Less Is More

Pretty much any veteran of blogging will caution neophyte bloggers against burning themselves out by trying to keep to an unrealistic schedule.

I’m no stranger to bl-urnout, I’ve fallen victim several times in the past five years I’ve been blogging.  The last time I quit posting regularly it was because I was discouraged by my low reader base.

I was churning out tons of new content but my readership numbers remained low, consisting solely of my mom, my ex, my current, and one other mystery person (god bless ’em).

Recently I looked through my site’s analytic history.  I was surprised to see that during the last seven months my blog was dormant (May through November 2012), I logged higher and more consistent numbers on my website than I’ve ever had.  Since I’ve started blogging regularly again, traffic has dropped off by about 50%.

Strange.

And, to be honest, a little disheartening.

Maybe, just maybe, I am blogging too much?

According to at least one online marketing expert, Derek Halpern (Social Triggers), I am.  He advocates writing one to three quality posts a month and then using your energy to promote the posts you’ve done through social media.  So I tried an experiment.  On January 7th I “advertised” one of my recent blog posts (The Making of…Wardrobe 1755) on Twitter and Facebook – something I’d never tried before.  When I checked analytics yesterday, my traffic for January 7th had increased by 400%.

Can’t argue with those numbers.

To be fair, it wasn’t my intention to maintain a daily post schedule when I resumed blogging last November.  My blog and I had become such strangers to one another in 2012, I felt I needed to jump in with an intense kickstart; to blog daily for a month to “catch up” and get back into the swing of things.  Now I feel as though I’ve brought studio news up to speed and it is a good time to implement some changes.

To save myself (and my readership) from burn out I’m going to pull back a little and try a new schedule.  One post a week: the Weekly Muse.

This won’t be a hard and fast rule.  If something exciting develops in the studio, I might post a quick photo or two here and there.  If I’m involved in an Artventure then consecutive, daily posts for the duration of said adventure might be in order.  If I’m feeling like I have nothing of value to contribute to the blogosphere, I might not post for a few weeks.

As a blog reader what do you prefer?  Short, frequent, anecdotal posts, or less frequent but longer, more “meaty” posts?  Please share your opinion in the comments below.

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8 Responses to “Less Is More”

  1. Jake DeNiro says:

    I like coming here periodically and reading a whole buncha posts, like downloading and watching an entire season of The Wire (not QUITE as dramatic). But don’t burn out again!! Make ’em fewer and more meaty if that works better for you. Compared to the AM radio of people’s Facebook updates, links and junk, this is like Stereo Morning, on FM, with your host Jody Mac!

  2. Lisa Call says:

    I think 1 blog post a week is plenty. I think social media has changed the landscape for blogging. I aim for 8 per month on my blog – which is big drop from my target of 25 about 5 years ago when people read blogs more. Now they just want to look at facebook.

    On a related note…can you change your settings so your full post appears in an rss reader? To read your posts I have to leave google reader and come to your website – a bit disruptive so I have to admit I don’t always do it.

    —lisa

    • jody says:

      Thanks for your comments, Lisa 🙂

      I don’t use a reader and RSS feeds so I didn’t realize how annoying not having the full text displayed could be! I’ve changed my settings to show full text in a feed, but google reader is still only showing an excerpt. Looks like I’ll have to call in the big guns to find a solution…

  3. jody says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Jake! I’ll do my best to remain the hostess with the mostest, just on a less frequent basis.

    (I’ll have to come up with a different handle, ‘cuz Jody Mac is a well-known announcer guy who does sports radio. I’m pretty sure most of my search engine traffic comes from folks looking for him :-))

  4. jody says:

    Update: Google reader is now showing full text of posts.

    Woohoo!

  5. Jody,
    Thanks for sharing this behind the scenes peek into your blog world.

    I agree that less is more, especially if you want to write thoughtful posts. I cringe when I hear someone say they want to blog more than once a week. It’s too much – for them and for readers.

    I’ve been doing once or twice per week – an article and then a visual post, either an image or a video. It has to feel right for me because who wants to be a slave to a blog? 🙂

    I also see a lot of traffic when I post to Facebook. I’m glad you discovered that and that your numbers have gone up.

    Keep blogging!

    • jody says:

      Thanks for your input, Cynthia!

      I think your protocol of one article and one visual post a week is brilliant. I enjoy writing everyday, but I do begin to feel like a slave trying to sustain a blog on a daily basis, and you’re right, it’s expecting a lot for readers to check in with you THAT regularly.

      I’m glad I figured out posting to social media, too. It seems so obvious but it took me a lo-o-o-ng time to clue in. 🙂

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