Publishing Every 36 Hours – The Ups And Downs

So for the last three months or so I’ve been publishing a new blog post here on 35hunter every 36 hours.

The schedule works well, and fits the part of my brain that craves logic and routine – publish at 7am on day one, 7pm on day two, have day three off, then begin again.

I feel I’ve bedded into this frequency well enough to share some thoughts on what works for me about it, and what doesn’t.

Ups

I like publishing this often. It keeps the blog feeling fresh, and helps me keep new ideas and posts coming.

I much prefer a regular routine than publishing as and when I feel like it. I find it much easier to find the discipline to write with such a framework in place – this has been true all of my adult life.

Publishing this frequently has encouraged me to experiment and broaden the content and style of posts. I know that if something doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter, there’ll be another post along in 36 hours.

The archives are steadily fed. As I write this, I’ve already published 58 posts this year and it’s not yet the end of month three. The larger your archives, the more likely people are to find you. In theory, you widen your net with each additional quality post.

I like to stay two or three posts ahead, so the WordPress scheduling feature is invaluable. It means that maybe some weeks I’ll write seven or eight new posts, some weeks only three.

My “buffer” (how many posts I have scheduled, but not yet published) ebbs and flows, always remaining above one. Which means even if I don’t write anything for 36 hours (or even a week), if I keep the buffer topped up, it’s fine. This absorbs the inevitable natural flows in my writing – and life in general.

Finally, the more I write, the more I write. My draft posts list before I started this was somewhere in the 90s. It’s currently around 120. The more you capture your ideas, the more they breed.

Again this is something I’ve known for many years of writing and creating.

40500249383_56e809b179_b

Downs

You have to keep the schedule. I’ve not gone below having one post in the buffer to be published, but sometimes it can feel a bit of a pressure if you’ve just published and only have one more waiting.

But as I said above, this set up means I can keep this buffer and not be sitting watching the clock with a new post due in a few hours and nothing ready.

Sometimes it feels like the conversation around one post is only just warming up, then a new post comes along, and (some) people jump on to that one. This has felt like the comments have been cut short before they might have been, had there not been another new post so soon after.

Some readers can’t/don’t “keep up”. I often talk about limiting time online, doing less but doing it better, and cutting down the number of blogs you follow. This sometimes seems to go against my own frequency of publishing. There are people that converse regularly for a while, then kind of drop away, which is disappointing. I wonder if this is because the frequency of posts is too much for them?

I spend more time writing each week than when I was publishing say twice a week. Which is obvious. It just means I have to make the time for it.

My drafts list is up to around 120. Which I also listed as a positive, but sometimes I think I jot down a few new posts rather than finish off the 10 or 15 posts that are only 10 or 15 minutes away from being ready to publish.

40500250563_e523ca728a_b

In summary, the ups are well worth the downs, I feel. 

I don’t plan to change the 36 hours publishing schedule any time soon.

How about you? How often do you like to read a new post? How often do you publish on your own blog, and do you experiment with different frequencies? 

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

What Next?

Share this post with someone you think will enjoy it using the buttons below.

Read a random post from the archives.

See what I’m up to About Now.

25 thoughts on “Publishing Every 36 Hours – The Ups And Downs”

  1. Reading it all and looking forward to every post, as I suspect most do. We get a clean Zen layout, a reflective space away from the clamor; dependable and regular as the newspaper and worlds away more upbeat and positively engaging.

    If/when I don’t comment, it’s because I have nothing especial to contribute, or that others have said whatever notion I had it mind more effectively. It is certainly not a case of trivial or banal posts, or that the stream is too rapid. Daily would not be too frequent. It is clear that you have put in the thinking time (though Lord only knows when), and are not just pushing content out the door.

    Writing at volume to a specific discipline is as you say autoregenerative, self-begetting, and will take one in unplanned directions of unforeseen reward. Wherefore, crank on!

    1. William, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I hope to provide exactly what you say, a quiet corner of contemplation and sharing of our photography adventures.

      Re the discipline, yes I find it so powerful. As I wrote in my yoga post the other week, having a discipline in one area of life helps to do the same in others too, and somehow makes me feel more productive, stronger, and of course as we know the more we capture our ideas, the more they seem to come. I think with anyone who creates regularly, it becomes like a house with an ideas party going on. Word gets around and attracts other ideas to come and join in, from the local neighbourhood and beyond…

  2. When I first found your blog I noticed the uptick in posts recently. I don’t read all your articles, and feel you have a good mix to attract the masses. I think you have a good post schedule, compared to some who post once a month, and others like ‘Seths.blog’ who posts every day. I think you posting on one platform here is a good thing going for you …

    Personally, I am looking for my sweet spot again in posting, trying out two or three different platforms. As I was posting every other day on Flickr until they changed the terms last November. I’ve had a love and hate relationship with WordPress for a decade.

    I also agree to limit the number of blogs you follow, and your time online. We all need to take time away to think and have a mental health break. Some of my best blog posts happen when out for a walk or even washing the dishes by hand …

    Keep at it Dan!

    1. Frank, thank you for your comments and support, much appreciated, and I’m glad you’re getting something from being here.

      That is one benefit of posting more I didn’t mention above, that by posting more frequently and across a wider range, hopefully you reach a wider audience, even if only say one in three or four posts resonate with some people.

      I have tried social media but just it’s just not worked. Facebook I can’t bear, left it in 2010 and haven’t looked back. Twitter is just too commercial now and lost its main charm – the simplicity and conciseness of the text only 140 (I think) character limit. I used to love it in the early days for sharing poetry, specifically haiku, it was such a beautiful platform for that. Alas a distant memory now! Instagram I just can’t get over the small size and the mobile only sharing (though I know there are workarounds). I don’t want to view photographs on a small screen – mine or anyone else’s. Plus all the shallow pointless comments full of hearts and emojis, ugh!

      Flickr I still use, but conversation there has all but dried up. Before I started 35hunter in late 2015 I used that as a blog almost, then figured I’d have a wider reach with my own platform.

      Why is WordPress love/hate for you?

      I currently follow perhaps 15 core blogs then chop and change with about half a dozen more. Some I start following as one or two posts show promise, then they either go off topic too often, or don’t post often enough, so I let them go.

      Personally I don’t find it a huge challenge to post regularly, but that is partly because my own online time is almost entirely on 35hunter (writing new posts and responding to comments), Flickr (almost purely uploading photos) and those few blogs I mentioned above (reading and commenting). If I was trying to follow 100 blogs and two or three other social media platforms I wouldn’t have that time to focus on what I value most online currently.

      Do less, do it better is an important motto for me!

      1. I used Flickr, like you Dan, sort of like a blog posting a picture about every other day with some thoughts, for eleven years strait. But then a new owner came in an changed the game plan. That is what happens when you use someone else’s platform and not your own. And you’re right, the community dropped off, and even more so with the recent changes.

        So I’m transitioning to ipernity, which also has a blog with your account. I’m really impressed with the community there, and the business model. I also have a blog on my Artist Website, and LinkedIn encourages you to post on your blog there content you have posted elsewhere. All of this to say that I see an uptick in blogs in the aftermath of the social media data mining craziness. Not to mention the attention suck you mentioned.

        So, again like you, I don’t use social media other than LinkedIn sparingly. I think it is best described by this article on blogs and social media http://calnewport.com/blog/2018/12/07/on-blogs-in-the-social-media-age/

        About my love/hate relationship with WordPress.com: In short, there are two main arguments. Image protection, and media space.

        I prefer to use platforms with the image rigth-click-protect feature. Flickr and ipernity have it, and my artist website has it. Because I sell my images as artistic photography, I like to deter the most common method for stealing images online: right-click and save image. Some of my images posted in blog posts over time I’ve converted to post for sale, because people asked me to. I think Crevado says it best, here is a short paragraph: “Crevado comes built-in with all the technical barriers that exist to protect your images, but all this still won’t guarantee your images won’t be abused. It’s always important to remember that once your work is visible then there are ways to “steal it”…. With the built-in techniques we employ, we believe that the upsides of running an Crevado portfolio far outweigh any downsides incurred by would-be image thieves.” https://crevado.com/faq I think WordPress should give us photographers this option, they used to do this but changed it.

        With the media space, especially for posting our images, I feel WordPress is thinking backwards in this regard. If I pay for my blog then, yes, I should be allowed a certain amount of media storage because I’m paying for it. But If I use the free blog option, then my storage space should be unlimited since advertising is already paying for it. Compare this to Blogger and Tumblr who provide unlimited storage space. So WordPress then presents no competition – I just wont do it. For example, with my photoblog on WordPress I embed all my images from Flickr, because this was encouraged by both WP and Flickr. Then Flickr came in recently and changed how many photos you can host on their site (though I was a pro member, I let it lapse because of how they went about it) which then broke all the links to my WordPress posts. So if WordPress is bent on being open source, they should extend this to image storage, then I wouln’t have run into that issue with Flickr.

        I’m sure you can tell I’m passionate about all of this. WordPress.com is a wonderful platform, who doesn’t do the data mining like the social media sites, and I think they have their act together for the most part. They just need to rethink appeal to the masses when it comes to us photographers and image protection.

        Thanks for reading, I know it was a lot.

        1. Hi Frank, thanks for you further thoughts.

          Ipernity sounds like a promising option. Currently I’m very embedded (no pun intended!) with Flickr so I need to stick with that, and I’m happy with it overall. But if that changes with the recent takeover I might be looking at alternatives. I already had a Pro account for years so the 1000 image limit on free accounts didn’t really affect me.

          The image protection you talk about I’ve never given much thought. Photography is a hobby for me, I don’t sell prints or have any professional aspirations. If people want to steal images they will, I don’t know if there’s much we can do to stop it. A while back, last year, I found some of my blog posts regurgitated entirely, photos and all, on another random site. They had the posts of other photographers too. It didn’t happen again so I ignored it and carried on.

          I agree though that there could be a better arrangement with WordPress and they could offer far more storage for less cost, and tighten up their security if that’s an issue for some of their most devoted users, like yourself.

          Is there a way you can feed this back to them to look into?

          Thanks again Frank.

          1. Thanks for your reply Dan. I was thinking the same thing, to feed this back to WordPress, so I’m looking for a way to do that. Until or unless this gets sorted, I’ve concluded to make blog posts on WP with text only and no pictures, or at least link to them where they have right-click protect.

          2. I think WordPress have forums? I know a couple of times I’ve been trying to work out how to do something I’ve used the live chat thing where you type in your questions and get responses in real time, but I’m not sure that’s the best avenue for your suggestions. Maybe a place to start though?

  3. not much people reading blogs these days, how many clicks (opens) of blog posts do you have in average, or for example on yesterday’s post?

    1. I think that is a bit of a myth Pavel. I think what’s happened is social media (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) has gone so mainstream that it feels like everyone is doing it (and that you’re missing out if you don’t!). You can rarely watch a TV show over here with hashtags appearing at the foot of the screen encouraging you to voice your opinions on social media. But it’s all part of the same advertising machine. Get people talking about tv shows more, they watch more, so they then watch more adverts in between the shows, and buy more products they don’t need. It’s all designed to feed itself.

      Blogs were never anything like that popular or mainstream, and don’t really feed any advertising – at least most I follow don’t, they’re about personal writing and sharing of experiences.

      So those of us who still enjoy reading larger more thoughtful posts, in a quieter, simpler environment, and who don’t want to be swallowed in the great advertising monster, are still reading (and writing!) blogs.

      It’s a different format, like comparing a novel or a book of poetry to a celebrity gossip magazine. The gossip mags sell more, but which has the most useful, lasting and thought provoking content?

      For 35hunter, a good result in terms of views per post is over 100 views. Looking at the last 30 days, I have seven posts with over 100 views (but they are not all the last seven posts published).

      My most popular post ever currently has around 15,000 views, the lowest handful have less than 50 views. But then the whole of 2016 I only had 5000 views, so most of these posts are likely from then when few people were reading. Last year, 2018, I had 20 times that number of views in total.

      And the first three months of 2019 I’ve averaged about 250 comments per month.

      I hope that gives some indication of the current level of activity here.

      If I got to the point of having say 25 views per post and virtually no comments, I would consider the future of the project. But this is more than enough activity to make it more than worthwhile currently.

      Thanks for getting me thinking more!

      1. Well, thanks for intro about social media, thought I wasn’t aiming that direction. I know how social media works. Deleted my presence there. Anyway, thank you for providing info about your blog stats.

    2. “…how many clicks … of blog posts do you have …?”

      I am trying to understand, once again, why audience size should be important to most bloggers. Or if it is.

      People who write publicly do so because they must, out of any number of motives, but to each of those reasons they have for writing, in most popular venues an always-present component will be the confirmation or validation they receive when the number of clicks reaches a certain threshold, proving that many people of all sorts and kinds have read it and approve to some degree. That the writing is so good, it has a wide, perhaps a universal appeal.

      If this is not an essential motive, then the writer is a diarist, with a pen and a notebook. That’s a form of meditation, and true meditations (as opposed to philosophic ruminations coyly called meditations) are personal and private.

      The other thing is more akin to performance. Public display of any art form is a performance. Twitter is a public venue for the performance of wit or insight. Flickr and ipernity are venues for the performance of graphic art, and note that there, the ‘blog’/discussion content has fallen way off. Facebook is a venue for the performance of re-enactments or re visitations upon the celebratory and self-satisfied enviability of one’s life and times.

      Good blogs are not these. Good blogs often expose the good and the bad, the downturns in people’s lives and their struggle. The invitation to comment there is an opening to discuss, to commiserate, to identify, to form a gemeinschaft. The “counters” there are comments, rejoinders, reactions. They are slower, more considered in the noisy whirling of the world at large, and have more weight and depth. Clicks are just more background noise in the general madhouse din, the laugh-track of the Internet.

      Or so it seems to me.

      1. William I almost entirely agree.

        I do gain great value from writing about my photography experiences regardless of any readership, it helps me get my thoughts in order and plan for the next phase of evolution.

        But a huge part of blogging for me is to build and encourage community, and my initial words (ie the blog post) are just a jumping off point for other people to share their points of view and experiences. If I didn’t have this element, it’s questionable as to how long I would continue to write, so I appreciate it hugely.

        That’s an excellent analogy about clicks, and indeed I would add “likes”. Our daughter watches a couple of Disney Channel shows at the moment aimed at pre-teen girls. Though they rarely actually say anything that even raises a smile, let alone a laugh, the canned laughter rattles away in the background every time any character seems to say anything! It’s terribly grating, and just meaningless, like those empty likes and clicks that are supposed to trick us into thinking the things being clicked and liked actually have any value.

  4. Thanks for another thought-provoking post, Dan 🙂 I don’t read as much as I used to in the past, and I don’t just mean blogs. Books, magazines, and newspapers barely get a look from me these days. I think the more I’ve become involved with social media, the less time I seem to devote to reading. I don’t have the attention span anymore!

    Anyway, I can go a week or two without checking WordPress, and then suddenly be looking at it everyday. If you posted less frequently, I wouldn’t see your blogs in my Reader, so in that regard, your posting schedule works for me 😀

    At the moment I am only blogging every 2-3 weeks, and I have noticed fewer views because of it, but a bit like Frank, I have a love/hate relationship with WordPress/blogging in general. I think I just don’t find it social enough.

    1. Hi Mel, thanks for your thoughts.

      I think social media is a culprit on the attention span front. I’ve nearly finished a post about blogs and social media and this is an element I’ve talked about.

      What do you think influences how much you check your WordPress Reader?

      I feel the opposite in a way about blogging being social, I find it just right. Social media doesn’t give enough depth for me. I’d rather have one decent conversation on a blog (mine, yours, or anyone else’s) than seeing a hundred “likes” or “Great photo!” comments or thumbs up and heart emojis on social media… But then life in general I prefer to take things slower and deeper than flit about on the surface. More of a slow moving fish than a zippy dragonfly!

      1. Dan, thank you for sharing your experience about your reader stats. It is not very high, but some is better than nothing.

        1. Pavel, I think we just have different expectations. The fact that I can write regularly write blog posts about stuff that interests me, and 100 or so other people across the world read it, and half a dozen find in interesting enough to make a comment, is hugely rewarding.

          There are thousands of blogs (perhaps hundreds of thousands??) that lay abandoned with no-one writing or reading, so for me 35hunter is a personal triumph and, as I said, very rewarding on many levels. Not least of all because of all the comments, insights and experiences others share. Some blogs are well and truly dead yes, but blogging as a format isn’t at all, many blogs are thriving, and even more so because they can offer more depth and a calmer more personal environment than social media platforms.

          I could “optimise” my blog by writing about more popular topics like film cameras or the very latest digital. But that doesn’t interest me, so I don’t. It would seem disingenuous and any views or “likes” I might receive would seem like empty currency. Figures without real people behind them are pointless in my view.

          Maybe you need to think about what your expectations are, whether they’re realistic and how you can meet them?

          1. As I said, my comment, initial, wasn’t intended to compare blogging with social media.

            I will just wish you happy blogging and many engaged readers and commenters.

  5. We both know that our publishing schedule is only something we’ve set for ourselves. World peace does not hinge on us keeping it. Cancer will not be cured. So why is it so hard to let it lapse because either our lives are too busy, or we don’t have something interesting to say?

    1. Jim, I think for me it’s important to keep some kind of routine because of the momentum and confidence it gives. I just like the discipline, it gives me strength that permeates other parts of life.

      On being too busy, yes there are days I write less than others, and sometimes I might go two or three days without writing at all. Which is where the WordPress publishing schedule in invaluable! I generally try to keep two or three posts in the buffer to allow for periods where I don’t prioritise writing, then there might be a day where I write or finish off two or three posts and build up the buffer again.

      On not having anything interesting to say, I’ve found that the more I write, the more ideas I have. Some posts generate more interest than others of course, but hopefully most resonate with some people at least.

    1. Oh do let us know how it goes.

      I think a significant factor in this working for me is the regular times, not so much the frequncy (ie 36 hours).

      For some people posting every day at 6am might work best, or every other day at 7pm, or every Monday and Thursday at 12 noon.

      It’s more about having that regular schedule as a framework, then using the scheduling function of WordPress to queue posts up ahead of when they’re published.

      Doing this – and trying to always have two, three, four posts in the buffer – allows for the inevitable ebb and flow of life that means sometimes we might write three posts in one day, other times we might not write a post for three days.

      So be willing to experiment with the gap between posts, but keep it consistent.

      I hope it goes well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s