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?).
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.