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What is NaBloPoMo?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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National Blog Posting Month, frequently abbreviated as NaBloPoMo, is a month-long writing exercise that occurs each November. The first NaBloPoMo occurred in November of 2006 at the urging of American blogger M. Kennedy. Kennedy was inspired by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which also happens every November, and thought that there should be a blogging counterpart. NaBloPoMo has grown steadily in popularity thanks to the extensive information distribution network between bloggers. Hundreds of participants entered in the first NaBloPoMo, and every year the numbers seem to increase.

Relationship to NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo was founded in 1999 by 21 authors in the San Francisco Bay Area who wanted to motivate themselves to produce more written work. The challenge requires authors to produce a complete 50,000 word novel during November. The novel does not have to be profound, and there are no rules that say it needs to be published — rather, the main goal is to get writers into the habit of regular and disciplined writing with a clear end-goal in place.

National Blog Posting Month is similar in that it emphasizes discipline, but different in a number of key respects, too. NaBloPoMo participants cannot take days off or extensively modify their writing schedules, for instance. They must generate new material every day for thirty days. As a result, the attrition rate in the challenge is very high, with many participants dropping out in the first few weeks.

Rules and Registration

Bloggers who are interested in participating typically sign up or “register” their blog with a centralized database, usually hosted by a particular blogger. In the beginning, there was just one registry where bloggers could sign up, but more and more blogs, bloggers, and writing groups around the world act as “sponsors” of NaBloPoMo challenges. Writers often have more choice now when it comes to where they want to sign up. Registrants are usually able to view the links of all other bloggers participating, and in many cases entire blogging communities form around the shared experience of writing every day.

The rules are relatively straightforward. Participants are required to publish one post on their personal website or blog every day. There is not usually any length requirement, which means that some posters will craft long essays every day while others will post little more than photographs and brief captions. Participants are not permitted to “back post” — that is, fill in missing dates from the future — nor are they allowed to write posts in advance. The goal is to actively create a post every day for a month.

Subgroups and Prompts

Some groups add additional rules or restrictions to make the challenge more interesting. Daily prompts are one example — some organizers will release a prompt that bloggers must respond to that day, for instance. Prompts can be very specific, like “discuss your first memory,” or more open-ended, such as “write about something that inspired you today.” Others set rules about word count or outbound links. Various groups and blogging communities may also sponsor NaBloPoMo events in months other than November, depending on demand and interest.

Prizes and Recognition

NaBloPoMo typically comes with prizes, most of which are from members of the blogging community. Writers are often recognized by other participants for creativity, tenacity, or emotion, among other things. Depending on the sponsor, awards may exist for any number of categories and criteria, and the prizes are usually equally varied. In the inaugural year, for instance, prizes included a hand knitted scarf, German chocolates, original art, jars of jelly, psychic reading services, and a variety of other creative contributions. The grand prize was a year of free website hosting along with installation of Word Press, a popular blogging software.

No matter where it is hosted, the challenge is generally unenforceable, which means that participants are relying on each other's honor to post each day and to be honest about their contributions. Most NaBloPoMo contests include a consolation prize for the blogger with the best tragic tale about why he or she was unable to complete the challenge. Extenuating circumstances such as fire, evacuation, or medical emergency are usually required.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a EasyTechJunkie researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon975274 — On Oct 25, 2014

As someone who is very interested in participating in NaBloPoMo, where can I find some of the blogs that host the promotion?

By anon303794 — On Nov 16, 2012

In my opinion, it should take place during a different month. Bloggers who are also participating in NaNoWriMo won't be able to take on this challenge because they literally won't have time!

By anon282388 — On Jul 29, 2012

The NaNoWriMo challenge is more than just "50,000 words in 30 days", it's a complete, coherent novel of at least 50,000 words in a single month. Blogging is much less constrained. You don't even have to keep the same topic or tone from post to post.

By sunshined — On May 16, 2012

It took me awhile to catch on to the concept of blogging. I do find it interesting to read about how some of the most successful bloggers have such a large number of readers.

For awhile there it seemed liked everyone was starting a blog. I like the idea of keeping a blog with pictures and captions as a way to keep a record of the lives of your kids and family.

Even then, I think it would be hard to force yourself to write something every day. I think this is something that comes easier for some people than others - that is why some people are much more successful at blogging than others.

I don't think it would matter if I had to come up with a blog post every day or once a week, I think it would be hard to do.

Whenever I sit down to write something, I just get writers block and have a hard time finding something to write about.

By bagley79 — On May 15, 2012

Personally I think it would be harder to publish a blog post every day than it would be to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.

I have always enjoyed writing and there are many times when I struggle with words, but once I have an idea for a novel, the words usually flow freely.

Spending time on the research can take more time than anything, but I don't think that 50,000 words in a 30 day period is unreasonable.

Even though I enjoy writing, I would have a hard time engaging readers in something new and fresh every single day for a month.

I know it would depend on your subject matter, but there are many days that are so hectic, and you don't have time to sit down to write anything.

What makes this even more challenging is that you can't write any posts ahead of time to publish at a future date.

For those bloggers who followed the rules for this contest, I bet they were really challenged and gave a sigh a relief when the month was over.

By julies — On May 15, 2012
@John57 - I agree with you about making sure the content is interesting. I follow a few blogs, and it seems like many of them will blog a few times a week.

I would rather read a really good blog post a few times a week than a post that has been made every day without much thought or relevance.

I really have to limit the number of blogs I read because I find these can be kind of addicting and can take up a lot of time.

If I am finding that I am not getting quality or informative information that I can use, I won't keep reading on a regular basis.

I would love to hear what some of the tales were for those who received a consolation prize. Life can get pretty interesting and crazy sometimes.

I think there could be some pretty interesting stories there as to why they couldn't make a blog post every day of the month.

By John57 — On May 14, 2012

If anybody else has tried to blog for any amount of time, you can understand how hard it can be to come up with fresh, engaging content every day.

I think the most challenging part about NaBloPoMo would be to make sure the content is interesting.

It might not be too hard to come up with some kind of fresh content every day, but would it be beneficial for your readers?

Most bloggers rely on a growing number of active readers in order to be successful. If you filled your page with content many were not very interested in, you might lose some readers.

For the people who participate in NaBloPoMo and provide great content, I can see how challenging it would be to do this every day for a month.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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