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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?