There are days when words don’t come easy. Creativity is a bitch like that – you can be on the greatest roll in the world, with fantastic prose pouring out of your fingers, then…
Thud. Nothing. Nada. The steam’s all gone.
Blogging can be like that as well. Passion and excitement can only sustain you for so long before you need a break. That break might be a long time coming, though, when you’re blogging your little heart out to build credibility, an audience, and business.
I’m not so sure that bloggers need to tap ourselves out that way, though.
Does it make sense to give ourselves the chore of constantly writing for readers at the expense of our own enjoyment? After a while, the shine of writing yet another post on whatever-it-is-you-write-on wears off, and the lack of enthusiasm starts to show.
Then the situation morphs. It’s no longer a lack of enthusiasm. It’s a lack of interest. From there, it’s resentment. From there, it’s flat out refusal, and you find yourself snarling, “If I have to write another post on X, I’m going to stab my own eyes out!”
Yeah. It’s not pretty.
And yet, the pros say, “Write frequently! Post often! Blog the snot out of it!” The A-listers hand us our dos and don’ts, the Rules of Blogging. Three times a week. Five times a week. Every day. Several times a day. If you decide that following the rules aren’t for you, then Very Bad Things will certainly happen.
Your business will drop. You won’t get traffic. Your page ranking plummets. You’re as good as lost in the black sinkhole of the blogosphere. It’s the Apocalypse, and you lost, buddy.
Alright, well, I’ll admit there’s some grain of truth to the advice handed out on how often you should post to your blog. There are advantages to frequent posting. But there are also other factors involved in the success of your blogging efforts, and certainly many more than just frequency.
In fact, most bloggers don’t follow all the rules and they still do quite fine. Some A-listers don’t even follow their own advice, and they’re still A-listers.
It’s not all about how often you post. It’s about the quality, the consistency, and the interest level your posts generate. It’s about responding to demand, writing what people want to read, and doing so on a predictable basis.
Giving blogging your all and writing madly until your fingers bleed is a valiant effort, but I think a better effort comes of providing good, interesting material on a regular basis, one that gives you a chance to breath, live, and continue to love blogging.
If you start to hate it, have to grasp for ideas, resent writing and lose touch with your focus and what you love, then you’re in trouble. You’re not here for a good time, you’re here for a long time.
That’s a problem if you’re running low on energy, inspiration and creativity because you’ve tapped yourself out blogging all the time. Your blog posts start to suck. They get shorter. They aren’t interesting to read any more. They’re an obligation, not an occupation.
Your clients and paying work starts to suffer too. If you’ve poured your creativity into your posting, what’s left to pour into your projects? Can you really do it all, shine all the time, and be the best you can be every single day?
Michel Fortin wrote on posting frequency, and one sentence struck me enough that I said, “Yes,” under my breath. I’ll quote it here:
“On average, I post one article or blog entry a week… I know some people—especially top bloggers—will say that’s not enough, and that one should post more frequently. But I’m too busy, and this works for me.“
Was it an arrogant statement to make? Not at all. It was one of the best statements I’ve heard someone say in a long time. In fact, that’s probably what struck me most when I read the sentence. You don’t often hear bloggers say stuff like that with such straightforward self-respect.
Standing up for yourself and saying, “No. I’m too busy,” is a tough decision, too. We ourselves struggled with the question back when we moved down from daily posting to posting three days a week. Hell, we worried about taking a break from blogging and even made an event of it.
You see, we’re a society that favors loaded plates, full schedules and long to-do lists. We value those that tackle piles of work and those that slay the dragons, making it all look like a cakewalk. We value blogging… But are we valuing ourselves and setting a pace we all can live with?
Speak and share your thoughts. Let’s hear what you have to say.