Good Day Class,

What an exciting treat we have today. Not only is Bamboo Forest of the fabulous blog, Pun Intended making a return appearance as substitute teacher (guest writer), but he has brought along his latest invention; a free online timer we can all use to monitor not only our online activities, but any chore or activity we’d like to time.

Without further ado, I’ll take a seat next to you and enjoy today’s lesson.

The floor is yours, Bamboo.

Hi Class,

It’s great to be here again.

I’m well aware time is of the essence, so let’s get started.

* * * * *

I used to be concerned when publishing something I was thrilled with while having so few subscribers and so little outreach.

I would tell myself I’m being wasteful publishing my best stuff for just a few people.

Even worse, whatever great article (at least to me) I do publish under these circumstances is going to get buried beneath the hundreds of posts it’ll take to grow a large audience.

But then it hit me. I have it all wrong.

It doesn’t matter!

Today’s Lesson

Publishing your “best stuff” now, while you’re small, builds your creative muscles so that later on you’re capable of far greater things.

It’s like weight lifting.

When you start out, you’re only capable of lifting so much. With consistent practice, however, you’re able to lift even more. But here’s the thing: You have to lift more now to be able to lift more later.

See what I’m talking about?

Look at any accomplished blogger. Brian Clark, Leo Babauta, Chris Brogan, you name it… I bet they never saved any of their best stuff for later. They published it as soon as they could. And by doing so they’ve grown into the wickedly skillful bloggers they are today.

Holding back your best stuff for later won’t get you there.

Another advantage of publishing your best material now is it puts pressure on you to continue publishing only the best you can.

For example, let’s say you just posted an amazing article that knocks everyone’s socks off. Doing so has set a standard for your blog. You’re telling your readers what to expect and there’s no turning back now. You’ve put yourself in a position where not only your readers expect more from you, but you expect more from yourself, too.

That’s the kind of pressure you probably want.

If developing into the most skillful blogger possible is high on your agenda, think twice about saving your best for later.

Today’s Assignment

Have you ever felt regretful publishing your best material while having a small audience?

Is there ever a time to save a great piece for later?

Raise your hand and share your thoughts.


Bamboo Forest created an online timer that makes bloggers ridiculously productive. He also writes for Pun Intended, a blog that’s hilarious and enlightening.

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  1. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara & Bamboo.
    Good question. In my experience, what you think is your best might not be received as your best, and what you think is mediocre might be raved about. It’s hard to tell because we’re so close to our own writing. I say, just put it out there. If a blogger is riding the wave and has some drafts saved up, they at least have the luxury of mixing things up a bit.

    Knowing me, lol… if I were to save a post for later; one that I considered “my best” I would keep editing it and it might never get published :-D
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt =-.

    • It’s true. One can actually edit too much. Though, I think that’s probably a rare problem. But it can certainly happen. Probably a better problem, though, than editing too little.

      Your mention of being so close to our writing is rather interesting. I have had times when I thought something was just so so, and it ended up being well received. It really can be difficult to judge our own writing.

  2. Deb DorchakNo Gravatar says:

    Save what? The moment an idea for a post comes wandering by I have to jump on it and just run like I stole it!

    I frequently run into the opposite problem. I’m often thinking for days and days on what to write about. That’s a lot of thinking. And watching, and observing, and reading. Eventually I’ll find the right perspective and give something a twist.

    BUT! The wait for me is worth it and I manage to come up with good stuff.
    .-= Check out Deb Dorchak´s awesome post: (Self) Publish or (Self) Perish? =-.

    • DavinaNo Gravatar says:

      LOL, Deb you make me laugh. I’m visualizing a superhero blogger now, running for all they’re worth, pages of journal notes clutched in their fists and stuffed in every pocket imaginable… with a crazed look on their face. If you have time, you should check out DDB Canada’s website (advertising). Their graphics show ‘big ideas’ chasing little ideas, wrestling with them and dragging them across the screen and such.
      .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt =-.

    • Yes, run like you stole it! :)

      I actually have many things saved up before they get completely polished and published. Though, I do like your style. Cool you’re not sitting on anything; when you think of something good, you just go with it.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: Pun Intended is Over =-.

  3. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bamboo,

    Like Davina mentioned, I have also had posts I thought were good, but weren’t received well; and posts I didn’t think were good, but were a huge hit. It’s like, “how do we know?”

    When I first started blogging I thought of saving posts, but then I’d have days when I didn’t know what to publish so I would dig one of those out of my drafts. Soon I had none left.

    Now….I have just a few drafts which need more research that you could say I’m “saving” (but only due to time issues), but otherwise, I’m like Deb, running with an idea as soon as it hits.

    BTW: I LOVE your online timer. I bought a kitchen timer I keep on my desk, but I like your idea much better. Ingenious!

    • Yes, it’s really interesting when something you thought wasn’t so good is well received and vice versa.

      Thank you. I simply realized that a timer with the emphasis I put on it simply didn’t exist on the internet. I made it my mission to change that. I use the timer myself, all the time.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: Pun Intended is Over =-.

  4. Hi,

    Publish what you think is “best” now. Who cares if nobody cares today? In a couple of years when you’re famous and stressed, browse through your old posts and publish a “new and improved” second edition.
    .-= Check out Miguel de Luis´s awesome post: Una perspectiva incómoda =-.

  5. Hi Bamboo & Barbara,

    I have nothing to save. I have many partial posts or seeds of posts started but I really don’t think all that much about holding one back. When I take the time to finish one that pupppy is getting published.

    Have I written good stuff early that didn’t get much play? Yep, I think we all have. But we can always take it down, edit it and post it anew.

    It’s interesting how much the blogging world has transformed since I began in 07. Social media has truly changed the game in many ways. Thanks for making me think.
    .-= Check out Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s awesome post: Four Ways To Be Who You Really Are =-.

  6. Hi Ladies,

    I have to say that I have never held back anything because I felt I had a small audience. I run with it when the thought happens.

    I have done what Tom suggest though if I thought something could bear repeating – edit and post anew. Good, helpful content can always be revisited and shared again.
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: 7 Time Management Tips To Enhance Your Business =-.

  7. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I completely agree. I recently wrote a similar post comparing blogging to exercise. I guess great minds think alike.

    I think we can also uncover our buried posts by doing round-up posts. I have never really done a round up but have been toying with the idea recently. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

    The only way I hold back is by posting on a schedule. Some days I feel inspired and write two or three posts. I will save those posts and release them gradually so that my time is freed up to do other things and I don’t necessarily have to write a blog post every day.
    .-= Check out Chase March´s awesome post: We’re All In a Book =-.

  8. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I can never predict day-to-day what I’m going to write about. I can predict even less the number of comments I’ll receive.

    I just go with the flow….

  9. Sam LiuNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Bamboo and Barbara,

    When I first started blogging and had very few readers, I was anxious about publishing some work that I had spent a while creating and was very proud of. I was worried, like you, that if I published it now, it would never be read. In the end, I did publish it and managed to overcome my worries.

    Your reasoning is logical, understandable and I totally agree with it. Set yourself a standard as a blogger and strive to maintain it, I feel this is a good ethos to have as an online publisher. Good lesson and good advice, thank you :)
    .-= Check out Sam Liu´s awesome post: Here One Day, Gone The Next =-.

  10. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    It’s official: Bamboo is a cool name for the author of such a cool guest post! :)

    Okay, that’s enough sucking up from me… on with the point. :P

    I try not to worry about saving my best stuff because I never know what that is. I try to do the best I can with every post so that hopefully anyone who visits Trottersville won’t feel like it was a waste of their time. Seriously, I’m grateful that anyone keeps coming back to my little blog at all!

    Always try to push yourself when it comes to the creative, no matter what the arena or the size of the audience. It’s like you say, Bamboo… it can only make you lift your game and get better at what you do. That’s what I want to do. :)
    .-= Check out Tony Single´s awesome post: The Toolmaker Pauses =-.

    • I tend to like my name too :)

      Good attitude, striving to ensure all your stuff is high quality so that when anyone lands on your blog, they’ll be glad they did.

      I like how you word it… pushing yourself creatively. You really do have to push, because I think being creative is a challenge.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: Pun Intended is Over =-.

  11. AshNo Gravatar says:

    Great post. Remember: there’s always the possibility of re-publishing updated content at an old URL. Posts may need to be updated over time and it gives you an opportunity to bring awareness of your post to your new readers.

    Not only that, but you can provide a list of your favorite (read best) posts so as your audience grows, your best posts are prominently displayed.
    .-= Check out Ash´s awesome post: Artist Profile: Ray Schloss =-.

  12. Oh my goodness, Bamboo! This concept has certainly crossed my mind! To hoard or not to hoard, that is the question. :)

    I think in general you should just let your best stuff rip no matter how big or small your audience!! Because I do believe there is ALWAYS more best stuff to come inside us. I think we feel more inspired for more great stuff too when we set it loose.

    And sending out great stuff to a small audience is the BEST way to get a bigger audience! Peeps will notice, and tell others about you.

    Now… maybe sometimes if you have something big going on on your blog, you can post soemthing strategic, or save a great post just for rainy days.

    Yet, as Davina says, how can we really know what is our best or not. Just keeping putting the great energy out — and it will come back bigger and better than every imagined.

    • You write,

      “Because I believe there is ALWAYS more best stuff to come inside us.”

      My sentiments exactly. Well said. Probably the primary reason not to hold anything back.

      I do think there may be rare times it could be wise to save a great post. For example, you could save a great post that you would publish once your guest post went live.

      But for the most part, I’m all for publishing your best stuff, right now.
      .-= Check out Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s awesome post: Pun Intended is Over =-.

  13. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and Bamboo .. I have loads of notes .. but once I start writing I just write – research as I write .. and often change the post subject a little – my eclectic mind. Sometimes I think oh dear not too good – just post anyway .. then I gave rave reviews .. so as you say you never know what will ‘tickle peoples’ fancy’ (if that’s ok in globalese?).

    So – no don’t save for later .. it’s turned up for now – so make it now! I must however get ahead of myself, which would have been helpful while my mother and uncle have been ill – but I failed to get ahead .. trying to do it a bit now.

    Good thought process and loved everyone’s comments .. thanks – Hilary
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Folklore Notes and report back on Great British Garden Bird Watch =-.

  14. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Ah, another topic that hits close to home. I can definitely relate as I still consider myself fairly new at this, and like others, my fear has been that my “best stuff” will go unnoticed while I try and grow my audience. As has also been noted, it’s not always up to us what constitutes our best work. I do like the idea of reworking old material with a new look for new readers.

    As far as saving stuff goes, I started this to have an outlet for whatever inspires me at the moment, so when I have something that is important (to me at least) up it goes. I keep a list of ideas for future posts, and weekly features fill a couple days. The closest I come to saving a post would be for an occasion like a holiday or special event.

  15. Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, I never cosidered this! I guess I’ve always tried to give my absolute best all the time so there are not ever ‘better’ posts to keep back for later. I believe that in order to build a following the content has to be great all the time. That’s why I keep coming back here! Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy
    .-= Check out Mandy Allen´s awesome post: Do you feel famous? =-.

  16. I agree with Davina – you never really know, so should just publish any content you produce right away.
    .-= Check out vered | professional blogger´s awesome post: The Wow Factor: Is It Ruining Our Culture? =-.

  17. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Bamboo,

    Give your best, give it always. Anything less and you are cheating yourself and your readers.

    Good job on this!

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: I Publish Thee, I Publish Thee Not =-.

  18. Admittedly I didn’t read all the comments above – if this is a duplicate, I apologize.

    Publishing everything right away also leads to an awesome technique not widely known by beginners and often forgotten by the more seasoned…

    Republishing older posts for newer readers.

    This should be done every so often, either by number of posts, or months in between. ;)
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing´s awesome post: DEDC Remains DoFollow – BUT… =-.

  19. Hi Bamboo,
    When I guest post I work harder on getting it good, interesting and dynamic. Then when I’m finished I think “This is so good I need to keep it for my blog”

    I never do but the temptation is there! We hold back out of fear…no other reason.
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: Emotional Cleansing for Freedom and Joy =-.

  20. Dr. KalNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t typically save my best stuff for later. I save them for guest posts. I figure I will wow the reader with my guest posts. Then I’ll disappoint them later with my regular posts. ;)
    .-= Check out Dr. Kal´s awesome post: How To Lose Weight Fast =-.

  21. borisNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara and Bamboo,
    That lesson is true!
    Now is the only time that we have to do anything worthy, including publishing our best post.
    .-= Check out boris´s awesome post: When the student is ready, the teacher is evident =-.

  22. vikumNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and Bamboo,

    It says ” now or never” . A great one indeed. And I totally agree with you. When I dig some great blogs, with the purpose of knowing how were they doing in their early times, I noticed what you’ve said in many times.
    And you have justified really really well of publishing great content now, not later.
    Great lesson Bamboo ! Learnt the value of it more than ever.
    Thanks a lot !
    .-= Check out vikum´s awesome post: 6 Biggest holes in my clock =-.

  23. BradNo Gravatar says:

    I think you shouldn’t save your posts for later…unless you created a list of them and need to put them off as to not spam your blog.

    As by the time you get tons of followers the content could be largely out of date.
    .-= Check out Brad´s awesome post: Battle Of The Search Engines =-.

  24. katinkaNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve never saved a post till later. I don’t think it’s good reasoning anyhow: how on earth are you going to build an audience if you don’t have good stuff on your site?

    I do plan my posts, but that means sometimes it gets published the next day instead of the day it was written on. I’ve never even postponed publishing a post more than a week.

    As for guest posts – they should be good, but the ones offered to my blog were never very good at all.
    .-= Check out katinka´s awesome post: Why is self control important? =-.

  25. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with the weight lifting concept and also with Davina about never knowing what is a block buster and what is a lack luster – I am too close….

    I have a huge draft writing folder, writings contained within are over edited all the time….so I usually am writing only about one post ahead of pushing the publish button….because my IT does all that work for me and she needs time between her busy work schedule and her class schedule.

    I do also have many things I would not dream of publishing ever! that I have written….but it was good to write it :)

    I admire all the work that folks do and try to be a great blog reader on line….

    Wow Bamboo and Barbara…this was a good post…fun ponders
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: Vacationing Vicariously =-.

  26. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Agreed
    Get the powerful stuff out ASAP.
    Start building a blog with quality material that people find interesting and useful – should build a sound base of visitors.

    Setting a good standard from the word go should act as motivation for future articles.
    .-= Check out Keith Davis´s awesome post: A helping hand… =-.