Monday, April 30, 2012

April Platform Challenge: Day 30

Well, this is it: the final day of this month-long platform challenge. What could I possibly have in store for today? Actually, not too much, though I will share some possible Next Steps for May and beyond tomorrow morning--so tune in for that, if you're interested, but you're officially done after today.

For today's task, leave a comment below describing your April Platform Challenge experience. Did you like it? Did you hate it? Was it too much? Too little? Were there things you wish I'd covered that I didn't? Do you feel like you're in a better place now than you were a month ago? Any and all feedback is welcomed by me as I try to tweak this whole challenge-making process.

2012 Writer's Market Deluxe Edition

Once you finish today's task, click here to see how to enter your name in the free raffle for a 2012 Writer's Market Deluxe Edition book. I'd recommend sending in your e-mail again even if you did so at the beginning of the month, because I'm a little skeptical anyone who submitted before April 30 completed all the challenges.

And that's it. I hope you'll continue to haunt and comment on My Name Is Not Bob as I get back into my regular content. But that's all, folks--for this challenge anyway. Thank you so much for participating--it's been a whole lot of fun!


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Learn About Platform, the Back Door Way.

This live webinar is set for May 24 (2012) and will be taught by one of my favorite presenters: C. Hope Clark! If you've never attended a presentation by Hope, you'll be amazed by the overwhelming wave of information with which she'll flood you. She's amazing. Plus, all registrants will receive a personalized critique on their personal projects, which is an amazing deal in and of itself.

Click to continue.


Need to catch up or re-visit earlier challenge tasks? Here are the most recent:


Khara House said...

Robert, this may be the easiest task for me thus far ... I absolutely loved it. I loved the variety in the tasks we were asked to complete, and though at times it became a bit overwhelming (all the social media), it also showed me how much fun I can have with building a platform. I learned so much this month, and feel like I accomplished so much. When it comes to what will come, as a result of this challenge I think I've gained a much better idea of what I'm doing with my blog, and my web presence. If there was anything I wished had been covered more, it might be the "building community" aspect; I think the calls to action definitely helped, and the tasks to comment, but I still wonder how to get people to my blog. Maybe the answer is just time! :) Thank you SO much for this challenge (both challenges of yours, actually, this month). I've stepped out of my comfort zone so much, and now I feel like there's no going back! :)

Kelly Williamson said...

This challenge has changed my life for the better. With your guidance, I became more familiar with some social media sites that I had previously just glanced at, and through those I have learned so much about writing in general. The best part of this, and quite unexpected, is the cohort of writer friends I have made and will take with me moving forward. I have been provided with the inspiration to dig n and follow my dreams...thank you, Robert.

Rena J. Traxel said...

I learned a lot. My favourite task was the editorial calendar and coming up with a daily task for the month of May. These are two things that I plan on doing for months to come. I wish I hadn't fallen behind as catching up in a couple of days wasn't fun. It would have been much easier to do each task the day it was assigned. I plan on coming back so that I can catch up with all the writers who took part in this challenge. Thanks.

Anne Kimball said...

I had a blast, and learned a lot. Most helpful (and most painful) for me was kickin' my butt to add more social media sites. And along with that, your blessing to back off on those that didn't blow wind into our sails.

If you do this again, I would definitely add the task of finding a "hop" or another site like SITS where bloggers help each other out (much like the MNINB challengers have helped each other out this past month). I just found SITS yesterday and it looks promising, but the hops, for me, are a very real traffic driver, as well as a great place to connect with new, like-minded bloggers.

In a word, NB? This has been PHENOMENAL!

Thank you....

Blyth McManus said...

This challenge has been by far the single most beneficial experience of my social media and writing life. As many others noted, some of the tasks were ones I had already completed but much of this information was brand new. In the last few years, I had fallen behind with social media and this challenge gave me a great overview of what's happening now as well as a list of things to do for many months to come. It was an unexpected bonus to connect with so many other writers and I believe these friendships will continue after the challenge is over. Thanks!

Amanda Socci said...

Thank you, Robert, for hosting this challenge. Like many others who have commented, I, too, went out of my comfort zone to join Facebook and do many other things I had resisted doing.

Truthfully, I did not complete all of the challenges. However, the one singlemost important thing I take away from the April challenge is the motivation you provided me to help me prioritize my goals.

What do I want to accomplish with my writing career? What is the best way to achieve that? What proactive steps should I take to build a following around my writing product? And finally, how do I sustain that momentum? I take away many lessons you've taught us to heart.

I plan to expound on many of your suggestions and ideas in upcoming months as I slowly think about guest blogging opportunities and the editorial calendar, to start.

I already purchased a copy of Writer's Market and got one gig so far. I do not know if you remember me, but I contacted you repeatedly through Twitter and gmail to offer you editing services to edit the market listings in Writer's Market, many of which are outdated. I decided to drop that quest because it seems like it was not meant to be. Thanks again for this challenge.

Elizabeth Saunders said...

I really liked this challenge. Completing everything gives me a sense of accomplishment, and the camaraderie kept me going. APC was a good mix of easy tasks (replying to tweets) and pushing us out of comfort zones (pitching a guest post!). If you had started out with the hard stuff, more people might have been discouraged and dropped out. Look how many of us are still here!

Also good to see that platform-building can be a routine (weekly blog posts).

Anne Kimball said...

Just thought of one more thing you could think of including if you were to do this again: HARO.

Can't remember who first told me about it, but I've gotten several "gigs" from HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out. It's basically a list of topics, organized by categories, on which writers are looking to write about for a newspaper article, an e-zine, magazine, book, etc. You go thru the list and see if you would have something to say, then click on the link to leave a query. I've been in,, and The New York Times thanks to HARO, plus an essay I'll have in a book coming out later this year (like a Chicken Soup for the Soul-type book). It's pretty cool.

Michelle Pond said...

Thank you for putting together this challenge, Robert. I see the use of social media in a whole new light. I liked the tasks that centered around blogging, like adding the share buttons, learning how to search for keywords and hints to improve content. I did feel overwhelmed at times, but maybe that is just part of the lesson of time management. One thing I did not anticipate was the great community that grew up around the challenge. I learned alot from the other MNINBers. I know I am way ahead of where I would be if I had just tried to increase my use of social media on my own. Thanks again!

Lynn said...

This was a great challenge and I really enjoyed it, even though I pulled my hair out a time or two. I learned an immense amount of things. What I would like to do is go through it again, but only with my time schedule and take more time with the tasks. Like learning more about HootSuite and other programs - to know more of the nuts and bolts. I'm sure I've missed a lot. I feel like I will make some lasting friendships through this challenge, or at least I hope so. I was glad to know I wasn't alone in the way I felt sometimes - overwhelmed. Can't thank you enough for everything and well, I'm a fan and will continue to follow you! You're a wealth of information for writers.

Erika D. said...

This challenge was wonderful. I may have resisted some of the tasks, but I *did* adopt some new tools (and return to some I'd let languish). Most of all, there's now a great archive to consult and to share with others who want to learn more about the subject. Thanks, Robert, for a great idea and a great month.

margo said...

As I have mentioned, I came to this challenge late because of my cyber ineptitude. In some ways I enjoyed that, the catching up of 24 days in two, because everything was concentrated and I could see the overall effect, like stop motion photography. That allowed me to look at my blog and other social media stuff and see what needed shoring up, what I hadn't considered, what I still needed to do. I am so glad you did this challenge and look forward to anything that follows.

F.T. Bradley said...

It's been a great challenge. I knew a lot already, and had a blog, Twitter, etc., but still learned a few new tricks and reassessed my strategy. Good stuff--so thank you!

Terri Hall @ 11713 said...

My head is swimming and my heart is flying! At 54 years old I have finally declared myself a writer...and a musician, but that is another challenge. Right now the declaration has been made in my heart, and to my friends. I will continue to pay the bills with my day jobs, but when asked what I do? My new declarationa and mantra, "I am a writer!"

The Not Bob Challenge has been a challenge. Difficult only in a challenging way. The "easy" for others was still challenging for me. I loved every minute of it. Just as you, Not Bob, take breaks for social media updates, I took breaks for the MNINB challenge. I am still working on some of the challenges...interview, guest blogging. Those require more than "breaks" to accomplish. These things are already on my May calendar, so I am carrying on with this challenge.

I haven't had the chance to be a part of the larger community, but I'm a peeper...I check in, read the posts, tweets, comments and blogs. I respond as I can. I am not used to being on the perimeter, but it has been a very educational and inspiring place to be.

But really, what have you done for me? Ha! Weel, you have helped me transition into a new place in my life. ( is the final day of a move into a new house.) You have been my favorite subject all month long; everyone I know now knows abaout you. I use your words of encouragement as I lead Weight Watchers meeting (imagine!) and I share your challenges about social media to those I know who are resistent. You have given me rationale for using social media; you should hear my spiel! I am a better, more prepared blogger. I am a better speaker. I am a better, more confident me.

You have released this dragon!

Misky said...

Taking on this challenge, Joseph's Weekly Reverie prompts and the Poetic Asides AprPAD was more than a small challenge for me. If poetry contained calories, I'd be a small blimp. Come November, I'll be reducing 'calorie' intake. Best bit: the interview without doubt. Huge jump in views/hits during that 48-hr period. I plan to make that a regular feature, monthly perhaps. Joining 98% of the social networks on the internet taught me one lesson: I only need two - Twitter and Facebook. Nearly all internet referrals came through Twitter. There's also an article at Tweets Do Affect Google Rankings about this, too. As for the May calendar, I'm working on something based on my being offline for several weeks: scheduled posts.

Thanks again, Robert. Good experience. :)

bolton carley said...

Robert, first off, thank you! I feel like I'm in a much better place at this point. Was it overwhelming? Well, that would be an understatement of epic proportions! Yet, I'm so glad I stuck it out!

If you want ideas for adding, Anne mentioned hops which I'm off to learn about because I need more traffic on my blog. I also think it would be nice to organize some google docs for people to find others with similar blog types. I say that, but I also understand meeting everyone and having a variety is good, too. There were just so many people that I'm still trying to read everyone's blogs and figure out who I fit with. Again, just a thought.

Just very thankful for all the help from everyone this month! Crossing my fingers that it makes the difference for me!

Lauren Miller said...

This challenge has done several things for me. It has bolstered my confidence that "I'm on the right track" as far as my weekly attempts to engage in social media and an editorial calendar. It has challenged my resistance to engage in talking to strangers and trying new things. I'd never done a Twitter chat until your challenge.

I am now pushing myself to blog more weekly and consistently than I have before. May is going to be the start of a big push for new content out there and a new schedule lined up (hope it works out!).

There were two challenges I was unable to complete, the interviewing and the guest blogging. I will definitely keep these in mind for May/June but they take more time than could be completed right now. I'm also taking May to start researching the short story market to build my creds and my audience before putting my manuscript out there.

The April Platform Challenge has especially helped me make my writing a priority and given me the freedom to dedicate a small amount of time (an hour or so?) each day to do something writing-related. If we want our writing to succeed, it needs to be a priority.

Thank you Robert for this awesome challenge. As always, looking forward to great posts from you in the future.

Jennifer said...

This challenge has been a great way to get organized and set-up a more competitive platform. I particularly liked getting more directly involved with social media. It was overwhelming at times,in light of staying on top of my already present social media commitments. It was well worth it though. I learned much about establishing a good platform and the role of social media. Thank you, Robert, for taking the time to help us be better positioned as writers. Through your inspiration, I finally set-up my Facebook page. Hope you check it out and like it. :)

Susan P said...

I am relatively new to social media. When I started this challenge the only active social site I had was Facebook. I wrote my little personal blog for fun and was getting ready to launch a more professional blog. I had completed one novel and was close to finishing the second.

Everyone I spoke with, including my agent, said you have to develop a social media platform to get yourself out there. Not only to bring people to your sites but also to make connections for support, etc.

At the end of the challenge I can honestly say that I have accomplished everything I wanted. I have enhanced my blogging skills, learned how to increase traffic to my site and joined up with several new social media sites.

I'm still figuring out how Twitter and Google + are going to fit into my day but in general, I am feeling more confident.

Best of all, I have connected with some very interesting writers. I am very excited to have joined Red Room and discovered a terrific new blog I'd never heard of before. These will all provide me with the support and community I've been craving.

I didn't find the tasks too onerous. In fact, I think that for a beginner they were just about right. A good mix of technical learning and good old fashioned writing practice.

Thanks very much for launching this challenge and I will most certainly continue to follow your MNINB site. In addition to the challenge I find your everyday entries interesting and helpful, as well. Cheers!!

J. B. Everett said...

This challenge moved me farther and faster than I ever would have on my own. Without the support and guidance, I probably would have given up (or just not known to do) some of the tasks involved. It's been invaluable--thank you!

Kyle Robinson said...

Hey Robert,

I must say that I loved this challenge, it's been a wonderful experience and the only thing I can say that I wish would have been covered just a bit more was the Search Engine Stuff. I don't know a lot about how Search Engine Optimization so it would have been nice to see a little more into that but other then that I loved the challenge.

Diane said...


Thank you for doing this. I have stepped up a notch, learned a few new things, and have had great confirmation that I am headed in the right direction. I have to admit that I had an occasional groan when I was already busy but I hung in. I have been doing the RSS feed and unfortunately it arrives in my box a day later. I wonder if anyone had that issue too. It worked for me as I use emails as a reminder list. Once an email is dealt with, it is archived or trashed. There are a few of yours in my inbox reminding me to visit the subject on a more lengthy level.

Susan Craig said...

Wow. Amazing month. Thank you, Robert, for putting all this together. The communities that have formed are awesome...still not as involved with them as I'd like to be. Where do others find the time? It takes me 45 minutes just to go through my email inbox these days--and I've turned off most of the notifications!
But what I've learned simply can't be measured. Like all good learning, I see so much more now, including so much more I could (and maybe should) be doing.
It's going to take awhile for the dust to settle, but beginning to build a platform has been a wonderful experience. I especially liked the day we investigated SEO. It was something I'd always been curious about.
God bless you, Robert!

Joseph Lalonde said...

I jumped in a bit late but really enjoyed the challenges that were posted. Quite a few I had already done and a few stretched me (like asking for an interview from an expert). I think my blogging has been pushed forward in a new direction and can't wait to see where it leads.

Mary Bauer said...

This was a great challenge. A couple of mornings I would read it and think it was too much, but I realized those mornings addressed the areas I most needed to push.
I am applying for a staff development job in my school district. I want to use this challenge as an example of how to improve our current model. Thank you.

Jane said...

Thanks for putting this out there. I've learned a lot. At times, I've fallen behind. Are we going to be able to access the Challenge as a reference. That would be very helpful to me. I'd like to catch up on what I've missed. Thanks for helping me grow!

Joe O. said...

The challenge helped me organize myself in a way I could not have managed on my own. I think many of us occasionally miss school, if only because part of us will always find it easier when someone else is in charge of giving directions. That’s a little surprising coming from a conventional Leo, but there you have it. Writing is a vulnerable act, and we want to rally around someone or something that helps it be not so scary to put our thoughts out there. I’ll have to find ways to adapt what I have learned here to a busy schedule. I am very appreciative of your having done this for us.

If anyone is interested in a very small writing challenge of sorts, my editorial calendar has decided Mondays will be devoted to writing prompts. I give you a running start. You run with it in the Comments, and perhaps in doing so we can help our collective creative juices flow early in the week.

Today’s challenge:

Jennifer said...

This was a great idea. I got items done that I had been thinking of doing for a long time. I accomplish more when it is a game or challenge which is why I do NaNoWriMo and why I was eager to complete your challenge. I wouldn't want one every month, but if you did one that was a "writing" challenge, like having us try different genres, or write a certain number of words I would be the first one to sign up. Plus if you do this one again (an annual April challenge?) I'll be back. Thank you for all the hard work you put into making this a meaningful interesting and fun project.

Theofan said...

The challenge has forced me to do what I've been neglecting for a long time. Some of the challenges were great and opened my eyes to new things like HootSuite and participating in a Twitter conversation.

The other things like being a guest blogger and doing an interview were much tougher and are still in the works.

The most valuable thing I have done is a WordPress blog with a score of little posts that chronicled my experience here and gives me a base to build upon.

Thank you very much.

CERN Wife said...

I was in catch-up mode when I found out about the April Platform Challenge, having started on April 11. Then between the 16th and 22nd I was traveling without the computer - meaning more catch-up. And I completed all the assignments.

This has been a fantastic learning experience, especially with social media, because I shy away from putting myself out there. But thanks to you, Not Bob, I'm exiting my comfort zone and actually will start using the sites I had signed up for this April - something I never thought I'd do.

Yet with all the work I've done this month, regarding social media and asking people to sign up to follow my blog, etc., etc., I can't even get my friends to follow the blog, let alone strangers. That's my main problem now, and I was hoping to have had it solved by today, the last day of the challenge. I think that for people who aren't bloggers or who don't follow social media except for Facebook, the process of signing up for blog-following can be cumbersome.

My goal to get more followers is partially spurred by wanting to get back at an agent who had agreed to represent my manuscript (about my life in Iran during the Islamic Revolution) and then reneged, telling me it's because I don't have a platform. All I could think of when he said that was that if shy Charlotte Bronte and Emily Dickinson were alive today, they wouldn't be able to get an agent and we wouldn't be able to read their works. It's a good thing they wrote in the 19th century.

Thanks for pushing us with all these exercises to develop our platforms. Are our positive responses and suggestions influencing you to write a book on platform development?

Gerry said...

Robert, I could ditto just about every comment here! The challenge has opened doors for me. I was mostly a Facebook person, and I'm at least a little more comfortable with Twitter now! I'm still struggling with putting my writing first. As I think Susan said, I'm spending WAY more time just dealing with emails than I should, but I'm drawn to look at the links, go to the blogs, and read right that minute! Needing discipline has been my mantra throughout, and I'll continue to work on that.

I've started my task calendar for May, and I know that'll help. I need to grow my traffic, and I already have my next assignment--to find out about hops and how that might help. There's Klout to explore, too. I have guest posts to write (thanks to those of you who asked me; I haven't forgotten, just saving them for May), and the interview to do, and I want to create a Facebook writer's page. So I'll be in touch with our MNINB community for suggestions and probably a pat (like or comment!) or two. Meanwhile, there's that pesky novel revision!

Thanks again for the challenge. The tasks were all doable, and yet they stretched me, sometimes a little, sometimes a LOT. I will continue to follow you and will do my best to keep up with this dynamic bunch!

Now it's off to the real world and the vet to pick up the cat and see what I have to sell to pay the bill.

Cheers to all! Have a great May . . . and beyond.

Stevie Libra Allen said...

The Platform Challenge was too much, too little, and I'm at a much better place. That's the short answer.
It was amazingly helpful! I had no idea on some of the challenges, and others were easier. I was ready to move into this and it happened.
I also love the community we began. Lots of good people there!

Dana Dampier said...

This challenge reassured me that I am on the right track. I learned about SEO, in which I knew nothing about... but most importantly I have made some wonderful connections with other writers.

Michelle Reynoso said...

This has been a great challenge on so many levels. First, I was happy to see that I had already accomplished a good portion of the items on my own, prior to the challenge. It's not often that we get to pat ourselves on the back in this profession, so it felt good that I was doing something right. On the same token, the challenge allowed me to take my platform a step further, finetuning what I already had, and adding to it. And the absolute best part of this whole thing is the amazing people I've met. The community that grew out of this challenge is an open-arms, full support community that is just amazing. So thank you Robert for such an amazing experience. And thank you to all my fellow #MNINB participants. Let's hope we can continue to interact, learn, and grow together.

Meena Rose said...

Robert, where do I begin and where do I end. This challenge has been transformational, revitalizing, confidence building, affirming, thought provoking and inspiring. I even put together a writer business card with my blog and connection details just to really cement the fact that I am part of the writing community.

I was wondering if there was a "201 challenge" perhaps in June or every other month. You have some great tips to turn into workshops.

I think the first series really helped us secure our platform identity. An advanced getting people to the site workshop would be appreciated.

Sarah Negovetich said...

Seriously, this has been great. My favorite part was pushing me to interact with other bloggers by offering a guest post and asking for an interview. I never thought I was 'big' enough in the writing world to take those steps. You showed us that no one cares how big you are.

I'd love to see an expanded challenge (many months from now) that builds on the things we learned here.

Thanks for pushing us to be better!

Beth C. said...

The challenge gave me a push to try some new things (like Goodreads) and to get off my duff and ask acquaintances about guest blogging. However, I did skip some challenge days because there were some social media sites I just didn't see myself ever using. Twitter and Facebook already are major procrastination issues for me, and the writing must come first.

Kiril Kundurazieff said...

Where do I begin?

I began the month with hopes of learning some new things, making new friends, and connections, among people with similar interests, hopes, and dreams, and end the month worried about where I, and my cats, will be come July 1st....

"Did you like it? Was it too much?"

Up until the last week, when events in my life took precidence for my time, I was having a fine time, even made some friends, as I tiptoed into the FB group, and began to use Twitter again.

"Do you feel like you're in a better place now than you were a month ago?"

Yes, and no, as I've not been able to get as involved, in activities, and discussions, and connecting with my fellows, as I might have wished, on FB, or the LinkedIn Group.

I've learned some new things, have some new websites, and presentations to check out at your suggestion.

The truth remains that I'm still as much a Newbie at the game of Platform Building as when I started, just a little less so.

As for daily/weekly tasks related to my writing, and platform building, in May...I am determined to do some new things, and re-ignite some old things, related to my blogging, especially the Cat blog, but my personal life will take up most of my focus....

My state disability ended at the start of the month, My ortho says I'm Disabled, and shouldn't consider working at jobs where I'm on my feet all day, or even work at all, and here i am a reasonably health, and physically active, 52 yr. old!...Permanent Disability could take 2 yrs to get, and if I don't have an income soon I could be out my apartment by July....

I've long harbored the notion of moving to Texas, and starting fresh there, and have some friends in cat blogging who live there.

The truth is that, despite the 24/7 pain in my ankle I DO NOT feel "Disabled". I can learn to do jobs that don't require me to be on my feet all day, and I can move faster than I could before Phys. Ther. & the home & Gym exercises I'm doing now.... So I've got early onset Arthritis, and was told to get a cane, but I AM NOT AN INVALID! I can run a little bit, and ride my bike, despite the ankle pain, for cryin' out loud!

When I consider even applying for Permanent Disability my first thought is how would being on that affect my ability to earn an income thru my blogging and writing if I was ever lucky enough to have the chance?

I apologize to you, Robert, and all my new friends in the challenge, I know this was supposed to be a chance to share the positive, and while there were some positive, especially for the cat blog, I feel like I've lost a little momentum, by not being able to keep up with the challenge the past week.

Thank you Robert for the chance to go thru this experience, it was something I felt it was important for me to attempt and, despite everything, I'm glad I did...

Let me end on a positive note....

I reluctantly went into LA, and bought a cane, on Saturday, even used it yesterday, feeling uncomfortable about it the whole time, because I don't feel the need for it (Guess that's why I'm not a Doctor!), but within an hour of buying the little darling, as I sat eating lunch at legendary Phillippe's, I was writing a little story about "An Old Cane", from the point of view of the cane. :-D

When I got home I annoyed one of my cats by introducing the cane to her, taking 3 funny photos, and putting words into both their mouths for future blog posting. :-D

Muddy said...

Robert, Thank you so much for this challenge! It came along at the exact right time for me, and when I look at where I was on April 1st compared to where I am! What a change in a mere month, and I owe it all to you! Thanks for the gentle nudges to get me into social media and thanks to all of you MNINB participants for all your help and support along the way! I'm proud to say I completed all the tasks, including launching my blog today at
I still have a lot to learn, but at least now I have a better idea of what those things are.

Thank you so much!

Lynn Daue said...

This challenge was ... well, challenging. I suppose that's the point. I love that I'm now involved with a new group of writers, and I really enjoyed finding new blogs.

This month helped me find both my strengths and my weaknesses. As a writer (well, and a person), I find that I focus too much on what I don't know and can't do vs. what I DO know and I CAN do. Some of the days were beyond easy for me because I've been doing these tasks for years. Others were entirely new concepts to me.

Thanks for the month!

De Jackson said...

Did you like it? YES.
Did you hate it? YES
Was it too much? YES
Too little? NO
Were there things you wish I'd covered that I didn't?
From a social platform standpoint, NO.

Do you feel like you're in a better place now than you were a month ago?

This challenge stretched me, pummeled me, flummoxed me, pleased-as-punch me, and left me on the other side feeling like I have a much better grip on my little cyber worlds. I'm exhausted, exhilarated, and THANKFUL.

Yesenia said...

Unfortunately, I got a little late in the game and didn't participate (also had school to finish up) but I read these posts every day! They are so helpful. I plan on completing this challenge soon. So much good advice! Thanks!

Beth Stilborn said...

Thank you for this challenge, Robert/NotBob. I completed far more of the assignments than I expected to at the beginning of the month.

Many of the things covered were things I'm already doing, but even with those you showed me ways to kick it up a notch. (And it was great to feel that I'm definitely already on the right track in my platform building.)

There were other things I resisted at first, but now see the value of, and I thank you.

I'm not in the running for the "prize," partly because I already have the deluxe edition of Writer's Market, partly because I decided at the outset that for me this wasn't about trying to do everything, but rather finding what aspects would help me do a better job of what I've already been working on.

I'm now in a much better position to find and reach the readership I need to move my platform and my work forward. THANK YOU!

the whatnot shop said...

I loved this challenge!

I felt like I was stuck in a rut before, but this was exactly the push I needed to get me moving in the right direction. I am more organized now - and I loved that I have been able to connect with so many writers (something I had been wishing for before this challenge came along).

Thank you, thank you, thank you for running this challenge!!

John Morris Benson said...


Diana said...

I read your blog every day this month to see what each task was for building a platform. I did not participate in most of the exercises because I am in a transition phase of what am I going to do with my life pursue writing or pursue art. And I started a side project helping someone which through a monkey wrench into my writing plans. It doesn't make sense for me to build a platform until I figure that out.

But all the tasks are here and will be archived so that when I am ready to do it, I can go to it.

One of the things that I got from following along and reading all the tasks is what people mean when they speak about platform. It isn't what I thought it was. It's basically building and maintaining a social network through the various platforms. And this is how you do that. A much bigger help than "Oh you have to be on facebook and twitter."

So I'm not in the running for the prize, but it was very helpful to me just to see what is needed to build a platform.

silverlakereservoir said...

This worked wonders for my lame-brain approach to building a platform. The daily tasks were just enough for me to handle without getting overwhelmed and moving toward despair. Thanks you.

Janann Giles said...

The most important thing I learned was reaching out to others via social networking; I needed to do more than just write my own blogs. I learned about new sites - as someone who works from home I need to know what's going on outside my front door. Great challenge.

Sarah Turnbull said...

I liked it. Loved the instant creation of a small, similar interest community. The first 3 days or so were my favorite - defining self, setting goals, search engine, SEO. Lots of little tricks learned (buttons to add to website) along the way, and website resources bookmarked for future use.

I did encounter two reoccurring situations - either I had already completed the day’s task (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, other social media sites), or I had zero interest or use (at this time) for the task (interviewing expert or guest blogging).

Overall I would very much like to thank you for this opportunity.

You obviously put a LOT of thought and preparation, kept things easy-to-read and easy-to-grasp. I will be linking other aspiring authors to this challenge, for sure.

Was this the first challenge group? Are we the MNINB Class of Year 1? :)

Take care everyone and I hope we stay in touch.

Melanie Cole said...

Overall, it was a very good experience. I thought the challenges were well thought out and not too taxing. They were all things we can continue to work on moving forward, ways to stretch ourselves in new directions and get out of our box. Loved it!!

Rhonda Parrish said...

I think this was a good challenge for people who were just starting to build their platform and feel theire way round social media. I don't fall into that category so, unfortunately, there was at least one challenge I wasn't able to bring myself to do (Adding yet another social media website to my already full calendar), but even with my non-beginner status I was still able to learn a few things and tweak my blog a bit. I enjoyed it.

imunuri said...

I feel very positive about having gone through this month and stuck to it. The challenge as a whole was a catalyst for me, not only starting the ball rolling and adding momentum, but also indicating to me much more clearly what is possible and what I can do in the social media space. Looking back, I see that I was really baffled by the whole space, not sure how to use it, what to do in it, or even why I should care. Now, I feel as though I have enough understanding to be able to ask questions and explore answers about who I can add social media to my tool box as a public poet. I also feel a lot of encouragement, the sense that what I have to say is welcome in the space, and that it has its place there. A few words that bubble up: confidence, allowing, utility.
Thanks so much, Robert and everyone who went through this with me.

caryl said...

I like that you broke platform building down into manageable bites. That made it fun.

I plan to go back and review each task one day at a time again- a Platform Building Challenge Groundhog Day, so to speak. Some I did in a half-assed way the first time and some I skipped altogether.

Thanks so much!

PSC said...

Thank you, Robert, for conceiving and pursuing this (diabolical) plan! The MNINB Platform Challenge was truly that – a CHALLENGE! I was feeling very pressured, and decided to drop back and punt partway through the month. (Thank god I already had a (just newly created) blog – or that task alone would have sent me into a tailspin!) At present, I still have a number of incomplete and/or partially completed tasks on MNINB, but most of these I still plan to get around to… in my own sweet time.
I have to admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed the effort, though, and really appreciate all you’ve done to pull this project together. I learned a lot over the past month (and still have a LOT to learn). I’ve also made some new friends, and am looking forward to continuing the effort of maintaining & further developing both my blog AND my social contacts. Thanks, again, Robert!

Joy Weese Moll said...

This was great! Thanks, Robert!

I benefited from being part of a cohort of participants even though I was already familiar with most of the tools we covered.

I would love an advanced challenge for graduates of this one covering things like Google Analytics, Triberr, and scheduling Tweets.

Nicole said...

hey Nicole here. I did enjoy the challenge because without it I would never have signed up for some of the social medias. I only think that there were too much social media to sigh up for in the challenges. I believe no more than one or two should be enough to sign up for and commit to. I know it is to benefit us as writers but it is too much exposure and makes me feel too available. I will only keep Twitter and goodreads, all the rest I will close because it has no use for me but thank you for the suggestions. Great job on this month Robert and continued much success in the future.
Until the next time.

Nin Andrews said...

I just want to thank you for this month! I am thankful especially because I still have a site to return to when I need hints, and I've made new friends from my short dips into social media spaces I don't normally go. And I'm streamlining my blog--which involves adding two more, but one is pure literary excitement and jokes, and the other are for physics comics and environmental comics. For someone with a bad habit of doodling and an over-active brain, it's nice to feel/see some organization taking place. One day at a time. Now to get back to that plan for May.

Kendra Merritt said...

It was very helpful. I did grind my teeth on occasion but it's hard to grow without wanting to grind your teeth every now and then.

Skipper Hammond said...

Glad it's over. Now breath, digest it all, try to come up with a plan that makes sense for me.
The concept of "community" with people I never see or hear, who have Darth Vader masks as their photo and write 140 characters of WOW! and WOOHOO! is a bit baffling for me. I enjoyed the Twitter chats, but otherwise, Twitter is just static noise and I can't imagine my nervous system ever being able to deal with it long enough for me to learn its glories, let alone usefulness.
Perhaps some links to techie advice on how to use Twitter would have helped me learn my way around better.
A member of my writers group asked me last night about buddying on platform. She takes it seriously, unlike so many who refuse to give up their valuable writing time, but she also is a balanced person who respects her writing time and the energy it takes. I look forward to discussing the things I learned here with her.

Julia Tomiak said...

Whew! I made it! This challenge has forced me to do new things that I think make me "more legit" as a writer. I love the "editorial calendar" - it sounds so official. I also love how you have pushed goals and task plans so that platform development and writing have to be more "intentional". I'm so happy to have more connections with other writers as well. Although I think you asked us to join too many social media sites, I understand why you wanted to expose us to new options. I have really grown and enjoyed this - thanks for your time and effort. I'll be around!

AlvaradoFrazier said...

Thanks for the guidance this past 30 days. Yes, it was a challenge and time consuming but the good stuff happens in the struggle.

What I learned was I like 2 social media sites far better than others, so I'm sticking to 2: Twitter & FB.

I learned some better ways of doing old things through others, so I'll keep up with MNINB.

Finally,I decided to set my writing time as 2+ hrs and SM for 30 minutes per day-and using a timer.

On weekends I'll either do Goodreads or Redroom (because I can post my blog on that site too) for an additional 30 min's, once per week.

Brandi Amara Skyy said...

thanks so much for this Robert!! this was my first writing challenge and i really believe it had a HUGE impact in my journey as a writer. it's the first time that i've felt like part of both an online community and a writer community.

i'm looking forward to continuing on the path that you have set into place.

see you online

Running-girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Romelle Broas said...

Robert, I truly enjoyed the Platform Challenge. It helped me get out of my comfort zone, extend myself and interact with fellow writers. That was the most important thing I learned about building a platform. It's all about communication and connecting with others.

The daily task was manageable. Some tasks, however, required more time than the 24 hours given, such as guest posting, and for me, blogging. But the rest were easy.

Another great thing about this challenge is the social calender. That is going to help me manage my platform building. You gave me the lessons, now I just need to carry the momentum.

The only thing I didn't like was that you had us open accounts like google+ or Red Room (for me). I guess I wanted more out of it than just signing up. I know you are leaving it up to us to figure it out and if it works for us, but I'd rather have you give us a list of sites to sign up and have us choose then. I'd also like reasons for it and have you give us more tasks relating to that account. You did that with that was good. After having us open an account, you had us using the hashtags to participate in discussions. I guess I wanted more like that in the other sites, rather than you just making us sign up.

In any case, it was a fun experience. You managed to form a great group of people I'm sure I will continue to be friends with after today.

Jennifer said...

Robert, it was a lot to do in a month but it was an excellent tour through everything that's out there and it forced me to think about if I want to put energy into "platform building" and if so how much and where and how. So in that regard it was excellent and I'm glad I did it. There were some specific tasks I didn't do - I chose not to set up a Linkedin profile for example - but I didn't do them as a conscious choice, so I was still forced to think about what kind of presence I want and why. So thanks. It was a great challenge!

Barbara Morrison said...

Thanks for doing this, Robert. I'd alreay done some of these tasks, but you pushed me to attack the ones that I'd been putting off.

My only suggestion might be to do the Twitter chat earlier. That task helped us form a community that's carried through other social networks.

sopphey said...

This challenge is perfect. I'm not new to social media, marketing, or SEO but I definitely picked up new ideas on how to combine everything into something more powerful: networking.

I love how a group of us got together and formed a Tweep Brigade. Then from there connected and interacted on Facebook, and over the course of the challenge we took an extra step and formed the same connections over to other spaces on the net. Forming different connections with the same people sort of became our "trial and error" phase, and now we can use our new skills to connect with anyone via the Internet!

It's just too darn cool.

I've seen a lot of people comment on how they're not really here for the "prize collection" in terms of followers or blog hits. I'm convinced that this platform challenge isn't about followers or hits at all! It's about the people, really. I'm glad I participated in this challenge. I'm glad for the new connections I've made and for the new connections I'll be making throughout the year in more challenges.

I'm glad for learning a "people skill" that I can practice and cultivate for when I interact with readers.

Thanks a bunch Robert for this. Looking forward to keeping up with you and everyone.

Melanie Marttila said...

I enjoyed this month intensely, but about the 18th, I started to reach my saturation point. I have still been keeping up, have arranged for a guest post and am still seeking interviewees ... Still haven't figured out HootSuite yet, but it's on my to do list :) as is GoodReads. Though I joined earlier this year, I haven't done much more than populate my reading list and created a bookshelf. Fortunately, Monique Liddle has created an MNINB Challengers group and I will be joining shortly.
Thanks for the challenge. And it was very much that. Working a day job, plus writing, plus online critique group, plus the challenge has stretched my time management skills, almost beyond their limits!

Bonnie Vesely said...

Robert, this has been one of the most valuable experiences I've had in recent years. Your assignments pushed me to blog regularly, establish an editorial calendar so that I will CONTINUE blogging regularly, and to experiment with social media I'd been reluctant to try. Though still very modest, my blog/website views increased dramatically, and I added a several subscribers. In fact, I'm now looking at reviving an old blog I started a few years ago and dropped because I didn't know what I was doing.

The best two aspects of the challenge for me have been the creation of this incredible, supportive writing community - which has encouraged me to set weekly goals, and to get back to work on writing projects/ideas I'd allowed to languish for years.

I came into this challenge as a career coach who wanted to build a social media platform, mostly for that business. I've always loved being around writers, have dreamed since childhood of being one myself, but for various reasons never followed through, and so I thought that through this challenge I might begin sort of slowly wandering in that direction... But with the support and encouragement of this community, in just one month I've started identifying myself as a writer, and truly feeling like one. There's a lot of hard work to be done, but I know that I'm finally on the right path. I can't thank you enough.

Jo Ann J. A. Jordan said...


I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, though some days it seemed a bit much because I was also participating in the PAD Challenge. I have made some very good connections and have developed a wider spectrum of social media contacts. I still need to entice more traffic to my blog, but I think that comes with time.

I have a great deal to accomplish to become the writer I wish to be, but I feel I have made some friends that will help encourage me.

I look forward to an advanced platform challenge some day in the future.

Best of all things to you always.

Pat Walsh said...

The Platform Challenge has been a terrific experience for me. I've learned a great deal and really didn't find any individual task to be overly difficult or onerous, but I did find value in every single item along the way.

Some assignments — like joining new sites or using new tools — were like little gifts, to be opened right away and enjoyed for their initial delight, and then explored more thoroughly as they become part of my regular routine.

Other tasks — like commenting on blogs, or contacting people to friend or follow — were more like being at a party with a friend who nudges you to ask someone to get up and dance. It's a little awkward at first, but then you remember that that's why you showed up in the first place, to interact with other people.

So I definitely acquired a whole new suite of skills and expanded my understanding of how the whole Platform building process works, and for that I am truly grateful.

And beyond the technical skills I've acquired, I have also been very pleased to "meet" and interact with my fellow Platform builders. It has been a terrific part of this experience, and I look forward to following along with everyone's progress as we all move forward.

I have learned a great deal from my fellow writers, and at one point during the month when I was dealing with a family health emergency, the challenge was one of my few links to the "normal" part of my life. As it now comes to the close, the crisis has passed and all is well, so I guess I even see a bit of the working of Providence in my participation.

Finally, I want to thank you, Robert, for your wonderful contribution to my development as a writer. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to make a lesson plan for a writing course and to lead a group of writing students in productive directions. You have been amazing throughout this whole experience, and I hope you gain as much in insight and satisfaction as you've given us in instruction and support.

With gratitude and best wishes — Pat

writingonthesun said...

This was the best/worst month of the year. I am overwhelmed/overjoyed and just plain grateful for all your hard work and encouragement. Yes, it was hard but that's how growth occurs. I have not completed ALL the challenges because I keep going back to tweak them. I didn't even post a single "done." The challenge helped me define my strengths and my weaknesses, where I was lacking and where I felt settled. It clarified where I need to go next in this journey. One of the suprises for me was the growth of community. I can see including a monthly or biweekly challenge during the year but then that's more work for you. Thanks for the wild ride.

Jennifer Chow said...

This challenge was a great way to connect with other writers and to dive into social media. Sometimes the tasks seemed difficult, but I'm glad I pushed through. I even started my first regular blog! Thank you so much for setting it up, Robert.

Donna said...

Robert, I enjoyed each day of challenges. Some were more difficult than others, and in the end, I was unable to complete them all due to my Mom having 2 surgeries within 2 weeks.

I do believe that through the month I was able to understand social media to a greater extent, have a plan for writing my blog, and gaining new friendships along the way.

Thank you for your words of encouragement and ability to push your challengees beyond their comfort zones. I have and will keep much of this information to review through the years.

Again, thank you sorry I can't enter to win!


Lara Britt said...

This has been the source of both my sanity and insanity during the month of April.

Yea, my last blog post chronicled some of my achievements as well.

The community was the BEST thing that I have as a take-away. And of course, I have a platform to stand on now! Woot!

Love you all...I really do!

Amy Pabalan said...

Although I fell behind in the challenges, this has been a fun and educational trip. I can't thank you enough for doing this, Robert.
And best of luck to everyone!

JRWoodward said...

I fell behind, although as of now I am caught up. The #MINIB challenge overlapped with the completion of the novel my wife and I were writing -- our first. For the first twenty-three days, we were in a hectic schedule of writing, revision, getting proofreading corrections into the manuscript and travel. It was good to tackle MINIB now though, because our platform is coming together as we publish -- this is very important for Kindle self-publishers like us.
I want to take a minute and suggest that anybody writing for the Kindle start using, which is a great way to connect with Kindle users. They have a spot called Writer's Cafe, just for us. Fun! Useful!
Thanks to everyone, and I will see you all on Facebook and elsewhere.

Laura Diane said...

THANK YOU for this challenge. I am not a quitter so I took the challenge very seriously, even when it took me into waters I did not want to enter.

I kept a list of all the challenges and my response to them. Sometimes I was throwing a hissy fit and other times I was plain petrified to step out of my comfort zone, BUT I DID IT ANYWAY!

So, you reminded me of the value of sticking it out even when I'm not comfortable. In addition, the challenge showed me that most of my fears were things I'd made up to avoid getting more involved in social media.

I learned a tremendous amount in a short period of time and now that I'm on four social media sites I see the benefit of HootSuite or a similar program.

Basically, if I'd been doing this on my own it would have taken another 4-6 months. Now I have renewed faith in my ability to get my message out (thanks to the responses from those I've connected with through social media) and I feel exhilarated to have learned so much in such a short period of time.

Would love to do another challenge (maybe a step up from this one) in six months or so. Thank you again for your encouragement, replies to comments, and your support. :-D

Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) said...

The task I found most helpful, believe it or not, was on one of the first days when we wrote down our CV. That helped me clarify what I wanted to write in the bio section of multiple places, so it was very efficient.

Some of your challenges I had already been doing, so it wasn't a stretch. Others took a fair bit of time. None seemed outrageous.

Appreciate you doing this. I enjoyed myself.

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

I completely missed this challenge at the beginning of April and have just recently started it. What I have learner so far has been amazing and helpful. I hope I can learn more and meet more people on this same road to a better social network and platform! Thanks for the helpful information.

Amy Freeman said...

I started late so I am still hammering out the challenges. But I have already shown myself that I can do this by following your ideas and advice. This process is so helpful because it forces me to step outside of my comfort zone and DO IT! Thank you so much for taking time to help us fledglings!!

Kerry said...

Thank you, Robert, for this opportunity to stretch my internet networking skill level and get out of my comfort zone. It has been a challenge for me and that is a good thing. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but I was very aware of my ignorance about social networking. Now I feel like I have a good foundation to step off of and will continue to build on what you've taught me. In case no one has said it before, I have to say, you are a good teacher. Your approach seemed very natural and that is very admirable.

AMelodyGalloway said...

Robert, thanks for coming up with this challenge. It has enabled me to take control of the social media monster.

I had been pushing posts to Facebook, but all the other aspects were new ground for me.

I really enjoyed to camaraderie and interacting with other writers for the first time since finishing college 3 years ago. That alone made it all worthwhile.

I had outside issues that interfered with my efforts with the result that I still have about a week's worth of tasks to complete, but I fully intend to continue with them.

I have enjoyed your MNINB blog for years and really appreciate all you do to encourage us. I'm looking forward to the continuation of Twitter chats on Tuesdays.

Gail Kushner said...

Okay, I've caught up! I just joined GoodReads (a challenge from a couple of days ago), I sent interview questions to someone who asked to be interviewed on my blog, and I've thought about what I need to accomplish in May. I didn't write a daily editorial calendar, but I have my weekly assignments.

Why did I join GoodReads a few minutes ago? To keep in touch with all of you!

Before I did this challenge, people kept telling me that I needed to learn to Tweet, I needed to join GoodReads, etc. I knew these things, but I was too busy with other priorities so these tasks had not yet been accomplished. With this challenge, I am now doing all of things I am "supposed" to be doing. Whew! Thanks for the push!

Over time, I will try to build up a presence on Social Media, but right now I don't understand what I am supposed to do with all of the Tweets and messages we receive. I don't quite get the "give and take" of how we are supposed to interact when we get so many messages that don't really interest us. I know this will work out over time.

In addition to all of this, I gave my first Book Talk yesterday. Fourteen people showed up for my talk so that was pretty exciting. I didn't faint, I didn't stammer (too much), but I think I may have "over gestured." I tend to talk with my hands. :)

So, all good here. Thanks again Not-Bob.

Brooke Ryter said...


I learned quite a bit. I stepped out of comfort zones. I have been given some valuable tools. I have met some great people!

This challenge was what I needed to move forward. Thank you kind Sir!

And thanks to all of you for making this such a supportive experience.

See you back here and on the Social Networks!!


Kirra said...

DONE! It really feels good to know that I completed it. I think the challenge was probably just about perfect. There was some more-or-less beginner things - Twitter, set up a blog - and then some more advanced things like interviews and guest posting. It definitely got me "out there" a little more.

I think one of the best parts was connecting with other people. Everyone wants to succeed in their work as well as to help each other succeed.

It was great.

E. B. Pike said...


This challenge has been an awesome experience. Some of the reasons are obvious: I've become more "connected," I'm on Facebook now, my blog traffic has increased, and I'm even on Google+. I also have a Klout score now! Hell, I even know what a Klout score is. ;)

Besides all of that, though, the best part has really been all the new people I've met. It has been so much fun to connect with the other MNINB Challengers, as we have dubbed ourselves. It really feels like a community --which, I suspect, is the whole purpose of a challenge like this in the first place, right? I definitely feel more visible on the web, and I've got a great circle of writer friends now whose blogs I'm visiting, and who I'm learning from.

Thanks so much for the experience! I can honestly say it's been a great, even if I was grumbling along the way sometimes. I suppose it takes getting out of your comfort zone a bit to truly build a platform.



Leslie Kim Bussey said...

It's been a real challenge and I've learned many things. My blog has experienced a significant increase in daily hits and I've made a discovery that I know will make self-promotion even more successful. I have to change my blog platform. The one I joined is only a year old, I joined as a beta tester. Unfortunately, many of the things I'll need, like Hootsuite, etc. as not compatible at this point and I can't wait on them. So number one of my list for May is to find the right platform. Thanks for the enlightenment, Robert.

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the platform challenge. The daily tasks were doable and instructional. I learned a lot, met some terrific folks online, and pushed myself to do things I didn't think I could do or figure out. It was worth every bit of time I put into it. Thanks.

hcfbutton said...


Thanks for the amazing challenges this month. You helped me stretch myself, in all aspects. Even though I was socially connected through most of the online groups, you inspired me to break out of my shell and make more connections. I will be taking all of your advice, and reflecting back on it over the weeks to come. The interview pushed me to my limits, because it, more than anything else, made my websites and goals feel 'real'. That someone would want to answer some questions on my site, is an amazing thing!

I hope you'll create a blog page devoted to the challenge, with all of the links to each site and a summary of the challenge each day. It would be an amazing reference for people to refer to, and I'd definitely come back o review it.

Finally, I want to thank all the other MNINB peeps, for being so extroverted in this process. I've loved reading your experiences, and I'm glad to have met you all through the various social networks.

jane Ann McLachlan said...

Thank you so much. It's hard to find teaching on social media, free or otherwise, geared to newcomers. That was what was so special about this - you took us through the first steps on creating an online presence, and made us use what we'd learned in future challenges. Write another bold, or make a new friend and connect in some way - may not seem like "new" challenges, but they made us not just set up this stuff, but learn to use it - at least in a basic way.
I did have trouble with several of the early challenges, like setting up a blog and attaching links to our various medias on it and setting up Huitsuite - in fact, I wouldn't have been able to do them and would probably have given up without the help of my daughter and her partner who know all this stuff - but I wouldn't have learned it from them without the push of this challenge, either. More basic disections in some of the tougher challenges would have been helpful.
Mid-way thru I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted - by the end, I was doing things in 2 minutes that took me 2 hours the first week - such as setting up a new social media site.
I learned SO MUCH!
How about an on-line market your writing challenge - or daily instructions for those who don't have a book out yet?
Jane Ann
PS - I have tried to contact you several times on FB to ask if I can interview you, and not heard back. Did you get my messages? If not, would you email me at

Sabra Bowers said...

Although I haven't finish all the tasks, the challenge has been terrific. I look forward to working my way through at my slower pace. The community that built up around this challenge is the best thing because I now have a group of writers I can learn from and share with. Thank you, Robert. Thank you, all.

Claudette Young said...

Robert, I have to commend you. You've managed to get all of these writers motivated to the point of ditching sleep for the sake of the challenge.

Me? I finished the last week's worth of tasks today along with four days of PAD. I played hooky for three days and came back to a nightmare. I have one thing pending--an interview acceptance. Other than that the rest is finished for now.

I really didn't think I could do it. And I still need to go back and tweak a few of those finished items, but the groundwork is there.

Thanks for an exhausting month. See ya tomorrow.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

I have long loved your P-A-D challenges, and I was glad that you were doing a Platform one. I found it both difficult and inspiring. About two thirds of the way through, I realized that some of the tasks would have to be on-going, and then you made it clear this was the case. The challenge both pushed me into new areas and helped focus my thinking about activities that I was already doing.

One thing I love about the PAD challenges -- both the April and November versions -- is their periodic nature. So, I would like to do this one regularly (annually) as well if the tasks were structured so that it made sense.

Lauri Meyers said...

The family of writers that grew out of the challenge was amazing. My blog has followers, I know how to tweet, I know just enough about SEO to be dangerous, and I have a plan for May. Thank you!!

GoingVeggie said...

Robert, I learned so much from this challenge! I can't thank you enough. I appreciated your being a coach, a cheerleader and reminding us that you have been there. The camaraderie that I found and the platform helps will go far toward landing an agent for my humor non-fiction manuscript on vegetarianism. My favorite challenge turned out to be what was the scariest - the guest post.

I still plan to send you the email that I completed all the tasks, but, sad to say, my site is not up and running at this moment. You see, I probably got a bit too over-zealous with my new-found confidence and was "tweaking" wordpress today. Specifically, I selected "pretty permalinks" that my host, EarthLink, does not support. Ow. Suddenly, not even my WP dashboard was available. Yes, I blew up my website. *sigh*

After six hours with failed database restore options, learning what MyPhP is and several calls to EarthLink support that can only apologize for their known issue, I have become very familiar with the Wordpress forums. But my point is not to complain. It's to state that it's all OKAY. All of this is part of the learning process, although I had no idea it would be this painful and intense learning the inner workings of Wordpress at the end. I will be that much more knowledgeable after I get it working again!

Thank you, again for this challenge. Onward!

Lara Schiffbauer said...

This has been a low-stress, fun yet challenging challenge. I have definitely expanded my friends/contacts on the web. I loved how everyone kind of pulled together and accepted each other. I'm excited to be a part of such a happy new group of writers supporting each other. I'd say more, but I have got to get to editing. Thanks so much for creating the challenge.

PaulaJHowell said...

This was a great idea you came up with and I'm thrilled to have learned from the process. Even if I did resist some of the tasks, I took to heart what you were trying to do for us. Great job on reaching out and bringing so many people together where we not only learn from you but we also learn from each other. said...

The experience of this month has been incredible. At first I thought it way too much -- it moved so fast in the beginning. I was also doing the PAD challenge (a semi-annual ritual I've come to anticipate and love) and out of internet service for a third of the month . . .

All that said: your prompts were truly helpful, each one carefully leading us through one baby step after another (!). Or perhaps for those gazelles in the crowd, one leap after another. Either way, we have landed outside our routines; learned to view as useful tools that might otherwise have felt like insurmountable barriers; gained confidence, experience and not least, a wide web of supportive connections.

All told, you have to feel it has been a tremendous success. I for one look forward to continuing to develop what has been started during this time; to sharing with others; and to finding ever-new ways to move forward as a writer in today's multi-layered world.

I have yet to join in the Tuesday tweet session, as that is a night I teach. However, I do look forward to those nights opening up for me, as Twitter remains my least comfortable of the media.

Thanks, Robert.

Susan Scott said...

You must be glowing Robert with all the praise heaped on you! May I add my praise - it was a challenging challenge, social media challenged as I am. Although I must confess that I did not finish or complete many of the tasks, I have come away from this knowing a lot more than I knew before. Of course, it is meant to be hard work and commitment of time to this task . I have not done it the service it required. But I have faithfully saved all the daily challenges for April and I WILL go through them again. You have provided a WEALTH of information and yr support throughout has been invaluable.

Also, the comments from the MNINB is invaluable and I thank them all for sharing - with tips provided as well! Well done to all of you who not only completed the challenge but all the others as well! Good Luck!

AC Leming said...

Hi Robert,

Did I like it?

Yes & no. I feel that with any growth there is pain. And it was painful at times do attempt to keep up with PAD & the platform challenege. My husband may never forgive me for joining FB, especially.

Did I hate it?

Yes & no. I enjoyed creating the blog, but twitter still
confuses the heck outta me. But I keep telling myself that I didn't develop my darkroom skills overnight nor my writing skills. So, I'll keep going back to all the social
media sites and seeing what, if anything I'll use. I liked that you shared with us that you didn't use twitter at first, but now rock the twitter-verse. That gave me hope.

Was it too much?

Some days, when I had a bajillion other things to do,
but I tried not to get too far behind and made a point of catching up when I did get behind.

Too little?

I loved those little days!

Were there things I wish you'd covered that you didn't?

Maybe what makes an effective website? But that
would've sent me screaming into the Internet ether if that task had been plunked before me.

Am I in a better place now than when I started?

Hell yes! And I can't begin to count the ways. Most of
all, it's the sense that I'm not in this alone. Thanks to everyone who came to my blog. Now that april's over, I
plan on checking out everyone else's, and to leave a comment. Gotta keep social media networking, people! ; P

Loved it and hated it and am damn glad April is over, but I have may's editorial calendar to attend to and my
Online workshop poem to write. (I just flashed on Prince Humperdink from The Princess Bride.)

Peace, & (for any karate ka out there), OSU!

Claudette Young said...

I did finish all of the tasks as assigned. I went the extra mile and began putting together an author's page on FB.

I have my interview subject lined up and am working on the questions now.

What did I learn? Everything. I learned some of what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. I learned other things that I didn't know about or thought were used by designers only.

So much in so little time. Yes, I'm still exhausted, but getting stronger by the hour. Would I do it again. Yep, I would!

Thanks for everything, NB. You're well appreciated from my corner of the world.

Anne Marie said...

This was great. I fell off the wagon early on but I am going to use much of the inspiration you provided, Robert, to continue. Thank you!

God bless, Anne Marie :)

Madeline Sharples said...

Thank you, Robert, for creating this challenge. Even though my platform has been solidly established, you provided me with lots of new ways of doing things and lots of food for thought. I've already made my list for May. I think it's a matter of keeping at daily, slowly, surely, and we'll begin to reap the benefits from our platforms.
All best, Madeline

Norma Huss said...

I, too, want to thank you for creating this challenge. I haven't managed to complete all the daily tasks, but I'll keep at them, and eventually, hope to follow through. I know that doesn't qualify me for the drawing, but I expect to benefit anyway. In fact, I'll probably run through this more than once int the future.

Thanks a heap.

jendorf said...

I enjoyed the experience although I am like 20 days behind - REALLY. But I've got all the tasks down and will start working on them. REALLY.
I also have to catch up on the damn Poem a Day blog.
Thanks a lot!
Joanne Endorf - who now tweets

Kasie Whitener said...

This was great, Robert. It really gave me a path to follow to get started with a writer's "career." I had to take the last week off to move my family, so the full-month commitment was the hardest part. But the overall commit-to-it philosophy was good.

The group is GREAT! And everyone kept me motivated to come back and finish through our social networking posts and updates.

Monique Liddle said...

Robert -
I enjoyed the Challenge immensely because I met such amazing people and writers. I would never have met them without this month. You put us all together and we are still going. There is a group of us on Goodreads and on Facebook and Lori is categorizing all of our blogs.

I also learned much about the actual task of blogging. Even though I did 2 months of research, including commenting profusely on other blogs and having over 25 blog post ideas, until I actually started blogging and answering comments did I realize the satisfaction of reaching out to other people.

I realize now, that the only tasks that I didn't do by the end of the month were the task list for each day of May and this one. Fear not - I am very busy. I am the moderator of the GR reading group. I thought it best to have a co-moderator, so Mel volunteered. I have about 6 guest bloggers (on my blog) and I am guest blogging on 2 blogs. I also have an author interview. The tasks go on!

I do hope you will offer this same challenge each 6 or 12 months, because it is excellent and people will gain so much from it.

One suggestion: without a WIP, a platform does not work as well as with a WIP - or at least an idea for some writing. I found that I had to cut back a lot because my writing had taken backstage throughout April and into the beginning of May. Many other participants mentioned the same thing.

Thanks for everything.


Paul Ellis said...

The focus of the April Platform Challenge is to create Social Sphere in order to promote … what? I believe the big drawback of this challenge is the creation of a network without a stated purpose. Make no mistake, this is a fantastic way to create a social platform, I highly recommend it. But, I also think that you need to have a purpose for the building, whether it’s a blog, a book, a podcast, or what have you; otherwise, it’s just an academic exercise.

Sarah Crisman said...

The last 30 days have worked wonders on my work flow , as evidenced by my blog -- more content, higher traffic, and better features. I can't wait to see what the next month unearths. Thank you so much, Robert. I am filled with fresh inspiration and the sharpest focus of my career to date.

Feel free to check in on me from time to time:


Monica Miller said...


This challenge has changed my life. I went from being a social recluse who wanted to be read but never actually reached out, to being on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, regularly posting on my blogs (and publicizing them!) and commenting on other blogs, interviewing an expert (!!!!), writing a guest blog, and in general not feeling so afraid of people. I have met so many terrific people in the last month, and that's doing the April platform challenge by myself in October and November!

I can't thank you enough, Robert. I also thank all of you who "went before me"--your comments were a great help and inspiration to me.

Monica Miller