The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Today I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything, But I Feel Obligated to Do Something

            One commonly cited bit of advice I've seen suggested to bloggers who want to have a more successful blog is to publish content on a regular basis.   I'm in agreement with the philosophy that a sporadic and inconsistent posting pattern can have a detrimental effect on building a blog audience.

            The blog that lies dormant for long stretches of time can be easily forgotten by readers.  There are a lot of other blogs out there to take up the slack from the blogger who is not producing.  Waiting for inspiration can be hazardous to blog vitality.   Let's face it, if we treat blogging as an obligation of sorts--like a job or a business--it's up to us to come up with something whether we feel like it or not.  If we decide to keep our business open only when we are inspired then our customers (or readers that is) might choose to go elsewhere.

            Sometimes a break is good.  Sometimes a break is needed.   Sometimes we may have no choice than to take a break.  It mostly depends on why we are blogging and what kind of blog legacy we are trying to create.  Sure, there can be a place for the rogue blog than puts something on line when the flash of genius hits.  However, this is not the blog readers can count on to be there when we expect it.  If we don't expect anything from a blog, we might see a post or we might not

           Personally, I like to have content appear at the same time on the same days much like a show on television.    The intent of Tossing It Out is to post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2 AM Pacific Time.  This seemed like the  logical approach for me when I set up this schedule three years ago.  For the most part I've been consistent.   My scheduling may not matter all that much, but over all I think it has been effective for my purposes.

         The bottom line of this current post is that I'm filling space with content.   Not spectacular content perhaps, but content with an idea and some questions.  This blogging limbo period during the holidays sees a decrease in blog traffic for most of us.   I know I've been having a difficult time making blog visits--or should I say a more difficult time that I normally have been doing in the past year.

          Things on the blog scene will be picking up after the first of the year and I plan some deeper content to come.   For today though, I was tempted not to post anything, but then I decided that this is like my business and I need to open at the regular time on the scheduled day.  I thank those of you who took the time to stop by.

          Do you publish your blog posts according to a fairly strict schedule?   If you are a sporadic blog publisher or someone who only blogs when inspiration hits you, does that seem to work well for you?  Do you think a schedule would help you?   Do you tend to look for postings from blogs with a schedule and do you tend to sometimes overlook the sporadic posts?    Do you find a decrease in your traffic and comments during holiday stretches?

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  1. As a general rule in my mind a blog that isn't updated often usually gets forgotten about and rightfully so in my mind because if you can't be bothered to update regularly for your readers then why should they be bothered to read? I have slowly felt my grip on my blog loosen as time has went on with daily updates turning to bi-daily updates and becoming even more sporadic than that recently but hopefully in the New Year I'll be able to write at least bi-daily. Unless blogging is making you a tonne of money when it eventually becomes a complete chore to write then maybe it's time to take a break, there's definitely no harm to taking a break if you've seen your passion lesson.

  2. I like to blog as often as possible, I write poetry mainly on my life's experiences and if there is not much going on then I don't write, But after saying that there is always something going on for example the wildlife in the garden, local news. So I guess I 'll blog as often as I can.
    Hope your Christmas was peaceful and enjoyable.

  3. I have the same schedule as you do - great minds think alike? And I let people know when I am taking a break. (Like now.)
    I don't forget the sporadic blogger because I read and follow all through Google Reader. However, sporadic bloggers tend to be sporadic commenters, and that I do notice.

  4. I'm a sporadic blog poster, which isn't the greatest. I should get on a regular schedule. Something to think about.

  5. Oh gawd... *puts my hand up guiltily*

    I am both a sporadic blogger and a sporadic commenter and that likely won't change.

    I would never think of my blog as a business. It's always been an antidote to my actual business - something I do for love and love only. I understand the reasons people schedule posts but, for me, if I felt obligated to post I would probably just stop blogging.

    Happy Day After, Arlee!!!

  6. I'm definitely sporadic and lack the motivation and self discipline to commit to a regular schedule - for me, it kind of takes the fun away from it if I feel that I have to post something at a particular time.

    I should comment more though.

  7. I definitely post randomly because my blog is more for fun at the moment. I have a day job and family and my boyfriend gets upset if I spend more time blogging than writing on my work in progress, so I have to be careful to balance it all. Blogging seems to come last, unfortunately.

  8. Lee, I'll be the first to admit that I really have struggled with regular posting. I have my Sunday post of graphs going for a while now but as far as a schedule like a M-W-F I have not got there. I Am determined to be a little more regular this coming year and of course the A-Z is a discipline that I look forward to again in April.

  9. Hi Lee .. I've been a regular sporadic blogger! My topics are quite involved and with some detail in ... so I post when I can.

    I've been lazy in my approach perhaps - but had plenty of things to do with my mother, uncle and life in general ..

    So this year - similar content - perhaps with a degree of regularity ... on the other hand -I'm lucky blogging friends seem to come commenting by ..

    My life will be evolving somewhat in 2013 ... so regularity may need to be a parcel of life too?!

    Much happiness to you in 2013 .. cheers Hilary

  10. Yeamie-- Sometimes a blogger has to take a break to rekindle the fire and get realigned in blogging direction.

    Yvonne -- Had a nice Christmas, thank you. Inspiration is all around us, but we must be willing to write and sometimes that can be difficult.

    Alex -- Actually some regular bloggers on a schedule can become sporadic commenters (hangs head in shame).

    Miranda -- It might be at least worth a try to see what happens.

    Cathy -- If blogging is mostly just a diversion for you then there's nothing wrong with your tactic.

    Ernie -- Like Cathy above, if fun is all you're looking for then there's no need to knock yourself out or get stressed about posting regularly.

    Shell -- Serious blogging is a tremendous time commitment. I know what you're talking about.

    Chuck -- One of the great benefits to A to Z is getting into the habit of structured posting schedule.


  11. Hilary -- I don't know how you assemble all of your complex posts, but you are a wonder indeed. I wish you well in the coming year.


  12. It's no shocker to reveal that I don't post on a schedule. For me, the paying writing gigs will always come first. My lack of consistency doesn't seem to hurt: my page views continue to grow and grow.

    As far as noticing anyone else's schedule -- I really don't. I read all my blogs in Google Reader as they come up. I would notice if one of my favorites went a long time without updating, but otherwise, I couldn't tell you what day anyone was posting on.

    Bottom line: we all write/post for different reasons, and we read in different ways. Hooray for variety.

  13. I think regular is better, because I don't know about everyone else, but I have a lot of things to remember and blogs isn't one of those things first and foremost in mind. So when I know I'm going to log on and see posts from certain people at a certain time, it helps. I also utilize various RSS readers so I can keep up to date and don't have to remember to visit.

  14. This is a very inspiring entry for me! I have been blogging for 3 plus years and the idea of committing to a schedule is fantastic.

    Blogging for myself has been pretty reflexive for the last year since owning a smart phone. I realize I utilize my blog like a Twitter account almost since I can load Blogger in seconds on my phone and type away. This however tends to make my entry topics extremely sporadic as I am posting thoughts and ideas that literally just hit me moments before. I don't know if that is healthy for a blogging base on my part... But at least I have fun with it ;)

    Thanks again...I really enjoy your writing!

    Take care.

  15. I blog regularly - sometimes daily, more often two or three times a week. It seems not to affect my viewing figures at all and I am at a loss to know what it is that attracts people to my blog at all!
    Even so, I blogged today, and you are the only one of the bloggers i follow who has popped up on my screen, so Hi Lee!

  16. I have a somewhat flexible schedule but I try to post at the beginning and the 15th of the month. I post book launches for fellow bloggers, in some months. I tend to post information type posts, which take more prep time for research. Not everyone has something interesting to say every day. I'd like to work up to once a week in the new year, perhaps bringing in a couple of new features.

    You inspire me, Lee, with your questions. I don't mind erratic posts, but I don't like posts that are untended for months at a time. Because, as you said, there are blogs that are reliable. Like this one.

    Re - Boxing Day - Roland Yoemans has a good post on this, one of the things I love about Canada.

  17. Kelly -- It comes down to need and purpose and all that. I do sometimes tend to forget about certain blogs if they don't post for a while. These days I tend to forget about a lot of things though.

    Hannah -- I'm the same way. If I'm reminded by an email that a post is up then it helps, but then again too many emails would be an nuisance. I get too many already.

    Chell -- Thank you! If you enjoy what you're doing I think that's a very important factor.

    Lizy -- Maybe I'm among a few posting today? That may account for the greater turn out in comments than I had expected.

    Michael -- Other bloggers are more likely to remember that you've posted something and you maintain a steady rate of visits I would surmise.


  18. DG -- I was thinking more in terms of those blogs that have posts like every other month or maybe a couple times a year. Then they might go on a binge of many interesting posts over a couple weeks and then disappear for a while again. Sometimes I'll get engrossed in a blog and then they'll stop posting and I will forget about them. Out of sight, out of mind.


  19. All these questions Arlee - you are making my head hurt! *grins*

    I pretty much post when the mood strikes me. I go on month-long posting fests when I join in blogging challenges or crazily enough, create my own such as the Countdown to Kitschmas I just completed.

    I am looking forward to the A-Z Challenge and am thinking I better start writing righty quick so I have some polished content.

  20. I don't have a strict schedule, per se. My intent is to post a few times per week, but they're not always on the same days. In practice, they tend to be, but it's not exactly a plan in that sense. I do think that if you want to have a presence you have to be regular. So eat your fiber!

  21. Ha! A few weeks ago I promised myself that I would post regularly, once a week on Wednesday. I have managed to stay pretty true to that, but here it is after 2PM (where I live) and nothing has gone up yet. Thanks for a good positive reminder. I'll get right on that.

  22. Tami -- I have found preparation for A to Z preferable to the stress of coming up with half decent content on a daily basis. I think I'd better get started as well.

    Andrew -- Your blog is an active blog so most of us know to check it out a few times a week and we will find something new there. That's important for keeping 'em coming back for more.

    Faraway -- I keep thinking that I should go on a one--or at the most two--day schedule for Tossing It Out, but I usually have so much to write about I'm hesitant to do so. One day on my other blogs is a very comfortable pace.


  23. Lee,
    You are such an inspiration to all of us. I have been sporadic and scheduled both. I find that if I check in daily and know I need to post at least 3 times a week I get more traffic and followers.

    Thanks for keeing us thinking about all of this.

  24. That's a great idea. The example you have given is perfect. No body will wait for a shop to be opened, he or she will look for another source to buy the product. Blogging is like that of a shop. Thanks Lee!

  25. Sheila -- Each of us needs to find the blogging style that works best for us. It's not a one size fits all solution.

    Shiful-- If we want our blogs to provide businesslike results then it is best to think in those terms. Thanks for visiting.


  26. Hi Lee.
    Merry Christmas! I try to be consistent, but this is my first holiday with blog duties and it is not as easy. I reduce post for the holidays, but planning on a consistent schedule for 2013. Now, if I can figure out what to write about. haha.

  27. This is an interesting topic. I'm rather inconsistent in blogging and take breaks all the time when it gets overwhelming yet have what I think is a fairly successful blog. Why I think it is not because of the brillance of my posts and what I write, but the fact on blogs I follow, I leave "good comment" so to speak, really take the time to read the blog and then comment on it rather than a "fly by" as I call them with someone saying "good thoughts, have a great weekend" whatever, so it makes you wonder did they even bother to read what I wrote? So I think I built up relationships with fellow bloggers who in turn are willing to wait for my posts, willing to hunt me down when I disappear for a bit and delete blogs, etc. But that's just my thought; could be entirely wrong. I don't try to post more than once or twice a week because I know it can be overwhelming for people to read a lot of posts if they follow a lot of blogs. In turn, I do follow a lot of blogs so that's why I need those breaks every once in awhile to rest up (and I love to follow a lot of blogs because there is just so many good ones out there).

    Readership can vary around holidays I have found.

    like I said, very interesting topic.


  28. Two years ago, I used a MWF post schedule and was fairly consistent. With the baby, it's been very difficult to keep the schedule and visit other blogs. I try to be consistent because like you said this is kind of like our business. Recently, I did read an article that said high quality posts trumps consistently so-so posts. Something to think about?

  29. Sydney -- I'm always tempted to take a holiday break, but instead just post things that don't seem as thought intensive. I'm sure you'll think of plenty to write about.

    Betty -- Leaving comments on other blogs is one of the biggest investments we can make on our own blog.

    Buck - Baby, job, etc are all factors of priority that will keep one from blogging. With consistency some level of high or interesting quality must be maintained. If we post consistent crap, it's not going to win us many regular visitors. I've got more interesting and useful places to go.


  30. I agree that regular posting is important, but that content reigns. A whole lot of nothing doesn't attract me, I can't imagine it appealing to other readers in the Blogosphere. I learned to schedule and wrote to that schedule with predetermined topics when I did Blogging from A to Z this year. Tell you what, Lee, it's a great bootcamp for bloggers to figure themselves out!
    Some Dark Romantic

  31. I do try to keep to a schedule, similar to yours though I usually schedule my posts for early morning. I think of blogging as a part of my practice so I do take it seriously, more or less :)

  32. Hi Lee,

    I blog when the mood is there. If not, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!, takes over the writing. And during my blogging breaks, even been known to have magical 'wee folks' write on my behalf.

    And as far as traffic goes on my site. It's not that high any time of the year. Although, this year, my holiday traffic increased a lot, actually. You see, I went totally interactive on Christmas Day via my blog and various other social networks to be of support to the sad, the lonely and anybody who wishes to chat, anyway.

    Peace, goodwill and happy blogging in 2013, to you, my friend.

    In kindness, Gary and the cast and crew of my little known site....

  33. Mina -- A to Z is a great way to get into the blogging habit. And I agree that content rules. Filling a blog space with fluff is a disservice that can lose readers.

    Mshatch-- If one is using a blog for showcasing writing or promoting oneself as a writer, regular posting can be important.

    Gary -- You make a good point about the holiday traffic. Someone mentioned here earlier that a lot of people weren't posting anything and it made my post more visible. Posting during a down holiday period might be advantageous in getting exposure.


  34. Frankly speaking I do write when something about human beings bother me or even when I see a big concern. I initially started blogging because of kids bullying kids and then I started looking at problems. I do not neglect my blog on purpose, it is just that I am more concerned about my husband's health and my family's health in general so I end up skipping weeks sometimes.
    In April, however I write consistently because of A to Z blogging.
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas, it might have been harder than ever ( I know some of us have lost our dear ones). For me I take little at a time when it comes to remembering timings of people leaving this world. Therefore I am careful how and what I write. Take Care of yourself and God Bless:)

  35. I agree that we all go through periods when we run out of steam, and the important thing is to stay connected one way or another. Thanks for reminding me to get back in the game, and I'll try to post again before the end of the year. Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family Lee!

  36. You make a worthy point. At one point, I kept a blog I posted on every day. The traffic definitely increased, particularly the commenting folks. I definitely think returning to some sort of schedule would be best. This post is inspiring me to remember those days. Thanks for this!

  37. Munir -- Thanks for you considerate thoughts. I do understand the place blogging must take for those who have much more pressing responsibilities.

    Julie -- Best not to get overly stressed about something like blogging. Enjoy your family and the holidays.

    Colby -- If you blog for presence then it's a good idea to be present on a regular basis, but if you blog to unleash ideas and get out news then maybe visiting other blogs and social networking is where the greater emphasis should be. You can usually figure your effectiveness by the comments you receive.


  38. Hi Lee, a thought-provoking post to which I will weigh in.

    I am a self-employed business owner - now in my 29th year. I have a schedule and am there at the times I advertise. It is my job, albeit I am passionate about what I do therefore it never feels like work.

    My blog is not a job, nor will it ever by. At times when it has felt like work I have bowed out. I post with no particular attention to time or dates...and I will continue to do so.

    As it is blogging started as a way for me to put a few stories out to the Universe and now that the Universe has given me a strong direction to follow I will be blogging even less in the coming year.

    For those that blog to a tight schedule I say "hats off" to you and I wish you continued growth in followers and great success in the blogging world.

    I will add that what happens in the comment area is often the true measure of a blog, in my opinion.

    When I comment I put energy and passion into my words and hope that the person whom I have left the comment for feels that. I have never felt slighted when it comes to feeling the love from my fellow bloggers because of the energy left in my comment area. To me...this is the true joy of blogging - the commenting.

    You have been a solid force out here, Lee, to more than myself. You are a mentor, a role model, an inspiration - a true mensch.

    Whether you blog to a schedule or not you will always be a blog I follow and read.

    With hugs and smiles, Jenny

  39. Jenny -- Thank you for your kind words. It's good to hear from you. The "job" of blogging should never become the "tedium of blogging". That's when it would be time for me to hang it up or at least take a break. I think of my blogging regularity as more of a responsibility to myself to have something out there according to my schedule. I find that also works well for my audience. Now, if I were getting paid it might become a whole new story. But hopefully never a chore.


  40. Hi, Arlee. I try to post an average of once a week, unless on a blogging break. With it being the week between Christmas and New Year's, I haven't worried too much about getting another blog post up, because so many people are taking breaks to be with their families.

    For 2013, I should get myself on some type of blogging schedule, so that there is more consistency with when I post to my blog.

    As for visitors to my blog, the visitor stats have been pretty consistent.

  41. I know what you mean, Lee. I tend to slack on the blog when life gets a bit crazy for me. Seems I can't quite balance the blogging and living for some reason! Ah well, I'll keep trying and hope that, like a good friendship, time passed without contact can be erased very quickly by a meaningful interaction!


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