Why I’m Writing 250,000 Words in 2016
I am not a writer. I write occasionally, but I have never been the type of person that just writes for the heck of it. Yet, early into the year 2016 I have spontaneously decided to create a big, hairy, audacious goal that is ridiculous for me to think about, yet possible for me to achieve.
Why am I doing this to myself? Well, there are many reasons, which I will outline below, but the most important thing is that for the last six months, I’ve been itching to create a wealth of valuable content that people may or may not enjoy. I now run multiple companies with a large online component, and there is simply no excuse not to use the platform we have to create actionable content. I’m more than a little scared, because I’m putting myself on the line, and to be completely honest, I’ve never been consistent enough to do practically ANYTHING for an entire year.
That changes now.
With that said, let’s go into the meat of why I’m doing this. Maybe one or more of my reasons will resonate with you, and in turn get you to start writing some great content of your own.
WHY I’M DOING THIS
Google Likes Content
Over the years, there has been a lot of changes in the way Google indexes web content for minions like ourselves to access the information we’re looking for. As the cofounder of a few cleaning companies, a virtual receptionist company, and the writer of this blog, my end goal is to have the audience I’m looking for find me and my companies. Google would love to do that for me, but I have to prove to Google (and Bing, or maybe Yahoo! if you’re some type of psychopath) that what I say I offer is what I actually offer. For a robot that crawls the web for content, there is only one way to tell the robot what it needs to hear (err, read.)
We have to create a hell of a lot of relevant content.
There are plenty of search engine optimization strategies that improve the effectiveness of the content you’re writing for Google, and many firms will try to “fast-track” you to the top of search results. Even the most “white hat” (the least shady) firms will have a trick or two up their sleeves to tell Google what it wants to hear, but at the end of the day, there is no substitute for a wealth of content.
Truly relevant content gives you the best chance to survive every algorithm change Google ever decides to make, period.
In short, Google makes you earn your place on the web, and this undertaking will help our companies stay relevant for the foreseeable future.
Content Marketing Is Key
This really applies to Vicky Virtual Receptionists more than anything else, but content marketing has been absolutely huge for us in the last year. Vicky launched on January 1st of 2015, and in a little over a year, we have yet to have spent a penny on paid ads. Even so, Vicky Virtual has managed to grow each and every month (except March) of last year. In fact, roughly two-thirds of all of our current clients were led to us as a result of some type of content we posted on the interwebs. My partner Micah just so happens to like writing, so he wrote the lions share of our content last year. I feel like I didn’t contribute enough in this regard, so this is a way for me to pull (more than) my share in 2016.
Companion Maids has surprisingly directly benefited from the quality of our blog as well. We have a lot of competition in our industry, and often find prospective clients just cruising around on our sites, looking to get a feel for everything. As a result, people will tell me sporadically that they gave us a try because they liked what they read on our blog. This was a pleasant surprise, and while I should have been maintaining the blog, we don’t update it as much as we should. This will help change that.
Of course, my mind is always flowing with new ideas. I plan on launching at least one new company this year, and that company will, of course, have a blog. It’s best to get that rolling as soon as we launch, and create something valuable for our future clients early on.
Practice For The Real Thing
There’s a point at which I want to write a book. It doesn’t need to be a best-seller, but in order for me to write something that is compelling, well-written and valuable, I’m going to need to work on my writing skills. I read off of Neil Patel’s blog at some point (a great resource if you’re interested in solid entrepreneurship advice) that he could write a post in 40 minutes. His posts are incredible, mine aren’t, and it takes me a LOT longer than 40 minutes to write some of them. With practice, this will just get easier and easier.
Hold Myself Accountable
While I have gotten significantly better at this over the last few years, I have simply not held myself accountable enough. There are a LOT of goals that I set out for myself in the past (some that weren’t even that ambitious) that I did not reach because of laziness, lack of discipline, or lost interest. This is something that could make or break me in my career path, and to fail because of something I can control myself is absolutely unacceptable. An actual blogger or writer would scoff at 250,000 words (there are many low paid writers that pump out 9-10 articles EVERY DAY) so this isn’t something that is outside of my reach.
In a greater effort to make this a legitimate, documented effort, I have created a simple page here where my friends, family or followers can keep tabs on me. Most people tend to push through and do more if there are eyes on them, and I’m no different.
I posted on Facebook that I would be doing this, and I already had a few people message me directly that they are thinking about creating a blog as well. If someone that ISN’T A WRITER can pull this off, hopefully there are other people with great things to say that will begin writing and sharing their content with the world. This project will be a journey for me, because I honestly don’t know what I’m going to write about, but everyone loves to follow someone along on a journey, right?
My final reason. Why not? We only have a certain amount of time on this planet, but within this short time there are billions of individual thoughts that run through our minds. A tiny amount of those thoughts are ever documented for the rest of the world to discover later, and I’d like to provide my thoughts to people that are interested in reading them. I think it would be interesting if 40 years from now, I have a grandchild that reads this exact set of words, knowing their grandfather created this as a way to stay connected after I’m gone.
Unless I get SUPER rich and figure out immortality, but chances aren’t high for that one. This is the next best thing perhaps!
So there are many reasons to set large goals and meet them, but not many excuses for not doing what you would like to do in this life. Let this journey of mine be a journey for many of us, where we can discover what we are capable of, surprise ourselves, and expand our comfort zones.
On top of writing, I still have these businesses to run. I have a beautiful relationship to maintain. I have a body to keep reasonably healthy this year.
I’m going to get this done.
What are you going to do this year?