The all-important third post

I’ve done a bit of an EXPERIMENT this week.

When I started this blog, I thought three times a week was the right amount to post, and that was what I was going to aspire to. It did seem quite a lot at the time and I wasn’t sure if I had that much Iceland in me!

As I’ve read more and more blogs, I still think three times a week is a good figure to work towards. Any less than that and I think you lose the connection you have with your readers. On the other hand, posting every day is just too much of a commitment and I’d struggle to come up with something interesting for people to read every day.

Anyway, this week I thought I’d do something different. I’m quite impressed that I’ve kept up the three times a week since mid-November. So I thought I’d try and make life a bit easier for myself by posting only *twice* this week.

Well. It’s a bit like suddenly doing less running (which by coincidence I have also done this week)- suddenly only having two posts to have written and thought about doesn’t seem very much.  It feels like FOREVER since I’ve posted something new. I’ve got too much spare time. AND my stats have gone down – disaster! So, here I am writing a third post. Phew, that feels better. I think I’d better go back to normal next week.

Are you all waiting for me to post?!

Fellow bloggers, how do you decide how much to post? Are you a creature of habit like me, or do you just write when you feel like it? Do you write lots of posts at once and then schedule them to publish or do you publish as you write?

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31 thoughts on “The all-important third post

  1. I definitely have a schedule. Whether I stick to it remains to be seen, but I’ve tried to publish three full-length posts (for me, at least 500 words) a week since I began blogging in August. I typically write them the day I publish them. Even though my blog started out as strictly a pregnancy blog, I’ve found it to be easier (both for me and my readers) to stray from pregnancy topics every so often.

    I actually wrote kind of a similar post awhile back about blogging and scheduling and all that good stuff. The comments from other bloggers were extremely interesting, so you may like to peruse them.

    http://epa82.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/getting-it-down/

    • How do you come up with so much content? Maybe I am being too picky about what I write about. When I started, I intentionally tried to keep too much of “me” out of it so it wouldn’t be too personal but I’ve found that people like the more personal posts. Same for me as a reader, really. I think the principle is that if something is well written it doesn’t actually matter what your topic is.
      Thanks, I hadn’t seen that previous post of yours. Some interesting thoughts there. I definitely don’t spend as much time writing/editing as some of your readers! It would feel too much like an (unpaid) job for me. I’ll be interested to see if your blogging increases or decreases once baby arrives!

      • My husband sometimes helps me brainstorm for content when I’m hurting for it. He is creative and has an image-based blog on Tumblr so occasionally our posts coincide thematically (although he doesn’t do baby-related stuff). It’s nice to have someone who I can bounce ideas off of and who “gets” the whole blogging thing.

        I hope to continue blogging as much as I do now once the baby is born, but I honestly don’t think I will, at least for the first few months. And that’s ok because I know eventually I’ll get back to where I was prior to the birth once we get in a routine.

  2. I try to post 3 times a week, but don’t always make it. And I think you’re right, you can lose people if they expect it. I think if you change the expectation to twice a week it will settle to where you were with three times, but might take a few weeks for people to acclimate. I like three times though to be consistent.

    • I think you’re right, intending to post three times a week and then not beating yourself up if it’s less is probably a good sustainable amount. I do notice when people post less sometimes, which is really a compliment because it means I’m looking forward to their next post. For me it’s probably less of a time constraint and more of a lack of inspiration sometimes, or avoiding a topic that I don’t think is interesting enough even though it might be.

  3. I’ve made it three times a week (M, T, Th) with a “guest” (Sharon Spotbottom drawing) on Friday. The weekends don’t seem to have nearly as many readers, even when I used to blog every day (!), and I can use the break from the internet in general. I will often write ahead and auto-post. One of the main reasons I started blogging was that I spent too much time watching TV. I think that an hour or two spent trying to organize my thoughts into a presentable form is a far better use of my time than watching the boob tube. The blog is also a platform for my illustration and photographic experiments. I’ve had other collaborators in the past (2004-2007), which was really fun, but not many people can keep that up for long- it’s hard enough doing your own.

    • Your regular Friday feature/guest is a good idea and something to think about. Yes, I’ve noticed a drop on the weekends which surprises me, you would think that was when people had more time to read blogs! There must be an awful lot reading from work (lucky them). I agree that reading and writing generally is a great use of time, and creative! I’ve found my TV watching has gone down since I started. I admire you for keeping your blog going for so long. I’m surprised at how many that started around when I did have fizzled out already. I think that may be because some of them weren’t very interactive, and if you don’t have the community I don’t think it would be anywhere near as much fun. Guest posts are also a great idea, as well as reblogging other’s posts, neither of which I’ve done yet.

  4. Wow.. apperently i suck at blogging.. 😉
    I post whenever i feel like it, sometimes only once a week.. But that does’nt happen often. I cant always post when i want because of my travels, and i dont go so much up in readers, or viewers, because im doing this more for family and friends.. But it is quite catchy when you start looking at how many viewers are in there.. Its a mind game.. 😉 Dont let it catch you.
    If i feel to obligaded to blog, like its a ” must do ” kinda blog, then i wont enjoy it. Three times a week is quite alot i think.. but a good number 😉 at least i notice when you dont blog as much as your used to.

    • No you don’t suck, I promise you! Your blog is great and by its very nature it can only be done when you have some free time and can find a computer. It would be very hard to be off having big adventures like you AND tying yourself down to posting all the time. I always look forward to your posts and the observations you make about your current surroundings. For you it is also a great way for the people you know to see what you are doing. For me it is a great way to have people to talk to about Iceland. We all have our different motivations. Thank you for being one of my most encouraging readers with your kind comments!

  5. Just my 2 pence worth…..

    I’ve been posting everyday for the past week but before that it was 3-4 times a week which I think i’ll be going back to. Posting everyday is too much like a job as you say. And also can drain your content. You might end up losing readers if you end up posting poor entries because your trying to achieve posts on a daily basis. I also have a baby on the way (due yesterday and no sign yet) so I expect my posts might reduce then for a short while. Especially as I won’t be hiking anywhere.

    I think your 3 times a week is good. I always look forward to your posts on my blog feed and haven’t come across a bad one yet, that’s not just flattery…..well it is…..but I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. 3 a week is a nice and healthy balance I think.

    Going forward i’m going back to 3 a week methinks. Seems right after trying a few different post frequencies and if I tried t do more i’dd have to digress heavily from my main topic because I don’t hike everyday 🙂

    • Yes, I noticed you’ve been posting a lot. I’d definitely run out of steam at some point posting every day. I hope the baby arrives soon (how soon can you go walking with it in a bag on your back??) Thank you for your nice comments. I didn’t think I would care if people even read my blog but actually I do, so it’s always good to get feedback.
      I suppose there’s only so much scope for walking posts although you could go branch out and start reviewing gear etc. I read another one called halfwayhike.com that you might also find interesting.

  6. I haven’t really thought about it much. It looks like it started out as an every day affair, but with all the travel recently, it’s devolved into roughly three times a week. I have topics. but no time to write!

  7. Hello 🙂 Well I decided to take part in the ‘Post A Day 2012′ challenge as I read somewhere that the more you post the better. However…my stats confuse me a great deal because sometimes they are quite often and other times I may have only had one or two views. I really, truthfully do not know about why this happens.

    Well it seems like you are getting some of what I am experiencing too. So I am doing the post a day and what I seriously NEED to do is start reading many more others’ blogs and commenting and liking but as you and I discussed before, blogging IS hard work and to fit it in with every other project going on is quite a balancing act.

    There are so many gems of great posts out there and I think sometimes we can get swamped with meeting our own ‘deadlines’ that where is the time for the blogging community. Anyway, my focus now is getting my posts out daily AND making the time to visit and post on great peoples blogs.

    • I think posting regularly is good – regularly could be every day, or once a week. The point is that if you have regular readers they will adapt to and then expect a certain amount of posts from you. For me, I know that unless I was at home all day, I just wouldn’t have the time to write a GOOD post every day. Only once a week and I think I would lost momentum and interest.

      Re stats – do you find that some topics get more views than others? (ie are people coming to you because you’ve used a certain category or tag) It may be that some topics are resonating more with your audience. I agree that going and visiting others is a good way to increase your traffic. I will always go and look at someone’s blog if they have taken the trouble to look at mine.

      Good luck with your plans. The blogging is really fun but it does take time, effort and patience to build a following.

      • Well funnily enough I looked over my stats and I have spotted a trend….Saturdays are my busiest views. during the week it’s pretty quiet but Saturday they shoot up 10 fold. I will keep on posting daily so those that view can pick and choose what they feel like reading. Tonight all I been doing reading others’ blogs and I have had a lot of fun doing that and managed to get a post of my own in as well. Ok my blog ain’t the best, but I enjoy writing and posting on things and I get the odd follower when I least expect it and a like or a comment (not all the time of course), and in time I will learn more. But your doing great, very proud of the connections you have made 🙂 You really deserve a pat on the back! Immie 🙂

      • How weird! I definitely have the opposite on the weekends most of the time. I’m sure there is a science as to when the best day and time to post to get the most views is, based on the fact that most readers are in North America. Thanks for your kind words. As long you we are enjoying writing that is what counts!

  8. I try to write a post every day. It usually comes into my head as I’m walking to work and if it doesn’t then I don’t’ write anything. It usually does though. I don’t have much time to write so, when I stop work to have a cuppa then I spend about 15-20mins and whatever comes out of my head and onto my blog is my post. I try not to over think it and just let it happen. Go with the flow I guess. It works for me and I never feel under pressure to write if I don’t have something pop into my head.

    • You are one of those rare people who posts a lot and they’re all good quality posts! I’m impressed that you get so many ideas. For a lot of of people that is the stumbling block! Maybe you just have to be completely open minded about what topics you will write about.

  9. I started at the beginning of last year, posting every day and managed that for maybe half a year then once I’d missed one I missed a few (months…). This year I’m trying for more like once a week, sometimes more and trying not to stress if it goes a couple of days over a week. But I’m not trying to bump my stats or anything, just posting for myself and a few loyal followers who stuck around waiting for me to post again. I was surprised people still checked in when nothing was happening, but I’ve heard that happens.

    • I suppose most bloggers run out of steam at some point. I’m always disappointed when I find a blog with great content and it hasn’t been touched since 2008! But that’s just selfish really. Sometimes I think I will take this one down when that time comes for me, otherwise you must still have people contacting you about it when perhaps you have moved on. That’s great that you had some followers who still stuck around.

      • Yeah I hate that. You find a good blog and it has just been left dangling and you know that there is no point commenting or liking however good the content is because the blog owner won’t find it.. Maybe WP should have some sort of policy on these neglected little blogs like a cut-off period say if you haven’t p[osted for a year or something.

      • I agree. I’ve just read an article to say that your deleted Facebook photos could still be accessible too (irritating) so I think we have to assume our brilliant blogs will be available for all time.

  10. I write when I have something to write about – that can be three times a week but also once in an entire fortnight. I write quite a bit for work, so I don’t necessarily want to write every evening too. At the end of the day, you must produce (oh, I hate that word !) content that is relevant /informative and entertaining and it is OK if that doesn’t happen at a set schedule. The problem with schedules is also that people expect you to follow them and I think it is much nicer to publish “surprises” (nice ones though ! 😉 )

    • That sounds like a very sensible way of doing it. Sadly my whole scheduling blog thing links to how I also like to schedule the rest of my life! I think I’m getting worse as I get older…if I didn’t blog for a fortnight I’d be getting twitchier by the day.

  11. Three times a week is good for me. Sometimes it drops to two but one is not quite enough to sustain momentum, I’ve found. I always have at least 10 unwritten posts in my head and always feel like I’m rushing to catch up!

    I write in one session, usually (with my present living/working arrangement) at the end of the day. And I always go to work a little happier knowing I achieved something. It’s a creative outlet and I often think of a finished post as the most useful thing I’ve done all day. I really enjoy the aesthetic as well as technical aspects of the writing and pictures – making a post look as good as I can and that the pictures and words work well together. Having a desired effect is important for me, even if it evolves into something different (or fails) in the process…

    • I wish I had that much inspiration! How fun. I’ve really been enjoying writing just for fun again, first time since school really. I also like that you have to think about pictures/captions for blogs, it’s a new dimension that I never had before. How lucky we are that everyone can share their writing now.

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