I’ve blogged before about the importance of posting regularly on your blog. In fact, it’s so important that stale blogs are the first to go when I clean up my blog subscriptions. If it’s been a month (or several) since you’re last post, why should I tune in?
That said, there’s another side to the blogging debate.
With so much content on the web, churning out the same old stuff will just get you ignored anyway. If you’re not going to knock your readers’ socks off, why bother?
So, which should you focus on – quantity or quality?
The truth is, it’s a delicate balance.
And you’re not the only one struggling with this. In fact, I’ve seen a number of posts lately about bloggers who are grappling with this very issue.
Don’t let quality be an excuse
All too often bloggers let quality be an excuse for not posting regularly. If we all waited around for inspiration to strike, many business owners would never blog.
Blogging isn’t a cake walk. You have to put in the work. It takes time, effort and focus. While some blog posts may come easy, other times, you may have to wrestle a topic to the ground to get it written.
The problem is we often walk away from our blog when we’re not overflowing with inspiration. We tend to think we have nothing in the tank. However, we likely have plenty of blog post ideas in our well of resources, we’re just not looking hard enough.
Blogging breaks aren’t all bad
On the flip side of the coin, there are definitely times when you should take a break from blogging. Burnout, family issues, or other business priorities may be good reasons to pull back or refocus.
For me, you’ve likely noticed it’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared something here with you. Getting my husband’s new law firm up and running has been a priority, along with a lot of client work for my business. Although blogging is very important, sometimes, other things have to come first.
The trick is knowing when to push forward and when to pull back.
Setting goals for your blog is the only way to strike the balance between quality and quantity.
If you haven’t already determined goals for your blogging efforts, do it now. With the new year right around the corner, now is the perfect time to figure out what you want to accomplish with your blog and develop a plan on how to get there.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Why are you blogging? Your blog is an important tool in your marketing tool box. But, for it to be effective, you need to determine the “why” behind your efforts.
- What are your goals? Do you want to generate leads, drive sales, increase web traffic and get newsletter signups? Whatever it is, write it down so you can measure your progress.
- What has worked for me so far? Look at your website analytics to see if you can determine patterns for what has been successful. Are there certain topics that resonate with readers? Are there certain days that get higher traffic? Digging into your analytics and testing out different options will help you find the mix that’s right for you.
- What do my clients and readers think? Talk to clients and readers to find out what they want to read about and how often they want to hear from you. Conducting a short survey can help you get a pulse on reader perspective. Also, paying attention to blog comments and social media traffic can also be useful.
- What can I reasonably accomplish? Once you’ve determined your goals and what approach seems right for you, you also need to factor in what you have the bandwidth to accomplish. I think posting something once a week is a good, reasonable place to start. If you get in the habit of doing that successfully, you can consider doing more. The point is to start small and build on it instead of having to scale back from biting off more than you can chew.
Answering these questions will help you get you and your blog on the path to success for 2012.
Do you struggle with posting on your blog regularly? Or, do you have trouble coming up with quality content? Where are you getting tripped up with your strategy?
Let me know in the comments and I’ll help you through it!
Image credit: Adam Tekoa
10 replies on “Blog Post Quality vs. Quantity: the Debate Rages On”
I probably have some advantage in this area due to my work and educational background. It’s still tough to write those posts I have to wrestle to the ground, but I guess I’m used to the labor. I require it of myself. Defining my topics has helped with quantity and quality, and it also helps that I have three subject areas. I actually used to post on my blog every day, but I evaluated that schedule and realized it made little sense. I was getting burnt out, too, and that’s no way to be writing. Writing should be a joy even when it’s being a killer. I’m not sure that made sense, but it made sense in my head.
You hit on a good point, Erin – if your schedule burns you out, your posts won’t be productive for you.
You also need to have joy in your writing. Forced writing isn’t good for you or your readers. Thanks for weighing in!
I appreciate your tips here. I’ve had a break due to burnout much earlier in the year, but in avoiding another one, it has required me to make my schedule more flexible so that if I don’t blog one day, I’ll blog the next. I like the idea of doing a survey, too. Now that I have a more consistent readership as well, I can see traffic patterns, and they really do help me decide what stays and what goes.
I think everyone experiences burnout every now and then. When you do, it’s good to scale back and re-evaluate. Also, allowing folks to guest post is a great way to get a breather while you regroup.
Good to see you here, Shakirah!
Define stale; as in ‘I haven’t seen you for awhile’ or ‘man, this is a piece of crap; who would read this’?
Why am I blogging? Fame and fortune of course; I’m just waiting to see what strikes first between this or winning the lottery. I guess you probably have to actually buy a ticket for that so maybe my odds are better with the blogging, huh?
I like to blog because it ‘engages’ me with others. It provides the opportunity to have a ‘chat’. The only analytic I have is ‘did anybody show up today’? If they did, good; if not, maybe I need to work on improving my writing or work on reaching out to others better.
I got into this part of social because I thought it was supposed to be social. Apparently, everybody came to work here. At first, I thought that was what I was supposed to do as well, but that wasn’t sustainable for me. I referenced this in my latest post, but I look at social just like I would look at a Chamber function. I will meet some people, some will stick, some won’t; but somewhere down the road we might be in a position to help one another.
See, if you set your goals low enough you will never be disappointed…………:)
I think stale can be be both – dormant AND boring. But, I think I was mostly talking about ones that are collecting cobwebs. I think when you let your blog sit for weeks and weeks (or maybe months), it’s going to be hard to grab readers’ attention when you get back to writing. It’s almost like you’re having to start from scratch.
If you haven’t been delivering the goods, people will quickly move on to somewhere else.
I think your perspective is good, Bill. You know what you want to get from it and that’s a good thing. Most people haven’t even taken the time to do that.
Hey Laura, I think this is an ever-present tension for part time bloggers. I certainly know it is something I think about. For me, it’s all about the time to execute. I’ve got more material waiting in the wings than I know what to do with!
Ain’t that the truth?! I probably have 20-30 half-baked posts that I need to find the time to flesh out. I think most of us have more ideas than time. I’m puzzled by those who can’t come up with something to write about!
I like what Jonathan Fields stated in that post. That is really is more about quality content. He wrote that he doesn’t write to be prolific, but he does write to produce great content and make a difference. I’m way too new to this game to believe anything I’m writing is making a difference, but I’m trying my best to put a little quality in my posts. Once a week for now. So when does all the fanfare start! 😉
You’re right, Craig – quality is very important. However, I would argue that quantity (or consistency) is equally important. I think the reason why Jonathan Fields can easily pull back is because he already has hundreds of posts in his archives that are being found through search. For a newer blogger like you, you only have a handful of posts that people can find. So, if you were to pull back and and only post once a month (or whenever you feel like it), I think it would be hard to gain traction.
I think starting off once a week is great. Then, once you get the hang of it, you can always add to it. I think you’re off to a great start!