Feeling stuck on growing your site? Have a serious case of burnout or writer’s block? I’ve been there – many, many times.
Most people are surprised to learn that since I’m generally super productive and get a lot done but I (like everyone) struggle with my motivation. I’ve also worked to overcome those issues by finding tricks and techniques that motivate me even when I’m not feeling the fire inside on any given day, week, month, or even season. (Yes, I’ve taken whole seasons off from some sites!)
One of my best tricks is one I learned from a business coach and adapted for the Site School community. Maybe you’ve seen a post about it in the group or heard about it from someone who recommended Site School to you… it’s called the Content Challenge, and it’s the powerful tool we all can use to become more productive, grow our sites and blogs, and kick whatever blockages you have in front of you to the curb.
If you want to learn more about the Content Challenge before joining in, I’ve put together this short explainer that will hopefully get you excited to join next month. I’ll be there, and hope to see your name too.
Origins of the Content Challenge
So where did I come up with the idea of the Content Challenge? To be honest, it’s not entirely my idea – though as Jeff Goins says, being inspired by those that come before you is part of the creative process.
My version of the Content Challenge was inspired by Faith Mariah, a business coach who runs a similar challenge in her free Facebook group sometimes as a lead generator for her paid group. While I didn’t get on board with all that she was offering, I thought the idea of creating teams and competing for extra coaching hours was brilliant and wanted to adjust the idea for bloggers and website owners.
I sat down to think about which actions we bloggers and site owners take that are the most valuable for our business, and the answer was clear: writing new SEO-optimized content (and keeping old content updated) and connecting with our audience via email. Those three activities became the core of points-earning in the Content Challenge, and I’ve added some other, smaller points-earning actions as I got feedback on my system.
How the Content Challenge Works
If you’re curious about joining the Content Challenge – or have opted in within the Site School Facebook community and now wonder what you’ve gotten into – I promise it’s pretty easy to understand. Here’s the end-to-end process of the Content Challenge:
- You must opt-in by commenting on my post for the coming month; I usually post this in the Facebook group around the 27th or 28th of each month (depending on how long the month is, and the days of the week).
- By the 4th of the new month, I’ll share teams and the new spreadsheet link for that month’s challenge. You can create a group DM with your teammates, or all work independently.
- Throughout the month, you’ll add links to the appropriate rows for your section of your team; for example, if you publish a new blog post, you put that in the “New Blog Post Published (20pts each)” row under your name. You don’t have to do any points tracking – the sheet does it all for you as long as you drop your links in the right cell of the sheet for the action you completed.
- You must log all points by 11:59pm Eastern Time on the 2nd of the following month. I then look at teams and announce the winner in the Facebook group.
So why go through all this tracking and participate in the challenge in the first place? The winning team receives a free hour-long group coaching call with me. Given that I don’t do any coaching outside of these calls, it’s the best (read: only) way to have one-on-one (ish) time with me.
Why the Content Challenge Works
Okay, so you understand the mechanics now, right? But other than the chance to have a call with me, why participate at all?
Well, it turns out that having a little bit of extrinsic (external) motivation can help a ton to get things done. As website owners and bloggers – and many of us are self-employed –, we have lots of intrinsic/internal motivation… but getting that extra boost can be incredible for productivity.
So participating with a team, tracking points where others can see them, and having a reward – all of these things can give you that little extra nudge to get an extra post written this month or finally email your list.
At the end of the day, the goal of the Content Challenge is to get you to produce content. (New blog posts, updated blog posts, and emails are the priority, as mentioned above.) If temporary teams and imaginary points work for you as well as they work for others who participate each month, it’s worth giving it a try, right?
Ready to join next month’s Content Challenge? Join the free Site School Facebook Community and keep an eye out for my next post calling for participants!
Want even more blogging advice, delivered straight to your inbox?
Pop your info below and you’ll be on the list!