We’re just getting warmed up.
If the first 100 were like the first few miles of a marathon, the next 100 were like the middle miles: just cruising, knowing we’ve got a long haul, but just one foot in front of the other, just me, the pavement–and my shoes.
The difference now is that I see no reason to stop. The difference, compared to running, is that I don’t have to. The difference, compared to running, is that I love writing. Why should I stop?
- I’m cruising.
- I’m having fun.
- I’m in (writing) shape. In fact, I feel like I could get in any shape–just keep at it. I know the secret.
- I’m getting in better shape all the time. It’s only getting easier.
- I’m gaining followers, traffic, and a brand.
- My writing is taking shape.
- I’m re-finding my voice.
- I know better where I’m going.
- I’m a machine–and I like the feeling.
- I am loving this.
I’ve developed a habit.
I truly had no such intentions. It started out as a month-long challenge from habit-creation star John Muldoon. I just wanted to see if I could do a month. But I did do a month. Hmm. Then I didn’t see a reason to stop either. So I went for 100 Posts in 100 Days. Now that I’m firing on all pistons, I see only the workhorse that I have at my disposal. I see this conveyor belt or factory assembly line that can get things done. I just need to put it on the belt (give it a slot in my day) and I’ll get it done. Amazing? No. Hard work and discipline. Two things I have lots of–but needed a structure.
- Need a post about how to use a certain 301 redirect plugin. Check.
- A letter-a-day contest, the A-to-Z Challenge. Done.
- Become an editor for others writers with epic content. Learning.
- Doing the writing I want to (so I don’t forget stories with my kids). Bam.
- Getting more effective and efficient with my other work so I have time to write. Boom.
That last one is a biggie. There are only so many hours in the day. My day job has far from gone away. But because I’m determined (read: stubborn) I’m not going to miss a day of my Write Every Day. But I have work to do! I have clients banging down my door! I have projects, deadlines, dogs to walk, to do lists, code to write, kids to read to, layouts to build, wives to charm, CSS gradient shadows to figure out! No problem, just let me get my post for the day published and I’ll get right on it.
A Mindset Shift
Priorities. They’ve shifted. Think about that a moment. It’s no easy task. I’m writing this down, repeating it even, so I realize it as well. It’s not an easy thing to do: change, change in priorities, change in how you view your time, your work, your lifestyle. I’ve changed it, I’ve managed to move this mountain. How? A tiny bit at a time. Remember, it’s not 100 Posts in 1 Day. It’s 100 Posts in 100 Days. How many per day? One. How long, how many words, what time, what topic, what goal, why? It’s up to you. It’s in your court. It’s yours. It’s your thing. It will break you–or it will make you.
200 Posts in 200 Days Statistics
There was a point somewhere after 100 where it just started flowing. It wasn’t work any longer, wasn’t that sinking feeling, “Oh boy, I have to get that done.” It’s being in shape. It’s a habit. So here are some statistics (website visits, mostly), but the biggest stat is on the “fulfillment” scale: I’m having fun. This is a part of me that I was missing. I’m filling that void. That right there is the only stat I care about.
Pass the Sour Cream
There has been a big shift in The Cream for me as I think I’ve defined it: it’s my place. I can do whatever I want. It’s my thing, I own it, I can leave it a mess or deck it out. It doesn’t need to be a “success” in traditional terms, it’s my little playground and I can build (and smash) whatever I want.
Per day averages keep increasing. Still not much, but I’m not looking for “much,” I’m having fun.
Dec (23), Jan (29), Feb (35), Mar (26), Apr (56)
I’m seeing it more as my petri dish for ideas, an incubator, a “let’s see if this sticks to the wall.” If it does, I can publish it over at Repossible or even better: guest post it. Guest posting will be moving up on my strategy for startlet-dom in the coming months as I’m catching up with work at Likoma.
Some things I also just can’t figure out. Nice Goes a Long Way got 50+ likes on Facebook. But I don’t really know why or how that happened. I’m also a little clueless on Facebook, so I don’t even know if I can see who liked it–or why. April was a big month because I did a contest (A-to-Z Challenge) that was a surprising source of creativity for me.
Repossible has been the biggest “unknown” of the bunch as I’m not sure what will happen with it. On some days, I see Bright Lights, Big City. Other days, I’m less sure. That said, on the fun scale, it’s been new fun. I’ve never really been an editor or the founder of something that others are involved in–and appreciate. I’ve had several guest writers and I have found that I enjoy being editor and working to promote others, finding what’s “Repossible” about what they’re doing and trying to get that across in their writing. I also get to play journalist, interviewer, and giver.
Numbers-wise, it’s been a rollercoaster–but an exciting one (not the kiddie ride). In February, Chris Guillebeau tweeted about my 100 Posts in 100 Days to his 100,000+ followers and is still the biggest single traffic day on the site (at 445 views). Not bad for a site that was 2 months old.
It’s also been a learning curve for me as far as what’s popular and why. What gets traffic and what kind of traffic does it get? For example, take David Sterry’s post called, “The 7 Minute Rule of Social Media: How to Use the New Tools of e-Networking without Drowning in the Timesuck.” As of this writing, it has a solid 30 comments, 20 Tweets and 103 Facebook likes. Again, not bad for a site in its infancy. But hey, what’s going on here? Great, helpful content from a writer who has is a writer at the Huffington Post.
But then compare this to another popular post, 3-Day Juice Cleanse. This has been, for me, a lesson in Search Engine Optimization. Sure, yes, I know my SEO pretty well, but it’s different when you see how it works before your eyes. You see what people are searching for, what keywords they’re using, and why they’re finding you. Keywords I might not have thought of, “easy juice cleanse, what is good time to juice and cleanse, what to eat after 3 day cleanse” etc.
So what’s “winning”? It depends on how you define it. 3-Day Juice cleanse has more views, but not by much. But the juice cleanse post has next to zero comments or shares. People find it, figure out what they need to do (buy that Sambazon product–or not) and move on. Whereas with David’s piece, people are engaged, leaving comments, thankful. Fun stuff, huh? I think so.
I barely posted to WPU recently, but the search engines are helping me out here. This is a perfect case of What Do People Need? Pass the Sour Cream? It’s entertaining (hopefully) and inspiring. But when your WOO Canvas Header Widget is not lining up right, you need help. Traffic is steadily increasing and this is going to be my big push in the coming months as I need to get this built, working, and earning some dosh.
I’m ambivalent about the purpose of the Likoma site. What brings in the traffic are the old tutorials, especially the non-WordPress ones. Especially Google Apps, cPanel, and email configuration. See a trend? It’s the nasty stuff, the hard stuff, what people can’t figure out because it’s tricky.
When I have a moment (that was a joke in case you missed it), I’m looking forward to a redesign that shows off the portfolio and also sends people over to (the future) WPU where they can learn how to use their own WP site as well as build a beautiful new one. The big news over at Likoma is that I’m done Waiting for Change. I have some help. I’m no longer alone. I hate to say it, but I’ll say it anyway: I should have done it sooner. But you know what? I did do it sooner. But I think I just needed to do it wrong a few times to get it right. Now it’s going well. Can’t wait to see where we are at 300 Days.
What’s Next? 300.
Speaking of 300 days, it’ll come soon enough. I’m not sure what summer will bring as the kids are out of school and my Daily Life gets a wrench thrown in it–which I wouldn’t miss for the world. If it all went according to plan, it would be, well, German.
- Possible: 1 Post in 1 Day.
- Impossible: 200 Posts in 1 Day.
- Repossible: 200 Posts in 200 Days.