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Put Time Into Your Blog Posts

This is a guest post by Roman Jelinek. Here he shares his view that few but quality posts are better then frequent and rushed posts. I don’t completely agree with this, but I’ll let my audience decide. My view is posted as a followup comment.

There are mixed opinions about whether a blogger should focus on spewing out lots of posts or whether sparse but quality posts are better. Should you post often regardless of quality, or less often but content rich posts? Spend 30 minutes on a daily post or 3 hours on a quality weekly post?

Gregor Mendel Prepares For His Post

In 1854 Gregor Mendel lived at an Abbey. He had a hunch that certain biological traits are passed on to offspring through inheritance. For seven years he cultivated a pea garden and performed experiments. He carefully wrapped each individual plant to prevent cross pollination so that he could manually pollinate the pea plants. He kept track of every plant’s characteristics: stem length, seed shape, seed color, pod color and more. By the end of the seven years he had documented the characteristics of 29,000 individual pea plants.

George Mendel was a patient man. He could of written a quick paper about his reasons for believing in inheritance and given a few scattered examples. But he did not. Before publishing his paper he collected data and studied results for seven years. Today he is hailed as the father of modern genetics.

Follow Mendel’s Example

Before Mendel published his paper he put in time. Lots of it. Only after seven years of meticulous research did he published a paper. The result is that he produced something new. Something that nobody else had done. True, it took time and effort, but there is no other way to make a valuable contribution.

Most bloggers get a high when they click the publish button – oh yeah, post complete and online, that feels so good. It is like a drug, you want it, and you want it more and more. You rush a post and try to get it out as fast as you can because you want to press the publish button. But maybe this is the reason why your blog is not doing as well as it could. You are not adding value, not creating quality.

Follow Mendel’s example. Do not rush your posts. Sit back and think about your post. If you simply plop down at your computer and start writing without preparation your post will not be a quality post. Slow down. Think about what you can do to add value to your post.

Here are a couple of suggestions that will help you create quality posts. But be forewarned, they take time and effort.

Do Research

Before you make a post do research. By research I do not mean going to Google search and reading the first result. Anybody can do that. Dig around – look in odd places. Use a source that most people do not have easy access to. Go to the local library and find an old book about your topic. The older and more obscure the book the better. Walk down the isles and run your finger along the stems of the books – pick out the one that leaves the most dust on your finger. Skim through it and find an interesting bit of information. Then build your post around that obscure piece of information. Find a way to tie it into your topic. This is especially helpful if your post is a common topic because it helps your post stand out from the hundreds of other ones about the same topic.

Make Connections

The magic of the human mind is that it can make connections between two seemingly unrelated things. The whole universe is interconnected in some way. The connections are there – creative people are the ones that see the connections. When you read about something new, a new invention, a new idea, it is usually the result of a connection being made between two things that were thought to be separate.

Connections are everywhere. You should be looking for them. They do not have to be perfect or paradigm shifting. Simple connections will suffice. Force people to think in ways they have not thought before. Force the mind to twist and turn in ways that it is not use to doing. Show your readers something that they do not see. It is hard work, but your readers will appreciate it.

Time Spent Preparing Will Be Returned

These are just two examples that will add value to your posts. The time you spend before writing the post will be reflected in the post. The more time you spend at the library the more interesting your find will be. The more time you spend looking for an obscure connection the better the connection will be.

Mandel spent seven years preparing for his post, something that most other people would never do. But his reward was that he will forever be remembered as the father of modern genetics.

How much time do you spend preparing your posts?

Roman is a new webmaster with a blog and website describing in detail what is involved in creating, maintaining and profiting from a site. Charts and statistics are used to reveal How This Website Makes Money Online.

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Got a Question or Comment?

  1. I wanted to leave this post unaltered by me, however I will chime in with a comment. I only agree with Roman half way.

    If you take forever to write your post, then you will probably NOT see the rewards for your time. You’ll be overworking. Quality is important (that’s the half I agree with), but so is speed.

    If you spend hours at the library, hours researching, all leading up to a single blog post – it just won’t work. Using Mendel as an example of taking 7 years and determining it was his prep time that led to that is not correct.

    You need speed AND quality. Not only quality.

  2. I wanted to leave this post unaltered by me, however I will chime in with a comment. I only agree with Roman half way.

    If you take forever to write your post, then you will probably NOT see the rewards for your time. You’ll be overworking. Quality is important (that’s the half I agree with), but so is speed.

    If you spend hours at the library, hours researching, all leading up to a single blog post – it just won’t work. Using Mendel as an example of taking 7 years and determining it was his prep time that led to that is not correct.

    You need speed AND quality. Not only quality.

  3. I agree with you, David. This topic is not an “either/or” type of situation. You need to find that clear balance between quality and quantity, which is something every blogger will have to find for themselves.

  4. I agree with you, David. This topic is not an “either/or” type of situation. You need to find that clear balance between quality and quantity, which is something every blogger will have to find for themselves.

  5. I agree that both speed and quality are important. You should strive for maximum quality in a minimum amount of time. Clearly, there is no exact mathematical algorithm to determine how to reach that goal, but I fully support the methods Robert Plank outlines in his report Fast Food Copywriting. The basic idea is turn out consistently good copy as quickly as possible. Check out http://www.AwesomeIM.com/fastfoodcopywriting

  6. I agree that both speed and quality are important. You should strive for maximum quality in a minimum amount of time. Clearly, there is no exact mathematical algorithm to determine how to reach that goal, but I fully support the methods Robert Plank outlines in his report Fast Food Copywriting. The basic idea is turn out consistently good copy as quickly as possible. Check out http://www.AwesomeIM.com/fastfoodcopywriting

  7. I have a hard time finding a balance here. One problem is, if you wait too long to do research and write, the topic might become stale. If every other personal finance blogger writes about the latest economic news before you do, then no one will want to come and read your site discussing the economy when the first quarter economic results have been discussed to death by everyone else. This works better if it is not a time sensitive topic- when I write posts about general money saving tips, or other frugal tips and money saving tips that can be used all the time, then I take my time and do research. I make sure I am covering couponing tricks hat no one else has highlighted before. But, when the new weekly ads come out for CVS or Walgreens or I want to write a post about a great hot deal on a product, I need to write it immediately because otherwise a million other deal-seeking blogs will have the content up before I do.

  8. I have a hard time finding a balance here. One problem is, if you wait too long to do research and write, the topic might become stale. If every other personal finance blogger writes about the latest economic news before you do, then no one will want to come and read your site discussing the economy when the first quarter economic results have been discussed to death by everyone else. This works better if it is not a time sensitive topic- when I write posts about general money saving tips, or other frugal tips and money saving tips that can be used all the time, then I take my time and do research. I make sure I am covering couponing tricks hat no one else has highlighted before. But, when the new weekly ads come out for CVS or Walgreens or I want to write a post about a great hot deal on a product, I need to write it immediately because otherwise a million other deal-seeking blogs will have the content up before I do.

  9. I guess it depends on your market. If your audience is English literature professors in a university then your post needs to be perfectly written and possible well researched.

    The truth is, though, that most people come to a blog post to either found out how to do something, or to read the writer’s opinion. Yes, it’s worth spending time to make it better, but not to the extent that you’re suggesting Roman.

    I’d suggest most blog readers, myself included, would be more likely to keep reading a blog that produces 25 useful or interesting posts a month, as opposed to one that produces one earth shattering epic every 30 days.

    I’m interested to see what other readers think.

  10. I guess it depends on your market. If your audience is English literature professors in a university then your post needs to be perfectly written and possible well researched.

    The truth is, though, that most people come to a blog post to either found out how to do something, or to read the writer’s opinion. Yes, it’s worth spending time to make it better, but not to the extent that you’re suggesting Roman.

    I’d suggest most blog readers, myself included, would be more likely to keep reading a blog that produces 25 useful or interesting posts a month, as opposed to one that produces one earth shattering epic every 30 days.

    I’m interested to see what other readers think.

  11. lol! Sorry about the typos – maybe I should take a lesson from Roman!Check before you hit submit!

  12. lol! Sorry about the typos – maybe I should take a lesson from Roman!Check before you hit submit!

  13. Most people that are reading blogs are reading multiple everyday. If you spend all week working on one it is probably going to be long. And if it is too long then you will lose readers before the end. Quicker shorter posts are the way to go.

    I like getting something from people every day or every other day. If you are only writing once a week then there is less chances to really build your community.

    There are absolutely benefits to taking more time and including more research but I think those types of posts should be turned into articles and published places other than your blog.

  14. Most people that are reading blogs are reading multiple everyday. If you spend all week working on one it is probably going to be long. And if it is too long then you will lose readers before the end. Quicker shorter posts are the way to go.

    I like getting something from people every day or every other day. If you are only writing once a week then there is less chances to really build your community.

    There are absolutely benefits to taking more time and including more research but I think those types of posts should be turned into articles and published places other than your blog.

  15. I am having a hard time not laughing at this post! I find it incredibly ironic that a blog post about taking your time and doing a good and thorough job includes a massive grammatical mistake and a lack of grasp on the English language.

    In the second sentence of the second paragraph regarding George, it is written “He could of written a quick paper…”. The correct English would have been “He could HAVE written a quick paper…”.

    Maybe the author should have spent a few MORE minutes working on the grammar of his post!

  16. I am having a hard time not laughing at this post! I find it incredibly ironic that a blog post about taking your time and doing a good and thorough job includes a massive grammatical mistake and a lack of grasp on the English language.

    In the second sentence of the second paragraph regarding George, it is written “He could of written a quick paper…”. The correct English would have been “He could HAVE written a quick paper…”.

    Maybe the author should have spent a few MORE minutes working on the grammar of his post!

  17. Blogging takes place on the internet, which means it has to be fast. It would be silly to ignore that Gregor Mendel was not preparing a blog post; he was preparing to publish a scientific paper…two completely different endeavors.

    However, I do agree that your posts must be very well-researched. I also sympathize with those who do not know where to strike a balance. This is my suggestion: become and expert in something. This takes years of work. Then, blog about that.

    I’ve been in sales for 9 years. When I write a post about how to sell, I have 9 years of research and personal experience to back it up. I don’t need to go to the library…I have an entire library of relevant books right in my office, and I refer to them constantly. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to put together a valuable post…IF you know what you’re talking about :)

  18. Blogging takes place on the internet, which means it has to be fast. It would be silly to ignore that Gregor Mendel was not preparing a blog post; he was preparing to publish a scientific paper…two completely different endeavors.

    However, I do agree that your posts must be very well-researched. I also sympathize with those who do not know where to strike a balance. This is my suggestion: become and expert in something. This takes years of work. Then, blog about that.

    I’ve been in sales for 9 years. When I write a post about how to sell, I have 9 years of research and personal experience to back it up. I don’t need to go to the library…I have an entire library of relevant books right in my office, and I refer to them constantly. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to put together a valuable post…IF you know what you’re talking about :)

  19. Great advice from Roman Jelinek is to have your homework done and do all the preparation before you begin to write your next blog post or click the publish button.

    But… I think it’s a question of balance between speed and quality as David says. I’m not telling about writing rubbish duplicated content, but in today´s world and especially in the Internet things are happening like lightning, so we must be vigilant and write before they quickly become yesterday’s news.

    Specially when you’re a new blogger like me you have to setup some pillar content, you have to do it and do it fast NOW! “Over-perfection will only lead to despair and frustration”

  20. Great advice from Roman Jelinek is to have your homework done and do all the preparation before you begin to write your next blog post or click the publish button.

    But… I think it’s a question of balance between speed and quality as David says. I’m not telling about writing rubbish duplicated content, but in today´s world and especially in the Internet things are happening like lightning, so we must be vigilant and write before they quickly become yesterday’s news.

    Specially when you’re a new blogger like me you have to setup some pillar content, you have to do it and do it fast NOW! “Over-perfection will only lead to despair and frustration”

  21. It is all about striking a balance. I think frequent posts are important, but the blog posts that have really had an effect on my life have been the longer, deeper posts, and not the daily 500-word one-offs that don’t really stick with a reader for long.

    IMO one post a week, regardless of quality, is too infrequent to hold the attention of readers.

    At the moment I spend about twelve hours a week writing and editing the three weekly posts I make. They are quite long (1500-2500 words) and I do believe I need to make them that long to deliver that deeper level of value.

    I do struggle to find a balance though. That is quite a bit of time every week.

    I also laughed at the careless grammar mistakes and stunted English in this post, but I do agree with his main argument. :)

  22. It is all about striking a balance. I think frequent posts are important, but the blog posts that have really had an effect on my life have been the longer, deeper posts, and not the daily 500-word one-offs that don’t really stick with a reader for long.

    IMO one post a week, regardless of quality, is too infrequent to hold the attention of readers.

    At the moment I spend about twelve hours a week writing and editing the three weekly posts I make. They are quite long (1500-2500 words) and I do believe I need to make them that long to deliver that deeper level of value.

    I do struggle to find a balance though. That is quite a bit of time every week.

    I also laughed at the careless grammar mistakes and stunted English in this post, but I do agree with his main argument. :)

  23. @Sean O

    When I made this post I knew that I was setting myself up for easy criticism. This post is similar to a post that stresses the importance of avoiding spelling mistakes – the first thing readers will do is look for a spelling mistake in the post.

    Sean O, I am glad that you have found a mistake because now other readers are released from the burden of being the first to find a mistake. :)

  24. @Sean O

    When I made this post I knew that I was setting myself up for easy criticism. This post is similar to a post that stresses the importance of avoiding spelling mistakes – the first thing readers will do is look for a spelling mistake in the post.

    Sean O, I am glad that you have found a mistake because now other readers are released from the burden of being the first to find a mistake. :)

  25. Why not both?

    Using the Mendel example, perhaps he could have posted some quick “Hey, I’m examining something” blog posts over the period, and then issue a final, detailed blog post. Perhaps if Mendel had done that, someone would have made an illuminating comment on one of the early posts, and Mendel might have been able to complete his work in six years rather than seven.

  26. Why not both?

    Using the Mendel example, perhaps he could have posted some quick “Hey, I’m examining something” blog posts over the period, and then issue a final, detailed blog post. Perhaps if Mendel had done that, someone would have made an illuminating comment on one of the early posts, and Mendel might have been able to complete his work in six years rather than seven.

  27. When I read this the first thing that I thought of was Seth Godin’s blog. His posts are very short, they don’t seem to take him more than a couple of minutes each, and he posts more than once a day very often. His blog is one of the most popular on the web.

    I think it what matters is what you enjoy doing as far as your style and what your readers like. There’s really no definitive answer for the “post writing time” issue.

  28. When I read this the first thing that I thought of was Seth Godin’s blog. His posts are very short, they don’t seem to take him more than a couple of minutes each, and he posts more than once a day very often. His blog is one of the most popular on the web.

    I think it what matters is what you enjoy doing as far as your style and what your readers like. There’s really no definitive answer for the “post writing time” issue.

  29. Really just echoing what everyone else has already touched on. Finding the balance between quality and quantity is crucial if you want to get anything accomplished.

    As “they” say, and by “they” I mean literary scholars, the writing process is never complete. Sure, I can toil over one blog post for hours, even days. But what good is that to anyone when my audience decides to look elsewhere for their information?

  30. Really just echoing what everyone else has already touched on. Finding the balance between quality and quantity is crucial if you want to get anything accomplished.

    As “they” say, and by “they” I mean literary scholars, the writing process is never complete. Sure, I can toil over one blog post for hours, even days. But what good is that to anyone when my audience decides to look elsewhere for their information?

  31. Yeah, blogging doesn’t seem to me to be about making sure everything is perfect. It’s not the point. One of the big mistakes is when blogging gets compared to journalism. It’s not a replacement; it’s a different medium. I’ve been criticized on occasion by people who think I’m too opinionated and don’t research my topics enough when I write about the economy. LOL. I’m not journalist, and I don’t pretend to be…

  32. Yeah, blogging doesn’t seem to me to be about making sure everything is perfect. It’s not the point. One of the big mistakes is when blogging gets compared to journalism. It’s not a replacement; it’s a different medium. I’ve been criticized on occasion by people who think I’m too opinionated and don’t research my topics enough when I write about the economy. LOL. I’m not journalist, and I don’t pretend to be…

  33. Anonymous says:

    I think a blog is a completely different genre, one that sure did not exist when Mandel was alive. I find it difficult to compare his work, and a blog post.

    I believe a certain quality is important, but nobody would expect to see concise pieces in a blog. I feel that it is much more important to share information and get people familiar with something they didn’t know before.

    Concerning the length of pieces, I found that people do not read long articles, unless they have a good reason to, for example, if they need to learn about something in order to make an educated decision, one that even involves their finances. If it is for the sake of interest or knowledge, we are bombarded by so much information a day that we seem to be on the filtering mode anyway. I run lot’s of statistical analysis on my site, and I found that people do not spend the amount of time viewing a longer article in average what it would really take to read it from start to finish. However, when it comes to short pieces, people spend either just a couple of seconds to see what it is all about and move on, or approximately the amount of time that is required to read through the post.

    Thus, I decided to keep it really short and straight to the point. Also, in my newsletter, one of my selling points is that you won’t have to scroll down to read the whole thing. I feel that if my newsletter doesn’t fit on your screen and it is from me, you shouldn’t reed it. I got lot’s of positive feedback about it, my readers tell me that they love to read interesting, useful and short ideas from me, and they open it because they know it does not take too long.

    If you care, give it a try:
    http://www.evengrounds.com/newsletter

    Be assured, I am using a double opt-in policy, you won’t hear from me again if you choose not to.

  34. I think a blog is a completely different genre, one that sure did not exist when Mandel was alive. I find it difficult to compare his work, and a blog post.

    I believe a certain quality is important, but nobody would expect to see concise pieces in a blog. I feel that it is much more important to share information and get people familiar with something they didn’t know before.

    Concerning the length of pieces, I found that people do not read long articles, unless they have a good reason to, for example, if they need to learn about something in order to make an educated decision, one that even involves their finances. If it is for the sake of interest or knowledge, we are bombarded by so much information a day that we seem to be on the filtering mode anyway. I run lot’s of statistical analysis on my site, and I found that people do not spend the amount of time viewing a longer article in average what it would really take to read it from start to finish. However, when it comes to short pieces, people spend either just a couple of seconds to see what it is all about and move on, or approximately the amount of time that is required to read through the post.

    Thus, I decided to keep it really short and straight to the point. Also, in my newsletter, one of my selling points is that you won’t have to scroll down to read the whole thing. I feel that if my newsletter doesn’t fit on your screen and it is from me, you shouldn’t reed it. I got lot’s of positive feedback about it, my readers tell me that they love to read interesting, useful and short ideas from me, and they open it because they know it does not take too long.

    If you care, give it a try:
    http://www.evengrounds.com/newsletter

    Be assured, I am using a double opt-in policy, you won’t hear from me again if you choose not to.

  35. Seems to me we’ve got what’s referred to in rhetoric as a slippery slope. The analogy is flawed in the beginning, so weighing the evidence through successive stages just makes it more incorrect as it proceeds. A closer analogue of the pea pod might have been to take blogging, and apply it to Mendel, going backwards in history and updating the technology of that time, hypothetically. I find it hard to believe that Mendel, in that case, would have waited 7 years to publish anything. The world was a different place back then. He would have been publishing flawed bits of daily activity, random pictures, ideas that ended up being tested and found wrong, lists of details, etc. Today, bloggers have the opportunity to share the inner-workings of the processes of research, writing and learning — and we all are privileged with more access to information than ever before.

    I much prefer to see quality posts, but fresh information every day. I can grant a generous amount of space to a blogger who is working something out — after all, we’re getting to share in the experiment as it unfolds.

    • I like your style, but do not totally agree. While highly likely that you’re correct, it’s wrong to assume that everyone in this day dumps everything they do into a blog, or status, or whatever. 

      I do however feel it safe to assume that Mendel was obsessive in this. Generally, in my experience, people that obsessive generally do not share their work until they have it complete, or at least, until they feel it’s as complete as it’ll ever be. 

      I know your post is 2 years old, but I find how you write interesting and really just captivating. I’m not a writer, but I can appreciate fancy werds. lol.

  36. Seems to me we’ve got what’s referred to in rhetoric as a slippery slope. The analogy is flawed in the beginning, so weighing the evidence through successive stages just makes it more incorrect as it proceeds. A closer analogue of the pea pod might have been to take blogging, and apply it to Mendel, going backwards in history and updating the technology of that time, hypothetically. I find it hard to believe that Mendel, in that case, would have waited 7 years to publish anything. The world was a different place back then. He would have been publishing flawed bits of daily activity, random pictures, ideas that ended up being tested and found wrong, lists of details, etc. Today, bloggers have the opportunity to share the inner-workings of the processes of research, writing and learning — and we all are privileged with more access to information than ever before.

    I much prefer to see quality posts, but fresh information every day. I can grant a generous amount of space to a blogger who is working something out — after all, we’re getting to share in the experiment as it unfolds.

  37. Blog = Online Diary right?
    Diary = Spontaneous Entries right?
    Content = Must have quality and value right?

    Therefore a blog post has to have been given time and thought before being published yet it should not take forever to formulate that it looses its momentum. When you write a blog post it is best to publish it in its raw form and let the community take over.

    Having said that there has to be quality and value in it for one to expect the masses to turn it into a blogosphere talking point. And as a blogger churning out good quality content in a timeliest manner should be your strongest point, if its not then you are not a blogger are you!

    There you should be a ballance of quality and time frame for posting, which one should have set as part of the goals before launching the blog. Well thats my $0.02 worth :)

  38. Blog = Online Diary right?
    Diary = Spontaneous Entries right?
    Content = Must have quality and value right?

    Therefore a blog post has to have been given time and thought before being published yet it should not take forever to formulate that it looses its momentum. When you write a blog post it is best to publish it in its raw form and let the community take over.

    Having said that there has to be quality and value in it for one to expect the masses to turn it into a blogosphere talking point. And as a blogger churning out good quality content in a timeliest manner should be your strongest point, if its not then you are not a blogger are you!

    There you should be a ballance of quality and time frame for posting, which one should have set as part of the goals before launching the blog. Well thats my $0.02 worth :)

  39. I agree, far too many people rush poor quality posts these days…it should be treated like an art!

  40. I agree, far too many people rush poor quality posts these days…it should be treated like an art!

  41. I’ve had the best results when I’ve spend the most time and effort putting together my posts. I never allow poor quality / rushed work on my blogs, and I’ve done just fine in the SERPs as a result. 

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