If you are regular PS reader you may have noticed what I’m talking about.
I’m blogging every weekday.
This is a radical change for me because I secretly disdained daily blog writers.
I was skeptical that they could maintain a high level of quality. I thought they were overwhelming their readers. I feared that they were blessed with a talent that no one else had; like savants whose unique ability was writing blog posts.
I would have continued with my once-a-week schedule if I hadn’t read an article by Om Malik the founder of GigaOm. GigaOm is a super-blog that is a leader in the technology blogging space. I was curious how Om was able to grow the blog in a relatively short time.
This is what he said:
“I wrote every day and every day traffic went up”
Om, seemingly aware of my skepticism offered his proof from the last 10 years of blogging. His stats covering a decade of writing are humbling:
- 11,165 posts
- About 3 posts a day, every day for roughly 10 years
- About 2 million words
- About 215 words per post
He kept up his gritty ritual for a decade. GigaOm is the result.
Inspired, I committed to write every day. I’ve always known that if you want to get someone else’s results , you must be willing to work as hard or harder.
On November 29th, I committed to writing every day and publishing at least 5 times a week. I didn’t announce my intention because I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up the pace.
Thankfully, I was wrong. Here is what I learned –
Inspiration follows Intent:
I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to generate new ideas every day. Thankfully the FEAR was exactly that – False Evidence Appearing Real. I struggled for 2 days and then my brain kicked into gear. Knowing that I MUST write a good post, my subconscious started storing ideas and clues for new posts.
The fascinating part is that it’s easier to write every day than it is to write once a week. (I would love to talk about this more in the comments)
Quality is the Boogeyman:
Quality is a top priority. However, I feared the temptation to write filler articles to meet my self-imposed quota. The temptation did surface several times but was easily banished. I sincerely believe that If you care about your readers you will stick with a post until it meets your standards. A quality post is one that is genuinely helpful, entertaining, and relevant to the audience. Length may vary but sincere writers won’t allow themselves to publish crap.
Traffic will increase:
It looks like magic but traffic does increase immediately. Here are Pushing Social’s traffic numbers from Google Analytics:
Two weeks of writing once a week:
Unique Visits: 2,131
Two weeks of writing every day:
Unique Visits: 5,558
That’s a +171% increase in unique visits and a +212% jump in pageviews.
I’m curious to see if this trend holds. If Om Malik is any guide then I’m sure it will. Increasing your publishing frequency, however, does not ensure new readers. You still need to promote your blog posts. You still need to create an email list. You still need to work hard on creating attractive headlines that grab attention on Twitter and in RSS feeds.
Loyal Readers Crave More Content
Over the last two weeks I’ve met my loyal readers. These folks love PS and want more. They were actually frustrated by my conservative publishing schedule:
— Matt Browne (@MatthewLiberty) December9, 2011
These readers didn’t raise their hands until I made it clear that I was delivering more content. I’m sure this is the case for all bloggers. Readers who love your style naturally want to see more. Rationing content may be the exact wrong strategy for growing your blog.
The Creators Mindset
As a daily publisher, I am constantly searching for something new. The world has become one giant topic laboratory.
I’ve reconfigured my RSS feeds to send me general, technology, and marketing news. I’ve set-up google alerts around specific search terms. Evernote is filling with idea fragments, pictures, charts and other post-starters. I’m no longer sometimes creator, I’m full-tilt boogie all the time. This is as thrilling as it is nerve-wracking.
Daily writing is paying dividends. I am becoming a much better writer. No surprise, consistent and purposeful practice leads to expert level performance. Daily writing is the best way to differentiate your voice from the pack.
Om Malik says it best:
“When I was working for Forbes.com during the early days of the dot-com bubble, I learned a vital lesson – you had to write every day to be any good and to have a complete handle on the beat. There was no way around the plain-old beat the pavement reporting.”
In your case, pavement reporting is covering your niche with the intensity of beat-reporter. Your goal is to offer a different perspective for your readers or future customers. Daily writing seems to be the key to rapid proficiency (as painful as it may sound).
Will I Keep This Up?
Yes. I’m having too much fun.
The real question is…Will you try it?
If you do, consider this:
1. Get Committed and Stay Focused
Writing every day won’t be fun at first. It will feel like a job but your brain will will get with the program and you will start to enjoy it.
2. Get Your Idea Sources Ready
Use Google Alerts, Twitter Searches, Advanced RSS Readers like Feedly, and a daily reading regimen to curate content and generate ideas. Never start with a blank page. You can’t write what you don’t have.
3. One Day At A Time
Focus on writing tomorrow’s post. That’s all. You’ll freak yourself out if you dwell on writing the next 365 posts.
4. Be Realistic
I decided to write 5 out of 7 days. I ended up writing every day since I have extra time on weekends to write for the weekdays. Five days is realistic for me. I need the two days off on the weekend. Find the level of activity that makes the most since for you.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress throughout the year. I would love to hear what you think and if you are ready to make the daily publishing commitment. Talk to me in the comments.[twitter]