In early February of this year we hosted a 48-hour content marathon here on our blog. Essentially, for two days, we pushed out a brand new piece of content each hour, on the hour. During this event, and after it was over, several people asked me to write a post about the experience.
Ask and (sometimes) you shall receive.
Why Did We Do This Marathon?
Of course to do something like this one obviously has some goals in mind. And anyone who was to attempt this would probably have different reasons behind it.
We had 4 goals:
1. Shake things up a little.
2. Increase awareness of our new BobWP Backer program.
3. Challenge ourselves as bloggers.
4. Up our site’s EQ (Evergreen Content Quotient).
I’ll touch on each of these later in this post.
Creating This Massive Amount of Content
Planning this content was almost as time consuming as creating it. We knew that it needed to be a good mix of media. Where did this idea begin? Well, it started at the 2017 WordCamp US in early December. I spent a lot of time there talking about my idea. Through the whole process, I was realistic. I knew that I would need some help. But instead of going the usual route and asking for guest posts, I talked to a few people there and secured their commitment to do a video for me. Others I contacted through email.
I approached some of my friends in the space and was able to get Joost De Valk from Yoast, Tony Perez from Sucuri, Chris Lema from Liquid Web and Jason Conroy from Robot Ninja. And as planning moved ahead, a podcast with guests Patrick Rauland and Scott Bollinger and I ended up just letting them run with it.
Above all, I wanted to make sure that the content was a balance of audio, video, tutorials, and written posts. And I envisioned a nice mix of the topics I typically talk about: eCommerce, plugins, content marketing, blogging and other miscellaneous subjects.
Also, somewhere in there I wanted to also include some podcasts around the topic of the WordPress community, bringing in people to not only talk WordPress, but about themselves. As a result, a fourth podcast evolved out of my marathon: the BobWP Neighborhood.
Lastly, a few other podcasts just didn’t fit into any of my regular podcast series. So they were produced as “special podcasts”.
Managing the Content and Pulling It All Together
This was a bit tricky. Again, I wanted to make sure the two days were a good mix (not too many podcasts in a row, etc.). I juggled the schedule up to the last hour before I started. A few promised videos fell through and some of my better intentions were, shall we say, incomplete. I will be honest here. There was last-minute scrambling and for someone who is a procrastinator, these can be dangerous waters. A lot of stuff swirled in my head for too long before it eventually made its way into production.
In fact, I can make the confession that even during the two days of the event, there was some last-minute content being put together.
What We Learned: Expectations and Goals
So let’s fast forward to the end results. Hopefully some of these ideas will help you create some new strategies for your own content marketing.
Before I dive into revisiting our goals, I will confess that our content schedule prior to the event, especially in January, did suffer a bit as we tackled all of this content. But not enough to really make any large difference in our traffic.
1. Shake things up a little
We certainly met this goal. And when you content as consistently as we do here, it’s always nice to create something that stands out. The more we talked about it with people, the more we were committed. The takeaway: If you want to do something as crazy as this, let as many people know about it ahead of time. That way, there’ll be no turning back.
2. Increase awareness of our new BobWP Backer program
Now I am not going to get into a lot of details here for a couple of reasons. I will just say that anyone who would do this probably has specific expectations in mind. For us, we wanted to learn more about two specific and different aspects of our reach: the people we know within the smaller WordPress community and our site readership. From past experience with the community and a good understanding of our analytics, we weren’t really surprised at the outcome. But our attempt to create a greater awareness of our backer program on our site worked well, and the reaction and response was what we expected. In a nutshell, it gave us a solid overall look at where we need to go next with our site.
The bottom line? In the end, we had greater success at the business level of our backer program than the individual level.
3. Challenge ourselves as bloggers.
Could we do this? Would we survive to write this post? Was it all worth it? We can safely answer yes to all three of those questions.
4. Up our site’s EQ (Evergreen Content Quotient).
What the heck were our plans for all this content, anyway?
We had to make a decision early on.
Would we talk about becoming a backer during our podcasts and videos? Would I ask those who created videos specifically for a shoutout on becoming a backer?
No, this wasn’t going to happen.
Think about it. 48 pieces of content in 48 hours. All on one blog. No one was going to sit around for 48 hours straight and wait. In fact, it would all fly by in a flash. And our goal was not to create 48 pieces of so-so content for the sole reason of saying we did. It absolutely had to mix well with all of our other content.
It had to be useful to our readers.
So the only content focused on this event specifically were the three videos I did.
One at the beginning: The BobWP 48 Hour Content Marathon Kicks Off
Something around midway through it: Day Two of the Content Marathon. Welcome to My Neighborhood. A Tour of Our Office.
And a closing video: Signing Off the BobWP 48 Hour Content Marathon
Also, the content did not go out into any of our feeds. We didn’t want to hit our subscribers with content overload. The 20% increase of traffic we saw those days was due solely to social shares and word of mouth.
Once it was over, we left the posts on our site but then moved to repurpose them.
In order to keep them from going out in our feed, I assigned them all to a category that we excluded in our feed. Then when the time came, we:
- Turned all posts into drafts.
- Assigned them to categories, including them into our blog and podcast feeds as appropriate.
- Scheduled them to go out.
Since we had so many, the initial week or so, I released two posts a day. Then I pared it down to one daily.
All evergreen content is living a full life on our blog and in the search engines.
First, thanks for hanging in with me on this long post. Second, if I had gotten into even more details, you can imagine how long this would have been.
Would we ever do this again? Maybe (you know my mantra, never say never).
Do we recommend this to anyone else? I’ll answer that with that dreaded response, it all depends. As I said at the beginning, if you chose to do something similar to this, I’m sure you would have your own reasons. But I will admit it was a lot of hard work.
And if you are curious about what content was done for this marathon, I waited until we had re-published it all so I could list all the posts. So time to catch up if you missed anything:
- The BobWP 48 Hour Content Marathon Kicks Off
- BobWP AMA (live, not posted)
- Using Jetpack with Your WooCommerce Online Store with Nicole Kohler
- BobWP Shares His First Experience with Gutenberg for WordPress
- Digging Into Personal Branding with Isaac Irvine
- What to Expect in Search Engine Optimization in 2018 with Yoast
- How to Easily Recover Abandoned Cart Sales and Increase Your Revenue with Jilt
- eCommerce Predictions for 2018 with Patrick Rauland and Scott Bolinger
- A Checklist for Preparing Your WooCommerce Site for a New Product Launch with Chris Lema
- Fundraising Best Practices with Devin and Matt from GiveWP
- The Story Behind Women Who WP with Co-founder Jen Miller
- Keep Your WooCommerce Site Running Smoothly with Robot Ninja
- Bubbles Are for Popping: 5 Ways to Jump-start Your Creativity
- Five Ways to Keep on Top of with Your WooCommerce Site
- Jetpack’s VaultPress Real-Time Backups for WordPress Content Creators
- How to Recover Social Shares When Switching from HTTP to HTTPS
- Two Important Reminders on Your Affiliate Links
- 5 Things I Have Learned about Social Media Scheduling
- Is Traditional Advertising Dying? And What is Meant by Traditional Anyway?
- How to Export and Import Your WooCommerce Customers, Orders and Subscriptions
- Everything You Wanted to Know about BobWP but Were Afraid to Ask
- An Overview of the Event Espresso Plugin for WordPress
- Dine with Shayda: Monetizing Your Foodie Blog
- Gutenberg, WordPress and eCommerce with Morten Rand-Hendriksen
- 7 Pieces of Fiction Advice for Writing Dazzling Product Descriptions
- Diving Deep Into the WordPress Community with Andrea Middleton
- Subscriptions and Recurring Income with BobWP and Brent Shepherd
- Day Two of the Content Marathon. Welcome to My Neighborhood. A Tour of Our Office.
- Chatting in the Virtual Hallways with Tara Claeys and Liam Dempsey
- Editor of Torque Magazine Emily Schiola on Editing, WordPress, Cats, and Bad Movies
- How to Generate Higher Revenues for Your Online Store with Inbound Marketing
- WP Sessions, Educating Developers, Movies and Legos with Brian Richards
- Educating the Masses on Accessibility with Jackie D’Elia
- Contraction Disease Reaches Epidemic Levels in U.S.
- Tony Perez on How to Think of Security as You Embark on Your Online Journey
- Higher Education, WordPress and WPCampus with Rachel Cherry
- How to Add Reviews to Your Products in Easy Digital Downloads
- Consistency in Messaging: How Important Is It in Online Branding?
- Do Not Monetize Your Site with False Promises
- Ideas to Help You Podcast on the Road
- On Your Blog, Should You Use Stock Photos or Your Own?
- Four eCommerce Tips to Help Increase Your Sales
- Manage Your WordPress Site’s Affiliate Links with ThirstyAffiliates Plugin
- Content, Gutenberg and the User Experience with BobWP and Cody Landefeld
- The BobWP App from AppPresser
- Topher and Cate DeRosia on WordPress, WordCamps, Life and Working Remotely
- Signing Off the BobWP 48 Hour Content Marathon
An audio option for this post.