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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blogging Resolutions

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I hear about new sites like PheedcyPOP, and Myspace revisited, I want to toss my computer out the window.

We all want to know how to increase our blog traffic...our Facebook friends...our tribes. "Build a platform," we hear over and over and over again. So we tweet and pin and share like maniacs, and we push ourselves to post to our blogs five days a week.

And then, just when we've finally stumbled upon the way to use StumbleUpon, some jokers decide we need 48.6 new social networking sites added to our lives, because, you know, how can we prove that we're relevant if we aren't spending 17 hours a day promoting ourselves in all the latest virtual communities?

This social media craziness has driven me to get a jump on my New Year's Writing Resolutions this year. I have three blogging resolutions this week.

I Resolve to Blog Less Frequently

In the old days we had to post five days a week. There were not many blogs, and there was no easy way to subscribe. We had to post consistently hoping our readers would bookmark our blogs and check in every morning as they drank their coffee. Those days are gone. Our faithful readers can subscribe to us and they'll never miss a post. We can post once a week and still build a nice following. 

Let me ask you a question: How many of you know interesting bloggers you'd love to follow, but you've found you don't have time?

Thank you. I knew  I wasn't the only totally overwhelmed person with 4,587 blogs in her Google Reader.

And since I'm I good Christian, I'm going to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. I'm going to put up fewer blog posts this year.

I appreciate bloggers who limit long or controversial posts to one every couple of weeks and who give me short posts that are funny or inspirational between times. I don't have time to read long posts every day.

Just. Don't. Have. Time.

And I'm assuming you don't have time either.

I Resolve to Put Quality Over Quantity

I know that when we don't post, our traffic drops. I'm thinking, though, that better and fewer posts might be to blogging what whispering is to speaking. They might make readers lean forward to hear us. And having a hundred people leaning in to listen might be better in the long run than having two hundred people skimming.

We start to tremble when we see our numbers drop between posts. Our fingers twitch on the keyboard. We feel a need to post somethinganythingto bring readers to our blogs.

But this year I'm going to try to resist the urge to post when I have nothing to say. I figure it's a win-win situation. My regular readers will thank me for skipping the filler posts, and I'll have more time to do important things like spend time with family, read books, write books, and visit other bloggers.

I Resolve to Comment More on Other People's Blogs

In the time it takes me to write one decent, thoughtful blog post, I can read and comment on six or seven posts written by other bloggers. I think that's a valuable use of time. I think other bloggers appreciate having readers and hearing from readers.

Social media is not all about drawing readers to your blog and building up your numbers. Surely there's some value to be found in being neighborly—in visiting others, in laughing at their jokes, and in tweeting their posts.  

So please comment here and leave a blog address so I can visit your blogs. Maybe I'll add you to my Google reader. While you're here, answer me this: Do you still feel a need to blog every day? And how many blogs do you read every day?

Sally Apokedak
Sally Apokedak is an associate agent with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. She's in the process of building a dynamite list of authors. She is also active in the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the American Christian Fiction Writers, and Toastmasters International.


Heather Day Gilbert said...

Great post, Sally. I tried pushing it to 3 posts a week, and it did increase views, but when I'm writing, there just AIN'T NO WAY (pardon my southern) it's gonna happen. I feel I'm stretching my creativity to pour words onto the page every day, much less organize interviews, etc.

You know I'd love if you'd add me to your "to-read" list... It's funny, though. I do veer toward heavier posts, because they stick with me longer. Esp. if we're debating topics (deCompose) or I'm given food for thought (author interviews, etc).

I'm at the point where I've (once again) decided not to visit blogs where I feel like I'm one of a million commenters, and individual comments are never acknowledged. Maybe it is a Southern thing, but you like to know your voice is heard. I have so many blogs where people do know me and we can converse--those are the ones that stay on my blogroll and that I check every day.

Kris said...

I LOVE the heart of this post, and oh! How it resonates deep in me. Thank you for this, your words have sparked something in me and I'm swirling with thoughts about my own blog resolutions. Thank you, new friend, and God bless you!! You asked for our links, alwaysalleluia(dot)com

Christin said...

I am so thankful for this post and I couldn't agree more!!

sally apokedak said...

You are already in my Google reader, Heather. But I admit, since I switched all my blog subscriptions from email to the reader, I've done much less blog reading and I feel overwhelmed with all the posts I need to catch on. When they were all coming into my email box, I kept up with everyone better.

I agree with you--I like to read (and write) heavier posts. They feel more worthwhile. And I do have a few blogs I read always because I like the posts and the community of people who comment (deCompose is one, yes). And I also have stopped visiting blogs where there are many comments and no interaction between those who comment and/or the bloggers.

Katharine said...

Yes! Thank you for this!

Casey said...

I really love this post. You make some terrifically valid points. I receive 90% of my blogs from my reader list on email, so I can save them and know where they are (vs wondering into which folder I bookmarked them THIS time).

I have two blogs; one is a project and one is something I started because life got really interesting.


sally apokedak said...

Kris, Christin, and Katharine,

Thanks for commenting! I had never been to your blogs before and I like them all.

I love that you want to encourage us all to give thanks in every circumstance, Kris, and I also had a blog post idea this week that related to my trash. I have family visiting and they push down the trash in the kitchen can, instead of emptying the bag when it's full. So when I go to empty it, it's stuck in the can and the bag rips as I try to pull it out. What a great analogy for the way I deal with garbage in my life.

Christin, I'm a WordPress, blogging junkie, and I loved your tips.

Katharine, We sang 10,000 reasons at church on Sunday and it's been stuck in my head all week. It's so good for the soul to bless the Lord.

Kathy Bruins said...

Great thoughts, Sally! It is a constant struggle. I know I have a very strong small tribe, but would like to increase it.

I give very short devos for those who need a good God thought to start their day. It called God's Daily Influence and found on my website:



Paula Mowery said...

Oh, boy! Do I feel your pain! I try to post twice a week. I really like what you had to say about not just putting up filler because you think you have to. Amen, sister! I'm with you.
Thanks for this post. You can visit me at

kalynbrooke said...

I completely agree. I feel like I have a fairly good consistancy of 3 posts a week, but Facebook is more my problem. I feel like I must post something there everyday or twice a day and have no real strategy. If you have a post on that, I'd love to read it! Http://

Lorretta at Dancing on the Dash said...

Oh Thanks be to GOD for the saintly person who put this article in my path! I needed this. Just last night I found myself lamenting...YET AGAIN...that I'd gotten sucked into some cyber-drama/discussion and have been spinning my wheels and not getting anything done.

I've observed so much of this...over blogging--which just floods the market with mediocrity and then too often you get trampled on in the name of "self-serving" masked as the spirit of "community"

So...I'm signing on with this site here and going to refocus because there's no time to keep wasting. I am SO grateful to be here.

Lorretta @ Dancing on the Dash

Tessa Stockton said...

AMEN!!! I'm in a blog rotation for International Christian Fiction Writers, as well as Project Mustard Seed, about once every six weeks. Other than that, I decided awhile back to give up my personal weekly blogging (long and much) and now only post on my website's "blogette," that is, introspective snippets on things that compel me, whenever I feel like it. I keep it short and to the point. It’s more my style and I like the sense of freedom. Plus the hits to my site have actually increased. I feel like I’ve finally found what works for me regarding the blogging process. Readers can sense when a writer’s heart is not behind something or if he/she blogs because of industry expectation. If someone enjoys blogging a ton that’s one thing, but the pressure to “have to” do it in order to increase traffic…I no longer buy into that. I like how I’m doing things now. As far as reading other blogs, I peruse maybe 2-3 a week. Most of my time is spent writing fiction. Thanks for a great article!

Gretchen Louise said...

Great post!! I don't blog every day any more, either ( In fact, on the team blog I edit, we keep to Mon/Wed/Fri or even Tues/Thurs in busier seasons or for longer posts. I just don't have time to read everything. And I'll always remember a friend saying that one of her husband's favorite blogs only posted once or twice a year. Quality wins over quantity every time, even online. :)

Susan Evans said...

I smiled as I read this because I feel the same way. I try to blog 5 times a week, and even though I love blogging, I have other things to do, like spending time with my husband and children. Or just resting. Yes, resting. That sounds good.

Emily said...

I'm a fledgling blogger and definitely needed to hear this. I am in the midst of transferring to from and honestly find all of it a bit overwhelming. My perfectionist tendencies are on high alert when it comes to these things and your resolutions certainly struck a chord. God has been trying to point out that blogging is not about me, but using my gifts for His glory. Simple lesson that I need over and over again. Thank you for these reminders, Sally!

Dawn said...

I was feeling guilty about not having updated my blog for a week and then I read your encouraging, sweet words. Thank you. I think these resolutions are something that I will adopt as well.

Nancy said...

Love that you want to visit others and comment. I appreciate the time folks take to write comments so I try hard to comment back to each one, sometimes I miss one here and there but it's important to me that they know I read their comment and appreciate them for reading and giving feedback. Post every day? nope, once in a while, I end up with 2 in 24 hours but rarely. I read others' blogs -probably 2-3/day most days, sometimes none.

Morgan L. Busse said...

Excellent advice :) When I first started blogging, I only did one post a week. I read I should do more, but with 4 kids, ministry, and writing, there was no way. It's not much, but I have seen my views grow slowly over the years, and I know God has used my words to touch people by the comments left. That makes it worth it :)

fragrantroses said...

Thank you for writing this. I'm a new blogger and had been pushing/punishing myself to get to what I thought was the goal of blogging. That is, to write daily in our blogs. You just lifted a load of guilt off my shoulders. Now I think that posting twice a week is just fine and I will attempt on my "nonposting" days to visit and comment on other blogs. That sounds fun!

Rosey at

sally apokedak said...

Casey, I must admit, that church visitation blog is fascinating. I wonder if I might start visiting other churches on Sunday nights. That idea appeals to me.

sally apokedak said...

Thanks, Kathy, I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but it told me I had to be logged in to comment and I couldn't figure out how to log in. It took me to a wordpress log-in page, but it kept telling me my username or password was erroneous.

sally apokedak said...

Love your blog. I admire people who are creative in the home decorating/cooking departments. I'm so lacking in those areas.

I'm sorry to say that I'm lacking in Facebook expertise, also. But I know someone who is a social media expert. Check out Edie Melson's Facebook posts. She posts on social media on Mondays.

Jennifer Major said...

Hey!! I went from "whenever times a week" to trying to do 3. It's just too much to blog and be blogged.
I read at least 10 a day.
Some I've not dropped, but visit less often. Some, a very few, I turfed all together.
And the platform issues?
Yeah. We need a new deck. ;)

Melissa Taylor said...

Me, too! I am committing to not posting more than 3x a week, maybe less. It's such a time suck and doesn't make me money. I feel like I need to prioritize my other writing work. (So hard!)

And, so true - there are a zillion blogs now.


Yvonne Anderson said...

Great post, Sally, and a timely subject. I think blogging is like just about everything else in the cyber and publishing worlds: the rules and norms are ever-changing, and we have to figure it out as we go along.

After doing it hit-or-miss for too long, I've lately made it a point to post Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays on my personal blog - I also contribute biweekly to the Speculative Faith blog (, in case that one's not already on your list.

sally apokedak said...

@Loretta: Thanks!
@Tessa, I also think large and heavily visited group blogs are worth posting on, which is why I post over here twice a month. What about Tumblr? I think it would work well for your blogette platform.
@Gretchen: nice looking site.

sally apokedak said...

Nice blog, Emily. What a great picture of you at your wedding! And you're welcome. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

sally apokedak said...

I always appreciated your posts, Morgan. I know when you do post it's because you have something worthwhile to say.

sally apokedak said...

Dawn, Nancy, and Rosey, thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I enjoyed your blogs. I am always amazed at the endless variation in blogs I visit. God has made us all unique. Thanks so much for giving me a glimpse of your world and words.

sally apokedak said...

Jennifer, you are the perfect example of someone who is building a platform by commenting on other people's blogs. You take the time to comment, and you are love by the blogger because you make other blog readers believe his blog is a happening place with a great community, and you are loved by others who comment because you're funny and honest.

When you publish your books, you're going to have a lot of friends willing to post your news and spread the word. That's not why you started commenting on blogs, but it will be one byproduct of your commenting.

sally apokedak said...

Great website! But, yeah, I doubt you need to post more than once or twice a week, even. You have good content and a decent PageRank. You might do better promoting older posts more and writing new ones less frequently.

sally apokedak said...

Exactly! The rules are changing.

I saw that you were contributing regularly to Spec Faith. Congratulations on that!

Patrick J. Moore said...

Thanks for this post, Sally. It helps me accept my one-post-a-week goal as a good idea, and not feel like such a slacker. I just need to get more consistent with this quantity, and I hope I'm sharing quality too. I'm working on it.

Also, thank you for being one of my only 7 subscribers to my blog. I'll share my link here just-in-case anyone else might like to check it out too:

I haven't had a lot of trouble keeping up with the blogs I'm following, but I only actually read the posts that have a title that catches my interest. I will take some time tomorrow to check out the blogs that everyone here are sharing and see if I can get some better blogs on my to-read-list.

I have thought before that I should make an effort to respond to more of the good posts that I read, and you have convinced me that was a good idea and I really should do it.

sally apokedak said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Patrick. You're a good illustration of how commenting helps build a platform. I became one of your subscribers because I got to know you from your comments on Jonathan Rogers' blog.

Jo Huddleston said...

Sally, thanks for the wisdom of this blog post. I blog 2 x a week. Thursdays I blog on Reading and Writing and most times I give away an author's book; on this blog I'm averaging around 80 opens and 40-50 comments. On Mondays I blog on This 'n That--that's when I have to really work to have something to say. I wrote nonfiction before fiction so I've been wondering if I maybe should devote my Monday blog to some nonfiction, devotional type blogs.