Building a Blog Reservoir with NaNoWriMo

Blogging takes a lot of work. Not only is there the writing and the picture taking, there’s also the social media and marketing side. With everything you’re doing in terms of promoting yourself, it can seem difficult to find time to actually get everything written. I decided to help myself with this, using the National Novel Writing Month challenge to get a bunch of writing done early and get a blog reserve to pick and choose from. 

If you have no idea what the National Novel Writing Month challenge is, check out their website. Also, since it takes me forever to write National Novel Writing Month over and over, I’m going to use the nicknames they give it - NaNoWriMo or NaNo, depending on how I feel. If you didn’t check out the website, it’s basically a month long challenge to get you to write 50,000 words. The goal is to help you get a novel written within a month.

Set Up

While I used Nora Conrad's The Ultimate Guide to Content post to prepare, that's an article that's only available to people who are subscribed to her ConradPro membership. You may not be and so I wanted to give you one of her blog posts that can help just as much! Click Here. I used these posts to brainstorm which blog posts I should write. I figured any blog post I write is going to be around 700 - 1,000 words. So far, I’ve averaged about that. I sat around all October and wrote an outline for each post. I also researched some posts I’ve been wanting to write out. I have a couple of post ideas I’ve had sitting around and wanted to get them written and published. Plus, this is a great way for me to get some guest posts written out and then I could query more platforms.

Again, each blog post gets an outline. The outline includes the points I want to make, headers for each of the sections I need, and any articles I want to link to in the article. I write out any sentences I know I want to include and make sure I remember. My outlines are about one page - front and back. It’s super simple. Try not to make this harder than it truly is. All you need to do is write down everything you want to talk about in the blog post in bullet points for your outline. 

Ready, Set, Go!

I started writing November 1st. This is when the challenge begins. I started out following the reverse word count challenge. I’m known for coming out of the gate strong and then getting off track early. Turns out, even with the reverse method, I still got off track. 

I spent the first week writing quite a bit, but didn’t make it to the goal word counts of each day. Up until November 7th, I’ve stayed ahead of where we were supposed to be at. Now, I’m like 12,000 words behind, but I’m still proud of myself. Why? I now have 18 blog posts written and waiting to be edited and scheduled out. I’ve already used two of them for the first two weeks of November! 

It was definitely difficult to focus on this. Not only did I have my normal distractions - work, life, running a house, my fiance, and the client work I have so far, but I also got an idea for a fiction novel I am really excited to get started on! I got severely distracted with this idea and really wanted to spend some time flushing out the story plot.

I wanted to spend time figuring out who my characters were and what they wanted in this story world. I wanted to figure out what my world was all about and how my magic and sciences managed themselves. It was hard to focus on what I needed to do to get my blog post outlines figured out while I had that delicious temptation waiting for me. 

I ended up getting about 28 blog posts outlined, but I started writing anyways. I finished the outlines throughout the first week and then solely focused on getting as many blog posts written as possible. I ended up with 28 blog posts written. I realize this is quite a ways short of the 40 I was talking about, but I ended up not being able to focus on writing blog posts any longer. I used the rest of my time and words to write a couple of short stories.

As for the blog posts I managed to complete, I'm now able to schedule them all out. I won’t have to worry about writing a last minute blog post for the next nine months! I say nine instead of ten, as I may want to use a couple of these posts for guest posts or I may want to add in a different type of post for the month. Either way, I now have a reservoir to pick and choose content that makes the most sense to my brand. 

Are you considering making a blog post reservoir? How many posts would you need?