When Vartika and I spoke about a guest post on her blog, I wanted to come up with a theme that neither of us has written about before and something that binds us together besides being bloggers, ex-corporate employees, and mothers. So, I decided to write about the blog trains that we hosted together.
A blog train is a lot of hard work. If you are not thrilled with the idea. Don’t go for it. If you can’t take out dedicated time, look for a co-host. Go for it, if you want to grow along with your fellow bloggers. If you are committed to building your network, this is the best way!
I was lucky to have been a part of two successful blog trains with Vartika, one of which had our friend, Alpana too. The three of us enjoyed a great rapport and were committed sincerely to the endeavor.
In my opinion, here are a few advantages of a blog train:
1. Connect and build a network – Blog hops help in reaching out to many bloggers in your niche and hence expand your network.
2. Learn teamwork – While blogging is an individual task and a one-person show, a blog train when hosted with others requires good teaming and collaborative skills.
3. Facilitate the creation of great content – Some of the best write-ups come up through blog trains as innovative prompts inspire people to think out of their comfort zone and the prizes incentivize them to give it their best shot.
4. Boost website – Blog trains improve ranks and website statistics as they drive traffic and
give back links.
5. Honing one’s judgement – Critically analyzing fellow bloggers write up makes one a better writer too. Reading always helps in writing and reading multiple posts for judging helps generate new ideas, directions, and styles for the judge.
Hosting a blog hop is a lot of hard work. One should be prepared to deal with some of the following:
1. Good Coordination – Coordination among hosts requires patience and can sometimes be time-consuming, though ultimately worth the effort.
2. Judging not natural – If judging doesn’t come naturally to you then it may get a little tricky to decide the winners.
3. Back up plans – No matter how much you plan and are organized, something somewhere along the way, may fall apart. Having a Plan B for everything is recommended.
4. Managing it all in a virtual world – Coordinating and executing it all in a virtual world without in-person interaction is a challenge as sometimes emotions and ideas get lost in translation.
These were our takeaways. Vartika and I would love to hear your experiences. Share them from any angle of involvement (host, participant, etc.).
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