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I started a 90-day blog challenge. These are the lessons of the first 30 days

February 2021 started with a new challenge: write one blog post per day, for 90 days!

That sounds insane, but this was the challenge I needed to develop my content writing skills, show the world my knowledge and expertise and also help other people create their professional online presence through blogging about what they know and love.

What are the benefits of a 90-day challenge?

You may have heard about these marathons. Most people use it for fitness, dieting and also writing.

As I’ve read many personal development books myself, I know these challenges bring many advantages:

  • Help you create a new habit
  • Build consistency in content creation
  • Keep focus on a goal
  • Develop a skill
  • Benefit from the compound effective — small actions, massive results

I was persuaded to do it by a fellow content writer. He told me: stop being a content consumer, and start being a content producer.

The change sounded terrific, and I was so enthusiastic that I said yes! For the nest two weeks, I was talking myself out of the challenge, but I recalled the energy I had when I said “yes” that I swallowed my fears and just went for it.

What would I write about?

I had two weeks to prepare the challenge and I did a couple of exercises to define by target audience, which topics I would talk about and possible blog post to write.

The goal was to educate people to have a better online presence, by investing in their professional personal brand through content marketing strategy and blog writing. I wanted to educate Instagrammers, influencers, fellow journalist, content writers. People that wanted to position themselves as communication experts but didn’t know how to start.

The blog posts would be about “How to build a content marketing strategy”, “how to use the AIDA copywriting formula on blog posts”, “Important metrics to check on Google Analytics”, “How much it cost to create a blog”. A lot about writing, digital marketing and my personal experiences.

And after 30 days here are some thoughts.

Inspiration doesn’t “happen”, you work on it

I’m sorry if you are a creative or artistic person and believe you can only work if you are “inspired”. I truly don’t believe in that

Criativity and art need work more than talent.

The more you work, the more inspired you will feel. Just think about Michael Angelo, Da Vinci, poets and others. For every masterpiece they created, there are dozens of drafts that you don't recognize.

Yes, there are days I don’t feel like writing, and I sight looking at the empty WordPress page. Instead of writing in the morning, I postpone to the afternoon, when I don’t feel it. Some days I take more time to write, other times I get in the zone and write like crazy. However, as I write every day, my inspiration is trained. I get ideas faster and better ideas because I have the challenge to push me to work every day. I cannot fail to work. And when I work I do better writing.

I deeply believe in this — you can train any skills if you work on it. Inspiration doesn’t happen, it lives in you, but you need to work to bring it out when you need it.

Setting goals is perfect to keep your motivation

Most people start a goal, and they fail in the first couple days. The reason? The classic lack of motivation.

There’s a deep misconception about motivation, perpetuated by the “carrot or stick” example. But motivation is not extrinsic, but intrinsic. Like inspiration, it comes from you, it doesn’t happen to you.

Knowing that motivation will be a problem when you are running a marathon or doing a 90-day challenge, you need to have a clear goal and write it down.

By sharing my challenge with other people in a private community I felt I needed to show the work every day. People would ask me why I didn’t write on that day if I needed to do it every day.

Instead of keeping it to myself, I wrote it and shared it. I share my blog post every day on a private group and that it is my compromise. That stimulus keeps me going because people are seeing what I am doing!

So if you want to have success on this kind of challenges, get someone that will check up on you consistently — you will feel the pressure to show up!

The secret it is to start, just start

I remember the first days of the challenge. I knew I was going to fail. I thought: “This is hard. Likewise, I just wrote four blog post, but I still have 86 left! How am I going to do this?”

But I wrote another one and another one. I focused on my “high energy” moments instead of my “low energy” moments. I continued to work even when I didn’t love the last topic or my mood was not good. Not only that, I just made this a priority and found time for it (one day I posted the article at 10pm, but I did it!).

The secret is to just start and do something, every day

It is pretty ambitious to write 90 blog post, but it is easier to think in one article per day. All I have to do it write one article every day. Publish and go have fun. Then next day do it again. And repeat. And again.

The secret is to build the path to your goal. Do something as little as it is, but do it, today! Step by step, you will get the results of your planted seeds.

Help, share and be open to feedback

I announced to the world I was doing the 90-day challenge on my LinkedIn page. By sharing many contents I started to get feedback.

I am coaching two women to creating their blogs with purpose and relevant content. I inspired a young fellow to start the 90 days challenge also. Also, I got lovely comments on how my content was good. Not only that, I feel happy about it because it is the recognition of my work.

I cannot forget that my blog is five years old, how much I have matured with my writing and experiences and the ideas that my communication job in a company gives me. This is a result of years of reading and thinking and the time I’ve been investing for the past months in networking and creating a powerful community.

By investing in my personal brand, I’ve got exposure. And it allows me to help more people to have that same exposure, to be recognized by their expertise and professionalism. That sure is the best feeling.

So if you are thinking about starting a 90 days challenge, just do it!

Prepare it, think about topics, create a blog or a YouTube channel and just start. You will learn much about yourself, your community and your profession. Always learn by doing, always.

Portuguese Millennial. Project Manager. Interest in Personal Development, Tech, Coding, Communication and blogging.