Second Life blogging quality versus quantity: Will you dare to be epic?

In my blog post about driving more traffic to your archived content, I told you I’d be helping you stay organised with an editorial calendar. Well, for this post I’ve decided to change tack a little: I won’t be laying down specific recommendations about how frequent or how regular you should publish, because frankly, there is much more to the story – and it’s a story that strikes at the heart of what kind of blogger you choose to be. Before you can decide on what kind of posting schedule is right for you, you have to decide if you will be a blogger that prioritises quality or quantity.

First, let’s talk about blog post quantity

Should you post once or twice per day? Three times a week? Twice? Once a week? Less often than that?

Many Second Life bloggers wrestle with this question daily. Some I’ve spoken to tell me that they worry that if they don’t post enough, they’ll lose audience / traffic. I’m also aware that designers establish blogging expectations to which fashion bloggers agree, which is probably another reason bloggers might feel they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. I’m also aware that one of the commonest pieces of advice out that bloggers should blog consistently.

We’ve all likely seen (and perhaps even written) the first few lines of a blog post – after a break in posting – that sounds like: “I’m really sorry I’ve not posted in such a long time, but… [insert reason / excuse here].”

Personally, I don’t apologise for not posting on anyone’s schedule but my own, but that’s me. I’m realistic. Life happens. Things come up. And they don’t always fit into a neatly planned calendar around all of my other commitments.

Still, many bloggers worry that they simply don’t have the time to do what they want (or promised) to do.

Chances are that the person most worried about your posting frequency is you.

We as bloggers put a lot of pressure on ourselves to post often and consistently. Doing so creates undue stress that we could do without. Unfortunately, that stress sometimes compels bloggers to push out ‘ok’ content, instead of epic content.

The reality is – with all the content out there – it’s likely that most readers wouldn’t notice if you dropped from 3 to 2 posts a week. What they might notice more however, is when your quality increases or decreases.

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media, published by the well-respected Moz.com says (and it’s good advice for people who blog for a living):

“The only thing worse than never blogging at all is starting to and not maintaining the effort… it is disheartening to see that the most recent post is from several months ago. This gives the visitor no reason to subscribe or take part. You certainly don’t need to blog every day, or even every week for that matter. Find an attainable cadence, set expectations with your audience, and stick to it. Perhaps you only do a monthly industry roundup. That’s cool. Just tell people in advance so they know what to expect.”

Most of us however, don’t blog for a living. We do it for fun – or at least, it sounded like fun before we might have turned it into a daily chore! Even WordPress.com – one of the champions of not-for-profit hobbyist blogging tell us that “when it comes to building a healthy following, nothing is more important than publishing quality content regularly”, in their Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog E-Book. As inspiration, they publish a blog called “The Daily Post”, designed to prompt us to write a new post every day.

There’s a well-known mantra thrown around by blogging traffic gurus: “post early, post often”. Indeed, research from HubSpot’s 13,500+ customers is hard to debate, when they report that these bloggers reported that “16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than bloggers that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.”

Monthly blog traffic and posting frequency

Blogging traffic expert, Neil Patel, goes as far as saying “Quantity is king”, and shares his advice on how to grow a blog to over 100,000 visitors per month. At first, Mr. Patel saw slight gains from posting 2 pieces of content a week instead of 1. But then he really started to see “big traffic increases when (he) started to publish 5 pieces of content a week.”

Looking to see how far he could push things, Mr. Patel then published one more post per week – a total of 6 – which led to a traffic increase of 18.6%. Finally, he concludes: “My experience of working with 20 of the top 100 blogs showed that if we published 3 pieces of content each day (21 pieces a week), we could easily get our traffic to over a million visits a month over time.”

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Publishing more posts gets more views. You might have seen similar patterns yourself; I know I have.

However, Mr. Patel goes on to say:

“When posting in high frequency, make sure you are still maintaining the quality of your content. Writing a lot of blog posts that are low in quality won’t help you see a big increase in traffic.”

I’d add that you need to actually do more than simply keep up your quality. If your quality isn’t epic – then you need to make quality job number one.

Second, let’s talk about blog post quality

Quality content – in any genre – takes time. Unless you’ve got help, then you have to do all the conceptualising, research, set-up, writing, picture taking, editing, fact-checking / crediting and promoting entirely yourself.

Still, most bloggers attempt to do as much as they can in as little time as possible. This is not a generalisation, it’s a self-reported fact: According to survey results from Orbit Media Studios of a sample of over 1000 bloggers, 54% of bloggers spend fewer than 2 hours on a typical post. 5.5% spend over 6 hours per post.

If you’re curious, I spend about 5-7 hours to create a typical blog post (sometimes a lot more), and I spread that work over days. Am I just a slow writer? I wouldn’t say that, I just choose to prioritise my definition of quality over quantity. My posts tend to be over 2000 words, and I write about 2-3 posts a week. Your definition of quality may differ, and that’s up to you what that is, and the goals you’ve set out for your blog.

Because I often write about controversial subjects, I also get (read: hog-tie) my partner to proofread my posts. I even ask them to challenge my thinking on my posts before I publish them – sometimes resulting in complete rewrites or binning the post entirely. Not only that, but after a few lapses in judgement, I now impose The Rule of 24 on myself, which means that I allow at least 24 hours between my draft phase and my editing phase, when possible.

Despite not publishing everything I write, I’m confident that my quality is as good as I can make it, given the time I choose to spend.

It’s highly unlikely that anyone spending 5 to 7 hours on a blog post is publishing every day. There are just too many other things to do. Research backs this up: Not only do a small proportion of bloggers spend the this kind of time on their posts, very few bloggers publish on a daily basis. The survey (referenced above) found that 54% of bloggers are publishing at least weekly, 32% published more than once per week, and 3.3% publish daily.

Bloggers that are producing high quality posts are likely not publishing the most frequently.

After digging deeper into the survey data, Sonia Simone at Copyblogger reported that only 4.3% of bloggers who publish weekly are spending 6+ hours per post. These bloggers make a choice to prioritise quality over quantity. Ironically, one of the biggest challenges for a Second Life blogger, according to our most recent readership survey is that they do not have enough time to post quality content.

Perhaps they would have the time, if they published fewer posts?

Clearly, you too need to make a choice: Quantity or quality. It’s rare to have both – especially if blogging in Second Life is not your full time job.

Quality versus quantity: How Second Life fashion blogging suffers from unrealistic expectations

If I had to guess: Second Life blogging mirrors other areas of blogging in that most bloggers choose quantity over quality. I’d even go as far as saying that Second Life blogging (which at least 90% is focused on fashion) suffers from a factor that isn’t as common in most blogging outside of Second Life: The Second Life Blogger – Designer Vicious Cycle:

The Blogger Designer Vicious Cycle

The Blogger Designer Vicious Cycle

I’m conscious that I might be coming across somewhat cynical in illustrating the process above. I am clearly aware that there are a lot of benefits arising from both the designer and the blogger’s participation. I’m also aware that everyone is participating voluntarily and most likely somewhat enjoying themselves while doing it. I’m not suggesting this is inherently a bad system in general; but it does have its drawbacks and unintended consequences when expectations are not aligned with each other. This happens on both sides of the fence, and I’m not the only one who has noticed.

“Blogging is a very different beast now to what it was when I started years ago,” says Kitty O’Toole in a comment thread to a blog post about a Second Life fashion blogger’s frustrations that I recently reblogged on SL Blogger Support. “Back then getting review packs was a rarity, but now we find creators advertising for bloggers to share their wares. It’s completely turned around. Fundamentally it’s about sales, and that’s something you have to take on board if you’re accepted to blog an event or a brand. There’s a lot to be said for keeping your circle tight and not actually being in blogger groups. You can actually properly review an item that way, something we don’t see much of these days.”

As creator/designer demands understandably get more and more stringent and exacting, it’s the fashion bloggers that agree to these requests that have the least time for each post. With only a finite amount of time available, most choose quantity over quality, sometimes leading to unsatisfactory emotional outcomes that many bloggers choose to reject.

Ms O’Toole says: “My lack of numerous ties and obligations means that I can take my time and ENJOY blogging, and this is the most fundamental point of all. If it reaches a point where blogging is your obligation and you get no joy, but just feel pressure, then why are you doing it?”

It’s a good question, and one I’ve heard many times. The problem is that many bloggers don’t realise they’re no longer blogging for the same reasons they started to blog (e.g. because it was fun), until after it’s too late and they are well over-committed.

One of Second Life’s most prolific bloggers, Chic Aeon, has published over 4000 posts in 7 years (which averages out to about 1.6 posts/ day). She suggests that the relatively recent role of the ‘blogger manager’ makes an impact on blogger / designer relations: “I have had issues when individual designers have gone to blogger managers. That cattle car mentality sets in. What one person does reflects on the others and I do not appreciate being yelled out in mass for something someone else has done. And sometimes — especially when they go to the blogger manager model — rules change to include things that I will not do (like linked icons of their brand on my home page — EVERY item blogged etc.). So, in those cases I have written a nice note to the designers telling them how much I have enjoyed blogging for them but this would not work for me. We DO need to be true to ourselves first.”

I hear that theme I over and over: Be true to yourself. Blog only what you love. Do it for the fun, and it’s good advice, but is it always practised?

A blogger for 5 years (and also a designer), Steffy Ghost offers advice on how she avoids overcommitment: “In order to not feel overwhelmed, I’ve set myself a limit of brands I will blog for. I have less than 10 brands and only one event. This way I am able to meet all the requirements of the brands I blog for, and sometimes even do way over that, and then I buy a lot of items. These items I buy I will decide how I want to blog them and if I want to credit them, and if I don’t blog them it is still a win-win situation. I find this way I can be stress free and if I am stress free I am able to create quality posts.”

Lucie Bluebird draws some clear lines with regards to her blogging commitments: “I’m also not a “fast” blogger,” she says, “some people can set up intricate scenes, take incredible pics and turn around multiple blog posts a day! I’m awed by that, but it’s not me. It’s never been me, it never will be me. Though I try to blog a few times a week, on average, there are absolutely weeks when it’s just not possible for me. And so one thing I don’t do is apply when designers require a weekly post. I know that’s something I’m likely to fail at, so I avoid it. Three times a month? Sure. I can handle that. Every week? Not so much. Every release? Well, I don’t blog what doesn’t suit me, so no. I won’t commit to that, either.”

Lucie was a store owner before she was a blogger, so she also brings a perspective from the other side of the fence, which suggests that designers themselves also do not want bloggers to underachieve in the quality of their posting.

“I don’t want our bloggers to take pics with things they don’t like or that doesn’t suit their individual styles,” she says. “I want them to be inspired. I don’t feel like our product is going to be best represented by bloggers who aren’t “feeling” the item. And I think this is something not all designers consider… because if you don’t blog, you don’t “get” that part of the equation. I want to see the passion in the pics taken with our poses. I think uninspired blog posts are worse than no blog posts. But that’s just me, and I understand some people value quantity over quality. That’s a legitimate position, just not one I share. I’d rather be underexposed than get second rate exposure, and when you force (or try, because really forcing people to blog is like herding cats anyway) bloggers to blog EVERY release, you’re going to get some uninspired pics and uninspired posts.” (My emphasis)

This is what the The Second Life Blogger – Designer Virtuous Cycle looks like, if expectations are more realistic, on both sides of the equation:

The Blogger Designer Virtuous Cycle

The Blogger Designer Virtuous Cycle

The differences between the two cycles are obvious, but depend on two things:

  1. Bloggers keeping their expectations realistic about what they can reasonably agree to do while still maintaining epic quality
  2. Designers keeping their expectations realistic about what they can expect from bloggers and still get quality posts.

Clearly, many Second Life bloggers and designers alike would agree that quality is more important than quantity. Still, I’d say that they are in the vocal minority expressed mostly in blog comments, social media and the places where bloggers share views openly. In practice, the story is very different.

I’d further suggest, although I have very little research to back this up, that bloggers who comment on other people’s blogs tend to value quality over quantity as well. If they didn’t, how would they possibly have time to comment on other people’s blogs when they’re also posting 1-2 posts a day?

Kirsten Corleone, another veteran blogger (and ex-designer) raised the issue of the sheer number of commitments bloggers get into in a reply post by , when she wrote: “It seems like a lot to me and I have no idea how someone blogs for more than about 20 stores. I see some bloggers that have 50+ stores and I don’t know how they would blog that many stores in one month effectively. The ones that do seem to post 5+ posts a day and not only could I not do that because I physically could not process even the pictures that fast let alone all the other parts, I would never want to do that much volume. I blog because it is fun and that would make blogging lose all joy to me.”

The blogger behind the original post that kicked it all off, Lici Le, gets the last word, which I think drives at the main issue, which is “a wall between some designers and bloggers” that leads to unrealistic expectations on both sides of the fence.

You can choose your posting frequency based on how you measure success

Mr. Patel, guest posting for Moz wrote: “One blog post every two months is about as good as not blogging at all.”

If traffic is your only aim, then he might be right. It all depends on how you measure success though. Is it traffic? Is it engagement? Is it influence?

The fact is, if traffic is not your game, then it’s entirely possible to have a highly influential blog without posting every day. My favourite example of the infrequent yet invaluable blogger is Penny Patton, who has written under 45 blog posts in over four years, yet almost every one of them is worth the time to read (and re-read). You might not have ever read or heard about Ms Patton’s blog, but I’m confident you’ve experienced the rippling of her ideas. Let me tell you, when she publishes a post, I drop what I’m doing and read it, they’re that good.

And that’s just the thing, isn’t it? If traffic isn’t your one and only goal, you could publish one post a month and still have an influence, as long as it’s awesome. I’ve always thought that if I needed to draw back my posting to one great post a month, it would still be more valuable than four weaker posts that same month. That great post will get a lot of views and comments, because people will like it, share it, and reblog it. And that’s why quality kicks ass.

On the flip-side, there are a lot of drawbacks when it comes to posting daily. Problogger, one of the most influential blogs about blogging on the internet lists several disadvantages of daily posting, including blogger burnout, reader burnout, and decreased reader engagement. Even Dries Cronje, blogger at “Boost Blog Traffic” says posting every day is a silly strategy, citing the following drawbacks of daily posting:

  1. Daily posting destroys social proof – “By posting too often, and thus continually replacing the latest post, you reduce the amount of social proof that each post will get. Few people will expend their present effort on yesterday’s conversations.”
  2. Daily posting destroys reader bonding – “If you post too regularly, your subscribers won’t get around to reading every post you write…As a result, you miss an opportunity to bond with them with each post they skip.”
  3. Daily posting destroys subscriber counts – “By sending out posts via email too often, you’ll force some of your subscribers to unsubscribe. This is particularly true for less-popular bloggers.”

So, if not daily, how often should you post?

Mr Cronje gives some excellent suggestions with regards to what to do instead of posting daily (I encourage you to read his epic post, published way back in 2012, which got over 229 comments), two of which I’ll emphasise here:

  1. Plan your posts wisely. I’ve given you plenty of ideas on how to bring more traffic to your hidden gems, I also recommend plotting out an editorial calendar in advance so that you can spend more time writing instead of trying to come up with ideas. It can be as simple as a list in a word document, or as visual as a Google Calendar. Just write it down so it’s real (not binding, but not solely in your head, either) Remarkable posts are created well before they are written – they started way back as kernels of ideas – planned out well in advance.
  2. Make every post count. Mr Cronje makes a bold claim that echoes my comments above with regards to writing more, but publishing less often: “If you post only once every two months, but the content is truly awesome, you will be much more successful than someone publishing crappy posts every day.”

If you follow these approaches, you’ll write better blog posts, and your blog will grow. Perhaps not as fast as other blogs that produce more “ok” material more frequently, but ask yourself – how much do those page views really mean if they don’t produce the feelings you are seeking when blogging in the first place?

Are you ready to be epic?

Here’s the good news. The internet is so full of “ok”, being epic can’t help but stand out.

Every once in a while, you’ll see a post that is really well written, or addresses a commonly-held but unspoken frustration, or teaches you something truly amazing, or inspires you to break the mould and raise your game.

You know the posts I’m talking about, because so many of us talk about them.

These are the epic posts. These are the posts that make you smile or make you cry. These are the posts that might change your mind about a long-standing belief, or that makes you respond emotionally – either positively or negatively.

These are the posts, written by bloggers who stood out on a limb and say: “I’m going to do things differently – come what may!”

These posts are written by bloggers that might not post that often – but when they do, you can’t help but perk up and pay attention, because they have something truly valuable to say and they say it epically well.

These are the posts that change the game – because it really needs changing.

And that’s my best posting frequency advice: It might be three times a week, it might be once a week, but I won’t publish a post unless I have something valuable to say and take the time to say it as well as I can. It doesn’t have to be game-changing every single time, but it had better be damn interesting – or else into the trash bin it goes!

How do I know when it’s good enough? When I get this feeling in my gut saying “I can’t wait to get this out there into the world!” Am I always right? Hell, no. Sometimes my would-be epic posts end up being flops. The thing is though, I will never be able to control whether someone likes my stuff or not, but I can control the effort I put into it.

When I stop having valuable stuff to say, that’s when I stop posting – even if my editorial calendar tells me to. It’s that simple. If you don’t hear from me for months, you might find me on some isolated piece of the Gobi desert trying to find the inspiration I lost along the way.

Want a have an epic blog? Reject: “ok”. Post better, but post less.

In closing, I’ll leave you with these last words, attributed to Dr. Steve Maraboli:

The wise will admire you.
The wishful will envy you.
The weak will hate you.
This is the reality for those
who dare to be epic.

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41 Comments on “Second Life blogging quality versus quantity: Will you dare to be epic?

  1. Phenomenal post, Canary! I really love that it’s more than just spitting out posts as often as you can; I hear some bloggers struggling to do this, and it’s invariably something that makes the blog a source of stress (rather than pleasure, as it should be!) for them. And really, I think in terms of quality content, this bit (by Lucie, I think?) hits the nail on the head: “I think uninspired blog posts are worse than no blog posts.” Abso-flippin-lutely.

    • Glad you agree. If more people can throttle back on the quantity of posting, and focus instead of higher quality posts, then we’d have a better Second Life blogosphere. Of course, this relies greatly on designers too toning down the expectations, but in the end, it’s probably good for them also.

  2. Reblogged this on {K}iss {K}iss and commented:

    As someone that has been blogging SL fashion since 2008, I found this article a good capture of all the changes that have taken place since then.
    When I first started out, blogging was less complicated. I shopped, styled and shared with my readers. I had relationships with a few stores and even served as a tester for products before they were released. Designers created for sale in their stores; the plethora of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly sales events was not prevalent. Participation is such events were almost exclusive to certain designers or types of designers.
    Now, stores are in a multitude of events. Every day, they are adding something new (or not so new) to these shopping events (far too many in my opinion!).Their production of product has seemed to quadruple in some cases. Variety for consumer, yes! Headache for the blogger, yes!
    Luckily, I have a small group of designers that I work with and feature on my blog. I love and support them all. With several of them, I have had long-standing relationships that will continue long past the days I may blog for them. However, I understand (and see) the pressure that new bloggers face. Some of that pressure has even crept up on an old head like me (esp. with Flickr, ugh). And I don’t like that.
    Any SL blogger, esp. fashion related, can find some interesting points to take away from this article. Another must read!

    • This is a great example of less is more. Some of the comments I sampled blew me away – 50 stores, each possibly expecting *at least* one post per month? That’s 1-2 posts per day even at that rate. I find the very thought of it exhausting.

      Further, I think you make an interesting point about consumers – more variety isn’t always such a good thing, is it? Would you rather have to sift through 1000 items – ranging from low to high quality to find the one you want, or 100 great items, to get what you want. I find the sheer volume of stuff out there makes it harder for the cream to rise to the top.

      • I could not image taking on 50 stores, AT ALL!

        Under my “Featured Bloggers” tab (https://khitten.wordpress.com/blog-sponsors/), I list the stores I work with. While I have nine designers/brands listed, two are silent or undergoing rebranding and one is not listed as I am not an unofficial blogger for that store. So really, my total is seven active stores I work with.

        Each of which have their own criteria—some as little as two posts a month and some as many as five posts a month. Even their requirements break down different—such as time requirements on new releases or event releases.
        In some cases, I do combination posts where I feature several of these designers in one post. I do that to show versatility of the items as well as met blogging requirements. However, some designers think that is cheating and would not consider it a post for “their” items. Luckily, I have not had that issue. However, I do know of some bloggers who have. That issue should also be explored — designer expectations.

        All of that said, for a blogger to take on so many stores is insane. Personally, I think quality suffers and attention to what the store really wants suffers as well. While concepts and pictures are nice, readers still want information and details about the items being blogged. How can someone do that effectively for 50 stores? No way!

        To your point about consumers and quality. It all has become too much to keep up with. Personally, I have really curtailed my shopping because the sheer number of daily, weekly, monthly and special fairs/events is just overwhelming. I do not have time or energy to visit every event. When I do, I often see the same designers offering similar items. So what’s the point? You diminish the joy of SL shopping.

        I think FAR too many consumers (sometimes bloggers TBH) want things for cheap (free, even!) which forces many designers to participate in so many of these events. I think it takes away from their brands and provides an unrealistic expectation from consumers that products should always be discounted. I have no stats on this though; so it is all my opinion.

  3. Pingback: Second Life blogging quality versus quantity: Will you dare to be epic? | unreyned

  4. Well Done! this by far is one the best articles I have read every word, your hard work is commended! It is clear to see lots of thought and time was put into this piece, kudos to you Becky and thank you! ❤

  5. I began blogging in 2006 (oy vey) and left SL back in 2008? I returned 6 years later…to find fashion blogging absolutely 100% different than it was when I left. There were only a few “events” a year; there was no such thing as “sponsors” even though it was clear which stores we all favored/prioritized; there were far more blogs that included actual editorial than what I see out there now. It’s just different. Not better and not worse.

    A few of my old friends encouraged me to get back into blogging when I came back but I knew I couldn’t really get on board with the new way of the blogging world. Firstly, I didn’t want to be “sponsored.” Not to sound ungrateful, but that would mean I would literally not be able to say anything about the product – or about the price of it. That would be like not being able to keep to my own style spectrum, which is maybe boring to some, but very consistent and authentic to who I am. That would be like, being told what my agenda is and what I should pair with what. It’s just not for me. This means I have freedom to really talk about the product, to wear it the way I am inspired to, etc. It also means I don’t worry about the vicious cycle of blogging. I know my blog isn’t even a smidge as popular as it was back in the “old days” but it’s still very authentic to me, my style, and who I really am IRL. I blog for the absolute joy of creativity and styling that is uniquely mine.

    I can’t really say much about “the events” other than I miss in-store releases a lot. Nowhere else can you learn about the real stylings of an artist until you “see where they live” so to speak. It’s so important IMO. I just prefer making the effort to see that world as they built and intended it to be seen, rather than a themed event – although I really like some of the ones I have discovered since my return (Collabor88, Shiny Shabby, The Seasons Story are a few that are really good and I enjoy exploring).

    I blog when I am inspired to. That can be when I see a bunch of things that fit together with something I want to recognize or talk about; or it can be a new to me designer who produced something remarkable that I want to recognize. Lately it’s been my constant internal battle over my face vs my mesh heads, lol! Whatever the reason, the cadence isn’t really something I think about all that much but maybe I should? This is a hobby for me and fashion is a passion of mine in both worlds. I maintain a really active Pinterest (fashion and decorating) themed board and my style is the same in both places.

    Ramble, ramble, I am so glad to participate in the conversation at least!

    • Thank you, Gillian, for your thoughtful comment. It’s always great to hear about blogger’s personal experiences through their blogging journey’s. It’s actually something I think we could feature here on SLBS – as people often take great interest in hearing perspectives like yours.

    • “I can’t really say much about “the events” other than I miss in-store releases a lot. Nowhere else can you learn about the real stylings of an artist until you “see where they live” so to speak.”

      This is so true!

  6. As I read this, I realized how much thought and care you have taken to break it all down, with reality. I have had that issue, being uninspired, and sometimes reluctant. I go through writer’s block time and time again. Sometimes I just take the easy way out and post a picture with credits. Although I could have possibly written a blog post to accompany that one image, I go through the motions of nobody cares anyway. I thank you again, for making things make sense. 🙂

    • I am so heartened to see that people look at blogs in Second Life as discerningly as they do elsewhere! I was beginning to think that I was the only one that makes any kind of judgement that an SL blog post is can be evaluated on the basis of quality.

      People have asked me: “how can you decide whether something is high or low quality in blogs? After all, how can you judge a creative expression?”

      To me, the answer could not be more obvious – we judge the quality of a blog post in the same way we judge anything else – like a shirt, or a pair of shoes, or a romantic partner, or a restaurant meal or a work of art – sure, we all have somewhat different tastes and appreciations for quality, but most people can tell the difference between something that looks like it took a lot of effort to produce, versus something that was pushed out as quickly as humanly possible.

  7. This is truly an epic post Becky and very thought provoking. I’m fairly new to blogging (seriously). I’ve had a blog for a couple of years and when I moved it to WordPress recently I decided to apply to a few selected stores. I already have in mind a number of stores that I would be willing to take on to balance my workload.

    I’ve been particularly interested in how this all ties in with something I have been mentioning and talking about quite a bit in my blog about the number of events, the increase in workload and the decrease in mainstore activity because of events.

    I truly believe that there is ‘event fatigue’ from bloggers, creators and consumers in SL. This weekend was a perfect example there were some 7/8 major events starting within 24 hours. It’s just too much for creators or bloggers to maintain quality.

    I’ve started a meme on my blog called Mainstore Monday (https://theglamoursauce.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/mainstore-monday-accessorize-from-top-to-toe/) where I visit two mainstores and purchase items…take some pics of the stores and a brief description. I would love to see other bloggers getting involved and helping to redress the balance a little for the mainstore.

    • Great idea! I really limit the events I attend or shop at because I really am a bit old school and I want to discover who the artist is. No better way to do that than their main stores 🙂

    • Thanks very much, I appreciate you saying so. I think there is a clear connection between ‘event fatigue’ and the hyper-blogging. I think it would be worthwhile to understand what bloggers think of multitude of events we’re seeing appear, perhaps a good idea for a future post. 🙂

  8. Becky, just want to say this is the first time I have dipped my proverbial toe back into the blogger discussion since I have been back in SL (that’s probably the biggest thing that has changed for me – I don’t know many people here anymore!). Thank you so much for keeping comments open and for allowing us all to weigh in!

    • That’s great, Gillian! You are always welcome to comment on any post I write – even if you disagree with me! 🙂

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  10. Pingback: She’s mad as hell and she’s not going to take this anymore! | SL Blogger Support

  11. Reblogged this on Canary Beck and commented:

    I’ve recently written a post on SL Blogger Support that addresses the trend I see in fashion blogging towards lower quality blog posts published greater frequency than ever before. In the post, I suggest that the reason behind this trend stems from the unrealistic expectations designers place on blogger commitments, and that bloggers accept these same commitments, leading to what I term as the Designer-Blogger Vicious Cycle. In the post, I also suggest an alternative approach, which is more virtuous. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  12. Pingback: What Makes you Want to Blog … and What Doesn’t? | the glamour sauce

  13. I personally feel long outpours are rubbish! in fact I want very little from a second life fashion-blog post: I don’t want the image to look photoshopped, and I want to see the item/s as best as possible. Simple?

    I also think bloggers are pressurised to sell **** they don’t want to wear, often. Most bloggers get worn out and leave because of this.

    Coming at things from a different angle: Sure, have a catchy headline. But content (the fashion items themselves) is king. I don’t want to read padded out essays…

    ..I think you will find many blogs with popularity based on 0 words, and very good images and clear, concise links.

    The blogging world changes often, mainly due to people leaving based on losing their identity due to being a clothes horse for items they don’t want to wear…. Hard to be excited to push items when the designer wants you to wear a paper bag now and again. Everyone has to wear something they don’t like, or is out of their comfort zone.

    This is fashion, let the images sell, let the designs pop. If they don’t, they suck. Simple.

    I think the “complexity” of all this come from those that love to write. Dare I say it, but keywords are king… Do we need your essay, or would some cleverly put keywords suffice below, thus leading our desired audience to the images – and the precious links to where to buy….

    Bye bye dross!

  14. Becky thank you! I learn something or alot each time I read one of your posts. I appreciate the depth you go to with these. Your style and commitment to being an Epic blogger is admirable and inspiring. Iam still a random kinda wander around blogger who blogs if I feel like it . Your Blogger support posts are helping me think a bit clearer about what my point is and what I really want to do with my Blog.

    • Thanks a lot, Owl 🙂 I’m so glad my posts are well received and useful. I’m keen to hear how things go for you as you clarify your goals – do let me know how it’s turning out!

  15. Pingback: Bloggers: To thine own self be true | Kittywitchin'

  16. Becky, thanks so much for this post. As a new blogger (I have only been at this seriously for a few months; before then my blog was an occasional role-play blog), I am committed to quality over quantity, and I have found that every single one of the creators I’ve contacted with a link to my blog has been really complimentary about the way I photograph and present their products in the context of a story. To me, that’s what great content in Second Life is /for/. It inspires us to create, to dream, to imagine.

    I do blog for a couple of creators and events whose products or theme I love. Only one of these has a monthly post minimum, and when I had to take time off, they were completely supportive and understanding. I have read a few blogging applications where there seem to be what would be for me insane post requirements, but then I realise that most SL fashion bloggers basically take a photograph, credit the items, and there’s your blog post. Totally not me, and I could never meet requirements that amount to more than three or four posts a week, because of my style and the way I craft blog entries.

    I think the creators whom I blog for and who see my posts when I include them in a blog post appreciate what I do. My tiny reader base grows slowly but consistently, my pictures get better and better and I’m able to produce them more quickly and efficiently, and I get the chance to be inspired by the beautiful things I bump in to in SL and write stories about them.

    If anybody out there would want more from me, I’m probably not interested in working with them. 😉

    • That’s great, Three Knots, it sounds like you’ve got a good relationship with the designers you cover where the expectations are clear between you. I hope that continues and you’re able to keep producing the quality work you do 🙂

  17. Interesting article. As a blogger off and on for five years, I have definitely felt the pressure to post regularly for the designers that support me, in addition to all that I have to do in my first life. There have definitely been times that I have rushed a blog post in order to get it out in time, and I would love to be able to have the luxury of spending more time on each post. I hope that I can develop and hone my skills well enough that I can put out quality posts like you definitely are putting out. It is a very well thought out and well-reasoned article.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Persephone. It’s great to have the ability to honestly assess the variability in one’s output, because that’s a great way where you standard is. Good luck 🙂

  18. Pingback: Sun Skip | A Digital Dreamer

  19. I can agree that a complex post takes timescale of 5-7 hours. Sometimes it starts as an idea that’s not substantial enough and it can a couple of months before it comes together. But then, I’m not a fashion blogger.

    It’s only arts events where there is any real pressure of time, and even then it is by choice and there is noone breathing down my neck to complete it. I rather like it to be that way!

    Few things in Second Life, or any life, is all good or all bad. I try to reflect that in my posts by expressing an opinion, one that I justify and explain. I try to be fair, and that is what takes the time. I take a long view on my blog – it’s what I want to write and it’s taken time for me find my own voice in blogging. I like to see that people are reading my blog, but it’s not just about statistics, it’s about value as well.

    • Reasoned and evidence-based opinions are a rare thing in Second Life I find, as there seems to be a culture of politeness that basically translates as “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” While that’s fine for some, I’m the kind of reader that appreciates read honest feedback about something before I try it, and I’m the kind of blogger that trades on the honesty of my opinion and the facts behind them. There have been times when I’ve felt like I’ve gone against the grain, and while it’s not always been easy, I find it’s always more authentic, and therefore worth writing about.

      • I think you are absolutely right Becky. I’ll be doing a blog post soon around contemporary art, which arguably suffers from the same problem.

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