Blogging 101: Blog When You Want, Not When You Have To

by Ed Lau on August 3, 2007

Although there are hundreds of blogs popping up at any given moment, there are also hundreds of blogs dying as well. A big blog killer is a lack of updates. Bloggers ignore their site for awhile and the readership dies off. A blog that isn’t updated is a dead blog. I’ve found it helpful to give yourself a solid goal when blogging to prevent yourself from becoming lazy.

Personally, I make it a point to make at least one post per day but I can understand why some folks find it difficult to maintain a post-per-day ratio. It’s not necessary to blog everyday but you should be updating regularly whether it be once a day or once every other day. Try to stick to something less than a week, though, because a week might as well be a year in internet time. With the instant entertainment and gratification that the web offers, readers could forget you in a week if you’re not updating. You could be ancient history by then.

I’m very strict about my post-per-day regiment since I have a tendency to slack when I have more wiggle room in terms of deadlines. If I don’t do it every day, I might eventually find myself not doing it every other day and then not doing it every three days. Before long, my site would be a ghost town. If you’re more disciplined than I am, you might be able to give yourself a more flexible schedule. One should also be careful not to post too much as well as a blog that’s update too often can overwhelm readers and can be just as bad as not updating enough. Every blog is different in this respect and it might take awhile to find a balanced rate of posting.

I’ve also said in the past that you can’t force blogging. Forced posts end up sounding awkward and lack personality. No one is inspired to post all day every day so how can you weather the days when you simply don’t have anything to say without resorting to “filler”? Well, while there might be days when nothing happens but there are also days when there are plenty of things to write about. Don’t try to just squeeze some words onto the screen when you have to.

So what should you do instead? On days when you feel particularly inspired, write all you have on your mind and keep the extra posts saved. Of course, this won’t work if you’re writing a commentary on current events or anything else time-sensitive but if its not, save it and use it later on. Before making the post live, take a look back at it and read it again. You could find mistakes or, if you wrote it in, let’s say, a “higher” state of mind, you could find yourself wondering “What the hell was I thinking when I wrote that?”

If you’re writing a series of posts on one topic, it might also help to write it all at the same time rather than every time you plan on making a post. You’ll keep your train of thought and leave your mind open later on for other topics. The timestamp feature is very helpful in this case or when you can’t be at your computer.

Right now, I’m somewhere in Seattle but my blog posts are getting done because I wrote this ahead of time and timestamped it to be released today at 11am. It’s a very effective and sneaky way to maintain your blog when you’re away. It’s also helped me get posts out at 11am (since I’ve found readers usually browse near lunch-time, nearing the end of the work day and after dinner) without having to wake up at 11am when I feel like sleeping in. :)

in Tech and the Net

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gregg August 3, 2007 at 4:06 pm

I’ve read a lot of people that figure you have to blog at a certain time of day because of when your readers come and check out your site, such as mid-morning for the lunch time crowd; but I always have figured that if you post it in the middle of the night, it’s still going to be a new post to a lunch time browser when he shows up to read your blog.


Nomar August 4, 2007 at 7:08 am

I love the timestamp feature !! good article


Leo August 4, 2007 at 2:43 pm

I still have yet to take advantage of the timestamp feature. I just kind of run with it and blog when I feel like.


Michael Fultz August 7, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Those are some helpful hints! Thanks!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: