What happens when you lose your love of blogging?

by Mack Collier

Last night’s #Blogchat topic was getting inspired again if you’ve lost your love of blogging.  It was a fabulous discussion once again, and here’s the transcript if you missed it.  I wouldn’t say that I no longer love blogging, but over the last few weeks, I am loving it a lot less, and it seems more like ‘work’ than FUN for me.

One of the things I continue to struggle with is how often to post here.  I want to create as much amazing and valuable content for y’all as possible.  But I also know if I only blog when I have something amazing to say, y’all may not hear from me for a few months 😉  So then it becomes a trade-off between posting more often with slightly less valuable posts, versus posting slightly more valuable posts, but less often.  Sometimes I just want to stop blogging and only blog when I have something that truly think is worth sharing.  If that means I only blog once a month, so be it.  But at the same time, this blog isn’t my personal soapbox, it is a business development tool.  So I can’t afford to only post once a month, I need to use this tool to create and increase visibility for myself.

So how do you find the optimal number of posts for your blog?  I would like to shoot for a consistent 2-3 posts a week here.  I’ve talked to other bloggers recently and they are going through the same ‘I don’t want to blog more for the traffic, I want to blog less for my readers’ struggle.  Sure, I know if I write 5 new posts a week, that traffic will skyrocket, and overall post quality will also likely fall.  Is that tradeoff worth it?  I don’t think so.

Another option is to allow guest posts.  Honestly, I don’t like using guest posts, and don’t like reading blogs that allow a lot of guest posts.  A few months ago one of my favorite bloggers turned their blog into a group blog, and I rarely read the blog anymore.  Because the reason why I was reading it (that blogger) never posts there anymore.  So while I may rarely use guest posts in the future, I want to be driving the majority of the content here.

So how did you set your posting schedule?  How did you find a method that works for you?  Think it’s time for me to shake things up here, what’s worked for you?

Pic via Flickr user ptrktn

Neicolec October 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

I know what you mean about the dilemma. I went through a lull in late summer through mid-September. I just didn’t have a lot of ideas. Took the opportunity to rethink my blog and its focus and made quite a few changes. Eventually, I got more inspired and that caused me to write a ton. So now I have posts drafted for quite a number of weeks going out.

That’s not the first time I’ve hit a lull and I’ve seen others hit one, too. For me, I just cut myself some slack and don’t post for a while. Or not much. I know that it’s best to be consistent. But if I really don’t have anything valuable to put out there, I just don’t. Eventually, the muse comes back and I start getting ideas more regularly.

I’ll be interested to see how others are handling the problem.

MackCollier October 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

@Neicolec Would be interested in hearing more about the changes you made, since they seemed to have worked so well for you. Was it a shift in the type of content you created, or what?

jonathansaar October 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I am with you Mack. Once I relieved myself of the pressure of blogging it seemed easier. The pressure ruins my posts. I do have an obligation for consistency on our corporate blog but that is a different animal and approach as opposed to my personal. I am still working on an editorial that will make it more organized for me and take more of the guesswork out of it. Nothing worse than to have the feeling–“What will I write about today?” Great chat last night!

KarenD.Swim October 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Hi Mack, boy can I relate! I had lost my love of it and simply stopped doing it. Not the smartest way but the long break was helpful. I have stuck a toe in the water of late and am experimenting with sharing content in new ways (such as storify), different lengths and a more forgiving posting schedule. Mentally, it’s been helpful to simply remove the boundaries and rules. Blogging, even for business does not have to one-dimensional but should reflect where we are, what moves and inspires us and what makes us think. Our readers are not static either, maybe they too would enjoy a photo, video, a quick summary of a book and a more well rounded view of our world.

MackCollier October 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

@KarenD.Swim Hi Karen, good thoughts about mixing things up, this is what many of the #Blogchat participants last night suggested. As you suggest, it can keep things interesting for both the blogger, and their readers!

MackCollier October 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

@jonathansaar Right, Jonathan, I know that I want to get X number of posts out during a week, but I don’t want to force a crappy post or 2 just to meet a quota I have set for myself.

MaryCavanaugh October 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Are you asking the right questions? As I read your post, I’m not thinking “x posts per week” but I’m wondering why you losing that love. You seem to be a high energy people person and maybe you just need to recharge your batteries in the way that works best for you (and keep them charged).

MackCollier October 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm

@MaryCavanaugh Hey Mary, interesting insight! I know that I am happiest when this blog has higher levels of engagement, when posts are getting more shares, RTs, etc. I also know that in the past, that has happened more when I am blogging more often each week. So in my mind, if I can find a way to create more valuable content PLUS do it more often here, then the bigger problem I have (losing the love of blogging) should take care of itself.

At least I think so… 😉

MaryCavanaugh October 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

@MackCollier If I had to guess, you recharge from people. So you really need interaction from your users. I’ve been consumed with how to get people interacting and feeling like it’s their place – not mine – and that I’m there to serve them. It’s hard to manufacture isn’t it? For my own blogging journey, it’s a more important question than how many times I should post.

I think the way you are handling it here is the answer. You made yourself vulnerable but that helped others realize what they know too and feel free to step up and share their own ideas.

Hey thanks for helping me with my blog today!

MaryCavanaugh October 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm

@MackCollier Sorry I meant to say “readers” not “users” (I’m a software developer who often writes code for users and I have a hard time switching hats sometimes.)

SteveWoodruff October 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

Mack – it can get wearisome, esp. after a few years when the newness has worn off. I’ve become a bit more “existential” as time has gone on – I don’t attempt to have a schedule, but write when the inspiration hits – which seems to be 2-4 times a week. That keeps it from feeling like bondage. I’m thinking that the best “feeder” strategy for a blog is a curious eye and a restless mind…!

MackCollier October 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm

@SteveWoodruff Steve it’s funny, in reading these comments, I’m noticing that the community here isn’t as engaged as it used to be. In months past, a post like this would be up to 40-50 comments by now. I wonder if my interests lie with other tools right now like Twitter, and my network has moved there as well.

Which probably means I need to spend more time cultivating my community here. Hmmmm….something to think about…

DonaldGiannatti October 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm

I don’t think it is the creating of content that loses its lustre, it is that many of us chose blogs to offer that content, and that may have not been the right format. Blogs are great for contemporaneous and topical content, delivered like “news” to people who check in for a ‘daily’ dose.

But content that is evergreen, or valuable without the context of immediacy is lost in the archives. My site has nearly 400 posts – many of which are fully useful articles that would be of interest to any photographer. My stats show that even though I have lots of new visitors, less than 8% ever visit the archived articles.

They come in, read the newest post, and leave. I have had people tell me they didn’t even know that there was other material there. Blogs are, I think by definition, a ‘daily dose’ format – where the most recent post is all there is. Even bigger bloggers like Seth Godin and Chris Brogan find this to be true.

Expectations are that we think the material is valuable, and within context of the other material, they become a body of work. Blogging, by its very nature, has nothing to do with legacy material or a ‘body of work’ – it is focused on the single, most recent post.

I am moving to a two tiered approach – website AND blog. (BTW – when my site was a website two years ago, my page views were over 100,000 a month. The precipitous fall was to about 60,000 page views after moving to Wordpress. I have given it far more time than necessary to get back to it, but my material needs to be more like a website publication than a syndicated column.

Alconcalcia October 13, 2011 at 8:18 am

I only blog when I feel passionate about something – so it might be twice a week, once a month or even quarterly. It really does depend on what inspires or riles me. To me there is nothing worse than churning out a blog for the sake of it. No one has the time or inclination to listen to hundreds of varying opinions about a subject that over zealous people have forced themselves to produce some copy about just so that they can be ‘out there’. It’s the equivalent of standing in a queue next to someone and them banging on about what they think about this, that and the other. Thankfully that doesn’t happen in real life too often, but the web has given every Tom, Dick and Harriet a voice whenever they choose to exercise it. My rule: only blog when you can be of genuine interest or provoke some kind of useful debate, not just because you think it’s been three days since you last bored the world with your take on XYZ and therefore need to churn out another dull opinion piece that’s not going to get read.

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