Writing 101: Make a Prompt Personal/The Stat Connection

I am writing this post in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Stat Connection”:

Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.

I don’t write for the sake of it, I write—when I want to write—to convey something of some importance. I like to take my time over what I write, to develop a point rather than rush out a half-done job. The Blogging 101 and Writing 101 courses, however, have been driving me to write daily and on things that don’t really inspire me the way I want to be inspired about my work.

One of my inspirations for blogging is Steve Pavlina. Steve writes a blog on personal development and growth that, at last count, attracted over a million views a month and earned him over $10,000 a month (he has since stopped counting). He achieved this by focussing on writing posts that delivered some kind of lasting value to his readers, something that would be of use to them years after they were written, and many of them still do. I don’t expect to come close to his level of success, of course, but taking his lead I want to write something that has more meaning and value than I could come up with in just a few hours. (A note of caution: Steve is not shy and some of his work discusses ideas that some might be uncomfortable with, even offended by. He likes to provoke people into thinking for themselves about things and this ruffles feathers sometimes.)

A case in point is today’s Blogging 101 task “Make a Prompt Personal”:

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

I clicked through to the daily prompt and started thinking but I couldn’t come up with anything I wanted to write for my blog, so I clicked for another prompt. I had the same problem with that one and clicked through again and again. It wasn’t until I reached the seventeenth prompt that I actually found the prompt that clicked, something that I could write something for my blog with.

When I take a look at my stats I can see something striking. For the month of September, I have accumulated so far 198 views from 110 visitors, having posted 10 posts so far. The top post this month was my One Word Inspiration post; I think the views on this post and the next two were driven by the Blogging 101 and Writing 101 courses. My best month so far, however, is May with 233 views from 154 visitors. The only post I published that month was Levelling Up, and I think that illustrates what I was getting at above.

Levelling Up was my most powerful and most heartfelt post so far. I wrote it with a specific purpose of my own rather than for some course or assignment, and posted links to it in the Facebook groups of the skydiving and surfing clubs at university, which seems to have driven a lot of the views, but I’ve been sharing my posts on Facebook and Twitter since then and not generating the same amount of interest. It’s much more like the kind of thing I want to share than anything the prompts or assignments over the past week have enabled me to do.

I still want to finish Blogging 101 and Writing 101, but I’m going to try to push them more towards what I want to write in future posts. I’m starting to draft some posts and get some ideas of my own together so hopefully I should be able to share something much more substantial in the next few weeks.


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