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Finding Your Blogging DNA

GlenstansberryThis blog post was written by Glen Stansberry, co-founder of the blog network LifeRemix.

No two bloggers are alike. Everybody works differently, and everybody has their own routine when it comes to posting. Some work best on a routinely basis, posting every day. Others work best as the inspiration strikes them, cranking out an entire series in one sitting. However, not everyone works best under the “post-every-day-as-the-rooster-crows” formula. At least I don’t. This post should help bloggers identify what type of posting style to use, depending on the type of blogger they really are.

[Note: This brilliant "formula" that I've concocted is by no means The Gospel, and might only work for me. As with everything I write, take it with a grain of salt. You've been warned... ;) ]

Whatever your posting style, there is usually an optimum “routine” for posting to your blog. I’ve broken these types of bloggers into two (very) generic categories: Musers and Reporters. These two broad categories loosely describe our blogging “DNA”.

Musers- Musers like to take information and extrapolate. Or abstract ideas. Or nothing related at all. But that’s ok… their readers know and expect this whimsical style from the writer. (Think Kottke, SvN, Seth Godin.)

Reporters- Information junkies that think structurally. Information is currency, and these bloggers are stinking rich. (With information, that is.) Reporters typically don’t deviate too much from the facts, and like to be the first to spread the word. And boy are they regular. They’re like prune juice of the blogosphere. (Think Techcrunch, Micropersuasion, GigaOM.)

Both of these categories have typical posting patterns. (Again, see above disclaimer.) Reporters typically post every day. At the same time, if possible. It’s a methodical approach, and they can hammer out a post at will. They’re blogging machines, and they thrive on regularity.

Conversely, Musers tend to have more of a “flighty” approach to blogging. Rules and posting patterns? Who needs them?! Inspiration is the main ingredient to their posts, and they tend to write only when inspiration hits. But when it rains it pours, and sometimes ideas for posts just come in torrents, leaving the Muser no choice but to hammer at them all in one sitting.

The Mindset

Ok, so we’ve got 2 different types of bloggers that typically post with different styles. Hopefully you can at least somewhat identify yourself with one of these categories. Now that you know what your mindset is, don’t try to hide from it. Trying to pose as a blogger that you’re not only spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E. It’s like fitting a square peg into a round hole.

If you’re a Muser, don’t feel like you need to have a regular posting pattern. Sure, you’ll probably feel guilty for a while, but it wears off. Trust me. It’s all in embracing the mindset of your “category”. Post when you feel like it, as inspiration strikes. If you get a flurry of ideas, start a series or set the extra posts to publish in the future, so as not to totally freak your audience out with 5 posts in a day, and none for the next 4.

The same applies to Reporters. If you haven’t already, carve out a regular posting schedule within your day that gives you time to blog every day (or some other interval). You’ll find it liberating to sit down and read/comment on the days news. The regularity is key here, as you won’t have as hard of a time finding topics to blog on as there’s never a shortage of news, unlike the Musers.

Embracing Your Blogging DNA

Embracing my blogging mindset was a pivotal point in my blogging career. Previously, I had resolved to post twice a day on LifeDev. Unfortunately, I usually didn’t make my set quotas. Why? Because twice a day was too often for my blogging “style” (definitely a Muser). I felt that I was forcing my posts, and they didn’t receive the proper time and energy because I was too worried about quota than quality. I had tried to post like a Reporter, when really my blogging style was that of a Muser. Now that I’ve embraced my blogging DNA, there is a lot more freedom built into my posting schedule. While I may not post as regularly, my entries have a little more “love” mixed into them. Plus I don’t feel guilty that I didn’t post every day.

If you’re finding it hard to keep up with a posting regimen, carefully think about your blogging makeup (think biology, not mascara), and how it affects your posting schedule. By embracing the type of blogger you really are, you can adjust your posting regimen accordingly.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I wrote something similar a while ago. By the way, awesome post name!!!

  2. I definitely want to become a reporter :)

  3. I’m definitely a muser. However, recently I’ve tried to have a more regular *posting* schedule — I write when I’m in the mood, and post on Mondays. This tries to keep a balance — my readers don’t get flooded with posts, only to have nothing for a month, but I don’t feel the pressure to write when I have nothing to say. At least, that’s the idea. I’ll see how it goes.

  4. Posting every day should not be the goal since you can produce lousy material. You should post whenever you feel like it.

  5. I seem to oscillate between muser and reporter depending my mood at the time.

    My internet marketing tutorial blog is totally reporter-esque where as my jokes blog is the manifestation of the muser inside me. I post it to it at random.

    Thanks for posting this!

  6. David says:

    That’s a really good way of breaking it down…. Now I finally know what category I belong to.

  7. I thought his real name was his post name? :p

    I’m a Reporter by the way.

  8. John says:

    I belong to category, a hybrid muser and reporter ;)

  9. Ken says:

    The most valuable blogs in my reader aren’t the ones that aspire to blog everyday. I have a couple in there that might post once a month, but the content is so insightful that I’m compelled to never unsubscribe from their feeds.

  10. Thanks for the great post Glen! Know I have a sense of what type of blogger I need, and it really gives me the confidence now to not be afraid if I don’t post all the time!

  11. Melody says:

    I want desperately to be a reporter but my schedule at work and life makes it hard. I must say I can see a difference in content when I am pushing it, but then I allow myself a hyrbid post, on Friday’s I let myself write about whatever I have been thinking about that week. It keeps me looking forward to Friday’s and makes me feel better about a couple of rush jobs here and there. Is that *so* wrong?

  12. paidtwice says:

    I’m a muser that posts like a reporter?

    I frequently get inspired and sit down and write a bunch of posts in a very small space of time. I have periods where I don’t feel like writing anything. I fluctuate a lot. But the anal part of me likes to have some sort of rhythmic schedule to when I post. So I schedule things ahead to publish at similar times each day, but some weeks I am scheduled out days and days in advance, and some weeks, not so much. And sometimes I bump a scheduled post to throw in a random post I wrote on the spot. I’m a crazy mess but I love it. :)

    Loved the post.

  13. I often switch my blogging DNA :-). It depends on which blog I’m writing for.

  14. Starfeeder says:

    hmm I think I have a major in Muse and minor is Reporting…

  15. You draw a good distinction (between musers and reporters). I suspect there are a lot of bloggers out there who, like me, alternate between the two styles based on mood, topic, etc.

    To maintain blog readership, I gather you believe it’s best to pick one style and stick with it (for a given blog, at least).

  16. This is one of the most unique and interesting guest posts I’ve read. I am definitely a muser but I’ve committed to crank out one post every weekday. If the inspiration doesn’t come, I look for inspiration, or I just write until something interesting comes out.

  17. Jacob says:

    I decided to write a little article in response to this, just to throw my own twist on it. It is a very interesting idea, but I don’t, personally, agree with it to the degree that you write. If you feel like reading it, just click here. Thanks either way.

  18. Surfin' Dad says:

    Excellent post! I struggled with trying to explain / defend my posting style or frequency on my “About” page, so I figured I’d just cheat and link to this post….;)

    http://surfindad.com/about/

  19. Surfin' Dad says:

    Excellent post! You explained it better than I could, so I linked to your post in my “About” page. Hope that’s okay?

    Sorry if this is a duplicate post, I couldn’t tell if my last post was sent.

  20. Aruni says:

    I am definitely a Muser with a non-sequitor-ish tendency! :-)

  21. John Lutter says:

    Very interesting concept of muser vs. reporter. What I’ve found, atleast in my blogging, is the tendency to be a muser when I’m writing original content, and during the “down-times” I become a reporter, just throwing out the facts or posting about something else I’ve read.

  22. Mark says:

    Greetings –

    I am not sure what type of DNA this is but I like the idea of setting aside one day (or afternoon) and writing a weeks worth of content.

  23. Meg Meyer says:

    Heh, Glen,

    Your DNA categories made me laugh. And since my blog / business is named “Center of Muse” – your post shows I’m aptly named.

    I am totally a Muser. I was actually explaining that to someone who commented on my post about getting rid of the email option for my RSS feed b/c I tend to write in spurts.

    When I’ve got something to say… I say it. When I don’t, I don’t pressure myself. I can use that energy elsewhere.

    Thanks for this! It was a great read.

    Sincerely,

    Meg

  24. nitinpai says:

    Woohoo … thanks Glen to bring the enlightenment of the “Blogging DNA”. Now suddenly I feel I am not guilty because I am definitely a muser. Reporters in my opinion are great in their updation of knowledge base and at several times I have tried to be one but seriously I felt that I am gonna die one day with that kind of pace in blogging regime.

    Can somebody tell me how to be a reporter… puhleseee. (I feel guilty not because I am a muser, but because my blog gets very low audience)

  25. Good post! It was one of the best I read today. *=) Keep up the great work!

  26. Mariana says:

    Musorter? Repuser? Not sure … Definitely more a Muser than a Reporter as I love to extrapilate on everything that I think i may have an opinion on, but I still feel the need to have a little structure. I actually timeblock for blogging, but sometimes my “blogging” ends up being just reading and commenting … but then, that is all part of blogging, yes? Fine. Does that make me a reporter? (Maybe i just need medication)

  27. CatherineL says:

    Hi – great post. I guess I’m more of a muser. But, I am able to make myself write whenever I want – luckily. But, if I read a great bit of news about someone who is doing really well, I can’t stop myself from going into reporting mode. I guess I just like to share.

  28. Asako says:

    I am a combination of both. I need an inspiration, and then, will crack it out with all the facts and information. I have a belief that is the best way to write a long-lasting article.

    Hence, I do not try to post too often, more on a weekly basis.

    Recently, I am thinking from a few years perspectives, weekly posting is not too infrequent. If you continue writing 2-3 good articles every week, in 3 years, that would be > 300 really good articles. At that point, it does not matter how often you write.

    Would you agree?

  29. Although I have DAILY ITEMS streamed on my blog such as ‘Joke of the Day’ and ‘Funny Quote’, Personally I don’t feel the need to post on my blog every day.

    At HP’s Happy Blogspot, the posts are special and
    EXCLUSIVE.

    All the Best,
    HP

  30. Vik says:

    Boy doesn’t this Musers Description fit me and my Blog! Brought a Smile to my face when I read this. Its almost as if he is writing about me!

    Even my blog is named: Digital-Musings. Haha!
    Good one Glen.

  31. Kate says:

    I’m definitely a muser, but would love to be a reporter because the downside of writing when inspiration strikes is that it often happens just as you are about to go to bed.

  32. Marc says:

    Good article, good insight. I’m a muser, gotta wait for inspiration. Sometimes I muse too much, sometimes I can muse myself right out of an article, but maybe that’s for another time.

    Anyways, thanks for the insight and keep on Musing.

  33. Thank you! It’s refreshing to read a blog article that doesn’t imply our readers will desert us if we don’t all post consistently at regular intervals.

    Frequency is relevant for some blogs obviously, but for hobbyist blogs regularity shouldn’t be a big issue. Life often gets in the way of blogging for the Average Joe muser, and I’m sure most of us who blog understand this.

    Anyway, we have RSS feed readers to do all the checking for updates, so that we don’t have to. If someone has posted a musing it will appear in my reader. If they haven’t, it won’t. It’s no effort on my part either way, so I’d rather my favourite muser bloggers post when they’ve got something to say rather than when a schedule dictates.

  34. Posdef The OverDrone is a reporter, with a smackerel of musing. Great Post.

  35. Schelly says:

    Glen, a great posting.
    I am definitely a Reporter!