The New Year is just around the corner, and I have some Monthly Challenge ideas to help you take your freelance writing career to a new level in 2020…
In a Monthly Challenge, you pledge to take a specific action every day for the entire month.
Usually, you share what you’re doing on social media, with regular updates.
It’s also common to write a blog post or article after you’re done to let everyone following you in on what happened as a result of your challenge.
You can do a challenge every month, once a quarter, or whenever you feel like it, as often or seldom as suits you.
If you find the idea of a Monthly Challenge enticing, here are 12 Monthly Challenge ideas you can undertake in 2020. Or make up your own!
1. Email your list every day: If you have a list of subscribers, send an email every day for a month. Keep it short, valuable, and entertaining. Ask for them to take action at the end. At the end of the month, see if your list has grown, if your open rate and click-through rate have changed, and if you’ve landed any new clients or projects as a result.
2. Write 100 headlines a day: Headlines and subject lines are critical components in almost every type of writing you might do. For one month, write 100 headlines each day. You can pick your topic based on your clients, your niche, things you’re thinking about buying, or what sponsored content is coming up in your Facebook feed. This is an excellent challenge for honing your headline skills.
3. Take a photo every day: Images play a bigger role in content marketing and social media than ever before. And original images beat stock photos any day of the week. So start building your own image library with this challenge.
4. Build your presence on a new social network: Is there a social network you’ve thought about becoming active on, but you just haven’t? Maybe you’ve even set up an account but have yet to post anything to it. Pick a social media network and try posting every day for a month. See what happens. You’ll likely gain some new followers. Even more likely, you’ll master the ins and outs of the new network, which can become a service you offer.
5. Quick video per day: Video is a big deal online. If you haven’t capitalized on video in your own marketing, a Monthly Challenge is the perfect way to get started. Using your phone (or a program like Camtasia), shoot a brief video every day talking about something your clients can do to boost their results. Share it on Facebook or YouTube (or both — just upload them separately to each place). And share it on your website. See how it impacts your traffic and engagement.
6. Send a warm email every day: A warm email is a message you send to a prospect who you either already know a little bit or have a shared interest with. This gives you a way to open with an icebreaker. “Hi So-and-So… we met at the event last week.” Or “Hello So-and-So… I saw your post about dog sledding and just had to reach out to you. I’ve been an avid dogsledder for years…” You then segue into the services you offer (briefly) and suggest connecting. Do that every day for a month and see what happens.
7. Publish a blog post every day: This one has a higher time commitment but can do a lot to quickly build your authority and improve your search engine rankings.
8. Read from an expert every day: Find a blog that publishes daily and that you admire. Read their post every day and record one important takeaway. At the end of the month, pick three takeaways that you’ll apply consistently for the year.
9. Do a daily fast write: Pick a topic and then for 15 minutes, write about it without stopping and without editing yourself. You’ll be surprised at how many words you get down in 15 minutes. And you’ll be surprised by some of the ideas you come up with when you’re not self-censoring. Do this every day for a month, and you’ll potentially have the basic outline for 30 new blog posts.
10. Read and react: This combines ideas 8 and 9. Read a blog from your industry. And then do a 15-minute fast write reacting to what you read.
11. Tell someone thank you every day: Think about all the people who have helped you over the years, both personally and professionally. Every day for a month, send a handwritten thank you note to someone who’s given you advice, help, support, comfort, or a good laugh.
12. Offer to help someone every day: Do something helpful every day for a month. You could answer someone’s question on LinkedIn. You could introduce two people who you think could mutually help each other. You could buy coffee for the person behind you in line. There are lots of ways to be helpful. Do this purposefully every day for a month and see how you feel when the challenge is complete. Pretty great, I’ll bet.
Undertaking a Monthly Challenge is a fun and effective way to grow your business. In the comments, tell me your favorite challenge idea from this list, or suggest one of your own.
New on the Site
Bing Webmaster really is simple to use, way easier than Google’s webmaster tools. Any tool that makes optimizing for SEO easier has to be worth considering. In his latest Reality Blog post, Andrew Murray takes a look at how Bing Webmaster stacks up.
When it comes to landing clients, simpler actions are better. They’re easier to stick with and follow through on. Jen Phillips April shares a simple plan any writer can use to bring in a steady stream of work.
Advertising copy traditionally gets better results from focusing on the positives, not the negatives. You’ll get a bigger response when you talk about the benefits, rather than the risks. In his most recent article, John Torre shares seven ways you can keep a positive attitude about your work… and bring more enthusiasm to your copy.
Around the Web
Looking to add to your marketing library? Here are 21 great books from 2019 that you can add to your 2020 reading list.
Is it worthwhile to leave comments on industry blog posts? Problogger has your answers here.
Here you’ll find some handy things to know if you’re working with e-commerce clients.
It’s not just the end of a year… it’s the end of a decade. Marie Forleo shows you how to make the most of it by celebrating your wins, releasing your past, and planning for the next 10 years.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!