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Zero to Hero: Onward and Upward!

Is it the end of January already? Time flies when you’re mastering the blogosphere, and Zero to Hero has come to…

Is it the end of January already? Time flies when you’re mastering the blogosphere, and Zero to Hero has come to an end. We hope it was a positive experience — personally, we laughed, we cried, we thought it was better than Cats.

Today, we’re handing out kudos, taking stock of where we are, and helping you figure out what comes next, so each new month can be better than the last.

Am I a hero now?

You already were; you’ve always been heroes to us. (Cue sappy music.)

Next week, we’ll post a rundown of everything you accomplished this month. Here’s a tease: Zero to Hero participants published a total of 16,000 posts this month. That’s 5,000% more posts than a random sample of 5,000 non-Zero to Hero bloggers — not too shabby.

As for your blogs, they’re doing great! Your blogs are looking good, reading great, and you’ve made connections with lots of other bloggers. You’ve started developing good blogging habits like reaching out to others, taking advantage of all the tools your blogs have, exploring many avenues of inspiration, using social networks, and more.

We’ll let you in on a little secret: most new bloggers don’t even post in their first month, let alone post an average of 11 times (as you all have) while amassing readers, followers, and commenters. It warms the cockles of our bloggers’ hearts — we hope you appreciate what a great job you’ve been doing.

So, it just ends?

Sort of, yes; you knew it would. Here’s what happens now:

First, the main Zero to Hero page will remain accessible through the end of February, so you can refer back to any of the tasks and resources (or finish up, if you started the challenge mid-month).

Second, we’ll open new forum threads through February 5th for those who need a bit more time, and will continue closing the existing threads as they get older.

Third, you’ll be getting a survey at the email address you provided when you signed up way back on January 1st. We’d love it if you took a minute to respond to three quick questions about your experience. There will also be a link to a longer questionnaire (think 10 minutes) — if you’d like to give more detailed feedback, we’d love to hear it. If you never signed up, the form is still open.

Finally, we’ll be working on making the next version of Zero to Hero even better, as well as exploring ways to integrate it into the new-blogger experience. We’ll also explore booster challenges and other, focused courses. Blogging 201? Photoblogging basics? Honing your writing? Exploring CSS? All possibilities — so make sure you share your feedback and wish list.

What do I do now?

We didn't have time to get trophies for each one of you, so enjoy this photo of a Guglielmo Marconi commemorative plaque. (Photo by Julian Osley, CC BY-SA 2.o.)

We didn’t have time to get trophies for each one of you, so you’ll all have to share this photo of a Guglielmo Marconi commemorative plaque. (Photo by Julian Osley, CC BY-SA 2.0.)

What happens when noon tomorrow rolls around and there’s no new task? You smile a rueful smile, glance wistfully at your Zero to Hero badge, and forge ahead into the wide world of blogging. But if you still want some tips and guidance, we have a few ideas for you. (Don’t we always?) There are still lots of resources for you on WordPress.com:

  • Jump into the Community Pool. We have a support and feedback thread here every Sunday called the Community Pool — it opens at noon EST (17:00 GMT). It’s filled with bloggers who take the time to review your work and offer thoughtful, respectful feedback, and it’s a great place to get and give support.
  • Keep using the forums. Our daily forum threads have been in the Ideas subforum, and you’re more than welcome to continue posting there; it’s meant as a place to share WordPress.com-related ideas and talk blogging shop.
  • Use the support documents. There will be more things you’ll want to figure how to do with your blog. The support documents are chock full of clear explanations of every feature WordPress.com has to offer. We also publish lots of tips and tutorials here, but the support documents should be your first step.
  • Set a posting goal for yourself. On your account settings page, you can set a weekly posting goal. We’ll send you weekly emails with tools and inspiration, like great posts from other bloggers to get you motivated, writing prompts to push you past writers’ block, and tips for making the most of WordPress.com. We’ll congratulate you when you’ve met your goals, and give you a gentle nudge if you’re falling off the pace.
  • Check out one of our ebooks. The editors of The Daily Post have put together 365 Writing Prompts and Traffic and Growth ebooks. They’re free to download, and you can work through them at your own pace.
  • Visit us here at The Daily Post. Along with writing prompts and challenges, we’re here to help you hone your storytelling ability, take better photos, build your audience, and do whatever it takes to meet your blogging goals.

There are also lots of resources on the wider web:

  • Writing challenges like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) can help you keep your blogging chops primed. Although the main NaBloPoMo takes place in November, there are monthly events — if you really need a new challenge right away, you can start tomorrow.
  • Sites like Scribophile offer another place to connect with writers and get great feedback on your work, or you can look for a bloggers’ group here. For the photo-oriented, platforms like Flickr and Instagram have groups focused on all kinds of photo niches, where you can interact with and learn from other shutterbugs.
  • Many individual bloggers host challenges on their sites, as we saw on Day 22. They’re an excellent way to stay motivated to post, build your readership, and make real connections with people.

Congrats again, and thank you. Really.

We’ve had a lot of fun doing Zero to Hero, and we learned a ton from you. You inspire and motivate us, and we can’t wait to see where your blogs go. Thank you.

Now get out of here and enjoy your weekends! What? We’re not crying; we just having something in our collective eyes.

51 Comments

  1. Even though I piked out before the end (well before, alas!), I congratulate you on a well-thought-out campaign. There’s not a doubt in the world that it has helped countless new bloggers, and that’s terrific of you!

  2. Thank you for providing a framework for new/inexperienced bloggers like myself. I learned a lot, had fun, met new people and after creating my editorial calendar, I am very excited about my upcoming blog posts.

  3. It’s nice to see (living down the road from Marconi House) that Marconi’s original offices have been restored after many of his buildings were demolished to make way for a housing development

  4. Thank you. I’ve loved zero to hero to get me started as a blogger. I have learned so much from all the information you’ve provided, from all the other bloggers out there and from just diving in and doing it. Lots and lots still to learn and that ‘s great. I’ll be up for new challenges.
    So thanks so much. 2014 and I’m a blogger for the first time. Happy with that!

  5. I’m very new to WordPress (joined on the 8th) and saw this every once in a while, but never had time to join it. I will definitely go back over it and take out the good bits. Thank you, WordPress, for offering such a helpful experience.

  6. Thanks for understanding that some of us need a little more time to finish up. :) I had a goal to complete every Zero to Hero challenge on time and be done by the end of the month….alas, my momentum waned a little (…a lot) after day 21 due to lack of time to spend on my blog. I don’t like not achieving goals that I set for myself but I’m definitely going to finish working through days 22 – 31 of the challenge in the next week or so.

    And of course the tips/advice/challenges remain relevant at any time and stage of blogging. I think the Zero to Hero challenges are a very helpful way to build up a blog. Blogging is a continually evolving process and Zero to Hero helped me get my third year of blogging off to a great start. :)

  7. We’re really happy to hear what a positive experience it was for so many of you! Believe me, the pleasure was all ours; it was a ton of fun to watch your blogs grow!

  8. Thank you so much for putting the time and effort in to not organizing this but also those on the forum threads the support staff who have been fabulous. It’s been of immense help to me and I’ve spread the zero to hero love, oops assignments I mean across my three blogs. I am sad it’s stopped however I hope there’s something similar again this year x

  9. Thank you so much for the Zero to Hero experience! One of the things I wanted out of the challenge was to get more comments on my posts. Mission accomplished! You showed us how to make that happen, which means in part, to be commenters and ourselves.
    It has been a pleasure!

  10. What a wonderful experience! While I have missed out on the last 10 or so days due to travel and lack on Internet connectivity, I still plan to catch up and finish the program. Thank you for all of the guidance! It’s been fantastic!

  11. I’d also like to express my huge thanks for this challenge — I joined on impulse and didn’t even think I’d keep up, but I managed to do all the tasks and it was the best thing that ever happened to my blog! I’m really so sorry that it’s over. I’ll be looking forward to keeping in touch with fellow Heroes and waiting impatiently for what next you on WordPress will have in store for us! You rock :-)

  12. I still have so much to learn but this has been a great help to me. I used what I could and…will review the tutorial again. Nice that I was not alone in learning, either. Many thanks for this.

  13. Are you going to do this again? I don’t do much writing on my blog. I bring in sets I’ve made on Polyvore, ONLY my own. Both fashion and home decor. I bring in some art and will be working on some handcrafts later on. My written content will increase over time but not for awhile. I missed this but think I would have benefited greatly from it. Where should I start now since this is ending given what I just told you about my format? Judi

  14. I didn’t follow the assignment right to the end of this challenge for some reasons but i know it was a great idea and i still wish to complete the task even though it has ended.Because i am determined to have a great blog.Thanks

  15. To those who petered out partway or are just not finding Zero to Hero, all the assignments will stay up here at least through February. After that, we’ll be sure to let you know where and how to access Zero to Hero + future offerings.

  16. I flitted in and out gaining new information on the things I had questions (or no knowledge ) about. Learnt a lot- even have some badges on my the side of my blog now ,something I’d been trying to understand.

  17. Though I have been blogging for years, I think the Zero to Hero concept is terrific (and would have loved it when I was starting out; I can only imagine all of the time [and frustration] it would have saved me!). I would love to see an advanced “Zero to Hero” project for bloggers who have been at this for a while; maybe something involving advanced features like CSS, using some of the “lesser known” tools in WordPress (like editing images), connecting to social media, etc… [And yes, I know many of these topics are discussed in the weekly WordPress blogs created by the folks at Automatic; but to structure them in a focused 'program' might be just the kick in the rear folks like me need to move from reading about them to actually *doing* them.] :) At any rate, thank you all for the continued excellent work and community-building!

  18. It has been a pleasure. I look forward to future blogging learning challenges, writing improvement challenges, photography learning challenges, and writing challenges. Thank you for making these available!

  19. Massive thanks to WordPress and MichelleWeber for the steep but for-once-easy- to- climb learning curve! I am sure my newly established blog is all the better for this experience, and I now have several people out there in the blogosphere that I count as blogging friends, which is not something I ever anticipated when I started this! Long may these new friendships last!

  20. Zero-to-Hero was more than wonderful. What I learned? To write something exceptional, I have to read exceptionally, comment, and get in discussions. I just didn’t improve blogging etiquette but these 30 days helped me to recognise myself as well. For example: I commented on several blogs, and many of them really didn’t reply me anyway. It was time to learn how to tolerate. Sometimes I posted negative comments with full freedom which helped me how to be positive; and improve positive thinking. Zero-to-Hero was more than a blogging experience which trained me how people are different when they are off work.

    Best Wishes to All.
    -Abdul

    http://ajbozdar.me

  21. Thank you for Zero to Hero. It certainly helped me get my head around how to ‘do’ blogging, from the nuts and bolts of widgets and headers to making contacts across the WordPress World … and across the real world too :)

  22. This was a great feature. I did dip in and out of the days as I’d already followed some of the advice as I’ve been blogging for a few months. My best tip recently has been to re-visit old posts and tidy them up. This helps me and also allows any new followers to read my older stuff without having to hunt it down. Thank you!

  23. Could you please keep the Zero to Hero page up permanently? I just discovered this page and it looks like a great resource! I’m still developing the focus of my blog and I’d love to be able to take the time and work through each day. Thanks!

  24. Thank you so much for this challenge. Although I’m running a tad behind (on day 22), I’m loving every minute of it! I started my blog a couple of years ago, so I already knew some things. It did give me a fresh perspective, helped me to change some things, make new connections, and definitely improve everything I had done in the past. I am looking forward to the future challenges you guys prepare for us! But until then, I will take my new knowledge and blog on.

  25. I’m in agreement with Emily, it would be valuable to us (your bloggers) if the Zero To Hero challenges remained up or were at least easily accessible. The general consensus was positive and it would be helpful to refer to them now and again. I loved it (even the ones I haven’t yet tried – but intend to). Whoever thought of it – kudos!

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