The Importance of Quantity
Some good blogging advice from Felix Salmon:
As always, there’s a trade-off between quantity and quality. Should you write more, with lower quality, or less, with higher quality? Fortunately, the blogosphere has been around for long enough that we have a simple empirical answer to this question: given the choice, go for quantity over quality. You might not like it — I certainly don’t — but I defy you to name a really good blogger who doesn’t blog frequently.
Often bloggers are the worst judges of their own work; I can give you hundreds of personal examples of blog entries I thought were really good which disappeared all but unnoticed, and of blog entries I thought were tossed-off throwaways which got enormous traction and distribution. Mostly, blogging is a lottery on the individual-blog-entry level — and if you want to win the lottery, your best chance of doing so is to maximize the number of lottery tickets you buy.
Personally, I’m not very happy about this fact. But it is a fact. And although I might gravitate towards those blogs in my RSS reader which have only one or two unread entries, I know that empirically speaking success in the blogging world is pretty much directly proportional to frequency of output. I thought RSS would change things. It didn’t. Ah well. And don’t worry about time of day, either: people read blogs at the craziest times, so once it’s written just put it up.
That's certainly my experience. A big part of building your audience is making your blog a habit for your readers. And people don't become habituated to things that are irregular. A side point to this is that a lot of writers -- myself included -- don't like to write when they don't have anything particularly interesting or original to say. In certain ways, that's a perfectly sound instinct. But it forgets that a lot of the value we provide is not in the things we personally create but in the things we promote: important newspaper articles and interesting bits of analysis and useful research reports. Effective aggregation doesn't do very much for a writer's reputation, but it does make him or her useful to readers.
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