Four Lessons From My 15-Day Post Challenge
Originally Posted On 10.15.22 (LinkedIn)
On September 12th, I posted the following:
At the time:
-I was writing less
-My engagement was declining
-My profile views were falling
-I didn’t know what to write about
-My energy level towards writing online was waning
So...I gave myself a kick in the ass. In public.
Either I was going to post 15 times in a row. Or, I was going to fail in public AND donate $100 to a charitable cause, in the process.
A few hours after the challenge post, my mind went into problem-solving mode.
-What would I write about?
-What if I didn’t find the time?
-What if I just posted nonsense for 15 days?
My anxiety level shot up, but I decided to stop thinking about it.
A few hours later came this idea:
“What if I write 15 posts about the startup I launched and folded last year?”
Yes! Immediately, I felt a huge relief. I have something to write about!
Quickly, I wrote 14 headlines. I shared the outline as a post. One post down, 14 more to go!
From there, each post flowed. I knew what I was going to write about each day, and thoughts gathered in the background prior to drafting.
I ended up posting for 24 days straight, given the renewed momentum.
Here's what I learned from the post challenge:
1. Planning out content ahead of time is a huge unlock
Before the post series, I didn't realize how much time I was wasting deciding what to write about!
Previously, I was staring at my Notion notes choosing among dozens of half-baked drafts to complete.
With my outline already written, I wrote with purpose, clarity, and focus.
I'll be doing more content planning going forward. It makes things SO much easier.
2. Challenging myself to something hard, in public, unlocked creative inspiration
It had never occurred to me to write a 15 post series on my startup adventure from last year.
But, putting out a public (and scary, at the time) challenge got my brain working in a different way.
It was amazing how quickly I shifted from uninspired to inspired simply because of the public challenge to write more.
3. Writing on one topic daily has compounding benefits
People rarely remember any given post, though it happens from time to time.
But, more people remembered the startup series.
People wanted to follow along. Even though the end was clear at the outset (the startup failed), the series got people curious.
Additionally, two people in my network introduced me to founders currently building businesses in the space. Who knows where those relationships will go, but it's unlikely I would have made those connections from one-off posts.
I can only imagine what would happen if I wrote about 1 topic for 30, 90, 365, or even 1,000 days in a row. The compounding benefits must be incredible.
My worry? That I'd get bored of one topic and stop writing.
4. The LinkedIn algorithm seems to reward industry-relevant content
My views per post in the series were in the low 2,000s, and my average is in the 3,000s.
I think the subject matter - a consumer marketplace for lawyers - didn't match well with my audience (financial services / tech professionals).
My engagement was much higher than normal (1.13%, typically 0.90%) so I would have expected higher, not lower views as a result.
I've been writing about credit cards recently and my view counts are higher than the startup series, despite lower engagement. I think this is because LinkedIn thinks the content is more relevant for my audience.
Something special for Newsletter subscribers
If you're thinking about getting started writing on LinkedIn, don't skip this section.
A connection of mine (Dan Manning) has been helping new content creators get started on LinkedIn.
He's giving away 5 seats to his $900 LinkedIn Writing Program.
Here's how the program works.
Part 1 - He'll chat with you, and then draft 5 posts for you to get started.
Part 2 - You'll write 5 posts, and he'll send you back edited posts.
Part 3 - You'll write 5 more post, and he'll send you feedback you can use to improve your posts.
Dan's a story-telling wizard and I think you'd really enjoy meeting him.
He normally sells this program for $900.
But, he's offering this to 5 subscribers of my LinkedIn Writing For Busy Professionals Newsletter 100% for free.
Let me know if you're interested and I'll introduce you to Dan (DM me here on LinkedIn or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Why is Dan doing this?
-> He'd like to expand his network to busy professionals (my audience) and would love to get some positive testimonials.
-> Since this is a new segment for him, getting your direct input on what worked/didn't can help him make the service better.
Why am I promoting this for Dan?
-> Dan's helped me with my writing, and I think he can help you too
-> He made the offer to help people in my network for free. How could I say no to that?
-> Full disclosure: He and I have no business arrangement. I'm not getting paid to send him leads nor does he plan to charge you or upsell you. If that were to ever change, I'd be sure to let you know.
This Week's Takeaways For New Creators
Plan your content ahead of time - The 15 posts in my startup series flowed much faster than the posts I was writing previously where I was hopping from topic to topic. My post engagement was also at an all-time high (well over 1% for the post series).
Stay on one topic for compounding benefits - This was the first time I had stayed on a single topic for more than a post or two. The results it had on engagement and the general impact it had on people I talked to was noticeable. If staying on one topic is hard for you, ignore this. Better to write something than nothing at all because you tried to "force" topic consistency.
The LinkedIn algo seems to reward within-industry content - The algo gives me considerably more views when I write about credit cards than legal startups. This makes sense given the strong skew in my audience towards financial services, and credit cards in particular.
Consider Dan's program if you'd like to start writing on LinkedIn - His program is a great value at $900. At $0, it's an absolute no-brainer.
Summary Post Stats (3.25.22 - 10.13.22)
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