I prefer to blog 5 times a week. It keeps me connected to the fishbowl in a way that blogging intermittently would not. And since a combination of travel, weather and the holidays have derailed my normal blogging schedule these past few weeks, I’ve learned a few first-hand lessons about why blogging on a daily basis is the right choice for me. (Your mileage may vary; we’ll get to that in a moment. But first…)
5 Good Reasons to Blog Every Day*
1. It’s Great Practice. If you want to write well, you have to read, but you also have to write. And often. And in a way that’s engaging, insightful, relevant and / or entertaining to your desired audience (or at least to the audience that shows up). It helps you realize which words and phrases you tend to overuse, and which topics keep your audience’s (or your own) attention.
Unless you’re a linguistic prodigy, you don’t learn those skills by blogging once a fortnight, so get cracking.
2. It Forces You to Pay Attention. Cranking out a new post every day means you constantly need a new influx of material to write about. As such, I pay a lot of attention to what other people are talking about, so I can tell what they’re interested in and what’s being “overtalked” to the extent that anything I’d add wouldn’t be able to move the conversational needle. That applies to both the online and offline worlds, since reality tends to get discussed slightly less often than technology.
3. It Helps You Stay Organized (Which Improves Your Overall Business). I don’t get paid to write this blog. (Other blogs, yes, but not this one.) That means every second I spend writing this blog is a second I’m not paying my bills. Yet writing this blog is great preparation for my “real” work because committing myself to a daily blog means I have to find the time to get it done. That necessitates better time management in other aspects of my day, so I’m not perpetually blogging at 3 AM.
Therefore, by improving my own organizing habits and sticking to my other deadlines, I have time to write the blog I actually enjoy writing. Carrot, meet stick.
4. It Increases Your Traffic. That should be obvious, but having slacked off myself recently, I can see a concrete difference in the numbers. Two weeks ago, I had an Alexa ranking in the 166,000 range and approximately 5,200 visits in the past month. Today, my Alexa ranking is down to 191,810 (as I type this) and I’ve only tracked 4,200 visits in the most recent 4-week period — a 20% overall drop. In fact, since February 4th I’ve only had one day of traffic that exceeded 250 visits. Clearly, blogging more often nets me more daily traffic, “evergreen content” be damned.
5. It Multiplies Your Opportunities to Be Relevant. If you only blog once a week, you have to hope your weekly post is considered interesting enough to be read and shared by a wide array of people. If you blog every day, you have 5 times the number of opportunities to have your wisdom “discovered” by the people who would most benefit from reading it. And if what you wrote about yesterday didn’t quite hit the mark, what you come up with tomorrow just might. There’s safety in numbers.
That said, I’m no fan of absolutes. If you’re a blogger who only writes new posts when you have something relevant or amazing to say, I won’t argue with you. Given the ever-widening expanse of dreck that clogs our tubes on a daily basis, I can’t fault anyone for not voluntarily adding to our white noise problem.
5 Good Reasons NOT to Blog Every Day
1. No One Is Tolstoy Every Day. (Or, if you prefer brevity, Hemingway.) Genius isn’t a bottomless reservoir, and sometimes you need the benefit of time and reflection in order to compose your thoughts into a missive that matters. Don’t sacrifice clarity, complexity or impact for a self-imposed daily deadline, because 5 days of futility is worth a lot less than one day of quality.
2. Distance Is Bliss. When you’re not perpetually cannibalizing your own life (and other people’s conversations) for “material” to write about, you have a chance to examine how and why you’re doing what you do. Could you be doing it differently? Could you be doing it better? Faster? Cheaper? For a different reason? For an increased long-term payoff? Do you need to be doing it at all? If you don’t stop, you’ll never ask.
3. Less Talking, More Learning. If you’re always talking, you’re never learning, because learning requires listening + the time to process what you’ve heard. If you’re never learning, you never have anything new to report. And if you’re never new, you’re never relevant.
4. With Time Comes Experience. If you want to be seen as an “expert” on a topic, you need to be an expert on that topic. Expertise is borne from experience, not from daily convolutions of thought. Instead of racing the clock to spew another 1000 words across your screen before midnight, why not spend each week testing one of your theories through actual research and experimentation, and then recording the results?
The blog world is long on conjecture and opinion and short on data and facts; by stepping back, you afford yourself the freedom to speak from firsthand experience rather than third-hand commentary.
5. Don’t You Have Something Better to Do? On a good day, I get 750-1000 reads on a post; on an off day, far fewer. Is spending an hour a day (or more) on something that’s seen by less than a thousand people really worth my time? Wouldn’t I be better off doing paying work, or playing with my dog, or exploring my city or reading? (Wouldn’t you?)
And there you have it: a rational defense for any blogging approach you should choose. Next time someone tells you you’re “doing it wrong,” just point them here and keep on doing what you’re doing. (See? “Evergreen content” after all…)
* Technically, we’re talking about blogging every weekday, since we all know the Internet shuts down on weekends and federal holidays. But if you’re an overachiever, by all means, blog your head off 365 days a year. All those lonely search engines need something to read.
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