Reflections on My 30 Post Challenge

November 10, 2017 Posted by Tyler Cruz

On February 13th, 2016,  I published a blog post only to suddenly disappear from my blog without warning for 1.5 years. I already discussed why this was the case numerous times, but basically it was due to a combination of health issues and simply being tired of blogging for over a decade.

I returned on July 23rd, 2017, with an announcement that I was back. And in order to prove my return I wanted to guarantee regular and consistent blog posts by pre-writing 30 blog posts, with the intention of publishing 1 of those blog posts every 3 days. This would give me exactly 3 months of consistent content and give readers a reason to go back to reading my blog.

It took me just under 3 weeks to write those 30 blog posts, averaging just under 1.5 posts a day, which I was very happy with, especially since the blog posts were quite long and not easy to write. The first post was published on August 7th 2017 and 3 months later, here I am writing post #30. In fact, I was able to publish a new post every 3 days like clockwork execpt for this one which will be about a week late, since I had to save pre-writing this one as I couldn’t start writing it until all the other 29 had been published (not just written).

So here then is my post reflecting on pre-writing 30 blog posts and then publishing them once every 3 days for 3 months.

Stress Free

From my point of view as the blogger, I absolutely loved having a large pile of blog posts all queued up and ready to go. It almost felt like cheating, even though I still did the same amount of work, but just beforehand. Every 3 days I would simply select one of the 30 posts in my Drafts folder and hit Publish, and voila – a quality new blog post is done. I don’t like to schedule blog posts for a number of reasons, so I prefer to do it manually – it only takes a few seconds anyway.

There were times when my Meniere’s disease was really acting up, I was too busy with other things, or I was simply too tired, yet I could still publish blog posts as I had a seemingly endless supply all ready to go. It really was such a great feeling.

In addition, pre-writing the blog posts was easier than I thought in some ways because there are times when you get into a rhythm and the blog posts just flow right out. This is especially true for videos – there will be nobody at home, it will be morning and I have lots of energy, and I have good conditions for filming and can crank out 2-3 completely different videos in a single session.

Lastly, pre-writing the posts let me organize and strategize in how I published them. For example, I staggered my “So what the hell happened” series of posts evenly through all 30 posts, as I knew they’d be amongst the most interesting, and then I stuck in some of the more boring posts and paid reviews in between. I saved the posts I thought would be most interesting at strategical spots.

But pre-writing 30 blog posts was not without some issues. Doing so meant that some of my content was slightly outdated – it didn’t affect me too much this time since most of my blog posts were about everything I had been doing the 1.5 years prior, but I could definitely see this being an issue in the future. I also struggled at times to write post after post, with no immediate “payoff” of being able to publish the posts and see the feedback from readers until all 30 were done.

Overall though, I loved the 30 post challenge. It sucks writing this one right now because blogging suddenly feels like so much work again. I really am a fan of pre-writing a big batch beforehand.

Readers Thoughts

You’ll have to chime in yourself here and tell me what you thought of this process yourself, but if I had to guess, I’d say overall readers liked it. I think it’s really a huge attraction to know that every 3 days there will be a new blog post published, no matter what. Not ‘maybe’, but guaranteed.

Ideal Increment?

I wonder what the ideal practical increment is for publishing posts. Back during my blogging peak I would publish an average of 25 blog posts a month! I don’t know how I managed that, although I’m assuming it helped that I was making some good money at that point too. Also, looking back, my blog posts really sucked at that time for the most part.

I could have posted those 30 posts every 2 days instead of 3, but then it’d have only lasted me 2 months instead of 3, and I didn’t want to have 2 months of posts and then be absent for another 8.

In contrast, I could have posted one every 5 days which would have given me 5 months of content! But I felt the content would be too dated during the final couple of months. I think every 3 days is pretty good, but what do you think?

Traffic

Blogging certainly isn’t like it used to be. Social media has always been big, but over the past few years it seems to have usurped so much of what the “old internet” used to be. Blogs seems to have largely fallen to the wayside of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

I still think there is a huge need for blogs though. YouTube, I can agree offers a very good alternative and platform to blogging, but other social media like Twitter and Facebook just can’t get into the detail and quality of content that blogging can.

Oops, getting a bit off track here – basically I’m trying to blame my low traffic numbers on social media causing dwindling blog readers, but the biggest cause in my decline of traffic was obviously due to abandoning it for 1.5 years, so I have nobody to blame there but myself.

Anyhow, below is a screenshot of my Google Analytics from about a month before returning to my blog, up to yesterday:

You can see a small improvement in traffic, but nothing dramatic,. The numbers were about 2.5x higher the last week of blogging as compared to a month before returning to my blog. There does appear to be a very slight incline in growth, but it’s hard to tell with only 3-months of data. If I had 6 months of posts all queued up, It’d be interesting to see if the slight growth kept growing.

Also, you can see a definite drop in traffic the moment I stopped posting (again, this 30th post is about 3-4 days late).

YouTube

8 of my 30 blog posts included a video, which is a higher percentage than I used to do.

Here’s a screenshot from my YouTube Insights:

There is a definite increase in views over time, as well as revenue. We’re talking about pennies here, but I have like no subscribers and it does make you think what’s possible with a successful channel.

Income

I didn’t include my AdSense stats here as I have something planned for that in a possible future post, but obviously I didn’t really make anything during these 3 months since my readership is so low these days.

That being said, I found it kind of amusing that my office chair rollerblade wheels blog post actually performed quite well. I knew it was a bit of an odd post when I decided to do it, but I also knew that while silly, it would actually prove to be useful to some readers. I never sell stuff on Amazon – like, I never make any commission. In like 15 years of owning my movie review website I made maybe a total of $150 from Amazon commissions.

From my rollerblade wheel post, I made $34.85! Add on another $7 from YouTube ads as well and we’re over $40. Add in AdSense earnings from it too, and we’re maybe at $45.

 

Anyhow, obviously the earnings and traffic are next to nothing right now, I just wanted to share how my resurgence into the blogging world during my 30 post challenge performed.

So now that I am writing the final paragraphs of my 30th post, one question remains…

What Now?

I spent a lot of time and effort writing those 30 blog posts. And what did I get out of it? Not much – a slight increase in traffic.

I am not sure if I want to continue blogging or not. It’s a whole lot of effort with virtually no payoff. There was a tiny bit of growth, but would that continue if I kept blogging?

And if I do decide to keep blogging, should I do another 30 post challenge? Should those posts be every 3 days or perhaps 4 to guarantee 4 months of content?

I did come up with a new list of 30 blog post ideas to work off of, but I am really not sure if I want to go ahead and see them through. Hmm…

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Posted: November 10th, 2017 under Blog Related  

10 Responses to “Reflections on My 30 Post Challenge”

  1. Oli says:

    “I stuck in some of the more boring posts and paid reviews in between”

    There’s your problem, instead of focusing on quantity of posts and filling your content out with boring stuff. Why not focus on one long-form and high quality post per week?

    Takes the pressure off you having to constantly come up with ideas and put out content which is sub-par and I’ll bet you will see traffic / social media metrics as well.

  2. Robert says:

    Thats right Tyler, focus on quality content, not boring stuff.

  3. Luis says:

    Hi Tyler,

    A very long time follower. Oli is right. You need to focus on writing high-quality posts only. Stopped those paid reviews and boring stuff.

    And it’s better to write one post per week than lots of posts and low quality ones.

    Like you said, it’s a new age and you must adapt.

  4. Trusttec says:

    Great post Tyler!

    I agree things have changed when it comes to blogs. Social sites have replaced blogs and so many ways. Nowadays a person needs to adapt and grow an audience and engage them on social media and direct them to a post on your blog.

    Times Are A-Changin kind of like Sears here in Canada. A person needs to figure out how to adapt or will be left to close up shop.

    Interesting to see the traffic rise while your posting and go back down when you’re not posting. One would think if you continue posting regular the traffic would go back up. You should gain some of your old readers once they figure out your back.

    YouTube is interesting and there are a lot of people making a living off of YouTube these days. If you can find a good niche and grow a decent Channel the opportunities are Unlimited. Sort of like starting a successful blog back in the day.

    Hope to see you continue posting as I enjoyed reading your posts during this 30 post challenge.

    TT

  5. Oli says:

    It would be interesting to see you get started with a new project Tyler. In the past you seem to have poured money into having custom projects coded ( Votesey, The affiliate review one etc ).
    You can get started with a new site with WordPress, an off-the-peg theme and some content and do very well if you choose a niche carefully – it would be interesting to see you start a new site from scratch similar to how Pat Flynn did with a few sites. You could get some initial traction and links from your own blog and see how it goes.

  6. Marco says:

    Thank you Tyler for honestly sharing how your life went in the past 1.5 years.
    I read most of your nee posts even though they weren’t directly related to AM.
    I wish you all the best and hope to read more from you soon.

  7. Kevin says:

    i used to read your blog from the time before you got this current design. i think u and john chow got it at around the same time. man that was so long ago. Glad to see u back infact i myself am coming back to the online scene. Cheers

  8. Matt says:

    Hi Tyler, I’m a long time reader of your blog, I’m talking about 10-12 years. I’m very sorry about your illness, it suck when the illness put limits on what you can do, but I’m the kind of person that looks the glass half full, and from what I can read, despite the illness you are able to do a lot.

    My advice to you is to forget about written content and go video full time, yes, video full time, I mean, just seeing what some of the biggest youtubers have been able to achieve in such a short amount of time is proof enough of the power of video this days, so I would switch from blogging to vlogging, as long as the video content you produce meets the standard quality of this days, I thinik the potential is already bigger than continue blogging. (example of vloggers that achieved a lot in less than a year: Logan Paul Vlogs, MoVlogs)

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Yeah… what I’m kind of doing now is simply adding in more videos into my posts. I always fear relying 100% on another service such as YouTube – at any point in time they could just close down my account. In fact, I once had an account that got banned and all my videos inaccessible because my account got hacked and somebody was spamming comments under my name.

PeerFly

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