Jul
30
2015

The Evolution of an Experiment

Hey y'all!

A little shy of two years ago (19Sep13 if you want an exact date), I introduced a concept on In Brief I called "Thursday's Thoughts" as an experiment as sorts. I was curious to see how increased posting frequency would affect my site's page view numbers. The idea was to break up weekly posts on writer's craft with something with a wider audience appeal while expressing my interests outside of writing. Since then, I've hosted topics of science, technology, motivation, art, philosophy, and history in the Thursday posting slot. I've also had lots and lots of guest posts, which have been a treat for all of us.

Now, I think it's time to take a step in a new direction and change the experiment up a bit. There are several reasons for this:

  • I believe the experiment has run its course and doesn't have much left to show me. In case you are curious, the consistent 2 days a week posting has had a significant effect on blog readership, and I've seen the most significant spikes on days with guest posts.
  • The strict Monday-Thursday schedule has hampered the timeliness of some of my posts. I have a list of things I've kept in reserve to share, but many of them have lost some of their power and appeal because I held onto them instead of releasing them into the world.
  • There have been weeks in the past that finding new, timely, and interesting material has felt forced to me and has distracted me from other writing pursuits (both blogging and my fiction work).
  • Having my guest post day be Thursday has caused some grief for guest authors, especially when it comes to book releases/blog tours.

For those reasons, I'm not going to hold myself to the Thursday's Thoughts structure any more. Nothing will change about the Monday In Brief posts and their format. They will continue to be 500 words to help me practice writing as much material as I can into a little space, and will continue to be on writer's craft because I find it helpful to designate time to think about craft every week. Truthfully, the Monday posts have always meant to be a public journal of sorts with the possibility of dialog built into the framework. I don't see that changing.

Instead, I'll post similar material to what has been showing up on Thursdays, but will publish them whatever day they seems appropriate. I will certainly work to keep the flow of guest posts up as best as I can. Frankly, I love the dialog and differing points of view. I believe that this looser structure will reduce the stress on me, and it'll answer another interesting question...

If a strict twice a week posting schedule increased my readership, will a more erratic schedule for guest posts and random/interesting tidbits hurt or help me? We'll just have to see. 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. Suzanne Warr says:

    I’ll be interested to see how it goes. Years ago I was a regular blogger and found that getting something additional up, regardless of the topic and timing, increased my traffic. Of course, there remained the question of whether it increased the traffic enough to be worth the effort. Now I’m a mostly-once-a-week blogger and even allow myself a summer hiatus, but still find this kind of experiment interesting. We’re all geeks at heart, eh?

    • Nathan Barra says:

      Absolutely Suzanne! I have the added geekiness of an engineering degree and a bread job as a data analyst to boot! I can’t wait to see the numbers.

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