Why You Shouldn't Blog Daily

This week, I've posted about why Seth Godin and John Saddington advocate for daily blogging. But the critics of daily blogging are numerous and their arguments are seemingly sound. In fact, advocating for daily blogging is, by far, the minority opinion.

I've done both and now believe the daily blog is the answer. But before I explain why, let's look at the arguments against blogging everyday.

Pro Long-Form/Less Frequent Posts

These arguments assume you will be blogging in short bursts (like Seth Godin) since it would near impossible to blog long reads daily. If you want to write 5000-word, illustrated posts daily, I imagine you are already independently wealthy and a bit insane. These arguments also assume you already think blogging is a good idea, you're just not sure about frequency or length of content.

  • Giving yourself more time takes the pressure off and ensures higher quality articles. It's your site, why not ensure you're presenting your best work?
  • Google tends to prefer original content of significant length. This is really hard to pull off daily.
  • It's easier to syndicate weekly articles in their entirety (to a newsletter and social media).
  • “Since there are fewer and fewer individuals doing long-form writing these days, relative to the growing potential audience, it’s getting easier to get attention than ever if you actually have something original to say.” - Andy Baio.
  • Long content tends to be shared more (this whole article by Copyhackers is wonderful - it breaks down this argument and many others I'm not even touching). Reading this convinced me for a time to give up daily, short-burst blogging.
  • Brian Clark from Copyblogger, one of the most experienced and successful analysts of blogging, advises against short posts, arguing that longer, evergreen posts last for years and bring in new readers all the time. I heard him talk about this on one of his podcasts and he laughed heartily at the antiquated notion of short posts.

Why I Disagree

I admit to changing my mind about this several times over the years. But here's where my mind is now:

  • Writing daily in short bursts easier and more fun for me then writing weekly long-form essays. In fact, I'd bet I spend less time on a full week of daily posts than when I did a single, weekly post. Don't ask me why. It probably has to do with wanting perfection in a long-form post, versus just getting an idea out there.
  • Google doesn't like it? So what. Most of my readers (and my most devoted readers especially) don't come from Google. They come from word of mouth and my books. That's why they stick around too. I don't make decisions based on what Google likes anyway, because they change their mind frequently.
  • Syndicating a weekly essay may be much easier than a bunch of daily posts. But, it turns out, people read more of your stuff if you present it as a headline/summary/link than if you send them entire articles. At least, that's been true for my audience...which brings me to the most important point...
  • Every audience is different. Yours may prefer short content, long content, photo essays or video. You don't know until you test. And, even then, your audience will change over time. There's no one-size fits all answer to any of this. But, I believe, testing daily will give you better answers than testing weekly or monthly.
  • As for the sharing and evergreen arguments, my solution is perhaps the oldest in blogging: do both. Create short bursts daily with an occasional long article. This is exactly what the best tech bloggers have been doing since blogging became a thing. It's seems more honest to me, because our minds work this way. That's the answer for me...until/unless my audience tells me different. It's really up to them (you).

Some Others Who Argue for Short Posts or a Mix

"Ideas come to you in all sizes. If it's short, write a short post. If it's long write a longer one. It's a ridiculous discussion." - Dave Winer. He argues more here in favor of short posts.

"Rule: publish in an hour. You won’t write a masterpiece, but. It’s out there." – Jeffrey Zeldman.

“Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea. If you know you have to write a blog post tomorrow, something in writing, something that will be around 6 months from now, about something in the world, you will start looking for something in the world to to write about. You will seek to notice something interesting and to say something creative about it. Well, isn’t that all we’re looking for? The best practice of generously sharing what you notice about the world is exactly the antidote for your fear.” - Seth Godin. I know I've posted this quote before, but c'mon - this is what life is really about. Being aware and present is all we have in the end, when you think about it. This is why I love photography and if I can relate that through blogging too? Wow.