Amidst the strangeness of the past 15 months or so, I’ve been struggling to maintain a consistent approach both with publishing new blog posts, and responding to comments.
As the archive numbers at the foot of the page attest, during the first two thirds of 2019 I was posting every 36 hours, so around 20 posts a month.
This was partly an experiment to see if I could, and partly to see if it increased readership and engagement, and at the time it wasn’t a frequency I had any great difficulty in maintaining.
It didn’t particularly impact readership either way though – and indeed sometimes I felt the conversation was just getting warmed up around one post, when a new one came along and re-directed some of that energy and impetus.
So I dropped down to every two days, around 15 posts a month, for the next year.
Which took us into October last year.
At which point I eased back to a post every three days, around 10 per month, after we talked in July about blogging from hand to mouth, with rarely more than one (or none) new posts queued up to be published, rather than the three to six I used to have.
Despite only setting myself a target of a new post every three days, little has changed since then, and I still feel most of the time I’m scrabbling to have a new post ready in time.
Whilst in our family, and in my team and organisation at work, we’ve found many new routines by necessity, to adapt to the forced changes brought on by a global pandemic, blogging (and to some extent photography as a whole) hasn’t really adapted.
In short, I just feel like I’m not keeping up with the pace.
Now, it’s important to note that the only one who ultimately sets the pace of a personal blog, is its owner.
The posting schedule is entirely up to me, whether that’s once a day, once a month, or simply as and when the wind blows.
So to say I’m not keeping up is something of an illusion, because I don’t have anyone dictating how often I should post, or any external pressure to post at all.
Another element I mentioned above is responding to comments.
I’m sure we all have expectations when it comes to blogging as to what’s a reasonable period in which to expect a response to a comment you leave on someone’s blog.
For me as a blog reader, a day or two is a fantastic response, and a few days is acceptable and short enough that the energy of the post and subsequent conversation is still fresh.
The momentum – and the good will between the blogger and commenter – is maintained.
Beyond this, if I have a follow up comment notification, I usually have to think twice about the original post, perhaps re-read it (or at least my original comment) to familiarise myself again, and without doubt some of that conversation flow is lost.
But, hypocritical of me, whilst I try to respond to comments on 35hunter within a couple of days, I know sometimes in the last year it’s been five days, or even more.
I imagine when I have responded, that person (perhaps you) who’s been kind enough to comment in the first place, feels the moment is gone, and they may be less inclined to bother commenting again in the future, given such a casual response time by the author, ie me.
The challenge for me is having a certain amount of time committed to 35hunter each week, and how to split this between responding to comments on existing posts, and writing and publishing new ones.
Now I fully admit this is all a very insignificant problem when measured against all the various problems one can have in life.
I’m in a highly privileged (and grateful) position to be able to have such a platform for my thoughts and ramblings around photography at all, let alone a decent and engaging audience like you too.
Nevertheless, it still bothers me why I can’t quite adapt my blogging approach to fit in with the other, much more substantial changes, we’ve evolved into dealing with in the last 15 months.
Maybe I should ease off the publishing schedule even further, publish only every four or five days, or once a week.
This would (should!) give me plenty of time to devote to the subsequent comments on the posts.
However, then the dilemma is, if I publish less, would readers lose interest and drift away anyway, so there’d be a dwindling amount of comments anyway?
The only way to find out is to try!
I’ll keep you posted as to what I decide, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts?
As a blog reader, how often do you like to see new posts? Ideally, how quick a response do you expect from a blogger when you comment on one of their posts?
If you’re a blogger yourself, how do you decide your publishing frequency? How quickly do you aim to respond to readers’ comments?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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