On the Frequency of Blogging

Lily of the Valley

Photo by Sanja Gjenero at RGBStock.

In the beginning of April, inspired by Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project, I committed to writing on Simply Enough six days a week.

I liked the notion of the six-days-a-week blogging, because it corresponded nicely to my (not very original) idea about working and resting: Work six days, rest one. (Work being defined as anything involving the computer, whipping out my credit card, and house/yard work (aside from cooking)).

The problem was that as the same time, I was committed to a part-time (read almost-full-time) contract gig, running a business, promoting a couple of wellness events in town, and working very part-time for a local real-estate firm.

So I ended up writing my Simply Enough posts at night, when every thing else was done. And this broke one of my fundamental rules: Don’t sit in front of the computer at night.

My computer and I have a love-hate relationship. I love its sleek silver case and the fact that it doesn’t require any maintenance. I love opening it up in the morning and getting some work done. But by the time late afternoon rolls around, I can’t stand it anymore.

I have this fear that I’m going to wake up one day and realize that I’ve spent most of my adult life in front of a monitor – interacting with various software programs. This is not how we were designed to live our lives. Humans were designed to move, to breathe fresh air, to interact – with other humans.

(The good thing is that since I have this fear now, I can do something about it!)

Ignoring my rule, for many days in April, I’m blogging at night and I’m tired. The writing feels forced, because I’d rather be in bed reading a novel. And eventually, I crack. 24 days into April, I go on a business trip, and my writing streak is interrupted. Every day, I put “SE post” in my list of “MITs,” but I realize every day that there are more “important” tasks. This blog starts to feel like a burden. “Should I just close down the blog?” I think. Be a normal person. Not add to the daily stresses with this self-imposed work.

But in the back of my mind, I know there will always be a blog. I will always have ideas to share and blogging is such an excellent medium.

I think of people whose lives are (magically) touched by my writing. And I know I must continue.

But not six days a week. Only when I have something really good to say. Something special to share. No forcing it or trying to fill a quota. I should write when I feel like writing and read when I feel like reading. Ideas come in waves. There’s no controlling them.

A couple of weeks ago, I read an interesting article about how people pick which online articles to read. The part that struck me the most was the concept of the “historical quality of the author’s post.” Readers remember your stuff. If your contributions didn’t add value in the past, readers aren’t as likely to click on your latest post – even with a killer headline.

Over time, we develop a sense of how often a given author’s posts prove truly really valuable. We have an idea of how well the author delivers on the headline. And when all other things are equal between bloggers, I’m going to open the posts of those writers who have a high batting average—the ones whose posts I almost always find valuable, insightful, thought-provoking, or useful. ~Neicole Crepeau

Publishing content daily may be a good exercise in discipline, but I believe quality suffers (at least in my writing). I think this is true for most people – unless blogging is their full-time job.

It’s Sunday. I’m not at my computer. Rather, I’m writing the draft of this post in my journal/notebook/idea store. I realized that I don’t have to be on the computer to write. I can sit in a comfy chair with my feet up and write away. Write because it’s fun. Write without thinking or pausing. Words flowing freely.

Over to You!

Thoughts? If you’re a blogger, how often do you publish new posts? Do you think there is a magic frequency formula? Or is it more about consistently solid content?

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Comments

  1. says

    I used to think I had to post on my blog every day except Sunday. And then I, like you, began to feel overwhelmed and I also knew other writing and areas of my life were suffering. My blog posts weren’t the quality I wanted them to be, so now I post just on Tues., Thurs., and Sat. unless I want to add in another post about which I feel impassioned or compelled to write. Because I want to. Because someone may read it who needs to read it. Because I may touch another life.

  2. says

    I blog every single day, but it wasn’t until I did the April A-Z Challenge that I discovered ‘scheduling’ posts lol….I know I know, madness, I was blogging daily, live as it were, up til then :(

    I try to just spend one day a week now sorting out all the posts for the following week (which usually get the odd tweaking during the week) and its making it so much easier to keep up with :)

    I think as long as your regular readers know what days you’ll be posting, then it doesnt matter whether it’s 7, 6 or 3 days a week :) and yes, good content is VERY important. I make notes in a notebook about the things I want to blog about, people seem to like the way I write my posts, so I guess it’s kind of working lol

    Great thought provoking post by the way :)

    Xx

  3. says

    Thanks! I admire your dedication! Scheduling posts can really work well. It’s just finding the time to crank them out. :) I like your point that as long as your regular readers know your schedule, the frequency doesn’t matter. Cheers!

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