I consider myself a good student—prepared, hard-working and confident. However, this past week my class assignment was to write and publish a blog post every day, and I have to admit that I found the task difficult.
I have always had a deep respect for reporters, and I have always known I wanted to be one. But as someone who requires eight hours of sleep a night and does not usually stray from what’s written in her planner, I have always wondered how I would transition to a lifestyle of strict deadlines, last minute interviews and a news cycle that never sleeps. I admire those who are dedicated to reporting in-depth, accurate news, and now I have a similar admiration for those whose job includes blogging every day.
I had every intention of writing most—if not all—of my blog posts at the beginning of the week. This way I would simply have to schedule my posts to publish themselves, my work would be done and my work-load a little lighter.
This was not the case.
The good news is I did not have to write many of the posts the day of—that’s a little too much pressure for me. For the most part I wrote the posts the evening before they were to be published. This allowed me to look at each one with a fresh pair of eyes the next morning before I posted it. However, I’m a stickler for edits, and I often found myself re-writing what I had already written.
I learned a lot through this experience. I learned that I work well under pressure and that Google is an amazing, amazing thing. The challenges of writing a post every day were coming up with new ideas and content, finding sources to back-up my posts and having something relevant and well-written to publish at the end of the allotted time every day (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.).
Writing often can sometimes dry up your creativity, but it can also stretch it. Writing is a skill like any other, and doing it regularly will make you better. I also think that writing a blog post every day was good practice for a future in reporting. The ability to produce a story without a week to do so is a required skill and not one at which I’ve had much practice.
I certainly didn’t do it perfectly. Although I tried my best to make sure I didn’t get sloppy as the week progressed, my professor still had comments to make, and there were things I had to go back and fix and edit. Overall though, I think this was a positive experience.
Over time, one subject began to lead to another. In the end, instead of a bunch of haphazard, unrelated posts, I felt that I had created a conversation of posts that flowed one right into another.
When I needed help or inspiration, Google always came to my rescue. I also learned that even veteran bloggers struggle to maintain a frequent posting schedule and high content.
When I went searching for inspiration, I stumbled upon the blog GigaOm. The blog was founded by Om Malik and details the relationship between business and technology. When Malik started the blog, he wanted to increase his traffic, so he began to write every day. In one post, he chronicles his decade-long blogging journey and includes some astounding statistics. Over the course of a decade, Malik wrote 11,165 posts (an average of three posts a day, every day for almost 10 years), about two million words and an average of 215 words per post.
Yes you read that last part right—three posts every day for 10 years.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure if that was inspiring or terrifying. However, GigaOm is a leading blog of its kind and is surely profitable.
I hope that this experience makes posting only twice a week seem like a breeze. I also hope that through the feedback I received that the skills I garnered, my future posts will be better, higher quality content posts that are worth reading.