Once upon a time, I offered content creation workshops for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and job hunters.
No matter how diverse the group, their end goal was often the same: build up a body of content from which marketing materials, sales objectives, or organizational storytelling can flow.
To that end, I created and sponsored an annual "30 Days of Blogging Challenge." Everyone taking my workshops was expected to publish new content every day for 30 consecutive days.[ref]I held the challenge in either December or January - both months with 31 days. This allowed one "day off" exception for attendees, often a holiday.[/ref]
I participated in the challenge myself but, to be fair, never really lived up to even my own goals. Creating thirty days of meaningful content is difficult, so I used filler posts around the holidays or meaningless journal entries about hiking to fill my calendar.
Now, a few years after these workshops, and I publicly announced my intention to blog daily for a year. As of yesterday, I've officially kept pace for 2 full months, and I'm not expecting to slow down.
Have my articles been meaningful? I hope so. Amongst technical tutorials and proposals, I write about business. In the interest of being super meta, I also write about writing.
It's helped me develop a discipline of daily content creation and, like my workshop attendees from long ago, build up a wealth of content to which I can refer time and again.
How Much Content?
The rate at which I'm developing content is astounding. For comparison, I ran some simple word count statistics on my site to compare the past two months will all of last year.
January/February 2014 against all of 2013.
Last year, I published 32 posts containing 28k words. The vast majority (91%) of those posts would be evaluated "basic" in literary terms. Traffic-wise, I brought in 52,000 visits during the year (from approximately 43,000 unique visitors).
Over the past two months, though, things have changed. Drastically.
My 59 posts contain over 34k words. The majority (56%) of those posts would be evaluated "intermediate," meaning the average reading level of my site has gone up quite a bit. Also, my traffic has increased to 91,000 visits by more than 74,000 unique visitors.
In two months.
Yes, I started writing every day to scratch a creative itch. But writing - and publishing - daily has also brought in almost twice as many visitors in about a sixth the time! These visitors also represent what I would call higher-quality traffic: in 2013, only 17% of my site traffic was from repeat visitors. So far in 2014, this has jumped to 19%.
Not necessarily a huge improvement by percentages, until you realize these 2 percentage points really represent 8,000 repeat visitors.[ref]According to the analytics, I had only 9,000 repeat visitors last year (which was 17% of my traffic). So far this year I've had 17,000 repeat visitors. While this is only 19% of my traffic, it still represents a nearly 100% increase over the entirety of 2013![/ref] This is Definitely movement in the right direction.
For those of you on the fence about daily blogging, do these numbers convince you of its value?