Can taking the day off from your blog really be better for it? Yes, yes it can.
Most recently, I’ve been really struggling to keep up with my blog. If I’m going to be honest with you. blogging every day is hard. Lately I’ve been blogging twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Where has that been getting me? Nowhere good.
My home is a mess, my kitchen surfaces are unthinkable, my hair has forgotten what a hairbrush looks like and we are dirty coffee mugs galore. Two blog posts a day and one little hiccup with a neighbour and that was me, well and truly snowed under. I can’t live like this, not ever, and especially not right now in the times of Coronavirus. I need to manage my time, and I need to manage it effectively between housework and my blog.
I often see many of my followed blogs posting every day, or nearly every day, and that level of commitment is admirable. If it works and pays off for you, then that’s great, but blogging every day might not be for everyone. Here’s why:
All Work & No Play
For some people, blogging is like a second job. For others, it’s just something they do for a bit of fun. Once you’re subscriber counts begin to increase, it is frighteningly easy to get drawn into the trap of believing that more subscribers will mean more traffic, and more traffic means more followers. Sooner or later that plateaus out, and you’re left putting in maximum effort with very little reward. This is exactly what happened to me.
It seems, blogging more is not the same as better blogging, but rather, better blogging in itself is the key. Very recently, I looked back at one of my posts from barely a week ago, and I was horrified. There were five typing errors that I had somehow missed in my rush to turf of a perfect daily blog post. Five!
That’s horrendous. It looks bad for me as a blogger, and it doesn’t look very respectful to my audience.
I take what I do very seriously. and I’ve been mocked on numerous occasions for rehashing online messages because of a typing error, or reprinting a whole letter because of a tiny mistake. Mistakes look like tardiness and the fact that you didn’t notice them suggests more care for turfing out a result than it does suggest that you care for who is reading it. Let’s not be that person. Let’s slow down a bit and give our readers what they really deserve.
Have you ever had that moment when you’ve wanted to write about something quite recent, and then found that another major site has already covered it? That’s because a lot of these sites have teams of writers writing for them, and some other sites are run by at least four or five people. Four or five people means four or five people who can share the task of writing content, spelling and editing, adding images, SEOs and promotion. When it’s just you, you have to do that all by yourself. While you’re hunting for images and finding the best SEOs, some of the other major sites have uploaded their work before you. You can’t compete, so why try? Instead, focus your efforts on being personal and connecting with your audience.
Everyone is busy these days, each and every one of us. What do busy people translate to? A lack of regular blogging, and a lack of regular readership. A lot of people aren’t glued to their computer waiting for your next blog post to upload, instead, they are out there, working, socialising (normally) and living their lives. More content will not mean more reads, it just looks as though you have been busy working on your blog while your readers were gone. Most people, myself included, won’t read every post you write, most people are too busy for that. If we’re not interested or feel we have nothing to add to the conversation, we’ll give it a cursory like and move on.
Even for yourself, while you’re blogging, you aren’t doing other stuff. “I’m working on a post” has become something of a catchphrase for me, I’m always working on a post, and always late to dinner because of it. Stop, take time and do other things, then come back refreshed and recharged. Your blog really can wait a day or two, and your readers probably won’t notice your absence that much.
As previously mentioned, it seems that among some bloggers, there is a sense of needing more subscribers, more readers and more likes than others. Who is competing, really? Isn’t it better that you stay true to yourself and 300 people like you, than you try and be the best of the best and only 200 follow you? In my very personal opinion, it’s better to produce quality content that you are proud of (and hopefully, your audience can relate to) than it is to try and produce something hastily that just begs for your reader’s attention, in order to get more views. If people really care for what you have to say, they’ll give your post a read, regardless of how fast (or slowly) you get it written.
The Power Of The Five P’s
We’ve all heard it, Proper Planning Prevents A Pretty Poor Performance (or at least that’s the watered-down version, anyway!). When I started blogging, I found that some days I’d just go and succeed at writing, and on other days I was just at a standstill, and part of that had to do with blogging on a whim. Thanks to some top tips by from my good friend Penny Berry, I learned to plan out my posts in advance, and proper planning meant simply finding the right words to use on the day. If you plan your topic and the points you want to make in advance, most of the hard work is done before you’ve even got started!
Old Is Gold
All too often, I’ve noticed that my latest posts get read for a day or two, but it’s nearly always my older posts that people come back to. One of my most popular posts to date has been this one, which is more than a month old. Why? I don’t know, but it has even been referenced to by other bloggers. It turns out, there’s a real love for those shrimps!
You may have noticed recently that I’ve had some posts which I’ve republished from months before. Looking at the stats on each page, I’ve been carefully selecting the most favourites reads from my old blog and republishing them here. They are posts that people come back to and still read, they are things that, for whatever reason, still resonate with many of you. There is little point in trying to produce new content nearly every day if the old stuff is what your audience goes back to.
Just to further emphasise on this point, it always pays to notice what your audience reads. For example, did anyone care about that book review you wrote? How about that meat-free burger recipe? Notice what people are reading, and do more of that. I have learned now to focus on what works for me, instead of flying off on all kinds of tangents. It can be a bit erratic as I have so many topics that are well read (mental health, recipes, pets and relationships). but if that’s what my audience wants, that’s what I’m going to give them.
Not so long ago I made my blog more PG-friendly and my views plummeted. No matter how often I turfed out content, the readership just wasn’t there. Since reverting back and adding my sex-positive posts again, those numbers have shot back up. If my audience wants me to write as someone with some knowledge and tips on life and some guidance on how to unleash your inner freak in the bedroom, then that’s fine, that’s not a problem. As long as I know what works, I can do more of that, but that doesn’t mean I need to do it more often.
As of today, I’ve made the decision that once a day, three times per week is the right amount for my blog. It allows me to create my long and informative posts and still have time to manage my home, walk the dog, do my bellydancing and do all of the other things that I like and need to do. Even on weekends, my blog is still liked and still followed and I try not to write at all on Saturdays and Sundays so that I can spend some time with my family. I want to get back on top of my life and my home and I want to start adding some other things, and finally complete and release my first book. I’ll still be on social media, but I have lots of things that I’m hoping to conquer and to achieve them, I need to spend a little more time thinking and planning, and a little less time working on my blog.
How often do you blog and why does that work for you? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,
With special thanks to: