Mauro D'Andrea

A Month to Build a Blog Post: Crazy? Or Brilliant?

By: Mauro D'Andrea | April 2, 2013 | 

A Month to Build a Blog Post- Crazy? Or Brilliant?Have you ever spent 30 days on a blog post?

I know, it seems crazy.

With that amount of time you could easily write many, many blog posts.

Why did I do that?

Let me tell you about my experiment, and you’ll understand why I spent an entire month on a single blog post.

And why you might want to as well.

A Crazy Idea that Produced Shocking Results

I collected tips on many aspects of Internet marketing and online business from 101 of the best experts, and I put them together in a giant post: 101 Experts Share their Tips for Online Success.

I spent 30 days to create it, which means I put a lot of work in it, but it’s totally worth it.

Considering my blog was less than three months old and had only four other blog posts when I published that post, the results were shocking:

  • I got 2,060 new visits from it in four days!
  • At last check, Google Webmaster shows 172 backlinks from 28 domains.
  • The most interesting part is the post gave me the chance to connect with many influencers and the social buzz was amazing. As I’m writing this, there are 240 tweets, 144 likes and 105 Google +1. For a brand new blog, I think these share numbers are mind-blowing.

Ok, enough about me. It’s time to provide you with useful information.

Why I Did Such a Crazy Thing

When you decide to tackle a project like this, you should always set some goals otherwise you risk wasting your time and energy.

For example, I wanted to accomplish three main things:

  • To meet and connect with these thought leaders
  • To improve my reputation
  • To get some backlinks

Connections are essential to succeed. Nowadays almost every niche is overcrowded. You can think about those people like competitors to fight against, or you can think of them as allies. I prefer to think of them as allies. The more people you know, the more your reputation will grow.

In this day and age, optics are everything. The best thing you can do for your own growth is to connect with other authorities in your field: People’s perception of you is defined by the people that surround you, but don’t try and connect in a slimy, spammy way. You want to take the time to really get to know people.

As for backlinks, I figured I would get a few because such it was a long post filled with useful information from some super smart people. I hoped it would be shared widely, which it was, and that a few people would link back to it in their shares, which they did.

I started out with goals and a strategy. If I hadn’t had that baseline, I probably would have given up, and not completed the post.

Four Valuable Lessons From a Crazy Idea

Except for the 101 valuable lessons from the experts – those alone are awesome – I learned many other useful lessons.

  1. Work is Necessary to Accomplish Remarkable Goals. In 30 days, I sent approximately 200 emails. I received 101 answers. Putting those answers into a cohesive blog post, trying to make the content readable and visibly appealing was extremely time consuming and complex. The hard truth is when you want to make something (hopefully!) worth talking about, you have to work for it.
  2. Success Depends on People. My post had great results because people helped me. Aside from the fact a hundred busy experts responded generously to my original email, many of them tweeted it or shared it on Facebook or Google+. Some of them even gave me a backlink. If those people hadn’t helped me, I wouldn’t have reached such great results. In my opinion, building relationships is the most important aspect to success online and off. You simply can’t skip the relationship building process.
  3. Learning from the Best is Essential. When you want to achieve something, you can stab at the dark trying out your ideas, or you can learn from those with way more experience. Obviously, the second way is the most efficient one. In a perfect world, take what you’ve learned from the experts and incorporate it into your own blog and blog posts. Another shortcut to future success? Find yourself a great mentor.
  4. Try it Anyway. While I was creating my post, I thought: “It would be great to have an answer from great people like Guy Kawasaki or Seth Godin…but they’ll never answer.” But I didn’t let self-doubt get in my way. I tried to get those answers anyway. While I didn’t get Seth Godin’s answer, I did get an answer from Guy Kawasaki and from some other highly successful entrepreneurs. Things may seem impossible, but if you ditch the doubt and give it a shot you may get the results you want.

Spending a lot of time on a blog post might seem counter productive, unless you consider the ultimate return on your investment.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my experiment. What’s the longest amount of time you’ve spent on a blog post or a guest post? What’s the average time you spend crafting your posts?

About Mauro D'Andrea

Mauro D’Andrea is an internet marketing expert specializing in email marketing and content marketing. The founder of Blog Growth, where he helps people reach their Internet marketing goals, he is also the author of the free e-book “Increase Your Conversions.”

  • Erin Feldman

    Hmm. Two weeks or more? Anything published usually was written well in advance.

    • MauroDAnd

      @Erin Feldman Well, it depends on your publishing schedule 🙂

  • What kind of goals did you establish for this post? You talk about the ultimate return on your investment here, but what was that?
    It looks like most of the comments are from the people you included in the post. I am not trying to be a jerk, just curious.

    • MauroDAnd

      Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Hi Josha, I guess that all the backlinks and social shares that the post got are pretty good 🙂
      What about the comments? I haven’t ever had a contact with 95% of the people that commented on that post. The fact that they are commenting is a way to say “Mauro, I may want to connect with you in the future”. 
      Do those things sound like a good result for the time spent?

  • Laura Petrolino

    I write parts of lots of articles and then come back to finish them at various times later. I’ve definitely spent a month or more going back and adding, editing, etc. but I’ll do this to multiple articles at once. Normally my protocol is to write the center of the post one day and then come back the next day and write the intro, ending and refine

    • MauroDAnd

      @Laura Petrolino Hi Laura, yours is a good way to work in my opinion:  when you write the core of a piece of content, usually you use all your ideas, which you need to restore before adding something else; therefore it’s better to edit and add something in the days after.

  • What I like most about this entire concept, article etc. boils down to lesson #2. People are everything! No matter who you are, what you do, what your goals are, if your focus is genuinely people centric, you will always succeed. 
    We rush through life/work/tasks when it comes to alot of things, often doing them haphazardly and without much care. But one thing I always try to focus on never rushing through is anything dealing with people and relationships. The extra time taken is the best time investment you can ever make for sure (not to mention is just simply the proper course of action as a fellow human).

    • MauroDAnd

      LauraPetrolinoHi Laura, it’s my favourite too 🙂
      You’re totally right: spending time to help people is the best investment you can ever make. Recently I published a post about marketing quotes and there was this one from Zig Ziglar that is awesome: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”.

      • MauroDAnd LauraPetrolino Love that!!! Ok, since we are trading quotes now, here is one along the same track that has been on my mind since it is on the April calendar of a non-profit that I’m on the board for. “You will never live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

        • MauroDAnd

          LauraPetrolino Well, I guess we could go on for a long time 🙂 We can start the Social Quote Tuesday!

        • MauroDAnd LauraPetrolino ooooh! I love that idea! Let’s do it!!

        • MauroDAnd

          LauraPetrolino Ok, next Tuesday on Twitter, the hashtag is #SocialQuoteTuesday !

  • Wow, congratulations MauroDAnd! Did you think of compiling the tips from your blog post into an eBook?

    • MauroDAnd

      EdenSpodek Thank you, Eden! Yes, I did, and probably I’ll make it…I love free eBooks!

      • MauroDAnd Me too! There’s nothing better than extreme reuse when it comes to quality content.

        • MauroDAnd

          EdenSpodek Especially with big content 🙂

  • Well I would freak out if I had to spend that much energy but I would agree. If not for anything else, your blog gets a good amount of publicity and that is crucial for any blog. 🙂

    • MauroDAnd

      Hajra Hi Hajra, I have to share a secret with you: I almost freaked out…it was a pretty hard task. 
      Indeed, it’s really worth it.

    • LauraPetrolino Love that!

    • MauroDAnd

      LauraPetrolino Perfect pick, Laura!

  • Super fun post! Thanks for contributing it here. Your passion and enthusiasm is infectious! One thing I would add that seems to have come out from your work and that is people are extraordinarily giving of their time and ideas when asked to contribute to things like this. It goes to your fourth point: You don’t know if you don’t ask. It also provides some good food for thought in some of the things we could be doing here. Thanks!

    P.S. Crazilliant!

    • MauroDAnd

      ginidietrich Thank you for having me here, Gini! And thank you for these kind words! I agree with it: people love to contribute, and this is simply wonderful. My pleasure!
      I contacted a few editors and it seems like we have a dictionary deal 🙂 This is crazilliant and brillazy at the same time!

      • adammbsmith

        MauroDAnd ginidietrich Awesome work Mauro! But how did you seed the content? Or did you have a large following already?

        • MauroDAnd

          adammbsmith Hi Adam, good question! I didn’t have a big following, and this is probably the most interesting part of the entire post: the post “promoted itself”! 
          When you have the contribute of 101 influencers, you don’t have to promote your content, you just have to say to those people “Ehi, your answer is live on this page”. 
          Not everyone will promote you, but with 101 influencers on your side you can be sure that the result is great!

      • MauroDAnd WOO HOO!!!

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  • Arment Dietrich, Inc.

    I tend to spend about 45 minutes to an hour on each blog post as long as I know what I’m writing about. If not, I spend a little more time ^yp

  • Erin Feldman

    My process is a little weird. I don’t know how long the initial post takes – I rarely time it – but I have an initial revision, maybe two, then a final edit once I have the post inside WordPress.

    • MauroDAnd

      @Erin Feldman Hi Erin, your work process is ok. In fact, my 30 days post is an exception in my content strategy, not the rule.

  • rdopping

    Nice work. We all value work in different ways but the one constant is if you put the effort in you get the returns. I love that you spent that long and did the research necessary to put out a piece that obviously has some real value.

    • MauroDAnd

      rdopping In most of the cases it goes in this way, but pay attention that sometimes your efforts may be wasted. In some cases you may waste your energy for an ineffective task, or you may risk to do something good in the right way. It’s always important to plan before you spend  a huge amount of resources – even though in some cases a plan can’t predict the reality.

  • Arment Dietrich, Inc.

    Ah, good point Erin. The 45 min. to an hour is the initial writing. Then it goes through two edits, then I revise it, then it gets posted in WP so all together, I really have no idea either! ^yp

  • @Maura, I think it’s a great idea, although most people won’t be able to budget that length of time. Sometimes building out a post slowly lets you find the really good information, although Gini Dietrich will accuse me of “over thinking” (and she’s right, often). I’m not sure I could stretch it out over 30 days unless I was also trying to include the answers from 101 different people! Also enjoyed your lessons learned. nice to meet you here. 🙂

    • MauroDAnd

      allenmirelesWell, my first intention was to make it in a week, but it has been
      harder that I thought 🙂 The core idea is to make something huge and
      remarkable (which, of course, takes time), either it needs 30 days or 3
      days to make it. My pleasure, Allen!

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