Pop quiz (sorry, we know its Friday, but you can’t get out of this one): What could be both great for you and great for your content? Hint: its the title of this post.
You got this.
30 Day Challenges! We’ve talked before about different opportunities to share a little more about yourself, your personal projects, and some parts of your life your audience might be interested to learn. If you consider yourself a lifestyle publication (which over half of VigLink publishers do) one great way to give your readers a fun and thematic peek into your personal life might be a challenge of some sort that lasts for a certain number of days.
What are we talking about? As detailed in this Thought Brick post among other places, one of the best ways to get yourself to do something is to make a ritual for at least 30 days. This has been chronicled in various academic articles as well as in the thoroughly researched and hugely popular The Power of Habit, a best seller lauded by (now former) smokers and marketers alike among others. Whats the best way to make something more a part of your life? Challenge yourself to do or not do it for a period of time. As the teaser for The Power of Habit states “Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, on track to be one of the biggest flops in company history. Suddenly, one of them detects a nearly imperceptible pattern—and with a slight shift in advertising, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.”
What do habit and 30 Day Challenges have to do with you? Well, for starters, they make very compelling content. Secondly, why not? Each of us has something we’ve thought about wanting to do or thought about quitting. Start the habit, and then chronicle it for your community. Not only will you feel the motivation multiplied because people are watching, but you might also find you enjoy sharing your progress and challenges. You can begin this project anytime, but why not pick a nice even number with February 1 right around the corner?
Some of our favorite 30 Day Challenge Ideas:
+ working out. Have you tried any of the digital workout guides available? This one is particularly awesome and will keep you on track (and they will make you fit just after making you hurt a lot, we promise) Or, of course, there is always just getting out the door to run. Harder than it sounds…
+ keeping a journal of some kind. A couple of read-made layouts like the Happiness Planner are available, or you can be creative and post each day free form. Whatever works for you.
+ drink more water, whatever amount more might be, and make that a goal each day. Documenting this one might be a little more difficult but you can easily take photos of all the different types of glasses/ bottles from which you drink, make a chart that you fill in and let your readers see etc etc.
+ learn a dance routine (yes! do it! record it! thank you!)
+ meditate for 10 minutes every morning (check out 10% Happier as a good beginner’s guide)
+ stop using an addictive app for a month and tell your community what you missed, how you feel, what was different? There are heaps of variations on the addictive technology theme: riff as you will.
+ learn to draw (again a great opportunity for recording)
+ write a book!
There are so many more ideas worth exploring. Perhaps 12 across the year? One major tip is to be sure you link to the products, places, and other blogs/communities that you use throughout the challenges as there are quite a few opportunities for cross-promotion and brand building throughout. Make the most of doing something new!
In Part 2 of our Challenges posts, we will show you some examples of people working on personal projects on their blogs successfully.
Need more convincing? Watch Matt Cutts talk about all his 30 challenges (successful and not so much) below: