Writing Great Blog Posts Consistently is Nearly Impossible

great blog postsLately I've been trying to come up with ways to write great blog posts consistently for all my websites.  Everyone wants to write the best articles that their audience will really engage with.  I sort of had the sad realization that writing engaging posts consistently is something that lots of bloggers and content marketers struggle with.  Honestly, you can't always predict what people will like or hate until you've written it and it's gone up.  It sucks.

I've experienced this sad truth firsthand many times.  One of the most frustrating blog posts I've written was “Most Expensive and Cheapest Gas Prices around the World.”  I spent a lot of time researching and playing with numbers to make sure this was an accurate piece.   (That's saying a lot for someone who compared math teachers to nazis.)  Not only that but I choose the keywords and title for this article carefully.  It was well researched, SEO optimized, and had all the right ingredients to come out to be a masterpiece the internet would love.  Except… it failed miserably.

How does a blogger know when great blog posts have failed?  Usually it's when you've put a ton of effort into an article and nobody comments on it, nobody shares it on social media networks, and basically nobody likes it since Google Analytics is not showing anyone landing on it.  This is exactly what happened with my gas prices article.  Even though I did a lot of research and put a lot of time into writing it, people for some were not attracted to it.

To this day I still don't really understand why.  Usually in author's mind the post they wrote was “Epic” or “Awesome” or choose another word to insert here.  This is basically what I thought but I was wrong.  Hard to admit but it's true.

Let me tell you something, it doesn't matter how much money you have to analyze data.  It's damn near impossible  to predict what articles Google will rank you for, people will share, connect with and comment on.  Talk to professional bloggers and they will tell you the same thing.  “I spent hours writing what I thought was a great post, but nobody commented on it.  Then I just posted a picture with a few words and everyone commented on it.” was something I heard at Affiliate Summit recently.  Several other successful bloggers complained about the same thing.

This is really not an uncommon discussion to have with bloggers across the spectrum and different niches.  Sometimes it's just hard to know even if you've put in the time, research, and effort.  Those great blog posts that everyone loves seem harder to come by then a white truffle sometimes.

This is why I encourage blog coaching clients I work with to focus on Quantity over Quality in the beginning.  Sure, it's hard to know what other people will think is a great blog post but if you don't have enough posts up to see what people are landing on, it is even harder to know what you should be writing about.  The more content you have the easier it will be to know and figure it out.   Still, you will be pulling your hair out like other bloggers because it can drive you mad.

Maybe you can read my gas prices article and tell me why it sucks and nobody liked it?  Have you experienced the struggle to find those elusive epic and great blog posts?  I'd love to hear your frustrations and blog bombs too.

When Starting a Blog Focus on Quantity over Quality

quantity over qualityIf you are someone new to the world of blogging then I recommend that you focus your efforts on Quantity over Quality.  Notice I did not say “quality” first I said “quantity.”  When starting a blog I encourage clients I work with to put their efforts toward writing a lot of posts instead making them awesome.

I know this is not what most people are used to hearing and most other bloggers and writers will preach the opposite, Quality over Quantity.  That's not necessarily the best thought process when you are starting a blog.  The reason?  You will get too concerned with writing great blog posts, when in reality it's not going to happen if you are new and not used to doing it.

Looking back at my first blog posts, I cringe.  I was not that great of a writer but with effort, time, and lots of practice my writing has improved a lot.  Now I am a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) and the International Motor Press Association (IMPA).

I want you to embrace the fact that your first blog posts are going to well… kind of suck.  That is just the reality of learning to blog.  Once you can accept that in your head you will be ready to focus on getting articles up, a lot.  If you learn to do this consistently and develop what I like to call a ‘Blogging Rhythm' then writing killer blog posts will come naturally.  Quantity over Quality is going to help you make this happen.  Also you will get faster at writing which is an important skill to master.

For a second I want you to think back to your language classes in school.  Remember when the teacher would ask you to say a sentence.  You would try and then she would say, “No you are not using the correct noun.”  You would try again and get something else wrong.  The best way to learn a language is not how it was taught in textbooks or the classroom.  The best way is total language immersion.  This is where you either move to the country or the teacher doesn't speak a word of English to you.  This forces a student to think harder and work on speaking a lot of say French.  Total immersion language programs focus on the quantity of language instead of the quality in which you speak.  Eventually, hopefully, you will speaking of French will improve over time.

In addition if you don't have many blog posts up to see what people are landing on, it's kind of hard to know what you should be tailoring your writing on.  If you are working on quanity over quality, and not quality over quantity, of your posts you will have a better idea of what is working and not working for your blog.  I am prepared for the nasty emails and comments for saying this, but it's true.  Besides, I can tell you from experience running different sites that cover a range of topics.

I see a lot of clients say they struggle to come up with articles that will ‘engage' their audience.  Well I hate to burst anyone's bubble but if your blog is brand new you don't have a readership base.  You you have few posts up there isn't much reason for someone to find your blog, stay on it, and follow you.  It's a hard truth but that is the reality.

I just want people to understand I am not saying to throw-up a lot of bad blog posts at the beginning.  I just want you to realize that your first blog posts are not going to be perfect and I see too many clients I work with struggle.  They spend hours refining a single blog post almost to the point they don't want to read it or write anymore.  That's just not a good way to start your online career.

If you are not comfortable with my suggestion to put up articles as often as you can I understand.  Coming up with content daily or several times a day is quite difficult.  If it was easy though everyone would be blogging.

Few people are going to have a ton of success when they first start.  I didn't and it's taken me several years to be able to get to this point.  (I still have a long way to go.)  While I would link-up to some of my past bad blog posts I am not going to and hope that you just don't visit or see them.  🙂

What do you think of my decree to focus on quantity over quality?  Is this just crazy or are you going to accept my challenge?