Blogging On Empty

Forgive me readers… it’s been 14 days since my last post.

And that, I’ve discovered, is a fundamental weakness with blogs as a tool for marketing your business.

Here’s what I mean. Unlike their e-cousin, the electronic newsletter, which if done properly comes out like clockwork every single month, blogs can come out as often — or, as I’ve come to discover, as infrequently — as the blog writer likes. Your blog is never on fire; it never has to be written today. Which means it often gets pushed to the back burner.

Try this little test: Choose any five blogs at random and track the publishing frequency from the beginning until now. In all but a very few, you’ll see a slowdown in posting activity (if not outright death) from when the blog first launched.

I’d like to tell you that I have a great solution to this problem, but I don’t. Among my e-newsletter clients, the single biggest obstacle to success is getting them to continue publishing… and that’s just once a month.  If I told them instead to “publish whenever,” most of these busy professionals would rarely get around to it.

It seems to me that a blog’s scheduling freedom is like a health club that boasts of being open 24/7.  That’s nice, but for all but the most fanatical, the obstacle to staying in shape isn’t enough hours of health club operation… it’s getting yourself in the door on a regular basis.  Same with blogs.

How about you?  Do you have a secret to blog-gevity for the rest of us?

8 thoughts on “Blogging On Empty

  1. Doug Fleener

    I give myself a weekly minimum. I’ve committed to two posts a week plus I post my weekly newsletter.
    I think my greatest motivation is to not be one of those whose blog die out. Check back with me in a year and see how I did!

  2. Mark

    For me, the biggest motivator is having a good reason for blogging.
    If it’s not helping your business, you won’t do it and you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
    In my case, the blog attracts sponsors and writing assignments. No blog = no sponsors and fewer writing assignments. That’s all the motivation I need.

  3. Matt Binz

    Really tough question. My goal is everyday. It becomes the first thing I do when I get home from my real job. We blog on homeschooling high school and my wife’s business, The HomeScholar, is consulting with homeschooling parents (often through email.) She, very kindly, saves some of her comments for me to post. So far, the system works well. We’ve been averaging about 20 posts per month.
    Keys to success:
    1. keep individual posts short/pithy
    2. have someone else do the writing (grin)

  4. Matt Binz

    The downside of posting too frequently….hmmm.
    Writer’s cramp, running out of ideas (always a possibility), boring your audience. The biggest risk is probably a tendency to “give away” too much, that is, content which people otherwise might be happy to pay for. We are definitely not raking in the cash yet so it is a tricky balance on what to sell and what to give away. You have posted several items that really have helped us get our arms around this issue.
    Another variable is your audience. My wife’s audience is probably just slightly over 100% female. Women (I’ve noticed) are a wee bit more relational then men, therefore, more blog postings don’t seem to bother them.
    I tend to watch our metrics (number of feeds using feedburner, google analytics, feedblitz). I’ve noticed a steady increase over time, which seems to indicate a certain positive feeling by the public. I know when we were posting less often, we had no subscribers. I don’t know if we’ve found the optimum balance, but we’re doing better than zero.
    Hope this helps. We are fellow pilgrims in this new frontier so we shall continue to grope around in the dark. (Wow, three metaphors in one sentence. That’s a new record for me!)

  5. Michael Katz

    Those are all really helpful, thanks. And Matt, your post got me thinking of another question — how much is too much? Do people even want to hear from us every day (I don’t think I talk to my best friend 20 times a month)? What’s the downside of posting too frequently?

  6. Pamela Slim

    I think it all depends, as one other reader said, on where your blog fits into your overall marketing strategy. If it is simply “something else to do,” you are right, it will fall by the wayside. But if you see it as core to your marketing strategy because a significant portion of your business will come through the internet, it is worth the investment of time.
    Personally, I adore writing on my blog, so if I don’t do it after a few days I get really uncomfortable. My ezine, on the other hand, doesn’t feel quite so pressing. Sure I do it and write for my monthly deadline, but it doesn’t have the same satisfaction as my blog.
    Strange but true!

  7. Michael Katz

    That’s a great point Pamela, and maybe the key to the entire thing. I once asked my doctor what the best excercise was for staying in decent shape and he said, “Whichever one you’re going to keep doing!”

  8. Art

    Take a break. It will allow for more ideas to flow later. I do it all the time. I also have guest editors that can fill in the blanks once in a while. Uninspired posts are far worse than not posting on a forced regular basis.


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