In April I decided to challenge myself to write a blog post every business day in the month. That meant 21 posts for the month rather than my usual 11-13 posts. What I didn’t plan well was that on top of adding the burden of more content to my plate for the month, I also had to work out the logistics of when and how to get the writing done around some travel I had planned.
It goes to figure that I would choose the month when I had more travel scheduled than any other month this year but whether it was in airports or hotel rooms late at night, I got it done. I didn’t let that stop me, and I pushed through and completed the challenge. As I’ve reflected on it since then, here are three things I came away from the experience learning:
1. The meal and snack idea is really helpful. I’ve been teaching this concept for years now and found myself leaning on it when I knew I needed to have a good post but didn’t have time to write something. I pulled in some good infographics as “snack” posts and must admit I felt like I was cheating a little but I got great feedback on them. That’s something I need to apply more moving forward. It was too easy not to incorporate into my ongoing blogging efforts.
2. Blogging is more about time than ideas. There were several times I sat down to write a post and had no idea what I was going to do, but with a little thought I came up with something every time.
In fact, my most popular post (and mildly controversial in some circles) for the month was one I wrote on a whim about Google+. I had seen a post written on Mark Schaefer’s blog about Google+ day or two before and had written a comment to his post that I thought was worthy of expanding into my own blog post. What I didn’t anticipate was that it was going to stir up a bunch of criticism (along with some actual helpful discussion too). If you really want to see me get blasted, here’s the discussion that occurred on Google+, but frankly, I loved it because here was a post I didn’t really think too long about and it just caught fire. Had I not been committed to blogging and carving out time to do it that month I’m certain I wouldn’t have written that blog post.
Blogging is really more about a commitment to time than having a list of ideas you feel like you need to blog about and I’m more convinced than ever of that. The ideas are there and by carving out the time to work on them, they had a chance to float to the surface. Now, I need to buckle down on my own time to keep pressing forward in blogging.
3. The more you blog the more feedback you get. I’ve known this to be true and my month of steady blogging validated it. I got more feedback, comments, and emails about my posts in April than I have in any single month in a long time. If you think about it, it makes sense. Every blog post is a hook to get attention and the more good hooks you put out in a concentrated amount of time, the more bites you’re going to get. So, yes, more frequent content will drive more interest and engagement.
So, in reflection on the month I think what it did most is convince me to keep going. It reinforced the things that I knew but had gotten lazy on and so I’ve been trying to figure out what my new blogging formula should be to take this rediscoveries into account.
Photo credit: Will Lion