When we first heard about the HubSpot 30-Day Blog Challenge, there was no doubt in our minds that we planned to participate. After all, we’re already actively blogging anyhow and this meant just stepping it up a notch. Little did we know we’d learn a little along the way too! Here’s a look at the lessons we learned:
Luke Pierce: Strike when the iron is hot.
The most important thing I learned this month is to start writing as soon as you have an idea. I found that if I started writing as soon as I was inspired by something, I would be finished writing the article in no time at all. Not hesitating not only made the writing easier, but it took the pressure off of deadlines. Once I started writing as soon as I was inspired, I found I would be a week ahead of my deadline. Pretty soon I was two weeks ahead. And now, coming out of our 30-day challenge I already have two blog articles waiting to put the finishing touches on to publish. If you can’t start writing as soon as you have the idea, at the very least, just write that idea down so you can come back to it later.
Colin Smith: Write what you know.
When it comes to writing, in any genre, it can be a challenge to come up with content. Something to help get over this initial panic is to write about what you know. This will allow you to produce content that starts a conversation, as well as the opportunity to continue it. Once you get the ball rolling, tackling subjects that seemed intimidating at first will be more manageable.
Shannon Blair: Content betters our online presence.
Having more content to provide on a daily basis allows for us to have a better presence online. This means that we can share our content on social media and our blog, and by doing so we have a greater advantage when it comes to connecting with others online and sharing our knowledge with others. We aim to meet the needs of our audience and in providing knowledge this past month in our 30-day blog challenge we have met those needs and wants.
Gretchen Ardizzone: Keep it organized.
When it comes to our normal blog strategy we try to evenly spread the responsibility throughout the team. We feel our readers get the most out of our content hearing from different expertise and points of view. With that said, we knew with increased blog activity we’d need to stay organized with our content so our topics weren’t overlapping and we didn’t cover too much of one subject. Luckily we found a super handy WordPress plugin, CoSchedule, to plan our editorial calendar. We scheduled out the whole month of posts and proposed topics, assigned tasks to team members and had the flexibility to easily move around as needed for individual schedules.
When we first started the 30-Day Blog Challenge I was excited, but also concerned it might become a pain in the rear. Well on the last day of the challenge I can tell you that I was absolutely wrong.
Not only was it not a pain, it was fun and everybody pitched in to help; the entire team. The challenge taught us a few more things that will turn out to be very valuable lessons.
- It’s not as hard as we thought.
- Planning things out including topics is a tremendous help.
- Be flexible, if someone’s creative muse didn’t show up on the assigned day then let another person step up.
- Writing in your “own” voice is a lot easier than trying to sound like an expert at a conference podium.
- It was a solid team-building exercise.
We’re here, the last day of the HubSpot 30-Day Blog Challenge and we did it. It was worth the challenge and we’d do it again tomorrow.
We will be analyzing the data results over the next week and report what we found in the next week or two. Stay tuned.
Photo Credit: Mark Brannan