What follows is a little Monday morning quarterbacking. A little look in the rear-view mirror to see what went right and what went wrong.
See, I have just wrapped up the 30-day series on this blog: 30 Days, 30 Killer Wordpress Plug-ins. For 30 straight days, I featured one Wordpress plug-in per day.
This was something I had the idea for a couple months ago and was on my quarterly editorial calendar for this site. All 30 days were planned in advance and, for those 30 days, that’s all I did.
Now that its over, would I do it again? Well, let’s see…
The Benefits Of A Series
Running a related series of posts on your blog – especially when you pre-announce that it is going to happen – can be a very helpful thing for engaging existing readers as well as attracting new ones. It comes down to two human tendencies:
- People like consistency.
- People like to finish things they’ve started.
So, if you get them involved – AND you structure the series so that one post leads into the next, it can work. Better yet, learn to leave a cliff-hanger at the end of each part of the series getting them to anticipate what’s coming.
When you structure it right and back it up with some elements rigged to go viral on social media, you can get a nice traffic boost from it.
So, I Knocked It Out Of The Park, Right?
So, do I hold what I just did up as an example to follow? 🙂
Well, no, I don’t. For a few reasons.
I’ve done series before and they did a lot better. I ran one on membership sites that did far better. I ran another on the future of blog monetization which led up to a product launch and that series absolutely crushed it.
But, this most recent 30 day series didn’t crush it.
In fact, while I got a few nice little traffic spikes, on the average my traffic stayed roughly the same.
The chief benefit for me of the series was that it provided a ton of predictability for me in terms of content for this blog.
As I said, I had the whole thing outlined before the month even began. There was no questioning of what I should write. On Mondays, I would just sit down and jam out 7 blog posts for the upcoming week. Schedule them in advance and I was done.
Cool, right? Well…
High Volume Exposes System Constraints
Now, this is something I go into a lot more inside the core Academy training (Academy PRO membership required). But, I approach blogging and business as a system.
A system is a series of steps which are supposed to bring about a predictable result. Input goes in, certain things happen, and output comes out.
In my case, I had a system when it came to the creation and release of blog content. There are certain things I do internally before I publish, and there are certain things which come after we hit the Publish button.
At the usual posting frequency (which is once or twice a week, maybe), it works fine. But, once you throw extremely high volume through the system, it fell apart.
The system was (and is) too reliant on me. I am a constraint on the system. Why? Because, I only have so much throughput.
See, for any series to run well, most of your time should go into the promotion of it, not simply content creation. And, since all that promotion fell to me, I dropped the ball.
I mean, running the Academy isn’t the only thing I do. 🙂 Couple on that the fact that my wife and I were shopping for RVs over the course of several weekends during August – all while posts were going live on the blog – and I just didn’t have the time for it.
30 Days Is Too Damn Long
In retrospect, this series was almost designed to overrun my system (as it did). 30 days? On a daily basis?
But, the other thing is that 30 days at that kind of rate is way too long. There were several ideas and potential campaigns that came up during August that I had to delay and put on the back burner because my content channels were all clogged up with this 30 day series.
I’ll tell you one thing, any blogger who truly feels it is necessary to post every day in order to gain any traction – THINK AGAIN.
Most likely, you will just do what I just did and gain no traction at all. 🙂
Everything is a learning experience – and never think that those of us who have been doing this for awhile are immune. I’ve been in this business for a long time (longer than most, actually) and I still handled this thing wrong in retrospect.
The “trick” is to apply the lessons learned to make the system run better. To detect the constraints and re-design and re-organize the system so that the constraint is handled.
So, the first new rule: I will not run a daily 30-day series ever again. 🙂 It is just too damn long.
But, even more importantly…
The high volume through the system I had made the constraints easy to see. The constraint wasn’t on the content creation side of things… it was on the content promotion side of things.
So, a system re-design is in order – most likely involving the creation of a full social media promotional plan on each post which my virtual assistant can then go in and execute on my behalf. If that procedure had been in place for this series, then she would have been executing all of that for me. Whenever a pre-scheduled post went live, she would buckle down and execute the checklist.
Overall, I’m glad I ran the series. But, would I do it again?
No, not like that. It’ll look different next time. 🙂
Have you ever run a blog series on your blog? What happened for you?