This is another case of the conflicting experts, and of me making tons of mistakes.
Expert #1: You must post almost every day.
What the flip? I don't have time for that!
"What the flip" is what my friends would call a "Pooh Bear expression." I don't think you need to swear to get peoples' attention. In fact, you get more attention if you mix things up a bit, like I just did. :-)
Ahem. I digressed. Where was I going with that? Oh, yes...
One thing that I didn't know when I read that statistic, that I now know: Those high-traffic one-to-several-posts-a-day blogs? They have multiple writers. Not just one.
The reason for this advice: You stay in someone's mind.
So you can see the benefit of posting often enough that whenever people think of a particular type of thing, they will automatically think of you.
"Ugh, I'm sick of wading through smut in fantasy. I just want to get to the story. Hey, Yaasha Moriah writes speculative fiction that doesn't subject you to constant sexual innuendos and crude language. Maybe I'll give her books a shot."
Expert #2: Just post as often as you want to.
Expert #3: Post great content regularly, then promote the heck out of it.
BTW, I got this video because I signed up for his free e-mail list. It's not available to just anybody, but I think it's worth the trade for my e-mail.
Derek made me laugh when he explained that most people don't say, "Oh, hey, it's an e-mail from him again! I haven't heard from him in two weeks, the jerk. I think I'll look up his name in my inbox and delete everything he's sent me and unsubscribe from his list." No, they'll likely think, "Oh, yeah, it's him! I really liked his post last time. It's been a while and I think it's worth checking out his stuff again."
Totally. Makes. Sense. Right?
The reason for this advice: You don't blow yourself out.
I've made mistakes in all these areas.
Pacing is obviously not my strength. So I've gone back and forth between too much and too little. When I first started my blog back in 2011, I posted twice a week. Well, that felt comfy and I was so excited that I soon upped it to three times a week. Then I split my blog into two blogs (that's a whole 'nother story) and, between the two of them, posted five times a week. I burnt out quickly. (Duh. The funniest part was that it took me several months. I really do not get the point quickly.)
Then I went to twice a week on each of my two blogs. Finally, I threw most of my efforts into my fiction blog, posting three times a week on my fiction blog and once a week on my Christian single women's blog.
Even that was too much (especially since I struggle with a chronic illness that really sucks my brain power some days), so I finally said, "Once a week on both blogs!" (This was back sometime in March 2015, I think.)
That was great, except (1) I didn't keep to it, because I found new things I just had to share on my fiction blog and (2) I had promised myself to post one new short fiction story a week.
Try writing just one short story a week. I dare ya. I did it for too many months and now I know why that was a bad idea.
- Promoting my short, free fiction detracted from promoting my longer, sellable fiction. Horrible marketing!
- That's 52 new story ideas a year, people. Though I have an overactive imagination, I have certain expectations for a good story. In particular, I like a surprise ending or some unusual twist, and it's hard to do that 52 times a year.
So what's the upshot?
So here are my tips for myself. If you find them useful, that would be awfully flattering to me. If you don't, check out the experts. They know more than I do.
- Post less frequently than you think you can manage. It's easy to add more. It's hard to cut back.
- Post regularly. If that's twice a month, like Derek Halpern, that's fine. If that's twice a week (and that's not just doable but comfortable), then do that.
- Post only what you're proud of posting and would feel comfortable defending if people found it controversial. (But don't be too afraid of controversy. It at least generates engagement.)
- Make sure you target your audience specifically and effectively. Don't just say, "Hey, this is a cool thing that sorta kinda relates to my brand."
- Promote your post. Nobody's going to read the Most Awesome Post in the World if they don't know it exists. Reach out to the people who will most likely benefit from or enjoy your post, and market it.
- Pre-promotion ain't a bad idea. If it's really good, or part of a series, you can say something like, "Next week, I'll give you..." and give a sneak peek.
I'm still learning a lot about promotion, so I'll leave it at that, but you get the idea.
That said, my fiction blog will be seeing some changes. A new short story per month sounds good. As for the rest of the month... Well, I have some ideas!