To post or not to post, that is the question.
At this time in my life when I am way too busy and a lot of times blogging becomes the lowest priority, I sometimes wonder… is posting a bad blog post better than none at all? Is a subpar article better than not posting a single thing that day / week / month / whatever? In it better to be inactive than lackluster?
I think about this a lot because there are many days when I don’t have any thing written and I’m faced with the choice of: do I leave the site dead for another day or do I post this kind of meh post I’ve got here in my drafts folder. Like, with these eBay stories I’ve been posting… some of them feel like duds and I find myself wondering, is it better that readers see you regularly posting even if it’s not your best work? Or can a real yawn of a post be so bad readers unsubscribe never to return again?
I keep coming back to the oft repeated advice that you have to blog regularly to keep your readership. I have heard this repeated so many times and yet I’ve never been convinced that it’s true. When my favorite blogs don’t post regularly, I don’t care. I don’t even notice. When I do have a minute to read them I think, oo, a new blog post and read it. I’m not spending the other days going, alas, there is no new blog post on my favorite blog today, I guess I’ll unsubscribe entirely and never read it again. And I’m not convinced anyone else does that either.
I could see where, if a blog was inactive for a really long time and the first post back was no good, readers might leave. But if you’re regularly putting out generally enjoyable, useful content and then one is slightly lower quality, are people going to really rage quit?
I know I wouldn’t. When I like to read a blog, I like to read it whenever it comes out. It’s not like breathing where it’s got to be regular or nothing.
But if that advice about staying regular (insert your favorite prune joke here) is true, then it IS always better to put up the bad blog post rather than not post anything. If staying active and keeping the blog alive is king, they quality loses out to quantity every time. But is that true?
I don’t know. But I do think it’s better to post a bad blog post better than posting nothing at all. You know why?
Because quality is incredibly subjective. I can’t tell you how many times I work really hard on a blog post that I think is my best work and the world collectively yawns but then I post what feels like an incoherent rambling screed and it goes viral. As a writer, sometimes you’re the worst judge of which posts are good and which are bad. That post you are holding back for not being good enough? Let your readers decide. It may be as good as anything else on your site. It may be your best work yet.
Or, yeah, OK, maybe it’s terrible. You’re not forcing them to read the whole thing. They can always click away with no harm done. At least you still got their hit… and you’ve always got the next post to reel them back in again.