Does Blog Post Frequency Matter?

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of June 2006 Writing Content

Eric Kintz has written an interesting post on Why Blog Post Frequency Does Not Matter Anymore.

I like some of what Eric’s got to say but do not agree with it completely for all types of bloggers. Perhaps it’s a bit too simplistic a statement to make. Below are Eric’s headings in bold and a few of my own thoughts under each outlining where I agree and disagree with his statements:

  1. Traffic is generated by participating in the community; not daily posting – I would argue that traffic can be generated by both participation in the blogging community AND daily (or regular) posting. Both can be factors depending upon the blog and it’s strategy. I know with most of my own blogs that my traffic levels do go up (on some blogs quite considerably) each time I post something – particularly those blogs who have an RSS readership.
  2. Traffic is irrelevant to your blog’s success anyway – Eric’s argument is that the key is to reach your target audience and not just have your blog read by lots of people. This is true to some extent. I’d much rather ProBlogger be read by 100 bloggers wanting to make money blogging than 1000 non bloggers. Having said that, I’d still prefer to have 200, or 1000 or more bloggers who want to make money reading this blog and coming back every day than having 100 bloggers coming once a week. So I guess traffic is relevant to my blog’s success also (and I suspect most bloggers would feel the same).
  3. Loyal readers coming back daily to check your posts is so Web 1.0 – I get asked about Web 2.0 a lot and while I am a believer in it and think some of the things being developed are wonderful I don’t know that we’re really living in a Web 2.0 world yet. Eric writes in this post about RSS and how it is making it less important to post daily because RSS readers will just come over to read when you update. I totally agree with this IF your blog has a high level of RSS readership. The reality is that while those of us who are bloggers use RSS all day everyday to read blogs that the majority of web surfers do not – yet. I would estimate that here at ProBlogger about 50% of my traffic comes from RSS readership (although this is decreasing as my search engine profile rises) but on my other blogs (not about blogging or Web 2.0 type topics) my RSS readership would be less than 5-10%. The majority of my readers come either from search engines, referrals from other sites or bookmarks on their computers (people who manually hit my site every day). Hopefully RSS and other Web 2.0 technologies will increase in popularity – but until then I think bloggers need to embrace readers who are Web 1.0 (and those who are not even at that point yet).
  4. Frequent posting is actually starting to have a negative impact on loyalty – good point here. I know I’ve unsubscribed from a few blogs in the past few months that I just can’t keep up with the posting frequency on. I’m a big believer in bloggers sensing how much their readers can handle to read in a day/week and trying to post at around that frequency.
  5. Frequent posting keeps key senior executives and thought leaders out of the blogosphere – time is definitely an issue that bloggers need to count the cost of when deciding to start a blog and if the expectation is that it needs to be daily then it will rule out some bloggers. I would argue that blogs don’t have to be updated daily but that it’s best that they have a regularity to them. This regularity could be daily (or every hour or two for that matter) but it could also be weekly (or some other time frame). Developing some sort of rhythm is important on a number of levels, both for the blogger themselves to develop the discipline of maintaining a blog, but also for readers getting some sort of expectation of what they’ll get.
  6. Frequent posting drives poor content quality – I understand where Eric is coming from with this one but again would argue it’s not always the case. I guess it’s about a blogger finding a frequency that they can maintain without it detrimentally impacting the quality of their work – if this is daily then let it be daily – if it’s less frequent then so be it. I would also argue that bloggers quoting the work of others is not always a bad thing and that if it’s done in a way that adds something to the work of others or that makes it more useful to readers (with proper attribution and within copyright) that it can be quality content. This is probably a whole post in and of itself. Having said that – I agree with Eric that some bloggers end up going to quantity of posts over quality to a point where they are creating useless clutter.
  7. Frequent posting threatens the credibility of the blogosphere – Once again I think there is truth in Eric’s thoughts under this heading but that he’s talking about what happens when frequent posting is taken to the extreme. Most bloggers that I read still check sources and are responsible with their posting.
  8. Frequent posting will push corporate bloggers into the hands of PR agencies – I don’t have much to add to this point as it’s not my area of expertise.
  9. Frequent posting creates the equivalent of a blogging landfill – Eric quotes some of Technorati’s figures on inactive blogs. I share some of his concerns but wonder whether a large proportion of the inactive blogs that Technorati tracks are spam blogs (which don’t tend to last long). There are a lot of inactive/junk blogs floating around though.
  10. I love my family too much – Eric points to an amusing post – Bloggers Anonymous.

I guess having worked through Eric’s points that I’d say that a lot of what he says does resonate with me. Daily Posting is not the be all and end all but I’d be hesitant to throw out the idea that frequent posting is important.

The frequency of posting should be determined on numerous factors and will vary from blog to blog and largely comes down to the goals and strategies behind the blog. In addition to that I’ve outlined 8 factors to consider in my post How Often Should a Blogger Post? and hope they add something to the conversation.

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