100 Days of Working Out Loud.
My self-imposed challenge to publish for 100 days straight.
Ran from 17 January 2022 to 10 May 2022

of 100

End of the challenge

I made it. One hundred posts in 113 days. Not quite the 100 in 100 I was aiming at, but close enough.

So it’s time to wrap it up.

Most importantly, thanks for following along

One of the most encouraging things in this challenge has been the comments and encouragement I got from you. I know that I helped some of you some of the time, and that makes it all worth it.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Gratuitous stats

No challenge would be complete without some statistics:

  • 100 posts
  • 113 days (I started skipping some weekends)
  • Around 71,000 words (roughly 262 pages)

What’s probably more interesting (but I didn’t measure very well) was how much faster I am now at writing these posts than I was before. At the start of the challenge I would average around 60 to 75 minutes to complete a post, in some cases longer. Now I’m down to around 45 minutes on a relatively short article.

Most valuable lessons learnt

My original goal with this challenge was to get back into #fearlesswriting. I can now safely say that I’ve achieved that. It’s not only easier to write about stuff, I’ve also learnt:

  • how to write about personal stuff I wouldn’t have written about before, and
  • that I can’t please everyone all the time.

That last bullet is probably one of the most important ones. When we write (for the sake of content marketing) we often think that every article needs to be a hit. It won’t be, so don’t even try to do it. Some will succeed, some not, and in most cases what actually happens will be different from what you expected.

Other valuable lessons learnt

In no particular order:

  • People matter most. We write for people, not just for ourselves (at least when we’re doing content marketing). If you can touch even one person, you’ve made a difference.
  • Volume matters. If your goal is content marketing to generate leads (as I want to do), you have to publish more than you probably have time for. I don’t know that I will be publishing every day going forward (more about that in a bit), but keep that in mind.
  • Marketing matters. For this challenge, I focused just on a) better writing, b) writing a lot and c) doing it fast. So I deliberately ignored cross-posting the articles on other platforms or promoting them on LinkedIn and other platforms. In retrospect, a missed opportunity, but not one that I’m going to lose sleep over. I had a goal and I achieved that, for now that will be enough.

And of course there are a whole bunch of smaller lessons. Things like how each tool works, how much copy and pasting I need to do between platforms, where my time goes, and how easy it is to miss stuff if you’re not pedantic about using checklists.

So what now?

I must admit that I have mixed feelings about reaching the end of this challenge. First, there’s a sense of relief. I undertook something big and got to the end of it.

But there’s also a sense of loss and “what now?”. This daily writing has become such a big part of my routine that I almost can’t imagine it not being there. I know I will miss your comments and feedback.

I’m almost tempted to actually continue this daily writing, but pay more attention to the marketing side of things. After all, if this becomes part of how I do business, I need to get the benefits of it. That would entail cross-posting each post to Medium and LinkedIn, and doing some promotion on each.

But I’m going to take a breather before I do that. I have some deadlines to meet (the Email Marketing course goes on sales on 20 May), a 4-day workshop for a client in the last week in May, two weeks off in the first half of June, and there are other projects that have been in the slow cooker too long (new website, I’m looking at you).

So expect to see me in my regular weekly posts and the marketing emails for the Email Marketing course. And then I will pop up again with more (hopefully) engaging content.

Thanks for joining me in this journey.