I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since returning from the ACFW Conference in Dallas. Michael Hyatt was our keynote speaker at the event, and among the many insightful and inspiring things he said, I took away this vital piece of advice: When building a platform (establishing a blog following, building readership, increasing social network traffic, etc), consistency is more important than frequency.
Need For Both Frequency and Consistency
Notice that Mr. Hyatt didn’t say consistency instead of frequency. Once a month doesn’t get noticed in a minute-by-minute socially integrated world. Consistency is more important than frequency, which implies that both are important.
How Frequent Is Frequent Enough?
I think my frequency depends on my ability to maintain consistency. I’ve been sending out a weekly e-devotional on Mondays for almost ten years now. In July, I added three blog posts per week to that schedule. Within three weeks, I realized I’d promised more than I could consistently deliver, so I announced my decision to cut the blog posts to two per week. Now, after almost three months, I realize I can’t remain consistent at even two blog posts per week. Frequent enough for me will be one Deep-O-Tional on Monday and one blog post on Friday.
If you’re interested in reading more of Michael Hyatt’s wisdom on blogging frequency, check out this helpful post: Why I Will Be Posting Less
How Consistent Is Consistent Enough?
Consistency isn’t just about timing. A blog and its writer should present a consistent topic or theme. I write biblical fiction and devotional studies. When folks hear my name or see the cover of my books, they immediately think–Bible. And that’s thrilling!
It would make no sense for me to write a blog about horses. Though horses are beautiful animals, my readers don’t come to me for insight on horses. Right? Similarly, it would make no sense for me to write as if I were an expert in the writing craft or on the publishing industry. I can offer my personal experience and introduce you to learned author, agent, and editor friends; but I wouldn’t dare instruct others in exercises in which I myself am still a foot-soldier.
My consistent contributions will focus on God’s Word, my writing projects and personal lessons, and the talented folks I’ve met in Christian publishing.
To hear more about the role of consistency in a successful writer’s career, check out this video interview on Michael Hyatt’s blog: An Interview With Jane Friedman
A Few Ideas For Future Posts:
Blogging for a fiction author is always a little hinky. Yes, hinky. How do you create an interesting post about a story without giving away significant plot information? I could write **SPOILER ALERT** on some juicy little tidbit, but how many of you would actually stop reading?
Here are a few “unconventional” and I think GREAT ideas for blog posts. Please let me know which ones you like and if you have other ideas!
- Name a character – let folks comment on their favorite name in a list; the most votes becomes the name of that character in the book.
- First line contest – I give the storyline and setting of the first scene, and people write a first line for the book. I get to choose which line I like best, and the winner has their line submitted to my editor in the rough draft.
- Ongoing story – I choose a Bible story and write the first paragraph as the blog post. Each of your comments adds to the story (using Scripture as the guidelines) to continue the plot throughout the week as we all write an impromptu short story together.
These are just some of the unique ideas that might be fun to try in my once-a-week blog posts.