We’ve established that publishing is one of the few ways to get traffic online.
So, what about this idea of publishing daily?
Obviously, it’s going to prove quite ambitious for experienced content creators let alone artists who often have day jobs in addition to fledgling music careers.
If I were to bottom line it, I think it’s about finding what works for you.
Standing on the Shoulders of Titans
I’ve been publishing daily for almost 17 months.
After a year, I thought about redirecting my energy elsewhere, but ultimately, I didn’t feel like breaking the chain.
Author Seth Godin says blogging daily is one of the best career decisions he’s ever made, even though he admits to “blogging into the void” much of the time.
Show Your Work! author Austin Kleon recommends sharing your work with the world as it’s being made… preferably daily. Though these days Kleon seems to publish three to four times per week. It’s still nothing short of impressive.
ClickFunnels co-founder Russell Brunson says if you publish daily for a full year, it will solve all your business problems (although there are some stipulations to go with that statement) – it’s a lofty promise my yearlong blogging efforts didn’t deliver on, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or won’t work for you.
Podcaster John Lee Dumas started a daily entrepreneur interview podcast a few years ago, and because he was the only one doing something so bonkers, his show caught fire a couple of years in and now he rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars per month.
Although he doesn’t talk about it all that often, entrepreneur James Schramko created daily videos for years, a habit he’s returned to in recent years.
The funny thing about this is that none of these people need to do it anymore, and yet they seem as active on the publishing front as ever.
Take from that what you will.
Personally, I write because I want to write. Because I like to write. I’ve been blogging “into the void” for ages, and most of the time, the only strategy behind that is that many of the posts I write (not all) will eventually make it into a book.
And regardless of how my interests or efforts shift, no doubt I will continue to publish in some capacity.
To wrap up this section, I want to answer a few frequently asked questions.
Do I Need to Write?
No, you don’t.
There are three dominant forms of content online – text, audio, and video. And you can choose the one that’s right for you.
I can tell you from experience that some forms of publishing require more time and effort than others, especially if you’re expecting perfection (please don’t insist on perfection if you’re going to publish daily). There’s no need to make this more complicated than it needs to be!
Do I Need to Publish to My Blog?
No. I have a friend who publishes daily on Instagram and does quite well at it. And considering the time and effort that can go into other forms of content, sharing daily on Instagram doesn’t seem so daunting.
That said, everything I’ve already shared about ownership still applies. You’re in a position of compromise if you don’t backup your content and add as many people to your email list as possible.
What do I Even Talk About?
Many experts, like entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, advocate documenting your journey. And this is what I would recommend as well.
I understand that not every day in the life of an artist is filled with bizarre misadventures and exciting breakthroughs, but can you post a picture (even an old one)? Share a lyric snippet? Talk about your favorite guitar? Show people what you’re up to in your DAW? Film a quick segment of a Zoom call with a fan or friend (with permission, of course)?
Of course, you could. And that would be more than enough to keep your audience engaged.
Do I Need to Publish Daily?
No, you don’t.
Or should I say – I can’t make that decision for you.
It’s going to take something to publish daily. And, again, while I can’t tell you what that is… you might call it a certain determination, consistency, perseverance, or even tenacity in the face of a wild world where there are always more fires to put out… It’s not all going to be candy canes and butts in thongs.
You can publish at a frequency that feels right for you. Not even the top marketers follow their own advice in this regard.
As entrepreneur Noah Kagan says, do 100 of something and then you’ll know a) how it feels, b) whether you enjoy it, and c) whether it works.
On Medium, I’ve picked up quite a bit from Tom Kuegler and his Medium strategies (and yes, they are working!). I learn from his headlines and content ideas as well.
The point is that, while social media can be a blackhole of stupidity, if you follow and model the right people, and interact with them, you can learn plenty and create valuable connections.
It takes some work to curate your feed (that’s something I should write a post on as well), but if you do this, you will think bigger, set bigger goals, and accomplish more. That’s the power of leveling up your association.
2. Publish Daily
For me, publishing daily is not a decision. I wake up every day knowing that I will publish. This is in service of my future self, as I know I will look back on it later glad I made the decision.
This isn’t to suggest that you must publish long-form, definitive, comprehensive, skyscraper guides all the time. To me, their conversion rates are a little suspect anyway.
My average post is somewhere in the 900- to 1,300-word range, but I’m not saying you’ve got to go to those lengths, either. By the way, I also publish my share of 100- to 500-word posts.
Your posts can be long and detailed, if need be, or they can also be short and pithy. It’s a matter of how many words you need to get your point across – not how much you can pad your content.
Derek Sivers and Seth Godin publish their share of short form content, and you will find that this is the exact approach they use – they focus on the message, not on the word count!
You can take a cue from Sivers or Godin, or even Austin Kleon, who tends to share more visual content with some commentary wrapped around it.
But what is the benefit of publishing daily?
My friend Chris Naish started publishing comics on January 1, 2020. On December 15, he announced that he’d drawn 200+ comics and gained 18,000 followers on Instagram (congrats, man)!
I’m not going to make any promises regarding what publishing daily will do for you, as I don’t have any standout results to report on after 161 days of consecutive publishing.
Then again, I am still refining, and I was able to 5x my Medium income, even though it’s still small.
The point is that if you are a creative or creator, you will always have something to promote or share with the world. And publishing daily can help you build a following and get your projects in front of more people.
Although I’m a big believer in following my heart, using my intuition, and even leaving large unplanned gaps in my schedule, there’s simply no denying that planning has made me more productive overall.
Again, I’m not suggesting that you follow my example to a tee and plan on a Sunday. You can do what works for you.
Sunday works for me because of my publishing schedule, which I’ve detailed on my about page.
Although I believe in being in action, it’s also good to take a step back and think. When you do, you can:
Determine how to structure your week for productivity
As you look to create new habits in 2021, keep it simple, and don’t bite off more than you can chew. In most cases, working on one high level habit (until it is fully integrated), is of greater benefit to you than trying to work on 10 habits at once, because there’s a good chance you will give up.
Find what works for you and keep doing it, because at the end of the day, what works for another may not work for you.
What are you doing to set yourself up for success in 2021?
Let me know in the comments below.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
There’s no value in a story never told. But there’s always value in stories shared, even if they only ever touch, move, or inspire one person.
Stories can be instructive, insightful, entertaining, educational, and more.
My story may never be told to large audiences. But if some aspect of it resonates with a few people, that’s more than enough. And if it can make their lives better, nothing could possibly make me happier.
I’m Putting What I Know into Practice
Author of Show Your Work! Austin Kleon suggests artists set up a website with a custom domain and blog every day about their creativity.
Author Seth Godin talks about showing up. And true to his word, he shows up daily. Publishing daily is not a decision for him (more on that later).
Marketer Russell Brunson claims publishing daily will solve all your business problems. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I do like the sound of it.
So, I’m putting something I know to do into practice. Because I’m an artist. And love creating. And I can’t imagine not creating.
I need a portal where I can share everything I create. That’s what this is.
I’m Documenting My Journey & Answering Questions
Hopefully, by documenting my journey and answering your questions, I’m adding value to you. That’s the idea, know it or not.
I can gather that you’re not going to read everything I publish. That’s a given.
But publishing daily gives me a presence. So, you’re less likely to forget about me completely.
And if I’ve added value to you, you’re likely to return for more.
It’s not strictly about building traffic or a following, though that might be a desirable byproduct of publishing daily.
It’s just a way of saying “this is what I’m doing – if you want to, you can do it too.”
I have a vague sense of my purpose in this world, and that’s to inspire people. But you can’t be inspiring without being inspirational. And that means showing up and doing the work.
Being prolific or not isn’t the point. Because I’ve written a few garbage stories since I started publishing daily.
It’s about being available. Being a source of information. Helping people see new possibilities.
These things are worth sharing. Not in a “look at me – I’m awesome” kind of way. Not even in a “buy all my stuff” kind of way. More in a “here’s something you might enjoy” kind of way.
Publishing Daily, Final Thoughts
Seth Godin often talks about the fact that certain aspects of his life are “not a decision.”
Each of us have limited willpower and it continually diminishes throughout the day. So, when he says it’s not a decision, he’s saying he doesn’t have to think about certain decisions in his daily life. He just goes and does what he’s chosen to do. This keeps his life optimized.
That’s why publishing daily is not a decision to me. I’m going to do it. And it might seem crazy, or irresponsible, or unreasonable, or unnecessary. The great news is I will enjoy myself either way! And I hope you will too.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.