Woohoo! I can’t believe I’m already on day #20 out of 40 (which also means I’ve been 40 years old for 20 days…but who’s counting?).
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I set out on a mission to publish 40 blog posts in 40 days in celebration of my 40th birthday.
I thought that a good way to mark this halfway point and share the results of this challenge (which is also a bit of an experiment) was to give myself a little interview so I/we could check in on how it’s going so far.
So let’s get to it…
When you consider writing, editing, styling, making graphics, inserting a title tag, description and keywords for SEO purposes, and then sharing the post on social media and in your newsletter, it takes a pretty significant amount of time.
Depending on how long the post is and how many graphics you are creating, it could take anywhere from 1-3 hours. I know that sounds like a long time, but again, there’s a lot involved. In fact, I talk about the Anatomy of a Blog Post here.
I wish the answer was yes, but unfortunately, it’s not.
When I first started the challenge, I WAS writing one post per day. But then, I let myself slide a little if it was really late and I was tired. I’d simply write it the next day. But, I definitely noticed the negative effects of NOT writing one per day.
First, there is the stress of knowing that I need write 2 or 3 in a day. As you can see from the first question above, that takes a lot of time and energy. Then, there’s the challenge of overwhelming your readers. People already have a limited amount of time in each day, so why make it harder on THEM by giving them too much to read (and share and comment on). If I really want you to read my blog posts, then I have to be prepared to compete with the millions of other blog posts out there. And if I go and throw multiple at you in a day (or even within a few hours – which I’ve done), I can’t possibly expect the same results than if I had just given you material in smaller increments (a.k.a. one per day).
I don’t believe I ever said I would definitely write/publish one post on each day of the 40-day challenge. I said I’d write 40 posts in 40 days. So, I cut myself some slack when I don’t end up writing on a given day because I KNOW I will make up for it and still get the posts out there. (Thank you for cutting me some slack, too.)
I think the hardest part is making the time to do it. I set a reminder on my calendar for 10am every day; but most days, I find myself snoozing or dismissing the reminder. Unfortunately, it’s not because I’m in the process of writing the post at that time. It’s because I am busy working on something else and I know I’ll get to it [later]. I also know that sticking to a schedule results in being more productive and successful. So, my goal is to make the time every day to the best of my abilities. Baby steps…which are better than no steps, right?
I wouldn’t say it’s “easy.” But it’s also not as difficult as some may think.
I actually came up with a lot of topics before the challenge even started. I hadn’t written the posts, but I did write the titles – so I knew where I was headed for many of them. I’m a tiny bit worried that I won’t be able to come up with good, relevant content throughout the whole challenge and after it’s done, but I have to know that I WILL make it happen. If I get stuck (and even if I don’t), I will ask my readers what they want to learn (hint hint) or I’ll look back at past posts and create a “part two.” There’s ALWAYS a way to come up with good content. It’s just a matter of how hard you want to work at it.
Of course! There’s nothing better than writing about topics that your readers suggest or ask about. That way, I know I’m helping you become more informed and/or inspired. So bring it on!
Personally, I just wanted to see if I could do this. That was my first and foremost goal. I wanted to challenge myself to do something meaningful (for myself, my business, and my clients and potential clients). It was a big challenge – especially when I talk about James Clear’s guide called “Transform Your Habits” in this post. His guide talks about making big changes without overwhelming yourself. Uhmm, I clearly didn’t take his advice on this one! 🙁
For my business, I was hoping to see an increase in traffic on my website (check!) and more activity on social media and within the posts (check!). All of these goals and their respective results contribute to the future success of my business in some way.
If all that comes out of this is increased traffic, more engagement, and a new habit of posting to my blog more often, then I consider that a HUGE SUCCESS. Actually, even if it ONLY resulted in a new habit of posting more often, that would still be a victory in my book.
Obviously, if new clients, new email subscribers and new partnerships come about as a result of this challenge, then I’ll be even happier. But, in the essence of “baby steps” and seeing the good in each of those steps, then I’m already ecstatic about the results.
Start. Now! Yep, that’s my advice.
Don’t wait until you’re “ready” or until you “have something to write about.” I have a strong feeling that you (no matter who you are) have SOMETHING to write about. If anything, write about the fact that you’re struggling to come up with topics, and then invite people (on social media, your friends, your family, whomever) to give you some ideas of what they’d like to know about you, your business, your industry, etc.
If the task of editing, styling, or creating graphics for your posts is holding you back, then consider hiring someone to help with that aspect of it. I do that for clients, and I’d love to do it for you. You can read about my WordPress and MailChimp Management Packages here.
Overall, this has been a very fulfilling experience. I like writing, but I also find that it can be very challenging at times. From coming up with topics to writing all the content to staying on a schedule, I’m not gonna lie – it’s hard! But, when I hit PUBLISH, it feels awesome! I feel like I’m doing something really good for myself, my business, my clients, and anyone else out there who chooses to stop by and check out some of my posts.
Thank you so much for reading, sharing, and commenting. I am truly grateful!