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Does Blog Post Frequency Matter?

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.

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. pcunix says:

    You can post too much and you can post too little.

    I’ll stop reading a blog for both reasons.

    Predictability is probably more important than frequency: if you only post once a week and I know that, I won’t stop reading even if you slip a day or two now and then. But if it starts getting to a month.. well..

    How much and how often is necessary depends on you, your blog, your niche, your competition and the expectations of your readers.

  2. WTJ says:

    the exact frequence is what you need to know by yourself, you can just have a test for different frequency..
    people won’t get tired if you really write good.. content is king

  3. Jim Logan says:

    I don’t decide to read or not read a blog based upon the number of posts per day, week, or month. I decide what to read based upon the benefit and value of each post, regardless of frequency.

    Most people shouldn’t post each day, they don’t have that much so say. Including me.

    The pressure to post every day too often reduces the quality of the blog. When quality falls, I leave. Reading trivial posts day after day, waiting for the gem, is frustrating and damaging to reader loyalty.

    If you’re interested in reader loyalty, quality beats quantity.

  4. Doug says:

    I think that frequent posting demonstrates seriousness that this is more than a “hobby that you think is cool”. However, the posts must never resort to “HI I wanted to let you all know that I’ll post soon”. Guilty as charged.

    How about “frequent commenting?”

  5. I think the point is to catch the rhythm of your audience with your posting frequency.

    I agree that this could be affected by numerous factors but to add one new aspect to this conversation:

    Blogging (at least) daily means that you deal with your subject – what your blog is about – at least daily. Someone, who deals with sg. at least daily, will shortly become an expert of the subject.

    Therefore, I guess, posting daily strenghtens your authority and grows your prestige.

    zs

  6. I’ve been stressing about this topic for a little while now and Darren’s post has helped bring a little clarity where before there was none.

    My blog isn’t niche-focused. It was only recently that I learned my blog’s lack of focused content may be a factor explaining why I’ll get traffic everyday but usually 20% or less of that is repeat visitors.

    I thought that posting daily might help things but then I bumped into that wall of occasionally posting even when I had nothing significant to say. This article informs me to rethink that practice.

    Thanks, Darren, and to all previous commenters, for helping me along in my desire to write a more effective and popular blog!

  7. Liz Strauss says:

    I agree with pcunix. There’s too much and too little. There’s too long and too short too. We know I’m guilty at the front. I’m learning to curb my posting appetite. But I’d argue that what goes up on my blog is quality whether it’s 23 in a day or 23 in a month. Quality is a function of the blogger, not the post frequency . . . the blogger who changes with how often he or she posts is inconsistent. That’s a blogger problem to me. :)

  8. Louis says:

    Eric is basically saying that blog = website, may be in a few years, we will forget about the word ‘blog’, I remenber a time when I had a ‘personal homepage’ at a Free hosting service back in 1998, no one use the terms ‘personal homepage’ anymore.

    Now, about the so-called Web 2.0 thing, I ‘m surprised that none of the high profile blogs I subscribe use Adsense for RSS or bloglines can’t display their Adsense ?

  9. Craig says:

    I think this all boils down to a valid rule of thumb: don’t post unless you have something good to say.

    It sure does sound simple and self-obliging, but few bloggers actually follow it.

  10. David says:

    I would have to disagree because the more you post the most your readers learn about what you are posting.

    And more traffic is good because someone might not know they are interested in your blog until they have found it, and the best way people find stuff is by searching and the more post you have the more chance the search results includes you!

  11. Mayvelous says:

    1. Participating in the community? If noone writing new discussion/topics/posts, where/what do we go and participate in?

    2. May be his blog is already well established and well known but 90% of others aren’t. For those of us, we definitely need traffic for our blog success.

    3. How much loyal a reader can be? Nobody can be more loyal than yourself. We got lots to visit to not just one sites, even our own sites, we don’t visit every single day if we got nothing to update about.

    4. Ok get a life, don’t over do it. That’s all I gotta say.

    5. They are exceptionals, yet most of us don’t expect them to post daily. Once a week would do too.

    6. That’s all depend on individual. Some may be sloppy with their posting, some may give great dedication to every post they make.

    7. I would go with Darren comment on this.

    8. Well, don’t know much about it. But isn’t it better than no regular posting at all?

    No comment for 9 and 10.
    Overall he made good points on his views and I respect that.

  12. Good recap Darren. Regarding frequency I’d say that it has to be natural. Forced posting leads to bad content and poorly thought out posts generally. But ther are upper limits to that end. Case in point; I’ve unsubcribed from a number of so called A-list blogs due to the sheer number of daily posts giving me a bad case of “post-a-catchup-itis”.

  13. Terry Zulit says:

    A great bit to be sure. I dunno….I think this would all be speculation at best. It does come down to your niche topic of interest.

    One thing I believe for sure – don’t setup a pattern trying to gane the search engines or your readers. It will fail everytime and as time marches on, using tricks will never cut the mustard.

  14. Thilak says:

    How much should I post per day ?

  15. Ann Handley says:

    Thanks for picking up Eric’s post, Darren. I thought he offered an interesting perspective and gave voice to many good issues. But as I said, all of this depends on what the goals of your own blog are…as you well know. A prescription for blogging isn’t available — you have to figure out what works for yourself, on your own. Thankfully.

  16. Razib Ahmed says:

    I do not know why most people think that if you post frequently everyday then the quality of the content gets lost. This is really an absurd idea. The quality of your content depends on your writing skill and knowledge of the topic. Even your typing speed helps you to post a quality content at a shorter period of time.

  17. ming2.0 says:

    New thought on this topic,

    One of the reasons the world cup is so huge, is that it happens once in 4 years!

    It seems an interval that’s just right for Major sporting events!

    But what is the right interval for YOU, hey darren, there’s a suggestion for your next, group writing project!

    Heck if you keep this up you’ll have to start a groupwriting blog!

  18. pcunix says:

    Another point about frequency that’s applicable to niche blogs:

    If (as the post above mentioned) your niche was the World Cup, your posting frequency would likely increase around the time the event actually occurs. You’d surely have things to talk about at other times (training, prospects, etc) but I would think not as much.

    In a tech niche, there probably is at least something worth talking about every day – with rare exceptions for certain narrowly focused segments, if you are a voice of authority for your tech niche, you should have something to say pretty frequently.

    Politics? I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t be posting at least daily.

    String theory? Maybe not so often :-)

    And so on..

  19. these points are good to know considering that i find it hard to make just one post a week for each of my blogs! :)

  20. Clair Ching says:

    Balance is the key, I suppose.

    Frequent blog posting for me is a good sign because I could see how much progress one blogger is having on certain projects (I do read some blogs that talk about personal projects) and if I see that one blog is inactive for a long time, I tend to look for other blogs that talk about similar matters.

    I do agree that a regular frequency would be great. Especially if the person would only update once a week. Or if a blogger will go on a temporary hiatus, maybe he/she could put up a sticky post or a note on the sidebar about it so the readers will know what to expect. Or something like it.

  21. Ted Laskaris says:

    I agree with pcunix above. My main blog is about politics and there’s rarely opportunity NOT to post. But such frequent posting has its traps, too. You could easily slide into mediocrity and gossip if you are not careful. If you prefer “editorials,” you better have wit and imagination and writing skills. Readers are spoilt for choice and they won’t hang around for trivial talk.

  22. I agree that rythym is important – and that commenting can be useful.

    If I do a long, detailed comment, I will post about it on my own blog, so that people who like the way I think can check it out.

    I’m also thinking about putting a link on my site to my del.ici.ous tag mycomments – that would show people a list of comments I had made on other blogs. That would be more useful than going back to my site now and saying ‘I just made a comment on Problogger’, unless the comment was much longer and more thought-out than this one.

    I agree with the “Quality beats quantity” argument. Some places (like this one, whose job is to find useful tips) can get away with referring us to other places. I certainly could not – I don’t have enough of my own posts, and the referrals would look like padding.

  23. Eric Kintz says:

    Darren,

    Congrats for this article, you have one of the best follow up pieces to my post. I agree with many of the points you make, I was primarily reacting to the pressure to post every day for everybody independantly of your blog strategy. Thought you would enjoy my follow up post on the human face of blog traffic
    Eric

    http://h20325.www2.hp.com/blogs/kintz/archive/2006/06/16/1186.html

  24. jayvee f. says:

    here are my two cents:

    blogging frequency is highly dependent on the type of blog that you carry. if you’re doing a creative or thought-provoking blog, then posting even once a week is great because you are sure to be dugg and quoted.

    for tech blogs, it is very different. you need to be up to date DAILY. because tech blog readers wanna see that hardware come out fast. although some tech blogs do want to have some thought provoking stuff like in depth analyses and lists, coming up with ths will be very infrequent as tech tends to change fast.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Wonderful pages! Keep up the grat work.t

  26. Ikaro says:

    [...] if it was possible for a one-man-blog to overcome the physiological traffic peak of his website increasing the post frequency [...]

Trackbacks

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