The Sand Castle Guide to Remarkable Content

Our host today is Bamboo Forest. If you're interested in getting in front of the readers of Site Sketch 101, check out our guest posting invitation here.

Imagine you’re strolling down the beach and you see a row of decent looking sand castles; they draw your interest momentarily, but don’t really wow you.

Then, suddenly, you come across a sand castle that’s so meticulous, it takes your breath away and you’re compelled to sit down and take a closer look at it.

Blogs consistently building magnificent sand castles are the ones that are going to attract the largest audiences. Blogs that build lots of decent looking ones will just fade away with the coming tide.

Is Good Enough Really Enough?

Can you become a popular blogger by doing lots of “good enough” content? Maybe. But I think that’s going to be harder than ever to do now. You see, that may have worked a few years ago when there weren’t nearly as many blogs out there. But now, as the “kings” have long been established, you just can’t do a good job. You must do a great job. You have to knock the socks off your readers. And this is why you’re probably going to have to spend significant time crafting your posts.

Jon Morrow, associate editor of Copyblogger writes:

“Yes, it’s possible to write a great blog post in 15 minutes, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that it doesn’t happen very often. Most of the popular bloggers I know spend anywhere from 2 to 10 hours on each blog post they write. If you’re not, you should be.”

In the comment section of the aforementioned quote, Sonia Simone, CMO of Copyblogger writes:

“On average, I’d say it takes me an hour to write, an hour to rewrite, an hour to edit the rewrite, a half hour to find the image, and a half hour to code and check that everything looks good. So that’s four hours.” [Bold emphasis mine]

Honestly, it’s not only that Jon Morrow and Sonia Simone are really talented writer’s who’ve worked hard to cultivate their skill that makes them so influential. They also put staggering care into everything they craft which gives them a significant edge over the competition.

Are You a Writer or a Blogger?

Straight up: I’m a writer.

The primary reason I identify myself as a writer is because it compels me to exert maximum effort on my writing. If I identified as a blogger, I wouldn’t have the same motivation to give it my all.

Regardless of what you’ve been told, blogging is not just about sharing valuable ideas. When I’m reading a blog, I want its prose to have rhythm, class and clarity. I enjoy excellent writing almost as much as I enjoy the ideas conveyed. Many share my sentiment, and there are tons of blogs to choose from. Most people will be drawn to those whose writing excels.

Some readers may like when blogs update every day. I’m the opposite. When I see that a blog only publishes a few days a week or less, that conveys to me they put loads of care into each post they craft. That’s the kind of dedication that makes subscribing irresistible for me. And I hope the blogging culture begins to realize that excellence isn’t an option if popularity is the goal.

On my blog, Pun Intended, only two to three posts are published weekly, and it’s co-authored. That means my brother and I only write about 1.5 posts per week. We also proof each other’s posts before they go live. We only publish the finest stuff we can.

News flash: It’s 2010. Blogging is going to become more accepted with every passing day and more competitive as well.

And you know what I have to say about that?

Bring it on! It will make us all better writers.

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16 Lively Comments

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  1. November 12, 2010

    Murlu said:

    That’s what I think when I see blog posts popping up every day – it seems like the writing is done more along the lines of just getting content out there than really taking the time to create something truly amazing – you know, part inspiration and part experience.

    Some bloggers can manage doing a daily post and still rock it but for the majority of us, we should really step back and just let the post ideas come to us – bring in life experiences and pour ourselves into every bit of work.

    “When I’m reading a blog, I want its prose to have rhythm, class and clarity.” – I think people miss this a lot; they’re too used to just consuming information that they’re forgetting that there’s people behind the posts (not just information).

    • November 12, 2010

      Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer said:

      Some bloggers are more equipped to post daily, you’re right about that.

      That said, no matter how wickedly talented the blogger is, I think quality always pays a price when posts are going up daily.

      Not only that, though, people are busy and have so many things they do on the internet; it’s not just about your blog no matter how great it is!

      I think posting daily is a bad strategy and only a good one for very few blogs.

  2. November 12, 2010

    Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer said:

    I’m heading out…

    When I get back, I’ll respond to any new comments on this post.

    Thank you Nicholas for publishing my guest post here, really appreciate it.

    And love that my comment says ‘post author’, such a cool touch.

  3. November 12, 2010

    Nicholas Cardot said:

    I recently made this same decision at my blog. I’ve only been posting (on average) on Mondays and Thursdays and I’m finding that this really allows me to go over my articles more thoroughly and it allows us to build up broader and more engaging conversations.

    I’m the same way in that I don’t expect a blog post from an author every day. I can’t keep up with those who do post every day. I’m way too busy. I’d rather have a couple excellent articles that really jolt me with the information.

    • November 13, 2010

      Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer said:

      “I can’t keep up with those who do post every day”

      I feel this way too and I Think many others do as well.

      Less frequent publishing ironically means enjoying more of the author’s writing since you then have hope of reading everything published.

  4. November 13, 2010

    Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer said:

    It really is a ridiculous concept.

    Another thing to consider is that the less frequently you post the more scrutiny you can have on what ideas you write about.

    If you’re posting every day, you’re going to end up publishing a post even when you don’t really have anything to say.

  5. November 13, 2010

    Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing said:

    Well lookie here. I’ve been blogging 2-3 times per week for several years and always told I’m wrong…now all of a sudden I’m right.

    LOL! Some are a little slow on the uptake I guess.

    I’ve even recently proved to myself, yet again, that daily is bad for consumption.

    I’ve been posting daily for a month or more now; mainly because they were done or half done and just sitting in draft taking up space.

    It’s spot easy to tell via comment counts, and some comments themselves, that readers just can’t do it.

    Hence my current sticky post. So we are in total agreement there.

    Now, this business about all posts needing to be Shakespearean quality, sorry, also ridiculous.

    I write for beginners in a certain field. I write a lot of How-To’s and Do-You’s (leading to more how-to’s)

    Aside from the possibility of massive research or lots of source links, if I were to take 10hrs to write a post, it would mean I have no idea what I’m talking about and making it up as I go along. LOL

    • November 13, 2010

      Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer said:

      I hear what you’re saying.

      I think everything posted should be written as well as possible (within reason).

      You can’t take so much time that you never publish anything, but I also don’t think rushing is the solution either.

      If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’re probably going to have to make your posts pretty darn good over all which will encompass excellent execution(that usually takes some time).

      Take this blog for example, the execution is very good which is why I believe it has so many fans.

      • November 14, 2010

        Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing said:

        Agreed; it’s the same advice I give when bloggers ask “how long should a post be”

        Simply put, stop writing when your point is made. 🙂

  6. November 14, 2010

    Carolee Sperry said:

    Ok, I agree, but don’t. In fact I just posted about this subject the other day….”breaking the blogging rules”

    While I know how to write “properly”- I have been published several times- I write my blog like I speak AND I try to write it more at a “newbies” level.

    Not exactly Shakespeare for sure…

    I have been on some blogs (not too many thank goodness) that sound like a technical manual.

    If people can’t read it quickly and easily, they’re gone!

    • November 14, 2010

      Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer said:

      I see nothing wrong with writing like you speak. In fact, it’s probably a good idea.

      I’m all for simplicity in writing! It’s what I try to do.

      My point is just that the delivery should be well planned out so that it’s an engaging and interesting read.

      Shakespeare? Damn, I wish I could write like that!

  7. November 15, 2010

    Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer said:

    Perhaps that strategy is effective for you.

    But I will say, if you write less posts, you can than be more picky about what you write about!

  8. November 15, 2010

    Ron Leyba said:

    For me, it doesn’t matter if you post 2-3 times a week or you create a brand new post each day of the week. What matter most is the content and how it was created and presented.

    It’s not the frequency, its the quality right? =)

    • November 15, 2010

      Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer said:

      I agree with what you say.

      That said, if you’re a smaller blog and you’re posting every day, you might be wasting some of your content.

      With blogs with smaller audiences, posting every day is going to result in your readers only catching some of your posts.

      Posting every day increases the chances your readers will have an opportunity to read everything you write.

  9. November 20, 2010

    Kimi said:

    I don’t know how to call myself LOL

    I guess i am a screencaster! But to be honest, by reading other people posts, my writing skill has been improved, thanks to them 🙂

  10. November 26, 2010

    Reza Winandar said:

    Long time no visit, but hey, I’m here!

    A great content is a content that satisfied your reader, so ask your readers what might be satisfy them.