How many of you have wanted to put on a challenge? Whether it’s a 5 or 7-day challenge or even a 30-day challenge, challenges have been shown to increase your traffic, gain more email subscribers, and even get more loyal followers!
I hosted my first “real” 7-Day Blogging Bootcamp called Start a Blog that Converts like Crazy and I want to give you a behind the scenes tour of what I did, systems I used, content I created, and some savvy tech equipment, all while being on a budget so you can do the same too.
I will even share some frustrations and ideas that I will take into account for the next time I run my Bootcamp in January.
Start a Blog that Converts like Crazy content came from a webinar I hosted earlier this year. There were six steps within the webinar, so each step became a Day. I added an extra day to make it 7 days instead of 6.
Every night during the Bootcamp, I would go Live on Facebook within the Group at 5pm MST. Except for one night, I was consistent at that time (read below in the Imperfection section about that one night).
I ran the Bootcamp from November 4-10 and promoted it for about a week before it was “released.” I had a total of 34 people sign up for the Bootcamp, and in my opinion, that wasn’t too shabby.
The content consisted of daily lessons, Facebook Live trainings, and homework with a few downloads to help get my students started on their blogging journey.
One of my promotion graphics
Since I had affiliates for my online course, The Confident Blogger, and I was leading people to my course after my Blogging Bootcamp, I asked them to promote my Bootcamp. I created all the content and graphics for them to used and delivered it inside of a Google Doc. My affiliates are inside of a Facebook Group and since the algorithms have not been of great help to me, I tag my affiliates so they were notified of the new post.
Only a handful of 10 affiliates actually promoted my Bootcamp, but that is a given (unfortunately) when you have affiliates. I recognized I needed more affiliate so that I can have more people promoting it organically. Yes, I am meaning to reach out to the people going through the Bootcamp now to ask if they want to help promote it next time I offer it.
One thing that I did and I believe it made a difference is that I posted like a madwoman on my own personal Facebook page the week before the Bootcamp started with clever short content because that is more eye-catching and engaging for those scrolling through Facebook. Also, I saw someone else do that and decided to try it myself.
I broke down each day of the challenge and posted it multiple times a day on my personal page and put the link in the comments (putting the link in the content itself can get me kicked out of Facebook and I didn’t want that). I know I got a few more people thanks to that activity I did, especially the weekend before the Bootcamp started.
I also ran two ads to my Bootcamp, each at $2/day for 5 days. I spent below $20 and reach over 1300 people. Unfortunately, I only got 13 clicks, however, I realized that I should have asked my affiliates what they thought about my content to my ad before running it. Next time, I shall get their feedback because they are smart cookies like me.
Here are some other ways I promoted my Bootcamp:
- Email marketing
- Facebook Groups Promotion Days
Where I hosted My Content
Instead of my people getting the content via email every day, I decided to host my content on MemberVault, a free and paid membership program that is still new, but it’s pretty awesome. I am going to eventually move The Confident Blogger to MemberVault (MV).
One reason why I chose to host my content on MV is that I can keep track of who brings who to my Bootcamp, thus when one person buys my course, I can track who brought them to my Bootcamp. They have an easy affiliate site, so that is one reason I wanted to use MV.
The other reason is that MV has this amazing link that is called One-Time Click Link, where when a new member creates an account MV, they click on the link inside the email and it automatically takes them to the page AND if I put into the content [firstname], it’ll show up as, “Hey Madison…”! How cool is that?
Day 7 Example inside of MemberVault
Now I sent people to my email marketing service, MailerLite, where I created a landing page there and from there, I asked them to create an account onto MV so they can receive the daily content.
My affiliates sent people to my MV landing page where they created and signed up for the Bootcamp. Then they were easily added onto MailerLite’s Automation, which held my Bootcamp’s content and beyond.
Facebook Group and Bonuses
I decided to give away two bonuses after people finished Day 5 and Day 7 to encouraged people to finish the Bootcamp. MV has a way where people have to get so much EP Points before they get a bonus, so no one gets it unless they have done the work. It was a way to gamify the Bootcamp, and from what I can tell, it may not have been effective this time around, but perhaps next time.
I also had a popup Facebook Group that people could join and get daily trainings that went deeper into the content during the time of the Bootcamp. For unknown reasons, only 13 signed up for the Group. I reached out via email on my personal email to let people know that one of the real values they could receive is through the popup Facebook Group as I go into deep dives on the content delivered to them. Only a few more hopped into the Group after that email and I also had it in each day of the content through MV about the training and linked it back to the Group.
I’m not sure if Facebook Groups are becoming so normal that they don’t work anymore.
My budget was limited, so I used Canva and Pexels to create my graphic for my Bootcamp as well as photos from my last photoshoot back in April. The “photographers” where my friends who were no experts in photography and we used the day to just hang out and have a good time.
When I was hosting my Facebook Lives, I used a $15 tripod from Target and ordered a cell phone holder for a tripod from Amazon that I purchased a while ago. I also used my chalkboard to create points that I brought from Hobby Lobby 50% off after New Years Day a few years ago to articulate each daily lesson even more!
On Day 1 of the Bootcamp, I was writing on my chalkboard and a few people told me that my writing was backward. Oops. I knew I had to figure something else out so the rest of the 6 days writing was not backward.
I decided to use my phone to host the Live, which was turned away from me so my writing was not backward, and bring my laptop near so I can read comments as they filtered through.
Here is that fancy tech I used right here:
Yup, a tripod and a three-tier wired cabinet thing I brought who-knows-when. I might have gotten it for free, who knows with me! I just know I have had it for a while now and I no longer remember buying it. Oh and my laptop sat on the blue fabric box so I didn’t have to lean over a lot.
I used that small ring light to help with my lightning as my office offers poor lightning, but it wasn’t meant to project the light that far. So I went only Amazon and brought a 10-inch ring with 10 different light settings for my next Bootcamp and Facebook Live Trainings.
This was the first time I actually had a VA help me out. I went onto a Facebook Group and asked if any VA would be willing to donate five hours of their time to help me with graphics for my Bootcamp.
Kim from Savvy Support VA joined the Monica Writes team for just a short while to help me out! I couldn’t have done my Bootcamp as relaxed as I did without her! She created my daily prompts and my graphics for my Bootcamp and I am happy to announce that I will be bragging about her in December inside a blog post!
Kim also reached out to my affiliates to get on Facebook Live, and the important people signed up for the Lives (the ones I REALLY wanted).
There were a lot of imperfections from my Bootcamp, namely that my child cried or screamed in the background almost every night when I went on Facebook Live. I had my door shut and yet, his little voice with big lungs carried through my door into the room.
I also had my dog in my office on Day 1 and had to let her out because, of course, she wanted to be let out as soon as I dived into the content.
My camera was crooked the entire time because I had a cheap tripod. I told myself I needed to buy a studier one because my little tripod just wasn’t straight. Poor tripod.
Don’t mind me over here with my crooked tripod…
One night, we had someone come look at our house (we’re in the middle of trying to sell it for our big move to Indiana) and I thought we would be back in time for my Facebook Live.
Well, we ended up going to church instead and I had to communicate within the group I would be on late and at a different location. Luckily or me, I got a room at the church with a dry erase board and had to make do with a chair and table to record my lesson for the day. Sorry, no picture is available for that setup.
I decided to roll with it because that was all I could do. I don’t think any challenge is ever going to be perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move with the flow and improve for next go around, which for me, will be in January.
My Bootcamp Lessons
Overall, I believe my first real blogging Bootcamp was a success. Although I am in the promotion phase of my Bootcamp (hint, I am promoting my course, The Confident Blogger), having over 30 people within my Bootcamp was a celebration in and of itself. I learned how to ask for help and try to make it a win-win for my VA and affiliates.
I also made due when things didn’t go the way I wanted, like my camera not being turned around so people can see my handwriting instead of it being backward. I am going to be asking my affiliates for more participation and reach out to them individually next time to request that as well as hopping onto Facebook Live with me.
I will involve my affiliates by asking for their input on my ads and content. I believe that we can work together better when we involve one another and I want to practice that.
Now, the Bootcamp isn’t quite done yet as I am in the phase promoting my course, so I will update this blog when those numbers come in.
Until then, don’t be afraid to ask for help (even if it’s for free, just ask what would make it a win for that person), make do with what you have, even if it’s basic, and provide outstanding content without the “I don’t look professional” thoughts. It’s okay and it’s fine to work with basic elements, like a chalkboard.
Be you and people will love you for that. Show up big and show up great.
You were made for greatness, so start acting like that greatness.