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#MBUstorm Challenge Winners Announced

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mbustorm-07A few weeks ago we invited the bravest and most creative Internet community representatives to take part in our 30-day Brainstorm challenge where participants need to use MyBlogU brainstorm feature and then send us their experience & results for the community to choose the winner.

[The 30-day #MBUstorm challenge happens 4 times a year. Please keep an eye on the upcoming one here]

THANKS to the most awesome people who joined us in #MBUstorm journey! That was awesome fun!

Today we are happy to announce our winners:

  1. @Alicia_Lw
  2. @patantconsult
  3. @EP_pturner

Alicia has won our grand prize: $800!

Here are all the participants telling their #MBUstorm stories:


@EP_pturner

mbustorm-01Check Phil’s #MBUstorm tweets

30 Days of brainstorming over. My brain is now bigger from all the extra thinking. I have made personal contact with people in various fields, some of which are already becoming friendships.

I have really enjoyed the brainstorm challenge – partly because so many people were active participants.

We are all winners:

  • Bloggers win because they found new sources of inspiration at MBU
  • Contributors win because of the extra brain exercise, the chance to spread their knowledge and the contacts they have made
  • Blog readers win because the posts we have all contributed to are better as a result of our combined thinking
  • MyBlogU.com wins because we have spread the word far and wide and found new ways to use the platform


@Alicia_Lw

mbustorm-02Check Ali’s #MBUstorm tweets

Starting off I was skeptical of the quality of brainstorm responses I would receive from the My Blog U audience. (The tool is only as good as its users.) While the majority of answers I received weren’t what I was looking for, there were a few nuggets of wisdom tucked in some responses that made the 30 days worth it. Surprisingly by the last week, I received quality answers from experienced professionals in the industry. I’m looking forward to seeing My Blog U grow into a valuable community.

Regarding contributing to the community, I had a lot of fun sharing my knowledge from travel tips to goal making to SEO. I even received a few links from people mentioning my responses in their articles, which was very nice. I also received quite a bit of interaction on both my Twitters from participating. While my Klout score for the one I used for this contest didn’t budge, my other Twitter connected to the tool itself increase a few points which is exciting to see.

However, the biggest benefits wasn’t the shares, links or even ideas I received. It was the connections I made to real people that made this contest worth it for me.

Thanks, Ann, and let me know if I need to answer any more questions regarding my MBUstorm experience.

P.S. Hope I win smile


@kipkitchen

mbustorm-03Check Kip’s #MBUstorm tweets

During the 30-day challenge, I created one project and focused more on brainstorming ideas for others’ article requests. I shared my experiences and thought hard to come up with valuable replies.

What kind of project I created: I posted an article request called “How to increase time on page and decrease bounce rates for most popular recipes?”

Ideas received: offering post specific opt-in, embedding slides/videos in post, allowing recipe reviews, increasing image size, guest posting to get the “right” traffic

How I enjoyed it: The biggest reward is making the acquaintance of other witty bloggers, such as Danny, Jeevan and Phil. I enjoyed the interaction with other bloggers, some of them were very nice and I saved their contacts and websites. Makes me feel like I’m part of a blogger community with connections around the world.

Good feeling!

What I learnt:

  • Not to be overly concerned about bounce rates.
  • It can be really helpful to have fresh eyes go through the site. There are some points I overlooked due to content blindness.
  • It is the business owner’s job to filter the suggestions and weigh the costs and benefits of implementation. At the end of the day, he/she should think strategically about whether the suggestions fit into the overall plans.

Thanks again for organizing this, Ann!


@dannybuntu

mbustorm-04Check Daniel’s #MBUstorm tweets

The best thing I’ve learned through the #mbustorm challenge is that it’s more about losing one’s self when it comes to blogging.

I’ve met new friends, networked with a community of like-minded individuals with the same goals, aspirations and objectives; and most importantly – I hope to build these relationships around trust.

It also opened my eyes about the possibilities around us. Opportunity is all around us and we just have to take the first step forward to open it. That’s the most crucial step to take.

Take it the extra mile

Blogs, like facebook posts, tweets or pins, are just one aspect of our online social reality. There are well over 181,000,000 blogs and most of them belong to the segment which make less than $100 every month. Too often we hear about bloggers who wish to make it big and become a household name – but end up with broken dreams and a broken soul. That’s because the mind set is not right.

The #mbustorm challenge taught me that to receive, we must give. Value expressed in the online world is very hard to quantify especially in the realm of blogging.

So the results I have are in:

1. I gained more than 10 new friends thanks to MBU.

2. I’ve learned about the value of networking in the blogging world

3. I gained an insight about people’s dreams and how I can play a role (however small) towards helping others build theirs.

4. I’ve learned about the tools that could help me achieve this.

5. I’ve learned about the value of sacrifice and hard work in pursuit of not my own dreams, but helping someone get to theirs.

I think more than any statistic or number, these are the best results I’ve gathered thus far.


@DaringBlogger

mbustorm-05Check Jeevan’s #MBUstorm tweets

Mbustorm was wonderful!

I joined the community primarily because of the giveaway, but overtime, I began to enjoy it for what it is.  I met a lot of new folks, made new relationships and learned a lot of things, all while helping others out (which to me is even better. I am just getting started on offering services, so this was a nice experience. Sure, the project authors weren’t my clients, but I liked to think of them as such. I think this will help me to be less nervous and more helpful when I eventually start).

How much better could it be?

There are many other blog communities out there, but most of them are just based on syndication and cross sharing/reciprocation (which is great). But, I think My Blog U is first of its kind – a online venue to share ideas, to ask for help and to help others, without needing to look up experts or hire anyone.

(It’s also a great place to test new ideas; ask him others have tried something similar or how they would do it. It helps to decreases the chances of failure!).

Anyways, thank you for creating such a great community, Ann!


@muminsearch

mbustorm-06Check Tat’s #MBUstorm tweets

The timing of the challenge wasn’t great for me (I was on holiday for most of it and jetlagged for the rest), but I’ve been fascinated with the process of generating creative ideas for a long time, so I joined anyway.

I created 5 brainstorming projects and received tons of ideas. Not only I collected ideas that I will use, I also found that other people’s input stimulated my interest in the topic and got my own creative juices flowing.

Due to time and technology restrictions, I only managed to publish two posts. I didn’t notice any increase in traffic as a result of the challenge, but I loved the reader engagement with both posts. I received very thoughtful comments, some of them from people that don’t comment often on my blog. I will use the rest of the ideas in posts, I just need some time to put them all together. I have so many post ideas now that there’ll be no writer’s block for a while for sure.

I enjoyed testing my own creativity by coming up with ideas for others.Through that I got some insights into how my own creative process works – when I’m put on the spot usually nothing comes to mind, ideas need time to perculate before they come to the surface. So I loved it that I could read a request and then come back and submit my idea a day or two later, when I was ready.

I didn’t make much use of the forum, but I enjoyed being part of the twitter #mbustorm community.

Thank you so much for creating the platform and for inviting me to take part in the challenge. I will continue using the platform after the challenge is over.


@patantconsult

mbustorm-07Check Patricia’s #MBUstorm tweets

I wish to extend gratitude and thanks to you and your team for an incredible expereince in content creation and marketing.

Below is the content I generated over the period. The experience I gained and my development as a blogger and content maketer was phenomenal. The richnes of that experience can in no  way be reflected merely by the content.

I built genuine bonds with other bloggers and niche experts in the space of just one month. These relationships have extended to other social media platforms and have created a wealth of opportunity for greater business alliances and online partnerships, and set a foundation for building friendships.

Through this journey, I was able to recapture my dreams of achieving blog success, and learnt so much more along the way about content marketing. After partially abondoning my dreams of dotcom success for several years, I was hoping to reclaim my dreams. I though MyBlogU would simply be another tool in my blogging arsenal, instead it has become a major propellant for business success. I was reminded daily to dig deep, and stay the course.

Because of the support of the MyBlogu blogging community I was able to overcome self doubt, thunder storms, power outages, illness, and whatever other obstacles were thrown my way. I have no doubt that without the support of the community I might have succumbed to one or more of these obstacles.

In building strong alliances with an active community that cheered me on daily, nothing would stand in the way of staying committed to the process, and in some magical way the support of the community made me invincible and unstoppable in reaching my goals.

I have also learnt many business, content creation, content marketing lessons which no doubt I will apply to my business success. But the greatest lesson learnt was the power of many. Because of the MyBlogU community I didn’t have to face my challenges alone. In crowd sourcing my content I realized how much more I could produce, and how it would push me to reach for my better self, as I strived for business excellence. I received important support in overcoming obstacles, putting within reach an important support system and valuable tools for staying on a solid path to reclaiming dotcom success.

MyBlogU reminded me firstly that I was strong and creative, and secondly it reminded me that I didn’t have to travel my journey alone.I was reminded that strong aliances can be built even with competitors and that sharing brings greater reward than any individual effort ever will.

These lessons will pay great dividends in my business and personal life. Who would have throught that a chance encounter of a twitter handle @myblogu or hashtag #MBUstorm could have brought so many rewards. In completing the challenge and seeing it through to the full 30 days, I am already a winner.

Thank you for the tools and the empowerment of the community. I wish your team success in taking the empowerment of community content generation and marketing to the blogging community.

Best wishes and many thanks.

Cheers!

Patricia Anthony


@Javamazon

mbustorm-08Check Javamazon’s #MBUstorm tweets

The competition was great.

Made a lot of good friends via #mbustorm and also get to know many bloggers and helped to build relationship with them.

Its been incredible 30 days and I would like to continue working towards Brainstorming section daily to submit new ideas daily.

Brainstorming section is two ways relationship street we help others and we get featured.

Well i have just started my journey with other bloggers and its long street to walk now with fellow bloggers in myblogu

Please find the excel sheet for my 30 days activity, on daily basis I have tracked my daily activity in excel sheet .

30 days activity is tracked on daily basis in excel sheet.


@manifestcon

mbustorm-09Check Anna’s #MBUstorm tweets

For the first time in my life, I’ve felt like someone I don’t really know wants to know my opinion on something. Not only that! People were actually approving and using my ideas in their content! Who could have thought!

I was submitting at least one idea a day. I wasn’t trying to submit long ideas: Instead I was trying to be myself (I was basing each of my ideas on my personal experience!) During these 30 days (and I am not going to stop sending ideas and using the hashtag by the way!) I:

  • Got a free AWESOME eBook from Erica Martin with a huge list of awesome opportunities to earn money from home. I am already going through the list to consider trying some I would really enjoyed
  • Got my site from the crowd (MyBlogU was the first platform that helped me see some traffic, social media shares and comments from REAL people! I was almost quitting: Now I am determined to make my blog flourish!)
  • Found a free personal trainer who’s going to help me understand my body better
  • Got featured in a few really awesome articles (Linking to just a few most recent ones here not to take too much of your time!)
  • Most importantly, met great people (Twitter #MBUstream was especially helpful for that!)

Whether I am going to win or not doesn’t matter! I totally feel like a winner now!


@jessytroy

mbustorm-10Check Jessy’s #MBUstorm tweets

I am happy these 30 days happened in my life. I met great people, brainstormed a lot and felt really inspired every day. I got quite a few submissions for my blog (which allowed me to start updating it again!).

I participated in a few great articles which I actually enjoyed reading / sharing when the blogger sent me the link. I’d like to mention this project as the most interesting question I ever had to answer during the challenge. I think the best part is that the challenge connected me to awesome people throughout the world and I believe we’ll be stronger bloggers together!


@patweber

mbustorm-11Check Patricia’s #MBUstorm tweets

The brainstorming challenge afforded me some new connections. Some what I would call solid. Why solid? I can see people getting in the spirit of connecting further with each other. Several people offered me OTHER ideas to brainstorm. One person offered to be a guest blogger and we are communicating on that. As an introvert, it doesn’t matter if I’m communicating in person or online. When most of introverts think “brainstorming” they think … Oh no! I didn’t find this to be the case at all. I could think things through if I wanted to help another blogger. I could take my time reading the submissions to my request and give thought to accept or not accept without feeling badly. It was a wonderful experience all around.

 

Participating in #MBUStorm for 30 days proved to be benefical beyond the experience of it. There are several new connections I have now online. Also, maybe people who contributed to my brainstorms offered some different ideas for future possibilities! One blogger offered to write a blog post – which is of course more than mutual help in the brainstorm. The quality of the ideas were top notch. And of the ideas I could not or did not want to accept, I felt no pressure from the contributor. When I contributed ideas, it was the best me I could give and if someone did not accept it, I let it go. It was all in the spirit of collaboration. I’m looking forward to my next brainstorm, and regular contributing as I can to others.


User choice (Remember: We are all winners!):

winners

Let’s thank our partners:

  • BuzzSumo is giving away a 6-month membership to their brand new (and totally awesome!) PRO membership ($594 worth!): Manage your brand like a PRO.
  • Paper.li is offering a free 12-month membership to their PRO plan ($99 value!). Create and send beautiful newsletters, brand and customize your paper, custom domain and more!
  • Cyfe is giving away their FREE 6-month PRO membership ($114 value!) to their platform which I highly recommend for social media analytics monitoring and reputation management. Here’s how to use Cyfe to build an ultimate social media dashboard! This tool is one of my secret productivity boosters!
  • Usertesting.com is giving away 3 FREE usability tests ($147 worth!) to help you improve your conversions and get the most of the traffic we are helping you to drive! Usertesting is my only recommended user experience testing solution!
  • Shareaholic is our media partner! Download the Shareaholic for WordPress plugin: That’s what we use here at MyBlogU for our Related Content, Share Buttons, and Social Analytics platform!
  • CyBranding is giving away their Hashtag Intelligence “Business” plan (6 months: $414 value!): Rock Twitter, find influencers, and more!
  • Circloscope is giving away their PRO account to one of the #MBUstorm winners: I can’t recommend this tool enough! You’ll become Google Plus influencer after using this tool for 6 months!
  • ViralContentBuzz is giving 100 FREE credits to each article that comes from the MyBlogU “Brainstorm” section: Don’t forget to mark your ideas as “approved” and provide the URL where you used the idea (and preferably referenced the idea author). This will push your traffic and shares through the roof! :)

12 Responses so far.

  1. Mel Bailey says:

    All of the participants became firm believers in BLogging. They learned new skills and developed new contacts. Their overall experience was gaining confidence in themselves. Colleges and Universities should instruct these topics.

    Thank you for inviting my participation to “pick a winner”.

  2. Well, working on the 30-Day Challenge kind of fell on its face for me. Between a recent move, being pregnant, and all that, it just didn’t work out this time.

    But it was a fun experience, and I hope you do it again. I’d be very happy to participate in the future. 🙂

    My vote is in. Good luck to the finalists!

  3. […] winners are still to be announced, please choose your favorite story here. I did participate as well (even though the contest was in the middle of my biggest speaking event […]

  4. I voted for @Javamazon because that spreadsheet was kick-arse. 🙂

  5. […] [The challenge will be back in December. September winners are announced here] […]

  6. Yay! Thanks to everyone who voted for me and thanks so much Ann for letting me be apart of this amazing experience!

    • annsmarty says:

      I hope you’ll join our next challenge in December too! It will be about setting blogging resolutions (and making them happen!)

  7. dannybuntu says:

    Congratulations to the winners Phil, Alicia and Patricia for winning the contest. You guys deserved it! 🙂

  8. Congrats, guys 😀 (and thank you Ann for hosting this!).

    Looking forward to participating in the next one 😀

  9. Congrats every winner.

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