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Why “Blog When You Have Something to Say” is Bad Advice

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One of the most common questions I hear about blogging is this:

How often should I blog? Do I need to write a certain number of posts per month or week or day?

And commonly, the answer I see people giving is this:

Blog when you have something to say. You don’t have to stick to a certain schedule or routine. What’s important is that you blog when you feel passionate about the topic.

It certainly sounds like good advice, but in actuality, it can be quite dangerous, especially for new bloggers. Why is “blog when you have something to say” such bad advice?

1. It encourages laziness.

When you only blog when you have something to say, you’re encouraged to be a lazy blogger. It’s almost as though we’re giving ourselves a free pass to do less work. Something big happens in your industry? Meh. I don’t *really* feel passionate about that topic, so I’m not going to write about it.To be sure, you don’t have to write about everything, but sometimes covering a topic is what is best for your readers. If you give yourself a free pass to ignore certain topics, you aren’t giving your readers the best experience possible on your blog.

2. We aren’t forced to push ourselves.

When you only blog when you have something to say, it’s easy to fall into the trap of not looking for something to say. It’s not about blogging about topics when you don’t care about them. It’s about finding things to care about. When you’re forced to push yourself to find topics to cover, you might be surprised at what you find. The world is an interesting place. You might also be surprised at the work you do when you push yourself to find the interesting story in a topic you don’t naturally find interesting.

3. More posts lead to more traffic.

The more you write, the more your fans will visit your blog to read what you write. Maintaining a high quality is important, but if you do, you will see more traffic. Chris Brogan talked at BlogWorld New York about how he recently decrease the number of times he posts per week and he’s definitely seen a decrease in traffic. When having a conversation with Jared Polin about this, he told me that he attributes at least some of his own success to the fact that he posts six or seven times every week. I can also confirm from my personal experiences that when I post more, I see more traffic. So if you’re measuring success with statistics, posting more often is a great way to boost your traffic. And remember, readers are creatures of habit. If you post on a schedule, they’ll know when to expect new content. If you post sporadically, they might simply forget about you.

Going back to the original question – how often should you blog? If the answer isn’t “blog when you have something to say,” what is the answer?

Some people might disagree with me, but I think the best answer is this: Blog as often as you can while maintaining a high quality. Get on a schedule and stick to it, pushing yourself to blog regularly. Sometimes it might be hard, but as Jimmy Dugan says, “It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.”

How often do you blog? How often do you think people should blog? Tell us with a comment below!

 

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