Why I Abandoned My Blog (and ended up ahead)

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I did a bit of an experiment over the last 2 ½ weeks.

Something most “experts” will tell you is death to any blog.

I stopped posting. For 2 ½ weeks. Not a peep.

Without explanation. Without notice. I just plain vanished.

Why?

A few reasons…

I’m often asked how many times a day or week a blogger should post to maximize growth, influence and impact. I have friends who post two or three times a month and experience extraordinary growth and sharing.

For some time, I’ve posted anywhere from two to seven times a week. And I wanted to see what would happen if I radically cut back on my posting frequency.

I wanted to see:

  • What would happen to my traffic
  • What would happen to my subscription rate
  • Whether anyone would notice, and if they did…
  • Whether anyone would care

So, here’s what happened. Over 2 ½ postless, totally AWOL weeks…

My traffic – Traffic to the blog dropped about 25%, but my deep history of links, SEO and ongoing social discovery kept a nice flow of organic traffic rolling in. This is the benefit of having a substantial number of evergreen posts built up over a period of years, especially authoritative ones with strong search-rankings.

My subscription rate and total new subscribers/day – Net new subscribers/day stayed steady. You read that right. There was a very slight decrease in gross new subscribers, but also a decrease in unsubscribes, likely because the same emails that deliver posts also serve as prompts to unsubscribe. So, no new emails, meant no new prompts to split. At the same time, new organic visitors continued to subscribe, so my inflow of subscribers kept on keeping on, while my unsubscribes dropped to zero.

Did anyone notice? This is harder to measure. Plenty of people may have noticed, but not said anything. Over this window, while people can message me through email, twitter, Facebook, google+ and comments on the blog, only a single person reached out to me to say he noticed I hadn’t posted. Not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing right now.

Did anyone care? That one person expressed concern for me, shared that he loved my work and that it was doing good things in the world and that my tribe really appreciated me and was here for me. His message was deeply heartening. What wasn’t as heartening was that his was the only message from a tribe of tens of thousands of regulars.

My big, fat take-aways…

If you’ve been in the tribe for a while, you’ve likely noticed a bit of an evolution in what I write about on the blog and beyond.

I’m shifting gears professionally. As I emerge from my book launch bubble, I’m beginning to focus intensely on where I’ve succeed and failed in 2011 and what I want to build in 2012 and beyond. While I’ve accomplished some great things this year, I know I’ve also dropped a lot of balls and not come close to what I’m capable of creating in the world.

As a writer, it’s becoming clear that posting one to five times a week is unsustainable. I can do it, but I can’t do it and also create content, experiences and value that inform, illuminate and impact on the level I aspire to. It’s simply a matter of personal bandwidth.

I don’t write to be prolific, I write to make a difference.

And I cannot do that on the level I know I’m capable of when I’m churning out content at concert pitch. I’d rather go narrow and deep a few times a month than go shallow and wide a few times a week. I’m not knocking anyone who chooses the latter, we all have our own internal barometers, aspirations and metrics. It’s just that on a personal fulfillment level, the latter isn’t working for me any more.

The fact that over three weeks there was a near total lack of response to my disappearance also tells me a lot. It was a bit of a wake-up call to me and a validation of my hunch that I need to re-think the perceived value of what I’m building here, how I’m building it and where I want it to go from this moment forward.

You will see some substantial changes over the next few months, all in the name of finding a more sustainable, sweeter spot between:

  • My ability and desire to do what I’m here to do,
  • My desire to provide a more clearly differentiated experience, and
  • My deep Jones to better serve your needs and interests

I’ll create appetizers here and there, but my focus will be on main courses, served up hot two or three times a month. I may also introduce a new video Q&A segment as a way to more directly respond to the many questions that come to me.

Curious, what about you?

Did you notice I’d disappeared? Did it matter?

If you did the same, would it matter to your community?

Are you working in the sweet spot between your authentic genius zone and the deeper needs of your community?

How do you know?

And, last thing, for my first Q&A segment, what can I answer for you?

 

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117 responses

117 responses to “Why I Abandoned My Blog (and ended up ahead)”

  1. “I don’t write to be prolific, I write to make a difference.”

    Wow, right on, Jonathan. If folks are writing just to keep to a calendar, their posts are probably not very meaningful.

  2. Jonathan,

    Congrats–and I understand completely. One way to gain traffic is to perpetually throw content into the stream, and for some folks, that’s a good strategy. Seth Godin, for example, writes prolifically. The posts, however, are often short and only tidbits and fractions of his other works – his longer books, which are clearly his priority.

    Others (Chris Guillebeau, Jonah Lehrer, Richard Florida, Thomas Friedman) — write once a week to every other week with outstanding content that can’t be missed.

    Psychologically, one of the most important things is to be predictable; people love structure. They love to know when they can find you. Of course, it’s easier now that I can find you on facebook, twitter, and google plus …

    .. but let me know when I can find you on your blog, because I like what you have to say!

  3. Mars Dorian says:

    Seth Godin always asks “will they miss if you’re gone” and most of the time, it’s a big fat no, since there’re so many people out there barely one of them gets missed UNTIL they’re super-star luminaries (AKA Steve Jobs).

    I agree that it’s not never about the quantity you produce – it’s all about the message and the difference you put out !

    (Personally I didn’t notice that you disappeared because I thought you were still into your book project etc.)

  4. Rebecca says:

    I didn’t notice you didn’t post because I’m so busy! And I get so many email notices of blog updates (and from one blog in particular, not yours of course), that I feel that I’m constantly “behind” and missing content that I need/want to learn, so I feel kind of frantic in the pace of this one blog that posts daily (and frankly causes me some stress bc I don’t want to miss anything!!). So I applaud you for giving me a break, lol – and I totally agree that narrow and deep is better than shallow and wide.

  5. Hi Jonathan,
    I highly value your insights, ideas and stories so I wanted to share one thought…maybe people didn’t miss you as much because others were doing the same thing. Maybe we were pulling back at the same time, reflecting on the past and pondering how we can contribute the most in the future. Maybe many people in your tribe took a break at the same time and didn’t show up for awhile so no one missed miss each other. Make sense?
    Here is to your continued success and following your own heart. You inspire just by being you.
    Sandy

  6. Jay Baer says:

    Holy excellent timing Batman! I’ve been pondering the exact same move. I’ve written (or at least published) 3x/week for 3.5 years. Thinking about pulling back to keep quality high, and redistribute some effort toward other forms of content (ebooks, new full-length book, webinar series, guest posting elsewhere, etc.).

    Always concerned that traffic and visibility will deteriorate quickly if I did it, however. Of course, this is a focus group of one, but you give me some measure of confidence to at least give it a shot.

    Thanks JF. I appreciate your willingness to share your experiment.

  7. Amy Oscar says:

    1) I did not notice you’d disappeared; but I would have, eventually. I greatly value your content.
    2) Currently testing this Q. I’ve cut back on twitter and blog posts and I’ve found that my content, when I do post, is richer for it. More important (to me) I feel less annoying. I really only want to show up in the mailbox when I have something real to say.
    3) Have just found the sweet spot. I know because of the sudden surge in traffic, interest and income that my work’s been generating.
    4) I’d love to read your take on a) building authority through the work you do vs. the degrees you carry; b) how an author can build buzz around an old title as your audience expands.

  8. Lynn Czarnecki says:

    Great post, Jonathan.

    It takes a great deal of internal desire to want to better one’s self and make a difference. Kudos to you for the reflection and best of luck as you modify your plans, ideas, and goals for 2012. It’s a great reminder and inspiration to those of us who haven’t stopped to consider the implications of our actions (blog-related or otherwise).

    Cheers,
    Lynn

  9. The last two weeks might not have been true test of whether or not people missed you or cared if you were gone or not. I don’t know where you’re located, but here in Northeast, and particularly in CT, we are just recovering after a horrendous pre-Halloween snow storm that wiped out our heat and electricity for 7 days and our phone, Internet and cable for 13 days. If I hadn’t been living the Amish life myself, I know that’s the first thing I would have thought of when you dropped out of my in box without warning.

  10. Kerri says:

    Hi, I think that I thought maybe you were busy with your book or thinking. As you may know Jennifer Louden is shutting down her Comfort Cafe and I am very sad…she has changed how I view a great many things…like you do. I am fairly new and repetition is great for renewing, refreshing and sharing with newer readers. I would be thrilled if you repeated some of your favorite blogs or other readers favorite blogs that has informed or inspire them. It doesn’t always have to be new…
    Thanks for your courage to share with the world and I wish you clarity, creativity and laughter for the coming year.
    Kerri

  11. Heather Holm says:

    I was more motivated to open and read this latest post because I hadn’t seen you in my inbox for a while, so you gained points on the novelty scale.

    I know how writing a serious blog post takes a lot of time. You’re quite justified in letting your accumulated collection work for you while you concentrate on finding your sweet spot.

    Still seeking my own sweet spot.

  12. Jeff Munn says:

    Hi Jonathan–

    Though I didn’t reach out to you, I did notice you had stopped posting. I thought it was part of the book rollout, or that you might actually be taking a well-deserved break (!).
    I’m going through a mini version of what you are right now–looking at what has engaged readers and what has not, looking more deeply into what my unique gifts are, and wanting to make a genuine connection rather than just posting whatever will get the most readers. (For me, that’s just been a frustrating dead end.)

    Kudos to you for wanting more, and for being willing to publicly rethink your own assumptions.

    Jeff

  13. Phil Charles says:

    I resonate with your fewer quality posts theme, I think it it makes a lot of sense. As a a long time follower – the pause didn’t really ring any bells because you are always busy and off on some project, we are happy to wait for the next expose – so don’t get too concerned about the lack of enquiry. Instructive for me just starting out serious blogging, about the rhythm of posting. Enjoyed reading Uncertainty.
    Phil (Australia)

  14. I mostly always love what you write and often pass it along to clients and colleagues. So I’m glad you will keep writing and sharing your ideas – it’s fine that they will be less frequent -it’s hard to keep up all my reading.
    I didn’t notice that you had stopped since I’ve been reading Uncertainty, and assumed you were doing book-related things.
    Thanks for your words, perspective, and continual sharing. Your blog is very special to me.

  15. No, I did not notice, but it’s not because I don’t value your writing. I do. I just get a lot of e-mails and I read only some of your posts, depending on the topic and what is going on with me at the time. My time is so limited, but eventually I probably would have said “Huh. I haven’t gotten anything from Fields in awhile. I wonder what happened.” and if I had missed this post, I may have ventured to your site to see what was going on.

    I write once a week and am working on decreasing that. My material is NOT time-sensitive, so I’ve been taking my more popular articles and topics and fine-tuned my auto-responder emails for new readers. I get a lot of new subscribers to my mailing list per week and each will get a lot of my best articles anyway. I have still kept up once a week articles and newsletter, but one day I am hoping to get to one article per month, but still keep the weekly newsletter that will link to older posts and such, because I will have a large repository to pull from that will still help people at the “right” times.

    Good luck in your writing cut-back! I think if you don’t write for yourself, then you may want to spend your time elsewhere and write when the feeling comes over you. Sometimes an article comes to me and I write it. Let the creativity dictate the number of posts, not the feeling of obligation.

  16. Midwesterner says:

    Jonathan – I certainly noticed. I respect you and your work enough that I assumed you had a strong reason for stopping. I felt that you certainly didn’t need a note from me adding to whatever stresses in your life were the cause. I view your blog postings as a gift, not something I demand or that you are obligated to deliver on a specific schedule.
    You asked for comments regarding your planned strategy, going forward. Even if you sent them once or twice a year I am confident they’d still be useful to me. Because I read much faster than I listen, I’ve got a strong preference for written rather than video blogs.

  17. Jonathan, great insight. I have been wondering about this also.

    I didn’t notice your not blogging because you were still present on Facebook, etc. providing me good info.

  18. Tom Bentley says:

    Jonathan, I had noticed you weren’t posting, but possibly that’s because you hinted a bit back that you were up to something—maybe on Google +, or even here? Regardless, I’m with you on the quality-over-quantity issue, and from seeing what good results you’ve had in the past with more quantity, can’t wait to see those concentrated truffles of quality.

    By the way, I’m just finishing Uncertainty. I’m certain—it’s excellent.

  19. EmD says:

    A few months ago, I experienced the demise of a long-term relationship and went completely into seclusion. I abandoned my then slow-but-steady stand-up comedy career. My Twitter feed dried up. I stopped writing completely. I was extraordinarily down on my self – my self was not something I felt merited serious expression.

    I didn’t expect much of a reaction and didn’t get much of one, at first. Over time, I ran into fellow stand-ups around town, and they’d invariably ask me if I’d gotten up lately. One dear friend confided that she’d missed my dry one-liners on Twitter. And, slowly, I reemerged. I performed one awkward shake-off-the-cobwebs show and started to write again, mostly for self-amusement. I reconnected with friends I consider creative and got juiced from their efforts.

    I’ve scarcely begun to reflect on the experience of closing shop for months, and I’m not sure where to go from here. But I’ve learned that when things are bleak, trying to get a chuckle out of strangers or expand my “brand” is gruesomely hard work, while engaging with a few friends I admire gets me back in the game. I hung out with some improvisers and realized I didn’t have to stretch as hard as I’d thought to be “funny.”

    You have a much broader audience than mine and I’m sure your experience is much different. Most of your readers are probably plugged into quite a few tribes and stretched pretty thin in general. While two weeks of darkness was obviously not enough time to alarm most of us, I think most of us would have noticed your absence eventually and wanted you back.

    When steady cranking of “content” and exhausting social-media pimping are the order of the day, there’s much to be said for writing the sort of piece that requires breadth of time and depth of reflection.

  20. Mohit Pawar says:

    Hey Jonathan, thanks for sharing this.

    Have been blogging since Jan 2005. Have had months where I posted once a day and also times where I posted sporadically. For past months couple months I have started focusing more on promoting (sharing) the content with people in my tribe and meeting more people physically. This has done wonders with my traffic. Last month was my best ever in terms of traffic; and I only posted twice last month. One of them was a 3000+ words beauty (to me) not sure.. but got good feedback from readers.

    Think at the stage where you are at substance over quantity rules. For rest of those who are starting need some quantity to created a foundation.

    Keep shining 🙂

  21. Kristina says:

    I noticed last week that it had been awhile since your last post and just figured you were swamped with post-book launch activities and didn’t have time. It had faith that you’d be back though; in fact, it never dawned on me that something might be wrong!

    Funny, I went to purposely see if you had posted because I’d fallen behind on my own blog and wanted to see how often my virtual mentors post. You and a few others had taken a break (ie were too busy with other things). I actually found it refreshing to see that even those that I look up to for their consistency and drive need to take a break once and awhile. All that being said, welcome back .

  22. Javier says:

    I don’t access my e-mail on a routinely basis. I read your valuable stories and ideas once or twice a month and not all of them. Not because the value of them but because the difficult times I’m going through.
    The main interest of reading them is the social fulcrum that connects me with my brother, he is an avid reader of your blog, and you give us themes of discussion. He lives in USA and I live in Mexico.
    I take the opportunity to thank you deeply for sharing your thoughts.
    Javier

  23. Allison says:

    I noticed but attributed it to your being busy with book launch– and since I’ve been listening to your weekly Q/A sessions, I suppose I’ve felt connected in another way and so didn’t pang too much over missed blog posts.
    Upon reflection, as long as you keep posting what YOU think is useful and will make a difference, THAT will be the best for readers. I echo folks who say we’ve got too much to read– but I’m not likely to ever unsubscribe from your blog, no matter how frequent or infrequent your postings. Your perspective is too valuable to me.

  24. Jim Van Wyck says:

    Fascinating.

    I totally did not miss you at all in my feeds (no offence), but when todays article popped in … THEN I thought to myself..”haven’t heard from him for a while”.

    And by noticing your absence, your piece caught my attention even more than usual.

    Now about the more substantive issue of being prolific vs making a difference. Who could argue with that formulation.

    I certainly would rather you make a difference.

    Thanks again for your well written, thoughtful work.

    –Jim

  25. Dear Jonathan –

    I kinda noticed but I knew you were busy promoting your book and that is a killer.

    I hate people who post every day. I like to keep up with my favorites and it is a burden.

    Unless they are newscasters.

    People get used to the schedule YOU set.

    I post about every 5 to 7 days. Works for me.

    Try it.

    This was an interesting evaluation. Thanks.

  26. Jonathan, instead of checking through your blog I was simply reading your book “Uncertainty” – that’s why I haven’t noticed. Or maybe there is sth more behind this – I have noticed lack of posts (no e-mail notifications) but I thought you took some time off to rest after such an intensive time you were going through last weeks. You certainly deserve it! Anyway, keep posting whenever you like, do it on your terms – we will always appreciate!

  27. Uh. It happened the same to me. I didn’t post for two and a half weeks on my blog and the only people who said: ‘Hey, where’s your monday post?’ were the people I see everyday. Obviously my blog isn’t comparable to yours in terms of readership, but I found it interesting. People engage as long as it’s not an effort. Emailing you is an effort. It’s like my gym, I go to the gym as long as the gym is around the corner. Otherwise, forget it. This makes me think how initiating things is hard for people, and how easy it is to choose to do nothing.

  28. Great post Jonathan, and great test. I’m going through the same thing, stepping back after 3 1/2 years to decide what my blog really should be. It’s so easy to stay in the same routine because that is what you’re doing, but it’s a really smart thing to evaluate goals on a regular basis to see if they are truly lining up with what you want to accomplish. I look forward to how things evolve.

  29. Lisa Johnson says:

    I noticed you were gone! I kinda thought you were recharging the batteries after the phenomenal launch that you had and I did wonder if you were getting sick.

    I’ve been struggling with my 5 day a week blog for a while now, wondering if I should cut back to 3 but maximize SEO and quality content (both of ’em!) to open up time for other projects that I’d like to get to.

    The pundits say blog as often as you can, blog every day, or you’ll lose your audience. I also frequently surprise myself, just last week I threw up a blog that I thought was going to be quiet (Winterizing your Morning Workout) and turned out to be the most popular post of the week.

    I never seem to predict what my readers like with any accuracy … even when I go back and look at the traffic numbers …

    Sigh, so I’m grappling with the same thing you’ve been grappling with and now I feel like I should try 3 times a week to see how it feels.

    Test and adjust right? We should always be testing and adjusting …

    Glad you’re ok, I was kinda worried and I’d love to hear how your book sales are doing, I’m dying to know … I hope super successful … 🙂

    Lisa

  30. Jonathan, I noticed but assumed you were busy with interviews and appearances for your new book. FYI, I just launched my new book “Publishing as a Marketing Strategy” and list http://www.TribalAuthor.com in the resource section of the book. I’ve also referenced you, your website and your book promotion ideas in presentations I give. Thanks for living an example of creativity and great work. I appreciate you!

  31. Jim Kukral says:

    Ive been doing the same experiment for almost a year now. Since then I’ve produced 6 books and much more. It depends on your content plan. For me it was more important to write books than blogs. Everyone should think about why they blog so often. Is it accomplishing your goals or wasting valuable time?

  32. craig says:

    John,
    I noticed you were gone, but jut didn’t say anything. If I disappeared, I’d like to think it mattered to my community.

    However, community is such a loose term.

    I’m not serving my community in a way that is advancing their career and spiritual aspirations. Therefore they will go on without even so much as a stumble in their stride.

    -@cdstern

  33. Hi Jonathan,
    I did notice that you were not showing up in my inbox. Like everyone here, I get too much mail in my inbox but I have committed to following deeply only four people over each 90 period. You’re one of my current deep follows. Just finished Uncertainty and loved it. My life has been so full of uncertainty for two years now. It was very reassuring. Loved the AT idea and am working with it. I’m busy keeping up with a twice a week blog post but do feel that my content is sometimes weak versus deep. A business coach I also follow deeply says its the only way to build a following – that level of consistency is required.

    Thank you for your openness to sharing. It impacts me each and every time. Mary

  34. I’m with you – better to write when you have something cogent to say that contributes in a meaningful way. In my own work, I’ve been making the same kind of decisions – whether to launch a new product and what actual value it will offer in the world, compared to just buzz and economic return.

    As leaders, we must lead and sometimes that just means stepping out to survey the entire landscape – not just keep charging forward.

    Glad you took it back a notch to decide where to move next. I am focused on making small, well-considered, conscious decisions and those typically take time and silent contemplation. It’s nourishment for my business and my heart.

  35. Jules Bartow says:

    Too busy to notice.

    I typically stop whatever else I’m doing when your e-mails arrive, often delaying completion of high priority tasks, to read. Nobody else has that affect.

    So, ironically, thank you for less proliferation.

  36. Hi Jonathan!
    I’m really new here (found you after Danielle Laporte raved about your book), so I can’t say much about your disappearance. I CAN say that, as a new writer/blogger of only 14 months, I have learned the same lesson online that I’ve experienced in my general life – to do what feels right for me. All these “rules” – post daily or weekly, or at least on a schedule, keep it short, give away something for free to build an email list – seem to be a way people can create order and understanding out of the expansiveness of the online world. That doesn’t mean we should shoehorn ourselves in. I feel more fulfilled and useful to others when I move at my own pace, cultivate my own creative work, and above all, let my intuition guide everything I do.

    I walked the Camino de Santiago 10 years ago and learned many of these lessons there. Now, I just need to apply them to THIS path, which excites the hell out of me! I love finding others, like you, who bring their true rhythm and voice.

    What this world craves is not a sequel, but the pioneer. Thank you for being one of them.

    All the best to you!
    Kellie

  37. Sandra says:

    Truthfully I hardly get to all the online reading I would like to do. Also I just thought you are doing book tour stuff.

    I’m often asked about what and how often to post and say each person should experiment and test what works best with their audience. One expert barely posts and its dedicated to a buildup toward a course, class or project he does. He does not lack and audience or clients. Another does small posts every day and does well with it.

    For my blogs it didn’t seem to matter one way or the other. My interaction seem to work better posting to different Social media sites. The decision is going back to a static site type format or blogging in limited fashion. Here is where testing comes in.

    Jonathan your posts are insightful and I enjoy the infrequent, but longer ones that I can linger over with a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning.

  38. Vikk Simmons says:

    I’ll be interested in seeing what you finally decide to do. I struggle with this periodically and have since I started blogging in 2003. In the end I always go back to my initial intention. I didn’t start my blog to start a business. For me it’s a publishing platform where I can publish pieces on ideas and thoughts about writing and publishing and give them a chance at connecting with a reader.

    You are one of several writers who blog and are not afraid to think deeply and express those thoughts in what has become a rather short form. I appreciate that and it’s one reason why I come back.

    Looking forward to hearing more whenever you have something to share.

  39. Maureen says:

    Jonathan,

    Yes, I noticed that you were gone from your blog and not tweeting as much either. And I wondered why….but since we don’t know each other I didn’t ask why though I assumed there must be a reason either personal or for business. An interesting dynamic forms when we become regular readers of a blog. The blog writer becomes a “regular” in our life as we check in with them on a daily or so basis just like the people we see all the time in the local coffeeshop or in the neighborhood or the lobby of our office building. Then one day you realize they are gone — with no explanation. Hmmm, I guess our relationship wasn’t as strong as I imagined it was.

    I’m glad to see you back on your blog, but sad to learn that you may only pop in once or twice a month. I have found so many of your posts to encourage discussions, deep thoughts and unexpected questions. From a business and time perspective, I understand your need to change the direction of your business. I have seen this happen on other websites. For business to grow and thrive they need to be dynamic and change to meet the needs of clients and community. So I’ll be looking forward to see how things transform.

    When you do your Q&A’s I’m interested in hearing about is your experience launching your book. How things changed from the 1st to 2nd book. What insights you gained, interesting moments etc.

    Thanks for sharing.

  40. You read my mind Jonathan. I’ve been blogging for 18 months. I’ve learned a lot about “traffic” production, readers and myself. As a result I’ve been toying with the idea of rethinking the way I use my blog, what and how often I post and how to best use it to make a real (rather than imagined)difference. Your post here put it all so clearly into perspective for me.

    I have always looked forward to your posts. You are one of the few bloggers I follow AND read. Your posts are usually always hot and juicy. And yet to be 100% honest, I did not even notice that you hadn’t posted in a while.

    I think the less is more idea works, expecially in the over-stimulated times we live in when almost everyone is clammoring for eyeballs to read their stuff – much of which isn’t worth the bother.

    I have to admit I will miss the regular “fix” I receive from your regular posts Jonathan, however I think that it will make the selections you do post even more special. As always, thank you so much for shinning the bright light of integrity with such a wide beam.

  41. Shannon Derby says:

    Jonathan,

    Timely post this morning…after looking at all my email settings last night to see if somehow I wasn’t receiving your blog for an issue on my end, I’m happy to know your departure was intentional!

    May it prove to be personally and professionally beneficial to you!!

    Best,
    Shannon

  42. moonfire says:

    Hey Jonathan, YES! I did notice you hadn’t posted. As a newby to reading blogs and posting on blogs, I rather figured you were super busy with your book launching.

    And, I truly couldn’t understand how you or anyone could keep up prolific posting, as well as respond to readers. Unsustainable were my thoughts.

    I’ve read and heard that blogging can make a big difference and that it can or cannot make a difference in a person’s business.

    What q. I ask in the Information Age – how much, how long, which, who, why?

    Anyone know how to get their preferred icon up here when posting?

    All the best to you Jonathan. you give much. Thank you.

  43. Valter says:

    Honestly I didn’t notice you weren’t posting, because I get so much infos daily, it’s difficult noticing someone is missing.

    I think I would have noticed, eventually.
    And I would have missed you, because I almost always find your writing inspiring and interesting. As a matter of fact, you’re one of the very few blogger I follow. 🙂

    I really appreciate your thoughtfulness, your honesty and your bright mind – and your modesty. 😀
    Yours is one worthy voice: I’m grateful for your contribution.

    Take care, and keep up the good work! 🙂

  44. Brandon says:

    Like Jim said, Fascinating!

    I did notice, and like some others, I had to double check to make sure I wasn’t missing any emails. But the truth is, I was going through almost the exact thing at the exact time, so I sort of suspected what was happening. I went silent for 2 weeks myself, and that break was some of the most ground-breaking for me in the offline world.

    Coming back online wasn’t some big moment with a lot of brilliant insights, but it felt great to share some of what was going on. I learned that being present in the real world was more important than trying to document every moment as it was happening.

    So yes, definitely working on that sweet spot. Haven’t found it yet, but I feel like it’s getting closer.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I’ll keep reading regardless of frequency. I like your mind, and you consistently push my thinking as a result.

    Kudos, Jonathan.

  45. Kathy says:

    Gasp. I am deeply chagrined to say I didn’t notice. Maybe it’s because with Facebook and all it didn’t seem like you went anywhere. Or maybe it is a reflection of a need for me to clear the clutter out of my inbox so that I will notice when the people I really want to hear from are missing. Interesting experiment. I wonder what other lessons it will teach the rest of us that you did not intend.

  46. Jonathan,

    Jonathan,

    Thanks very much for this post.

    I am a business and real estate trial attorney practicing in North Carolina state and federal courts. I am a solo practitioner an have been posting for a while about business and real estate litigation, including comments about the law and how I can be of help to folks facing business disputes, like breach of contract and financial fraud cases against banks, as well as real estate disputes, such as eminent domain, adverse possession, judicial partition and judicial sale, and boundary disputes.

    With my caseload, I have not had time to post more than once every couple of weeks. Nevertheless, I have had a lot of individuals, businesses, and even other law firms find and frequent my site through Google searches. I spend almost no time doing SEO (or whatever its called now). I just try to write good content that can point out issues and point to solutions for people with business and real estate disputes in North Carolina. So far, so good.

    But I would really appreciate it if you or your other subscribers could let me know what I could do better. Thanks again for your blog and especially for this article on the best frequency for posts.

    Inez de Ondarza Simmons
    North Carolina Business & Real Estate Trial Attorney
    Inez de Ondarza
    North Carolina Business & Real Estate Trial Attorney

  47. This is funny because I was actually thinking about RSS feeds and so on at the end of last week…

    … and I thought. “hmm, I haven’t heard from Jonathan for a while.”

    So yes. we did notice! Glad you’re back 😉

  48. Marilyn Taillon says:

    No, I didn’t notice.
    In restrospect, thanks for not adding to my in-box!

    No questions for you, but a long overdue thank you:
    For helping me realize I didn’t have a product to sell.
    For making me realize this made me very bad at selling.
    For helping me become a corporate citizen again.
    For providing great blog entries to send to my much younger friends, who may not have the opportunity to become corporate citizens, and who need and are not getting “career renegade” training anywhere else.
    For providing great blog entries to my slightly older friends who didn’t realize that they were career renegades.
    For making a difference in my outlook.

  49. Lisa Nelsen says:

    I’m so sorry, I didn’t notice that you’d missed a few blog days. But I do enjoy them when they come to my inbox! Very inspiring for a blogging musician and performer!

    And “I don’t write to be prolific, I write to make a difference.”…is fantastic! What I strive for as well.

    Kind wishes
    Lisa

  50. Eugene Lowery says:

    Thanks for another good post, Jonathan. “There is nothing more powerful than the truth.” And you speak your truth with increasing clarity. This post reminds me of two of my favorite quotes: “Don’t speak unless it will improve the silence.” (unknown, Native American?) And Plato’s, “A wise man speaks because he has something to say, a fool because he has to say something.” Keep your thoughts coming out to us, and know we appreciate the value in a scheduling irratic in our rhythm of life.

  51. Cindy Thompson says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I hadn’t noticed you weren’t blogging because I have been having the honor of connecting with you every Tuesday, on the Uncertainty bonus calls which I’m loving!

    You are an inspiration to me in so many ways and I’m so appreciative of your honesty and authentic way of being. It is guiding and assisting me as I begin to step out into the world in a bigger and more visible way in my own business.

    With immense gratitude,
    Cindy Thompson

  52. beth chase says:

    Did I notice you’d disappeared.? Yes. Ironically it was just this morning that I thought “I wonder what’s up with Jonathan, I haven’t received an email in awhile.”

    I think that it takes a bit for people to notice and absence and really register it. I subscribe to a few blogs via email but I don’t read every email every day. Sometimes I do judge a book by its cover i.e.: if the title resonates as something I’m not interested in I may not get around to reading the post, sometimes I’ll delete right then. If the title resonates as something spot on I’ll often read right then. Otherwise it goes into the, I have a moment to see what its about pile that, if I haven’t gotten to it within a month, will be deleted.

    I do value content quality over content quantity. But, even with the best content, it won’t always speak to everyone just right then. What is spot on to me today may not really connect with me in a year because I have different needs and interests by then. The converse is also true. I may not find something interesting today but it is particularly relevant later.

    If I did the same, would anyone notice. I’d say no. For the simple reason that I am still fighting the coding and the vision to create a tribe. I posted regularly for a year, had a few comments on the blog, usually favorable but never conversational, so I stopped posting regularly while I tried to figure out how to make both the technical and social connections work better.

    What can you answer for me. Are there actions and tools to help me identify that “sweet spot between my “authentic genius zone and the deeper needs of your community?

  53. Susan says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I did notice almost immediately. Since this is the time of year for reflection I figured that’s what you were doing.
    What I wonder about those such as yourself who write prolifically (and beautifully) do you make time to visit the blogs of the other members of your tribe? Especially the very active contributing members? I’ve clicked on some of the blogs above and found some really amazing stuff!
    Just wondering.
    Susan

  54. I did notice and really supposed you were either deep inside the book bubble or recovering from resurfacing out of same…interesting questions nonetheless.

  55. Pat Novak says:

    Hi Jonathan.

    I felt like many others, you were busy with the promotion of your book. Or, you were taking a digital sabbatical to re-group after the launch. I respect and honor the need to get away and be with yourself. Addressing your point, there are those who write “letters” daily, if I don’t see their daily letter in my inbox, I would begin to wonder ( worry) about them. Because it is a daily connection. But, that is not to say that is what you are after, nor are they. I can feel where you are coming from and would like to see more.

    I guess the question is, as Julien Smith wrote about, the small group who really do give a f**k about you. As you get bigger, you will gain more readership, but how does the relationship change? How do you stay intimate,yet write about bigger issues? I look forward to viewing your videos.

  56. Jonathan,

    As usual, when you do post, it just makes me love you more for your no-nonsense, heart-driven work. Thank you.

    I didn’t notice. Or if I did, I probably thought it was the book launch. Frankly, I don’t think we’ve got everyone’s posting schedules on our radar. When something pops up from you, I think, oh, goody.

    The more important metric (over how many times to post, etc.) is: do people open and read what you write sooner rather than later.

    When you come onto my radar, I open and read immediately and almost always am better for it. Thank you.

    I post one article a week, and currently I am also posting images from my Art Every Day Month efforts and fun videos I am making.

    My schedule varies according to what I want to share, but I always post one article a week. I think posting more articles than one or two isn’t sustainable if you’re trying to create something else.

    I do think I am in the sweet spot. I’m most concerned about quality, not quantity. I get good feedback and more subscribers daily.

    I love the shift you’re making. I can’t wait to read your book. (It’s waiting for me in Colorado; I’m in Paris for an extended stay, so it will have to wait!)

    Thanks for this, and for reminding us to follow what’s right for us and not some crazy ‘post every day’ dictate.

    Your fan,

    Cynthia

    🙂

  57. Jason says:

    Jonathan,
    Actually yes I did notice the lack of fresh content coming from here. But seeing as I also follow you on Twitter,FB, Google+ I did see content from you. I just assumed you were focusing on the others for a bit. That and you had posted a bit ago about family time and taking weekends off from all this. With the holidays ( I am in both US and Canada so I saw Thanksgiving up there plus Halloween etc.) I figured you got wrapped up in Family which I would never short you on.
    As far as the quantity vs. quality…you strike a decent balance and I have always found your info and your writings you share to be inspirational, intriguing and well written.
    On a side note…i LOVE the book.

    Jason

  58. Marguerite says:

    Jonathan, most definitely noticed you’d disappeared and wondered why. I routinely refer to you as my guru and figured you had some stellar new creation in the works that we’d all benefit from as soon as you emerged from your cocoon. Thrilled to have you back!!!!!

  59. Laura Click says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Ironically, I’m in a post drought myself. I’ve been crushed with client work, which is a great thing, but it’s prevented me from keeping up with my blog and social media interaction in recent weeks. In fact, today is the first day I’ve read much in the blogosphere in a week or two.

    I think finding the balance between quality vs. quantity is a tough one for most folks. While we don’t want quality to suffer, we can’t always wait around for inspiration to strike. My traffic has definitely plummeted since my last post (almost two weeks). And, because I don’t have as rich of an archives (a little over a year’s worth), my organic traffic is much lower.

    The “will anyone notice?” question is tough. I’ve had a few people miss me on social networks, but it is somewhat tough to realize people aren’t waiting around breathlessly for our content…especially since there are so many other choices out there.

    All that said, I think it’s about determining priorities and what makes sense for each individual and business. You can spend all of your time blogging, but not growing your business. It all depends on your focus.

  60. Erica says:

    I rely on feed readers and emails to deliver my content to places where I can find it. Since I’m not checking in manually every day, I don’t have a very fast trigger to notice when someone hasn’t popped up in a while. And two weeks isn’t really all that long in a hectic life; most of the people I follow disappear on and off for periods at least that long. I’d personally feel rude “checking in” after only two weeks! I just assume life is busy, there isn’t much to be said, or that there’s some secret project in the works.

    I used to be disappointed when certain blogs didn’t post at least a few times a week. Now that I’ve increased the breadth of things that I read and simultaneously cut back on my internet time, I find the daily blogs hard to keep up with and even a bit annoying. They never end up on my email subscribe list…anything that frequent can pile up in my reader until I’m ready to sit down and read – I don’t let it clutter my inbox. So I’m all for infrequent and deep. It’s quality that keeps me coming back, not quantity.

  61. Jeannette says:

    Great post, Jonathan!

    “I don’t write to be prolific, I write to make a difference.”

    If only that were the motto of other bloggers.

    Alas, far too many seem to be writing to increase SEO, for some personal need to “share” (not saying that is wrong, but perhaps far less relevant to some audiences, people), to “follow the rules.” Frequently, the pressure to write more means there is less relevance.

    Just because one can write and post all the time (Twitter!), doesn’t mean one has to or should. And I’m glad someone like yourself is saying this, and not just as a justification for your choices.

    If I read someone whose work interests me, the frequency is irrelevant. First of all, I’m not PAYING them so what they offer is a GIFT. Gifts are freely given when and how the giver wants.

    I’m always amazed when I see readers of some blogs up in arms when the blogger stops or changes frequency. Hello! Who are we to say how and when someone should blog? Again, we’re not paying and someone is freely sharing.

    I think a lot of readers really don’t understand how much time it takes to create and post content. Anyone who has a web site or blog, however, gets it.

    It’s your life, do what you need to do to make it work for YOU. Isn’t that the lesson you’re really trying to share with us all the time?

    Thank you for speaking so honestly.

  62. kathleen says:

    This was an interesting post. I subscribe to many blogs, and one thing that will make me unsubscribe is someone apologizing for taking time off — I just hate reading “oh! goodness I was busy these last X days!” because unless you’re my friend, I don’t read your blog to hear about what you’ve been doing — I read your blog to help me do something. Selfish? Of course. But all blogging is.

  63. Jonathan,

    I actually noticed you hadn’t posted and wondered why but didn’t reach out. This post just prompted me to do something that I’ve been meaning to do for weeks, and that’s to thank you for the interview that you did with Sean Platt about him creating a series (episodes) for the Kindle. Watching the interview gave me several ideas and thank you for that.

    As for you posting less frequently, you have to do what is best for you and only you can decide. Take care!

    Avil

  64. 2.5 week isn’t a hiatus – in fact if I publish more often than once every couple of weeks I notice I get less readers – my readers don’t expect me to write more than once a month!

    I never, ever bought into the nonsense about a regular blogging schedule – its a straight-jacket – I’m not in the business of straight jackets.

    I blog when I have something to say – cuts out the fluff -means that people actually find what I say useful, or not but at least its not filler!

  65. Janine Elias says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I did notice you hadn’t been posting as much. I thought it had to do with the release of your book and being busy doing speaking engagements of promoting your book.

    I love your writing and find you to be an inspiration. I am also grateful for this particular post because I’ve been struggling with my content and focus of energy as I finish my book and clarify what this year has brought for me and my intention for next year!

    Your an amazing person doing incredible and much needed work. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of your tribe!

    Have a great week!

    Warmly,

    Janine

  66. Witold says:

    Hi Johnathon ,
    So many comments ! As I read several blogs It is easy to miss someone not posting . One blog a week seems about right . Keep up the good work .

    Cheers

  67. Jeff Goins says:

    Interesting takeaways. I actually didn’t notice, but I love these lessons.

  68. Kim says:

    I did notice and thought that you might be taking time off after the book launch. Personally, I read your blog posts faithfully and especially enjoyed being a part of your book publishing tribe. I always learn something from you. It doesn’t matter to me how often you post, just that you do sometimes and let me know.

  69. Jonathan,
    You are a brilliant guy and I value your insights so much that I want you to communicate them to the widest audience possible. We all benefit. So, please, map your plan and execute it however you see fit. I have 100% confidence that what you see is worth seeing. So just take what you need, show us your stuff and make sure you are doing it so that you enjoy your life. We will get our greatest value when you are getting yours.
    Indentured for life,
    David

  70. Paul Shively says:

    This was eye opening and gives me a great deal to think about in relation to both blogging and promoting a new brand that I’m working on. Thank you!!!

  71. Hedley Galt says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    I didn’t consciously notice you’d taken time off but when I saw your blog post in my inbox it occurred to me that I haven’t seen your name pop up in a while and I was curious as to what you had to say. I’m glad I took the time to read your post. Your honesty, openness and willingness to share where you have been and where you are wanting to head in the future has now sparked an interest that wasn’t (although I didn’t consciously realise this) there before. I’m interested because you’ve sparked that interest in myself. Where have I been? What have I been doing and does anyone really care? You’ve helped me to realise (consciously – thank you) that when I do things because I want people to care then it usually ends up the other way around. The care factor fizzles out, including my own. Whereas when I do what I love and genuinely care about what I’m doing then people tend more to jump on board which fuels the fire even more. It’s a subtle shift but I powerful one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    Hedley

  72. Steve MacCormack says:

    I noticed…was wondering where the hell you went?? Being a newbie and blog writing wannabe I rely on only a few “mentors” to inspire and teach me, and as always on your blog, I just learned something new. Thanks bro.

  73. Mikeachim says:

    Yep, I noticed you’d stop writing.

    And I’ll confess, I was somewhat pleased.

    The reason? I’m currently reading your archives. Gives me more of a chance to catch up. 😉

    But yes. I hang out online in the travel-blogging community, and there’s way too much discussion about The Golden Frequency Of Posting. I’d like it more if everyone talked about how there isn’t a Golden anything in online publishing, and indeed there shouldn’t be, because that’s the way for everyone to end up the same.

    But regarding the pressure to publish…

    More haste, less speed.

    In a recent phone interview with Rolf Potts for the Atlantic, Paul Theroux described blogging as “hasty” (and other, less polite things). And that’s bounced around my head a lot recently. Good work is never hasty. Haste skims – it doesn’t dig. I worry about that.

  74. BJ Gallagher says:

    Jonathan, You make an excellent point about writing to make a difference versus writing to be prolific. FAR too many blogger (and tweeters) are motivated mostly by self-interest: “Look at me!” “Read ME!” “Buy my stuff!” Only a handful of bloggers (and tweeters) seem interested in serving others and contributing to the world. “Here’s a cool resource for you.” “I discovered this web site that might help you.” “You’re gonna love this site … check it out!” Tim Ferris is very good at giving stuff away – tons of stuff! A few others do, too. All of us bloggers would do well to serve others instead of promote ourselves.
    BJ Gallagher, coauthor of “Being Buddha at Work” (Berrett-Koehler; Jan. 2012)

  75. Johnathan,
    I’m new to your blog…discovered it through another link (Yay!)…and just really appreciated finding a respite from the day-to-day grind. Your blog makes me think and provides a pretty good mirror for improvement. I’m not a blogger (and usually have little patience for all the social media stuff), but I do recognize depth and heart when I read it. That is what draws me in…not the frequency, but the quality and sincerity of your posts. Change, or not…but keep the substance…therein lies the treasure.

  76. Your hiatus proves this Jonathan: you, I, all of us are in an energy game. Not a numbers game.

    You felt it time to release for a bit, did so, and all is well. I advise posting daily to practice writing. But I advise letting go when it’s time to let go. Honor the small still voice and you will be golden.

    Thanks!

    RB

  77. Jen Gresham says:

    Brilliant, Jonathan. As you know, I had the same experience after taking a 2 MONTH sabbatical. And I love that you were honest about the unsubscribes that come with every post that goes out. I don’t hear many big bloggers talking about that, but it’s so true! So a break = a net gain. Who woulda thought it? 🙂

    I will say I don’t think it’s a bad thing if people don’t notice your absence. I mean, I like to think my readers have lives outside of my blog. Just like a good friend, they’re there when I have something to say, but busy getting on with life when I don’t.

    Looking forward to all your upcoming innovations!

  78. David says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I for one DID notice that you were missing.

    My daily routine is to include your latest comments into my day – usually builds me up and gets me looking forward and focussed.

    Have not read all of the above comments but I know that I for 1 believed you were deep into the book launch and that everything had to stop just for you to keep up the momentum.

    This morning I found myself getting angry re: pushing through barriers that I had built myself and was determined to just FOCUS on the task.Nothing else and definitely no emails!

    Kicking myself-HARD!

    Then I made the “mistake” 🙂 of checking whether you had posted and WOW! read your email, re-read the blog and thought: ” No way! Of course what you do matters to me and to all of us”.

    In my case I am not a blogger. I do not read anyones blog-ever.Except yours- religiously since Dec 2008. If you stopped I would feel it.

    However if I knew that it was say weekly, well I would not value the content less but it would have to work harder for me and I clearly would go back again and again to the key messages (as I did when you released the pre-book 9/11 video and the “faith video”).

    The question for me is “Why did I not email to check on YOU?”

    Not recognising that- even if you cannot respond to us all- just knowing SOMEONE is thinking about you is a universal pick up.

    Do unto others.

    Perhaps now you will get 2000 unwanted “checking up on you emails” after any period of 72 hours of silence 🙂 🙂

    A message from across the pond…..

  79. Sean says:

    “I don’t write to be prolific, I write to make a difference. And I cannot do that on the level I know I’m capable of when I’m churning out content at concert pitch. I’d rather go narrow and deep a few times a month than go shallow and wide a few times a week.”

    Right on, man. I’m with you 100%.

  80. ntathu allen says:

    It takes courage to take your foot of the break and assess your impact on what you are doing and how you wish to live/create your life. Leading by example is the best way. Stay blessed and keeping being in your Sweet Spot. Only place to be.

  81. Giovanna says:

    I did notice but was so busy that this information stayed on the background.
    Anyway, I like your new choice. Over time I canceled all my subscription of prolific posters… stayed only with yours and Chris Guilebeau´s… after all time is valuable asset this days…

    I also prefer deeper and less often.

    Congratz on the choices as usual.

  82. I was heartened to read this today, as I am a newer blogger working diligently to build a decent following.

    I’ve experienced some busy times in my life which caused me to significantly decrease my presence for a few weeks on social media and one week I missed my regular publishing schedule. My page views and page rank dipped, and to be honest haven’t built back up to where they were before.

    Still, I have found that I will always end up ahead when I take a step back from activity to refresh and refuel my mind, body and spirit, if that’s what I need to do.

    During my busy time I was presented with an awesome career opportunity that I wasn’t going to pass up. So I was unable to maintain my regular blogging activity schedule, participate in building my career potential and take care of myself so I decided it was okay to spend a few weeks less visible online.

    In the end it was worth it to me because I am responsible for making my life great and I can’t share tips for living a great life with anyone else if I’m not living a great life myself. And sometimes that means letting something slide temporarily!

    Chrysta

  83. […] might have noticed, I took a bit of an extended break from blogging. I suppose you could say that I abandoned my blog. It wasn’t exactly intentional; I’ve just been busy with other things as of late. […]

  84. It is interesting that you decided to not post for a while. One of my favorite blogs that I follow is Viper Chill and he posts at most 4-6 times per month. Yet when he does it is something that I read even if it is a bit off topic so to say.

    I find that I really like the in depth stuff and things that are a bit longer rather than shorter stuff in en general.

    I am glad that your moving close to what you want to have happen in 2012!

  85. Patty Lennon says:

    I think many of us noticed and cared enough about you to give you the space for whatever reason you were taking it. At least I did.

  86. Jonathan ~ Funny, actually I DID notice. But b/c I’m keeping up with you on other fronts I had assumed it was intentional and, frankly understandable given everything on your plate and given what’s brewing in your vision for the next leg. Was I worried? No. Was I disappointed not to see any fresh content? Of course.

    I tried something similar back in July and similarly felt as if I came out ahead (and refreshed!). Thanks for your cool analyses, too. I always learn from how you think.

    And I’m a fan of the essai/essay ~ so if that’s your new metier, I’m all for it.

    Cheers and best to on this next leg!

  87. Pamela Slim says:

    I do notice because I stalk you on FB (all platforms really) and realize you had not posted in awhile.

    Was I worried? Not in the least bit.

    For better or for worse, I have never worried about the amount of times I post per week. I love to write, so when I make the time, it is awesome and fun. But when things get busy, I give myself permission to chill for awhile. I know that my readers have plenty more content to consume, and are probably as glad for a break as I am.

    Since I assume you are a renegade, I suggest creating, then breaking your own rules.

    Change the world, that is what you are best at.

    Love you whether you post or not,

    -P

  88. […] might have noticed, I took a bit of an extended break from blogging. I suppose you could say that I abandoned my blog. It wasn’t exactly intentional; I’ve just been busy with other things as of late. […]

  89. Eliza says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Finding the balance between creating great work and reading great work can be tricky and with all the incredible information out there I sometimes find myself perpetually trying to keep up and forgetting the importance of tuning in to my own creation.
    I love what you write and don’t want to miss out on another great thing you will say, but I do have to say I am happy to hear of the change. It will help me take pressure off myself to read every post and instead focus on my work. And future posts now will become more of a priority for me.
    I think the change is in alignment with what you are teaching and I look forward to continuing learning from you. Thank you!

  90. Eric says:

    I think that only a small group of people will notice when another person makes a change in their routine. This goes for internet blogging as well as real life I think. The small group of people that notices can be called friends or true followers. These people are fans and would probably keep following you anyway. The majority of people are just passers by looking for something new and creative. Therefor it doesn’t surprise me that much that your absence doesn’t greatly affect the amount of visitors you attract.

  91. Laura Zera (@laurazera) says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    You know, I noticed that you’d gone quiet, but assumed it was because you were uber busy. I know that they say consistency is important in blogging, but I also believe that things come up and sometimes something’s got to give. I like what you said about content over being prolific, and from a reader standpoint, I’d rather see something really good on an infrequent basis than a regular post just to be consistent.

    Question: with the purchase of Uncertainty, there was going to be a six-week telecoaching session as part of the bundle, but I haven’t heard anything about that. Is that still going to happen? I hope so!

    Thanks for all that you do.

  92. Elaine Bylos says:

    Re-evaluation is always a good thing – all the best with whatever path you decide on. I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed your authenticity and honesty.

  93. Chris Shouse says:

    At some point I would have wanted to know where the heck you went, I so enjoy your posts and this is my first post. I am sure there are a lot of people like me who just enjoy you and never give back to you. (I admit to being selfish) Your insights and generous heart would be a great loss to me. While I would have noticed I have not been reading my email too much because besides working 2 jobs I take care of my mother. She has been very ill, in and out of the hospital since early summer. I will look forward to all of your posts no matter how many it is and look forward to them.

  94. Jonathan Fields says:

    Hey gang,

    Thanks for all the input, very valuable. Part of my experimenting over the next few months will also be in the format I leverage to create and share ideas. Under consideration beyond the weekly Q&A videos I mentioned are podcasting, livestreaming and more so stay tuned.

    I also accept the occasional guest post and I’m considering making that more of a regular feature as well, since I love being able to share other, often newer voices, with the community, the way certain established bloggers did with me when I was earlier to the game.

    One other thing, even though I’ll likely pull back on the blog, that doesn’t actually mean I’ll be writing less, it just means that writing will be channeled either into more in-depth essays as well as more content development off the blog.

    Thanks, as always, for the wonderful support, conversation and community you’ve all built here. It’s a true gift!

  95. Jen says:

    I noticed you weren’t around. I wondered what was up and figured you must be doing off line work. I thought it was good and it inspired me to get my off line hustle on a little stronger.

    I recently changed webhosts and lost my old content. I’m not sure if it’s totally a bad thing for the reason you mentioned…not all of it was about depth as much as churning stuff out. The good stuff can be bundled in a “best of”… the rest can go. Anyhow, I think it’s a great idea to spread posts out and provide depth. I have found that I get burned out from writing too much for the sake of having something up. Also, if the goal of a post is to provide insight or information that promotes growth, enlightenment, and/or change, I think we owe it to readers to give them time to process and roll it around before we smack them again with our genius.

    Given the degree of resonance around the blogsphere, it sounds like a new phase in blogging. I wonder if the medium and it’s users are maturing into a comfortable space…

  96. This is the first time I’ve read your blog and it’s because I saw you Tweeting this post.

    I’ve been having the same discussion with myself. I’m in the same position you are – I make money writing, and my blog definitely helps attract new clients, but is it really worth the effort?

    I’ve been experimenting with different posting schedules and different techniques lately, trying to find the best mix. I’d much rather not have to worry about the blog at all but I’m still in ‘analysis’ mode.

    Glad you’ve found a solution that works for you. And thanks for sharing. It’s a big help!

  97. Jules Vilmur says:

    “I don’t write to be prolific, I write to make a difference.”

    It is so easy to get caught up in the “I’ve got to throw SOMETHING up there.” mode, but coming back to that particular truth is something we should all remember to do. That it also reaps benefits in visits, traffic and subscriptions is like icing on the cake.

  98. Karl Staib says:

    I did notice that you stopped posting, but I thought you were just exhausted from a book launch. I’m glad you took the time to reevaluate how you connect with people. I too am looking to focus my time on bigger projects that make an impact and this article helps confirm this feeling.

    You’ve been so generous with how you grow within your business and this article is no different. I’m just glad you aren’t stopping. We need Jonathan’s insights on a consistent basis. Even if that means once a week or once a month.

  99. Aaron says:

    Dear Jonathan,

    Your experiment is an interesting one. No, I had not noticed you disappeared and I don’t think that mattered. I get so many emails which I don’t have either the time or inclination to read that I sometimes wish I could shut down my email inbox.

    I can definitely say I am not working in the sweet spot of my authentic genius. That’s probably because I don’t know where my genius lies. I feel both sad and frustrated that I’m not fulfilling my personal potential.

    The question I hope you can help me answer is, where do I go from here?

  100. Hi J,

    I batch read so I didn’t notice until I checked in this month;) Thinking of you lots as I am reading your book in the hope of improving my output and productivity next year. Surprised to read that, like me, you don’t feel as if you achieved as much as you should/could have this year.

    I am also thinking of taking a blogging break for the same reasons as you. Plus of course we have a 6 week school holiday over Dec/Jan so I would rather spend that time hanging out with my kids than working and there is nothing more important than them.

    Blogging is a tricky one. On one hand it has brought me immeasurable joy and success. On the other it is draining my time and energy.

    Here’s hoping we can all find a balance in 2012:)

    PS. Loving the book so far. Will give more feedback when I’ve finished it!

  101. carrie says:

    I would say that judging by the number of comments here, you have a fairly strong online community and should not be concerned about the frequency of your posting. Most bloggers I know would be happy to get just a handful of comments on a post like this one. I wonder if you feel the experience of publishing your latest book has increased awareness of your brand, at the very least, so you don’t have to blog so often if you’re busy with other stuff. That’s usually why people publish books.

    I recently took a break from my blog due to other work that came in, but now feel refreshed coming back to it again.

    I also don’t like it when bloggers apologize for not blogging, I’m not sure why. So I’m glad you didn’t!

    ps. you can’t always judge by readers’ silence, that they are noticing of not noticing your posting or not. A few of my favorite bloggers have stopped publishing in recent years, and I never said anything formally, I just figured they had moved on.

  102. ELizabeth Harrington says:

    I did notice…that is why I came and looked for you on this quiet Sunday morn….reading through some of the comments has been very valuable as well. I agree that many of us are reflecting on what worked and what didn’t and doesn’t. Thanks for putting the question out there. I am definitely drawing back. I want quality now and will be having a “short( er) list to review and keep on top of. YOU? On the top of the list! Now..I now I have been using your quotes on Social Media and promoting you, your words and of course your new book Uncertainty-reading it, quoting from it, and plain loving it, so in fact have been helping promote you. This is the the best way after all, isn’t it?

  103. […] fact, this post by Jonathan Fields really struck a chord with me: If you’ve been in the tribe for a while, you’ve likely noticed a […]

  104. yeeeee-hawww! Great post, and so important. I’ve just just started blogging, and while I feel that I need to get content up on the regular, I love knowing that down the road, I can lay off a bit and put my focus on other things.

    Thanks!

  105. […] And you’re not the only one struggling with this. In fact, I’ve seen a number of posts lately about bloggers who are grappling with this very issue. […]

  106. John Sherry says:

    I didn’t notice Jonathan because I have been too. I find that social media, blogging duties, and online activity has been fast eroding into my life and time. I noticed that for all the extra hours it had chewed away, it produced only a 3% gain in subscribers and 8% in traffic. That set against a 50% loss of the weekend, peace and relaxation for the mind, and the chance to enjoy some pastimes and down time, so I decided to be more offline more of the time. Real life is going on without me…my life! Already the pleasure levels are up and I actually feel more productive and creative. Don’t do more, do less, but do it better!

  107. Hi Jonathan,

    I’ve been pondering this same issue for a while. All of the “experts” tell you that you have to blog ‘x’ number of times per week, but what is that really based on? More importantly, can you or I or anyone for that matter make a real difference writing 2 to 5 times per week, or are we just making more noise to add to the internet cacophony?

    I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to write content, books, articles, etc. with depth and conviction, it’s necessary to write less frequently. I’m sure it’s difficult to write a book like you’ve recently written while also blogging multiple times per week. But what provides more value? I’m voting for the book.

    Good luck with everything you do, and I hope this works out for you. I’m also going to join you on the post less but more wagon for 2012.

    Thanks!

  108. […] might have noticed, I took a bit of an extended break from blogging. I suppose you could say that I abandoned my blog. It wasn’t exactly intentional; I’ve just been busy with other things as of late. […]

  109. Yin Li says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Yes, I did the same here – just a bit longer than you, few months 🙂

    I was very surprised at the number of sign up had increased almost double. My “tribe” was posting on my facebook page asking me where am I, sending me birthday wishes asking me to “come back” 🙂

    At the end of the day, it is not the numbers that count. It is how much I have contributed, and how much I have helped to make a difference in people’s life.

    – Yin Li

  110. […] But I’m reminded of a recent post in which successful entrepreneur/author Jonathan Fields discusses his decision to blog less frequently so he can create greater depth and quality, greater value, with each post. “I write to make a […]

  111. Irene Ross says:

    I did notice, especially because I so look forward to reading your stuff–but I figured A) you were either busy writing another book or B) you might have been out of the country.

    This post, though, really comes at a great time for me. I’ve been examining it, and the old rules about the number of times you should post just never seemed very sustainable to me. I believe–and probably always will–that “content is king.” I don’t criticize those who do it, but I just can’t write the “stream of consciouness” posts. Since I do a lot of time-consuming interviewing and researching, I just can’t keep that up for five posts a week–or else, I’d never have time for the rest of my businesses.

  112. Alexis Neely says:

    Jonathan,

    I’m really glad to read this. I’ve been thinking about you lately as I have taken an unplanned major break from posting on my blog as I clean up some major messes from last year. And the thoughts I’ve had of you were wonder — such as, “I wonder how Jonathan does it. I wonder how he writes a book, parents his children, loves his wife, runs a business AND posts on his blog so frequently.”

    I’m glad to hear that it’s not just me that it’s unsustainable for because somehow that makes me feel better.

    Looking forward to reading your annual report.

    Love,
    A

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hey Ali – nope, you’re very much not alone. Comes a time where we all have to make decisions and try a different approach. Whether it’s the one that’ll work or not, who knows, but better to be in motion toward something good than sitting with something bad

  113. Mike Thomas says:

    Blog or not. You are an inspiration.

  114. I can’t say that I noticed your absence because I am relatively new to your blog. But I am more impressed each time I visit. Class A.
    I do a blog myself and, while my content is quality, by blog presentation is kind of hokey. But, I am focused on my purpose, which is to share what I have learned and am learning, with anyone in the world who wants to partake of it.
    Am I in that sweet spot you described? Sometimes. I know it by how I feel when I am writing—it flows. I feel immersed. It comes naturally. It isn’t forced. That’s my answer to “how do you know”.
    I also have recently cut back on my frequency of posts. Now I am doing about 6 a month. Some are very short, some very long.
    I have a small following so I don’t know if they would miss me if I were gone. I had a nice compliment from one of my Followers recently which included saying that he liked my posts because they were “honest”. I liked that and found it an interesting piece of feedback. Anyway, I will write until I feel emptied of offerings.

  115. raj says:

    I am new to your blog but i find it relevant and informative thanks…keep writing your great content ..quality is better than quantity