Today is the final day of April 2012 and with that brings to an end a month long challenge. I wrote back on the first of April of this challenge that was given to me by my good friend Mike Mueller and the consequences if either of us did not complete. I am happy to report today that there will be no chicken suit wearing happening any time soon by me.
See, Mike & I had taken the blogging challenge to another level. If one of us did not produce our 21 posts during the 21 business days of April, we would have to dress up in a chicken suit and dance on a busy street corner. Luckily for me, this is my 21st post and fulfills all my requirements for the challenge.
Over the past month though, I have learned a few things regarding blogging:
1. Daily Blogging can be tough when you run a business too. Granted, my business revolves completely around my blog, but some of the days it was really difficult to take the time away from other tasks in my business and focus on writing a post. See, not only do I do social media consulting, but I also do a good amount of traveling as a social media speaker. This month I attended one of the larger conferences I do in a year which took up almost a full week away from the office.
During this time I had to be diligent to sit down and write posts at certain times or have the forethought to write a post the day before and schedule it to publish while I was away from the computer.
2. Creative is hard depending on your business. While I spend a good amount of time speaking in consulting, there is a third aspect to my business where I build custom WordPress sites for clients. I found it can be very difficult to think creatively for blogging content when I was spending several hours doing very technical tasks on a site like writing CSS code. I’d have to take a good break, walk away from the computer and come back later.
3. Book end hours work best for me. I found that I was able to get my best blog posts by either writing them first thing in the morning to start my day, or doing them at the end of the previous day. Whenever I would try to do it in the middle of normal business hours it would take much longer due to many distractions of phones ringing & crisis messages being received from clients that needed immediate attention. The early morning and late hours of the night seem to be much calmer around my house and provide a better atmosphere for writing.
4. Killing social networks proved productive. I used to leave both Google+, Facebook, & Twitter all open while writing so I could multi-task. But what I learned is that it would take me much longer to write then. I also would repeat things or say it in manners that didn’t always make sense. When I shut off all the distractions, I could create much better content in a fraction of the time.
So, now that the challenge is over, what does that mean? Well, nothing really. You will continue to receive content from me on a somewhat regular basis. However I won’t drive myself crazy if a day or two come along where I am busy with other things and do not get the time to write a post. As I share with clients all the time during coaching, don’t write something just to meet a quota or goal. Write because you are passionate about it or feel this post will help both you and others around you be better.
So Mike Mueller, did you finish your #21in21?