This post is part of The 30.000 Word Challenge. See all the articles in the series! 

 

From time to time I’ll have articles less to do directly with Marketing and more about blog history and blog updates. Similar to what MKBHD is doing with the Channel and Setup Updates. This is one of those articles, focusing on why I do what I do.

A Blog VS A Website

From the get go, I knew that starting this blog would be challenging. Not hard, but challenging. I define hard something I can’t even imagine how I’ll solve. Yet with all the helpful guides and articles on blogging and digital marketing in general, there’s really no excuse not to know how to build something on top of WordPress.

I like the idea of a blog being an entity where you can find fresh information. And with this September experiment, I’ve done my best to provide you with a daily article.

On the other hand, a website is considered to be more professional, reliable and trustworthy. Usually research and statistics are seen more often coming from sites and editoral teams, not blogs and bloggers. Which is a shame, since that limits the number of entities eligible for quotes, interviews, etc.

Perhaps we need another term for a publication run by a person who publishes valuable information (alone, getting contributions from guest authors or in a team) only when it’s deemed appropriate. And not to meet some quota of words or articles per day. I enjoy the idea of Flipboard and Paper.li, although the format feels restricted. In my mind, a magazine or newspaper has fixed margins. Once it’s published, there is no more room for updates.

I’m a one Man Marketing Machine: I write, edit, distribute, promote. For October I plan to publish 0 posts, a la Buffer, but enhance the majority of of my published posts with videos, content upgrades, audio versions, presentations and much much more.

Let’s move on to one of my favorite debates: how long your content should be.

1000 Words VS 4000 Words

Most articles I’ve read on this topic mention that magic 1.500 or 2.500 number. It’s a rather simplistic view to only look at the number of words and equate that to shares, comments and traffic.

We obviously know they can’t be just any words, quality is still much more important that quantity. I’m constantly looking at the number of words on this blog, But not from an objective point of view, but from a value perspective. I’ll explain why.

If you want to learn how to cook and you’re a real newbie in the kitchen, you need to start slow. Not only that, but you need lots of instructions. Considering you might not know the difference between a tea spoon and a spoon, you’ll want details for pretty much everything. So take that mentality and apply it to marketing, more specifically a new application.

If you’re never used a Content Curation app before, you’ll want to know:

  • What Content Curation is
  • The benefits of Content Curation
  • Time needed for Content Curation
  • What the professionals use
  • …and much more

So here is where that element of value comes in: the more you explain, the more details you give, the more accessible you make your content, the more happy visitors you’ll have. Building yourself up as an authority isn’t a process of quantity, it’s more about perseverence and providing value everywhere you go.

So even though I check my word stats, I’m only looking at them to answer questions like:

  • Am I providing enough details?
  • Will someone NOT in this field understand this?
  • Could I supplement this with other types of content – video, slideshares, etc?
  • Is this piece of content going to become THE go to resource on this topic?

Let’s get back to the main topic of this article – motivation and drive.

External Motivation VS Internal Drive

There are elements that motivate me to write a lot and improve myself. There are other content creators I look up to, like Matthew Barby, Paul Jarvis, Nathan Barry and Dunkey and then there are bloggers who I think aren’t doing such a great job. And I find that I’m motivated by jobs that I know I could to better.

Some might called it pressure, I like to think of it as external motivation. I look at what others have achieved and I wonder if I could do it. If that goal seems attainable, I usually go after it. This might include having a large social-media following, creating different types of content or getting traffic to this blog.

And then there’s that other side of things. There’s the internal drive. Something that can’t really be explained. Why would I write an article every day, when the sun is shining outside? Why would I sacrifice my lunch breaks just to work on this blog? From the outside, doing such things does not make a lot of sense. That is, not without knowing what I’m after.

I look at my blog for a few perspectives.

First, it’s a portfolio. Any time I want to talk to people about content marketing and the power of words, I send them here. It’s much easier to have things explained and coming form my own view. But not only are there samples of my work here, they are also alive. Stats keep improving and so what I’m showing aren’t just static samples, they’re measurable results.

Second, it’s a brand builder. For the longest time, I wasn’t interested in people knowing my name or knowing what I do (outside of my close network of friends and my colleagues). I thought that there weren’t any rewards to casually talking to people about my work. I was dead wrong. The second I started focusing on just one element of marketing (inbound/content), the world just seemed to open up. I found new people interested in what I did. I found potential partners. I discovered exciting opportunities, just because I started talking about this topic.

Third, it’s a testbed for marketing experiments. When I can’t test something with a client’s website, I turn to this blog and see what the results are. I also try things for fun and try to involve people in my process. I’ll be increasing the amount of experiments on this blog, as I’ve already got a few in the pipeline.

And finally, this internal drive is connected to external objectives that I’ve set up for myself. I want this blog to become more than a form of self-expression. I want it to be a valuable resource for people to quote and use as an example of hard work, dedication and fun. Whether or not I’ll succeed, it’s up to me to apply these principles and up to you to tell me.

What gets you up in the morning? What drives you to write?