East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

My blogging strategies (or lack thereof)

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daily-blogging-beatOK, let’s say that blogging about blogging is something I try and avoid as much as I can: blogging, as any other form of writing, works best when it’s done, not when it’s talked about.
On the other hand, when we find something that works (or seems to), sharing the knowledge is a good idea.
We do not live in a vacuum.

So, here’s what I found out.

If you read a lot of those articles and handbooks about the best way to keep on blogging no matter what, and have tons of readers, millions of comments, make money like, in cartloads… When you go through those how-to lists and infographics, they all seem to agree on three points

  • post often, post regularly
  • post about your passion
  • go towards the readers

Now, this blog is about some of my passions.
I blog about what I like, about what I fancy, about what I do. So the passion angle is covered.
And indeed that’s the way to do it – I know a few guys that have blogs they designed around a commercially researched target, not a true interest of theirs – and their blogs suck.

Going towards the readers means posting stuff that the readers find interesting, and/or useful, or fun.
The only way to know if you are doing it right is the visits counter, and the comments.
Neither should become an obsession – but we must keep in mind that we are writing for someone out there.

And here’s my first insight – we must write our best for the best out there.
The smart guys, the people that maybe are struggling but are working on it, the people that give their best when they do something.
In other words, it’s a good idea, when we blog, to think of our readers as smart, witty, sharp.
Writing a blog about the lowest common denominator is not a good thing – and indeed, no blogger wishes to discover that his readership strives for the lowest common denominator, for the easy pap, for the cheap jokes.
Complacency is not good. Not for the blogger, not for the blog readers.

sceduleFinally, about blogging often and regularly, here’s my big discovery – a loose schedule works so much better than a tight schedule.
You can see my schedule here on the right – I have four days out of seven planned, in a very loose way.
If I keep posting daily, sometimes doing multiple posts per day, is because of that schedule.
I know I have to cover those four days.
That’s my commitment.
As soon as those four days are covered, filling in the rest of the week becomes fun – like this post, that I’m doing for fun, because the weekly schedule is already covered.

Of course, this works for me – depending on your approach to blogging, a tighter, or even a looser schedule, might be the way to go.
For instance, a friend of mine plans his posts with months of advance – he was telling me a few days back his blog is covered with daily posts until March 2015. And yet he still sneaks in the occasional improvised post – it helps keeping the blog alive, in the sense of breathing, and reactive.
On the opposite front, I wrote a blog for seven years improvising each post from day to day, doing some extra posts only in those weeks in which I knew I would not be able to write a post daily.
It worked fine.

Right now, I think the middle ground is the best.
It works.
It gives me structure, gives my reader a small amount of certainty but still a few surprises, and it allows me to still have fun (and my readers, hopefully, too!)
Nice and smooth.

Oh, yes – the gurus also say we need a call to action.
So I should close this post asking

And you? What’s your winning blogging strategy?

Which, all things considered, is not a bad question in itself.
The comments, as usual, are open.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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