Screenshot of the Tidy Blog with posts from February 2022 showing Screenshot of the Tidy Blog

As I wrote in my last blog post, at the end of 2021 I hatched a plan to write 52 blog posts at Tidy over the course of 2022 in order to try and organically grow the traffic on my Shopify powered solid shampoo store.

If you’ve followed any of my social media over the last year you’ll have seen some of the output of my efforts.

I didn’t manage to write and publish one post per week. Occasionally I was able to write 2 posts in one week to accommodate scheduling issues, but I fell short of the 52 planned posts by 13. Every time I did publish a new blog post, I shared it to the Tidy instagram account and my LinkedIn account to help boost it’s reach.

Here are the 39 posts I wrote, along with the dates they were published:

  1. How soap - and our solid shampoo for men - is made January 6, 2022

  2. How to lower the environmental impact of washing your hair January 14, 2022

  3. How to make your own solid shampoo for men January 20, 2022

  4. Introducing the Tidy first 100 club January 25, 2022

  5. How soap and shampoo help keep you and your hair clean February 3, 2022

  6. 12 ways to lower your impact on the environment while in your bathroom February 15, 2022

  7. Others who are championing the solid shampoo cause February 17, 2022

  8. The 3 product principles helping Tidy move towards a world where men throw fewer empty shampoo bottles away each year February 24, 2022

  9. Introducing our shampoo bar’s ingredients: ingredient 1 - Sodium Hydroxide March 3, 2022

  10. You don’t have to buy our men’s solid shampoo to help the cause March 10, 2022

  11. The 3 things Tidy is looking to prove March 22, 2022

  12. 10 simple ways to lower your impact on the environment in your kitchen April 1, 2022

  13. Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients: ingredient number 2 Organic Olive Oil April 7, 2022

  14. Not prime, but better for the planet April 14, 2022

  15. Marginal gains - how 1% better every day adds up April 26, 2022

  16. Top 10 tips for lowering your holiday’s impact on the environment April 29, 2022

  17. Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients. Ingredient number 3: organic coconut oil May 5, 2022

  18. Free shipping for 3 solid shampoo bars MAY 13, 2022

  19. How to lower your impact on the environment in your garden May 20, 2022

  20. Why Tidy is a business not a non-profit May 27, 2022

  21. Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients. Ingredient number 4: Organic Sweet Almond oil June 9, 2022

  22. 3 reasons why our solid shampoo is made the harder way June 16, 2022

  23. 9 ways to reduce your environmental impact when using technology June 23, 2022

  24. Our enemy is waste June 30, 2022

  25. Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients. Ingredient number 5: Organic Jojoba oil July 7, 2022

  26. The bad batch - when shampoo bar making goes wrong July 27, 2022

  27. 10 ways to lower the environmental impact of your commute August 4, 2022

  28. Proving a best in class shampoo can be environmentally friendly from cradle to grave August 11, 2022

  29. Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients. Ingredient number 6: Organic Shea Butter August 26, 2022

  30. Reduce, reuse, repair, then recycle - how to put that shampoo bottle you have to better use September 1, 2022

  31. 10 ways to lower your impact on the environment while shopping September 23, 2022

  32. Proving there’s a market for a solid shampoo bar for men - WIP October 3, 2022

  33. Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients. Ingredient number 7: Sodium Lactate October 7, 2022

  34. It’s nice to make things October 14, 2022

  35. Head and Shoulders solid shampoo bars - go buy them now October 20, 2022

  36. Head and Shoulders solid shampoo bars - first impressions November 3, 2022

  37. Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients. Ingredient number 7: Essential mint oil November 14, 2022

  38. Sharing is caring - supporting other purpose driven brands via OHANA December 1, 2022

  39. Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients. Ingredient number 8: Essential tea tree oil December 15, 2022

39 posts out of a planned 52.

So what did I learn from conducting this experiment?

Prep makes all the difference

Having a predefined list of topics to write about made the whole process far more successful than it otherwise would have been. Sure, I didn’t hit my one post per week target for the year, but I’m 100% sure I’d have fallen far shorter of the goal if I’d not had a list of titles laid out in front of me on the days I was able to find the time to commit to writing something.

Finding time is tough

Finding the time to write is tough. Really tough. Tidy is a passion project for me. I have a full time day job too, and a young family who I love spending time with. Carving out the hour or two it takes me to draft a blog post, edit, re-draft, re-edit, format, prep imagery for, publish and then share it on social media is sometimes impossible. Hence missing the 52 post target by 13.

Deciding how to invest the time I did find for Tidy added to the challenge; do I write the blog post or spend the time I have available optimising the store? If I had an hour booked for writing and orders come in that need fulfilling, which should I prioritise? (Order fulfilment every time - customers are precious, and speedy fulfilment is critical to increasing the likelihood of retaining them).

Embracing the edits

Even when I found the time, sometimes I’m just not in the mood for writing. It’s not something that comes easily to me. There were days early in the year where I’d spend a whole hour staring at a blank document trying to figure out what to write. I slowly learnt to just write and edit later. Now I will start writing, think of a new angle, hit return a couple of times, add a line of dashes to my document, hit return again and start the new angle without stopping. Many a time my first draft of a post consists of 10+ different ways of saying the same thing over and over. I’ve learnt to embrace that to get the thinking out of my head, on to the “paper” and then edit later.

Optimising the process

Over the year I found ways of optimising the publishing process too. Initially I’d spend ages trying to find the perfect image to go with my blog post. In time I learnt how to search for themes of the posts rather than literal images of what I’d written about.

I also created a sketch file as a template for the hero images for my posts. Each image I use is dropped into my template and scaled and adjusted so they’re all the same ratio and size and align nicely on the tidy blog index pages.

To speed up the process of getting related images into Instagram Jason created a template for me (again in sketch) which has 4 different styles in it; one for each of the three brand coloured Instagram images I rotate through and one for the “photo” style images I use every other week.

The results

So, after a year’s worth of effort, what was the result of the experiment? How much traffic is Tidy getting now? Has the slow and steady approach yielded any the promised results?

I’ll let you know in the next post.