At the end of November, I addressed some concerns that more than a few people expressed about my high level of blogging output and whether or not I still had a “real job”.
[If you don't want to read the entire original post, I summarize in the next blurb.]
I set a goal in November to blog once per business day in order to:
- Share valuable information.
- Start some conversations.
- Build my self-discipline.
- Improve my writing skills.
- Improving my writing speed.
So, November is long gone with December soon to follow. What, if anything, did I learn that you can use? What were the results of this grand experiment?
Overall, I’m happy to say that I met most of my goals successfully.
I produced 22 articles [full list at the bottom of the article if you care] in 22 weekdays during November which, considering Thanksgiving fell in there, means I accomplished the primary goal with room to spare.
Hopefully, the articles provided some valuable content and were of interest. Conversations were definitely started – both here and in the various LinkedIn groups, on Facebook and via Twitter where I posted links. As should be expected, some articles were of more interest than others.
I feel that I made strides in improving my self-discipline but I also know that I need to stay vigilant in this area.
Regarding my writing skills and speed, I think the excercise was a great success. I have effectively started the process of writing on auto-pilot – without needlessly editing every line as it is written.
Most of the great writers and copywriters talk about getting in this zone to produce their work effectively.
When putting words down, it’s easy to hear your internal editor over-riding your thoughts and telling you to worry about this rule or that. It’s a crappy way to write and can really kill your output.
Of course, that doesn’t mean editing is not necessary.
After I write an article, I read it once through (usually out loud) and make tweaks and word changes. Sometimes moving paragraphs around. A lot of times, I will schedule the post to publish at a later date and then, when it publishes (I know because I subscribed to the blog by putting my email address in in the right-hand bar [ahem... hint]), I will read through it again.
And … yes … I catch errors at that time too. Sometimes it’s spellings or, much worse, I can’t understand what I meant when I wrote it. I will clean it up after I publish.
I’m ok with that.
In today’s world of widely adopted beta software and inflated need for immediacy, perfect isn’t necessarily critical.
And maybe it’s always been that way. As Voltaire famously stated a loooong time ago
The better is the enemy of the good.
Meaning: get over yourself and your need for perfection and get moving. [I struggle with this.]
One of the concerns going into the experiment was that I would run out of ideas but, surprisingly, the more I wrote, the more ideas I had of topics to cover. In fact, right now I’m sitting on a backlog of articles and content that I want to finalize and publish.
Which leads to this important realization: looking back on my original goals, none of them overtly lead to making money. So, the question raised in the post title is “does blogging pay?”.
That’s a great question … can I address it?
The interesting thing about this experiment is that – although I had no direct goals of making money from blogging – it has led to five different Sage partners contacting me and asking if I can help them with implementing Sage CRM at their clients or internally or help them put together a proposal for a large Sage CRM customization opportunity.
While it is a great side-effect, this was a real puzzler to me as hardly any of my articles had anything to do with my company or Sage CRM. So why did they call?
Asking the partners about this, I received answers that I will sum up as follows “seeing your name on those posts reminded me that you do Sage CRM and I thought you could help us.”
So, in my case, the blogging didn’t actually “pay” directly but it did act in concert with other activities to remind people that I’m out here and might be able to help them.
That works for me.
Bottom-line: I would encourage anyone with even a passing interest to try a similar experiment. You can go my route – general purpose articles covering a few different topics – or you can go a product specific route or a vertical industry route or … really *anything* that appeals to *you*.
The key is to set your goal and stick with it. You might be surprised at the results.
If people are interested in more statistical information like traffic results, let me know and I will do a follow up article.
What’s next for me? More blogging and a new goal: buckle down and finish my book on CRM 101 [more to come on that soon].
Here is a list of articles published during the experiment sorted first by source and then chronologically.
Azamba Partners - My blog dedicated to helping other Sage resellers understand and introduce Sage CRM to their prospects and clients.
Summit Diary – the blog you are currently on – your #1 source for Sage Information, Technology Tips and Random Odd Stuff (including two of my favorite topics – firm of the future and marketing).
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