Friday, January 02, 2009

MAM Poll: How often do you post to your blog?

The Lynn Painter-Stainers Fish (Four fish out of water)
14" x 18", coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I guess many of us are probably full of good intentions about being more organised about our blogging in 2009 - I know I am. So I thought it might be a good idea if I made the first Making A Mark Poll of 2009 about the frequency of our blog posts. I suggest you answer it on the basis of past practice rather than good intentions!

There's a huge variation in the frequency of posting amongst art blogs - and there is no right answer - it's whatever works for you. This poll is to give:
  • new bloggers an idea about how often people post and
  • more mature bloggers an idea about how their frequency compares to everybody else.
So - excluding your normal breaks/holidays - how often do YOU post to your blog?

The Making A Mark Poll for January can be found in the side column (just under the Followers widget) and asks the question How often do you post to your blog? The options are:
  • Virtually every day - I'm a real daily painter or a fanatical blogger
  • about 5 times a week - I've got to have some time off for real life
  • about 2-3 times a week - persistent and regular but not constant
  • averages out at once a week - it's too difficult to post more often
  • averages out 2-3 times a month - I'm a minimalist by nature!
  • less than once a month - I keep forgetting!
  • less than once every three months - my blog has died
Bear in mind that a huge proportion of all blogs (on whatever subject) "die" in the first three months of life - and if you've not posted in the last three months your blog is almost certainly "dead".

You've got a month to vote - the poll close at the end of January and I'll do review the results in a blog post at the beginning of February when I will also post a new poll. I have some ideas in mind but if you'd like to make any suggestions leave a comment below.

You can also see the first version of this poll on my squidoo information site Blogging for Artists - Resources for Artists - but please don't look at the results until you've voted in the January Making A Mark Poll on this blog! :)

  1. For an explanation about the drawing at the top see my post on the Watermarks blog - Four fish out of water
  2. I wrote this blog post before I went to bed and scheduled it to post in the morning! Day 1 of the new regime for blogging gets a tick!


  1. Before I started my new blog, I wrote down as many ideas that I could think of for blog posts. Each idea is numbered, with a check box, and I had 32 ideas as a start.
    Since the original list, I got about 10 more ideas from other sources.
    So my current pace is 18 posts in 22 days. I probably will not be able to sustain that pace, but there is much that I want to write about.

  2. Terry - That sounds good!

    I focus on assembling ideas and material in advance of the actual writing.

    I create a draft post every time I have an idea for a post. I jot down what prompted the thought and include any good links I've found and/or any images which would be appropriate. Then decide what might be an appropriate time for the post and give if a date in the future - and then save!

    I also tend to plan when I'm going to have major posts - plus I always know what Sunday's post is going to be about - and that one also gets assembled during the course of the week. I just finish it off on a Sunday.

    All in all, assembling material in advance and doing a little bit of planning makes life a whole lot easier when it came to regular blogging.

    If anybody else has any tips please do post them.

  3. Four Fish Out of Water - Wow! From your Venice Fish Market to this lovely, elegant still life - I'd certainly say follow the fish.

  4. Lovely, lovely drawing. I think that posting regularly and predictably is what makes a blog work.

  5. In the past few months, I have been posting 4-5 times per week. One of my new year's resolutions is to post to my blog less often. I am finding my blog is the tail wagging the dog. Frequent posting requires presentable art work, which discourages me from experimenting with new techniques and approaches. In 2009, I plan to experiment more and post only 2-3 times a week. I also plan to post only my best art work, which will be one small step on the road to becoming a professional artist.

  6. I always try to remind people of wise words you had once upon a time... that it takes a long time to suddenly see that established audience. :) I can't remember the years/number of posts but it was quite high.

    I'm a steady blogger - aiming for 2-3 times a week with at least one meaty informative post (or a work in progress post, which are most popular but I seldom do them). My problem is that if I don't blog 2-3/wk I generally miss the whole week altogether.

    If nothing else I post an image with a little bit of description. A studio shot perhaps, where I was that week. Why? Because I actually realised I quite enjoyed that from other artists, even if they weren't doing meaty blogs once in a while. Kept the blog feeling alive, in the moment.

  7. Laurel - I know the feeling!

    However I don't think there's a requirement to always post an image you've done. I really enjoy the days when people just post a really nice photo of something they've seen - or maybe a painting which they really like done by somebody who's been dead more than 70 years!

    Those are the sort of posts which don't need a lot of words.

  8. Julie/Tina - yup, it's regular posting rather than the frequency which gets a blog read.

    That and having good content when you post. It really doesn't have to be a heavy duty post.

    I've got people in my blogroll who don't post frequently - but when they do it's usually good stuff.

    I think the trick is finding a style of posting which works for you and then stick to it.

  9. Thanks Robyn - you've just reminded me of where I've got some stunning photos of fish!

  10. Ever since I started doing art book reviews in August 2008, I've been posting on average more than 1 post.

    That's pretty amazing because before that, I actually have difficulty coming up with things to post. It's great that I finally found some topic to focus on.

    My plans for the new year will be to feature more (new, old, good bad) art books and great art blogs (like this one)!


  11. Book reviews are an excellent way of being helpful and informative - and not having to produce a piece of your own art - unless, of course, you did one as a direct result of the helpful info in whatever book you;re reviewing.

    I'm always interested in book reviews about drawing for The Big Drawing Book Review - see side column.

  12. With the exception of holidays and vacations, I blog 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. I found (on my site at least) traffic went down on weekends whether or not I posted content. Not sure what the variables are, maybe people are out and about and too busy to check in or maybe I only attract those board at their day jobs.

  13. Katherine, I'd love to see information about how frequency of blogging relates to blog readership. As you wrote in the comments, regular (even if not frequent) posting and good content are also important. But I wonder if their is some threshold of frequency required to really grow the number of readers.

  14. I rather agree with the commenter who said a blog can be the tail wagging the dog. Though I enjoy writing and sharing very much, I am primarily a creator of things visual. Though I work every day, I don't see myself as a "daily painter" as my interest is mostly in larger works at this time. For the new year, however, I plan to add more text to my visual blogs and to write more - which means less reading of others' blogs!

  15. I neglected to say how much I admire your drawing!! It has a lovely quality of almost floating upon the page. You may get me interested in pulling out my old colored pencil box...

  16. In 2007 I made 215 posts. In 2008, 351--being able to pre-post via Blogger meant I could post a lot at once and rest in between!

    In 2009 I'm going to relax a bit and post better pieces, but always at least 4 a week. My plan, as my skills improve, is to post more finished, planned pieces instead of so many quick in-the-moment sketches.

    I continue to do those sketches, but the audience may be getting bored with so many left hands, cats, and my feet!

  17. I haven't been posting regularly for a while because my life has gone through many changes. My plan is to go back to posting at least three times a week, starting next week. I really like your suggestions in your first response in this set of comments. Thanks.

  18. Beautiful drawing Katherine!

    I aim for between 1 and 3 posts a week but never post just to fill a gap, it should always be because I have something to say or a drawing to show. I can't keep up with blogs that post every day so I prefer reading those that post at the same rate (although, I make an exception for this one!) I don't plan posts as I'm not organised and I like the posts to reflect things as they happen - I have ideas for the longer posts but wait for an event to trigger a reason to write about them. I posted less in 2008 but I plan to post a little more regularly this year. My drawing blog is only updated when I have a drawing! I think if a blog is interesting it doesn't really matter how frequent the posts are as I'll just subscribe anyway.

  19. I typically post 1-2 times per week. Less than once a week, and I find that I lose my readers, and also my momentum! I'd like to do closer to 2x per week this year - I was doing a mentorship that sucked up a lot of time in 2008, so I should have more time for blogging in 2009.

    I admire those who can post every day or 5x per week, but since my blog isn't really a daily painting type of blog (it's more about the content than the image for me), I think I would have a hard time finding much to say if I blogged that often!

  20. Happy New Years Katherine (and everyone else!)
    I try to post at least once a week. Its reasonable for me since I started my blog to show what I was learning about painting. Sometimes I go in spats and post quite a bit, then I get stumped.

    Apparently it's feast or famine for me.


  21. I am trying and have a 09 goal of once a week at least, twice a week if possible.

    Mine is an unusual goal as is an effort to create a reading optional blog. Unfortunately, words are essential to being found and getting ranking. So I will start to add comments with my posting starting today.

    About 10 people a day visit. Far less post, even though they get a free link if they own a site (I don't care about SEO). That is nothing seeing my non-art site gets close to 1000 which is nothing in the world of the web.

    A related 09 goal, get it up to 100 visitors a day and get my visitors to start commenting.

    Thanks for the poll. Will be following.

  22. Hi Katherine, I got here through Dianne Mize's blog and am delighted to find you.

    I especially appreciate your good organizational thoughts and encouragement.

    To answer your poll about blog post frequency; in 2008 I posted 189 times (11 more than 2007). That averages out to 3 or 4 times a week, which is close to my goal of a painting a day with weekends off. I hope to exceed those numbers this year.

    I've been posting "daily paintings" since 2005 as an online diary of sorts. If you visit my blog you'll see that '05 and '06 posts are now grouped together in places for simplicity when pieces sell. (After awhile, having so many images up on the site seemed excessive, so I've removed a bunch of sold works and just left titles for a record.)

    Happy painting, and Blest Wishes for 2009!

  23. I average about 1/wk. I would like that to improve, however I have had a sick child the past two years, and overall really impressed that I can continue to move forward even with the challenges in my life.

    I have ideas about being more organized in posts. We shall see where that leads over the New Year. Priorities are what they are. I would much rather put the time into making the art, and sharing it when possible.

  24. Hi Katherine, I posted an average of 5 times a week since I started 2 1/2 years ago. Unless we have family here or are traveling, I post daily. I am addicted. :) My blog relates to art mostly but travel and UT Baseball in the spring so I have a variety of readers. Works for me.

  25. Interesting comments about posting frequency.

    I've never set up rules or put much structure around my blogging - it averages out to 3-5 per week.

    Definitely dropping down to 2-3 per week and I lose readers. Although they always come back or new ones arrive.

    So I try not to check stats much because readership isn't why I blog. I blog because it's fun and more importantly cause I learn so much about myself and my art. And it's also a great way of holding myself accountable.

    This year I'm going to do a theme each month for blogging. I did this informally with some series posts last year, pretty much throughout the year. So this year will be my first year with a plan for blogging.

  26. Interesting set of comments. Particularly like what Patrice said about 'a blog can be the tail wagging the dog.' But then new mediums always impact in new ways on an artist's creativity. For example a fifteeth century fresco artist decorating a cathedral would make less finished pieces than a painting-a-day small format painter. Different audiences, different mind sets, different practises, differnt medii. 'The medium is the message'?

    For my part, I wouldn't want to post without a new artwork, or at least a photo relating to my artwork. My blogging has pushed me towards small format plein-air & more sketching but pushed my practice away from large formats. Regularity I suppose, as you say, Katherine.

    A NY Times article concerning blogging-fatigue which may be of interest of anyone who posts more than twice a week, and especially those who post with a new, finished artwork.

    In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop

    happy 2009 to all - blog on & paint well.

  27. That's an interesting article Adam.

    However it's worth noting that it's mainly talking about employed or contractual bloggers rather than those doing it for fun or on their own account.

    Art is not quite so cut-throat as the tech world(!) and I can well understand why the tech bloggers would be feeling that sort of stress.

    Personally, I think it's good practice for every blogger to work out a routine that works for them and for their blog. Hence why I put up the poll so that people can see and listen to the experience of others.

    I think the tail wags the dog only if you let it.

    I have a 'rule' that all my posts should have an image. However I resolved the issue partly through coverage of different aspects of art history and partly through reviews of books and other artists work. In the process I found that people enjoyed the variety of the content of this blog and I got more readers! That's what I call a win-win!!!

    I've got into the habit of posting every day but I don't think I need to and I'm certainly going to be trying to post slightly less in future. What you don't realise is that I have problems making sure I don't post more than once a day. I've got a very long list of possible draft posts!

    Ultimately I blog as regularly as I do because I think it's fun and much more enjoyable than housework. The only downside for me is a bad case of blogger's bottom! ;)

  28. Well as long as the blogging bottom hasn't grown a tail, you're OK!

    Joking asides, how to integrate blogging into one's life & into one's creative practice is ...fascinating!

    The wagging tail ... is often one's blogging changing, growing, mutating, evolving, n'est pas?

    My art-related workload is variable according to the seasons. Summer is self-representing exhibiting & teaching. Winter is more time of painting & writing. Posting regularly on a weekly basis is not something I've thought about.

    You blog brillantly & thanks for all the posts.

  29. I meant to say when I read this post the first time how much I enjoyed your artwork at the top. I had an interesting sensual reaction when I looked at it. First I saw the fish and thought "stinky fish", (knowing how long they'd have to sit out to paint them). Then I saw the lemon and it looked so refreshing that it was like a breath of lemon scented fresh air. Suddenly the whole painting felt sparkly clean and smelled just faintly of the sea and lemons. The silvery glow of the piece is just wonderful!

  30. Thanks Jana. As I said in my original post about these fish on the Watermarks blog - Four fish out of water I can't take any credit for the set-up!

    However, you've just explained all the things which attracted me to it! :)


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