... we're going to create some kick ass social shares first. I want you to, of course, share your post on all social media channels, but I want your to share strategically.

I like to create and schedule my social shares right after the post is written when it's fresh in my mind. I head straight to Hootsuite to start sharing my posts. I also think about this: What will make someone click?

Let's say you have a recipe for spaghetti. Here's one option: "My mom's best spaghetti recipe! www.mypostlinkhere.com" OR "The only pasta recipe you'll ever make again www.mypostlinkhere.com"

I don't know about you... but I'm clicking on the second one. So create CLICKABLE social shares. Here's what I want you to do (remember you can use a free service like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule these!):

Twitter: Share 5 times throughout the day

Facebook: Share Once the day you posted and share Another time 2 days later

Pinterest: Share On ALL relevant boards. Make sure to write out a pin description for each

Google +: Once

Instagram: Share once here

Stumbleupon: Share once here (share other's posts here too!) Here's a post on using Stumbleupon if you aren't familiar: http://www.heleneinbetween.com/2015/03/how-i-increase-my-pageviews-with.html

Other: Share it everywhere

The bottom line: create clickable shares.


Day 7 Comment on Others

Day 7 is all about sharing the love. Also, when you comment on other's posts, chances are they are going to come back and comment on yours!! I want you to try to comment on at least 5 other's posts.

A note about commenting, don't just comment "cool post." We want to comment with authenticity, we want people to come and check us out after all! So leave a heartfelt, well thought out comment.

Now that you've done ALL of the above, leave a link to your blog post in the forum (there will be a thread dedicated to this!)


Because of Memorial Day and well, life, I'm leaving the challenge open from NOW until June 6th. There will be a submission place to send in your blog post inside the Challenge to win the $50 gift card.