This post, in ten words: Don’t publish half-baked content. Why? True pros don’t do rush-jobs.
I recently read a blog post written in 2008 by Jim Estill (of Copyblogger) about how to write an article in 20 minutes. I find it fascinating that two years later, it’s still being retweeted to high heaven. Estill certainly brought up some good points, such as limiting your post to a single topic, and using lists. After I thought about it a bit, however, began to get a little concerned that inexperienced bloggers might take his advice too literally. In other words, I don’t believe that the “20-minute blog post” is for everyone.
Although Estill’s methods work for him (and a handful of others), I just can’t help feeling like some unlucky soul is going to take his words out of context and think that every post should be written in less than a half-an-hour. So I’m here to play ‘devil’s advocate.’
I’m going to encourage you to spend just a bit more than 20 minutes on your work. The “just a bit” is up to you, in terms of interpretation. Perhaps an hour does it for you. Or maybe you’re like me, and spend only a few minutes on several blog posts, coming back to them over the course of many days to add and change things. Or you might have an entirely different method.
But I will say that you owe more than twenty minutes of effort to your readers, your current and prospective clients, and most importantly — yourself. Your key stakeholders deserve your very best, and nothing less.
You wouldn’t spend just 20 minutes on a press release, would you?
If the answer for you is “yes,” then you’re very lucky, but far and few. For the majority of us, the answer is no.
So why would you do that with your latest blog post, or on any of your social networks? If you take your time with traditional media, then take your time with new media, as well.
Remember, you can write up a post in 20 minutes, but how long do you really think anyone’s going to sit around reading it? Take your time, and people might spend more time reading your stuff.
Quality over quantity.
Just because can write a post that fast . . .
. . . Doesn’t mean you should. After all, blogging is a form of media; it’s broadcast directly to the entire Internet. Take pride in your work.
Your credibility’s at stake here, and the ‘reputation balloon’ is a hard one to blow back up, especially after it’s had a nine-inch nail stuck through it. Rush-jobs are inexcusably unprofessional.
Make every post count. Every one.
Not sure on that one fact?
Then don’t post the article.
Think you could have possibly gotten something wrong?
Then hold off on publishing that post for a while.
Waiting a bit won’t kill you.
When you publish half-baked content, your credibility goes out the window. You’ll lose the same readers you were rushing to get that article done in five minutes for. So take your time.
From now on, think of your blog posts as a Thanksgiving turkey. Season them well, carefully put them in the oven, and set the timer. Don’t take them out until the edges are golden and they’re ready.
Make a promise to yourself:
“From now on, my posts are “done when they’re done.” Not a moment before.”
Your readers will thank you. And you just might have a reason to thank me after that. :)
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Weigh in below.