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Be Consistent and Useful – Thoughts on How Often to Publish on Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 15th of May 2009 Writing Content 0 Comments

In the last task of our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge I encouraged bloggers to set up a plan for the next steps in their blog. As an example I set up a hypothetical Blogging Calendar with an activity for each day of the next month. Here it is again (click to enlarge):

blog-plan.png

The calendar was only ever supposed to be a hypothetical one (although a few bloggers have adopted it) but one of the pieces of feedback I had from numerous bloggers was that they felt they’d never be able to keep up with the type of posting frequency that they saw outlined on that plan.

How Often Should You Post to Your Blog?

The question of blog posting frequency is one that I see bloggers grappling with a lot. I’ve written a couple of pages on the topic in the ProBlogger book but let me touch on it again here.

There’s no ‘Rules’ when it comes to Post Frequency

Every blog is different and will be able to sustain different levels of posting. A variety of factors come into play (including):

  • Bloggers Available Time and Energy – depending upon your situation you might only have 15 minutes a day to blog or could have hours up your sleeve.
  • Style and Length of Writing – if the majority of your posts are ‘link posts’ where you’re linking to breaking news with short posts then you can probably get through more posts per day than a blog with more in depth original thought type articles.
  • Topic – blogs on topics with lots of breaking news or wide scopes of topics will need to post more frequently to be taken seriously as a source of information on those topics.
  • Reader Demographics and Thirst for Content – some blogs seem to attract readers who either have a thirst for a lot or a little content each day. Readers can burn out on too much content – watch out for their reaction to you upping your post frequency.
  • Source of Traffic – some blogs get the vast majority of traffic from search engines while others are much more about building loyal readers. Those with loyal readers will probably need to consider post frequency more than those with search traffic as if they post too much they run the risk of alienating readers. On the flip side, if your blog is largely visited by search engine readers a higher rate of posting can work in your favor as each post creates a new entry point into your blog.
  • Reader Participation – if you have a blog with a high rate of reader participation (eg. in comments) then you may find that as you increase your rate of posting that the amount of reader interaction decreases as readers have less time to interact before content falls off the front page.

My main advice on posting frequency is to be consistent and keep the quality of your posts as high as possible.

There are successful blogs who post 20 times a day and others that are lucky to post 20 times a year – any level of post CAN work.

The problems tend to occur for bloggers when they either

  1. change their frequency (by either suddenly upping their frequency drastically or disappearing completely)
  2. or when the posting frequency begins to impact the quality of the posts

Develop a rhythm of posting that readers will become accustomed to and that you are able to sustain. If that means you post 10 useful posts a day and readers love what you’re doing then that’s fantastic. If that means you post one high quality and thought provoking post a week that gives readers something meaty to think about then that’s great too.

Further Reading: What is the Ideal Post Frequency for a Blog?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. I post 3 times a week. Since the blog is new, this gives posts enough time at top. The usual post length is between 500-1000 words and I consider it good.

    One solution I think is good to keep quality is to start a team blog. I have one and content is of good quality without straining team members. Although it has disadvantages like style variation but it has worked well for me!

  2. As a new blogger, this is something I thought about a lot before I started. I’m currently trying to post 5 times a week in order to build some content. My hope is that in six months or so, when I’ve go a good number of posts available, that I’ll reduce to three times a week.

    The only way that I can post as often as I do is to use your suggestion of “batch” writing. One or two days a week, when I have more time, I write several posts. Then each day I just edit and post. It only takes a few minutes. I like that I have some posts available for those days when I have absolutely no time. I’d feel really pressured if I had to write something every day no matter what.

    At the moment, posting every day is fun! I’m having a blast watching the blog grow from nothing into something meaningful. Thanks for all of your help in getting me there!

  3. I post 3-4 times in a week. Though, I’m trying to step it up to posting everyday. After each post is a time to prepare for the next post and a time to plan and strategise on how to make your blog better.

    It’s been fun blogging !

  4. I see The Casual Observer ( http://www.observingcasually.com ) as more of a web magazine than a blog, since we cover a lot of topics rather than a niche. We have a weekly schedule – hard news on Monday, sports on tuesday, entertainment on weekends, etc. I like the fact that my readers know that at 6:30 AM (central) every single day, there will be a new article.

    As someone who works full time and is married with a young child, it became difficult to write something every single day. So I brought a couple of friends on board to write a sports column and an entertainment column every week. This reduces my work to 5 normal articles (500-700+ words) each week, which seems like a manageable number. I’ll also toss out a couple of short (200ish words) articles every week to react to breaking news.

    Writing articles in advance is a great tactic. For example, on Saturday I will be posting a review of Cedar Point amusement park. This is not time sensitive, so I can write these sorts of things any time. The news and sports articles, though, are a bit more time sensitive, so those are written closer to publication date.

  5. I find having a weekly schedule of posts really helps because I don’t run out of ideas. I keep a list of recipes for my monday munchie day and a list of crafts for our tuesday art tasks… and so on… I just open up my editor and go on the topic of the day… It is a lot of variety so I don’t get bored and just don’t run dry of ideas because I only have to come up with four or most five ideas for each topic (day) a month. A daily post works great for us – I love blogging and wouldn’t want to face a day without it! Sometimes I sneak in an extra little post just for fun… but I try and keep it one post a day so that I actually carry on with my life as well!

  6. I have been blogging since 1 month now and have maintained a ratio of 6 posts per week however i have had times when this increased to 9 per week but that was just because of the greed to increase my content !
    I consider 6 post for 7 days good enough for a begginner, this can be decreased to 4 or maybe 3 after some months.

  7. I used to post every day on my blog, but when one blog turned to five, I obviously had to reduce my frequency. Now I post twice a week on my primary, and have experienced an increase in quality with no drop off in visits. YAY!

  8. Man, this is yet another topic I struggle with. I don’t feel like my content has been jeopardized by posting every day, however, I imagine being able to commit more time to really make things pop if I backed down a little.

    Not to mention it’s very hard to balance creating great daily content for your own site, while either submitting guest posts or launching a new e-book/product/etc… Like Darren pointed out, there’s no blanket answer. I assume it’ll be something I continue to struggle with throughout my blogging life.

  9. Helpful. Thanks.

  10. I have found that keeping a schedule works out better than most other methods that i have tried. I have tried queing posts ect but for me it works best if i lay out tasks and write as i go than just make a que or simply post when i want to. Forcing ideas is a bad idea but it is helpful to sit down and brainstorm once or twice a week.

    BTW, bought the book yesterday! Amazing so far ;)!

  11. I try for at least once a day, although I’ve gotten pretty lazy.

    BTW: “Consistant” is spelled wrong, it’s “Consistent”.

  12. My aim is to create posts everyday for newxt 2 months. I am 90% commited to this task. Some days I have to travel and it is kind have difficult to post. As long as frequency is not more than every few days then I should be alright.

  13. I havn’t built a proper calender yet nor have I cleard time to set up posts in advance. (I write off the bat at the moment) Scheduling is still a weak spot at the moment. But I have noticed that having fewer posts a week has two advantages for me:

    Fisrt: Better quality of posts (in stead of churning them out.) I could say it in different words but Jonathan over at Write to done has said it perfectly:

    “My aim with every post I write is to create content that has a high probability of becoming viral. But I do this not by writing more, but by writing less.

    If I can’t find something worth writing about, I don’t write. If it’s just a “good idea,” I don’t write about it.

    It really comes down to this: If I don’t care about what I’m doing, why should I expect other people to care?”

    I’ve adopted this strategy as of this week and it feels so much better.

    Second: I don’t feel pressure anymore about making a deadline. This feels more natural and my readers will benefit from it. I will probably loose some readers who liked my daily posting but you can’t keep every reader happy all the time. I believe this to be right strategy as pageviews and subscriptions are steadily rising.

    I’m down to around 4 posts a week now. 3 of them in the middle of the week and at the moment my weekly blogchallenge update on saturday.

    Key in all this: Quality over quantity. If you don’t have great to say, don’t say it.

  14. Darren,

    I have been blogging for seven years now. Here is an excerpt from my post, Annual Blog Report VII, of May 7:

    “I have now been blogging for seven years. My long-range goal is to become a “problogger” so I could develop my blogging from an amateur hobby level into a real part-time job. The first step toward this goal is to read the ProBlogger book that I got from Cindy King and then discuss with her what I learned from the book and how you could continue this journey. [Editor’s note: I became a pro-blogger already during my first year of blogging! ;)]”

    I have been struggling to write posts on a regular basis and I have promised myself to try to write at least a couple of posts every week. I must admit that sometimes I have had to break this “rule” and take a break for some time, but at minimum I have been writing a new post every week or so. I will try to get up to speed again and find a new way of having posts in pipeline so it will be easier to publish on timely basis. My next post that will be published this weekend will cover this issue. I will focus my future blogging on three areas: rational ideas on how to use your time by productive tools and methods so you could “get things done”, writing about “good things” in life through my “lifestream” (Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, etc.) and reviews of services and online products, and discussions on how conduct personal branding and interact with relationship marketing, thought leadership and social media.

    I have outlined a schedule on how to cover Monday – Sunday with daily posts, but I will never feel a duty or that I must post something every day.

    Monday: Open thread post.
    Tuesday: Tuesday Tech.
    Wednesday: Midweek wrap blogrolling.
    Thursday: Venting with Thor’s hammer.
    Friday: T.G.I.F. good life post.
    Saturday: Carnival blogging.
    Sunday: Future podcasts. Workflow review.

  15. Uh oh. I’ve been a bit inconsistent with my posting. But not lax.

    Posting twice a week, although inadvised by many bloggeres, works best for my energy level and allows me time for my other projects. But, of course, my readership numbers weren’t great at that rate.

    A month or two ago, I upped it to three times a week, which is pretty hard on my other work. But that boosted my numbers some.

    And then the American horse racing Triple Crown started. My readership is largely American, and Americans pay more attention to horses during the lead-up days to the Kentucky Derby, which I’ve written a bunch of stuff about.

    My hits quadrupled on the day of the race itself. I liked that, even though I figured that traffic would slip just as dramatically after the race. And it did.

    So I decided to see what happened if I posted five days a week?
    Lots of stuff has been happening to write about anyway, so I had lots to say.

    Turns out, my traffic leveled off to pre-race numbers, despite the supposedly preferable post-a-day rate. Some more readers did stuck around by signing up for the feeds, however.

    But I think I’ll go back to two or three times a week.

  16. When I first started blogging a friend (not a blogger) told me to write something everyday even if it was only “today was hot and sunny so we went to the beach for a swim” I followed his advice and I know it has been a big help for my daily reader numbers.

    Not to say that everyone needs to post so often as long as you are consistent. If i go back to a blog to many times and there are no updates, I tend to loose a bit of interest – if I knew that person posted say once a week then I would know when to check back.

    I also find guests posts are a great way to get a day off and still have fresh content up – I scheduled 2 in a row this week and was very happy to have time to catch up on other things as well give my readers a different perspective on traveling in Belize.

  17. I always tell my readers that if you have great quality than you can get away with posting once or twice a week. But if they are a half-ass article then you should be posting way more than that during the week. It also depends on on what you are writing about.

    Not all topics will allow you to write every single day during the week. It depends on what type of Blog you are running and what you are writing about.

  18. It all dependes on how many posts do you have on your schedule. Since I just started blogging, I have a list of 100 posts. So I’m dedicated to write at least 6 a week.

  19. I post 3-5 times a week.

    My posts vary from a Music video with some thoughts, to making money online, to personal stuff that happens in my life.

    Real exciting stuff.

  20. I just started this new blog CIO Inner Voice a couple of months ago and try to keep up with one post a week. So far so good and get 400 visits a week.
    Fibol

  21. There seems to be a fair bit of discussion regarding “quantity” against “quality”. I mean, ideally, we’d all be able to produce a lot of high quality work on a regular and consistent basis – but obviously, we can’t.

    So my question would be: what do you do when you’re forced to make a choice between the two? For example, I want to be able to post 6 times a week, with Saturday being a link roundup type of post – quick, short, easy. So 5 “full” posts per week. But if I only have a limited amount of time each week, do I sacrifice consistency, and only post on the days that I can find time to write, or do I sacrifice quality, and just write something to get it out there? What happens when I find time, start writing, re-read it and decide its not quite as good as I want it to be, but don’t have time to start over?

    I see benefit of both, but it is a hard choice to make.

  22. I usually post when I can think of something good to write again.

  23. I try to post 2-3 times per week, but sometimes that doesn’t always happen. I realize the problem of not posting on a regular schedule, but being a student, my offline life doesn’t always hold a regular schedule either.

    Good article and insight to determining what’s the right number. Even if I could keep up with a regularly posting schedule (I do for the most part, I suppose) I still have trouble finding how much I actually should post.

  24. I’ve just started for about a month. I’m sticking to writing high quality content-rich pillar articles. Each article averages 1,500 words.

    And MAN it’s TOUGH! I’m taking soooo much time writing, editing, re-editing, publishing, and then…. re-editing again, that I’ve managed to post only once a week. I’m REALLY tempted to just shoot out short posts in higher frequency.

    But you are right, CONSISTENCY is the key. I’ll stick to writing one post per week if that’s the time I need to keep the level of quality of my articles.

  25. True, I like how you’ve boiled it down to those two basic “rules”. I tend to post about every other day right now, with a break on the weekends. One other factor to put it might be guest posting, whether it’s a post on your own blog or the time it takes to guest post somewhere else – should the guest post count as one of “your own” blog posts and how it influences reader traffic, etc.

  26. It took me maybe a month or 6 weeks to really settle into a pattern of usually two posts a day. I write quickly about writing because I’ve done it so long. I give myself permission to post only once on Saturday and Sunday.

    Now when I don’t post twice I feel like something is missing.

    However, I’m going to be launching a new blog, a second blog and I’m seriously wondering if I can promise say three times a week with occasional weeks of more. Three or even two for consistency, misc. others when something strikes me.

    I haven’t decided yet.

  27. Commenting is touched on here but I have a few additions—a comment on commenting.

    — Frequent commenting attracts both readers and comment-makers to one’s own blog.

    — Commenting on a variety of related yet not too closely related blogs might also widen your audience, reaching readers ordinarily beyond your radar and vice versa.

    — Roundup blog posts can integrate these elements. For example, at the end of the week, you can post on the top stories of this week and link to other blogs, some of which you might have commented on yourself.

  28. Darren,

    This is great advice. There isn’t really any wrong answer as to how often one should publish, but everyone should choose a “rhythm” and stick with it.

    On Smart Passive Income (where I blog about how I live off of online passive income), I make sure I do a quality post every other day. Even if I have the time and energy to post another one sooner, I write it, but put it in queue.

    Cheers mate!

  29. Darren, I’ve noticed you’ve upped your post frequency right when you started that series for next-stage bloggers and it looks like it’s been working great for you. For me, time seems to be the biggest constraint.

  30. Interesting, I was just asking myself this very question. Thank you for the information, very helpful

    Lori

  31. Before the 31DBBB Challenge, my posting frequency became sporadic. During the 31DBBB Challenge, I posted more on my blog to keep on a schedule that I had setup last year. Now, my posting frequency has decreased due to some problems that I have encountered since last weekend. I plan on getting up to speed this weekend and then continuing with a set posting schedule.

    I also noticed that one of my blog series takes about two hours to post, so I may be changing the type of content that I post. It’s time sensitive since they are about events but I have been writing paragraphs in conjunction with the event information and I may change that blogging style to just posting links on those scheduled days for that particular blog series.

  32. Thanks to reading your blog and finding what advice works for me, in the last few months I’ve:

    1) Settled into a comfortable posting schedule of 4-5 times per week

    2) Plan my posts one week in advance.

    3) Write ahead of schedule so I’m not scrambling to finish the next day’s post.

    …and notice the numbered bullets? That was your advice too!

  33. I wish that I had learned about writing ahead of time and having WordPress publish them at a certain time. I recently moved and this would have been helpful.

    I have adapted the schedule to help me with other blog tasks that are not writing related. This has enabled to not spend too much time on the wrong things and to get more accomplished.

  34. I have been posting 5-6 days per week, but will need to reduce this by maybe half in order to squeeze in some design development time.

  35. I am a new Blogger and this is the question i was wondering about, but now i ahve got an idea a to what should be the frequency of the posts.

  36. We have several blogs. Most of the traffic is organic. We post between 5-7 times a week and we find that this frequency work really well for our blogs. If we know that there will be a busy week, then we make several posts on the weekend and use the scheduled posts schema, so we can release a daily post , even if we are working on other tasks.

  37. If you’re unsure of how often to post, why not ask your readers?

    I plan to post a survey in the not too distant future to get an idea of what readers like about my blog, what could be improved and what do they want to see more of. I plan on including a question regarding posting frequency.

    Your readers should be your biggest gauge.

  38. I try to post once a day but usually I don’t really have the time because of other stuff that I’m working on so I at least try to post every other day.

  39. This is a tough one for me as I’ve been posting more than once a day, monday-fri (and freq. at that rate on the week ends as well.)

    Ive had people say, stop doing that. Not people who read but people who think I will burn out… or get writers block.

    I don’t know the answer – I do agree with the falling off the front page thing, and that is an issue for me.

  40. Very true, however there also some “gold dust” blogs, virtually invisible compared to the large one but providing content on the same level.

  41. I try to post at least everyday except sunday but it can be tough, and the money’s not coming in enough yet to go full time blogging!

  42. I’ve recent started a new blog and began by posting every day to get the article count up quickly without overdoing it.

    I started with the intention of scaling this back in a couple of weeks, but now i’m finding that I’ve got so much to talk about and I’m enjoying it so much that daily suits me quite well for this project.

    I plan to start other article sites and blogs in the future and expect their posting frequency to be less, but longer articles.

    I also post on twitter a few time daily when I find something interesting, or have something interesting to say that doesn’t warrant a new blog post.

    Darren, do you think there is a link between length of content and frequency?

    I find that shorter = more frequent and easier to achieve. But some people like yourself consistently pump out a couple articles a day that are quite long.

  43. Oh, I forgot to mention, I make it a rule to not post on weekends. I keep that aside for family and friends. I can always schedule a post if it’s really important I get it out there though.

  44. I think that blogs need to be updated at least once a week . Actrually I find it quite difficult to pubvlish one post per day . Why ? time consuming and i’ve run out of post ideas !!

  45. I try to do one post a day, and do my best. In the middle I was having trouble being able to work on my site, so I announced that I will write once every other day in order to keep the quality of my content up.

  46. I’ve only been Blogging for about 3 weeks now, and before I started I agonized over how often to post.

    In the end, I settled on once per week. This gives me a chance to gang up on ideas and queue them up for later editing.

    Since I’m a beginner, I like the idea of developing “seed” posts, then coming back later to “grow” them.

    Maybe there’s a SEO advantage to posting more often, and maybe I will try more posts in the future.

    But for now, weekly works for me.

  47. I post daily, but I do it because I enjoy it and I fell that I have a lot to share with my readers.

    That said, I’ve kept that pace for the past two years, but I am considering reducing my weekly post to 3-4 times per week.

    Darren, this is a very useful discussion!

    Miss Gisele B.

  48. For some people, following such a rule just wouldn’t work. I just do commenting when feel like doing it. Blogging is meant to be enjoyed in that way.

  49. My website is six weeks old and so far I’ve been posting five articles a week. I felt, wrongly, that I should allow important articles to age a little before posting a new one. But now I’m going to try posting everyday, and monitor.

  50. Consistency is where many people fail. What’s important is to post meaningful content and not just post for the sake of it.

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