How Often|How Long: Determining Your Posting Commitments
“In at least one way we are atypical bloggers. That’s because we just keep on posting. The typical blogger, like most people who go on diets and budgets, quits after a few months, weeks, or in many cases, days.” (Stephen J. Dubner)
So far in the journey of deciding whether to start up a blog or not, my displaced journalist friend and I have talked about some of the reasons why he would want to start a one, and once started, what hosting sites are going to best fit his needs and abilities. The next stop to make on our journey is deciding how often he’ll need to post, as well as how long each post should be.
As with any successful writing endeavor, understanding the amount of time and energy you are willing to commit to it is going to be an important factor in whether you’ll be able to achieve your end goal or not. For example, if you’ve chosen to create a blog site as a means of sharing your life, values, or thoughts in general or specific, then posting only five or six times a month would be ok. But on the other hand, if your goal is to establish an online platform by which you are able to show off your wares then you’ll need to up the ante a little more; say two to three times a week.
Its import that beginning (and not so beginning) bloggers deal with any commitment issues they might have at the start of their endeavor if they want to establish a following and keep it. When readers take the time to add your site to their RSS feed, or follow by email, they’ve done so because they value what you have to say and are looking forward to hearing more. Now they may be forgiving if you have the occasional moments when life just gets away from you and you missed a post, but if, for whatever reason, you begin to hit and miss with the frequency of your posting, you might find yourself un-followed in a not so distant future. I’ve seen it happen; I’ve done it myself.
So get the issue of how often your willing to commit yourself to writing-posting on your blog out of the way from the get go. See my post, Faithfully Yours | Blogging With Consistency, for ideas on how to develop a posting or editorial schedule.
The next item my friend and I talked about was how long the post should be.
Now I’ve read posts that were short and to the point, and I’ve read others that were longer, and in my non-humble opinion, should have been considered a novella rather than a post. Did the author really need that many words? Yet be that as it may, the real issue isn’t how long the post is, but rather, how many words is it going to take to say what it is you want to say (keeping in mind that the average reader doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on just one post).
A good way to view this is, if your post were a writing prompt, and you were restricted to 500 words or less, you would need to find a way to write the story or essay within the guidelines of that word count. And even though the creative artist within you demands to be heard at all costs, the truth is, less is often better than more.
C. Hope Clark has a great article on taking what you have to say, and paring it down to 700 Words.
So now that my journalist friend has determined what he’d like to say, found the right blog site to host it on and determined the frequency and length of content he can commit to, we’ll motor on over to the next item on our list; Putting On the Ritz