How to Devalue Your Blog and Burn Yourself Out

How to Devalue Your Blog and Burn Yourself Out

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.

Oh, please.

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.

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Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

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  1. I think consistency of posting is far more important than frequency.

    I also think it’s better to be consistent, starting small, and gradually build up.

    So if you are just starting, it may be a good idea to discipline yourself to only one a week. If you get more ideas, then just build up a backlog.

    If your backlog gets too big, then increase it to two or three times a week.

    Same thing as with exercise. Start small, then build it up as you get better. Otherwise you end up like the blogging version of the people who go to gym for 2 weeks then are never seen again, even though they’re paying $15 a week for the membership.

    Sure, there are some people who can do 7 posts a week. But you also need to recognize you may not be one of them at this very moment.

    Patrick Vuleta – Lawfully Green´s last blog post…Brand New Environmental Law Site

  2. Another point to add to this, and it comes from you James (when you cut back posting frequency to three times a week), is that when you’re not posting every day the comments have time to flow and conversation to start. I find that in itself is motivating and helps keep me going.

    I don’t actually post with great regularity. I will post at least once a week, but normally I aim for at least twice, three times if I have a lot to say that week (or a guest poster with a three part series – thanks Marc!) No pressure on myself to post on a particular schedule, because I know I won’t keep it.

    Melinda´s last blog post…How to Increase Repeat Readers

  3. Great post. Sean Platt and I were beating ourselves up with nearly daily posts at our various sites and then took a step back and said, “why?” and slowed things down to a pace we can handle.

    The best thing about NOT posting daily is that posts have a bit more time to enjoy the top of the page and draw more comments. Sometimes, when a post is really good, I’ll give it an extra day or so just to pick up some more steam.

    It’s working well.

  4. Yeah hehe, that’s exactly my mental image of James too.

    Patrick Vuleta – Lawfully Green´s last blog post…Brand New Environmental Law Site

  5. Being new to blogging and paid-for writing, I tend to fall into michel’s camp. There are not enough hours in the day to do all the learning, writing and hair pulling that I need to do.

    I enjoyed some time on @probloggers 31DBBB challenge and one lesson was to create a editorial calendar. This allows you to scheme what you are posting on which days. Thinking ahead helps me from hitting a deadline with an empty head.

    Allowing I have negative time, then how have I used this on my blog?

    Friday; I post the only Knowledge nugget post on Friday, my main post.

    Sunday; I post some link love in a “Wash Up” of all the great links that caught my eye during the last week.

    Wednesday; Is Blog review or guest post. There are some fantastic blogs out there, like this one, they are worth some praise.

    This way I only bleed on one post and can still put up useful content with the others.

    Currently I have a problem in that the Sunday wash-Up is a bad landing page and I am trying to think of an interesting Monday post subject that won’t lock up too much of Sunday ( I post 09:00 Sydney time, 23:00GMT)

    Any ideas welcome :)

    Andy Shackcloth´s last blog post…Emotion; The Writer’s Sixth Sense

  6. Am I the only one looking at that picture and going “Wow, either that coffee is cold and tastes shocking, or he’s burning his mouth something awful!”

    Melinda´s last blog post…How to Increase Repeat Readers

  7. I’m one of those bloggers who was having trouble finding a posting schedule to stick to. I tried weekly features, posting on specific days and scheduling posts.

    None of these gave me the satisfaction I wanted. What I realized was that there are days when I wake up and feel compelled to blog. That’s when I blog best. That when I feel the most satisfied hitting publish on my post. That’s what works for me.

    The advice A-listers give works. But it doesn’t work for everybody because no two bloggers have the same goals.

    P.S: James, that picture is so you!

    Samar´s last blog post…Confessions of a reader

  8. James,

    Ah, yes. Always an interesting topic. I have a schedule. 4 posts a week: Tuesday-but-sometimes-Monday, Wednesday, Thursday-or-Friday, Saturday. That’s been worked out since the very beginning, pretty much. (Yes, Tei, I’m a Capricorn. We organize things, then we’re happy with them.)

    Number one thing is that I set it up that way, because the day before each of those is a day I know I can free some time to get that post ready to go.

    I never skip Wednesdays. They’re fun.

    And right there is the secret.

    I know I’ll never skip Wednesdays because they’re fun. The minute one of the other days doesn’t feel fun—I skip it.

    Like today. I couldn’t get my mojo risin’ yesterday, so I didn’t put up my new post.

    It doesn’t happen very often—maybe once a month—but if I force myself, it’s like you say. Resentment is right around the corner. So for me, the best blogging frequency is “When it’s fun.” If I’m pushing myself, it’s a one-day blog-vacation for me. I’m better for it, and I’ll just wait one more day to conquer the world. 😉

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kelly´s last blog post…“We actually failed our way to success” —The Steve McKee Interview

  9. (Melinda… I’ll get in trouble for going OT so early, but I was wondering why he waxed his chest. Is there coffee in the picture?)

    Kelly´s last blog post…Inspiration Points: How to Listen Effectively

  10. As you can see from my own latest blog post, this advice has come at my hour of greatest need. Thank you James.

    And thank you for finally sharing a picture of yourself 😉

    Marc – WelshScribe´s last blog post…Spreading Myself Too Thin

  11. @ Kelly, I hadn’t even noticed he’d waxed his chest. Ewww!!! Sorry dude, guys are supposed to have lovely hairy chests.

    And I was the one who derailed the comments, in the third one. So early, James is going to be really cranky when he gets here….

    Melinda´s last blog post…How to Increase Repeat Readers

  12. @Mel James has had his revenge. Stop waxing lyrical (see what I did there) and go fix your broken comments. Barbara must be feeling a little lonely by now

  13. Like Dave said, I moved down from 5 posts to 2 on my primary site and I’ve never been happier with it. Pouring all of myself into something that withers on the WP vine just 24 hours after pressing publish, not anymore. I like letting conversation linger. All my other sites post once per week and my co-authored site with Dave posts three. I care far more about quality than I do about quantity.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post…Serial and Milk: AvailableDarkness – Chapter Five

  14. One post a week! Sheesh. That sounds like a chore to me. Some people say they like it that I don’t post terribly often, which I choose to see as a compliment.

    I think it depends on whether your blog is your business or not — there’s some value in blogging more frequently if it’s tied directly to an income stream. I see blogging as ‘downtime’, so I’m a lot more relaxed about post frequency, and I suspect many others are the same. I tried writing three times a week when I started out and it ceased to be fun pretty fast.

    @James — Wonderful to hear someone questioning conventional ‘wisdom’ about post frequency and other over-touted rules. It’s about time everyone realised that there aren’t any.

    @Kelly — Lovely to hear someone echo James’ thoughts that it gets harder to post when it’s not fun any more. If it’s not fun, forget about it or do it naked, is what I always say.

    By the way, I looked at this post’s pic and simply saw a man in a dressing gown with a giant ear. It takes all types…

    Nick Cernis´s last blog post…Give Up and Buy an iPhone

  15. I agree with Patrick that consistency is more important than frequency.

    One post a week and gradually increase your post frequency is easier for those starting out like me.

    I’m new here and glad that I’ve subscribed. Good post James.

    Roseli A. Bakar´s last blog post…Writing Your Way to Financial Independence

  16. Wow, lots of comments already – that’s awesome!

    @ Roseli – Starting out is one of the toughest times, because there is so much conflicting information and you don’t know who to listen to. I say, listen to yourself and find what works best for you.

    @ Mel/Kelly/Pat/Marc – So… what you’re saying is, that should be my new social media avatar?

    @ Kelly/Samar – I get where you’re coming from, but consumer expectancy is important. Skipping posts creates uncertainty. “Will there be a post today? I thought she always posted on … Huh. I don’t understand.” That’s a killer right there.

    It reminds me of animals. Feed a horse every day at a certain hour… then one day get busy and be late by an hour. You have one unhappy pony on your hands, and you’ve suddenly created resentment.

    I know some days it’s just not coming, but I think even on those days, posting a quote, a music video or just a 140-word random thought is better than skipping.

    @ Andy – Ahh, navigating time zones… yes, yes. I know that one well :)

    How was Problogger’s course, by the way? Did you enjoy it? Learn from it? What was best? What didn’t click?

    @ David/Melinda – On daily posting, our biggest reader complaint was, “I don’t have time to come back and comment!” So we dropped frequency, and we did have increased comments indeed. People appreciated knowing they have a window of time to have a conversation… plus it cuts down on the “great post!” stuff.

    @ Patrick – That’s the perfect analogy. “I’m going to exercise every day for an hour!!!” Yeah, right. Two weeks goes by and the new routine is out the window. That’s just overwhelming and too much to commit to. But say, “I’m going to go for a walk every Wednesday – just once a week. Me time,” and you have a winner.

  17. @ Writer Dad – You snuck in there. Damn you!

    I agree that it’s disheartening to work really hard on a post and then have it… ugh. Fizzle in the comment section. Then again, comments are not reflective of how many people actually read and enjoyed the post.

    Otherwise, the 4,500 readers or so that I have would seriously pack up the discussions around here!

  18. @James — Ha! You treat your readers so well. What a wonderful host you are.

    I’ve found that post frequency hasn’t affected readership very much, if at all. Subscriber count still grows whether I post or not: http://is.gd/CmHk (Blue spikes are reach and represent when I’ve posted. Green line is readership.) You’ll see there’s a big stretch where I didn’t post once and subscribers grew quite quickly!

    What post frequency certainly does affect is traffic, and I can only surmise that, if you need traffic to keep your product/service/leads alive, then it probably pays to post more than once a month or two. I choose to advertise my stuff elsewhere rather than posting more often; I’d rather spend the cash and have the free time for other projects.

    Nick Cernis´s last blog post…Give Up and Buy an iPhone

  19. I can tell you that burn out occurs on both sides of the feed. I know that I’d rather get a quality post from a great author once a week than “I had a sandwich” or “Going to pee” hourly. You have to have a little confidence in the quality of your writing over the frequency of posts. This is why I charge sop much . . .

    Christopher Garlington´s last blog post…The Annual Father & Son Fishing Trip Deadliest Catch Reenactment Trip

  20. James wrote “So… what you’re saying is, that should be my new social media avatar?”

    Guess that would be a great choice considering that most of his days on Twitter starts with something about coffee, either too much or lack there of :-)

    Great post, I am one of those who has yet to set up a blogging schedule, mine is very very random. But my intention is good…

    Bengt´s last blog post…55 Ways to Get More Energy (Zen Habits)

  21. James, I’m so with you and Melinda on the giving-comments-room-to-breathe bit.

    My posts tend to take a while to write — and read — and I have a habit of asking big questions. My readers need space to digest and contribute. When I post more than 3 times in one week, my comments drop very noticeably.

    I’ve also been noticing a sense of overload in the blogosphere lately. Not sure if it’s just me, but seems like there’s a growing trend of people keen to take in more quality instead of mindlessly gobbling every post in sight.

    Zoe´s last blog post…Ingredients for Creativity On the Go

  22. There are a number of factors at play here, not the least of which being that if you’re not a full-time blogger, your blogging time is likely pretty limited. Add to that the unexpected, increased demands that “analog world” often throws in your path. Then top that off with a generous dash of lack of inspiration.

    I was shooting for once or twice a week posting frequency, but even that is sometimes difficult to sustain. I try to avoid just posting for the sake of posting something – to make the content somewhat meaningful or worthwhile. I don’t want to waste my readers’ time or my own. But by the same token, I sometimes wonder if the dry periods that I go through do cost me readers – maybe the lack of fresh, new content causes some people to get bored and opt to not come back…

    I used to try hard to keep an article or two on the backburner that I could pull out when my well is dried up, but lately, I’ve used up all of those spares and haven’t been able to build any surplus back up.

    Rob O.´s last blog post…Scroll With It, Baby!

  23. @ Rob – Here’s my thoughts on losing readers because there isn’t enough posting happening: These people weren’t really the readers you wanted to begin with.

    That’s not to say we should dismiss them outright, but I do feel that if they found the blog interesting enough to subscribe in the first place, it seems a little… demanding to unsubscribe because writers aren’t production machines.

    @ Nick – Hey! You’re not dead! (This is a good thing.) You’re definitely one of the ones out there that zigs when others zag and a person who tends to question conventions all the time. Seems to work highly in your favor. (I still like you, for one.)

    Because you are one of the people that posts infrequently, I am curious about readership. What numbers did you have when you were posting heavily? What numbers do you have now at once a month?

    I have to say, your posting infrequency tends to heighten my interest. “OOOH! NICK POSTED!” *rush over* “Oh yeah… yeah… yup… awesome… great…” It’s like getting a treat from the King. 😉

    @ Zoe – Overload – yeah, I’ve noticed it too. Most of the usual crowd I hang with tend to be bloggers that have been around over a year or so… and they’re all blase and jaded now, for the most part. Tired of reading, skipping feeds, Twittering less frequently, getting back to living… I think it’s a cycle. Everything new and shiny is fun but routine tends to sap the juice, no?

    @ Bengt – Heheh… yeah, I guess coffee’s on my mind a lot. (Cheap, legal drug habit?) It’s almost become expected, too. I get asked about my coffee more than my writing these days, too funny.

    @ Christopher – You betcha. Tired writers, tired readers, and the crowd falls asleep at the show. Booo…

  24. James,

    Gotta disagree on posting strictly on a schedule, maybe just because I haven’t seen any negative effects. & frankly, after I got beyond a handful of blogs I was reading, I don’t notice if one of them takes a day or two, either. ‘Cept Nick… Nick, I totally miss.

    That, your new avatar? NO. You have the most heart-meltingly sexy elbow in the universe. Work it!

    Nick,

    Naked, huh? I think I might wind up with a whole different blog. I’d say I just can’t go there, but… I’m already going there. Darn you.

    Later,

    Kelly

    Kelly´s last blog post…Inspiration Points: How to Listen Effectively

  25. There is such a variety of advice out there on frequency of posting and how much you should write. The thing I’ve found is when I create a relationship with my readers – they spur me on to keep writing. They ask questions, expand ideas, and present new topics to explore.

    Relationships are endless so I try to do what I can to cultivate and create a community. Great thoughts James- thanks.

    Corey – Simple Marriage´s last blog post…Marriage Research Phase Two

  26. I have a writing blog and a hiking blog, and I post 1 to 3 times per week on each, though I always try for at least two. My hiking blog got a lot more search traffic from Google when I blogged every day for a month.

    Kelly and Melinda, perhaps the dude doesn’t wax his chest. I happen to be a man with nary a hair on my chest. I like it that way, and so does my woman! And it’s all natural.

    John Soares´s last blog post…The 20 Crucial Tips for Writing Great Multiple-Choice Test Questions

  27. I really like this line, “It’s about responding to demand”

    I think this is something that is vital for the growth of a blog. Personally… I wouldn’t write about something that I may be interested in but recognize no one else cares about. If growth in subscribers is a priority than writing about what is interesting to you and rewarding to you but not really that important to others is a bad move. One I won’t do.

    As far as all these rules to blogging, a lot of it’s B.S. As you pointed out… many of the A-listers don’t even follow them. I’d argue the most important rule of all is standing out. If you don’t stand out and do everything else the A-Listers say to do… it still won’t propel you very far.

    Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s last blog post…Why You Should Accept Everything in Life Just the Way it is

  28. Yeah…I’m pretty much guilty of every faux pas there is. Posting too much. Posting far too little. Going months between posts. Forgetting to moderate comments so when they’re finally approved, the blog post is months old. The whole shebang. Like a bunch you others, it hasn’t seemed to make much of difference to the downside.

    @Nick Cernis – Dude! I’m happy you’re not dead. Had a feeling you’d been run over by a stampede of bulls. I think you’re posting frequency works just fine because you post really quality stuff. However, I could see you posting quality stuff more often, just to make me happy.

  29. DeBorah Beatty says:

    Brilliant. As a speaker under pressure to write a book, many times I’m inspired, but as you so eloquently put it, sometimes there’s just nothing there to write down!

    Keep up the excellent work!

    DeBorah Beatty´s last blog post…Is the “u” missing in your b*siness?

  30. As someone who reads Blogs rather than writing them, I have to say that I have never deleted a blog from my feed for posting too rarely. I have deleted many blogs for posting too often. If a blog is filling up my feed too quickly, or taking too much of my time, I delete it so that I can have time to read other things, or (on occasion) get some actual work done ;).

  31. One problem with the advice of A-list bloggers is that they are A-list bloggers. They are A-listers because they can consistently write excellent posts.

    The “post every day” advice is the worst advice there is for someone who can’t produce quality posts every day because it means there’s a lot of crap on your blog and in your feed.

    The B-listers that stay in my feed reader are the ones who don’t clog up my feedreader with crap.

    Damon´s last blog post…Winning Clicks in Search Results Pages

  32. I think it’s a matter of quality over quantity. I’ve been blogging about Web Development and related issues for about 5 years now. My goal has always been once per week, but I probably average 3-4 posts per month. I tend to write rather long in-depth articles, so it can take several hours to do the research and writing. Given that they’re so long I also wouldn’t want to burden my readers by posting every day.

    Since I don’t blog each day I also have to concern myself with timing. I’ve not yet found the best day or time of day to release the entries, but I do avoid times like midnight on Sunday so links on Twitter don’t get lost in the stream. Right now I’m working on a post about why I don’t design Web sites in Flash, but I may not post it until Tuesday morning. It’s currently Friday afternoon at the start of a holiday weekend in the U.S. so many Americans will be out barbecuing for the next few days. Thus I’ll wait to make the post.

    In the end I think we just have to strike a balance that allows us to produce the most useful/interesting posts possible in a schedule that works for us as well as our readers.

    Heidi Cool´s last blog post…Say what you mean—don’t let jargon drive your visitors away.

  33. Blogging daily (5 times/week or more) just didn’t work out for me. I had to slow down drastically. My posting frequency is currently in limbo and I’m OK with that. I really don’t want to write any more poor quality content, even if it means posting less than once/week.

    Mark Dykeman´s last blog post…Twitter or write a book? Hm…

  34. One thing about some of the A-List bloggers to note: a number of them have lots of guest bloggers regularly posting, sometimes more often than they themselves do.

    Nothing wrong with that, but without so many guest posters, some A-Listers would likely have a significantly lower posting frequency.

    I recently 21 straight days without posting anything to Twitter. I didn’t really lose any followers; didn’t really gain any either.

    But, it was very healthy. Taking a break from constant content creation of any kind–blogging, Twitter, Stumble, YouTube, reading and commenting on other blogs–can help us to more critically and wisely assess what activities really matter to us.

    And that can enable us to adjust our approaches so that we don’t get burned out, because we then only do what we really want to do.

    Jesse Hines´s last blog post…What’s Your Go-To Drink When You’re Writing?

  35. You know what? You just gave me permission to cut down from 5-6 times a week to 3 times a week…thanks for that! Why I couldn’t do this myself I don’t know, just didn’t want to risk lower traffic.

    I’ve been trying to find qualified guest bloggers who would be interested in 1 day a week guest writing, but it’s been hard. I get offers, I accept them, then never hear back from peeps, no guest posts have been submitted in a long time. Why’s that? Anybody interested in collaborating & guesting?

    Patsi Krakoff aka The Blog Squad´s last blog post…Marketing for Nice People Makes You Laugh Out Loud…

  36. @ Patsi – You have my full permission to cut yourself some slack and enjoy your blogging again.

    As for guest posters… Hey, comment crowd, anyone up for it on Patsi’s site?

    @ Jesse – You read my mind. Many A-listers either use guest posters (thus cutting back their own blogging), blog infrequently (meaning once a week) or have others write their posts for them.

    And I’m glad you took a break. Good on you!

    @ Mark – Yeah, I don’t think anyone really wants to write poor content and everyone hits a point where they realize something has to give. I’m all for less posts and better content, definitely!

    @ Heidi – That’s something I’ve noticed too – those who write less posts often write longer or more in-depth content. I’ll take that over sound bytes any day!

    @ Corey – There’s always inspiration to be found in readers. After all, developing a solid relationship with them is ideal for a blog’s well being. And, as you said, responding directly to their comments and questions in posts is fantastic for success.

    @ Damon – I disagree with the A-listers being A-listers because they write consistent A-lister stuff. Most A-listers I know started out just before the internet wave influx of people hopping on the net – since they were there, and no one else was, they quickly collected readers. Social proof now assists their popularity.

    That’s my theory anyways… because John Chow… well. Yeah.

    @ Jenn – Ha, now that’s well said! I’ve never unsubscribed from too few posts either, but there are a few blogs where I raced to hit that unsubscribe pretty darned fast when my reader started filling up!

    @ Deborah – Like Elizabeth Gilbert says, as long as you showed up for the job that day, you’re alright. Not your fault Creativity decided to slack off work.

    @ Charlie – Slacker. Get busy. I want 10 posts a day on all blogs and on a consistent basis for three months straight. Sheesh, get crackin’!

    @ Bamboo – Finding that line where you enjoy what you write and where your readers enjoy it also is important. No one likes a self-indulgent blog, after all! But we all find our stride, I think – yes?

    @ John – Chests aside, I think regular blogging works well for search engines, but consider that you may just be capturing that traffic regardless because of niche blogging and natural keywording. Could be potential there!

    @ Nick – Ah, you echoed what I just said to John. I agree. More frequent posting seems to draw in more traffic, and you also confirmed my thoughts that less frequent posting doesn’t affect readership overly. Thanks for that, as I think many readers would find that interesting (and probably go on break knowing their numbers won’t disappear in a day!)

    @ Kelly – Between you blogging naked and John, his partner and his hairless chest… Well… alright, more power to y’all. Woot!

    James Chartrand – Men with Pens´s last blog post…How to Devalue Your Blog and Burn Yourself Out

  37. Nice posts. Gives me some things to think about. I’ve been tempted to shut down a few times, but I do get some great feedback from time to time. I flip back and forth between gaining more of an audience to serving the one I have. I seem stuck at a certain level of readership while at the same time there is a mutual appreciation for those I have.

    I continue to try and write better. It can be tough at times having a job, family, etc. I might consider making a weekly schedule as some above have mentioned.

    Thanks!

    Mark | hereiblog´s last blog post…Memorial Day 2009 Worship Service

  38. there is so much to do in this world, I thinks it’s great to remember that we need to keep living and creating the entertainment as much as we enjoy writing and sharing it. I for one have a simple formula:

    twitter: to be as random and active as I am feeling

    tumblr: to explore and share inspiration as I read about it in my tumblr and find on the internet

    blog: a place to write when I feel like I need to dig in.

    depending on my current mood or activity level, I have different outlets, so that it always feels fresh and fun, and if I need another playground to satisfy another habit as far as blogging I will build it.

    connect the dots via friendfeed and or twitterfeed and it’s all a magical collage :)

    georgette´s last blog post…it’s all about the goddess

  39. It’s easy to get stale. I try to go for compelling each time, or leave it alone for another day. The A-listers do have some good advice, but posting frequently is not good advice for most. Another bit of overused advice is to use lists and numbers (“99 ways to attract traffic by using lists and numbers in your posts”). There can be backlash to this; it gets boring when it’s overused, and I personally cringe when I see lists and numbers, feeling that inane and repeatable content is sure to follow. The conventional wisdom can work sometimes and sometimes not; but the one bit that works each time is to either go for viral or don’t post today.

    Kaushik´s last blog post…Ripening – Are you ready to awaken? – 2nd ebook excerpt Awakening is Simple –

  40. @James

    I didn’t do a good job of saying what I really meant. I do agree that being early to blogging helps a lot.

    But my real point is that A-list bloggers can tell you how they became A-listers, but they don’t have much to tell you about being a successful B-lister. And if you’re not going to be an A-lister, then I think posting higher quality content less frequently makes it easier for people to follow (subscribe to) you because you only intrude into their busy feed readers with good stuff.

    Admittedly, more frequent posting seems to be better for SEO, but I don’t get any business from people randomly dropping in on my posts.

    Damon´s last blog post…Winning Clicks in Search Results Pages

  41. “more frequent posting seems to be better for SEO, but I don’t get any business from people randomly dropping in on my posts”

    SEO doesn’t bring you business it brings you traffic.

  42. I find that concentrating my efforts into fewer posts with greater value works best.

    When I visit a blog I am unimpressed by the dozens of articles that really say nothing. I look for the few articles that lie at the core of the blog. Unless you are amazingly brilliant, I don’t think you can turn out a page an hour with value.

    jbevans´s last blog post…Internet Pornography

  43. When I first started blogging, I was following the advice out there to post as frequently as possible. Now I just have a blogging goal of 100 posts/year. If I post 2 times a week, I should be able to reach my goal. And if I procrastinate then I would have to post more frequently at the end of the year. This works well for me because when I get busy, I only post once a week.

    — Asithi

    Small Steps to Health´s last blog post…Good Intention is Another Word for Insanity

  44. @Marc

    Yes, but I need to turn traffic into business and organic traffic doesn’t turn into business on my site as readily as some other forms of traffic.

    Damon´s last blog post…Winning Clicks in Search Results Pages

  45. Bamboo,

    You make an interesting point when you say:

    “Personally… I wouldn’t write about something that I may be interested in but recognize no one else cares about.”

    Yes, you should write stuff that people are actually interested in if you want an audience, but–if you end up writing stuff that doesn’t also interest you, you’ll probably burn out pretty fast.

    For me, I only write what interests me. Otherwise, there’s just no passion, no motivation, and thus, even if I did write something that bored me (but energized “readers”), it would be bland and uninspiring. Meaning readers probably wouldn’t like it anyway.

    I say you should be yourself and write about stuff that really gets you going–your passion for the subject will attract like-minded readers naturally.

    It’s the only way I know that we can truly sustain long-term interest in the whole thing. Trying to please everybody is the quickest way of pleasing nobody, somebody once said, I paraphrase.

    Jesse Hines´s last blog post…What’s Your Go-To Drink When You’re Writing?

  46. @ Jesse Hines: “and thus, even if I did write something that bored me (but energized “readers”), it would be bland and uninspiring.”

    This is a good point. I guess then… if what interests the writer is boring to most segments of society… the writer will find him or herself at quite the disadvantage.

    Yeah… I wouldn’t write something that I myself didn’t get a kick out of. Lucky for me… I think… I generally find that what I’m interested in, what I really want to write about, are things that most find entertaining too.

    If I had to write a blog about blogging I would start spitting and cussing everywhere and then my writing would go down hill and I’d quite blogging.

    Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s last blog post…Why You Should Accept Everything in Life Just the Way it is

  47. I have been struggling with this and you confirmed my sense that quality and consistency should be the drivers. My last two posts have been mapped out in advance and are the two most read I’ve had to date. All because I committed to not putting out any more crappy posts.

    Steve Averill´s last blog post…Five Things Deadliest Catch Teaches Small Business Owners

  48. @ Bamboo – I’d like to see that! 😉

    Truthfully though, I don’t think it matters what bloggers write. There is *always* someone who wants to read it. Sometimes many, sometimes few. So whatever does interest you will always find its niche market. Make sense?

    James Chartrand – Men with Pens´s last blog post…How to Devalue Your Blog and Burn Yourself Out

  49. A point that just occurred to me is you don’t always need to be writing posts to keep your blog fresh.

    a lack of motivation for something can often come from repetition. So perhaps if someone diversifies their approach – say by splitting it between text, video, email newsletters and even podcasts; you’re constantly doing something a little different.

    You would need to slow down a bit to maintain that – maybe only two times a week, but done well it would certainly keep your site fresh even on 2 updates a week just due to diversity of content.

    Patrick Vuleta – Lawfully Green´s last blog post…Brand New Environmental Law Site

  50. I’ve not read all 51 responses so risk repeating a thought. In order to write something of value, something that is interesting and worthy of a reader’s time, the writer must have real life experiences. Like, out in the Real World. Like, away from the computer. Days at a time. Speaking only for myself, I can not write without fresh input in the way of sunshine on my face, coffee at an outdoor cafe on a busy street, taking a road trip, lunch with my daughter, visiting family, hiking a wooded trail – truly living life. That takes time, and it’s the best time in the world. Garbage in – garbage out. LIFE in – LIFE out! I’ve noticed that when I struggle to post something because I feel I must, it cheapens my blog and makes it boring even to me.

    Debi Bradford´s last blog post…Black Butterflies, Take 2,

  51. I’ve decided that quality is more important than quantity, though I think posting twice a week is probably ideal for my blog. I don’t always manage that and try not to feel guilty about it. When I do post more often, though, I see the rewards in more activity on the blog.

    Sharon Hurley Hall´s last blog post…Develop Your Writing Career With A Mentor

  52. For me, definitely quality over quantity. Your readers wouldn’t want to read stuff you wrote just because you had to. No matter how much effort you put into it, it’ll look forced, and uninspired, readers can tell. If you feel you can’t write about something, then don’t. Wait until you have the inspiration to write about it. The key I think is to strike a balance between the material and the frequency of writing. The set up has to be something you are comfortable with, where you wont feel guilty for not having posted something, or for posting content that you really don’t feel is up to standards. Thanks!

  53. Well I feel that in the initial days of your blogging career posting frequently does give you a major advantage. The fact that you are just beginning out and traffic is just starting to flow, you need more fresh content. At the minimum to provide fodder for search engines. More content= more ways of search engines getting you traffic through different keywords. Posting once or thrice a week for just starters is just too low

    e business corporate´s last blog post…Google killer with AI finally arrived? Wolfram Alpha is all set to beat google

  54. @ e-business corporate, I’m going to disagree with you there. My blog went up in mid-january this year, so it’s been going for 4 1/2 months. I post 2-3 times a week, and there’s been a couple of weeks where I’ve only posted once. So in 4 1/2 months I’ve now got 50 posts, averages out to 2.7 posts per week.

    In February, the first full month, I had 385 unique visitors, an average of 14 per day.

    So far this month, May, I’ve had 4,813 unique visitors for an average of 171.9 per day.

    If you want them, I can post repeat visitor stats too.

    My RSS feeds have also increased over 20% this month, so people are obviously able to find me and like my work.

    Somehow I don’t think my posting only 2-3 times per week has hurt my visitor numbers or how well search engines can find me. I’m quite happy with those stats for a young blog.

    The other reason I disagree with you is because when a business is starting out, it takes awhile for the writer to find their ‘voice’ in their posts. Posting every day is hard work, even for experienced writers (just ask James, Harry or Tei!) and for a newbie blogger it’s next to impossible. If you’re forcing yourself to post daily, then it’s highly likely you’re going to post low-quality posts, which will turn off readers and search engines alike.

    Melinda´s last blog post…The Clean Shower Guide to Marketing

  55. I decided to only post once a week after about 3 weeks – can’t understand what all the fuss is about.

    This is my first visit here and I must say I am most impressed by the stylishness of your dressing gown and waxed chest.

    Robin´s last blog post…Sondra Ray – Rebirthing And Physical Immortality

  56. I agree totally with the sentiments expressed in this article. I’d rather read one interesting, informative blog per week than a whole bunch of blogs haphazardly thrown together just so someone can check that they’ve added an entry each day to their list.

  57. I wanted to do some blogging or a long time, but I got my AdSense account only approved now. So I’ve started and I’m learning fast, studying all I can. I reckon I’ve got some niche blogs and I don’t think I could write every day about the subjects. Besides, it would burn me out and I’m a very productive writer.

    Well, I shall take your advice and add a post every week, that seems reasonable and possible.

    Thank you very much for this page and the advice – it all helps a newbie! :)

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