This is my 30th blog-post in 30 days. A little over thirty days ago I decided that I will finally try to blog daily, at least for a limited amount of time. At the time I thought that it would be really cool to challenge myself to blog for 30 days. At the same time, that seemed like a very tall order.
How to write a daily blog-post for 30 days
The trick is: don’t start with the goal to blog for thirty days!
In software development, very large tasks are sometimes called epics, and it is good practice, to break down an epic into smaller parts called stories, and then even smaller parts, called tasks. So that is what I did. Instead of aiming for 30 days, I aimed for seven days, then for ten days, then for two weeks, three weeks. And after blogging for three weeks, I finally aimed for the whole thirty days.
It sounds like a mind-trick, and in a sense it is. And it works.
Why do it in the first place?
My main reason for writing a daily blog is this: I want to practice writing in public. I have been keeping a private journal for years, but my public writing has been very limited. A few of blog-posts in recent years, and some paid tech writing. That was it. I knew that I can do it, but I didn’t know if I am able to do it consistently, in public.
Turns out, I can, at least for thirty days. 😀
The first seven days were the most difficult. On several days during the first week I struggled to find something to blog about. A major reason were my own expectations: I wanted to blog about something helpful, something that other people can relate to. While that is something I still aim for, I soon realized that I cannot get hung up on that too much, or I won’t get my daily blog-post published.
One thing that helped me a lot is this realization: I don’t have to worry about boring my readers, because if a blog-post’s topic is too boring, the likelihood of somebody actually finding it and having to suffer reading it, is very, very low. After all, I don’t have an existing audience, so Google is basically the only way that people will find my blog. And while I enjoyed writing this little creative spur, I don’t see how anybody would find this by googling.
Does daily blogging increase traffic?
Speaking of Google, how did my traffic change during this 30-day blogging exercise?
Here is comparison of the 30-days daily blogging (blue line) and the 30 days before that, where I had not been blogging (orange line):
Looking at the numbers, traffic almost doubled, wow! But keep in mind, that during that time I myself generated some of these views, just to see if the layout and links are working. And when I am looking at which pages are actually viewed and for how long, things are way less impressive.
The home page has by far the most views, but also is usually the only page that people visit. The most viewed article is still my old article that explains how I imported my AWS route 55 settings into terraform from over a year ago.
Of my newly written articles, the one that explains how to solve a specific error when trying to run the PyCharm debugger on a pipenv-project on a Mac (yes, specific, and very techie) got seven views. Not bad. But I have to admit that I actually did some unintentional off-site SEO by posting a link to this article on the Jetbrains help-forum, because I thought it makes it easier to find for people having the same problem. Of course, that will also increase the traffic to it. I did not do anything like that for any of my other blog-posts.
After blogging for thirty days in a row, I feel this experiment was a success. I am more confident in my ability to consistently write something in public. It feels good to create something and actually put it out into the world. I do hope that a couple of people will find some of my posts helpful, and that is going to be part of my future motivation. If you made it this far: Thanks for reading! I really appreciate that you are taking the time! Maybe this will even motivate you to blog on a more regular basis? Let me know if it does.