100% Useful InfobytesFor the last 21 days, you may have seen a new post from me everyday with this blue label.

If you don’t subscribe to my newsletter (why not? Sign up here.), you missed the announcement that I decided to accept a public challenge, to curate one item a day and promote it daily for 21 days in a row.

This challenge was put together by Kelly McCausey who is the creator of Smart Curation Skills.

It was a bit of a challenge for me because in all the years of blogging, I’d never written daily. Yup. Amazing but true. Still, I went ahead expecting to learn a lot and I did.

If You Want To Enter A Challenge, Pick Quality Challengers

For this challenge, I was in very good company. People like Connie Ragen Green, Cindy Bidar, Paul Taubman, Suzanne Myers and Tracy Roberts. Wow it’s like an all-star lineup. These people get the importance of content marketing. So they tend to create high quality content. This further motivates you to create quality content yourself.

In addition, they run successful businesses. That means, they don’t slack off when there’s work to be done. Nuh-uh. And that is how quality challengers keep you on your toes.

Writing With A Community Is Fun

As the saying goes, no (wo)man is an island. You end up with a lot of other ideas from your peers for you to blog about later on.

Removes The Focus From You (For A Little While)

This sounds counter-intuitive but it’s helpful. By shining the spotlight on other people’s great content, you demonstrate you are secure enough to share the limelight. It shakes up the content a little so you don’t bore people with the focus on yourself all the time.

Write Better

I did all my challenge posts in the morning, before anything else got done. That meant if I wanted to get to do what I really wanted to do that day, I have to:

  • Write faster
  • Be pithy
  • Get clear

I don’t always succeed. Old habits die hard and I like to tell a little story before sending people on their way. Still, it made me more conscious of those key things which is good.

Get Smart Curation Skills

Forces You To Read More

As an early adopter of RSS feeds, I’m sorry to say they never grew on me. My poor Feedly account is often left to accumulate thousands upon thousands of un-read posts.

Not during this challenge. Not only has it forced me to at the very least scan my feeds more often, I find myself adding new ones, expanding my horizons. Skimming aside, I’m actually reading thoroughly the posts that interest me or what I think might be of interest to my readers.

Re-kindled The Fire For Blogging

Somewhere half way through the challenge, I began to look forward to blogging again. It became less of a chore and more fun.

A Great Way To Reach People You Admire

Admittedly, this one, I didn’t put into practice. Why? Because I’m still chicken. I know, I know. My friends who curated posts of bloggers they admire and notified them about it, got shares and enriched their relationship with them. Looks like I’ve simply got to suck it up on this one.

Develop A Regular Blogging Habit

Daily blogging sounds like a ton of work doesn’t it? Surprisingly, the challenge allowed me to experience how easy daily blogging can be. This can happen even when you aren’t curating. The curation process can definitely be used as a jumpstart for daily blogging.

The challenge also allowed me to put into practice this:
Not every blog post has to be an epic production.

I know some of us worry about Google and post length but the whole idea of curation is to supplement your regular posts. Not replace them.

Besides, some of the most popular websites/blogs online like Seth Godin’s blog and Clients From Hell are made up of short posts. Really short.

I don’t know what kind of organic traffic they get from Google but their short posts never stopped them from growing. So don’t let that stop you. I posted 21 days of short posts and here I am, at 700+ words already. It’ll be OK. Really.

8 Lessons Learned from Content Creation Challenge