Author Topic: How many blog posts before you publicize?  (Read 3309 times)

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
How many blog posts before you publicize?
« on: February 05, 2015, 02:47:59 PM »
I've recently come up with a blogging project I'm extremely excited about. I'm planning to document the experience of being a cyclist in Minneapolis from many different angles. I'll use photography and written content to share my own stories, report on events and bike news, and interview others. I already have a whole page worth of recurring post ideas and I've already set up the site, written a few posts, and started a Twitter account for the project.

I'm already quite involved in cycling culture in Minneapolis. I'm on the bicycle advisory committee for the city, involved in bike groups on Facebook, and have many cyclist friends. I don't want to inundate any of these avenues with pleas for people to 'check out my blog.' I do think, however, that many people would be interested in the project and I'd like to encourage people to share ideas they have for posts, volunteer to be interviewed, and volunteer to guest post. At what point should I publicize the content? I haven't done a photo post yet. I want to stop cyclists about town, take a picture apiece, and ask them a few set questions about their relationship with biking. After one post like this should I publicize to my groups? Or should I wait until I have 10 posts, so there's more content for people to explore? Thanks!

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: How many blog posts before you publicize?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 02:54:28 PM »
Nothing peeves me more than a new blog that I go check out, and then read all of in one sitting.  That's not a blog, that's a disjointed long form article.

I'd wait until you had at least 10, and probably 15 posts.  Preferably in at least three different categories so there is enough variety of content to appeal to a more diverse set of people.

And if you're doing something relatively mundane, like reporting on advisory committee meetings, you really need a hook.  Some new project the committee is discussing that you're trying to generate support for, or some sort of bicycle-related development conflict that people will want to see resolved in future posts.

I can't tell you how many blogs I've spent an hour on and then never returned to afterwards.  I think the key to getting return readers is offering them something specific to look forward to if they come back.

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: How many blog posts before you publicize?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 03:06:28 PM »
Thanks, sol. The whole perspective of the blog is how different people experience cycling in Minneapolis. I picture including really short interviews with strangers I stop on the trails (example post: 'Commuters riding the Greenway in the evening on February 5th') with one picture and answers to a couple consistent questions, longer interviews with cyclists of all ability levels, reports of impactful advisory committee discussions (last sub-committee we discussed experiences with motorist anger and violence), photo series' of bikes in different situations (bikes locked to poles in X neighborhood, where people store their bikes inside, etc.), posts from my own experience about biking (already posted about what it's like to only have a bike and no car), posts about public health and biking (since this is my degree and special interest), interviews with people who started cool bike projects, photos and reports from bike events, and lots more. 

jda1984

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
Re: How many blog posts before you publicize?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 03:10:39 PM »
That sounds like a great project.  I'd love to check it out when you're ready to publicize it.  Who knows, maybe you'll stop me on the greenway/cedar lake trail!

Newtonium

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: How many blog posts before you publicize?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 03:57:28 PM »
Windawake,
  I was in much the same place about a year ago. The absolute best resource I found was from Pat Flynn (http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-launch-a-brand-new-website/). I used his free advice and managed 1200 views in my first day, which felt pretty awesome.

He recommends coming up with 50 post titles to see if your idea has the longevity to make it beyond your initial excitement. Take a look at his content pyramid to see how he varies post types to keep different people interested.

Despite Sol's hurt feelings and misplaced frustrations, I wouldn't worry about 15 posts. I prefer Pat's idea of a few solid, varied, posts to start with.  A few great posts will do more than a dozen meh posts with some good mixed in.

And if it starts to feel overwhelming then the most important thing you can do is just to launch. Launch day can be a big help, but it's not like it will define you or your blog forever. Start writing. Start publishing. There is nothing wrong with learning as you go. If a few Sol's visit once and never come back that's their choice. Meanwhile, those of us with a bit more patience will be there next week to see what you come out with next.

I'd love to chat more about blogs/blog launches.

Andrew
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 04:05:05 PM by Newtonium »

Retired To Win

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1494
  • Age: 71
  • Location: Virginia
  • making the most of my time and my money
    • Retired To Win
Re: How many blog posts before you publicize?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2015, 04:46:43 PM »
The way I've grown to handle it with my own blog is to have a particular number of views per day, week, post, whatever that makes me feel inside that it's worth my effort.

I'm not talking in terms of monetizing the blog (since I haven't gone there yet).  I'm simply talking about the satisfaction -- or lack thereof -- that you'll get when you see your viewing statistics.  So, come up with a number that feels right.  Shooting for it, and then surpassing it, will keep you going.  And that number will help you get a handle on how many posts to publish before "going public" as well as how frequently you should/could post.

Good luck.

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: How many blog posts before you publicize?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2015, 02:59:05 PM »
Hey all,

I ended up publicizing the blog on my social media networks and already have 60+ likes for the associated page on Facebook. I'm feeling good about it and happy to have some of the initial posts up.

If you want to check it out, it's www.bikinginmpls.com, I'd be grateful for any feedback, ideas, or comments!

Thanks!

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3435
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: How many blog posts before you publicize?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 05:53:26 PM »
I started referring people to my blog as soon as I had enough posts to cover everything basic about our lifestyle, since that was the primary goal of the blog - a reference for people who wonder how we do X or Y so we don't need to explain it over and over again. I think it was about 5 or 10 posts.

It's serving its purpose well - most things people ask us can now be answered with a link.