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Quality vs Quantity of Posting?

I was chatting to a soon-to-be-blogger this morning about ProBlogging and he asked me how long he’d have to blog before he could earn a reasonable amount from it.

It’s a common question that is usually on the lips of new bloggers exploring the world of ProBlogging.

Of course there is no real answer to the question as there are just so many factors including:

- traffic levels (which rely upon many other factors)
- value of ads for the topic you’ve chosen
- revenue streams chosen

Another factor I talked with him about was his level of posting. Obviously the larger a blog is the increased chance of earning income it has. Whilst it’s not impossible for a small website or blog to be a good earner – in most cases the number of posts on a blog is a major contributing factor.

This flies a little in the face of the constant catch cry I hear from many bloggers about ‘quality content being the key to successful blogging’ – I agree with this – but want to argue that it’s not just the quality that counts – ProBloggers also need to consider quantity. For me it’s not an ‘either or’ question – it’s about both.

As I often say – the more pages in your blog the more potential entry points you have to it via search engine referrals. Of course it’s not just a matter of creating thousands of useless pages (although some try this) – each page should be a useful page with high quality content – but in general the more pages you’ve got the better.

Out of interest this afternoon I decided it was time to add up how many pages of content I’ve generated since I started blogging in November of 2002….

The grand total of posts (including this one) is 11908….make that 12236 (I forgot a blog) across my numerous blogs.

I’ve been blogging for 1053 days so that’s an average of 11.2 11.6 posts per day. When I started out (for the first year) my posting rate was much lower than this – the past 12 months have been something of a posting frenzy.

I will say at this point – that apart from a few reposted articles and duplicate postings (plus of course my guest bloggers work last month) these have all been hand written posts. I don’t use any automated posting system (I’m pretty anti them).

Ok – so this proves a couple of things:

1. I’m completely obsessed and addicted to blogging (I’m just waiting for the ‘get a life’ comments).

2. If you want to earn a full time living blogging you probably need a fair bit of content. Quantity is NOT everything (I’m a big believer in quality content) but I think it’s worth saying that blogging is partly a numbers game also.

If you’re feeling a bit depressed now and are wondering how to up your posting rate – you might find a mini series I wrote on the topic of how to increase the quantity of content on your blog last year. Check it out at:

• Generate a High Quantity of Content
• Set Targets
• News Sites and Aggregators
• Start a New Blog
• Break Down Your Posts
• Ecto
• Recruit Writers

Feel free to add your own tips of how you generate larger quantities of quality content on your 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.

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Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Get a life :)

    Seriously, thats a hell of a lot of posts of 3 years, something which most bloggers would only dream of being able to achieve, if only for the fact that most bloggers face other constraints which stops them being able to dedicate the required time.

    It would take a huge leap of faith (and I know some that have done it) to give up your day job to become a dedicated blogger, but it would seem to be the route to take to get that volume of postings in such a relatively short period of time (although 3 years on the web is a lifetime).

    As for quantity vs quality – I don’t think both are mutually exclusive, so long as an element of care is taken. Without care, I can see that volume could allow quality to deteriorate and be damaging to a blogs reputation.

  2. duncan says:

    Its a hard thing to discuss because quality is an important issue in keeping readers and yet quantity is what actually drives the new traffic, the bigger the quantity the more chance you’ve got of being linked to, and the better opportunities you have for search engine traffic. Having said this I’d be careful in advising a quantity only strategy because it risks blog burnout. I am for 3 posts per day minimum per blog, some days its less, some days per more, but I find that this is a reasonable level to aim for (but of course I’m not doing this f/t). I honestly believe if I could pump out say 10 posts per day per blog my traffic would build a lot quicker but I’d end up burning out and blogging less as a consequence in the longer term, you’ve got to strike a balance, for each person it might be different, I know one person who like to write deep and meeningful posts and posts 3 times a week, not a lot of traffic but its what he likes..at the end of the day you’ve also got to remember that you need to enjoy yourself as well. If blogging becomes a burden (and it did for me for quite a while at one stage, although it was more an issue of fighting my blogware that was keeping me down) chances are you won’t last and you wont be successful

  3. FMF says:

    I believe it was you who put me on to the point that “the more you blog, the more traffic increases.” As such, I moved from 3 times per week to daily to 3-7 times per day. Traffic has exploded! (Being mentioned in Business Week hasn’t hurt.) :-)

    However, with the increase of postings, quality must go down a little (or else you drive yourself crazy). I’ve found that even my little bit of compromise on quality is a non-issue with me readers — they still see the posts as valuable and good enough to read. That’s the only measure I use to evaluate “quality”.

    On a final note, it’s been some of my “least quality” most “off the cuff” posts that have generated the most traffic and consumer feedback. Like the post I wrote on a pet costing $48,000 (http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2005/06/cost_of_a_pet_i.html). Go figure!!!

  4. Lei says:

    What did you mean when you say you don’t like automated posting systems? Do you mean holding posts until a certain time instead of right after you wrote them?

  5. Darren Rowse says:

    no i mean systems that either post keyword rich garbage to blogs automatically or systems that strip other people’s RSS feeds automatically and post them as their own posts.

  6. Darrick says:

    Darren, how much time each day do you spend on writing?

  7. Darren Rowse says:

    depends upon the day Darrick. Today I’ve been at it for close to 12 hours but I’m in catch up mode after a month away on holidays (I was almost there before the London explosion story hit).

    But most days it’s the equivalent of a full time days work probably (and a bit less on weekends of course).

  8. Scrivs says:

    Just wanted to say that MarsEdit stomps Ecto. Got tired of you saying Ecto, Ecto, Ecto. ;-)

  9. Cary says:

    I’ll say it then: Eto, Ecto, Ecto ; )

    Seriously though. I’m doing investigative work on medical research at my blog, and these posts take T I M E, so my current strategy is to write one of these every day, and then also post a few shorter re-hashes of cancer news in general. I started the blog to share information that I’ve gathered on my own, so writing those longer pieces with multiple references to clinical research, etc, is what I really enjoy doing, and what I ultimately think will bring in good search results. It takes at least an hour or two minimum to write a good one, though I hope to get faster at it.

    Now I’m learning to write those re-hash pieces quick, quick, quick, but still include original content, commentary, etc. I’m struggling with it a bit, but I think it will get smoother with time. I definitely think at least three posts per day is a good goal to start with if you want to get visitors. I’ve noticed a real surge since hunkering down to this level.

    BTW, Ecto has really helped me post quicker, too : )

  10. Quantity is definitely important. In terms of traffic its actually more important the quality. But quality has its rewards too. If you’re looking for comments you’ll need quality. If you want regular readers and other bloggers linking to you, again that’s where quality comes in.

    Automated posting systems are problematic. I’ve actually implemented them on a few of my sites recently, but only after establishing some ground rules. The blogs that use them are labeled as aggregators and while they do scrape RSS feeds they only display a partial post and link to the original. I feel this is an acceptable compromise as it should still funnel traffic to the originators of the information.

    I would prefer to be posting all my own stuff to these sites, but the reality of my life right now is that I just don’t have the time. This compromise keeps sites going in some form until I can turn my attention to them again.

  11. sagepowder says:

    I am new here, just saying hello :)

  12. ememjammer says:

    So I was off work and surfing and found this place and thought I would join up. I don’t have much more to say right now except I need to start reading some of the older posts to get up to speed before I can start posting.

    Em

  13. lutfi says:

    I agree with you, quality is more important than quantity.
    But for new blog like mine ( i plan to start posting today ) quantity is important too, and i am still not confident to do it ( writing some article ). I have target to post at least 1 article a day. Could you give me some advice?

  14. Oliver says:

    Hi Darren,

    thanks for your post! I apply a lot of your tips and techniques on my blog. I launched my blog about 6 weeks ago and publish about one article/day.
    Another person from the same niche had done a statistical analysis of the blogs and there was somewhat of a correlation between age of blog and posting frequency. Mine being the youngest of the blogs, I had the highest frequency of about 20 blogs :-).
    I try to post 1 or 2 original ideas each week and about 3-4 “lighter” articles. I’m still not seeing the visitor numbers that I would like to, but it’s slowly growing.
    Cheers,

    Oliver

  15. kyliemengis says:

    I feel I might introduce my self here. My name is Kate, I’m a newbie here, someone told me that i might find some good information here so… basically that’s why I’m here, and for any good advice i might get also… hope to have good time here

Trackbacks

  1. [...] There have been a large number of posts on this topic in 2005, covering a wide scope. You have ProBlogger on this subject, with the comments section of that post being almost as useful as the original post itself. Darren has his own take on this, with quantity and quality being equally important (at least on ProBlogger): This flies a little in the face of the constant catch cry I hear from many bloggers about ‘quality content being the key to successful blogging’ – I agree with this – but want to argue that it’s not just the quality that counts – ProBloggers also need to consider quantity. For me it’s not an ‘either or’ question – it’s about both. [...]

  2. [...] ProBlogger talked about quality vs. quantity of posting. I want to ask the same question for comments! Even though I appreciate any well-wishers, its actually the comments who disagree with me, but present a convincing logicial argument that makes me feel alive about Blogging. Finally, someone who can help me expand or shift my paradigm! [...]

  3. [...] Quantity of content – I find myself saying this to new bloggers repeatedly but don’t expect to get a lot of traffic to your blog until you have a substantial level of content in your archives. Of course quality of content is vital, but at least at some level numbers of posts do count and unless you’re going sell your soul and to get into splogging quantities of content take time. I’ve written more on this here and here (series). [...]

  4. [...] Quantity of content – I find myself saying this to new bloggers repeatedly but don’t expect to get a lot of traffic to your blog until you have a substantial level of content in your archives. Of course quality of content is vital, but at least at some level numbers of posts do count and unless you’re going sell your soul and to get into splogging quantities of content take time. I’ve written more on this here and here (series). [...]

  5. [...] Problogger says on the quality and quantity: Quality AND Quantity – Quality of posts is so important – I don’t know any reputable blogger who wouldn’t agree with that, but a little written about tip that I’m also a believer is that most successful blogs also have large quantities of content. I’m not arguing for loads of meaningless and unhelpful posts, but one area to consider in taking your blog to the next level can be how to generate larger quantities of posts on your blog. [...]