The 30-Day “Epic” Blog Post Challenge

What I’m about to lay out in this post is my plan to not only build a new blog, but set it up so that it can essentially run on “autopilot” for an entire month.

Beyond that, it’ll be a blogging experiment within the concept of “batching” – a term made popular by Tim Ferris’s “The 4-Hour Workweek,” which I have written about at some length before (back when this blog was brand new, quite awhile ago).

I’ll define it here again, just in case you’re new to it:  Batching is the act of grouping together the performance of identical or similar tasks in order to, as a whole, complete the tasks quicker and more efficiently than if each task was performed separately at different times.

Now, let’s get into some more specifics.

The Goal of This Challenge

I’m becoming somewhat known for starting challenges and never completing them, but this is one that I am ready to put my full force behind.  Honestly, the only time I’ve created a blog or website that I deem somewhat successful is this very blog right here, and it’s about time that I leverage this blog into something new and exciting (while of course still writing at My 4-Hour Workweek just the same as I have been for the past 3+ years).

There are three primary goals of this challenge:

1) To generate new clients for my freelance writing business that I have not yet really started.

2) To create a valuable resource that will eventually become a significant passive income asset.

3) To use batching in order to create a lot of content without sacrificing too much of my time.  

It’s nice to have lofty goals like these, but we all know that proper execution is vital, and the results are what ultimately matter.  So, instead of focusing on the why, let’s look at the how.

How This Challenge is Going to Work

The success of this challenge is dependent upon doing a lot of work before the site even launches.

A lot of blogs exist on a post-to-post basis.  What I mean by that is, you generally have no content for your upcoming post until right before it needs to be published.  If you’re on vacation or somehow get really busy and don’t have time to write, the blog will usually sit idle and won’t have new content until you return.

By writing a month’s worth of content before launching, I’ve essentially given myself a buffer to rarely, if ever, have gaps in my posting schedule.

For the new site I have in mind, my posting schedule is going to be aggressive.   We’re talking at least three days a week, and maybe up to five.  Once I’m ready to launch, my plan will be to pick one day a week to write a week’s worth of content.  And one day per month, I will come up with the upcoming month’s blog post ideas/titles.

All of this hinges on having a month’s worth of content ready to go before I launch, so that I have content to fill in the inevitable gaps that may occur over the next several months.

But you might be asking: Why do you even care about potential gaps?  Why not launch right away? I have a couple reasons for this:

  • First, once the site launches, part of my time will be spent networking and promoting, and it’s very possible that this will negatively impact the strong start that I am hoping for. I’d rather set the foundation, and then build off of it. Think of it like trying to have your house painted before you’re done constructing it – something’s bound to get messed up. Finish constructing the house first.
  • Second, I want to make sure I’m psychologically invested in the project before it really gets going.  If I launch from day one, and things start off slowly, I’m much more likely to give up (like I have with many other projects).  If I do a lot of work before I officially launch, I’ll be invested and more likely to work hard to make it work after launching.

So, What’s the Timeline?  What’s the Plan?

The timeline actually isn’t 30 days – sorry for misleading you with the title of the post (the “30 days” refers to the 30 days of content before launch).  However, it’s not far off.

Here’s my very basic timeline, with four critical dates:

  • November 1st: Have the “30 days” of content planned (i.e. an idea of what each post will be about).
  • December 1st: Site completely designed, with full infrastructure in place (social media accounts, etc.).
  • December 30th: Have the “30 days” of content written.  Soft launch – first post is published, with very light promotion.
  • January 4th: Hard launch – 4-5 posts should be live, heavy promotion.

This project will be made public here – this isn’t some private little niche site.  Not only do I think this is something most of you will enjoy and find interesting, but I honestly believe it’s something you can be a part of that will ultimately help your own blog if you have one.

Also, I should mention that I already have a site plan in mind, with a domain purchased, so it’s not as if I still need time to research a new idea.  Everything will be revealed here by the “hard launch” on January 4th.

I’d like to launch sooner, but I want to avoid launching right before the holidays and having that “Christmas to New Year’s” gap when people are less likely to visit the blog.

I’m setting out to make this the biggest project I’ve worked on ever, as I’m really betting on this to be the next big step in my online business.

What do you think?  Are you taking on any big new challenges right now, and if so, how’s it going?

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17 Responses to “The 30-Day “Epic” Blog Post Challenge”

  1. Great post Eric!

    I’ve had a similar idea on the back burner for the past few months:
    Create a new site to help me get clients but also one which can earn passive income in the future.

    I write for WordPress related blogs at the moment so am going to start my own one. The idea is I can use it to promote my writing services, but also build it up so its starts earning money.

    Then I can use that money to hire writers to help me on the site.

    Eventually I can stop writing for the site and have it all outsourced.

    That is how the sites I write for operate so I have to give it a shot.

    I hadn’t thought about batching content but hope to start the site in November.

    How many posts are you going to have ready in advance?

    Good luck!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Joe – it seems that in the freelance writing world, having a “lead” site is the way to go – something that can earn you money and simultaneously brings you new clients.

    My goal for the initial “batch” is 15-20 posts. It won’t be easy, but I think it’s going to pay off in a big way.

    [Reply]

  2. The thing that I am doing especially with my blog is to do a lot more with the scheduling posts. That way, if I have a lot of free time, I can stay on top of making sure that I am ahead and not fall behind due to work (started a new job in China last month, so it’s been a little busy and chaotic).
    MIke recently posted… 5 Finance Blogs I Read

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Yeah, I really like the idea of scheduling posts. Somehow, it almost “frees up” space in your mind and allows you to focus on other things. That’s going to be a big part of the way I run this new site.

    [Reply]

  3. Don’t really understand what you are going to do. However, it’s nice to know you keep exploring ways to boost your income.

    Just like you, I’m working full time, and trying to make more money online whenever possible.

    Don’t give up. Let’s keep pushing each other. Maybe we can share tips on Twitter? Add me if possible @twitter.com/IAmVanson
    Jawbone Up recently posted… How Does Jawbone Up Track Sleep

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Don’t worry – once this new blog is up and running, it’s going to be made very public here.

    Best of luck to you too, making the online stuff work while working full time!

    [Reply]

  4. This is a good idea. I should know because I currently do it. I have been batching posts for about 3 months, because it drastically drops the load. I took a hint from one of the newest masters, the brilliant John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, and decided to try to batch all my work into one day.

    Granted I haven’t been able to batch every post from every blog that I write, but I have gotten most of them into one day.

    As crazy as it sounds, it is actually very good way to find more free time.

    I would recommend that after this challenge that you do a full-year challenge. Not 365 posts, but 52 or 104.
    Wes recently posted… Google Drive Tutorial (Part 6): Google Presentations

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    That’s awesome, Wes – great to hear that the strategy has been working for you. And you’re right – I should do some form of this for an entire year instead of just a month. That’s probably what I’ll do if all goes well.

    [Reply]

  5. I agree that one should make a planned timeline for one to achieve one’s goal.

    Things will become laborious. This is why it is essential to have timeline activities.

    Thanks for this post.
    I feel motivated to achieve goals with my blogs with your post.
    Amelia Olivia recently posted… Macro Tips for Point and Shoot Type Cameras

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Amelia!

    [Reply]

  6. Geez, you just gave me a great idea with this but I think it’s too late for me on my current project. I just launched a new site I have high hopes for and I already published 1 article thinking more along the lines of a 3 month plan to release 25 articles every 5 days or so, backlink them, and launch Facebook and Twitter for the site.

    If my current project does not pan out the way I expect it to, I will try your method. Seems like a winner to me because it frees up so much time for backlinking and social media.
    Stefani Greene recently posted… How to Get Discounts on Car Insurance

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hopefully it’ll work out well – it’s certainly worth a try. Good luck with everything, Stefani!

    [Reply]

  7. I’m always running similar challenges. I set up a goal which I hardly want to achieve and a reward to myself.
    Vukasin recently posted… How to Successfully Use Fiverr to Boost Your Business

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I love these types of challenges – really helps to push you sometimes.

    [Reply]

  8. Looking forward to seeing this in action, Eric!
    Mike recently posted… The LTNE Report — October 2013

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Mike! Can’t wait to launch next month (and hopefully I have it all done by then!).

    [Reply]

  9. Thanks for teaching me about batching. New word, new blogging strategy. :-)

    [Reply]

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