Originally, I was going to entitle this post “the case for writing less,” but the reality is I’m not writing less. I’m just publishing less frequently and in more places. Almost two decades of being self-employed have shown me the importance of adapting and changing frequently. That knowledge is what has driven the changes in this blog and my overall writing and publishing schedule. It comes down to delivering a continuously higher quality product that the consumers (in this case readers) demand.
The endgame of content marketing
There was a time when I published seven days a week on this blog. I’m not here to defend the decision to change that schedule. At the time it made sense and helped me become a better writer. Daily publishing of decent content also helps establish your blog with Google and other search engines. Publishing frequency matters to the search algorithms, or so we are told. Much of that content written and published on a daily basis still delivers significant traffic to this site on a daily basis. So if the end goal is traffic, why stop publishing daily?
The end game with a blog or any other site based around content marketing is not more traffic. It’s more of the right traffic. I define the customer of this blog as a small business owner interested in learning more about content marketing to grow their business online. The more of those eyes I get to this blog the more successful I will be going forward. Some day in the far distant future, I’ll write a book about my journey through the business world and how it changed when I discovered content marketing. When that day comes, having an audience that comes here looking for that type of information will help that book become a success.
When to decrease your publishing frequency
It’s pretty common when you start out in content marketing to have more time than you have paying work with which to fill that time. It makes sense during this period to write and publish as often as you can. There are a couple reasons for this; one being that you may not know exactly who your customer or audience is yet. Write about the topics you have interest in and see which of those topics resonate with your audience. Of course, the ultimate form of resonance is that you begin to find paying work related to one of the specific topics you write about.
At that point, it makes sense to begin focusing your writing and publishing schedule around the topic(s) that are helping to make your business go and grow. As you gain more and more paying work, you may eventually lose the ability to publish on your initial schedule and keep up with the paying work. This is a good time to assess your publishing schedule and consider reducing the frequency with which you write to maintain or improve the quality of your writing.
How publishing less improves your writing
When I published daily, it was not uncommon to be writing blog posts within a few hours of publishing them. If I was a news outlet that would be okay; but the reality is that I’m a businessperson looking for quality paying work. My best writing (and probably yours too) happens when you have time to go back and rework the writing prior to publication. The writing gets even better when you can give it 24 hours to sit before doing your editing and/or rewrites.
So as I move to publishing here once a week, it means I can spend more time on each blog post. You’ll find that when you are not writing under the pressure of a self-imposed deadline that is only hours away, you write more and better content. I don’t rush blog posts anymore. I take my time and work through the thought process necessary to deliver high-quality writing each and every time.
For example this will publish on a Wednesday, but I’m working on this first draft Sunday afternoon. I will then let this draft sit until tomorrow when I can re-read, edit and improve it. I’ll look at the continuity and flow of the post. I’ll look for solid useful takeaways that will help you become a better content creator. Then when I’m all done editing the writing I’ll pass it off to my editor Shelby. Just like me, she’ll have a solid 24 hours to get to the editing without any chance of missing our Wednesday morning deadline.
Be less rushed but still respect the schedule
At first when I got busy, I thought it was okay to just let publishing deadlines slip. The problem is your most loyal readers come to depend upon your publishing schedule and look for the content on those days and times that they expect to see it. So while I’ll only be publishing here on Monday or Wednesday each week depending upon the content being “Business Monday” or “Content Wednesday” worthy, you’ll know that’s the time to look for new content.
One way to not miss these posts is to subscribe via email or RSS reader. I also plan to start using Google+ more frequently when I have some thoughts that don’t quite have what it takes to become a blog post but that I still feel are worth sharing. Make sure to follow me on Google+ for that content.
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