How often to blog (or… what am I getting myself into?)

HOW OFTEN TO BLOG (OR…WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO?)

People hesitate before they start a blog. They ask thoughtful questions. Will this become a burden? How often do I have to blog? What if I fall behind?

Blogging is not about perfection; it is about consistency. This is difficult for me, but I have finally committed to “get over myself” and come out from hiding behind helping others with their blogs and start “putting myself out there” again. To share thoughts online breeds its own apprehension. Add to that the requirement of dedication. However, I have a moral responsibility to be a role model. I believe that when someone starts a conversation, they shouldn’t walk out of the room, mid-sentence.

I did that, and I apologize.

I am starting to feel better, now that I have asked for your forgiveness. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I am starting to have fun!

I should have known better. When I coach clients who want to start a blog, I make sure that they take an honest look at their time allotment, their overall strategy, and their commitment to consistency. They explain logically that they feel they don’t have time, they run out of ideas, and they need help with accountability. I recently designed a unique program that solves their problems.

“How often do I have to write a blog post?” This is the most asked question. If your blog is purely personal, for you and your friends and family, the answer is wide open. If you want to make a living as a professional blogger, a lapse in consistent blogging could lose your following. Trainings on this ambitious pursuit are available.  You need lots of faithful followers, who will find you if you achieve high search engine ranking. You achieve high search engine ranking if you have lots of followers. Chicken. Egg. Egg. Chicken. One thing is clear: if you want readers coming back on a regular basis and stay “top of mind,” with them, it is not a good thing if you “go dark.”

In an ideal world (the one I want to live in) a blog can become a dynamic dialogue between post writer and post reader. That’s how you develop a loyal following, your tribe. As in offline relationships, bonds are built with trust. Trust is built with consistency. You can like someone who is not consistent (such as sometimes cheery, sometimes moody). However, your trust in that person eventually will weaken. Same with the cyber friendship called a blog.

How often to blog gets different answers, but over time the general consensus seems to be a minimum of posting one blog a week. For many of us, that is often enough. Once a day is optimum if you have a lot to say and your readers want to hear from you that often. If you post on Twitter or on a fast-breaking topic such as sports or world news, you easily could post almost hourly.

Before you start your blog, think about how much time you can realistically devote to it. After you start your blog, keep it up. Plan to be consistent. Start with once a week. You can always increase the frequency of your blogs if you need or want to.

Thank you for welcoming me back into the blogosphere. The cyber world, its customs, and expectations are always shifting. I would like confirmation or dispute of my “post at least once a week” recommendation. Would you please tell me what you think?

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