Whenever some friend or acquaintance starts a blog and asks for advice I give them what I consider to be the only useful advice relevant to the task: you have to keep posting. Most people have short attention spans and little willingness to put a lot of effort into something that won't pay off very quickly (excluding exceptional cases) or very lavishly (few people actually make money doing this). So they start a blog and post daily for a couple weeks. Then a few times per week for another month. Then once per month. Then they realize that they haven't accumulated thousands of loyal readers in a few months so they quit.

That never works. You have to post a lot. And you have to keep doing it for an extended period of time until someone notices and cares enough to come back for more.

Several years ago I went on vacation and feared that if I went a week without posting anything I would come back and have zero readers, leaving me to start over from square one. Fortunately I found that after years of regular updates a one-week hiatus won't bother anyone. Hopefully that is still true. On Monday I'm going to Brazil for 8 days. Don't worry, I won't be doing anything fun. However I do hope that I have more interesting ways to pass the time than blogging. I might not, but if I do there will obviously be a lull in the content for a few days. I hope you'll understand and not disappear for good. The posts have been slightly less regular than usual for the past few weeks as I've had a lot of balls in the air (giggle) lately. Soon I'll be back to having nothing better to do, so stick around.

I've pre-scheduled a post or two for next week so the updates won't stop entirely. As a bonus, I'm sure that traveling to another country will leave me full of gems by the time I return. I'm only half-kidding. As always, thanks for reading.

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32 Responses to “NPF: PROGRAMMING NOTES”

  1. lorddon Says:

    You've made it onto the RSS reader so as long as it keeps going to that, I'll keep reading. Thanks for keeping on Ed. You're more curmudgeonly than I am in your late 30's, and we may not always agree, but you're always an interesting read.

  2. Coises Says:

    As a bonus, I'm sure that traveling to another country will leave me full of gems by the time I return.

    If not, at least it will probably leave you full of germs by the time you return.

    (Oh, come on, somebody had to say it.)

  3. Sarah Says:

    Have a good time.

  4. Joe Owen Says:

    Have a fantastic time Ed….you deserve it

  5. Joe Owen Says:

    After all, you live in Peoria

  6. Nate Says:

    By "gems," I assume you mean, "cocaine filled prophylactics."

  7. democommie Says:

    "However I do hope that I have more interesting ways to pass the time than blogging."

    Me too; if for no other reason than I can't understand Portugese which is what you'll have to blog with in Brazil.

    Bring us some fejoida or baccala fritters!

    Safe travels.

  8. bill Says:

    Yeah, go get those balls into the sweet South American air.

  9. quixote Says:

    Mmm. … Baccala….

    (Have a great time!)

  10. Daphne Says:

    I'd be interested in more FJMs (is that what they're called, you know what I mean). A LOT more.

  11. Alex SL Says:

    I have seen very successful blogs with hundreds of regular, friendly commenters that only update once a week. But they do so regularly, and the update is always long and good. So I guess it is more about delivering on the expectations that one has built rather than quantity. In your case, you write so enjoyably and well that I certainly won't be put off by a travel-induced hiatus.

    Safe travels.

  12. E* Says:

    What!? No posts for a week? That's it. I'm done.

    Dude, when your site went down for a couple of days, I went into a frenzy of google searches to make sure you hadn't died (I didn't think to check Facebook -I didn't say I was good at this).

    So yeah, I'm hooked. I'll be here when you get back. Enjoy the cocaine filled prophylactics. The trick is to make sure you don't have a latex allergy first.

  13. Miss Rumphius Says:

    Thanks for continuing to post. I appreciate your thoughts. It makes a difference. Enjoy Brazil.

  14. Graham Says:

    I hope you meet a Brazillian….

  15. Nick Says:

    Have a good one Ed. Brazil looks awesome.

  16. Nate Says:

    Ed, have a great time in Brazil. :)

  17. sluggo Says:

    I can't believe you are abandoning the Blackhawks during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

  18. Khaled Says:

    Have fun in Brazil. We'll keep the blog warm for yah.
    And ditto what sluggo said… Blackhawks are playing the Kings and you're in Brazil? I bet you're not even going to see any futebol while you're there.

  19. Suttree Says:

    Good sir, thank you for your frequent posting. This is the BEST blog on the innertubes. I don't tend to comment much because by the time I get here your awesome commenters have already stated my thoughts upon said subject. I wish you safe travels, and let us know how the picadinho is.

  20. jazzbumpa Says:

    To go to Brazil for 8 days and not do anything fun is just plain wrong.

    Do not fail us in this way.


  21. cromartie Says:

    Flash robberies are fun, so keep a fake wallet to give someone when they pull a gun on you.

    Enjoy the mid-century architecture, as Brasilla is brutalist in all its glory.

    Managing a blog is the new managing a magazine. You have to develop and manage ideas and contents and plan around publication dates. It's a lost art, really.

  22. c u n d gulag Says:


  23. anotherbozo Says:

    Like c u n d says. And never fear: there are enough of us starved for intelligent and witty commentary out here that we'll watch and wait for your return as long as it takes. Charles Pierce has guest posters fill in for him, but I often skip them anyway. Too few of the likes of you. I guess I said that.

  24. Major Kong Says:

    Since you live in Peoria, I'd guess you're flying from Chicago.

    That's way too much time stuffed into a pressurized aluminum tube for my taste.

    And this is from a guy who flies pressurized aluminum tubes for a living.

  25. Brian Says:

    Have a great time in Brazil sir!

  26. RosiesDad Says:

    Watch out for Glenn Greenwald.

  27. JohnR Says:

    Have fun*!

    *within the constraints of Protestant morals and common decency, anyway.

  28. Guy who just skims Says:

    Dude never posts anything anymore. What's up with that?

  29. vegymper Says:

    " I won't be doing anything fun."
    I can tell that Brazilian hosts will make you do something fun, so I'll advice to take any invitation with a yes. Enjoy the break!

  30. Robert Says:

    Fruit juice. Do not miss the fruit juice.

  31. Junkyard Jesse Says:

    I think the key to blogging is building up enough of a history of posts that are still relevant to people who might discover them years later. I got hooked on this blog — and several others — because the first time I came here, I just kept reading and reading until I was hundreds (?) of posts deep and had read through the entire volume over the course of several days. It's like people get sucked into TV shows when they watch several seasons on Netflix. If you can get people to invest several hours on what you've already pumped out they'll be eager to see what else is coming.

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