Today, I’m reflecting on the Time Pieces History Project, which finished on Tuesday. A year ago, I was wondering how to bring my passion for history into my work as a copywriter and content marketer. I wasn’t sure how to get into the industry as a writer-for-hire, because I didn’t have any connections or experience.
So, after conversations with my business coach and my mentor, the answer was simple: create content about what you’re most interested in, and that will show people what you can do. And to achieve this, I embarked on an ambitious project – to produce 100 blogs in a year, to share things from that mattered to me.
As someone who writes for a living, the idea of creating so much written content was not a problem, but ensuring I had two posts ready to go each week would be more of a challenge.
Although I was clear on my five categories right at the beginning, I wasn’t sure of all 20 of the items within each, and the last few in the final group (places of the world) took a while. As I wanted the blogs to be quirky, I was worried about coming up with other, related things to talk about, too.
Thoughts on the Time Pieces History Project
Rereading the blog I wrote as an introduction to the Time Pieces History Project, the first thing I realise is that it was ambitious to think about trying to do video and audio content at the same time as writing blogs! The blogs were time-consuming, and it wasn’t always easy to get photos to illustrate them, so creating additional content alongside them was completely impractical.
What I am pleased about is how I managed to find related topics to include in each blog, as per ‘Histories of the Unexpected’, and I got some really fun and unusual things to write about, which seemed to go down well with my readers.
While I didn’t get any outside contributions, I’d love to think that people will still get involved now that the project is over. Now I’m not creating the content, I should have more time to reshare the posts and work on engagement.
I can’t write this post without acknowledging the COVID19 pandemic, which began in Europe in March, four months before the end of the project. Although I have been able to safely sit it out in rural France, I have to be honest and say that lockdown and its side effects got in the way a bit.
My motivation wasn’t always as high as it could have been, so I didn’t quite manage to get every blog finished on time. They are all there and complete now, and there was only ever a delay of a few hours. I’d made a commitment to myself and my readers and I wasn’t letting anyone down.
I really enjoyed the process and the project and I learned a lot of random history facts! It was good writing about the North East of England, and celebrating the many achievements of the region. I was also pleased by how many of the topics linked together, sometimes intentionally and sometimes by chance – spotting connections became a bit of a game.
What’s Next After the Time Pieces History Project?
In the first instance, I’ll be continuing with the podcast I launched at the end of March – the Time Pieces History Podcast. The intention at the beginning was to repurpose the blog content into audio, although it’s already grown into future seasons that aren’t connected to the original project. I’ll continue to with the interviews and bonus shows with marketing tips, too.
I’d also like to turn all of the blogs into a book. I’ve identified some bonus content to include, so that’s something I’d like to achieve in the next 12 months. I’ll need an editor to do a professional tidy up and tighten up, and I need to update some of the photos too, or pay for the rights to publish the images I used in the blogs (any I sourced from Pixabay have been credited to the photographer, although some images of historical figures are harder to attribute, as they are often pictures of statues or paintings).
I will also be creating videos for YouTube – I’ve already come up with some ideas for this. It will be a bit different to what you might expect, although the videos will definitely fit with the tone of the blogs and podcast.
I want to work with heritage sites to help them embrace digital and content marketing, to attract visitors and to help them to secure funding. I have a range of services for one to one support, and I’m also planning to build a content library of resources for them to use.
Finally, I’d love to provide products, services and experiences for history lovers – again, I have lots of ideas, I just need to know what people would like first. The possibilities are endless and it’s exciting to see where things go next.