For years I’ve been an advocate of a regular posting schedule for your blog. I reckon if you set a goal to write a post every day, or every week, and you work hard to stick with it, you become a better blogger. Because you’re forcing yourself to practice everyday – in the same way a guitarist noodles away every night no matter how shite his day at work was or how much he’d rather finish that George R. R. Martin book – you’re going to get better. Right?
Not necessarily. Sometimes you just get pissed off.
Sometimes you don’t have anything to write about. Sometimes you’re terrified of facing that blank page again. Sometimes you think, “Goddammit, if I have to write ANOTHER word about death metal/weddings/cat pictures/personal finances/zombies/tofu recipes/chicken coops today, I am going to stick that chicken coop so far up the universe’s backside it will be raining chickens in Russia.”
How many blogs do you actually read? I mean, really read? Not just add to your reader, skim the titles and think “oh, that sounds mildly interesting, I’ll come back to that”, and never do. How many writers are so awesome they create something new every day or every week that you have to devour, word by glorious word? How many?
I can think of seven. That’s seven blogs by seven writers who thrill me with their every word. The rest I can take or leave. And do you know what all seven of those writers have in common?
They all write whenever the damn hell they feel like. They don’t have a posting schedule.
Despite advocating such a schedule for bloggers, I also don’t use one. I haven’t used one for years. I have a vague guideline in my head, but I’m ruled by “Oh, that thing I find interesting today,” rather than, “time to write another blog”. I post on this blog irregularly, which means my newsletter goes out irregularly, but do you know what? Chickens are not yet raining down on my head.
When we force ourselves to stick to one thing, day after day and week after week, whether we feel like it or not, we lose sight of what we were creating in the first place. A blog has a ROI – return on investment. Whether that’s “I publish something and I’m proud of it” or “I figured out how to solve this problem and want to help other people solve it, too” or “I blog to promote my business” or “I write and attracts readers and discussion and this fuels my love of having intelligent arguments with people” or “I just rather fancy chickens”, your blog has a duty to fulfil, and if you’re focing yourself to write posts to fit an arbitrary schedule you’ve created, you are:
- Writing any old thing to fill up the spot in the schedule
- Creating articles that don’t get you excited, and won’t get your readers excited
- Contributing to the screeds (it’s a scientific measurement! It IS) of mediocre information on the internet
- Taking yourself further from your goal of being a passionate and awesome blogger.
This is not grymm. Or Epic. It is, in fact, kind of lame.
The idea of this regular posting thing was so readers could come back at any given time and know that you’ve kept your word, that you’ve opened your blogging doors like a shop with regular hours and artfully arranged your new merchandise for them to peruse and fondle and drop things and try to say that ghosts did it … but if every week you’re putting out the same stuff, and it’s not exciting them any more, well, they’re just going to stop showing up. They start thinking all your shiny blog posts are just clutter in their lives they don’t really need.
There are more and more and more and MORE blog posts (I believe the correct technical term is “screeds”) every day, on the same topics, written by people who are new to this game and awesome writers and full of beans. And you’re more like tofu – solid, dependable tofu. With content everywhere, on every foreseeable subject, readers don’t have to have the tofu. They’re spoiled for choice.
Blogging is changing. Content marketing is changing. (I have words to say about this – oh, so many words). And the things that worked five years ago – even two years ago – don’t work in the same way any more. So, what I propose is that you ditch the blog schedule. You say “Adios” to regular blogging and blog when you damn well feel like it. Blog when you’ve got something to say, and you’ve got the time and the energy and the motivation to say it RIGHT.
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