Some of you are probably thinking: hey Tom, where’s all this exciting new content you’ve been promising us? All the delicious short stories, the rip-roaring novel progress, the useful blogging tips? Don’t keep us waiting! *grab torches and pitchforks*
SPOILER ALERT: It’s all coming right on schedule, each and every Monday.
Because this weekly schedule works best for me. And for you, the precious readers enjoying my stories and looking forward to the new content I publish. ❤
Posting at random
When I started my blogging journey (wayyyy back
in the mists of time at the start of 2018), I panicked. I was still learning the ropes of being a first-time blogger, so there was literally no structure or consistency in the rhythm of my first blog posts. During those early days, I was worrying all about the numbers and blogging for the sake of being noticed and validated by my peers. Other people were doing it well, and tons of readers seemed interested in those blogs that posted daily. So I splurge-published my first attempt at the historical thriller that kickstarted this blog off. Four chapter posts one day a week, two another day, one the next week, three the next.
I thought that posting different days of the week would bring in new bloggers, people whose different life commitments meant they could read my content whenever they chose best.
What happened was bloggers were visiting my blog, seeing no consistency in the posts I published, and soon losing interest in keeping up with new material. My views initially skyrocketed before immediately plummeting within a day because they were mostly viewers who were vaguely curious, but not enough to stick around. Readers didn’t know what to expect or when to expect it, so after an initial spike in interest, my readership soon dropped like a stone and languished in the pits.
Eventually the crazy panic posting (sometimes multiple times a day) was burning me out, and it started to bleed into my writing. People stopped reading and visiting, and the first nine months really dragged. I began worrying ‘I can’t do this.’ ‘I’m not good enough.’ ‘My writing’s getting worse.’
‘What’s the point anymore?’
I’d forgotten the one basis rule: quality shouldn’t be rushed.
Posting once a week means: better blogging
From September last year, I restarted my blog and began practicing weekly blogging. One decent post each week, covering different blogging tips that I’d found helpful. Then another the next week. (Disney gifs helped a LOT in this case) 😀 My first lucky break was How to Handle Writer’s Block. Then the following week – How to Be a Better Blogger, some key self-help tips that I felt useful about what worked and what didn’t.
And…it took off. It really resonated with people. So I published more ‘How to…’ posts every week, and those snowballed as well. Here’s the thing: since I’ve started scheduling regular posts every single Monday (and stuck to it), my readership’s taken off in a big way. Not a huge audience, true, but it’s regular & reliable.
Why 1pm every Monday?
I felt Monday was as good a time to publish as any. There’s dozens of advice sites around telling you that ‘THE ABSOLUTE BEST TIME TO PUBLISH IS (-blegh-) AND ANY OTHER TIME IS STUPID’. Honestly? I just felt 1pm on a Monday would be okay for some readers heading into work on the US Eastern Seaboard, plus casual readers chilling over lunch in the UK / mid-afternoon in Europe, plus people on their evening commute in India and Pakistan, or any late-night readers over in Australia and Japan. So yeah…just a random time I chose for consistency that sometimes pays off, sometimes doesn’t.
Since late January, I began republishing my historical action thriller Slumdog Soldier once a week. Publishing on a consistent weekly basis has really helped my writing blossom and improve in a huge way – five months on, and I’ve been floored at the overwhelmingly positive reception it’s received. I love building an engaging story that resonates with so many people & I’m truly grateful for everyone who’s taken time to read it and leave such great constructive feedback. ❤ Always encouraging when people love an underdog story! (Especially with an actual dog sidekick. And cat. So that’s great 😀 )
Thanks to trying this serialised format, I’ve found the rhythm of my own song. I now know that blogging weekly has made me a much better blogger and writer in general. I don’t feel the need to write in a panicked urgency to keep up with daily posting; instead I’m free to pick and choose from any one situation I experience, and build a solid, engaging story for readers to enjoy on a regular weekly basis. Some might say: it’s easy for people to forget about your blog if you decide to post less frequently, BUT I believe that if people truly enjoy what you have to say and write about, then it shouldn’t matter if you decide to share your art less frequently. It’s like your favourite TV shows – they’re not aired every day, we have to wait in anticipation on a specific day to fully enjoy them, right? Keeping my blogging to a consistent weekly schedule: 1) makes me accountable to my waiting readers and stops me procrastinating; 2) lets followers know when to anticipate brand new content; and 3) gives me a self-imposed challenge to keep regularly producing quality posts for readers every week.
I mean, don’t get me wrong…I love crafting my stories and I’m a firm believer of ‘do what you love’, but ultimately it’s the fantastic WP community here that’s encouraged me to continue creating such varied stories for my faithful readers. No man is an island, right? I’ve found some truly wonderful, creative, talented, hilarious, amazing and supportive friends here who love what I publish and motivate me to keep writing. Every positive encouraging comment from a fellow blogger is a little fist-bump that keeps me going, special rays of thoughtfulness from my readers who appreciate what I’m offering them. The overflowing support from this beautiful worldwide network of bloggers has truly inspired me to continue contributing to this global family – the least I can do is make sure my blogging is regular and consistent for all you wonderful people to enjoy. Sound good?
The best part about this whole thing is longevity. If you posted every single day for one hundred days, you might risk running out of interesting new things to say, but if you posted one hundred posts in just as many weeks…well, that’s two whole years covered! Wow!
Like this writing blog, for example. Spacing each fresh chapter out in weekly instalments means I’ve got over five months of future chapters scheduled and ready (right up to December! 😀 ), which means less pressure to panic-publish new stuff in a rush. I could release more of them each week if I liked…but I don’t want to. I’d rather not overload readers with too much too often, but hope they can look forward to new content every week. This regular schedule works well for me. And that’s not including the short stories I’ve got ready to publish on the back-burner; I’m deliberately keeping the rest in reserve in case I’m short of ideas in the future. That way, I can comfortably stretch them out to another six months’ worth of blogging. Serialising my stories this way has been great for me and my readers – nothing wrong with delayed gratification, right? 😀
(I know, I know – I could publish more of them each week & get way more exposure from readers sooner, but that’s not why I’m doing this. Weekly works for me. I’m comfortable doing it this way & I’d much rather have a smaller but more faithful audience than just skim ‘n’ skip readers who won’t revisit a second time round.)
When you publish once a week, it gives you much more time to correct errors, to tweak and polish with minimal fuss, to make each and every post the absolute best it can be. And when you’ve taken time to make your content shine, it really makes your post stand out among all the others – and I personally believe that you will enjoy writing it a whole lot more each week. I certainly have. I really feel I’ve become a better writer since restarting this on a weekly basis.
This in turn helps build a solid core following, people who genuinely enjoy that high quality foundation of your blog and take something positive away from it. Visitors are curious, but true friends are dedicated. They might not be a particularly large audience, but they’re your core readers and will revisit time and time again because of the high quality of your posts. It’s a long, hard lesson I should’ve know from the beginning…
…but I’m so glad I learned it late than never 😀
I’m a firm believer that if you do post daily, you will build a larger audience far quicker than any other method. When you publish daily, your audience will learn to revisit each and every day, therefore building more traffic through your daily posts. When you blog once a week, that won’t happen.
Blogging weekly is like the gift that keeps on giving (And it’s not even Christmas yet!) because you’ll have to focus on actively promoting each blog post. Building awareness of one particular blog post over the week helps build more engagement in it, as there’ll be greater awareness over the following days, more comments and more readers versus if you posted daily. Then comes the snowball effect: a higher level of overall engagement means more people will be curious in something that’s doing well. And voila: another surprise weapon up your sleeve to become a better blogger! (y’know, besides the normal help of witchcraft, voodoo magic and CrossFit)
Moral of this story: Don’t rush your posts. When it comes to something you love…Take. Your. Time. When you write high-quality, informative content that resonates with people, readers will appreciate it for its own sake, no matter how often or infrequent it appears. They will come back again and again, and if you’re really lucky…they might even share it. These are just a few reasons why I’ve dialled back my blogging to once a week. It’s worked well for me, and who knows…it might work well for you too 😀
I’ll be releasing a couple of short story favourites for my anthology over the next few months, on certain Fridays. As it bucks the trend of weekly blogging, I’ll add a footnote to every relevant Monday chapter letting readers anticipate extra content on the following Friday.
Thanks ever so much for reading this! Hope you enjoyed it. Have a lovely week!