In May, I started a challenge with myself to write, record, and release a new song every Friday for three months. The 12 songs would make up my 8th album, “Void of Gray.” After eight weeks, I’m calling it quits! I’m throttling back my releases to monthly instead of weekly. Why?
The Stats Don’t Lie
The first week of my song-a-week challenge, my open rate was 27% and click-through-rate was 8.5%. Pretty good!
But week by week, both of these metrics gradually dropped off. Last week (week 8), the open rate was 17%, and click-through rate was 3.2%.
(My overall list averages a 26.4% open rate and 6.2% click-through rate.)
There are a number of factors…
Overload. I assume most of the drop-off can be attributed to inbox overload. Even the best newsletters get lost in my inbox, and I regularly purge my subscriptions. The flip side is that only 0.8% of my subscribers unsubscribed over the 8 weeks. So my audience seems okay with the weekly update.
Song choice. Last week’s song was a re-release of an earlier demo my list had heard before. Maybe a lot of them just didn’t care to hear the new version. But the two prior weeks had been brand new songs (two of the best I’ve ever written), and the open and click-through rates of those songs had still dropped compared to previous weeks.
Summer. I started my challenge at the beginning of May and it’s now the beginning of July. Maybe people are just on vacation and have checked out for a while. Could be.
But the biggest problem…
My list wasn’t growing. I had been hoping to generate buzz by releasing a new song every Friday. But it didn’t feel like I was. Perhaps I needed to go a few more weeks or months for the challenge to gain momentum. But I doubt it.
The Marketing Factor.
When you release great content with great frequency, something has to give. For me, I found I didn’t have any time to market my content. I just didn’t have time to write, record, mix, master, publish, and promote my music. And so my audience was barely growing.
Not only that, but other areas of my life fell out of balance.
- I started an awesome new morning routine, but I wasn’t getting enough sleep.
- I relieved stress by getting outside and going fishing, but then I fell behind on other projects.
- I couldn’t devote as much time as I’d like to my health or personal development.
Focus vs Balance
If you try to focus on everything, it’s impossible to focus on anything. But if you spend all of your time and energy on just one thing, your life is going to fall out of balance.
I want to be effective, not just efficient. I want to focus on quality, not just quantity. I want to reach Level 10 success in every area of my life, not just one.
Odds & Ends
Outsourcing. You could argue that I could have just hired someone else to do the mixing and mastering of my music. That would have saved me about 10 hours a week that I could have devoted to keeping the rest of my life in balance.
There are two problems though… 1) I’m sort of a control freak when it comes to how my songs sound. I probably need to let go of this anyways. But 2) Paying someone to mix & master 4-5 songs a month would be insanely expensive. ($1,500 x 52 weeks in the year = $78,000/year).
I’m doing the best I can with what I have, and trying to do better every day. If I can get better in any area of my life every day, I call that success.