Slow Blogging

garden

I listened in on a HubStop webinar this week. The speaker was Dan Zarella. The talk was on the science of timing, and he presented research on how often to blog, tweet and share on Facebook. The goal seemed to be an increase in incoming links (leading to a higher rank on Google), page views or comments. To reach the goal, he recommended: If you’re sending one email a week, try sending one email a day; it’s okay to tweet twenty or so times a day; and blogging thirty times–or more!–per day will get you the most results.

The data and graphs and suggestions were fascinating–and left me feeling tired.

Blogging, for me, is about responding to something of interest, getting my thoughts in order, putting an idea out there to see if anyone agrees (or doesn’t). Sometimes it’s just about noting something I really like, or something I want to remember.

Blogging, for me, is not about page views, or Google rank or ads. If it was, I don’t think I’d have the energy to keep up. Just thinking about trying to come up with thirty different things to say in one day…good Lord. Just shoot me now.

So I joked on Twitter that we should start a slow blogging movement. And Kassia Kroszer threw in a hash tag: #slowblogging. Cute, I thought. But then I looked it up and saw that a slow blogging movement already existed, or at least it did in 2008. There was even a New York Times article about it. Seems it was started by a guy whose blog’s tagline is “It happens when it happens.” A philosophy I can get behind.

I love reading through blogs and links, but once I start to glom on constant Twitter, refreshes of Facebook and blog post after blog post, I begin to feel icky. Add in the hours and hours of electronic edits for my day job, and it’s not only my psyche that feels the strain, but my eyes, too.

The only cure for both ailments seems to be to step away from the computer for a little while, to avoid my phone. To sit quietly for a bit and not check my messages. (It’s harder to do than it sounds.)

So this weekend, we drove to Sandy Hook, NJ, and flew a kite over the cold sand. I sat and listened to the ocean and didn’t once pick up that damn phone.

Today, I saw friends I haven’t seen in a long while. I folded laundry with the sun shining in the windows and a podcast playing in the other room. Then I spent the afternoon in the garden, watching my kid play in the sand box and follow ants around.

Only after those lengthy, sensory-laden breaks did my mind, and my eyes, feel ready to come back to the computer.

Me and slow blogging, we get along.

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10 Responses to “Slow Blogging”


  1. 1 Sir John April 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    This was nice, your voice much like a French writer expressing herself in a moment of awakening and understanding what really matters in life highlighted what blogging should be all about.

    Since I have a large number of blogs, I needed this, so thank you!

    Johnny

    • 2 Stacy Boyd April 4, 2011 at 7:06 am

      I have a growing number of blogs and profiles, too. Makes it harder to stop sometimes.

      Also, some blogs are for-profit, and those are probably the ones that need the added volume.

      Thanks for the quick comment! I think you have me on speed-dial.

  2. 3 Tony Berkman April 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Hey Stacy!

    I enjoyed your article about blogging and what it means to you. It opens up the question about why do people blog? So many assume that it is just for traffic and revenue. I’m happy to hear a crystal clear viewpoint about what blogging means to you and it is probably safe to conclude that many others share your viewpoint. I certainly do.

    Best,

    Tony

    p.s. I’m not into romantic novels though you have a writing style that is very captivating such that I almost feel like grabbing a romance novel and seeing if I can identify the things you write about.

  3. 6 Dane Morgan April 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    it’s all about what your goals are. And what a blog is.

    People love to put things in rows and make them easy to understand. In order to do that we often find we have to dump some of th e information to make sense of it all.

    My most religiously maintained blogs are password protected and until i die and my wife finds the passwords no one bu me will ever read what is posted to them. Nothing shocking. Mostly they are links and ideas that I find i can maintain in a blog format more easily (and privately) than in other formats.

    That said, revenue, or profit, is not the only reason to seek traffic. If you have a message that you want to get out, if you have a cause you want to promote, if you have a charity you want to fund, if you have an idea you want to share… the rules for accomplishing your goals with a blog are identical to those for the cash mercenary blogger. Traffic equals exposure and exposure equals action, whether that action is a purchase, a vote, a donation or an understanding, it all comes from the same actions of the blogger that generates it.

    If you have a blog (or two) that genuinely are there for you, and not for anyone else, then you are correct, the economics of traffic and attention are meaningless, but if that blog has a purpose that involves others in some way, then, really, either you do what you can to get the traffic or you have to question what you thought your goals were.

    • 7 Stacy Boyd April 25, 2011 at 7:09 am

      Dane,

      Good point. Traffic is traffic, whether it generates ad money, followers or exposure.

      This blog’s purpose does involve others (at least a few of them), but I came away from the Hubspot webinar realizing I did not want to do what I had to do to get traffic. The kinds of tips Dan suggests are beyond the scope of what I can give to this blog, at least for now.

      I have a very time-consuming day job, a kid, a husband and I belong to several community groups. Plus, I like to have time to read for pleasure and be offline. For me, choosing to spend time on those things means that I can’t invest the time needed to seek out heavy blog traffic. I decided to simply take enjoyment from the process and let the traffic grow (or not) organically. In the end, it is simply a matter of time management.

      That said, the purpose of this blog could change, as could my time situation. If so, I could choose to be more proactive with the traffic generation. For now, though, I’m happy to just know how to publicize, in case I want to, and to continue writing at a slow pace.

  4. 8 Dane Morgan April 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Stacy,

    Thing is there is nothing at all wrong with that in any way. It’s YOUR blog and thus it has to fulfill YOUR purpose.

    Understanding what you want, and what you are willing to pay (or not) for it is a kind of wisdom that puts you leaps and bounds beyond the hordes of bloggers who have never even encountered the concept that their blog might have a purpose, let alone articulated that purpose and weighed the price of obtaining it against their other interests.

    The old adage is that we cannot have everything we want, but we can have anything we want. But to get there we have to make choices and you seem to be doing quite well with that. I suspect you will be a raging success in life whatever happens (or doesn’t) with a blog. 😉


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I work as an editor at Harlequin, but the posts on this site are all mine and don’t represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.
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