Oct 282011

This guest post is by Kelly Kingman of eBook Evolution.

Last year, I took part in a writing challenge called National Novel Writing Month, which is also known as NaNoWriMo. The challenge? Write 50,000 words—all during the 30 days of November. Until then, my personal length record hovered around 10,000 words for a single project.

Amazingly, I did it. And instead of fiction, I wrote a memoir. Which is why this all matters to you, dear bloggers.

On the NaNoWriMo forum, there’s a section just for the “NaNo Rebels”—those of us whose work doesn’t qualify as lengthy fiction. On the site’s FAQ, the party line is it doesn’t technically matter what you write: “We just want you to be excited about writing.”

If I could use NaNoWriMo to write anything, why not blog posts?

If you average 1,000 words per post, you could write 50—just two shy of a post per week for an entire year. Of course, you can’t anticipate everything you’ll want to blog about—but core content? Sure. Write shorter posts and add ebooks, guest posts, sales pages to the mix—the possibilities are endless.

So I decided to use this November to generate 50,000 words of raw, unpolished content in 30 days. I’ve started calling my parallel challenge Contentpalooza. Friends and readers have enthusiastically chimed in with support and their own content-creation goals.

38,000 people completed NaNoWriMo’s challenge last year. There are two primary reasons the structure works so well. First, it’s a sprint. We can push ourselves harder, writing far more than we’re used to (1,666 words per day, including Thanksgiving) because we know it’s temporary. Second, it’s a crazy goal, and sometimes they are more effective than “sensible” ones, they excite us and motivate us to go beyond our comfort zone.

Should you also choose to hack NaNoWriMo this year in order to boost your blogging, I offer the following advice to help ensure your success.

Find your formula and tracking tool

50,000 words is a lot of written content, but what if you want to create podcasts, videos or graphics? My goal formula this year is: 50 blog posts (about 700 words = 35,000) plus an ebook (approx. 15,000 words) and then the balance of words with guest posts. You don’t have to decide on everything in advance, but I suggest you decide what your equivalencies are if you’ll be venturing into other media.

It’s also important to have a way to

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