Blogging: Quality Content Part One

Posted: September 26, 2011 at 6:51 am

Oh, boy. My fingers have been itching to write this post since last week. Before we get started though, let’s do the weekend recap thing:

I had a great weekend, so be sure to check those out. Then come back for some hopefully seriously good blogging discussion today – that relates to you whether or not you write your own blog. Ohhhh, I’m excited!

Ever since I wrote my post last week on increasing blog readership, I have wanted to touch on some of my thoughts relating to the “Quality Content” section of that post. When considering “Quality Content”, so many things swirled through my mind and I knew I needed a spin-off post – to have the chance to not only share my opinions, but to have a more focused chance to hear all of your opinions as well. Without further ado…

What is “Quality Content”? Is there such a thing as too much content? Does every post have to reach a certain level of importance to be worthy of posting? Where is the fine line between writing for yourself versus writing for your readers?

content source

I told you – a whole traffic jam of “Quality Content” thoughts going on in this girl’s head! Before I break down my opinions on the above, I feel the need to share a bit more about MY current approach to posting and the content I share. Get ready for the bullet points to hopefully make it a bit easier reading for you all! Winking smile

Some of my longer-time readers may have noticed changes over time with my posting habits. I try to go with the ebb and flow of what feels right at certain times – from how often I post to the topics of my posts. What do my current blogging habits look like? My blogging habits are to post two to three times a day during the week, with a wide variety of topics – writing shorter posts, with focus on one topic at a time.

Why do I take this approach?

  • more focused and broken-down posts are easier for me to write, making my blogging time more efficient
  • more opportunity to share the plethora of things I enjoy blogging about

Some things I don’t do in this approach to blogging:

  • feel like I “should” and do it for those reasons
  • expect you all to read every single post

In fact, since adopting to this approach, my blogging has felt more effortless and I have enjoyed it immensely. I honestly love writing about many, many things and writing posts more frequently gives me the chance to showcase the many facets of my life and connect with you all in many new ways. I don’t feel compelled to steer away from sharing certain things, box myself into certain topics, or write in a way that doesn’t suit me, like I have in the past.

m computer

Here’s a look at the things I enjoy writing about on FFF and some sample posts:

Yea. I have a lot I like to write about…and a lot of times in the past I felt compelled to scratch certain things because I had other more pressing things to share or things more related to “healthy living blogging”. Displaying some of the fun side of my thoughts or my life as a mom with the kids would get pushed aside quite often. I hated that.

But I honestly feared posting more. Why?

I didn’t want to lose you all in the process.

You see, there is a fine line between posting for yourself and posting for readers as well. Anyone who says they post only for themselves without a thought to how others will receive it and the impact it could have on a blog probably isn’t telling the whole truth. Sure, it may not be a huge deal…but it still effect us. I know it effects me.

It effects me because I want my content to be “Quality Content”. I want you all to enjoy your reading experience here at FFF. I will always post true to the things that matter in me and in a style that suits me. I won’t change who I am to alter my readership – just as I shared in my post about not taking my openness about my personal faith out of my blog even though it could impact readership. However…I do still want to provide for you all and make FFF the absolute best it can be.

This brings me full circle to the beginning of my post…what is “quality content”? Is there such a thing as “too much” content? How do you define the line between posting for yourself and posting for your readers? Unfortunately, I have to say that I have honestly reached that upper limit on keeping an organized, nicely flowing post for now…so stay tuned for this afternoon’s post where you will hear all about that! I hope to see you there and keep this discussion going. I know I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on those questions! Open-mouthed smile

  • For now – tell me about your personal blogging and blog reading habits or preferences. We’ll get to the other questions later.*rubs hands giddily*
  • And also, I want to know the best part of your weekend!

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41 Comments to “Blogging: Quality Content Part One”
  1. i will say it feels like your voice has become more apparent since you started blogging more often – not to pressure you into continuing to do so if it doesn’t meet your personal needs with it, but it just feels more relaxed and personal :)

    best thing of my weekend? definitely date night with the hubby – and then girls’ night was a very very close second :)

    • lindsay says:

      i was thinking the same thing! I can see such confidence in your “blogging voice” these days. Just like heather said. And its a great encouragment to us all. I think we all struggle with that fine line. But its a learning process, right?
      xxoo
      LC

  2. Khushboo says:

    Great post, once again! Quality is so important in blogging I, especially to maintain readership! Over time, blogging has definitely become easier for me and I am posting much more frequently than when I started. Whereas in the past, I would stop and think about what to write on a particular day, I am now oozing of topics and can’t wait to post! I have told myself that I will never put up a post just to tick of the box- with such posts, the lack of enthusiasm is evident and I rather just not post at all!

  3. Lee says:

    I can absolutely tell in my writing when I’ve posted something just to post or I’ve actually had something to write about. I try to post every day but some days, I just don’t have anything to say so I skip that day. I figure if it’s boring to me, it’ll probably be boring to other people!

    As far as posting multiple times a day, I think there is a definite line. I don’t check blogs at work (well, a little, but not a lot) so when I come home and a blog I like has like 4-5 new posts, I’m much more likely to mark the whole thing as read whereas, if it had 1 or even 2, I’d read it.

    • Tina says:

      I feel you on the part about “marking all as read”. I know I have done that…and so it was part of what made me nervous to post more frequently. Like I said – I don’t expect people to read every single thing, but I don’t want it to be overwhelming either.

      And as for reading other blogs – now I have my Reader listed in “list view” instead of the full posts so I can pick the most appealing title from a blog when I’m playing catch up. :)

  4. I don’t know if I’d say I don’t have “quality” content, but it’s certainly not out to generate readers! As you were pointing out, posts that are almost exclusively about kiddos and what I did aren’t really number-generators, but I don’t suppose that’s my goal. Sure, it’d be nice to have a following, but I guess I fall on the journal-y side of the line. That being said, while I certainly read a few blogs that are similar to mine, I also like reading ones that provoke thought and give insight on given topics (like yours). I suppose I seek balance in everything?

  5. Susan says:

    I really like the idea of posting at consistent times of day. I know as a reader, I like waking up in the morning and knowing I’ll have posts from certain bloggers in my Reader. That’s why I try to stick to the same posting schedule every day. Consistency is a good thing to have if you want consistent readers!

    In terms of content, I think VARIETY is very important. I mean, we all focus on different themes in our blogs, but each post should have a different topic. I personally like to write “stories” with my posts, but that’s just because I have more fun with it that way. But from the feedback I get from my own blog, I’ve heard from people that they appreciate being able to come to my blog and not see the same thing day in and day out.

    And on days when I don’t feel like writing, I put up a quote, haha.

    • Susan says:

      I forgot to add – the ability to write well is really important. And I’m not a big fan of people who are overly verbose. Small paragraphs please!

      • Tina says:

        Yes! I’m all about smaller paragraphs too. And quality writing. Definitely agree on variety too. Obviously, since I’m just a full book of variety in the thigns I will blog about. Haha!

  6. Lori Lynn says:

    It really depends upon my schedule, and how I’m feeling. If I have more time, I may read and post more. (And if I feel like writing a post as well.) If I’m busier, than I probably won’t take the time to read and write something.

  7. I think it’s so interesting to read about what other people consider their “blogging” style– we’re all so different in small ways! I don’t think I could ever blog three times a day…I’ve had to cut back from a solid two posts a day to a less strict schedule– sometimes twice a day, sometimes, once, and sometimes only once every couple of days. I’m blogging less, but I feel like that helped me to only blog when I really had something to say– as opposed to just posting a picture of my sandwich and saying, “Yep. That’s my sandwich.” I’m really impressed with people (like you) who can come up with new, interesting blog posts three times a day– that is a skill!!

  8. I just want to say that what you are doing is working fantastic! It definitely draws me in, and I do usually read most of your posts :) . I only blog once a day, and right now I can’t even do every day because of grad school. I wish I could be efficient enough to blog several times a day because I do think I would really enjoy that! However, I’m not sure I would have as much to say as you do- I tend to be a little more shy and therefore I can’t always think of things that other people would be interested in reading. That being said, I really enjoy reading blogs that post several days a week, once a day, or multiple times a day. To me, if what they are saying is interesting to me then I’ll be happy reading it!

  9. In general, I much prefer shorter, focused posts several times a day. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but I think it generates better discussion, and it makes me excited when my favorite bloggers update me more than once in a day! ;)

  10. Elisabeth says:

    To me, quality content is anything that strikes me as important at the time. I am not one to post multiple times per day, and often, I don’t even post daily. It all depends on what I have to say, and how much time I have to work with. I don’t live to blog–I look at it like if I don’t have anything important to share, I just don’t post. Everyone has their own style, and that just works for me. Lately, I’ve been doing A LOT of cooking (thanks to this crazy baby I’m growing…), so I’ve been posting a ton of recipes. It turns out that this has made me realize that I love sharing recipes, so I’ll likely stick to this formula even after I’m less obsessed with food.

    I just love that blogging can mean different things for different people, and there is no right or wrong formula. Whatever works. =)

  11. Rachel says:

    Hi Tina,

    I have been reading your blog for a few months now but this is my first time commenting. I am the mother of a toddler as well so I find you very relateable! Your’s has become one of my favorite blogs. I wanted to ask you a question…sometime last week I believe it was you posted a litte snapshot of a magazine with a 5k training plan that would allow you to complete the race in under 30 min,25min or 20 min. Do you remember what magazine that was and what issue? It looks like something I would be interested in. Thanks and I hope this isn’t too random :)

    • Tina says:

      Hmmm…are you sure it was me? I am not remembering that plan from a magazine and I think I remember reading about it on another blog too even. I wish I could help!!!

      I think Self might have a 5K running plan though off the top of my head. :)

  12. Great post! I think about a lot of these issues all the time. There are posts that I want to write for myself that I end up deleting or just not writing because I don’t want to scare my readers away. This probably also has to do with the fact that I’m still a pretty new blog and still very much building a readership so it’s hard for me to just trust my instincts when I know that my audience isn’t huge! I hope that the confidence to post whatever content I want to will come with time, but it’s hard. As far as the amount of content goes, I only have a problem with large amounts of content when you can tell that the blogger is just posting for the sake of posting and no other reason…that gets old. What I like about your posts is that you actually have something to SAY and share when you publish, which is great.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks, Lauren! And as for what you mentioned on sharing – I think if it weighs on you enough, you should go for it. I actually think sharing some posts like that can develop readership because it can spark more discussion and people wanting to share what they read/connected with. :)

  13. I realize it’s always such a personal opinion, but I’ve always had an easier time following short posts. Because my life is crazy (as are most people’s these days), it’s hard to follow so much content in one sitting.

    HOWEVER, I always enjoy your posts, long or short. ;)

  14. Great post!! The highlight of my weekend was going to an apple festival with the hubby and little guy.

  15. Bari says:

    Great words for thought! My posting habits are definitely more regular, with certain posts devoted to certain days, but some weeks I have a hard time posting 3-4 times a week. I don’t know how you post 3x a day!

    The best part(s) of my weekend? Watching my daughter take 1st in her diving meet, watching my son & daughter’s marching band take 1st at their 1st competition of the year, and powering thru a horrible wall on my 20 mile run yesterday (mix of awesome and suck at the same time).

  16. I love hearing about how other bloggers blog :)

    My work schedule makes it really difficult to post at a regularly scheduled intervals, so I just try to post as frequently as possible, usually in the morning so people know when to expect it. I feel guilty for not posting on the weekends as frequently, but that’s the time I’m out living and it gives me most of my exciting content to share during the following week. I’m thinking that some shorter more topic specific posts might be on the horizon, though, because I frequently put off some of my more wordy/thought provoking posts because I think they will take longer than my picture, life-recap posts.

    The best part of the weekend was maybe finding my new apartment :)

  17. Errign says:

    On my blog, I like to keep my life pretty open, but there are some things I just don’t blog about. These vary and are totally dependent on the situation, but I do like to blog about my experiences with things like heartbreak and grief, just in case it helps ONE person.

    As far as blogs I read, I like when they’re honest and they’re okay with the amount they’re sharing. You can tell on some blogs that they deliberately don’t share things just to generate questions about said thing, and other who can tactfully just avoid things they’d rather not get into!

    It was my first weekend since quitting my job (woooo) so I spent it with friends, doing yoga, relaxing and getting the week’s homework done.

  18. I’ve only been blogging since July, so I’m still trying to find my pattern. I do prefer to post twice a day and like to cover deeper topics a few times a week. Weekends are a bit harder to post because they’re always so random and packed with activities. While I do blog for myself, I want to write stuff that others will enjoy too or at least feel affinity with. I can’t be the only one with all these crazy thoughts and feelings floating around in my head!

  19. I aim for 6 posts a week, but with 4 ‘series-type’ posts that eliminates a lot of room for ‘this is what is actually happening’ posts.

    Sometimes that can be good—it stops me from emotionally venting into cyber space. Other times, like this week(!), I really feel that some things needed to be said.

    Sometimes there are 6 in a week, sometimes there are 10 :)

    and I loved watching Lifetime movies this weekend. Sad, but true!

  20. Amy Lauren says:

    The best part of my weekend was that USC won, and Clemson won too, even though I’m not a Clemson fan, it’s nice that both our state teams are 4-0 right now. Very impressive.

    I will say sometimes I do miss your posts, but I like how you review them at the end of the week, and also I like the new recent posts near the commenting section, so people can notice when they comment, that they’ve missed one. You really have a lot of great usability features going on :) .

  21. Lisa says:

    When I first started blogging I didn’t really have a direction or an identity. I kind of just copied the format of the other successful bloggers: 3 posts a day about meals and exercise. I found that I started to get bored WRITING those posts so I knew the readers had to be bored reading them.

    I reduced it to twice a day only and less about the food and more about the content/issues/etc. Now? I am more about 1x a day –sometimes 2 if I have something to talk about. It helped me with my own burn out.

  22. I much prefer reading (and writing) posts that are somewhat self-contained (in that the topic covered is really the only one there). Otherwise, I feel like we’re trying to jam too many thoughts into one post!

  23. Amazing tips, Tina!! I love how diverse your blog is. :) And also….the best part of my weekend?!!!!!!!! guess what guess what Tina!!!! omgnesss…..I FOUND AND PURCHASED THE WEDDING DRESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! wow. I said it haha. It’s totally not what I expected or even what I thought was my style, but I loved it and I’m so grateful because it was on sale haha. Sorry, too much excitement.

    My current blogging style is sharing what’s going on in my walk/personal thoughts, as well as sharing “some” diversity about health/fitness? Although, I would like to narrow it down to focus on one thing only at a time. I’m also wanting to share more about my fitness b/c I have a lot to share!! But I guess I don’t as much b/c it seems a bit harder? Like, if I want to post up routines, I have to have pictures taken and that’s more difficult to come by.

  24. Kace says:

    I’m sure my readers would prefer I break up my long winded posts, haha, but it’s kind of what works best for me. I wish I could spend more time breaking things up but I just started a new job. I barely have time now to post three times a week, let alone three a day! So my same goes for reading blogs…right now, I prefer things quicker and easier. When I saw how many I had in my reader this afternoon, it actually stressed me out! haha. Maybe when I get settled I’ll be able to work something out.

  25. [...] Blogging: Quality Content Part One (a review of why I blog the way I do) [...]

  26. I love your approach to blogging. I think that is what keeps me coming back to your blog. You have a variety of topics and each post is beautifully written. (Yes, jealous amateur blogger over here.) I have found myself stuck in a rut lately with blogging and am attempting more and more not to force out posts just because I feel I have to blog x-amount of times per week. Still working on making my content “quality”, but I feel I am finding my niche more + more.

  27. Personally, I’m not a fan of the multiple posts/content per day – I feel there are so many blogs and so much I would like to read that’s it’s impossible to get through…I used to feel I HAD to and then anxiety was happening – not to mention always on the computer. Plus it took away from my own pursuits, writing, reading, just BEING, etc…Also as someone with a full-time job, it also astounds me how people check the net all day!!

    BUT to each his own honestly! You do what works for you and what feels right.

  28. [...] workouts. Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginAfter yesterday’s posts about blogging content (part one and part two), I suddenly felt like I had been sucker-punched with a thought that crossed my [...]

  29. [...] Featured Blogging Post: Quality Content [...]

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