One of the discussion topics recently at Blogworld was, “How often should you blog?”. As you know if you’re reading this, I force myself to blog daily both for work and for myself. A lot of people including some very good friends flat out tell me that I’m doing it wrong, that I could easily get away with blogging twice a week. Chris Brogan mentioned during his keynote that he didn’t notice a significant change in his analytics by switching down to twice a week. Jay Baer said that he’s able to do once a week with help from his team, freeing up his time.
So why am I intentionally doing it wrong when there are so many others doing it differently? It’s because I have different motivations. There are 3 simple reasons that I learned back in the day when I was doing a financial services podcast.
1. Forced learning. When you start in on a daily content creation rhythm, you exhaust your existing knowledge very fast. You find out just how smart and knowledgeable you aren’t, and the only way to be able to keep creating content that often is to keep learning, to be constantly reading and researching. The fastest way to becoming competent and knowledgeable about something is to force yourself to learn a whole lot every single day just to keep the content machine fed.
2. Forced creativity. When you do content daily, you run out of low-hanging fruit very fast as well. That’s why it’s easy to blog in the beginning and then it suddenly feels like you hit a wall. You run into your own limits. Forcing myself to a daily content scheme forces me to be creative, forces me to think outside the box, forces me to look at old things in new ways to see if there are additional avenues to extract value. Half of the posts I’ve done on analytics were me staring at Google Analytics and wondering what else I could make the tool do.
3. Forced discipline. Blogging daily is the anchor on which I build a whole bunch of other content routines like #the5, my newsletter, etc. It’s the rock on which I plant the flag daily and that in turn makes all of the other disciplines easier to implement. It’s the hardest part of my daily content routine, and that in turn means that once I’m done blogging, everything else feels like easy stuff by comparison.
I’ll also say this: forcing yourself to create reasonably good quality content on a daily basis is painful. There are days when it’s a struggle, when it physically hurts to try to come up with a new look at ground I think I know. The idea of creating content daily isn’t for everyone, and if you don’t enjoy the above challenges, don’t subject yourself to it because it’ll make you really unhappy. I don’t force myself to do this stuff daily for anyone else except myself and the benefits I know it brings me internally.
I can’t emphasize that enough. Please don’t take this post as a challenge that you should start blogging daily just because I do. If you want the above benefits for yourself, then yes, give it a try, but if you know that your motivations aren’t aligned with the reasons for doing it, then find some other way to fulfill them that won’t result in very deep unhappiness on your part.
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thanks for this really decent look at the problems of blogging more than once a week. I am about to blog 5days a week. But, I’ve been preparing! I have several pages set up as ‘faster sheets’ Front page I have center circle with newsletter article title then six surrounding circles. 1-5 is for a post related to the newsletter article that goes out on a Friday. The sixth circle is for a podcast that is coming along later.
ON each cicle, I write out the title for that angle of post and promote the newsletter article with it. Same all the other days.
Then I have a page set up for each of those days with a specific layout for the blog post. Same for all the other days.
The article is the same. I have a specific layout, and format that I will be following. Then come Friday, I upload said article to Aweber and those who have signed up get this article. The week is brought into focus here and the blog posts will be tied together.
Next week will tell the tale.
I’ve decided to blog around a theme, the article, for the week and therefore give myself some room to explore a topic somewhat.
I found your site and follow you. I am sure I will be learning ‘how to…” quit a bit from your stuff. Billy
While your arguments are sound, I’ve heard much the same stuff from the other side of the argument. It really depends on whether or not you have a daily deadline, or a weekly one.
Oh, I totally agree – it all depends on your motivations. Mine are internal. Others have other things that are priorities to them.
I’ve been blogging daily (though not for myself, for other marketing companies) for about four years now. There are some days where I spend five hours just trying to come up with a new idea! You’re right about staying current though, you can’t help but be a learning machine when you need to teach everyday. 🙂
Chris, I’m like you. I’ve been forcing myself into a routine of daily publishing to continue pushing the quality of my content forward. There are certainly days when it’s, as you say, painful, but I’ve made the right decision for my goals.
I get everything you are saying here and I wish I had time (I know that is not a viable excuse by any means but that’s all I got right now 🙂 ). I do write everyday, I just dont post everyday. Schedules are important and meeting the expectations of your readers are even more so! If you blog everyday and stop, we will miss you and vice versa. I have a friend blogger who was blogging a couple times a week and built up her readership. She started blogging more and actually got complaints from people that said she was in their inbox too much. She still blogs a lot but turned everything into a weekly newsletter for the email folks.
What I enjoy about you Chris, is that you are so creative with what you write and publish. If blogging everyday is what is enabling us to receive all this wonderful stuff, keep at it. Thanks!
Many thanks for the kind words!
I enjoyed this post immensely. Content marketing and content strategy really is personal and I think that is something easily forgotten.
“Good quality content” – that’s the rub. I have brilliant notions that pop into – and run out of my head at break-taking speed – all the time. But turning those into coherent blog posts, that’s a whole other matter. I don’t want half-baked ideas or to churn out content that’s ‘blogging about blogging for bloggers.’ My business goals are different, and those drive my blog. Daily blogging would make things seem ‘forced’ – and I don’t want that.
That said, I’ve fallen off the wagon, let other things push back the blogging and do need to get it going on a more consistent basis. This is a nice kick in the pants to undraft some stuff, hit publish already – focus on the blog for what it is, and what it can be. FWIW.
Hi Chris, I write a blog called Auction Finds about the interesting things I find at auction, and I blog every day except weekends. Why do I blog everyday? Because I have so much to write about. The stuff that appears on the auction tables from people’s homes and their lives is endless and fascinating. I tell the story and the history behind each of the items, so I’m constantly learning about a lot of different topics. With each new item, I embark on a new adventure. I’ll never run out of things to write about.
I love #1. I don’t blog daily for a few reasons, but that would be a reason for me to do so more frequently. I find that knowing I have to product (good) content, I need to constantly be learning. This forced learning accelerates your growth curve no matter what you do for a living.
Thanks for the reminder.
Thanks for taking up this topic. I’m a 6-day a week blogger (never on Saturday!) Chris Brogan has his stat; if I don’t blog for two days in a row, I lose half my readers. But I don’t write just for them. I write for writing practice. Writing every day makes you better at writing, every day.
You may have heard of gratitude journals–a daily practice of writing down what worked. Daily blogging works the same way, you begin to look at the world differently. And that’s a good thing.