***Disclaimer: I feel like I should start off by confessing that I rarely schedule my blog posts. I realize that this makes me very naughty, as I’m about to chastise the world for doing the same. But nobody’s perfect, so…please consider this post my requisite self-flagellation for today. (Flagellation? Flogging? Is that right? Whichever one is less pervy sounding, I guess.)
1. Blogging is such an instantaneous format that we tend to abuse it.
When I slap together a quick post and immediately publish it, I feel a little bit…cheap. Don’t you? Now, imagine how your readers feel. They actually took the time to come to your blog, click the link on Twitter, Facebook, whatever. That means they wanted to know what you had to say. But if you’re basically saying the equivalent of “Meh…blah blah blah whatever,” they’re probably going to feel a little bit cheated.
2. Contrary to what most laypeople (non-bloggers) seem to think, blogging is not the ideal platform for self-indulgent introspection.
One does not simply prattle on about their day and then summarize with an “I had to ask myself…” statement, Carrie Bradshaw style. And if one does this, and one is indeed not said fictional character, one should stop doing that immediately. Like, right now. Seriously. One is being an insufferable douche. Knock it off.
3. Wordiness–despite what the staggering breadth of the Bible may suggest–is NOT next to godliness.
For those of us who struggle with this concept (aheh, aheh *mimics bird call* “Lookoverhere!”) it’s important to let the superfluous words stew for a bit, until they start to rankle even the wordiest of wordsmiths. Then you cut them out. Then you publish. (Unless said superfluous phrases are SO hilarious that they’re still making you chortle like a stoned school child on the fourth read. Then they can probably stay. That’s my rule, anyway.)
4. You don’t want to be known for quantity over quality. Right? (Imagine stern expression here)…RIGHT?
Drafting, then saving, then finalizing and scheduling a post brings blogging up to a higher level of art form. Like a novel, or a meticulously edited magazine photograph vs. graffiti on a neighborhood wall.
5. You probably care WHO reads your blog.
Expanding on that last point, where–if you’ll recall–I compared an un-drafted blog post to gang-related street art, it’s important to realize that the presentation of your message will directly influence who your audience is. For example, if you’re on Twitter/Tumbler , chances are you can get away with making a few off-the-cuff remarks now and then. Because those sites are in the kind of neighborhood where people tend to troll around in low-riders with their windows down, and they’re probably only idly glancing at your message as they cruise by, anyway.
BUT, if you’re trying to set your blog up as the classy new bistro / art gallery on the block, or even the trendy little coffee place where people come to spend some quality time while they share and discuss ideas…well, then you might want to go for a more well thought out decorating scheme and vibe. If you will.
In summary, the most important thing a writer can do when drafting / formatting / designing / sharing their blog is KNOW the answers to the following questions:
What is your goal?
Who is your audience?
How do you want to be seen by said audience?
Does every post you publish reflect those first three answers?
And of course, it’s ALWAYS important to ask for feedback. So feel free to share your opinions in the comments!