15 Priceless Gems I Learnt From The #30DayAfriblogger Challenge

I blogged my heart out in September, a whole 30 days of creating posts was worth every minute of my time…

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Image from Pinterest

  1. What stands between you and what you want is the story you tell yourself about why you can’t have it. I told myself I was going to blog the heck out of this September Challenge and I did exactly that!
  2. Collaboration is key. There were days when the challenge topics were tough and I had no idea how to tackle them. Thankfully we had the option to invite guest bloggers to write for us on a not so creative day.  I’m grateful for Chantelle, Vimbai and Josh for coming to the rescue.  Through their work my eyes were opened to issues that I had been ignorant about.
  3. Having a Content Calendar makes life easier. When the challenge started I looked through the topics and I was convinced it was going to be one crazy month because it looked like a lot of work.  Turns out it saved me a lot of time because I worked on difficult topics beforehand and sailed through the easy ones.
  4. I’ve spotted my weaknesses and strengths. Before this challenge I was an impromptu blogger.  Thanks to having to do research beforehand I have become more organised and I can create blog posts days in advance.  My number one strength now is that I know I can actually blog everyday if I put my mind to it.
  5. I got out of my comfort zone and learnt about new topics e.g feminism. I always see the topic getting people in heated arguments on social media platforms but now that I am more knowledgeable on the topic believe me I will be jumping in with my views.
  6. Use of different tools and elements to evoke emotion. Pinterest was good to me, word play even better!  These tools helped with keeping my readers engaged throughout the month and I’m happy to note that most readers could relate to different topics.
  7. Blog titles.  The catchier the better.  One of my personal favourites this month was When In Doubt, Eat Sadza.  This post caught the attention of my readers; most readers are currently out of the country so seeing sadza left them feeling nostalgic.
  8. Scheduling posts was the best thing that ever happened to me in September! It gave me time to read other blogs and not work on blogging only.
  9. Excuses don’t bring blog posts! I wrote through both good and bad days.  That’s the problem when you initiate something; you can’t afford to let yourself down so it ends up being both a blessing and a curse.  I seriously think that Sweet Lips should give me a case of wine because I went through a lot of wine this month to keep myself from drowing.
  10. Trust is built with consistency.  My objective as a Blogger is to get people engaged on my blog and the only way to do so is through consistent work.
  11. You may be a blogger but you are also a writer. Once you are something you have the responsibility of being  the best version of that!  What better way to challenge your skills through a 30 Day Blogging Challenge?
  12. September has been the best month of the year statistically with 5,379 views, 3,598 visitors, 524 likes, 137 comments and 31 blog posts!  If you want to get this blogging thing on lock then becoming a reliable source for content makes your blog more useful and therefore popular.
  13. Team work is the sh*t! We had a WhatsApp group running throughout the challenge and we discussed difficult topics in advance and it helped to give you an idea of which direction to choose for your posts.
  14. Bearded men aren’t so bad after all, wait, bearded men are the business! Apparently a man with a beard comes with much wisdom, awesomeness and note there’s D on the end of the word beard!   My friend (who happens to have a beard) would check on some of my posts and read some of my drafts and let me know they were lacking my character.  Make sure you have a person like that to cross check your work before sending it out into the world.
  15. I was going to stop blogging by the end of this year because I thought I was completely out of ideas on what to write about but this challenge just took my creative juices to the next level! I now know how I’m going to proceed blogging wise sit tight, it’s going to be an explosive journey from here on.

*Bonus Lesson: It’s good to invest in learning some technical skills!*

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Image from Pinterest

That said, let’s celebrate good times!!  Congratulations to every blogger who participated in this challenge. It was one energy filled month, we outdid ourselves African Bloggers!!!  This is the end of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge and I’m happy to have been a part of something so profound.  The first time I did a write everyday challenge was last year in September and you can read the posts from here.

I would love to hear from you, when was the last time you took up a writing challenge?  How did that go for you?  Did you face any challenges along the way and how did you handle them?

I’m going to be away for a while, taking a “break” from blogging but I will still be here reading through all your amazing posts.  Have a lovely weekend ahead and stay beautiful both inside and out.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

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Day 15: Why I Initiated The #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge

I love me a challenge, especially one I set up for myself.  Last year I did my first Blog Everyday challenge and it showed me just how much I can do the work when it comes to committing to writing everyday.  However, looking back at my posts I was still an amateur at it but this time around my writing has completely changed, things are looking good!  It’s true, practice does make perfect.  In my case perfect(ish) because I believe I still have a lot to learn when it comes to blogging.

I sent out a message on all my social media platforms and announced that I was going to be doing a blog everyday challenge in September and all bloggers in Africa were welcome.  In no time I set up a WhatsApp group and got in touch with  a fellow blogger Thembi and we added interested participants into the group.  We had to come up with a hashtag and we finally settled for a suggestion from Omolayo from Nigeria and we all agreed to go with #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge.

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Image from Pinterest

I could have written a very long post on the reasons why I initiated this challenge but I am honestly mentally exhausted, writing is so taxing so you will have to settle for the list version.

Here’s why I am taking part in the blog everyday challenge:

  1. I enjoy a challenge, with each challenge I get to learn something new.
  2. I announced I would be taking part in the challenge to everyone who would care to listen so yes, I am officially screwed and can’t back down now.
  3. To improve my writing skills.  The only way you can get better at something is through practice and so far I have learnt new vocabulary and I’m paying more attention to my grammar.
  4. To connect with other African Bloggers.  I follow bloggers from all over the world but since the challenge started I have read more content from writers who are right here in Africa.
  5. I want to be part of something original.  In the past I’ve had to search through Google or Pinterest to look for a challenge to take part in but look at me now, initiating original challenges and sh*t?
  6. To have a visual reference of my work.  Picture telling someone you blogged everyday for 30 days and they don’t believe you?  Simple, give them the link to your September Challenge so that they can check it out themselves.
  7. I was starting to write less in the past few months.  I usually post at least 4 blogs in a week but it was down to 2 and on bad weeks 1 post a week.  I needed something to get me back on track.
  8. To encourage other bloggers to write.  To let them know that it is possible to write a post a day if you simply put your mind to it.
  9. To stretch my mental capacity.  I always have a challenge to work on my physical strength but this time around I wanted to take my mental strength to the next level.
  10. To celebrate Africa!  The way I see it if African Bloggers do not share their stories no one else will and this is certainly a great way to start.

September is African Bloggers month!

©MaKupsy 2017

I Found My Purpose

I never really wanted a lot of things badly enough.  I could like something alright but really want and need it was a different story.  I went through the greater part of my life having a luke warm attitude towards a lot of things until one fateful day.  The day I went for my regular medical examinations and hopped on the scale to reveal how I had gone from being fat to obese was a life changing moment.  It was at that very moment that I decided I was going to do everything in my power to do something about the excess weight I was carrying around.  I was 85kgs and NOT pregnant.  Why is this important to note?  Well, when I was full term and a few days before giving birth to my baby girl I was 85kgs so you can imagine the horror!  It was time to get up and do something!

I was 85kgs and NOT pregnant.

With no money to subscribe for gym membership I was left to my own devices.  I decided running would be my best bet since it was free and all I needed was myself.  The first days were hard and I power walked through most of the distances I had set out for myself.  After weeks  of pushing myself I eventually ran for longer without stopping and I got all the motivation to keep going…I haven’t stopped running since.

I did not have much information to work with when it came to my eating habits so I simply worked with what other people were trying out.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night and sending a message to my friend telling her how hunger was stopping me from sleeping.  I had adopted a diet where I ate a very heavy breakfast, sometimes it even had sadza, a heavy-ish lunch and close to nothing but a glass of water and fruit for supper.  The scale was not moving, I was unhappy, I was hungry.  It was only after reading an article on the internet that I realised that I was doing myself more harm than good and started learning the art of preparing healthy balanced meals.  That was one of the best things that ever happened to me!

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I am going to be the first NikeWoman from Zimbabwe 🙂

Running got much more fun.  I had set out distances to try out and each time I managed to run through them.  My goal was to run 10K and if I could do that I would have officially accomplished the biggest goal in my life.  It did happen and it was just as I had pictured it.  From thereon I started challenging myself to run not just longer but faster and the hobby slowly became an addiction.  When I started I showcased my fitness journey on social media.  I knew I would have no choice but to show up come rain(in every sense of the word) or shine because my followers would be expecting to see my progress.

I switched things up and added Zumba, Yoga, NRC Workouts, Aerobics, Swimming and Tennis.  I realised that running alone was going to get boring at some point so the more activities I included the better variety to choose from.  I was bubbly, stronger, happier, fit and lean.  I did all this from the comfort of my home and never had to part with a single dime to reach my desired goal.  I have bumped into friends from College who can’t believe I haven’t changed at all because I am physically the same person.  If only they knew how much change that has taken place mentally as well.  I am a completely different person now.

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With family and social media followers starting to compliment on my progress I felt the need to to work harder.  When I realised the impact my journey had on people around me I created a WhatsApp group which has turned into a movement termed #RunWithFitnessBae.  At the beginning of the year it was trending because of a Fitness Challenge I had planned and organised.  The movement has participants from different parts of the world but mostly Africa.  I have taken the movement from WhatsApp to Facebook, Blogging and Instagram.  As it stands I am currently the only Zimbabwean Fitness Blogger and I create fresh content each week!

It brings me so much joy to know that even though my fitness journey was mainly pushed by a case of depression; the fruits that have come from it have actually created a passion and purpose that I could have never imagined.  I have managed to inspire people across the globe; especially mothers, to exercise and get back to their pre-pregnancy bodies.  Those who have come into contact with me have become better not only physically but emotionally as well.

I am a woman on a mission to make the most of every opportunity life throws at me.  I believe everyone can exercise for the body that they want and if you can not afford the gym there is no excuse not to get fit.  I am a living example of what park runs can do for you.  I am currently 74kgs and I have never had to part with a single dollar to lose weight.  I have been through it all, the fad diets, the hoping for miracle weight loss, the drinking fruit juice all day but at the end of the day what I have learnt is that you have to eat right, exercise and be patient.  The results will come, just make small changes everyday and you will be amazed at what your body can do.

If you would like to talk to someone about weight loss or weight management then I am the person for you.  If you would like to be a part of the current Winter Challenge feel free to join us, all the more competition for the team.

Never give up on what you truly want, it’s not everyday that people get to find out what it is that fires their soul!

I found my purpose.  The one thing that makes me get up in the morning and look forward to starting the day.  The one thing I dream of, the one thing I get excited talking about, the one thing that keeps me up at night writing up ideas and chewing up my data while I do research on the internet.  The one thing that I can’t live without.  I think, eat, dream, live fitness.  I am Fitness Bae.

I have a series coming up on Tuesday 18 July, be sure to log onto my Fitness Blog and subscribe.

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©MaKupsy 2017