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So you’re thinking about publishing more? If you’re like me, it’s fun to entertain the thought of sending more newsletters, doing more artwork, publishing more blog posts, or recording more podcasts.
Wouldn’t it be great to be more prolific?
Yes, but if you go about it the wrong way, you’ll get yourself into a mess of trouble.
Today, I talk about increasing the frequency of your output: how to know the right time, and if you should do it at all.
A Fraction of the Action
You probably see other people doing something at a higher rate than you are:
- Maybe it’s a twice a week podcast
- Maybe it’s a daily video show
- Maybe it’s a weekly newsletter
- Maybe it’s a new piece of artwork every day
It sounds really great. You like the idea of bumping up your output and getting to that next level.
No doubt, putting out more content on a regular basis is going to have a significant affect on the impact you have with your audience. You’re looking up to those people for a reason. There’s a reason they came to mind—you know them because they are prolific.
- But should you publish more?
- Is it the right time?
- How do you know when that time is?
- When should you increase your frequency?
Let’s go back to why you want to do this. You like the idea of this. Imagining doing a daily blog post or posting new artwork every morning sounds awesome. You know people doing it, they’re successful, and you want to get to that level.
I think this is an admirable aspiration.
What I find is that this dream is typically a bit outside the realm of reality for wherever I’m at. If it was easily doable, I’d probably already be doing it. The reason I’m not is because it’s probably really hard. I like the idea, but I’m not taking the action.
In fact, here’s the biggest problem: I’m not even taking a fraction of the action.
The way you know that you only like the idea of accomplishing something is when you’re not even doing a fraction of it in reality.
You know what’s harder than dreaming of doing something every day?
Actually doing it once a week.
Small actions are what yield progress.
I often find when I get in this place, the loftiness of the idea keeps me from accomplishing even a fraction of it.
For instance, I really like the idea of doing a daily video show, but I haven’t even been doing a weekly video lately.
When’s the right time to increase the frequency?
You have to prove to yourself that this degree of frequency can be maintained.
Only increase if you know that you can sustain that frequency of output.
Consistency is more important than frequency. Now, I say that with the caveat of weekly being your minimum. If you’re going to do something, do it at least weekly. Any less than that will be extremely difficult to gain traction.
Think about how powerful it is to consistently put something out every Wednesday. Compare that to sometimes being able to do several times a week and other times skipping a week or two. You’re not going to build momentum with inconsistency.
People think in weekly terms. They see their schedule in weekly chunks and each week it resets. Getting inside that weekly cycle on a regular basis is key. You want to convey your reliability with your audience. Don’t make them think. Is it a Wednesday? There’s new content.
When you try to do something like every other week, it breeds confusion. You’re making your audience think. Is it the second week? Did they miss a week? Will they make up for it next week, or two weeks from now?
Too much confusion.
Building the Queue
Here’s the question: Are you able to commit to it without fail?
Coming up with the answer is easy. Of course, words are cheap. Saying and doing are two completely different things. It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll maintain a greater output, but actually doing that is another matter entirely.
You have to actually prove it to yourself. You have to answer this question of commitment with action, not words.
The way you do this is by creating at this greater frequency on schedule for an extended period of time without publishing.
That last part is the hard part. It removes all of the romance of the idea. The perceived glamor of being a person who publishes at a greater frequency is gone because you’re not allowing yourself to publish yet.
You have to first build a queue of materials. You’re not allowed to schedule them until you fill the queue.
How big of a queue should you have before you increase?
2 weeks’ worth of output would be the minimum. 4 or 6 weeks would be ideal.
That means if you want to do a daily blog, you need a minimum of 10 whole posts written and edited before you begin to schedule them.
If you think that’s too much, then you’re probably not serious enough to increase your frequency. If you’re going to do this, you need to be in it for the long haul. If you’re in it for the long haul, 6 weeks won’t seem like a lot.
This is why even when I hire a video guy, I’ll be producing a minimum of 10 fully edited videos before I even start to publish my daily show.
Small Actions > Big Aspirations
How great does the idea of working out 5x a week sound? It sounds really good, but if you’re not even working out once a week in practice, it does you absolutely no good.
Having big dreams is awesome, just make sure that you prove to yourself that you’re willing to back them up with small actions.