Bloggiesta is happening as I write this, the #Bloggiesta tweets filling up its column on my TweetDeck dashboard. I see bloggers connecting over blog maintenance—something at the core of Bloggiesta—and updating everyone at large with what they’re accomplishing.
It’s one of my favorite blog events, and not just because it forces me to work on my blog. Here’s what Bloggiesta says about itself:
Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta!
What is it about Bloggiesta that works?
It encourages community interaction
In addition to creating a bloggy to-do list, a few people host mini-challenges designed to—ahem—challenge participants to try something new or improve their blogging experience. Each blogger hosts the challenge on her own blog, so there’s a built-in connecting feature.
Participants are encouraged to visit the mini-challenge hosts. Many times, conversations arise out of these mini-challenges that allow bloggers to connect on a deeper level than they’re able to normally. The Bloggiesta site also hosts a link-up of “startling line” posts, or to-do lists, so participants can hop around and connect with each other.
And, of course, people participating in Bloggiesta can tweet their progress and join one of the three Twitter chats hosted throughout the weekend.
What works about this community interaction is that participants always have common ground—their blogs and their desire to maintain and improve it—and blogs are what bind participants together.
Participants can establish their expertise
Back to the mini-challenges. Mini-challenges can cover just about anything. If a blogger deals with it, a mini-challenge can be made about it. I’ve hosted challenges on scheduling and organization, how to see your blog from a visitor’s point of view, easy SEO tweaks, and how to give good SEO. Those don’t even scratch the surface of existing challenges, or the potential future challenges.
If you know how to do something—or have the willingness to learn (I read about SEO and attended webinars)—you can host a challenge on it. And if you know enough to host a challenge, then participants see you as having all the answers.
Being seen as an expert, or at the very least knowledgeable, boosts your recognizability. Even bloggers who haven’t participated in Bloggiesta know me from challenges I’ve hosted. I become not just an authority on my mini-challenge topics, but blogging in general.
And that can pay off. If you’re selling a product, hosting a challenge may be the reason people go on to purchase it. You’ve got their trust.
Bloggiesta connects bloggers
In other words, bloggers can use Bloggiesta to grow their network. Between the blog hopping, the mini-challenges, and the #Bloggiesta hashtag on Twitter, participants have many opportunities to find, meet, and befriend people just like them.
When you’re new to the blogging world, it can be hard to find new, like-minded people. You crawl through blogrolls and comment threads looking for someone interesting. But Bloggiesta provides a central location for bloggers to link up their blogs, making finding new blogs easy. By linking up your own post, bloggers can easily find you. Without all the commenting and social media sharing.
If you’d like to participate in Bloggiesta, the next mini-Bloggiesta (which falls in between the main events) is January 25 and 26. Follow them on Twitter @Bloggiesta or like Bloggiesta on Facebook to stay in the know.