Greetings, I just finished a 30-day content challenge. This means that for 30 days straight, I’ve been writing blog posts on this website. The experience has been enlightening. It takes around 30 days to create a new habit, which is exactly the time I’ve recently invested in writing.
A habit is a behavioral routine, repeated often, and it tends to occur subconsciously. This means that if you practice something long enough, in a consistent way, then it becomes a habit.
I have exercised the persistence muscle. Persistence to me means to continue doing something no matter if it feels right or not. Emotions are not dependable. If you try to do something when you’re feeling fine, then it’s easy. What happens when you’re not feeling OK? It’s difficult. The solution for this is not to take emotions that seriously.
The formal definition of persistence is an obstinate or firm continuance of an act no matter how difficult it is, or the opposition it has.
What is a content challenge?
A content challenge is when you decide you’ll create a single piece of content every day (text, video, or audio) for a pre-set period. It’s a fun way of committing.
It can be social media posts, email sequences, podcasts, vlogging videos, you get the idea. In my case, I decided I was going to write content for my blog. Since it’s still in its infancy, I thought it would be a good idea to populate it with content.
Many bloggers have benefited from content challenges. The longer they last, the more results you get. They are also a learning tool. The idea is to focus only on content creation; when the challenge ends, you can see how you can improve your content creation process, then you can normalize and include your other activities.
Just a few years ago, blog posts with 500 words got you far. Fast forward to today, you realize many of the #1 spots in the search engine results pages for a given keyword have a lot of content for that topic.
Long-form content covers a topic in-depth or provides the reader with a complete view of it. How many words should a long-form article have? At least 700 to around 2,000 words. You’ll find that sometimes a blog post has more than 2,000 words. It’s like reading a whole chapter inside a book.
The idea is that by writing long-form blog posts, you’ll cover almost everything someone needs to know about a set of keywords or subject matter. They’ll discover this information with just one search, which means they won’t have to seek information again and again to uncover the info they want to find.
What I learned
My experience was mainly a positive one. I now have a sense of accomplishment. Although it wasn’t an easy task, I found that if I gave priority to content creation, then the goal was more accessible and achievable.
I didn’t experience writer’s block. I am persuaded that the reason for this is that I just sat in front of the computer with a word processor on. Just by being willing to write conquered most of my writing problems. I believe it’s not a matter of motivation, but of doing the work.
I found it challenging to know what to write at first. Although I believe I could have performed better keyword research, I feel contented because I feel a passion for blogging, marketing, and online marketing. This gave me content ideas. I found that planning content can be considered a separate job from writing blog posts. In many larger organizations, you will find this division at work.
Scheduling content creation when my day begins has been crucial to successfully tackle the challenge. This means that no matter how busy or complicated a day can get, my work is finished relatively early in the day. Setting priorities is a well-known productivity hack. I can say it has worked wonders for me the last month.
Plans for the future
I learned many things about myself and the craft of blogging. When it comes to writing, there are many areas I can improve. I believe I can get better as time goes by.
Something I’m considering is creating a content calendar, better known as a publishing schedule. Although I don’t believe I should plan monthly (for the sake of agility) I can do well with a weekly plan.
A publishing schedule is a professional way to plan content. Even if at first I’m the only stakeholder, it provides clarity to the process of writing. It’s also a way to buy peace of mind. A problem I faced at first was not knowing what to write about. Then, after a few brainstorming sessions, I had many options at my disposal. With an editorial calendar, I can make the best use of my time and I can make the most out of the ideas I’m having.
I need to add a call to action to each one of the blog posts that don’t have one. Although it’s just a few hours of work, it’s really important to continue advancing in my quest to create value for my readers and myself. A call to action is when you ask your reader to do something, it can be subscribing to an email list, click a link, donate money, a buy now button. It all depends on what you want your blog to achieve.
I’ve been exploring social media more in-depth along with web culture. Being a good web citizen involves creating value. Providing high-quality information is part of this process. It’s not all about creating blog posts, but also answering questions on different platforms, and creating content on social media. I can begin this process (which will leave my blog in better standing with my readers and with search engines) slowly. Having a plan, even if it’s a simple one, works better for me than improvised action.
So, that’s it for today, thank you for your attention, and I will hopefully see you soon.