You may not have noticed, but for the last couple of weeks, Waxing UnLyrical has not been publishing over the weekend.
The three main reasons for this are:
1. While I love blogging, the blog community, social media, etc., more and more I’ve been feeling the need to decompress and stay offline as much as possible during the weekend (just as I’ve been trying to do on vacation). Now, when it comes to blogging, you could certainly tell me that I can schedule posts ahead of time and do just that.
That is true. But then, if the weekend posts got comments (which they didn’t always, but sometimes they would), I’d feel terribly conflicted as I had to choose between replying to those comments immediately and doing boring offline married people stuff with my husband (not to mention paying a little more attention to my dogs).
2. Recently, while looking at Waxing UnLyrical’s analytics, I found that over the last year, visits to the blog have increased dramatically. But pages per visit and the average time on the site have fallen; not dramatically, but enough to make me sit up and go, “Eh? They’re not liking what they’re seeing here enough to stick around for a while?”
3 . A few weeks ago, I got an email from one of my readers asking me to take her unsubscribe her from the email subscription list. Why? She likes the blog, but was doing a general cleaning up and there was “too much” coming over the transom from WUL.
Quality and consistency
I know we have this “quantity v. quality” debate over and over again. Most recently, Erica Allison talked about it. For me, it’s not so much “quantity” as “quality and consistency,” because all said and done, there is comfort in consistency, both from the publisher’s point of view as well as that of the reader.
In publishing a post every day (whether it’s written by me or by a guest blogger), I’ve been aiming for consistency. But quality is really really important to me too. I’d like to think that the quality of WUL posts is consistently good-to-very-good, with occasional excellence.
And I’ve been learning that I can’t sustain that (because even when I don’t write the posts, I do edit them) if I publish over the weekend as well. Because I would feel pressure to publish something, anything, just to get it out. And that is the surest sign – to me, at least – that I’m giving in to quantity instead of quality.
So while I want to continue to build blog readership to WUL as much as I did before, a couple of weeks ago I decided to hit the “reset” button on WUL and stop publishing over the weekend. My goal is to maintain consistency by publishing one post Monday through Friday, and hopefully they will be good ones.
While it’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusions, I’ve noticed that visits are still coming in over the weekend, posts published during the week still get comments (assuming they’re good) and I’m a little less stressed.
Hitting the reset button has, so far at least, been a good thing, as far as I can tell (please tell me if I’m wrong and you’re desperate for the weekend posts, because then I’ll bring them back!).
Given that WUL is slightly over two and a half years old (who woulda thunk it?!), I imagine this is something I’ll do periodically. I imagine you will too, if you’re a blogging grasshopper like me.
And it’s a good thing, because if we kept doing the same things, over and over and over again, without stopping to evaluate them and see how they were working, I don’t think we’d get anywhere. Whether it’s in our personal lives, work, or blogging.
Repetition without evaluation leads to stagnation.
What do you think: good move/bad move? And what about you? What have your experiences been in hitting the reset button? Did you learn something new? Find a new lease on life?
Do share, you know the comment section is yours.