“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” -Joshua J. Marine
Every few months, I offer a new challenge to my readers.
In November of 2010, I asked you to write a Pillar Article, which resulted in 51 posts, over 200 hours of writing, tens of thousands of additional visitors to your blogs and one person even landing a book deal.
In January of 2011, I then asked you to write a List Post, which yielded 1,003 “things” in a total of 63 posts that were shared and spread all around the blogosphere.
Two months ago, I then asked you to step out of your comfort zone and publish a YouTube Video, and the results are what I’m happy to share with you today.
Here is what a few people told me after participating in this particular challenge:
“It took me WAY out of my comfort zone, but it was actually REALLY fun. I plan on doing many more videos for my site, and of course getting better.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s a good video, but it was worth it just for the experience of realizing that even a pretty bad video isn’t really anything to be afraid of.”
“Pat ~ I am excited to tell you that you inspired me to (finally) create my very first video for my website! Wow. Terrifying is right! But I did it!”
And this is what it’s all about – taking bold actions, doing something different and having fun with it. I’m so proud of my readers who participated, and of course I’m happy to share some link love to all of them here on the blog for their hard work.
Below is a list of the submissions in the order that I received them. I don’t expect you to watch them all, but pick one or two that seem interesting to you and check them out if you have time.
I do my best to keep track of all of the submissions myself, but as I do get hundreds of emails a day some submissions may have been accidentally missed. If that’s the case, please let me know and I’ll check my archives and make sure you get included.
Here are some interesting stats regarding the video submissions:
- A total of 44 videos were submitted for the challenge.
- The total playing time of all the videos combined is 3 hours and 36 minutes, which is an average length of about 4 minutes and 54 seconds per video.
- The total views of all submitted videos (since publishing this post) is 5,538 views, which is an average of 126 views per video. Not bad for 2 months!
- The most viewed video has 1,420 views.
- The longest video is 14 minutes and 57 seconds.
- Only 25% of the videos show footage of the actual speaker or narrator.
- 63% of the videos are “tutorial style” videos.
Again, a job well done on all of the videos, and a huge congratulations to those who published their very first ones!
I appreciate the few who just turned the camera on and spoke for a few minutes, unedited with no fear – I love that. I also must say there were a number of well edited videos as well. Two notable ones that come to mind are:
- How to Safely Move Your iPhoto Library to Another Hard Drive by Curtis. This was his first YouTube video for his website, which is awesome because it’s really well done.
- Grown in the City: Urban Homesteading by John. Even though the topic isn’t that interesting to me (no offense!) I could not stop watching because of the way it was presented.
And as promised, I randomly selected one person who submitted a video to the challenge to receive a $50.00 Amazon.com Gift card, on me. So, congratulations to Pavel for winning!
With every challenge I am more and more impressed at not only how much great work people can do, but how a lot of those people needed something like a challenge to get it out of them! It just shows you that you really can do whatever it is you want to do, you just have to find the right motivation to take action.
The Next Reader Challenge
This next challenge is a big one that could drastically increase your authority and status as an expert in your niche:
I want you to create a report, document, white paper, manifesto or mini-eBook about anything related to your industry, niche, website or business.
(Update: A few readers have asked if something like an e-Course in an Autoresponder series or a video course would be okay – and I say, for sure!)
This is obviously a project that is a little bigger than a blog post or YouTube video, so I’m going to give you a little more time. Also, I’m going to give away two (2) prizes:
- One (1) $50 Amazon.com Gift Card to one random submission.
- One (1) $100 Amazon.com Gift Card to the best entry, judged by me.
Here are the rules regarding this particular challenge:
You can choose any topic that you wish, one that you feel would best suit your audience. It could be a tutorial-style, how-to type document (like eBooks the Smart Way), or a thought-provoking psychological piece.
It’s up to you.
Here are a few specific rules about this challenge:
- The final product should be the equivalent of a minimum of 5 content pages in length (i.e. title pages don’t count!).
- It must be given away for free to your audience. Again, this project is a great way to get readers (new and existing) to read your content, demonstrate expertise and authority in your niche and hopefully virally spread word about you and your website through the power of sharing.
- You may choose to give it away as a free gift or “lead magnet” for your email list, (similar to how I offer eBooks the Smart Way here on SPI after ), but it’s not required.
- It must contain at least one graphic inside. I say this so you don’t just write and write, but you think about the presentation and how to break up the monotony of text with some interesting and relevant graphics. For proper use of graphics on the web, please see my Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Image post.
- It must go live for the first time on your site after the date of this post. If you had been working on it for the last month or so, but go live with it after today, that’s totally okay.
How and When to Submit
Submissions should be given to me by July 31st, 2011.
Send me a message via my contact form with a link that announces your report, ebook, manifesto (or whatever you wish to call it) on your site, and I’ll be sure to include your link in the roundup post I publish in August.
Again, you’ll distribute the PDF file yourself on your site, but send me a link so I can share it here on SPI.
Check out my eBooks the Smart Way page for an example, and I recommend you read the guide and use some of the tips to help you with your project.
Good luck, start planning now, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Cheers!
p.s. I’ll be participating in this challenge too, although of course I am not eligible for any of the prizes. You should see a new report from me sometime before July 31st, 2011.
p.p.s. If you send me a 2-D Image of an eBook or Report Cover, I’d be happy to turn it into a nice looking, 3D cover for you and your site, free of charge.
“Even when opportunity knocks, a man still has to get up off his seat and open the door.” – Anonymous