On 6 August 2019, I launched an experiment called 10 More Blog Posts.
I wanted to find out if, through a simple buddy system, it would be possible to help 10 more people to share their work in the open, pushing 10 more blog posts out into the world.
I wanted to run the experiment for 3 months, which means we’re pretty much at the halfway mark now. Here’s how it’s going so far.
21 pairs, 5 blog posts and counting
So far, from my observations, 21 blogging pairs have formed as part of the initiative.
5 blog posts have been published, with more underway.
The first and fourth were authored by Edafe Onerhime, one of my own blogging partners, who has written 2 posts on data strategy, explaining:
- Why your business needs a data strategy and how to get started
- Why data strategy fails and how to get it right
Edafe is now finishing work on a third post in the series, which will look at business and big data after the hype.
Adapted from a talk she gave back in May, Arfah's post outlines the lessons she learned from setting up Muslamic Makers—a community space for Muslims working in the technology and creative industries.
As well as what’s already been published, Laura Morley has written a blog post with help from Adam Silver—who is taking part as both a coach and a blogger—which she plans to publish in the next few weeks.
What we’ve learned so far
There’s power in togetherness
First and foremost, everyone I’ve talked to about the initiative has commented on the value of working with someone else—which is exactly what I was hoping for. Having regular check ins to talk through concerns, someone to hold you gently accountable, and a ready-made cheerleader to help promote your post once it’s published have proved welcome benefits of working with a partner.
Bloggers I’ve talked to told me that working with someone else has helped them to feel validated and motivated, and means that there’s someone to help them move past the blockers we all hit when writing.
Starting is the biggest challenge
4 separate people I spoke to all cited “just starting” as the hardest but most valuable step when it came to writing a blog post.
Putting figurative (or literal, if you’re going old school) pen to paper is the first step towards dismantling the idea that you can’t do it.
As soon as you’ve started, you are doing it. Everything else can be figured out along the way, with help from your content coach.
A bit of structure helps
Those of us who’ve had periodic and semi-regular catch ups at pre-agreed times have found it easier to keep things moving than those that haven’t.
One thing I’d like to explore off the back of this is providing a lightweight timetable for blogging pairs to follow, which includes clear milestones and timescales to work to.
This could of course be adapted by each pair to make room for work commitments, holidays and other life stuff they need to tend to. But I think having a start point could be a valuable way of helping people stay on track.
Into the second half - what’s next?
I hope to see more blog posts appearing as we move into the second half of this experiment, and I’ll be delighted if we can make it to 10 by the time initiative ends on 6 November.
Join the 10 More Blog Posts Slack
I’ve set up a dedicated Slack organisation to help people taking part in the challenge.
It’s been reasonably quiet to date, but it’s a safe and supportive space to get help from others. If you haven’t joined already and you’d like to, let me know and I’ll send you an invitation.
You can send me a message me on Twitter or email me at email@example.com
Let me know how it’s going
If you’re taking part, I’d love to hear how it’s going.
I’d especially like to hear from you if you’ve struggled to get things off the ground as I want to make sure this initiative is as inclusive as it can be.
There’s still plenty of time to take part in the 10 More Blog Posts challenge if you’d like to.
If you’ve struggled to find someone to pair up with, or if the idea of asking on Twitter is just too excruciating, direct message or email me and I’ll see if I can help.
Publish a post and claim your sticker
My colleague Dave has kindly designed me some stickers to support the initiative—there’s 2 to choose from, one for bloggers and one for content coaches.
Once you’ve published your post, direct message or email me with details of where to send it to and I’ll post it out to you.