On Friday we wrapped up the 30 Day Blog Challenge. We promised to come back today to tell you how it went for us and what we will do next.
When we kicked off the challenge we had 3 goals:
- Get over the discomfort of talking about ourselves, our projects, and our ideas.
- Help us find a way to share the passion we have about our client work.
- Not bore you.
Before we talk about how we did on the goals, let’s talk about how this blog challenge went logistically and operationally. Admittedly we didn’t think about what it meant to write everyday for 30 days before we conceived of the challenge. What we knew was that we weren’t writing enough, it made us uncomfortable to self-promote, and we needed to do something dramatic (for us) to get over this block.
So, we wrote everyday for 30 days. It took us between 2.5 – 4 hours each day to conceive of the topic, write, do graphics, edit, publish, and promote. We were committed to doing it all on the same day the blog was published ( a few days we conceived of the topic the day before and made notes.) We wrote on weekdays and we wrote on weekends. We wrote at 5 AM before meetings, we wrote on the subway, we wrote in our heads while exercising, we cancelled Friday night plans to write, and, let’s admit it, we wrote after Happy Hour a few times.
We had no idea it would take that much time to do. We had no idea it would be as tiring as it was. A lot of mental energy was needed to conceive of topics, try to link it to what the audience was interested in, make a business point, not be boring, and write decently.
The biggest surprise for us was how much emotional energy was need to accomplish two things 1) to push through on the days we didn’t feel like writing (about 50% of the days) and 2) to overcome the discomfort of self-promotion that we highlighted in goal #1. Even when positive feedback was coming in, we remained uncomfortable and a bit on edge every time we published something. It got better as we published more frequently, of course, but confronting this discomfort that was keeping us from writing before the challenge was emotionally taxing. But what is the point of a challenge if you don’t have to stretch quite a bit to get it done, right?
We are little too close to it to judge how we did on goals #2 and #3. We received a lot of feedback from readers that our passion for our work and our clients came through. We also heard that the way we told stories and linked it to business impact or business concepts was interesting. If we had to judge ourselves on goal #3 (not to bore you) we think we did well 80% of the time. Let’s be honest: there were a few blog posts that we almost feel asleep writing.
Here are a few of the other benefits we got from the 30 Day Blog Challenge:
- We had many more conversations with prospects, clients, colleagues, and friends about what we do and what we think
- We had 2,500% growth in visitors to our web site
- We had 2,600% growth in page visits on our site
- We met a lot of new people – peers, potential clients, potential employees, potential partners (thanks for introducing yourself.)
Here are few learnings we’d like to pass on to anyone else who is kicking off a blog challenge:
- Don’t let yourself off the hook: tell everyone you know you are doing this to remain accountable in the moments you want to quit
- Get feedback early and often: if your goals include impacting an audience remember to ask them what they think frequently
- Everyone needs a break: exclude weekends from your 30 days but only weekends
- Constrain the challenge a little to make time for the rest of your work: consider setting a limit on blog length or writing time
- Be authentic: Make reading interesting by writing about something you find fun and using your own voice. Your energy will come through.
- Remain hyperaware of your writing shortcomings: This exercise exposed two chronic writing issues that plagued us in every blog: spelling the word”announcement” incorrectly (really, who needs that many N’s?) and a lot of trouble deciding between “it” and “they” when talking about companies
- Do everything you can to dissuade spammers: We didn’t do enough and ended up having to shut down our comments and still deal with 40 spam messages a day. Here is what we concluded: Spamming is a weird career choice but if you are going to choose it at least use better grammar and/or cut and paste full sentences.
- It is absolutely worth doing
Next, we are shifting to 2 blog posts a week for the next month. We are also looking for some guest bloggers to join us this month and next month so please drop us a note if you are interested.
Thank you so much for sticking with us through this challenge and showing your support.
*Thanks to the ridiculous amount of spam, we have shut down the comment area on all of our blog posts but we still want to hear what you think. Email us at email@example.com
Ceatro Group is a research and consulting firm that helps organizations understand people better and design and/or improve
customer, employee,and partner experiences and underlying operational processes in order to get better business results.
www.ceatro.com +1-617-338-4535 firstname.lastname@example.org