There have been some rumblings today in the forum/blogosphere that perfectly match what's going through my head recently. First there was Writing: Where Do You Get Your Ideas? and then Kim followed up with a blog post entitled Real Bloggers Get Tired. After that, I read Jennifer Laycock's Blogging Isn't Losing Steam, It's Just Getting Easier.
In the forum thread, A.N.Onym said:
I feel I have a responsibility to post so that the subscribers won't be let down by subscribing to my blog. Also, I don't want to lose the minimal readership I have gained (ah, it's still marketing, I guess) to make my blog more or less noticeable.
So having readers that are connected to the blog via RSS is an obligation of some sort, a chain that you are bound to posting at least once or week or at least writing something useful once in a while.
If it were a static site, I think I wouldn't feel a connection with my readers and I'd just write content as I'd see fit, determined by the free time and the possible ROI of the blog.
I agreed with that sentiment.
Then Jennifer said this:
Those of us who began blogging back before feed readers were common remember the need to churn out content like a maniac in order to give readers a reason to return. "Don't blog unless you can commit" was common advice from marketers. After all, there was nothing worse than teasing visitors with fresh content and then not delivering.
These days, things are a little different. With the growth of feed readers, more people are skipping their daily tour of URLs and waiting for the content to come to them.
...the days of needing to post every single day, or even multiple times a week may be gone.
I've seriously been thinking about the fact that I've been blogging about SEO pretty much every day for three and a half years, and have recently been thinking that I don't have much else to say about it. I've been kicking around the idea of no longer blogging. The discussions linked to above, however, make me think I should perhaps just consider the idea of blogging only occasionally - when I feel I have something worth saying.
I'd like your input, especially if you subscribe to the blog. Would you unsubscribe if I only posted a few times a week? Do you feel subscribers deserve daily posts? Would you rather I only post when I have something special to say? Do you think I've said all there ever is to say and should just hit the STOP button? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I really do want to know what you think.
15 thoughts on “Would You Care If I Only Posted Now and Then?”
I’m of the opinion that you should only blog when you’ve actually got something to say. If you’re not adding to the conversation, or starting a new one, don’t say something.
I’d remain subscribed if you posted once a year. Feed readers make it easy to catch all of your posts, no matter how often (or rarely) you post. Post when you have something to say and the time to write it up, I’ll try to read it when it’s there.
I post around once a month, I’ve been running my blog for 6 month and I’m quickly approaching a similar number of readers to you, Donna.
I think you’re absolutely right with feed readers, I’m subscribed to 60 or so blogs and I *hate* it when people post for the sake of posting. If you haven’t got something really valuable to say, don’t say anything and I’ll have a lot more respect for you (that’s a general note to bloggers, not you, Donna :))
I would stay subscribed if you posted twice a year, it’s not like you’re gathering dust in my feed reader or anything. I think there are very few exceptions, marketing pilgrim, seomoz and doshdosh I find pump out regular content which is ok an average or better quality.
When you have something to say, try and make it as valuable and detailed as possible… That’s my 2 cents..
I posted a similar comment on Jennifer Laycock’s post.
There is those that cover industry news while there are others like myself that either look to add fresh opinion to news or provide something unique and resourceful. For those type of blogs, I would rather see quality as opposed to quantity. That is both as a reader and a blogger. Todd Malicoat is a good example – he doesn’t post much, but when he does, it is good stuff.
Therefore there may be blogs that go silent for awhile but that does not make them any less valuable than those who churn out content at alarming rates. If anything, there is less noise to sift through to get to the quality stuff.
As a reader: I don’t mind if a blog updates once a month or so. In Bloglines, I hide all un-updated feeds and so they’re out of the way. When a new item pops up, I read it. Low-volume feeds are great because most of the ones I’m subscribed to are very niche and so I want to know what they say as it’s always valuable.
As a blogger, one of my sites has not been updated in about a month. This is the second time I do this and honestly, the number of subscribers (measured as uniques requesting /feed and like in a WordPress blog) has not decreased at all.
To sum it up: readers, and people in general, accept that bloggers are busy. It’s part of what makes blogging so personal: “Pierre is busy so he hasn’t updated his blog. That’s OK.”
To answer your question: You’ll be in my subscriptions list even if you blog once a month 🙂
I wouldn’t unsubscribe.
I think one post a week or even a month is ok with me.
I find it fascinating that so many of us bloggers (especially internet marketing bloggers) seem to be going through the same thing lately. I’ve been considering my posting schedule as well but I had a couple of thoughts that haven’t been mentioned here.
First of all, as a procrastinator I am motivated by deadlines. I don’t start things early but I sure as heck will finish them by the deadline. So, by setting myself the goal of posting every week day, (I’ve only missed one or two in the last 5 months) I’ve stuck with my blog longer than I have in the past. If I allow myself to just post whenever I’ll end up with yet another abandoned blog.
Also, while there are more and more people using feed readers, there are still a lot of people that don’t use RSS or even the email subscribe options. If those people make up a large portion of your audience then it’s probably not a good idea to disappoint them.
Last but not least, I think you have to consider the anticipation factor. If you post just whenever it’s going to be tough to build up excitement or anticipation for your content. Sure it will still be good but you’ll be missing that extra energy in your community. In my opinion even if you post less often, you should still do so on some sort of schedule.
I agree posting should be motivated by something of substance.
Somehow you have been able to do it nearly everyday for 3 and a half years and always produce a product worth reading, truly Dazzlin!
First post, just joined your community after reading several posts on digg and sphinn. I enjoy reading what you have to say.
I’m glad you wrote this piece because it occurred to me after seeing what others have to say, that feeders give bloggers , the ability to write only when they have something to say, without adversely impacting their current base of subscribers, however new “subcribership” will grow more slowly simply because of the infrequency issue.
So, I guess the question is – Are you happy with your readership growing at a slower pace?
With feeders, I would blog posts to emails. If they’re of value, they’re welcome. If not, they might start being viewed as spam.
Something I want to be mindful of.
Over the last few months I have noticed that for some of the blogs I had been reading for a while, that the vast majority of posts on them held little or no interest for me these days.
That’s the point where I hit unsubscribe. It’s not about quantity, but more about quality. In general, most of the blogs I read get only 1 to 5 posts per per week, and that suits me fine.
There are only a few that I read, that post a little bit more often, and a few that only manage 2 to 5 posts per month.
If quality content pops up, even if it is only a couple of times per month, I’ll stay subscribed.
There are a few blogs that turn out multiple posts per day. I really haven’t got the time to go through that lot, so I’ll let other bloggers distill the “big news” rather than read the site directly.
go with your gut and blog when you want to. daily blogging is not needed for the readers sake unless you are a news site like sel, mp or sej. people do develop expectations based on what you have been doing though, so giving a heads up is a good idea. we will be here. 🙂
I wouldn’t unsubscribe!
There’s so many blogs I’m subscribed to, and I’d rather they all did fewer posts everyday – so that I could really get into them.
Jen makes a great point about push vs pull. I just added a second feed from a different reader when I realized that I got bored looking at the same interface from just one!
Blogs have different reasons for being. For those who hope to make money with their’s, they may want to post often. For folks like me who don’t have ads in their blog, we’re free to blog as we’re inspired.
In your case, Donna, you’ve built up a reputation for being a respected voice in the community. In my mind, that means you’ve earned the right to write when you darned well please. We readers already know it will be worthwhile to come see what you have to say.
But if your blog is used to also market your biz and services, you may have to be more active, so that newcomers can get to know you.
I get tired often and think of quitting mine every other week, btw 🙂
Thanks, everyone for your views on this. I’ll be posting about my decisions on this – based on all of your comments – later this week. Everyone’s input is very much appreciated.
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