In college my favorite courses were the ones that had a final term paper.
It meant that I could spend the majority of my semester not worrying about exams and then the week prior to the paper being due I could just hammer it out.
Fast-forward to today and I follow a similar format when I blog. Some people write and plan their posts weeks in advance. For me, I open up a new blog post, think for a moment, start writing, proof read, then press publish.
Rinse and repeat this process over a thousand times and you have the LearnDash blog.
Blogging is one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. We built the entire LearnDash company from the blog alone. I wouldn’t be so bold to say that blogging is “the best” method for content creation, but it’s the best method for us (though that may change in the future given what we’ve seen so far with our new YouTube channel).
I have learned a few things over the years from writing. Here are five:
1. Blogging is a litmus test.
Here’s a challenge for you…
If you can write a minimum of 300 words for 30 days in a row on your subject area then you have a passion and not just an interest.
Many people think they want to start a blog but they fizzle out after only a few blog posts. It’s because they really just have an interest in that subject, not a passion. You will need this passion on the days where you are staring at the screen desperately trying to find the motivation to write.
I recommend anyone who is interested in blogging to do this 30-day challenge. The first few posts will come easy, but then you really have to get creative. You also start to (slowly) develop your voice.
2. Creating your “voice” is an ongoing process.
This can take years to develop and refine. You will quickly realize that you can’t force this process. It’s a natural occurrence the more you write.
My only advice in this area is to stick with what feels “right”. If you are naturally goofy and informal then don’t try to write formally because it will feel off to you. Same is true with the opposite. Don’t try to be witty or playful in your writing style if that’s not really who you are. Readers will find it just as awkward as you will feel when writing.
Even today I stumble across my old blog posts and I end up editing them because it doesn’t “sound right” to me anymore.
3. Blogging keeps you at the forefront of your industry.
When you write often about a particular subject then you naturally will come to be an expert in that area.
There are many reasons why this is the case but most apparent is that by blogging regularly you are forced to keep up with the latest trends and happenings in order to remain relevant. You will find yourself seeking out networking opportunities such as conferences and summits to not only learn new things but to connect with other key influencers.
This has a snowball effect. As you learn more and meet more people, they start referencing your content in their own content and you get exposed to an entire new audience.
4. Blogging WILL establish you as an authority.
You may think that you aren’t qualified enough to write on a subject but let me assure you that you are. Writing consistently is not easy. If it were then everyone would do it. By simply putting yourself into the digital conversation you inherently gain more professional visibility.
It has been said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. Blogging is a form of teaching. You are sharing what you know in hopes that it helps someone else. As you blog (teach), you learn. The more you learn, the more you cement yourself as an authority in your field. It’s a proven cycle.
5. It never ends.
Some call content creation the “long game”, but I call it the “never ending game”. There is never a time where you will say, “okay, that’s good enough”. Well, you could say that but you’d be wrong.
There is always something to write about. Trends change, technology changes, and people change. What you wrote five years ago may not be relevant anymore. When you commit to content creation you are in it for life (or at least you should think about it in that way).
The “secret” to content creation success (heck, any success)…
I clearly have a high opinion about blogging, but to be fair I fully recognize that it may not be for everyone. If you type 50 words a minute then committing to blogging is probably not for you (though you will become faster at typing by doing it).
We are seeing all kinds of content mediums do well today.
You want to know the secret to success?
Don’t scoff. Hardly anyone is consistent with content creation, but those that are reap the rewards in a very big way.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen someone start a blog/podcast/YouTube channel and then after a three months they give up because they don’t have enough views or didn’t make any sales. Three months is nothing, sorry.
I blogged for 10 months straight before we made a single sale. Maybe it will take you longer. Maybe less, who knows…
What I do know is that had I not been consistent then that first sale we made would have never happened. I likely wouldn’t be writing this blog post today either.
The consistency lesson learned from blogging manifests itself in our business in many ways.
- We are consistent in the quality of our support.
- Our brand is consistently represented.
- Product development is consistent.
- The company has been consistent in growth.
If you take only one thing away from this blog post then let it be this: consistency is the “secret sauce”. Whether it is blogging, coding, supporting, or surfing. When you are consistent towards an objective then it pays you back ten-fold.
So go out there and be consistent in what you do. If you commit to blogging then know that there have been thousands of people before you who have been tremendously successful just by making a commitment to themselves and keeping that promise.