Did any of you catch Zesty’s awesome presentation on Blogging 101 either at the summit or watching it online? You can check it out here if you missed it. I listened to about 4 sessions on Saturday afternoon while I worked. It was so fun!
This afternoon I am going to talk a bit about an issue that I started thinking about after listening to Zesty’s presentation.
Zesty gave some great tips on how to make our blogs successful. I am not going to reiterate everything he said, but I will just point out a few of the take home messages that I found most helpful.
1) Content is the most important aspect of your blog
Content is what keeps people coming back again and again. It’s so true isn’t it? We need to have good content above anything else. It is important to find your own niche and how you can make your blog unique.
Remember that every time you hit publish, you are publishing a post for the world to see. Each post you put up will be online forever (unless you remove it/edit it), so make sure that everything you publish is your best work and is the best representation of your blog’s content.
3) Make sure you have a catchy title
Zesty says your title can make or break your post. Make your title captivating and you will attract readers and make them want to click on your blog.
One message that hit home for myself was the point about content and quality. As you may know, I try to adhere to the 3-times-a-day posting framework for Oh She Glows. Morning, afternoon, evening posts are the norm for me on most days, unless I am away.
With that being said, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t stressful at times. Given that the majority of my posts are writing-heavy posts (like my hot topics), the posts can take a lot of time to prepare and plan before it goes up. So some days I find myself in a rush to throw up the post so I can get back to my other work.
What is the result of rushing posts?
- Poor content,
- Lack of research,
- A generally ‘hurried’ or ‘rushed’ tone to the post.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that some of these quick and rushed posts are real and reflect a real person behind the screen who is leading a busy life like the next person, but at the same time I stop and ask myself why I feel that I should adhere to this strict 3 times a day posting schedule. Is it because I think that I won’t have as many readers if I post less? Or people will think that I am not as dedicated to Oh She Glows?
I think that 3 times a day posting can work for a lot of food bloggers. They eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it naturally can work for many people, but for others maybe once or twice a day works the best. For about 3 months I was posting 3 times a day while working full time in the workplace. This meant posting before work, on my lunch break, and after work. It was insane and I can’t believe I did it that frequently! Talk about being in a rush to get a post up. Yeesh.
When I tell people about OSG, I don’t tell them I am a food blogger. I tell them I have a healthy living blog where I write about various health and food topics. Yes, I do post pictures of what I eat, but I also write about fitness, health, beauty, food issues that appeal to myself and readers. So why this need to feel like I should post 3 times a day? I know for a fact that I could write higher quality posts if I gave myself the proper amount of time.
I think of many blogs that I absolutely love that are hugely successful- Vegan Yum Yum, Smitten Kitchen, and Bakerella- and they post once or twice PER week. I know, I can hear your *gasps* from here. Their posts are not rushed, I never see a typo, and they read beautifully.
They post whenever they damn well want to post, but you can be assured that when they do post it is good, ohhhh it is good.
A while back I did a poll on OSG to gather your thoughts. I remember being a bit taken aback by a couple comments I received that went something like this:
“Angela, I don’t think you should post 3 times a day. I have a hard time keeping up and I hate missing some of your posts!”
And I thought to myself, my readers want me to post LESS frequently? Huh? I couldn’t quite understand it. But now I think I see what they were getting at.
I have also talked to other bloggers who used to adhere to the 3 times a day posting framework and they got completely stressed out about it. They said they stressed about when they couldn’t post and they started not to like blogging anymore. Once they eased off a bit they found that they had content coming out of their wazoo and they were much happier.
Much like running, when I take a step back, I come back renewed and refreshed with lots of energy to give back.
Now this isn’t to say that I am going to stop posting 3 times a day or vanish from all eternity (although some days that sounds appealing! haha), but I do think that I need to stop and reflect on things more when I do feel that pressure to ‘throw up a post just for the sake of posting’. I have such a strong research background, but I hardly ever maximize it on this blog because I feel like I never quite have enough time in the day to do actual research in scholarly journals anymore. Perhaps, if I gave myself more time, I could do this more often (as I so enjoy doing health research). Makes sense, right?
And I know I can’t be alone. I know there are a ton of you bloggers out there who feel the same pressures to post. I also know that there are many readers out there who can’t keep up with all the posts they want to read because us bloggers are just posting-so-damn-much-all-the-time-when-do-we-sleep!