Earlier today, we hosted our first 1-hour blogging challenge. We were hoping the challenge would help accomplish a few things:
Provide the motivation to start blogging
Spark a little competition with yourself to up your game
Spark a little competition with other participants to have the best under-60-minute blog post of all time
I hope you got at least one of those bullets under your belt -- or perhaps something else entirely -- if you participated in the challenge. So to all of you, a huge CONGRATULATIONS!
Now, on to the winners!
That's right, there wasn't just one winner. With over 100 submissions, we had a really, really hard time coming up with just one person to feature exclusively. So instead, we worked hard to narrow it down to 5 bloggers who really stood out to us for various reasons. (For what it's worth, narrowing it down even that far was hard.)
Without further ado, here are today's challenge winners and explanations as to what made their content so outstanding. I'm including the "why," because I hope it's helpful in demonstrating just how many ways there are to craft an amazing blog post in a pretty short amount of time.
1-Hour Blogging Challenge Winners (In No Particular Order)
You might expect a company called BlogMutt to be pretty adept at writing blog content. Turns out your expectation is right. This post starts off strong with a title you can't help but click.
First, it has the negative angle -- sorry to break it to you, but people love "worst ever" content. Then, it brings in a big name (Mark Cuban) and a controversial topic (the death of search ... and Mark Cuban being wrong).
The problem with good titles is you have to have good content to back them up. Read this post -- the content will not disappoint. Author Scott Yates delivered a compelling and well-reasoned argument about where Cuban's prediction falls short, clearly selecting a topic that he knew quite a bit about.
Great job, Scott -- and bonus points for writing this while live streaming it on Google+. Pretty creative stuff!
First of all, the tips are actually interesting. We're not getting stuff like "look for a recipe" or "use a timer." The tips are ones that go beyond the basic knowledge most people have about baking cookies.
On top of that, these are actually "quick" tips, just like the title promises: They're succinct, well-formatted, and explained clearly ... but not to the point of exhaustion.
Will nailed a tried-and-true blog format here. Just come up with some good ideas and share it in a clean format using clear language.
We couldn't help but be impressed with the creativity in this post. It's a classic example of taking "boring" content (no offense, WebPT) and making it both interesting and helpful.
It's hard to add levity -- dare I say fun? -- to a new diagnosis code set. But Charlotte Bohnett not only cracked that nut with quiz questions and illustrations, but she actually made the creativity productive by actually providing resources for medical professionals to learn the new code set.
This post from InsightSquared's Lindsay Kolowich made me say, "I didn't know that much smart could be squeezed out of someone's head in an hour."
Not only is the post a really fascinating read, but it's also quite impressive that the author could articulate complex concepts like these in such a short amount of time.
Typically, these types of ideas take a couple revisions in editorial to make the ideas really clear for the reader. Clearly, the writer embraced the "write what you know" mantra here -- and this writer knows some interesting stuff.
If you're in marketing or business -- or just interested in it -- this post is worth a read. It's one of those posts that will leave you smarter than you were before.
If Will's cookie post was a top-notch example of the effective tip post, this post from Jacob Low is its equivalent for educational content.
The post has a lot of noteworthy elements, but here's the best of the best:
The introduction hooks you. He begins with a personal anecdote that is relatable to readers.
There's impactful imagery. Part of the reason the introduction is so relatable is the triptych before-and-after photos he includes of his disappearing view.
He educates without talking down. Jacob introduces new terminology to the reader and explains complex concepts clearly.
He ends with action items. This post doesn't just educate the reader about a problem -- it provides solutions to the problem that any reader can go out and implement today.
Even though the post ends with solutions that clearly help Packsize's bottom line, it doesn't feel like the intent of the post is to sell to you -- it's clear the post is meant to educate readers and empower them to make smarter decisions. And it does.
Congratulations to all of the participants in today's 1-hour blog challenge! These 5 winners will receive some awesome HubSpot swag from our HubShop! We applaud and thank everyone who participated!
Originally published Jan 23, 2014 4:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017