The following post has been submitted by Dan Zarrella from TomKatCrazy! (one of the new celeb blogs over at b5media).
We’ve all heard the normal tips about establishing a regular posting frequency and finding a tight niche to focus on, but as we start posting to more and more blogs it becomes important to prevent blogging burnout when posting to 5 blogs a day. The best way to do this is to plan for sustainability.
When picking a topic or niche most general wisdom indicates that you should focus as tightly as possible to really cover the subject well, but it is easy to select a micro-niche that won’t provide much material and will leave you hovering over the keyboard or scouring your feeds trying to figure out what to post. This was something I thought about when planning my TomKatCrazy blog, but it soon became obvious that between the baby, the wedding and all the gossip I would have plenty to write about. On another blog of mine, GuerillaScience, I started out with a more general anti-authoritarian focus which proved to be too wide of a topic for me to cover comprehensibly without dedicating all of my time to it. I tried narrowing it down to only Boston-specific anarchist news but this was way to tight of a niche and I found I had nothing to post most days. I’m in the process of finding a nice balance between locally relevant stuff and a more wide range of news.
Another thing that has helped me in dealing with posting on multiple blogs is establishing a routine. Most days once I get settled at my desk, I read my email, then start looking at my feeds, I’ll usually find a few things in my 100+ subscriptions that is a good match for one of my sites, and I’ll post about that. After I slog my way through what can sometimes be an overwhelming amount of posts, I start looking to “plug the holes”, that is find stuff to post on the blogs I haven’t yet posted on that morning. Once I get a single morning post on my all (or most) of my blogs, I carry on about my daily work and if I happen across something during the day I post it. Here’s where topic selection becomes important again. If the topic isn’t something I’m reading about and dealing with on a regular basis it becomes more difficult to maintain a 2 posts a day frequency (which is normally what I try to stick to). Since I do SEO as a day job, I often post on ideas I’ve had during the course of my day to my SEO blog, websearchnews. This is another way to handle a wide focus, there is no way I could cover all search engine relevant news everyday and find a unique voice in the saturated SEO blog space. So posting on things that I’m actually working on or news that is relevant to my experiences I’m able to differentiate myself from the crowd and deliver involved and informed posts.
Perhaps the best way to reduce blog burnout and create a sustainable blog is to develop a community, either via a healthy commenting culture or by inviting others to co-blog with you. Discussion stimulates interesting posts and worthwhile reading. This is something I’m still working on with my blogs and it is one of the harder things to develop well. A blog like Threadwatch is a very good example of this, as is Nick’s new project, Performancing. In this case the majority of the content is generated by a group of people, all involved in discourse.
Remember, while posting to your blogs 10 times a day will be highly rewarding, if you get quickly burned out and stop posting all together, that’s worse. It is more important to develop a structure by which you can reliably and sustainably deliver useful content to you blogs.