Writing More (a new personal challenge)

Colored pencils

I have a new challenge: I’m going to blog five days a week, Monday through Friday, for the next four weeks.

Why?

Three reasons:

1) I want to produce more high quality content, and Sebastian Marshall and others have convinced me that writing more will help me do that

2) I want to have more influence and reach as a blogger and data from Technorati and other sources suggests that blogging more will help me do that.

3) If rejection therapy has taught me anything, it is that embarking on personal challenges can be fun and bring interesting things to my life

A bit more on the first two poinst:

More High Quality

In Sebastian Marshall’s post “How do I write so much, you ask? Well, glad you asked” he talks about the law of Equal Odds which he basically interprets as meaning “a creator can’t entirely control the quality of their output. In order to do high impact excellent work, you have to do a lot of work, which includes low impact not excellent work.”

In order to produce better stuff, it’s important to produce more stuff.

This is similar to a story from the book Art & Fear where a pottery class was divided into two groups. Group A would get a grade for the semester based on a single piece of pottery, while Group B would get a grade based solely on the weight of the pottery they had made (50 lbs got you an A, 40 lbs got you a B, etc). Guess which group produced the best work? (Read the story to find out..)

More Influence

I found a study that was originally published by Technorati back in 2006 (which is like eons ago in Internet time, so maybe the conclusions are no longer valid?) but basically they show a correlation between increased blog authority (based on the number of other blogs linking to the authoritative blog) and frequency of posting. Here’s what they had to say about the “very High Authority Group” which had over 500 blogs linking to each one over the last 6 months:

Bloggers of this type have been at it longer – a year and a half on average – and post nearly twice a day, an increase in posting volume of over 100% from the previous group.”

Consistently producing content can be good for traffic. Another quick data point can be found from an articled called “How to Punch Through Concrete Walls” by Matt Ackerson here he talks about the law of consistency (not the same as persistence). The money quote here: “For example, for 7 weeks now I’ve been writing one article every single weekday for my company’s blog on PetoVera.com. Traffic has increased over 350% during that time.”

I’m sold. =)

My Game Plan

So I’m starting today – this my first post of the series. My plan is to create a schedule:

  • Monday - Quote Day. I’ll post a quote like this one on fame and obscurity, or this Bruce Lee quote on surpassing limits.
  • Tuesday - Regular Post Day. I’ll post a full-length (300-500 word) article. No particular topic focus for now.
  • Wednesday – Video Day. I’ll post a video like this HALO trailer or my Europe trip video.
  • Thursday - Regular Post Day. I’ll post another full-length article.
  • Friday – Link Roundup + Challenge Reflection. I’ll post five cool links to things I encountered that week, and reflect on how the challenge is going.

I’ll try to schedule all the quotes and all the videos this weekend for the next four weeks, then write the articles on the weekend, so during the week, all I’ll have to do is create the link roundup, which isn’t too bad.

If you’ve got any ideas or comments or feedback on my plans or what you’d like to see me write about, I’m all ears. It’ll likely be a mix of startup, gymnastics, leadership and other ass-kicking stuff.

Link Roundup

So since it’s Friday, I figure I should go ahead and post my first link roundup.

1) Penolope’s Guide to Blogging – My dad recently emailed me and told me he was ready to start blogging on the site I had registered for him over a year ago. This is one of the posts I stumbled upon. Very handy and filled with interesting and useful ideas.

2) How to Negotiate Your Cable and Phone Bill and Save Thousands – I recently tried to do this and the article was a great resource. It gives you step by step instructions on who to ask for and what to say. Check it out.

3) 48 Laws of Power (summary) – fresh off my quote from the book, The 48 Laws of Power, I wanted to share this page which succinctly lists all 48 laws. The book is super long so this post is helpful in reminding you what the key points were.

4) What are some stupid things smart people do? – This is a post on Quora, which is filled with all sorts of valuable information. This one is a good to check in with – I assume my readers here are intelligent folks. We have certain follies to watch out for.

5) How We Made $1M for SEOMoz – this a detailed case study from a marketing firm the focuses on conversion rates an explains the step-by-step way they studied, built and tested a brand new landing page which brought in tons of new revenue for SEOMoz.

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5 comments
kaisdavis
kaisdavis

Awesome. I'm very excited for this.

You're right: posting more often will give you more writing experience and opportunities to create awesome posts.

Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by comedian Flip Wilson: “You can't expect to hit the jackpot if you don't put a few nickels in the machine.”

Here's how I think about it: doing things like writing a post everyday, asking a girl you just met out, or asking for a discount in a store are all low risk activities once you disconnect your ego from a negative response. What do you stand to lose by writing a post each day or talking to a cute girl? The only thing I can think of is a little bit of time.

But when that bet pays off and you get the date, write an awesome inspired post, or save some money, that's a huge win in terms of the time invested.

So, keep putting those nickels in, Jason. I'm excited to follow along and see what happens.

jasonshen
jasonshen moderator

@cwfeng Thanks for commenting. Glad I could get you pumped about blogging! I'm excited to see all the stuff you'll be posting! =)

jasonshen
jasonshen moderator

@kaisdavis Thanks Kai! I'm excited to make this project happen and I'm glad to have your support.

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