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The Cost of High Quantities of Posts

Does the quantity of content that you post to your blog add value to or devalue your blog?

I suspect that there are many bloggers who think that by adding large quantities of content to their blog that they are adding value to it however in many cases constantly pouring new posts into their blog and increasing the size of their archives can actually devaluing it by forcing readers to wade through vast quantities of posts to find the ‘gold’ that they are looking for.

There are of course some examples of blogs that seem to thrive on large amounts of posts each day and massive archives (in fact some of the largest blogs on the web use this strategy very well) however I suspect that for the majority of us that we’d do better to write a smaller number of top quality, highly focused and useful posts each week than going for a high posting frequency rate.

The ideal posting frequency will vary from blog to blog but I think many bloggers would do well to consider the question at the top of this post and make changes according to the answer they come up with.

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. brem says:

    rarity makes it more valuable ;)

  2. I think the once or twice a day mark is good. I delete blog feeds occassionally when I find that they don’t give enough content to be worth watching.

    Any more than that, and I find that if I get too busy that I have too much to wade through. I tend to skip that and just start feeling like, “Well, if I haven’t missed it so far, then why should I continue reading?”

  3. I think that getting quality posts is important, but I still aim for once or twice a day to have something appear even if it is more newsy.

    When people start having trouble in my archives will be a good time for me to start coming out with information products that they can purchase so taht they do not have to wade through them.

  4. I’ve been doing just that. Posting less articles, but better ones. I couldn’t agree more with this.

    - Bryan
    http://www.BryanCFleming.com

  5. Ian says:

    I’ve found that one days that I don’t post that my subsciber readership plummets. It’s as if my readership thinks I’m going to stop blogging because I didn’t post one day.

    That being said I still post M-F and take the weekends off.

  6. Brad says:

    I try to write one post a day. Then, if some interesting news catches my eye or something, I might write a quick, short blurb about it and give a link. But two postings a day is my max.

    Like Ian, on the days I don’t post, my readership really falls. So I try to post something each day, even if it’s a short news item. But there are some days where I have nothing, so I don’t force it.

    When I read other blogs, I’d much rather have quality than quantity!!!

  7. It sounds like you’re trying to make a general rule for a medium that defies them.

    This conversation would help greatly if we defined what “high quantities of posts” meant. 5 a day? 10? 25 (which is the standard on the WIN sites)? I see problogger.net publishes about 3-4 a day, so I assume that’s being used as the standard of normalcy. Sounds reasonable by me – though that’s only one model for a blog. Pandagon and Shakespeare’s Sister are two liberal blogs that post 5x-10x daily, and have very loyal and large followings. Engadget, Cinematical, Autoblog and other WIN sites do well with a team that churns out 20-25 posts a day; writers take turns focusing on newsy posts vs. churning out longer content, such as reviews and interviews.

    It would be interesting to do formal, like-to-like comparisons of these different blog models, and find which are more popular. Does one model sacrifice dedicated readership to one-off Google searchers? And if so, which model ultimately rakes in more money? That’s not to say that all writers should go for the most profitable model; it’d just be good data to have when you’re deciding the quality/quantity tradeoff for your own blog.

    As for helping people navigate your archives, that’s where tools like tags, round-up posts, flashbacks, and Best Of galleries come in useful.

  8. Rex says:

    DeValue is a very strong word. I don’t think having a large quantity of posts will “de” value anything. Of course you may have better posts than others but it’s not going to drown out the so called “gold”.

    Not to mention those “de” valued posts might get ranked for search terms that bring in some traffic that might dig around and become readers. Also giving your more index’d pages doesn’t hurt either.

    I do get the point of this post, more quality is better than more quantity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your blog personal and throw out a few “news” items or “personal” items. This is what creates a community in my eyes.

    In conclusion I don’t think you will DE-value with more quantity.

    Rex

  9. Many sites that post frequently are team efforts. For one person, quality is more important than quantity. Quality attracts the right audience moreso than quantity. Quality content will be better for search engines. You can post frequently and at high quality by keeping a good queue of drafts that you work on little by little while you still post the quick “breaking news” kind of material that warrants immediate attention. It all comes down to good writing, one of the most basic requirements of all.

  10. Halfdeck says:

    Good blog posts are hard to find these days. Writing newsy posts is a cop out, even when I put my own little twist on the story. Churning out X posts/day just for the sake of maintaining readership is a sure road to failure. Daily chatter doesn’t beget authority. Look at all the posts in forums and after 20 pages I often learn nothing useful. Imagine you’re trying to shoot down a duck with a machine gun. Sure, you’re firing hundred rounds a second, but what’s the point if you never hit anything? Ideally, aim for higher quality posts published more frequently. But never compromise quality for higher frequency. If it takes two days to whip up a great post, take two days.

  11. Scott Howard says:

    I agree that the quality of the content is way more important than the quantity of the content. If the content does not help you achieve the goal of the blog then you should not even think about putting it on there.

  12. FMF says:

    I think you need to experiment with various numbers of posts per day to see what your readers want. I’ve tried as high as ten per day and as low as two, but the sweet spot for me seems to be 5-6. Since I cover a broad range of personal finance topics (retirement, saving money, increasing income, etc. — all very different issues), not every post is of interest to every reader. Hence, if I complete 5-6 a day, it’s likely they’ll like 2-3 of them. And the rest are of interest to others — as well as always available for people to find via search engines at a later date.

  13. bernard says:

    i think you can never write too much, but it depends on
    - how you present it
    - how you archive it.

    I think that even when a blogpost never reaches the first page it still can be valuable. How many times don’t people arrive to your blog via a post in your archives? So it depends what you think is valuable enough to have the number 1 spot.

    The postings can add value to your blog because of their search engine value, but just make sure then that the post is still good and not some crap to fill the gaps so to speak.

  14. mrHowTo says:

    Very interesting. The Soulcast system, that I’m testing at the moment limit’s individual blogger’s posts to 5 every 24 hours. This is good, as it means you don’t write too many articles in one go, and still have things to talk about the next day. I find it helps me spread my posts out, keeping a steady stream of readers soming in at all times.

  15. Stu says:

    An excellent point. I’ve been struggling with this very issue, and haven’t managed to come up with an answer yet. I know I could post half dozen times a day if I wanted to, but would that volume scare off readers?

  16. Andy Merrett says:

    I agree with Michael – I now work on several blogs that are team efforts. There’s no way I could produce the same amount or diversity of posts on my own on a blog, there just aren’t enough hours in a day. That’s how most of the ‘big boys’ (ie 15+ posts per day) do it.

    One of the blogs I work on used to be written pretty much by one guy and had about 8 posts per day. A couple of us joined and the blog owners made some other changes, and now between us all (3 regular medium-quantity posters and some ad-hoc posts) the site makes 25+ posts per day.

    The fact is that in the crowded subject area we’re in, both in the UK and globally, we are competing with the other big boys – we do have to report the news with a twist, as well as producing completely original content and reviews. We are even starting to compete with mainstream media – so the posting amount is important.

    There’s a possibility it’s too much for regular readers – we’re not sure yet – but we do get a lot of SE traffic and RSS readers, so who don’t read everything.

    At present, however, it’s boosted our daily unique visitors and I think will have a significant effect going forward.

  17. jhay says:

    Again, I think this varies from blog to blog. I post make a post every day, and more than one during weekends sinces most of my readers (the very handful of them) are free during that time of the week.

    My blog is just over two months old so there is quite a need to fatten the arcvhives a bit. It will also increase the page impressions for my ads. Maybe when my blog reaches the one-year mark that’s when I’ll really consider about posting less entries and focus solely on quality of the posts.

    Lastly, my readers have little trouble going in around my archives because I implemented a tagging system and used the tag cloud as my archive. It helps a lot when going through my archives for it gives them a quick and easy preview of what I’ve blogged about in the past. They just click on a tag/keyword and all the posts tagged with it are displayed. It sure beats trying to guess if July or June has more interesting posts or not.

  18. Retrospector says:

    I simply don’t have time to put out more than 2-3 posts a week. If I see a massive surge in traffic, I may try to edge in one or two additional posts just to take advantage of the readership. However I’ve not had any trouble keeping a consistent level of traffic by having only 2-3 posts a week.

    I will say that I wish I could manage more posts until the amount of content was much higher. (Just now reaching 3 months, so the archives could use a little more help.)

    What I’d like to emphasize with the blogs that have a high volume of posts is that they should have something that makes it easy to find the information. Or the content hidden may not get noticed as much. I’m realizing now that some of my earlier posts aren’t as easy to get to without surfing around a little. Something I’m going to do soon with a redesign is consider how easy it is to get to the good posts and the deeper archives.

  19. Kyle Eslick says:

    This is a great question.

    I’ve struggled with this since I began my blog. If I do no posts throughout a day (or sometimes only one), my readership plummets. But, I’ve also noticed if I put up 4 or more posts in a single day, I also lose readership.

    Lately, I’ve been putting up one (quality) post a day and one post where I highlight some of the better stuff around the blogosphere. This seems to make both types of subscribers happy so far, so I’ve been sticking with it. I guess you just have to find that balance for your particular site.

  20. jostar says:

    Yes good word. i agree too. many of newbie in blogger are think to post more article that can be get good rank in search engine quickly. and get more traffic drive to his site. but it not a real. just built your blog grow naturalry. do the simple for the best..
    More qulity is important than quantity.

  21. WTJ says:

    a big quantity is not a problem if there’s quality in it

  22. Palmdoc says:

    I don’t think it’s a problem when you have a Search function! I have two blogs with thousands of posts and I use the Search all the time.
    Wordpress is great!

  23. Joe says:

    Hey Darren,

    I just happened to write a post the other day about why TO post frequently. It was directed more at the Bloggers that don’t post often enough. Onced every couple of weeks doesn’t cut it.

    I have deleted many Blogs from my list because they only post once in a while and I think it’s a waste of time to bother when they don’t.

    Joe

  24. markku says:

    Personally, I notice that a too frequent posting schedule produces crappy entries, though not posting for some time also results in the same thing. “Too much” or “too little” both have their downsides, the former can simply clutter your readers to the point of annoyance, and the latter just simply alienates them. I think finding your personal rhythm is the key to effective blog entries. :)

  25. John T Unger says:

    There are a couple blogs I subscribe to which post enough entries per day that you could average it out to hourly posts (or even every fifteen minutes). And every day I consider cancelling my subscription… because generally, I only find one out of 30-50 of these posts useful to me. The only reason I haven’t canceled is because those rare entries that I do want to read are pretty darn good, but I hate having to sift through the dross.

    There’s no question in my mind that one of these days, I’ll delete the feeds. I’ve done it before with blogs that were too frequent. And there are blogs like Boing Boing which I *like* but would never consider subscribing to because of the volume of posts… it’s easier to just drop in from time to time, or add it to my google page and check the headlines on occasion.

    Most of the time, I feel like massive posting frequency is a sign of too little focus. I prefer highly focused blogs with consistent quality over “clearing house” type blogs which cover *everything* that happens in a broad area.

  26. Rebecca says:

    As a complete newcomer my blog is a newborn at less than a month old. I am a craftworker and use the blog to showcase my work in progress set against my family life in rural Ireland. I aim to write one post every day, but some days I struggle to find a topic, and so I have already realised those are the days I shouldn’t post as I end up not being entirely happy with what I write. If its a topic that has jumped out at me during the course of the day, then its final composition seems effortless and enjoyable to read (or so I’m told!).

    This site is a great source of information. Currently I’m working my way through the ’32 days to a better blog’, which is couple of years old, but still totally relevant.

    Rebecca

  27. Dee Stewart says:

    When I began blogging I posted about two or three entries a day. Now because I am also a publicist(thanks to blogging, thanks Darren) I don’t have a great deal of time. But the issue now is that I have a lot more original content, that is very time sensitive. However, I can’t get it all in. I am going back and deleting and adding categories so that my stuff can be in the right place, which will be helpful to my readers.

    What I do now is a Weekly News Brief and a new Weekend Edition on Fridays starting next week. This way my readers can get their news on Tuesday and come back on Friday to see what they can get into in Atlanta or at a city near them.

    Also to free up my time I have product reviewers, who will began debating with each other this fall. I’m excited about this one. Scared, too.My goal this year is to make my blog more interactive so that my readers can form a habit of hanging around on their lunchbreaks at my site. So putting too much reading on there will not be goal effective.

    Thanks so much for doing this.

  28. Cary says:

    Hehe… I know I’ve said it before, but I’ve dumped a number of blogs from my feed reader because they post TOO often.

    25 posts a day? Why would I even WANT to keep up with that?

    Of course there is a legitimate reason to post that much if your main concern is SE traffic. I think for regular readers, though, two to four posts is perfect.

    That’s just me though. :)

  29. Peter Kua says:

    Moderation! Balance! The meeting of Yin and Yang. Too many posts overwhelmes. Too few makes the blog dead. Myself? Once a day…

  30. I was in complete agreement with #7 The Zero Boss ‘s comment. I think every situation is different and the relevancy of the blog and/or the number of bloggers contributing makes all the difference.

    On my PetLvr blog .. I could have 10 posts in one day. I probably average between 3-6 per day.My readers mostly come from the search engines trying to lift pictures off of my site or very unique keyword searches.

    I am really just trying to increase this “encyclopedic type of information” in my PetLvr blog’s archives. The more in the archives, the more out there available to bring people in from the search engines. Don’t forget – pet keywords suck financially, so I’m trying to make sure that there’s enough traffic on all the other stuff to make it semi-worthwhile.

  31. My experience with my work blog for the continuing education division of the college shows that posting daily even in a small niche (three counties in SC) brings me traffic that doubles nearly every month, and gets the word out about our programs.

    The content is all about the college, classes, instructors, and events that we sponsor. It’s not daily musings or photos of my food. But it’s not that riveting either. When the college was closed over the winter break, the stats leveled off, but they continued to grow when I started back in January.

    Constantly changing content works for me.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How often should you post to your blog? This is always one of the big questions that bloggers have. It mainly depends on the type of blog that you have. Darren Rowse recently wrote “The Cost of High Quantities of Posts“, where he questions the “value” of adding lower quality posts more often, compared to adding higher quality posts less often. The term “value” is relative, though, and in ProBlogger’s case it means “money”. To be honest, in Webfeed Central’s case, it means the same thing. [...]

  2. [...] The Cost of High Quantities of Posts Darren Rowse posted recently on Problogger.net about bloggers thinking that large quantities of content on their blog will create value. He mentioned how wrong they are in this view, and I totally agree with him. Does the quantity of content that you post to your blog add value to or devalue your blog? [...]