|"I ♥ My Blog": How Writing Less Might Help Your Blog|
Second, as this challenge ends, another is about to begin! I promised, a while ago, a chapbook challenge; I'm happy to say that this challenge is coming up in February! You can learn more about it here.
Now, let's get back to the "I ♥ My Blog" Challenge!
Today is the last day, and thus last post, of the “I ♥ My Blog” January challenge. This month we’ve looked at everything from creating editorial calendars to falling (or re-falling) in love with our blogs’ designs. Today’s task is a special one for folks who feel pressure to write frequent posts (or those who feel guilty that they don’t write more frequently)!
Here is, in short and simple terms, what I believe about the frequency of blog posts: Less is more. To expand on that thought, fewer posts in a given week means more for you as a writer.
This may seem like a somewhat ironic bit of advice from me. After all, last year my editorial calendar included posts five days a week. But folks who followed Our Lost Jungle from May through the end of 2012 may have noticed that as time passed, post frequency decreased. Especially with some of the challenges I hosted last year, some posts were put on the sidelines, or altogether dropped through certain periods. And in that time I began to realize that maybe less really could mean more when it came to blogging!
Why would writing less be a good thing? For the same reasons that writing more can be a bad thing. Writing more frequently (or, too frequently) is stressful. It’s a constant source of pressure to generate new ideas and new content. It’s also stressful for your readers. Let’s face it: I know I’m not the only blog any reader is checking out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Sometimes it’s hard enough to read and engage with one blog post … imagine if you’re reading twelve blogs and all of them are posting daily! So, simply put, writing less is helpful because it keeps both you and your readers from stressing out!
How might fewer blog posts be a good thing? There are a couple of ways:
1. More TIME. Simply stated, the less you write, the more time you have for other things. If you’re writing a new blog post every day, chances are you’re feeling the time pinch. It’s hard to keep up with a schedule that demands a new post every 24 hours or less!
2. More ENGAGEMENT. Writing fewer blog posts a week means not only more time for you, but also more time for your readers. A new post every day means that readers have 24 initial hours to engage with any given post before a new one demands their attentions. Posting every other day gives readers more leisure in reading, and opens up more possibilities for more meaningful engagement. Posting even less frequently than that only increases the time readers have to engage with any particular post.
3. More QUALITY. Writing too frequently puts a rush on you as a writer to produce a post. The phrase “slow and steady wins the race” doesn’t only apply to a tortoise who wants to out-run a hare. It also applies to your blog. The more time you have to prepare your posts, the better quality you can pour into them.
4. Less PRESSURE. If there’s anything that should decrease with fewer blog posts, it’s the amount of pressure on you as a writer. The reason for this is twofold. First, you won’t have as much pressure to fill a week with new and unique posts. Second, there is also less pressure to fill the year with new and unique posts! Imagine if you poured your heart and soul into daily posts in January, February, March, and April, only to discover you’ve run out of meaningful things to say come May! Writing fewer blog posts helps you fill out the year more smoothly and effectively.
The fact is, there are many reasons and ways that less can be more when it comes to your blog. Writing less gives you more time to guest post. It gives you more time to promote and engage with others. It lets readers have the chance to share your words more often. It lets you spend more time with your kids or spouse or dog or painting your nails.
Your task for today, and as you go forth from this challenge, is simply to think about how to best spend your time with your blog. How often can, or should, you post to not only engage your readers but also keep your sanity and the love for your blog going strong? How do you see yourself going forward with your blog as this challenge comes to an end? As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
A big “Thank You!” to all who have participated in this month’s challenge! It’s been a pleasure engaging with all of you as we, together, have considered how to keep the love of our blogs going strong in 2013. (I'd love for you, by the way, to share with me how you felt about this challenge, either here or in an email message!) Best wishes to all of you as you continue on from here in the coming month and year. As always …
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