by Jayson DeMers
If you’re looking for a way to improve your business, and improve yourself in the process, take this challenge: write an article every day.
What kind of article? How long? What counts as an article? These are subjective questions that won’t be the same for everyone, but you’ll find many of the same benefits no matter what formats or variables you choose in the process. These should be articles related to your business, of course, and preferably published on your personal blog or company page, but beyond that, there’s a ton of flexibility—the point is to write something new on a daily basis.
So why is this beneficial?
The Value of Content Marketing
Hopefully by now, you’re familiar with the many benefits that content marketing can offer your business. The more high-quality articles you produce for your brand, the more you’ll start earning those benefits, which include:
Visibility. Consuming content has become a part of our everyday lives, and every new piece of content you produce is another outlet that consumers can use to find you. The more content you have on your site and the more you share that content, the better (provided it’s of sufficient quality). Producing content every day helps you achieve those ends.
Reputation. You’ll also be building both your personal and brand reputation. Throughout your commitment, you’ll delve into deeper subjects, dig up more details, and present more innovative ideas.
SEO and social media. All that content also serves as fuel for your SEO, social media, and other online marketing campaigns. For example, every new article you produce will add to the number of pages your site has indexed in Google, thereby increasing your relevance for at least a handful of keyword phrases. On social media, all your articles can be shared as posts that build your audience and drive traffic back to your site.
However, the article-a-day challenge is about more than just adding to your content marketing campaign. It’s about developing you as a professional, which it can do in the following ways:
Writing skills. There’s no big secret to how to become a better writer—the best way is to just buckle down and write more. The more you write, the more you’ll engage the language centers of your brain, the more fluent you’ll become, and the more aware you’ll be of what people are writing and saying around you. Writing an article every day becomes a form of mental exercise, conditioning your brain to be better at future writing tasks. Eventually, it will come far more naturally to you.
Discipline and focus. Committing to an article each day is demanding, but that’s much of the point. Some days, you’ll be overloaded with work, and others, you’ll be tired of the project and you won’t want to continue. Being able to fight past those feelings is a skill in itself; writing an article every day teaches you discipline and focus, building your willpower and helping you accomplish more in other areas of your life (and career).
Research and information. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to write all the articles for which you have ideas based purely on the information in your head—in fact, that’s a bad way to do things. Instead, even if you’re just fact-checking your own assumptions, you’ll be doing research for the majority of your work. Whether it’s reading the news, reviewing opposing views to yours, or just gathering more information for a piece, every bit of research you do will make you more informed and better-rounded.
Introspection. Writing this significant volume also gives you an opportunity for introspection. What types of titles do you gravitate toward? What words do you use more frequently than others? Where do you usually get stuck? Your writing process has the potential to teach you much about who you are as a person and a professional, so analyze your strengths and weaknesses if you want to get the most out of the challenge.
Interaction and engagement. Once you start publishing, you’ll get the chance to interact with the people reading your content. They’ll be leaving comments on your blog or reaching out to you on social media, so every new reader is a potential new connection in your network. Engaging with people like this will help you become a better writer, but just as importantly, will fill up your professional network with contacts.
Comfort and speed. Writing is difficult for most people—at least, when they get started. After writing an article a day for, say, a month, you’ll be able to go through the process in no time—and it won’t stress you out anymore, either. The more you do it, the more familiar with it you’ll be, and the more efficiently you’ll be able to do it.
If you’re new to the writing game and you’re worried that an article every day will be too hard, I’ll give you the same advice my personal trainer once gave to me when I complained about my workouts being too hard: suck it up. It’s supposed to be hard.
Your articles don’t have to be perfect (especially when you’re just starting out), but you have to write something if you want to earn the benefits I outlined above. Over time, you’ll naturally get better, faster, and more comfortable, so only your first few articles will present a challenge.
Don’t make this a “someday” project, or you’ll never get around to it—instead, commit to starting today.