Should You Save Your Best Content Till You've Got a Big Audience?
When you're starting out at blogging and your audience is small, it can be tempting to save your best content to publish when you've got more readers to impress.
It's been a long time since I started, so don't remember whether I ever held any content back. But I certainly remember times when I published something I felt deserved to be read by more people that I expected would see it.
Was that content wasted? Should I have held it back for a while?
Over at Daily Blog Tips, Bamboo Forest wrote:
Never, ever save your best stuff for later.
If you don't want to publish your finest material because you have a small audience then submit it as a guest post.
In the comment section of [a Copyblogger post], Raul Sim wrote:
"Holding your best ideas keep your head stuck on that ideas. Without publishing them you can't generate new greater ideas, because you are full..."
I like the suggestion of submitting it as a guest post. I wish I'd thought of that a long time ago! (My inner Homer Simpson is saying "Doh! Doh! Doh!" right now.) Your blog may not have many readers. So submit it to a blog that does.
Has Your Writing Peaked Already?
Raul's point is also good. But perhaps even more to the point: do you really think you'll never come up with another great article?
With time and experience, you're writing will improve. The day may even come that you look back at your favorite posts and realize they weren't so hot after all.
It's Not Gone Once It's Published.
One final argument in favor of publishing now: just because you don't have many readers when you first publish an article, that doesn't mean the content is going to be gone when you do have more readers.
Sure, not many people will go digging back through your blog archives. But guess what. You can. Someday when your reader count is up, write a post that introduces and links back to your old masterpiece. Or rewrite it, adding new stories and insights.
The latest post on John Carlton's blog is one of these:
I'm recycling a post from a little while back, because it's on a subject that can never be discussed too many times.
Here's the post (with a few edits and some added stuff):
If John Carlton can repeat himself, you can too.
If You Still Can't Bear To Let It Go...
Well, you've gotta get over that. Here's a suggestion that may help.
If you can't stand the thought of your masterpiece not being seen, spend a little time hyping it up to what readers you have before you publish. Tell them you've got a really important article coming up on such-and-such a day, that you want them to be watching for.
Tell them that a few times.
Pull a publicity stunt to pump up your visibility, even if just temporarily.
Then, on the day you publish it, ask them to share it with their friends.
Shoot a video of yourself reading or introducing it and post it to YouTube. Link to your blog from the description.
Link to it from your social media profiles and ask people to retweet or "Like" it or whatever.
In short, treat this content launch like a product launch.
If you don't feel comfortable doing that, then ask yourself, is it really as good as you think it is? If not, just publish it.