HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU SHOULD PUBLISH A POST

How to know when you should 'publish' a post

 

Today’s post is written with love, for the bloggers.

So if it’s that’s not you, you may want to turn away now. I won’t hold it against you promise, although saying that I do think many of the principles here you could probably apply to any job or act, so feel free to stick around if you fancy.

Anyway blogger pals, I have a confession.

The other day I went right back into the Pouting In Heels archives, like right back in time and what I found, horrified me.

Because I realised that many – not all thankfully, but many – of my early posts had been utter garbage. Rubbish posts that did nothing and served no-one.

(Readers who have been with me from the beginning, I am truly sorry. And I hope to goodness, I’ve made it up to you since!)

I looked at some of them in utter horror at first and then finally, after getting over the shock, I did give myself a little pat on the back for improving so much. Because, trust me, I really have.

And I also took stock. I sat and thought about why my blog posts did improve and coincidentally (duh!) my readership.

So before you start trawling through my old horrors (I know you want to! And it’s ok, really it is, trawl away, just don’t say I didn’t warn you!) here are some words of wisdom for you.

Here’s what I try to think about, every time, before I hit that publish button. (And why you should do the same.)

Before you hit publish, think!

 

What’s in it for YOU?

I’m a writer, that’s what I do and a huge part of who I am, but I forgot this right at the beginning of my blogging journey. I was too eager to please, I believed the myth that you have to blog every day (or at least a lot!) and because of that my blog suffered. As did my self respect.

I wrote stuff that I didn’t care a tuppence about. I wrote stuff because I felt under pressure. I wrote stuff that was dire.

And now? Well, now I only write what I want to write, when I’m compelled to write it and it always, truthfully, comes  straight from the heart.

If YOU are not excited about writing something or sharing it, you’re doing it all wrong my friend.

If you haven’t got butterflies in your stomach about a post, ask yourself – should you really be bothering? Should you really be wasting your time?

Always write and share because you have just have to! Never because you feel you ought to. That kind of posting will only shrink your soul.

 

What’s in it for others?

This should always be secondary – in my opinion – to what’s in it for you, as I have always found that if you write with passion, people always respond, whatever the subject.

However, it’s true, you have to think about your readers also. So ask yourself, why should someone read your post? And why should they even care?

You may think you’re the best thing to happen to the blogging world in years, but that doesn’t mean people will necessarily agree with you, sadly.

So don’t waste people’s precious time by serving them a post that is cold, lukewarm or nondescript. It is unfair to them and to you.

Always think first – will this entertain? Will it help someone? Will it make someone laugh or cry? Will it empower? Will people relate to this?

If you want anyone to read and (hopefully) share your ramblings, you need to give them a good reason for them to care about it first.

 

If it’s the last thing you ever published, would you be proud?

Would you?

Would you know that it’s the best that you could offer? Could you sleep happily at night, knowing that you gave that post your best shot? Do you really love that outfit you are posting?

Does it come from the heart? Is it honest, soulful, passionate or engaging?! Would it inspire, make people giggle or make them feel less alone?

Whether it’s a personal story, a helpful list or even a brand review, always write well and always write with passion. (If you’re unsure, passion to me as a blogger, is when you can’t get a post typed up quick enough because you’re just so into it.)

Be creative, entice your reader and if you’re going to post about anything, make sure you do it well.

Trust me, you’re far better posting less but serving up quality posts that beg to be devoured than posting any old meaningless crap. That for sure I absolutely know.

 

If someone you loved read it, would they be proud?

There have been many times on my blog when I’ve been incredibly personal, (like here) sharing things that even those closest to me did not know about.

And there have been other times, when I’ve thought of a perfect post, but then realised that publishing it may hurt someone’s feelings or upset a person that I love and so I’ve deleted the idea from my brain.

Don’t ever forget that what you write, people DO read. Especially those nearest and dearest to you.

So please be careful and respectful of others, and yourself! Whenever and wherever possible.

I’m all for bloggers being honest, genuine and personal but we should never put ourselves or those whom we love (or even those that we hate) in the firing line.

 

How do you feel?

Whenever you’re about to hit that ol’ publish button, tune in to your feelings for a moment.

If you’re nervous, excited, confident, happy or even anxious but proud, go for it. All of these are great signs that you’re on the right track.

But if you don’t really care either way, if you don’t feel anything or you’re unsure, don’t bother. Save it in your drafts and revisit on a different day or get ruthless and bin it.

Seriously.

Sometimes as bloggers, the most powerful  thing we can do for our readers and blogs, is learning when to say NO to our own work and ideas.

Wanna be a proud blogger? Then learn and figure out what is YOUR blogging wheat and take the time to sort it from the chaff.

———

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

 

 

 

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55 Discussions on
“HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU SHOULD PUBLISH A POST”
  • Love this! So true about writing what YOU want to write and what you feel strongly about, I’ve gone back to that a lot more now than I ever did in my first year of blogging. I did a post recently about getting healthier and I was so nervous about it, I nearly didn’t publish but my husband talked me round and I’m glad I did as I’ve had so many lovely comments. Like you say those feelings before published are good: I absolutley love ‘if this was the last thing you ever published’ I’m going to think of that more as it has never occurred to me before, such great advice xx

  • Oh yes. I wrote a similar post last week – I gave up on writing a post I thought I ‘should’ have been writing because my heart wasn’t in it. I went away and read a book instead, which inspired me to write a different post, one that just flowed from my fingers. I’m proud of it, my readers loved it. An important lesson there! Fab stuff as always, Katie xxx

  • great points Kate I love the way you write I can’t imagine it ever being dire! But it is so easy to get caught up in the OMG I need to post something now as if the blog will fall into some dark hole because you haven’t for 24 hours! x

  • Brilliant stuff katie I find it hard to believe you wrote garbage in the early days I’ve been ‘with you’ a long time and have never though ‘well that was rubbish’ but anyway I digress.

    I once read in a post of yours that the writing you almost don’t publish the posts that make you feel a bit sick are the ones that will be the most brilliant. I had two posts sitting in my drafts; one was ‘a letter to my teenage self’ and I literally felt ill before I hit publish. Since that one went live I’ve had emails from readers telling me how much it meant to them.

    I used to think that people wouldn’t want to read about ‘me’ and my life but funnily enough readers get a lot more out of those types of posts than I ever expected, especially the one I wrote about Holly getting a boyfriend it has more views than any of my other posts by a mile!

    Anyway, total comments hijack but what I’m trying to say is you are spot on and thank you for writing what you do. I often think about what I’ve read right here on Pouting in Heels before I post my own. Words of yours that have provided me with many lessons and much inspiration (also loved your writing tips video on YT where I got to hear your lovely northern accent) Thank you for helping me to improve because if you read my blog in the early days it really was awful!

    Much love xxx

  • Great points, as ever, Kate. I, too. cringe when I re-read some of my earliest posts. If only I had read your checklist when I was starting out…;-)

  • Great tips. Some of my previous posts need a revisit I think, but then in a years time I could probably say that about my current posts. We’re constantly evolving and getting better at what we do.

  • Great tips, Katie. Funny, I have a similarly titled post sitting in my drafts folder waiting to be finished but mine focuses more on technical aspects to check before hitting publish. I like the way you focus more on the emotional aspects of a blog post – does it feel right, does it make you proud et cetera. I think that’s so important, and I’m glad to realise that it’s something I tend to do subconsciously. I’m forever holding back posts because they don’t ‘feel’ quite right and I know I’d be putting out for the sake of posting something rather than it being something I’m truly happy with.

    If the little voice in the back of your head expresses a nagging concern, it’s worth paying heed to. I’d rather put out fewer posts and be proud of all of them than put out one every day and know that some of them don’t meet my personal standards.

    • Great post Tim and it obviously works for you, because your posts are some of my most favourites :)

  • Love this! Such a great post , especially for a newbie blogger to help maintain the high quality of posts that every good blogger should strive for! Thank you! #thelist

  • Great advice! I try to post something at least once a day. The life saver I’ve found to avoid falling into posting anything to just to say I posted, is if I’m feeling particularly inspired, I will write extra posts and keep them for the days I feel a bit stumped. #TheList

    • We do indeed Jeremy and thank goodness for that. Just like anything, we improve as we go.

  • You are very right. Some of my first posts are terrible ! I have actually revisited drafts a few days later and thought why the hell would I have wanted to post that! #sundaystars

  • This was so good to read. I only started blogging just over a month ago so I still feel like I’m trying to find my voice. I’ve got a long list of half written posts that just don’t feel like me, so I think I need to take your advice and ditch them to focus on the ones I’m really excited about. These happen to be the ones that are most honest and vulnerable though so it’s always more difficult to decide whether to share or not. #sundaystars

    • If they don’t feel like you, don’t post them. :) But those ones that you’re excited about, do and those ones that you’re most nervous about (because you feel vulnerable) DEFINITELy do! These are the hardest posts to publish (I know that from experience) but they are always the most popular. People relate to ‘human-ness’ always so don’t be afraid x

  • Hi Kate – I really loved reading this. It was such an easy and informative read. I really agree with you and we’re all at different stages of our blogging careers, so posts like this are always really helpful.

    The silver lining I think is that at least it’s all been good practice, so not entirely wasted! I think it takes a while to find your voice and try out a few things. I think another trick might be to go back and delete or rewrite a few of the earlier ones?? Thank you for posting this!

    • My pleasure! Thanks for your comment! I think it’s more about finding the confidence in your own blogging voice if that makes sense and not feeling the pressure to blog about anything and everything all of the time. But yes, it’s never wasted! We all learn and improve as we go, myself included :)

  • Words of wisdom as always from you Katie! I recently spent some time evaluating the purpose behind my blog, a purpose that encompassess all that I want to achieve with my writing and posting (I’d thoroughly recommend that as an exercise for other bloggers too). I’ve summarised mine in 3 words – inspire, inform, improve – which covers all that I want both for myself and my readers! I evaluate all my blog ideas and my posts with this in mind. It’s aspirational of course but that’s good too – like you a LOT of my older posts are awful but they do show how far we’ve come right?! I’m printing off your fab tips and pinning them in my office at The Barn, thank you x

    (As an aside one of my most popular posts is one about a bat that flew down our chimney, so it doesn’t always follow!)

    • Such an AMAZING idea Michelle. Reflection and evaluation is critical to the longevity of a blog. It’s always good to remind ourselves of what we want to achieve and why we’re doing it. Thanks so much for sharing and I still need to read that bat post! ;-) x

  • Thanks for writing this. Some really thoughtful insights there. I’m a newbie blogger, and I am not the most prolific of posters. Sometimes I feel the pressure to post more often, but I have to keep reminding myself that my blog is for me and my family, primarily, and that I shouldn’t have to force content out there. Your post has reassured me. x

    • My pleasure Kelly! So thrilled to hear that. And I’ll let you into a secret, we ALL feel the blogging pressure,myself included. The secret, as you say, is to remind yourself why you’re doing that and not loose heart x

  • Great advice Kate. I recall not so long ago feeling under pressure to post as I hadn’t in over a week. I started writing some half-baked idea about babies being natural born comics. It was awful and has now been deleted so it isn’t sitting there in drafts mocking me.
    I do see a lot of people who post every day and some of them are clearly being very successful bloggers, but if you can be successful and still only write when you believe in what you’re writing that is truly something to aspire to. :)

    • Ah thanks Adrian. Yes, some people manage it and good for them! I suspect they are the ones who work full time on it and are super organised! :) Oh and btw, that natural born comic baby post, sounded like a winner to me! Try again?! ;-)

  • This is a great post, thank you, I have only been writing my blog for just coming up 3 months so it is very useful advice. I tend to write posts late into the evening and sometimes I really think it shows as I just want to hit the publish button before hitting the sack. Think I am going to be reviewing that strategy since reading this!! Even if I do it first thing in the morning and it gives me a chance to read through it again and refresh the tired bits before posting! Thanks again :) #SundayStars

    • Ah my pleasure, so thrilled you found it useful. If you’re ever unsure about something, always save and go back with fresher eyes. When I was training to be a journalist I was taught that everyone gets ‘blind eyes’ when you’ve been staring at copy for a while. So it’s always good to have some time away to help makes things clearer :)

  • I CRINGE when I read my early posts. They just don’t sound like me. Although maybe that is because I have discovered my voice over the years but I think writing this blog every week has been good practice and maybe all it is, is that with practice, I just got a little bit better at this blogging malarkey.

    • Haha! I think we all do, it’s part and parcel of it isn’t? My favourite blogger in the world, James Altucher, says that we don’t become great at something until we’ve spent 10,000 hours on it first. So perhaps we’ve all got some way to go?! :) He also advocates the daily practise of writing, well, every day! So you’re onto something there ;-) x

  • I can certainly relate to have some garbage in my archives but at the time, I thought they were good and of course, some of them were. But when I look back, I am so pleased it my progress. I do try and go through these steps (most of the time) but thanks for the reminder :)

    • Ah my pleasure! I also think part of the blogging fun is realising how far we have come, because it really is all about progression. x

  • This is great advice, I had a look through some of my early posts over the weekend – I just looked at them and was thinking about what I could improve and what I had learnt in the intervening months of blogging. There is so much I would like to change, (adding photos to some of them would be a start!) but I know I will never get the time. Onwards and upwards going to definitely take your advice from every post I write from now on,

    • Onwards and upwards indeed Jenni! I think if you’ve got the time to make tweaks to earlier posts, that’s great, but if like most of us, you haven’t, it’s time to focus ahead not back. The only thing I will say that is definitely worth improving for old posts, is your SEO. I know when I started off, I didn’t have the plugins and know how about SEO that I do now, so this is something that I’ve been working on. :) x

    • Thanks Caroline! I think so! Surely we should post more of what we love, what our soul tells us to, than anything else. X

  • Very wise words. I have posts that I published because I felt I should be publishing something and they are definitely fillers. I don’t do that anymore (or far less anyway!), and the longer I blog, the less inclination I have to publish because I feel I have to x #allaboutyou

    • Hurray! Amazing news that Sara. I think we all do fillers from time to time and of course, sometimes we may have a great idea in our heads, that doesn’t quite work on the blog, but hey… we live and we learn. Thanks for your comment and wisdom! x

  • Wonderful post lovely lady, you are very wise. I think sometimes it is difficult as if your a blogger that has to pay the bills, then you may post things you don’t absolutely love, but you should always do a good job and be proud of what you have written xx

    • Thanks darling and I agree, it is hard when blogging is your income (as we know) but as you say, the thing is to do a good job and try and input your passion into it, so it’s an enjoyable experience for all. xxx

  • Ooh another amazing post, Katie, it’s really got me thinking and even feeling uncomfortable in places…am I doing all these things? Do I publish without passion? Am I selling out?! I think we all get those moments of self-doubt and that’s when it’s hardest to think objectively about what you do. I think 3 and half years in there is no doubting that i have a passion for blogging, as a natural quitter (there’s always something new to do and find and I just LOVE starting new projects, so finishing is sometimes tricky!!) this is quite a big deal and I KNOW I get fired up when I work with other people, which is why I love my brand collaborations so much. It allows me to be creative, gives me a deadline (without which my ideas often don’t come to fruition!!) and quite frankly I like to do a good job. So, in hindsight I think I’m OK on that front :)

    As for blogging daily and hitting publish on rubbish posts – totally been there (and blogged about my lessons from doing it for a year)! As someone who wasn’t a writer before, I actually found it was a really useful exercise. I need a deadline, as discussed, so without the pressure of posting everyday I wouldn’t have written half the stuff I did, nor learnt half the stuff about myself, my style, my passions, and equally what works for my audience. There were some posts I just really wasn’t that sure about and thought were naff that then went on to do really well and start interesting discussions! So I think there is some room for the chaff in my world ;)

    Great post darling!! xx

  • Some great tips here that will certainly be keeping in mind each time I write a post. Thanks for linking up with #SundayStars xxx

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