I’m a volunteer for The Office of Letters and Light, a non-profit in support of the arts. Their biggest yearly event is NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month which is held yearly in November (there’s also Camp NaNoWriMo which runs April and July). In the simplest terms possible, the aim of the event is to inspire you to write a novel (defined as 50,000 words) in 30 days (aka a month).
That’s all well and good, Hillary, but I’m not a novelist. I have no desire to write a book. I’m a business owner or seller. What, pray tell, does this have to do with me?
Give me a second, I’m getting to it. Anyone with something to promote knows that they really should be blogging at least once a week, right? That’s really the minimum to keep your blog active, high in search rankings and to keep readers coming back. But with all the insanity of running a business and living your life, that often gets pushed to the side.
Let me lay something on you: The ideal blog post is about 500 words. If you took on the NaNoWriMo challenge and wrote 50,000 words in a month, you’d be able to write 500 words 100 times over. In other words, you could have about 100 blog posts written in 30 days. There are only 52 weeks in a year. With one month of work, 30 days, you’d have enough content to keep your blog active with 1 or 2 new posts every single week of next year. Just schedule or queue those posts up and you can sit back for the entirety of next year knowing that your blog will stay active, your readership with grow, your SEO footprint with flourish and you won’t have to do any additional work unless you want to write about something timely.
Think 100 posts is overkill? Fine! Just shoot for writing 52 posts exactly then, giving you enough posts to blog once a week. Your posts won’t end up exactly 500 words each anyway so you may as well leave yourself some wiggle room.
OK, I can see the logic in this. But I’m really busy right now, can’t I just do this another month?
Sure, you could. But, let’s be honest here, will you? Won’t you just keep putting this off the same way you put off blogging once a week now? This is, after all, the point of NaNoWriMo. People need deadlines or they’ll never get stuff done and telling yourself that you only have 30 days to crank this out can give you the kick in the pants you need to actually do it. Also, because you’re coming into an established event instead of just doing a self-challenge, you’ll find tons of tools, article, inspiration and, most importantly, a huge support group that’ll make it easier to succeed.
But… but won’t my blog seem stale if all my blog posts were written a year ago?
Some blogs, especially news blogs, need to be up to the minute. But for most sellers and others keeping a blog for marketing and social networking reasons, there are thousands of timeless topics related to your niche. Take this blog, for instance. Yes, I frequently blog about the latest eBay, social networking, publishing or whatever news. But many of the posts are deliberately timeless, general business or customer service advice and tips where the info in them can never expire. I’ve already confessed that I keep a stockpile of pre-written timeless blog posts for days when I don’t have anything current to write about so I’m not just making stuff up here… I’m talking from personal experience. You wonder how I manage to write for so many blogs? The answer is simple: I write posts in batches ahead of time just like I’m recommending you do. It’s as simple as that.
Still not sold? You’ve seen all the talk of the profits you can make by self-publishing your own eBook. After a writing 100 blog posts, you may have enough material to compile into an eBook that you can sell, making that content do double duty. Even if the 50,000 words you produce aren’t eBook material, after getting that many words down, you’ll have a much better sense of what you might want to write about in a future eBook.
It’s unconventional, I know. But think about it. If you want more info, I have a separate blog about NaNoWriMo that you can check out at http://nanowrimo.hillarydepiano.com.What do you think?