Why I'm posting less frequently

Writing BlockWhen I first started blogging, I listened to advice that told me I should post at least daily and ideally more than once per day. As well, I was told that short posts are much better than long posts.

In the past half year, I’ve started to stray from this course. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I may fail to post on some days or even several days. And without doubt, most of my posts, are creeping up in length.

Why am I changing my ways?

Well, the first reason is based in how I select the blogs and posts that I make time to read. There is simply too much information out there that I would like to read and not enough time to read it all. So, I have to practise a form of triage on my subscriptions. I’ve realized that the blogs that I am most likely to unsubscribe from are those that have too many “me too” or trite posts.

There is a place for the quick one liner and simple observations: Twitter. I look there for quick pointers to interesting things. But I expect the blogs I read to provide something more profound.

This leads me to the second and more important reason I now post less frequently.
It’s become clear that the quality of my postings, not their frequency, drives both subscriptions and links to my blog. (How’s that for burying the lead?) I’ve realized that people are not reading me for the latest news. I believe they’re reading me in the hope that I will offer a distinct and thoughtful perspective on a topic they care about.

I can be offline for several days and return with a thoughtful original post – and what happens? The visits to my site will immediately jump back to the level they were at before I took my break. Of course, if I return with a “me-too” post, something which merely parrots things I’ve hear in the echo chamber, the audience will not engage.

So, seeing this, I’ve decided to post less often, to write only when I have something original to say. It may not be profound. But if it reflects my perspective in an honest and clear way, I know that the people who read my blog will return and continue the conversation with me.

UPDATE: Chris Moore skewers me for posting about not writing trivial posts. A good reminder that what’s important to one person carries little weight with another. 🙂

  • Joe, I agree with this approach. 1 to 4, 5 or 6… thoughtful, concise posts per month makes a lot of sense. However, I still prefer shorter posts to longer ones, where possible. If posts are going to be longer, less frequency is good.

    I also find it impossible to keep up with mainstream media plus all the blogs I want to follow, getting behind and marking the entire feed as read seems to be a regular inevitability.

    Frankly, I don’t understand how some people have time to do several posts per day and still maintain a paying job and perform well at it. They’d likely get more bang (readers/comments) for each post if they did fewer.

    Posting daily is not necessary.

  • I agree with you 100% Joe. Although I’m sure the the advice you originally received has merit and there probably is a dividend through ‘frequent blogger points’, I think there is also real value to posting only when you ‘mean it’.

    I think the value works in two directions: for the blogger who stays fresh on the topics he/she chooses; and for the reader who benefits from the fresher style and from the depth of content.

    I subscribe to ths blog by email and always take the time to read what you have to say when the email arrives. I appreciate your not wasting that time.

  • Julie R

    Totally agree with you Joe! I have been posting once maybe twice per week on my blog for about a year and I know I should blog more, but it’s not just about time (it does take a lot of time and effort) but more importantly it’s about unique content. You’ll always have a great readership Joe because of your solid thought-ware … not because of frequency. Hope to see you again this Fall,

  • I find I’m doing the same, although my posting frequency has been relatively high lately, I have some 2 post weeks as well.

    As for reading blogs, I read more different blogs than ever but spend LESS time doing it as I skip entire days and don’t try to catch up — ever anymore.

  • Keelan, Michael, Julie and Ted,
    Thank you for commenting. Your comments tell me that I’m on the right track with this.

  • The funny thing is — before I even read this post I was just thinking about how I’ve been reading this blog more attentively lately then I have before (I’ve been subscribed since at least last fall). So I’d definitely say you have the right idea.

    However, like Michael said, I think there’s merit to the advice you first received – I think it’s important to post often when starting a blog to attract traffic, but once you get a comfortable subscriber level, it’s time to focus on keeping them engaged.

  • For two months I did almost no blogging — when an academic is on holidays, he’s on holidays! I found an interesting thing happening in my absence. Visits to my site held steady, and actually grew a bit during the interregnum. Now what does that mean? People stumble onto the site whether I have anything to say or not? The archive of past-posts is enough to support cruise control? New students coming into my classes are trying to get a handle on who I am?

    My frequency has rarely exceeded two posts in a week. My stats suggest I shouldn’t feel any pressure to up the ante.

  • Makes sense. In fact, ditto, ditto, ditto. I think I’ve been rebuking the rules of “often” and “short” from day one of my blogging. I too tend to write longer….and when inspired vs when I think “I have to or ‘should'”….which works out to ‘often enough’. In any case, Joe since you are the one that got me blogging in the first place…I especially enjoyed reading this post as it affirms what I too believe (that less can be more…and more can be more too:).

    And as always, your pov does provide meaningful insight. Thank you!

    Cheers,
    Eileen

  • Karen Nussbaum

    I also support longer posts of quality and substance then superfluous banter like posts.

    There are a couple of bloggers that I have grown to love and follow. Some of them may only update their blog twice a week, the point is that I anticipate and look forward to reading their entries as they always have something relevant and interesting to say.

    I think you need to find a style and routine which works for as blogging should always be written in an authentic, thoughtful and a unique (your own) voice.

    I think you are doing a great job with yours Joe. I admittedly have only recently started to read it but will definitely be coming back to read new entries. 🙂

  • Pingback: Canuckflack()