Would you start writing a new blog if you had help? Or if you had a competitive incentive? Welcome to the MBUstorm blogging challenge.
Have you ever wanted to start a blog from scratch and grow it into a business? It’s the perfect DIY career move for any writer, but blogging is about more than just writing. So help is on its way!
Ann Smarty and her team at MyBlogU are running the MBUstorm Content Zero to Blogging Hero Challenge. It’s a contest – no, it’s a mentoring program. But, wait, it is a contest. But it is also a mentoring program. She has put together a program to help a number of bloggers get started on their first blog or on a new blog, and one of them will win some extra help at the end to boost their revenue. Anybody can join until October 4.
You can read all about the MBUstorm Content Zero to Blogging Hero Challenge here. Meanwhile, I’ve caught up with a few of the first bloggers who have signed up so far, and I asked them a few questions about what they are doing in this contest. This is a sneak preview into the minds of several blogger starting up their own new blogs.
Let’s meet the contenders!
Lori Hil is a self-professed “Enthused 9-5 Avoider. Chihuahua in lap, coffee in hand.” She’s in this contest to up her blogging game by learning more about creating a niche site called Glowing Skin Care Secrets, which just doesn’t fit well with her other business ventures.
Similarly, Kari has been blogging on relationships and happiness (I love reading her posts!), but wants to branch out into “attracting the life you want through a more positive mindset. I chose it because that’s what I want to implement in my own life.” So her new blog will be Smiling Thoughts.
So a big motivation to start a new blog is the chance to branch out into a new topic that one is passionate about, that means something to the blogger. A good question for you, if you are thinking about kick-starting a new blog, is: “What are you passionate about?”
Luana Spinetti is in it for a different reason. She had plans for a “character blog” based on her robot character Selina Hydron, but got sidetracked by life. The blog was to be about Selina Hydron’s life as a copywriter for clients from various planets, including Earth. “When I saw the Content Zero to Blogging Hero Challenge coming up I thought this was my chance to get SelinaBizGirl.com up and running for good.”
Erik Emanuelli already runs several blogs. He is a self professed social media addict: “But when I’m not working online, I like to jump out of planes.” Similar to Luana’s situation, Erik’s blog on “Everything people need to know to cure an hangover!” has been on his to-do list for some time.
Steve Counsell has a more timely reason for entering the challenge:
“I’ve recently set up a local meeting group to help people and small business with their computer problems. This has started to grow far faster and bigger than I had imagined it would. It’s becoming so popular that I decided just 2 days ago to put a dedicated website in place to relay information to the group and a wider audience.”
He saw the MBUStorm challenge as the perfect opportunity to kick-start the project. He’ll be covering everything from blogging, to computer issues, to social media, to mobile tips.
For Stephanie Langlet as well, the time was just right. She was ready to launch her private, customized tours in southwest France for English-speaking Asians who want to visit France without a group but not on their own. She herself is a “female solo traveler, who always has a strong connection with Asian people. Sometimes too much…” She won’t tell me how she knows that Tibetan monks wear nothing under their robes, but she is happy to recount how she was “kidnapped” by the brother of a famous Khmer singer, all about the pushing and shoving when they arrived at a karaoke club, and…well…”I understood why Khmer women don’t want their husbands to go to karaoke.” (And how useful a sudden headache can be!)
What will they be doing?
It’s still early stages for Luana strategy-wise, but she has identified two key elements to propel her character blog to success:
- Storytelling and complementary artwork that portray Selina and her adventures in the most detailed and credible way.
- The advice to Selina’s ‘human readers’ must be spot on and helpful in relation to both Selina’s story and her audience’s real needs.
Kari will be focusing on building a subscriber list: “A list that is interested in this niche, and trusts me as someone who has their best interest at heart, is very important for this blog’s success.” Erik will also be focusing on building up his list, as well as optimizing the blog for organic search traffic.
For her part, Lori Hil will be focusing on building community: “I want to build an engaged community that will share and support one another.”
Steve’s main focus will be on monetizing the blog either through high traffic volume advertising, or through a paid membership section for access to more details tips and tutorials.
Stephanie is counting on “launching it with a big bang!” with a step-by-step guide in hand. But her secret weapon is taking her marketing offline. Seven weeks in India with business cards and a photo slideshow should do the trick!
Winning a contest is never easy when everyone is in it to win. Lori will be leveraging her current social media accounts, as well as starting up new ones just for this blog. So it will be easy to follow her progress on her social media accounts. Kari figures that making it personal will be her winning strategy, trying things out and reviewing them for an audience that trusts her to give them the straight goods. Steve is counting on co-authors, as well as guest bloggers, to create a winning team. Luana is counting on originality to win. Erik will be reaching beyond social media and blogging communities to…where? I can’t wait to find out.
“Of course, using MyBlogU to its fullest is also a big part of my winning strategy!” Kari points out.
For her part, MyBlogU founder Ann Smarty says:
“With our previous challenges, the toughest part was to award the winner. Everyone seemed so worthy of an award that I always felt almost guilty giving the prize to only one! I hope we’ll form a strong group of people working towards one goal: Creating something awesome. And that goal will keep us together for ages!”
So who will win? What will prove to be the winning strategy? How many of these blogs will be successful? I won’t go out on a limb to try to predict the winners, but I am willing to bet that most of the blogs will be a success just because they are being launched in this context of both competition and cooperation. Luana’s final message to the judging panel reflects the opportunity: “Whether I win or not, I know I will not have lost, because the value of this challenge goes much beyond the challenge itself.”
“I also wish I had such an opportunity when I was starting a blog: I’d achieve much more!” adds Ann.
Let’s cheer them on, and if you’ve been wanting to write your own blog, this is your chance to kick-start it with style!