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Blogtober. Have you heard of it? Done it? Thought about joining it?
Well I’ll save you some time: don’t bother. Blogtober is a waste of time.
What is Blogtober?
It’s a challenge to post one new blog post every day for the entire month of October.
What is Blogtober supposed to do?
- Boost your traffic by boosting how much content you have
- Get you into a groove of productivity
- Encourage networking between bloggers
What Blogtober actually does:
- Increases how much content you have, but not in a helpful way
- Boosts traffic, but only while the challenge is running
- Creates a false sense of productivity (because you’re working hard, but not on anything that will last)
- Encourages networking between bloggers (this one is true!)
Why doesn’t Blogtober work?
The problem with Blogtober is that a blog post every day is unnecessary, outdated and undermines the “quality over quantity” mindset that will really help your blog grow. Slapping out a bunch of quick posts is better suited to social media than a high quality blog. Let’s break down why Blogtober is such a bad idea:
1. Blogtober is outdated
When I first started blogging 12 years ago super frequent posts was the thing to do — heck the big company blogs I wrote for published upwards of 10-15 times per day. Short, quick-to-digest pieces that represented a single small thought like “check out what I found over here” or “You know what I was thinking about just now…?” One of my earliest paid gigs for was for AOL and my contract was $10 per post at 85-100 words each (that’s like one paragraph!).
Blogging today is quite a bit different than it was in 2006. Readers aren’t looking on blogs for quick snippets and short, fluffy tidbits — that’s what social media is for. Blogs have evolved and the successful ones are now filled with thoughtful, lengthy, well-written articles that represent a complete solution to a problem or need.
And it’s difficult to put out that kind of quality every. darn. day (unless you have a team of professional writers at your disposal).
I’m not saying you can’t put out an epically amazing blog post in a day. But every day? That’s a tall, tall order.
2. Blogtober is unnecessary
Perhaps the most important reason not to mess with Blogtober is that posting on your blog every day is not even necessary! It doesn’t help your traffic past the immediate boost you may get from sharing on social and networking with other Blogtober participants. Posting intentional, awesome content once or twice a week is plenty. Heck, I post once-a-month (ish) on my blog and my traffic is still growing. Quality over quantity really is the key.
Should you do Blogtober?
My advice? Skip it. Blogtober is more stress than it’s worth and it just encourages bloggers to direct their energy into all the wrong places.
As I said above the real problem with Blogtober is that daily posting on a blog is an outdated practice that’s largely unhelpful and unnecessary in modern “solo-preneur” blogging (when just one person is running the show, not a big team).
What’s good about Blogtober?
Not a lot, ha, but the idea of Blogtober isn’t all bad. It does have a few benefits. This sort of content challenge can help you:
- Brainstorm a lot of content ideas in a short amount of time
- Build your confidence as a writer
- Develop your personal writing “voice”
- Network and make new blogging friends
But you want to avoid the downsides. Doing Blogtober in its current state you’ll risk:
- Writer’s block due to burn out
- Sloppy writing due to fast work/lack of editing
- Posts that are short, poorly researched, and will not perform well long-term
- A false sense of productivity and accomplishment
How can I make Blogtober work for me?
If you’re really into the idea (maybe already committed!) consider modifying it to something more modern, realistic, and above all actually helpful to you long term. I recommend changing it from “write a blog post every day” to “write something for your audience every day.” So expand the challenge past your blog and include writing for your social media accounts and email list. Maybe a blog post 1-2x per week, email list 1x per week, and social media posts the other 5 or so days. You could even write a guest post for another site once or twice during the month and build your backlinks. This approach could give your blog a real, lasting boost as well as grow your online authority as a whole.
Now THAT could really be something.
Blogtober Dos and Donts
If you’re still thinking Blogtober might be good for you then get the most of it by following these simple tips:
- DO post daily across all platforms
- DO make sure everything you write/post is high quality, engaging and genuinely valuable to your audience
- DON’T write a blog post every day. Unless you’re a blogging superhero and can do it at the highest level (if so share your secrets!!!)
- DON’T be afraid to keep social posts short and sweet. Engagement and value can happen in a single sentence! (or two)
- DON’T talk about Blogtober with your audience, unless your audience is bloggers and your focus is teaching about Blogtober
- DO keep the big picture in mind. How can you make this all work to serve you in the long term? (Hint: quality over quantity!)
- DO get creative and make this “challenge” your own. There are no rules!
- DO network with other bloggers, but limit sharing and linking to others in your niche (value for your audience!)
What to post in Blogtober? Ideas for blog posts and social media
Blogtober can be a great time to brainstorm ideas and really get into the heads of your audience — what needs and questions do they have? Big and little, this is a great time to cover it all! And make plans for the future as well (it doesn’t all have to be covered all in the month of October).
- Poll your audience (via email list or social media) to find out what they’re most interested in hearing about from you
- Type your niche topic or some related keywords into AnswerthePublic.com and see what questions people are asking online
- Do the same thing at Google Trends
- Look back at your most popular posts. What else do you have to say on those topics?
- Read through the comments on your blog. What are people talking about or asking? Which posts have the most comments?
- Browse competitor’s blogs and social accounts in your niche and see if anything sparks for you (don’t copy their work of course! Just take a general topic or idea and then make it your own)
- Get a copy of my free writing prompts for any niche! There are more than 50, and they can work anywhere (blog posts, social, email).
Got a lot of Blogtober ideas but not sure what to write about where?
Big topics that need a lot of explaining = blog posts.
Short, easy answers and quick fixes can become posts on social media or to your email list.
Writing for your email list is great if you don’t want to mess with keyword research and some of the other more technical or time-consuming aspects of writing a blog post.
Remember quality over quantity! Don’t let your standards slip for a self-imposed idea of “I must post something every day.” There’s too much competition out there to be sloppy. You’ll be much better served posting less frequently but better, than every day but nothing is that special. Embrace the flexibility of your social platforms and email list and focus on your audience and your own unique perspective and value to your niche aas a whole. Blogtober is what you make it! If it feels good, go for it.
If it doesn’t (or you start and get tired/frustrated/burned out) drop it like a hot potato!