I’m writing this post on my phone, and I’m hitting ‘Publish’ before it’s ready.
This is one of the few blogging ideas that can make Corbett Barr stop and say, “Hey, I’ve never heard that before.” He was interviewing Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, as part of a Fizzle course called Start A Blog That Matters.
Leo brought up the concept of Frictionless Blogging, and when a blogger as accomplished as Corbett reacted with surprise and interest, I knew it was something to pay attention to.
Blogging without pause
Frictionless blogging is the practice of writing, publishing, and editing, in that order.
On his blog Zen Habits, Leo was publishing 4-6 times a week, in addition to writing guest posts all over the web. He started frictionless blogging to aid in the speed of his blogging, and to keep articles from clogging his production queue.
“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.” – Frances E. Willard
The way it works is like this: Leo writes a post, gives it a quick edit, and publishes it, knowing that only a few people will read it right away. His other life priorities – being a dad, working on his day job, getting the dishes done – have this other priority hanging over them, an unfinished blog post that’s already live. He goes back soon after and adds in links, and images if he needs them, before most of his readers even open the post; only a few get to his post before it has gone through the final revision process, and a small number of people reading unpolished work is a fair tradeoff, if the habit keeps him publishing more frequently.
This post is my first attempt at frictionless blogging; and I must admit, it feels a little scary. Publishing something before it’s ready feels like going on stage with only half my costume on.
But I know I have tons of ‘almost edited’ post in the Drafts section of WordPress, and if I had just published them when they were 75% done, I’m sure I would have made the time to come back later and finish them up.
So, what the heck? Let’s try it.
Great Blogging Ideas from Fizzle
A few months ago, I joined Fizzle (aff link) and every week I am thankful that I did. The Fizzle guys really know their stuff, and they are focused on providing the ideas that bloggers and online entrepreneurs need to improve their business and their websites.
They package their ideas really well.
This is important, because if you’re willing to do the research, all these ideas are out there online. What Fizzle does is distill.
They package their content in such a way that you can easily digest the material, and implement it quickly. Simply put, Fizzle is helping me become a better blogger.
Now that I’m a member of the Fizzle community (you can try it out for a dollar) listening to interviews with some of the most successful bloggers on the Internet today, I always get some precious, rare nuggets of insight. Their courses are fun, engaging, and (most importantly) actionable.
If you want to up your game online, do yourself a favor and join Fizzle. You won’t regret it.
Now, I’m going to publish this post, and hopefully edit it before you hit my site to read it.
I came in to edit this blog post after it was live, and added good links, images, and quotes. It felt a little weird, since I’m used to doing that right after writing (or truthfully, a long time after writing). Doing this editing after publishing felt…a little naughty.
This is an interesting idea and I can see the benefits. One thing you didn’t mention is that early readers can help with your edits too.
I am thinking of followers, however, who read my blog in their email inbox, and get version #1 only. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come back to my blog later, spotted an embarrassing typo and realized that it’s too late to fix it for many people. Because of this, I’ve learned not to read posts in my inbox, and rather click the link and read it on the website (to give bloggers the benefit of that extra time).
Yours comes to my email just as an introductory paragraph, so I’ve got to click the link. That’s a handy work-around.
Yep – my posts used to be delivered full length (and some of them are mighty long). Finding the setting in WordPress to have only the excerpt delivered was really helpful on a lot of levels – I don’t want people to read the entire post in their inbox, I want them to click through to read it on the website.
(That’s why I spend time on the fonts and the colors, I suppose.)
So with this new frictionless blogging habit, I’m still going to take the time to edit the first paragraph really well, because that is the teaser that entices someone to visit the site.
Interesting! I’ve never heard of Fizzle before, but I’m definitely going to check it out. I just started a new blog, so I think this could help me a lot. Thanks for the tip!
If I had known about Fizzle when I first started blogging, I would be miles ahead of where I am now. Good luck!
Great idea! Always looking for ways to speed up the publishing process. It seems counter-intuitive because a blogger always wishes that the whole world will read his blog post right away (but is always disappointed the find that number pretty small). I’ll take a look at Fizzle too!
When I think about the blog posts I read, I almost never read them directly after publishing – even the blogs that I subscribe to. There is a natural gap, or delay, between publication and reading anyway – why not take advantage of it?
See you in the Fizzle Forums!
In a different life I’m used to applying the 80/20 rule – where close enough is good enough and the refinement to 100% is led by the end-user. The rationale being that they’re in a better position to know what they really want. Also it means your product/service/brand etc is live which often means you’ve got a head start on your competition or the almost-entrepreneurs.
I’d applied it to my websites but hadn’t thought to use it for blog posts.