And now another episode of Ask Arlee...
M. J. Joachim asks...
"Content is king" is the well-known adage attributed to Bill Gates back in 1996. However, does this really apply that much to all of us as bloggers? For the most part the saying is more applicable to search engine accessibility based on originality of content. Our content should be original and it should have good quality. But "quality" can be a variable and rather selective term.
We need to determine the purpose behind our blogging. If we are striving to be pro bloggers with blogs that readers regularly follow or search engine researchers arrive at for specific information, the blog posts need to be of a unique informational content that is professional and authoritative. This is the type of blog with quality content that is backed by good research and experience in a field and is suitable for quoting from or citing elsewhere as coming from a reliable source.
If you are not a pro blogger who fits the above description then I think you can still maintain quality content but that quality would be of a different nature. There is that level of quality that we would expect from any published work--proper grammar, correct spelling, engaging presentation, and so on. If you are blogging to establish platform then your blog should be exemplary of what you are delivering or plan to deliver to your audience in your published work.
Comments can tell us a lot. If a blogger is doing all the right social networking and receives few comments or the very shallow "nice post" comments I think there is something wrong with the content. I'd rather have four high caliber comments that tell me that the readers actually had read and responded in a meaningful way than 40 drive by comments. If you see by your stats that your post got a lot of visits but few decent comments if any, then maybe you had bad content and visitors had no idea how to respond.
Blogging is often an experimental endeavor. If something does not seem to be working for you then maybe you need to try something else. The assessment of the quality of a blog's content is ultimately up to what readers are looking for. If you can't seem to hold onto readers who visit then they must not feel that your content delivers anything that they think they want.
If you are pleased with your posts and the traffic your blog gets then maybe you're doing all you need to do. However if you don't like your traffic, your blog's ability to retain readers, and the lack of interaction from visitors then maybe you need to think a bit more about the content you are delivering.
"Better to have too much than not enough." That's a philosophy my mother used to have when it came to dinner gatherings and other social events. This might not be the best idea for blogging though. Unless you're operating a news blog or a site that requires frequent updates, more than one post per day is probably overkill--you're likely going to wear out your readers and drive them away.
However it's important to have regular activity on your blog. Once a month might be okay if you maintain a regular schedule. Consistency is the most vital aspect to instilling audiences with a sense of expectancy. If they know when you post then it's easier to turn your blog into a habit. Random posting might work for some bloggers, but I would recommend a predictable schedule. If you become accustomed to meeting deadlines then you are more likely to have a readership who knows when to look for your new posts. When you go out of sight then it's possible that you'll go out of mind and have to make a greater effort to retrieve your lost readers.
In my opinion, two or three days per week is best for most blogs. Three of my blogs are only posted once a week and that works well since those are very limited niche blogs. The key is to pick a regular posting day and time, then plan your posts to go up according to that schedule. It's easier on your readers and in the long run I think it's much easier on you the blogger.
Should Your Blog Ever Post Daily?
Yes, during April you should sign up for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. There are some very good reasons for doing so as I outline in the following list:
- The A to Z Challenge is a blogging event in which many other bloggers will participate. You can gain greater visibility in participating with others.
- You can hone your blogging skills in content creation, experimenting with new approaches to blogging, and testing your blog to see what works best for you.
- There is an increased opportunity to get more feedback on your blog posts.
- Blogging daily for a month can develop a habit of creating content and functional social networking.
- The output resulting from participation will provide a good backlog of content for your blog.
- Participating bloggers can develop strong bonds with others with common interests. This in turn can be used to mutual future advantage for friendly support as well as business networking.
- Daily blogging means more writing and more writing is practice that can help make you a better writer.
- You might even end up with material for a book based on your A to Z content!
There are many more reasons that you as a blogger should participate in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. If you have never explored the A to Z Blog be sure to visit and read the helpful posts that appear on that site. If you are having concerns about not having the time, the energy, or the ideas to join us in April I hope you will reconsider. For every reason not to do the Challenge in April, the A to Z Team members and many other A to Z participants can probably counter with several reasons why you should join us in April.
Once you've done a Challenge it's easy to get hooked. It's really the best blogging event of the year!
What other reasons can you think of to encourage others to participate in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge? What are the main benefits you've gotten from A to Z? What do you think is more important in blogging--quality or frequency?