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Timothy Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Two Approaches to Successful Blogging

One of the things I love about the blogging community is how there’s such a diversity of approaches being tried by successful bloggers in their pursuits.

Take for instance two well known bloggers – Timothy Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk. Both take different approaches but both have been very successful in building strong online presence.

Timothy is famous for his book The 4-Hour Workweek a book looking at the simplification of life, outsourcing and focusing upon the important tasks at hand. Tim certainly works hard for his money but his approach is certainly a little different to Gary’s.

For example Tim has written here at ProBlogger about how he finds that posting every 4-6 days on his blog is enough (and actually beneficial).

On the other hand Gary Vaynerchuck’s inspirational keynote at Blog World Expo showed a different approach with a guy working massive hours, arguing that you should respond to every single email you get and that you need to be producing content every day.

Both of these guys have built successful businesses and great online presences through their blogging and social media (and I’m sure that there are some similarities between them also ) but both have done it differently.

To me this is encouraging. There are not ‘formulas’ and there is room for a diversity of approaches!

Which bloggers approach do you resonate with most – Gary or Tim?

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 write every day but I choose not to publish everything I write. As my blogging strategy uses a combined social media aproach and is directly imported into Facebook, If I want to get maximum value from each post I need a gap between them. People start to look forward to my next article because I can consistently produce interesting and most often cutting edge content. The value of each post is then increased by the community of regular commenters who can contribute directly on my blog or on my facebook notes. Facebook notes push out into your friends newsfeeds so as I get more comments this automatically pulls in more readers to my blog. Its like a viral feedback loop.

    Using this stratgey there are optimal times to publish to get the most viral impact. Weekends tend to be much less effective than weekdays, So I post stratgeically

    If I posted every day like Gary does I wouldn’t have time to circulate the traffic on each post effectively. This method works. I took my first blogger blog to an alexa ranking of 290,000 in 3 months and my current blog is at 500,000 after one month.

    By writing every day I have a choice what to publish and a collection of articles that I can use at a later date should my creativity fluctuate

    Sometimes I write 4 or 5 times a week but most times it avearages every 4 days at the moments

  2. Moise levi says:

    Both of them have given me quality instruction.

  3. I haven’t read Gary’s blog, so can’t comment, but do like Tim’s.

    A quality detailed post once a week is probably what I prefer in today’s society of information overload.

  4. I can identify more with Tim’s approach to blogging. For me it’s more about quality that quantity. With a full time job, and a long commute, I only post every 4-6 days as well. My blog is still growing, perhaps not as fast as it could be, but that’s fine with me. I’d rather give my readers my absolute best, even if it is less frequently than some other bloggers. I think we all have to try to find that induvidual balance, and do the best we can with what we have to work with!

    Sincerely,
    Amanda

  5. Tim. I couldn’t even imagine working as hard as Gary does. My life is not all about my blog. My blog is a small but delightful corner of my life.

    Really though each of us needs to blaze our own trail.

  6. Barry says:

    I can say this with certainty:
    1. Some days I don’t read posts from my favorite blogs at all.
    2. Some days I read them all.
    3. I read each of Tim Ferriss’ posts.

    Why is this? The mix of post frequency and direct applicability determines for me what Richard Farrar correctly identified above as ‘information overload.’

    I know I can always go back and read missed posts, but by the time I’m ready to, so many new posts have been missed.

    Such is my experience as blog reader. Am I much different than most of our readers? Probably not.

  7. I, too, noticed their very different approaches to the same goal. But, it’s quite clear that they both share one of — if not, THE main ingredient: PASSION!

  8. Tim, since he is not obsessed about blogging.

  9. I began blogging just a month ago and am still learning the blogging ropes, but I’ve noticed a direct correlation between frequency of posts and the amount of traffic I get.

  10. SparklyDiva says:

    As a newbie, I have to go with Gary. And it doesn’t hurt to develop a work ethic, and then progress into Tim’s style.

  11. Daniel Kemp says:

    I think that each person is going after different people. You cant sell a book about relaxing when you are rushing everywhere to talk about wine.

    I think if you do Gary’s hustling in the beginning then the sooner you can do Timothy’s relaxing.

  12. Hey D Rowse…….U know what I think? I think you have some pretty awesome and bright readers :) I hope they all “kill it”

  13. Well… personally I prefer and use Tim’s method. I’m busy, my readers are busy… I think bombing them continuesly with new and new reading material is too much for me and for them. As some people stated above… if blogging is an exciting addition to your life (and not main resource of money), there is only one way… Tim’s.
    Regards! :)

  14. Jon Rognerud says:

    As an author, consultant and blogger (Entrepreneur Magazine) myself — I wish I had known about Tim’s book earlier! The smart and detailed, step-by-step approach on outsourcing, delegating and essentially “working smart” (on steroids!) – just really struck a chord. Love Gary’s awesome energy too though – just less of my style these days – especially with 3 small kids at home, I attend to that myself. I have been delegating and outsourcing from Tim’s inspirational book, and my firm has grown to 12 people just this year.

    Rog on! http://www.twitter.com/jonrognerud

    Cheers.

  15. I think it really comes down to consistency; be consistent so your readers build expectations, and then be consistent to give your readers what they expect (and occasionally a little more). So long as you don’t give your readers less than what they’re used to, they’ll happily keep coming back.

    It’s just like how you still hang out with that friend who’s ALWAYS late. You’re not even ticked off when (s)he is, unlike when the people who you expect to be on time delay you by being late.

  16. Referáty says:

    Gary is my GOD. He is king :)

  17. methode says:

    This is interesting read. I think both of you are right.

    1st: producing every-day content is good for the regular users, they don’t go to John Doe’s blog to read what you didn’t publish and since you answer each e-mail and comment, you form a tight relation with your visitors. But it’s extremely time consuming.

    2nd: I noticed that if you post only a few articles, you get more organic user? I mean, maybe I just made something wrong, but there are weeks when I simply don’t have time and nerves to post new content. And here comes Google to help me a bit (and my tracker), it sends unusually high number of visitors. When I start posting again, the number of SE visitors drops again and I have to rely on the visitors from the referring websites. Sounds weird, huh?

    Thanks for the post, it’s very interesting :)

  18. anna says:

    I would say Gary . . . although perhaps after you achieve more notoriety this would not always be true. If I only posted a few times a week, my numbers would definitely suffer.

  19. I would say I’m right in between both of their approaches. I don’t always post daily but more than tim and I respond to every email and comment.

  20. I have to say I’m more of a Gary person. I work hard, and every blogger I know that is making blogging a career is working hard. I think streamlining tasks is beneficial, but for me, that only makes more time for more tasks. ;)

  21. dj says:

    I try to stay away from both extremes… the middle of the road suits a balanced life. Put work into it, enjoy it, but do not become obsessed.

  22. Mari Smith says:

    Excellent post and point, Darren.

    Too fun that Gary & Tim are good buds and have such different approaches. I’m a raving fan of both guys and their philosophies. Gary & Tim were among my fave presenters at BlogWorld!

    I’m somewhere in-between. I don’t blog every day, but I strive to answer all emails, @ tweets, DMs and I like to comment on posts I’m mentioned in, for example.

    I’d LOVE to carve out more time to post on my 3 blogs every day… but, so far, haven’t been able to! ;) I’m toying with taking my email replies and turning into fodder for blog posts. lol.

    At the end of the day, I’m totally with Gary’s comment on your post here: to not try to be someone else, just be you ‘cuz it’s easiest!! Hear, hear.

    Cheers,
    Mari
    @marismith

  23. Kiri says:

    I’d be a little in the middle but more on Tim’s side because I prefer having the time to travel etc. His lifestyle is more desirable than blogging xhours a day, not that I don’t like blogging but there are things I’d prefer doing.

  24. Stu McLaren says:

    I think the key when you are deciding how often to post is to remember that as soon as you define some kind of schedule or routine, that you are now setting an expectation for your readers.

    Therefore, it’s probably best to commit to less in the beginning to ensure that you can maintain the commitment of sticking to that publishing schedule.

    You can always increase down the road but it’s a lot harder to decrease – especially if your readers have come to expect it from you.

  25. Paul says:

    I look at Pshychic Search daily. If there is an important topic that I haven’t covered I write an article that day. Otherwise I incorporate those searches without any results into an artcle about once every two weeks.

    Otherwise I post every 4 to 5 days.

  26. TheAndySan says:

    I resonate the most with Tim’s approach, although I don’t want to be completely “hands-off” in my online ventures.

    I like Tim’s approach the best because it gives me the most freedom from my computer. I can post, comment, check my email, and watch a funny video as much as I’d like, but I also have the freedom to go outside for a bike ride if I want to.

    I’d like to do everything in my business, but there will come a time where I would have to delegate tasks because they would take up too much of my time and effort.

    A quick example, I posted some videos on YouTube. I received a lot of rude comments, and because I wanted to moderate all of them, I had to sift through ALL of the email notifications. There weren’t even that many (less than 20 total), but it was an eye-opening experience and a hint at what’s to come. It showed me that I would eventually have to delegate some tasks if I were to get anything done.

    TheAndySan
    http://www.theandysan.com

  27. Craig Reid says:

    As a fellow video blogger (I can’t be bothered typing) I have to say that I relate to garyvee! I would love to think that Tim is right, but as an experienced small business owner and a new blogger I can’t help but notice that the more effort I put in the more I get back. saying that, if you can work smart (particularly with your blog marketing) you can save yourself a lot of time. Bottom line is maybe you can use a bit of both of these guy’s techniques.

  28. Traci says:

    I’m going to have to side with Tim’s philosophy. From a reader’s perspective – and I don’t read just one blog, new content everyday is overwhelming. I prefer a nice, well thought out blog post with good information once or twice a week compared to an overload of fragmented info daily.
    This should be prefaced with the fact that I do not have a personal blog, but am launching a corporate blog and have other full-time marketing and communications responsibilities.

  29. gillberk says:

    Every established blogger certainly will recognize the importance of these traits and new bloggers will do well keeping them in mind. You can base everything you do on plain luck, but don’t be surprised if nothing comes from it.When we think of intelligence we tend to focus on Mathematical-logical intelligence. This is certainly an important aspect of intelligence, but of very limited use when not combined with other aspects. Imagine that Einstein only used this kind of intelligence.“If A equals blogging success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is persistence. Y is imagination. Z is asking guiding questions based on your curiosity.”, and how could you imagine using this formula on your quest towards blogging success.
    —————-
    gillberk

    SEO

  30. Blabrmouth says:

    First of all, fantastic friggin’ post. As far as I am concerned, Gary all the way. Lean with it, rock with it! Go hard or go home!

  31. I’m bias, but I clearly love Tim’s approach. He gets enough guest writers to be able to write no more than once a week on the blog and yet generates a lot of discussions and attention.

  32. I lean more toward Tim but a little more often. People need to do whatever floats their blog.

    This topic has given me serious guilt at times when I couldn’t post as often as i thought I should. Being a professional writer, sometimes I have nothing left for my blog after working 12 hours on finishing a magazine article or writing a book. It made me stressed. Then I thought about it more rationally and realized that how often you blog depends on your topic, your readers and your sanity. Many of my readers don’t typically subscribe to blogs and I don’t think they’d want to get posts every day.

    I write about self-empowerment and believe it’s more important to have quality posts 2-3 times a week than force them out every day. My posts are pretty organic. I often refer to things in the news, celebrity antics, or something that happens to me because I’m motivated to say something. For example, the verdict in the OJ trial motivated a post for my Law of Attraction in Action series about how revenge comes without doing it yourself. When I began, I wracked my brain for things to write about. Now they come naturally, without the pressure to produce. So I post when I have something to say that I feel will help my readers.

  33. Tom Gray says:

    Tim wrote The 4 Hour Workweek. If he published any more than once every 4-6 days I’d have to take his book back for a refund! You know, it’s kind of the difference between a newsweekly and the daily newspaper. Choose the format that works for you, your message and your content. In truth, Gary & Tim are Apples & Oranges and should probably not be compared directly.

  34. As a new blogger, I will try to incorporate Tim’s and Gary’s modus operandi.

  35. Joel Drapper says:

    I think every email and comment should be read, but not necessarily replied to. In regards to content I think that for the first month or so you really need to post at least once a day just to get it going after that you can slow down and maybe post only 2 – 4 times a week.

  36. Krissy says:

    My approach is somewhere in the middle between Tim’s and Gary’s, although I would have to see I lean towards Gary’s. I can see the pros and cons of each. With Tim’s approach, unless one was really conscientious, one could become lazy. With Gary’s approach, one could get burn out. As I stated, the way I blog is somewhere between the way these two men blog, as I try to achieve balance in what I do. But actually the way I blog is much closer to Gary’s way because I work hard and play hard. When I say balance I mean balance with an edge. Just enough balance so I don’t get burn out!
    I don’t answer every email but I answer many, many of them. Even when they are comments, with questions in them, or just statements, I frequently return an email to the person. I figure if they feel it is important enough to write me, it is important enough for me to write back. However, when the volume is too high this is not possible… Sometimes I have to hit and miss people, and note that eventually everybody will get hit with a peice of mail… Sometimes this is the best that I can do or I will be on the computer night and day. I would have no time for my family. They are important also. But gee, this blogging thing sure is important in my life too!…
    Krissy :)

  37. I recently interviewed Gary about this very point. You can listen (free, no opt-in) at

    http://www.GaryandNoah.com

    He gave an amazing tip at minute 27 that really changed my thinking.

    Gary taught me more while we were driving around Cleveland, Ohio than I have at marketing seminars where I dropped 10 grand.

    Plus, he’s a really good guy.

    Enjoy the interview.
    ~Noah St. John

  38. I like Tim’s approach, but I think it works because it’s Tim. That’s a problem for the rest of us.

    How can I prove this?

    Did you know who Tim Ferriss was before his book was published?

    Gary’s plan is the slow but sure way that will work for everyone with persistence. You can only grow through networking online, and Tim’s approach is not conducive to that.

    P.S. I loved the 4 Hour Work Week, even though it cannot be realistically applied to all professions. Believe me, I’ve tried.

  39. I like both guys and use both approaches, but more gary’s than Tim’s.

    I had lunch w/gary mid summer and he really pumped me up w/regular blogging and hustling. I can respect big time how Tim is super disciplined, w/NOT 1 following on twitter!

    I have a friend who doesn’t face book or twitter and blogs only 1x a week if that and kills it w/his simplicity.

    Then again, on wine library gary gets sometimes 600 responses and tim gets on average 100 or so.

    I am starting to ween away slightly from face book and twitter and will see how else Tim gets more traffic.

    Who wants me to speak at their next web 2.0 engagement!?!?!?

    Both guys rock, tough question!

    –z–

  40. I wouldn’t say that Tim is a successful blogger. His blog is riding on the coattails of his book while Gary has developed a cult following because of his methods and personality.

    In my opinion, Gary is connecting with his audience by being “just one of the guys,” while Tim is more of a shameless self-promoter. There is nothing wrong with self-promotion, but it doesn’t develop a community.

    Unless Tim releases another killer book, I think his popularity will wane, while Gary’s will continue to grow exponentially.

  41. kirch says:

    How arrogant must one be to post every day? Do you really value yourself, your words, your thoughts so much that every day someone has to read what you’re thinking.

    It’s great to want to respond to every email sent to your blog, and it has huge pay offs for someone building a fan base.

    At a certain point the “tipping point” perhaps, it seems self evident that you will not be able to maintain that pace.

    Blogging is a unique sphere where people contribute ideas, often with the premise that their thoughts are superior. Blogging has an elitist mentality buried deep withing it. (i guess by default i fit into this category since i’m responding)

    subscribe to blogs that are interesting. If you want someone to read everything that you write start your own blog rather than expecting authors to read your thoughts.

    That sounded way more hostile than I am, I think I’m just stirring up trouble.

    Live words rather than reading them. If you’re stuck all day long reading email, what in reality are you accomplishing? Be yourself not a half A version of some internet hero. (although both dudes seem pretty cool on some level)

  42. Wow! As Gary said elsewhere above lots of great people are commenting and it seems like this post is really being “killed” by these people ;)

    Darren, thanks for the interesting post and I think it is a very interesting analogy which has led to such a great discussion.

    I could not agree more with Gary that “being YOU” is the most important. But when we learn things you always look up to people like him and Tim. No matter what they say, one will be inclined to learn the best from both. For example, I just can’t help my amazement over Gary’s enthusiasm and passion for valuing the customer. I have a big respect for his genuine approach to things. In the meantime, Tim is the master of valuing his time (and so is Gary don’t get me wrong). But I do see more structured patterns in Tim’s approach.

    I think the most challenging task is to find that “being YOU”. As time goes by, we want to learn from the best to become one.

    As for how frequently to blog. I think it depends on your audience. Tim’s ‘fans’ are probably ok with less regular posts and email replies, while Gary gives/does great stuff when he feels like it (my best guess). At the end of the day, it is your audience, you define the rules. But I agree that some patterns as to how often things should go off are necessary.

    Bottom line, learn from the best to become one. And Gary and Tim happen to be those we all want to learn from.

  43. Charles says:

    Speaking as a reader . . .

    I will occasionally unsubscribe from a blog’s RSS feed if I notice that only 1 in 20 of the posts is worth reading.

    I have never unsubscribed from a blog because I felt they weren’t posting frequently enough. That doesn’t inconvenience me in the slightest.

    Once you’ve got my attention, keeping it is entirely about quality, not frequency. As for getting discovered in the first place . . . well, that’s usually about quality too, isn’t it?

  44. Alex says:

    I vibrate more with Tim Ferriss, us Generation Yers are in information overload. I like to keep it simple, streamlined, yet innovative.

  45. Chris Dunn says:

    I’m glad you guys put this blog post together… I agree, they have very different approaches, but I get a lot of value from both. Tim has a very calculated way of “doing” life. Everything is an experiment and he is always looking to get the most out of something with the least time/energy needed. On the other hand, Gary’s “work-your-face-off” approach really sells his passion. I think he connects with the average Joe on a more level playing field.

    Again, I love both of these guys…

    Chris Dunn

  46. GoalGuru.com says:

    My approach is definitely more like Tim, my blog is not the focus of my business, more like an extra tool. My Goal is quality posts, not quantity.

    Live Your Dreams,

    Jill

  47. I definitely am inspired by Gary but seem to gravitate towards Tim’s approach of blogging. I am very interested in using video; which Gary is a master of. My posts take a while to get my thoughts down and connecting the way I want. It’s definitely easier after blogging for the last three+ years, but still takes time.

  48. Danny Brown says:

    I don’t know about blogging approach, but one area they differ greatly is on Twitter.

    Whereas Gary (@garyvee) engages in the conversation and actually has fun with it, Tim (@tferriss) follows no-one and seems too in love with what he himself is doing.

    Kudos to Gary for joining the conversation – minus points for ego-stroking to Tim for simply broadcasting. Why go on Twitter at all?

  49. I’m with Tim as far as frequency. I blog once per week. We’re so constantly bombarded with information … I’m a big fan of info which is dispersed consistently but at manageable intervals. When there’s too much to keep up with, they lose me.

    Communication is a different story though. When somebody writes me, I make sure and respond. I feel like that’s giving respect. Of course, I don’t have thousands of followers like Tim does. I admire the way he sets boundaries to keep things manageable … that’s what he’s all about, right? (Well, a big piece of what he’s all about ;)

  50. johnkweber says:

    It is very interesting that they each achieve success based on the way they interact with their customers. Unfortunately unless someone dies and leaves you a lot of money you will never get anywhere without the customer. So you are stuck with them.

    What I like about Tim’s approach is to get rid of the customers that suck you dry and dont give you any or no financial benefit, because unfortunately you do get those kinds of people. High maintenance customers according to TIm Ferris.

    I do think though that since you are always dependant on your customers for making your money, that they should be treated with a lot of respect. This means that when they email you, that you respond to their request without fail. What Tim suggests is that you get someone else to do all the work. That means he still gives his customers the needed respect but is free to do anything he wants as he has the time set free due to others doing the work for him.

    I prefer to give my customers and people that email my time. Not excessive but enough to fulfill their requests when they desire it. It most certainly works for me. Get rid of those that dont pay you for your time as it most certainly could become a bad habit on their part. However in the same sentence I would like to say that I prefer to build relationships with my customers first before I make money with them or even from them. The reason being that those customers are with you for life. Not a once of money making binge. Trust me when I tell you I make more money out of that strategy than any of the others. I read a lot and this book of Timothy Ferris, the 4 hour workweek is most certainly my most favourite. I respect him for what he does and kudos to him for achieving what he has. Excellent stuff.

    Read my thoughts on my blog regarding various subjects if you are interested