On blogging: quality vs. quantity

Guys, I’m tired. It’s the 21st of November, which means after this post, I have 9 posts left in NaBloPoMo. I can’t decide whether that feels like a lot or not, but what I do know is that I’m tired. I want to talk about quality vs. quantity in blogging, which I have been planning on talking about for a while. Now seems like a good time, since NaBloPoMo is a good example of this issue.

I think we all go through waves when it comes to blogging – sometimes we feel like our draft lists are overflowing with ideas, and at other times they are completely dry. At the moment I’m at a happy medium, but I do always make sure I am satisfied with the quality of my posts before posting, and I never force myself to post about something I don’t feel particularly compelled to post about. Because if I don’t feel compelled to write it, the post is probably not going to be very good.

But NaBloPoMo presents the challenge of finding a quality post in my brain every single day of the month. Obviously some days are better than others. Even though I have some (what I think are) compelling posts in my drafts, I really don’t feel like writing them right now because I am tired. I’ve hit the point of NaBloPoMo where I just do not want to open this damn WordPress editor. But I Press on (see what I did there?).

typing

Me, Pressing on.

In order to talk about quality in posts, you have to define what makes a post “good” on your personal quality spectrum, and every blogger is different. For me, it’s difficult to articulate because I very much “feel” out the post as I reread and edit. If it has the tone I’m going for, then I’m good. But I also always want to feel that I’m adding to a conversation. That’s what professors tell you about research papers, right? What can you add to the ongoing conversation in your field? If my posts manage to do that, I consider them on the higher end of the quality spectrum.

However, when quantity becomes more of your focus, does quality suffer? Well, my answer is going to be the same to all the questions in this post, btw, and it is: “it depends on the blogger.” I personally have not kept it a secret that I dislike weekly meme posts, for example. I don’t read them on other’s blogs, nor do I post them because I find them dull. Tags I enjoy because they are all different and not scheduled. And reviews and discussions are the heart and backbone of good blogs, in my opinion. To me, posts like weekly memes would serve my quantity function only, so they do not meet the standard on my blog. But while I value quality over quantity, I see how keeping up quantity can be important: you don’t want to go silent, get lost, and miss out on topics or readers as they make their way through the blogosphere. But there was a time when I felt I was churning out a good number of posts pretty rapidly, and soon after felt that the quality of my posts had suffered. Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but I can’t help but wonder if that was the cause. I’m sure it was at least part of it. I know time management factors into this discussion as well, but I won’t elaborate on that because plenty of bloggers have already talked about it recently, and I have nothing to add to that conversation except to say that I agree; blogging requires time management skills and it’s sometimes hard.

What it really comes back to is setting your own standards for the quality and quantity of posts on your blog, and everyone’s standards are different. If you’re finding yourself falling below those standards, you reassess. For me, it means avoiding falling into too many book blogger trends that may make my blog blend in too much and maintaining my voice and personality through everything I do. For you it could be totally different.

But this is a discussion post after all, so I want to know: what are your quality and quantity standards? Before you hit “publish,” what do you think about? Tone, structure, voice, visuals, lols, originality, thoughtfulness, something else? Let me know.

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21 thoughts on “On blogging: quality vs. quantity

  1. Briana says:

    I think quality is far more important than quantity. Of course you want to post relatively consistently, which I would say is at least once a week. If you only post once or twice a month, it will be hard for people to get to know you and your blog. So quantity matters a little. However, sometimes I run across a blog where I see the blogger posting very, very often, but the posts are short and, in my opinion, don’t say much. I don’t follow these bloggers. I think it’s most important to post things that are interesting to people.

    What do I think “quality” is? I think you’re right with suggesting discussion posts should add something to a conversation/field. I don’t mind if people post about a topic that other bloggers have; what I do what to see is a new take on that topic, or an aspect that hasn’t been often discussed. I also think post length can play a role, as mentioned: you need to give yourself enough time/space to say something interesting and support it with evidence. Finally, I’d suggest considering audience. Occasionally I run across discussion posts that, frankly, seem to be discussing the obvious. You don’t really need to spend a whole post defining a love triangle if you’re speaking to the book community. Or your “advice” post for other bloggers shouldn’t just say: “Your post should have a title. And then some content.” I have seen posts that do this, and they’re not interesting, and they’re totally missing the mark with their audience. You don’t need to tell bloggers they should title their posts. They already know this. Maybe what you COULD write about is how to write a really engaging title.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. zahia93 says:

    Hi there. I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I thought that this was a compelling post and the whole quality/quantity debate is something that I’ve also been thinking about for a while…

    I personally think that quality is more important than quantity when writing a blog.
    I try to write meaningful posts on my blog (when I have the time!) but I soon noticed that my reading updates (where I list the books I read in the month and a quick opinion/description about them) garnered more ‘likes’ than these meaningful, literary discussion posts. To me, receiving ‘likes’ on a post is not all that important on the grand scale of things (although it is nice to get them) because I don’t blog regularly enough to have developed a presence in the blogging community, it’s just nice to know that my thoughts are out there for people to read them if they wish 🙂
    I guess it was just interesting to me that a lot of bloggers bemoan the fact that hardly any book bloggers write interesting/meaningful posts anymore, and here I was, trying to do that, but people were more interested in seeing what I had read during the month. And that was also ok. Since I read quite diversely, and I don’t tend to read what’s popular in the book blogging community, it makes me happy when people respond to what I’ve read because I hope that I’ve inspired them to try something new, or at least given them a different opinion to what’s already out there.
    Anyway, in regards to the whole quantity/quality discussion, I personally enjoy reading (and writing for my own blog) longer posts that have clearly been researched or that show that the blogger is passionate about the subject and not just jumping on the blogsphere bandwagon. To me, it doesn’t matter if a blogger posts once a week or once a month, as long as what they do post is interesting, true to their own opinions, or gives me something new to think about.

    Good luck with completing the rest of NaBloPoMo – the end is in sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily | RoseRead says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad you commented and brought up the “likes” issue. That’s a really good point. Some of my more thoughtful posts have gone relatively unnoticed over some of my tags and things. But I agree, to me, that doesn’t matter. So Long as I am satisfied with the quality of my content.

      Like

  3. wonderfilledreads says:

    Very good topic, Emily! I’m one of the ones who’s guilty of posting weekly memes, haha! But I do it because since I’ve started my full time job, I have less time to devote to writing out full posts regularly and the weekly memes are usually fairly quick write-ups for me. I’ve made plans to start doing more discussion posts in the future and hopefully change up the structure of my blog. I love how creative and unique all of your posts are – you’ve definitely nailed quality posts! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Captain's Quarters says:

    A great discussion post! I be a blogger who will read tags and some weekly memes but don’t like them on me own log. Me blog is for book reviews and to remind meself of things. Though I do.make an exception and answer award questions on a separate page. But overall I find me blog with less likes and followers then folks who started around the same time I did. Though that could be cause I also don’t do Twitter or Facebook. Whichever the case, the fact that there be any people following me thoughts is fascinating. I do seem to have a core group of commenters which be awesome. Me only personal goal in terms of writing posts is to review every book I finish and some books that I don’t finish if it strikes me fancy. I write when I want and how I want. Not to say that I don’t love interacting with other bloggers. I adore it! But I consider it a bonus. I will not apologize for the blogging schedule that I use (which is mood based). The only schedule I try to.maintain is for arcs that I get. And I frankly got too many in the eArc Extravaganza so once I finish the four left, I will be takin’ a break for books currently in me clutches. Yer post raised lots of thoughts. I can’t wait to see the other comments.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Zezee says:

    Well my standard for my blog is to write whatever I want to write about and do whatever interests me, which might seem like an indolent way to go about it (so it seems sometimes when I see great blogs with a strong focus on a particular topic/social issue, etc.), but it really helps me to keep my blog focused on what I care about and not get hung up on keeping up with certain blogging trends. I prefer quality and I tend to reread my posts several times to make sure it is as free of errors as I can make it (because I get annoyed at myself when I reread a published post later and find errors in it) and the facts I state are true. I don’t often worry about tone (except to be respectful, or as respectful as I can, when discussing something, books, I don’t like) because I try to be truthful in my posts and sound like myself.
    I kinda agree with you on memes, but depending on how a blogger do certain memes, like Top Ten Tuesday, you can get some substance out of it. I don’t mind doing them, but after awhile I do grow bored of them. Tags, however, I enjoy doing especially if the questions deviate a little from the norm.
    When I’m tired or too busy to blog or just want to have a little fun, I post tags. When I’m in the mood to write, I might do something a little creative, like a story, and when I feel like thinking hard (doesn’t happen often lol) I do discussions and reviews (which is why it takes forever for me to post one of those).
    [Sorry for the long reply but good discussion, eh.]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    Brilliant post like always, Emily! When I first started blogging I thought I HAD to post every day. However, I quickly learnt that was impossible. Now I definitely think quality is way more important than quantity. Obviously, it’s good to have a consistent and regular schedule of posting, but I’d prefer to put a couple posts that I’m REALLY proud of, than just keep publishing ones for the sake of having something to post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Liam @ Hey Ashers! says:

    This is a great discussion topic, and you covered it really well. As did everyone who’s commented before me, thus kindly leaving me with little more to add.

    I agree with your stance on the weekly meme thing; I find them repetitive and dull, and generally don’t read them. But I had a slight change of heart recently (as you might’ve noticed, since I posted a Top 5 Wednesday this week), because:

    (a) I usually only post twice a month, and I do want my blog to be more active, and

    (b) I realized didn’t have to do the short, boring lists that so many other bloggers spit out weekly. The topics are often interesting, and give bloggers the opportunity promote older and/or less widely known books—and, more importantly, the prompts give a great opportunity to go into a longer discussion that could potentially tie five (or however many) books together.

    Just as an example, a top five favorite villains list can (and will, next week, if I actually write the post in time) become a quick or long analysis of how a rape victim views herself as the source of her own trauma, as her own villain, until she finally confronts the rapist and acknowledges that he was the villain all along. And hey, if I’d read five books about rape victims, I could make a veritable thesis out of it.

    I realized that I could double my content (or more!) if I took a popular meme as a launching-off point for the more thoughtful analyses that I prefer to read and write. And I’m definitely not the first person to have this idea, so I plan to start checking people’s weekly meme posts to figure out who does the standard lists and who makes something truly interesting of it.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that even the quality of a silly or dull meme can be improved. Or, uh, at least someone can try to improve it? That’s my goal.

    Sorry to ramble; I’m just excited about this, because I feel like it was a bit of a breakthrough for me. But even as I expand my blog, quality will always be preferred over quantity, just as relationships with my followers/the people I follow will always be prioritized over my number of followers. And I love that all of the people I’ve come to know here have more or less this same approach to blogging. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. uyjewelry says:

    Hi! It’s my first time reading your blog and I appreciate this post. I believe quality would take the edge over quantity, but the best option would be to find a happy medium. Kudos for publishing one post a day for a month!!
    Quality over Quantity – I would rather ensure that what I wrote has some substance than racing to have all this supposed lovely content out there for the world to see which was filled with horrible styling, poor sentence structure and lots of green verbs and bad grammar. Readers to WordPress will probably never meet me beyond seeing my Gravatar photo so I view what I post as my face to the world; it is my brand, a part of who I am. So taking the time to proofread etc and presenting a quality product sends the right kind of message I prefer a reader to have about me. I get peeved at horrible grammar littered throughout posts and three and four are all neatly published for the day. Nobody is perfect and we will tend to post what interests us how we see best. But, on the up side, there is nothing wrong with taking a little more time to polish up the image and in time I believe the numbers will come 🙂 I am still very new to this community so I am finding my way around, thank you for this encouragement.

    Like

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