Monday, November 11, 2013

How Often Should I Blog?

By Laurie Epps

Social Media Expert, mentor, and friend, Edie Melson is a forerunner in the industry teaching us what we all need to know about blogging and the basics of social media with her book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. So follow along with me, and I break it down for you. For more detailed information, feel free to ask a question in the comments section, or simply follow along with the text.

Today's topic is near and dear to my heart, so I'm going to break from my traditional form a little, and add my own story. I'm sure Edie will approve!

When I started as an intern with Edie near New Years this year, I was also taking Multi-Media in college. Our professor wanted us to break into teams and create a blog or website. Naturally, the kids didn't want to be on the web with a lady old enough to be their mom....

We were instructed to blog every day, and that just didn't work for me. Not only did the professor shoot down every good idea I had, but on top of homework, being an intern, and a single mother daily blogging just wasn't feasible. 

Almost as if it were scripted, it didn't work out, and Edie tell us why:

  • Daily blogging doesn't work for most people because your readers can't read every day, especially when you're new and they don't know why or what they're reading.
  • Daily blogging causes burnout for the writer. This definitely happened to me, so be careful, it could happen to you too. Edie points out that this is because it's in addition to our regular writing.
  • Posts are generally of a better quality when they're spaced further apart. You give yourself time to reflect and proofread your work this way. 

What dictates your blogging schedule?

  • Your personality. If you get easily discouraged, don't overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations, and just blog once a week. I wouldn't have believed this a year ago, but I can say, my own experience says that this is true. I'm just now hitting the demographics my professor was looking for, and it truly started with my once a week poetry column.
  • Your goals. What are you trying to achieve with your blog? Are you trying to connect with readers? Or perhaps you're developing a platform or network of people. The answer to this question can shape how often you should blog.
  • Your lifestyle. Truthfully, I really set out wanting to make my professor happy, and blog every day, but for me that just wasn't realistic. With my drumroll of titles including single mom, full-time student, and editorial intern that just didn't fit on my to-do list. It was too cumbersome. For me, it was just too much.
  • Edie reminds us that the key here is to be flexible. I would add to that to be patient with yourself, your writing, and your readers. It takes time to develop a platform and you need to find what works for you.

Connect Activity:

  • Take a look at how much time you spend on the computer. Most of your time should be spent writing. If you're spending more time blogging, then you will need to trim it back.
  • Look at your schedule. If you have to write the bulk of your blogs on the weekend (like me), you'll have to schedule your posts on Monday's and Tuesday's.
  • Describe your blog in less than a sentence, or better yet, name your weekly blog. This gives both google and your readers a way to find you.
  • Make a wish list of blog posts. This might trigger a future blog post if you're stuck. It also can act as sort of a goals list. Much like writing, or anything else, just go through it idea by idea.

I'd love to hear from you, what has worked, and what happened in regards to establishing your blog? Feel free to leave comments and links below.

Next week, we're going to talk about tips on editing your blog posts.

Laurie Epps is a senior at Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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