A couple of weeks ago, I explored how long – or how short – our blog posts should be.This week I’m wondering how many posts we should be publishing – and how often.
How Frequently Should You Publish a Blog Post?
Once a week? Two or three times a week? Daily? Once or twice a month?
When I set up this site, the trainer on a course I attended advised us to write several posts a week – of no more than about 500 words, of course. I baulked at that, because I knew I couldn’t churn out more than one or two posts a week, at the most. However, I know I’m a slow writer, and also a bit of a perfectionist – the editing and proofreading process always takes me ages – and I realise that for many bloggers, writing several posts a week isn’t such a big deal. But it was for me.
However, it would appear that frequency does matter. My good friend Adrienne Smith has just shared an infographic about blogs, claiming businesses that blog at least 20 times a month generate five times more traffic than those that blog less than 4 times a month.
Susan Gunelius, in the About.com guide to blog posting frequency, suggests that:
- For maximum growth in traffic, bloggers should post 3-5 times a day (or more!).
- For “steady growth”, we should post at least once a day.
- For “slower growth” we should post at least 2-3 times a week.
Gunelius concludes that anyone who posts less frequently than that must be no more than a “hobby” blogger, with no strategic plan to drive traffic. So maybe I’d better pack up and go home, because I’m not even going to make it with the tortoises in the “slower growth” contingent.
But, wait a minute…
According to this criteria, the esteemed Jon Morrow, who currently publishes only 2 or 3 posts a month on his blog Boost Blog Traffic, which gets 500 – 1000 new subscribers a week, is doing it for a hobby? Mmmm…… I don’t think so.
Similarly, Greg Ciotti of Sparring Mind seems to post infrequently to his blog, but allegedly has thousands of subscribers and his posts usually get hundreds of tweets.
I’ve also recently come across a guest post by Bruce McAlary on Problogger, one of the top blogging sites, in praise of “Slow Blogging”. As a natural-born slow-coach, I must say I like the sound of that!
By the way, tortoises can live a long time – and get very, very BIG!
Bruce suggests we should “write less and say more” - he recommends you should “wait until you have something interesting to say before hitting Publish.”
However, he emphasises that this approach isn’t about being lackadaisical:
And this brings me onto the related question we need to address:
How Consistently Should You Post On Your Blog?
Many bloggers publish religiously to a fixed schedule, on certain days of the week, and clearly feel this is an important principle. I’ve often heard it said this kind of consistency is crucial if you’re going to succeed.
The main advantages are that it helps to maintain your profile and encourages readers to visit and comment on your posts, because they know exactly when to expect them. It also ensures you’re regularly adding new content to your blog, which is likely to please the search engines as well as your readers.
The disadvantage is that it can start to feel like you’re on a treadmill – at least, that’s been my personal experience.
A few months ago, I made a commitment to publish a post every week on a certain day. However, I then went through a period when I found this very difficult to maintain, for all sorts of reasons. I started to feel the weekly posting schedule had become an end in itself, which was hampering me from making progress on other important priorities, both online and offline.
So, with some trepidation and, I’ll admit, feeling a bit of a “failure”, I made a conscious decision to jump off the train for a while.
It was the right thing for me to do at the time, and I’m not going to promise I’ll never do it again, but I realise a lot of other bloggers may disapprove.
That experience has also made me reflect on a broader point about the dangers of hard and fast blogging “laws”. While we need to heed the advice of experienced bloggers, we should be wary of rigid guidelines, which may or may not be appropriate for our personal circumstances. It concerns me that some newbie bloggers have it drilled into them that “thou shalt publish a 500 word blog post at least twice a week” – no matter what?
Will the God of Blogging (or the Great Lord Google) consign you to obscurity – or the bottom of the search results – if you disobey this Commandment?
Over to you – what do you think?
- How often should we publish to our blogs?
- Should we commit to publishing, like clockwork, according to a regular schedule?
- Is there a danger, as Bruce McAlary suggests, that if we put pressure on ourselves to publish too frequently, we just end up “adding to the noise”?
- Is it OK to vary the frequency of our posts?
I’m hoping this post will stimulate some lively debate, so do feel free to disagree with me (I love an argument!) Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think, particularly if you have strong views about this.
As ever, many thanks for reading this post and don’t forget to share it with your followers and friends, if you think they’d enjoy it.
All good wishes,
Filed under: Blogging Tips
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