Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blog Length and Frequency

When I first started this blog, my goal was to write six days a week. A few months back I adjusted that to five days a week: I figured I could stand to take weekends off. But I'm still faced with not only the occasional lack of a decent topic (not that any writer is a stranger to that emotion), but the fact that the blog has pretty effectively pushed my other writing aside. When I was still planning to start this blog I heard a story on the radio about the Pope having a blog. The story included an interview with a blog expert, who stressed that a blogger must write every day, must provide content for his or her audience every day. ProBlogger blogger Darren Rowse addresses this in his article "How Often Should A Blogger Post?". He mentions, among other things, the length of a post. When I write my blog posts I aim for the same length that's requested by Associated Content: 400-700 words. My average over the past seven days seems to be about 375, though Monday's post was a monster at 950. Looks like I've been skimping a bit lately.

I try to put up posts long enough to offer something useful to my audience, but not so much that it takes then an inordinate amount of time to read. I try not to 'phone it in' when I don't have anything in my head for the blog, but sometimes it happens that I sit here and an idea comes to me. Kind of like today.

So give me some feedback, loyal readers: how much is too much? What's your opinion on my post length? And do you care if I miss a day now and again? Today's post, for the record, is 294 words, a bit lower than my general target. Do you prefer to read very short posts so you can move on to the next blog quickly? Or do you prefer longer pieces that are more involved?


  1. Since you're providing your blog free of charge, I'm fine with you skipping days when you want, and writing according to the proper length of your idea, not necessarily an arbitrary cut-off. B)

  2. As I've said to many women, (well....not very many at all actually), "length doesn't matter, its how you use it!"
    That may or may not be true, (guessing NOT), but its true enough for the blogger! Say what you feel like saying, Heather. This reader is here to see what you have to say, and I'll read it regardless.

    Unless it sucks, of course. ;)

  3. I think a blogger should write as little or as much as she wants, and I never listen to "experts" about anything. John Scalzi is a well-known Sci-Fi author who happens to keep a popular blog, and he sometimes will blog a single sentence or a long diatribe, even posting multiple times a day or going several days without a post.

    Thing is, you have to decide if you are a blogger or an author. Since they're two completely different styles and formats, it can be hard to shift your mind-space when switching between the two.

    So my feedback is, if you skip a day because you don't feel like you have something worth blogging about, then by all means skip. And word counts only matter to me if it starts to get so long that I lose interest halfway down the page. I think a good rule of thumb is, most blog readers don't want to have to scroll very far to reach the end of the post. Even Wil Wheaton's posts can get a little long at times, and I find myself skipping to the end when they do.