This is it. The last day of my 29-day writing challenge to publish new content every day this month. I almost can’t believe it’s over.
It’s been a long, sometimes hard road to get here. But I stuck with it, publishing something new every single day. Some of them better than others.
Here are the highlights:
- Christmas in July Is The Worst Fake Holiday Ever
- What I learned After Spending $6 Million on Google Ads
- How to Quit Playing Video Games
- Why Notion Is the Best Productivity App of 2020
What follows is a summary of the highlights and lowlights of my 29-day publishing journey.
What I’ve Learned
Not having time to fully develop ideas that are publication-ready. I ended up finishing them quickly and without submitting for publication because I was scared of rejection and scared they weren’t ready.
Eventually, I started submitting my writing to publications more often, not caring about rejection. Some were accepted, some weren’t. Some didn’t have the right home with any of the publications I currently write for, so they fell flat.
I feel a lot of pressure if I haven’t published anything by the evening. I often spent my whole evening writing, rewriting, and fretting over what I’m going to publish that day. I set high standards for the quality of my work and I don’t want to put shit out there.
I built a writing habit. I write because I have to, but I also really like it. I’m still keeping up my journal, and publishing every day, and I launched a newsletter.
I received way more views this month compared to last month. 8,000 views this month compared to 500 last month.
Those numbers are skewed because one post this month went semi-viral after I posted it on LinkedIn. That post alone has over 6,000 views. Even without it, I’d still have 4x my views compared to last month. I’d call that a success.
I didn’t get as many new followers as I thought. This could be because my topics are sometimes super broad. I wrote about everything from happiness, mac apps, to Christmas in July. Not exactly sticking with a specific niche hurts me, but I’m also still finding my voice and what I enjoy writing about. I’m still in experimentation mode.
I ramped up my creativity. I’m building my creative muscle by writing every day and it’s found outlets in other areas. I started a newsletter, I had a viral post, and I’m overall working my brain in new ways. That’s a total win.
I get more joy from writing about things that bring traffic directly to my website than I do on Medium. I get very few referrals to my website from Medium, the bulk of my traffic is from Google search. Maybe 2% is from Medium at this point, but I make money from Medium. Actual real dollars. Not a lot, but enough to get a coffee every month. Everyone starts somewhere.
I don’t know if I’ve become a better writer, but I’m going to believe that I have.
I got rejected a lot. I still can’t get published in The Startup.
I’m making it a game to see how many rejection letters I can get before being accepted there.
I have a lot more of those screenshots that I’ll choose not to share. I could make a whole post with just rejection letters. I’m fueled by rejection, and my tank is full right now.
Would I do it again?
Yes, in a heartbeat. Experiencing what it feels like to get 6,000 views on a single post was new and exciting. It brought attention to my name in ways I could’ve never imagined. I’ve received emails from countless people, some of them better and more exciting than others
Am I going to keep it up next month?
Not at the same pace. I want a break. But what I imagine will happen is my mind will keep working so I’ll keep finding things to write about. It won’t be as much, certainly not 29 new articles next month, but more than the 4 I published in January. I really enjoy this habit, and I’ve wanted to start writing consistently for a very long time, so it’s about damn time I stuck with it.
I like writing about software and marketing. Sometimes those intersected. But mostly I like to write about what is interesting to me. And that changes often, so who knows. I need more time to develop my niche, but next month I want to focus on bringing more traffic to my website. Both from organic search and other areas.
Seriously, what a fun journey. Never in a million years could I imagine how this month progressed. There’s no replacement for hard work, and I was rewarded for that this month.
Update January 2021: I have now hired a freelance writer to help write for my blog.