Don’t Give Excuses. Just Blog.

Filed as Guides on December 21, 2008 12:52 pm

There comes a time in a blogger’s life when time for writing is a bit too sparse, and you can only post once in a while. And one mistake that most bloggers make is to do those “I’ve been busy …” and “Sorry I haven’t posted much lately …” posts, or something to that effect, where you detail practically everything that makes you busy, to the extent that you miss the point of your post, and focus only on why you weren’t able to post for the past few days/weeks/months.

I’ve been reading through Stephane Grenier’s Blog Blazers (my review at Performancing) and one of the common blogging mistakes cited by the interviewed top bloggers was exactly this. The point is that if you’ve been busy, then you shouldn’t have to explain yourself. Just write. Just publish. Just blog.

But then the deeper issue is that the fact that you haven’t been blogging lately probably means you’ve lost interest or focus in your blogging. For a casual blogger, this is probably all right. But if you use your blog for monetization or marketing, then this makes for a bad blogging habit.

The solution here is to set a schedule and stick to it. Find a good pace, so you won’t have to force yourself to write when you aren’t at your best. If you can publish one good post per week, then do so. Quality trumps quantity. But regularity is important, too.

I have made this mistake many times, myself. Not only have I had dry spells in my blogging. I have, one time or another, written a “Sorry I haven’t posted lately …” post, trying to explain why, and trying to point to other sites I’ve been active in. I know I’ve tried to avoid trivial posts by focusing on meaty, substantial blogging. But by being too much of a perfectionist, I had deprived my audience of updates they deserve.

So don’t make excuses. Just publish. Just blog.

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  1. By ian in hamburg posted on December 21, 2008 at 1:08 pm
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    And when it feels like a treadmill, get off it.

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  2. By ggw_bach posted on December 21, 2008 at 1:10 pm
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    the critical point comes at one post per week. When you drop below that your readers will start wondering if you are still around.

    but yeah, if you have to be away, give a reason. Don’t make an excuse.

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  3. By threeundertwo posted on December 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm
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    This is so true. I get annoyed reading apologetic posts. I’d rather just read real content. Readers are a pretty forgiving bunch I think.

    I’ve made the opposite sort of posts though – “I’m going to be busy doing this and this and this.” I don’t know if it’s better asking for forgiveness in advance.

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  4. By Tracy posted on December 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm
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    Agreed. Even if you haven’t posed for a week, just post something interesting and get on with it. Most readers won’t even notice.

    You can do the opposite as in , I’m going away for a week, but turn it into a question. I’ve seen a few blogs that have: “I’m going away this Christmas and will check in periodically, what are your holiday plans?” This creates a conversation in the comments section while the poster is busy. Or even a poll. Something…

    When I see a post that says ‘Sorry I haven’t posted in a week’, I go onto the next blog.

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  5. By GoingLikeSixty posted on December 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm
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    Hallelujah and Amen!

    When posts like what you describe appear in my RSS I grimace and buzz right on by. If I’m doing RSS feed maintenance later the same day, they will disappear!

    And I don’t read many “professional” blogs, most of mine are personal, but I still don’t want you hear excuses. (what Tracy said)

    Other pet peeve: Provocative headline and post is…

    …read more here…

    ARGH.

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  6. By Justin Tadlock posted on December 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm
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    One of the most important things I’ve learned is to NOT write “sorry I’ve been busy.” If I haven’t posted in a while, my readers can assume that I’ve been busy. Luckily for me, I can blog casually if I want to.

    The best thing to do is jump right back in like you haven’t missed a day of blogging. Just get back into it and enjoy blogging for the sake of blogging.

    However, I don’t like it when bloggers write posts only to keep up with a schedule.

    Quality trumps quantity. But regularity is important, too.

    Sometimes, you can’t have the best of both worlds. Write when you have something to say. Of course, in the business world, you need to have something to say — often.

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  7. By Andre Arnett posted on December 22, 2008 at 5:05 am
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    I agree that it can be hard sometime to add to your blog. And I do detest reading a blog with that opening statement, “I have been so busy…”, I must admit that I have fallen into that trap. I will try harder to avoid it.

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  8. By stephen posted on December 22, 2008 at 9:00 am
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    It might also be worth noting that writing a blog every two minutes is not completely necessary.
    If you can write a good yarn, or create a doco’ for a known program, or simply have something of value to add to the general community … giving it a few days as the recent item on your blog can sometimes give you more credibility.
    Spitting out a new article everyday just creates a deeper archive. Unless it has information of value, nobody may see/read your story ever again!

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  9. By The Wizard of Blogs posted on December 26, 2008 at 10:44 pm
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    I have found myself making those same posts when something comes up. One of the things that I try to do is notify my audience of when I might be away. One of the reasons behind this is that I usually post something everyday on my main blog. When something comes up, I will direct them to stop by and read a couple of my friend’s blogs that generate similar content. My friends appreciate it, my readers appreciate it, and I don’t feel like I am leaving them out in the dark. Good post.

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  10. By Shirley posted on December 29, 2008 at 4:58 pm
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    Hmmm. Perhaps excuses are a waste of time… but I feel like its a polite way to reintroduce yourself to your audience. Perhaps they want to know why you’ve been away. Why not oblige them?

    But yes, sticking to a firm schedule is ideal.

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  11. By Rich posted on December 29, 2008 at 7:17 pm
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    I think this is the problem of the mind set of bloggers who want to make money online. Sometimes, our focus is being diverted to social activities.

    If our main purpose of blogging is to make money online, then we must always think that our readers/visitors are buyers or ad clickers. I am seeing some bloggers/Internet Marketers who post very seldom but still making good money, and having tons of subscribers. Dosh Dosh is one of them.

    I also tend to be sociable sometimes especially when the post is about my failures in making money online. Although I don’t say sorry after an irregular absence, I sometimes worry if the reader will believe me if I am too serious.

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