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Post Frequency – How Many Blog Posts are Too Many?

Last week I published the results of an informal survey that asked for Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Blogs.

There’s been a lot of discussion about the results – particularly the almost contrasting most common reasons:

  • Too many posts
  • Infrequent Posting

The above responses are fairly general and unquantifiable – so two further logical followup questions come to mind:

  • how many posts per day are too many?
  • how many posts per day are too few?

What is the range of daily posts that you personally prefer from a blog? What would the tipping point be for you at either end for you to unsubscribe?

In some ways this is a difficult question to answer as I suspect it’ll vary form blog to blog and what type of content that they’re producing (ie I suspect blogs with shorter posts would get away with more posts per day).

I’ll also make two more comment on the results of the previous post:

  1. These results were not my opinions but those expressed by readership of this blog – a blog for bloggers. I suspect that this skews the results somewhat (although perhaps they give some hints as to what our readers also think).
  2. If you look at a lot top blogs going around, they do break many of the reasons that were given for people unsubscribing. This particularly is so for ‘too many posts’. For example – if you look at Technorati’s top 100 list you’ll find that the top 10 post an average of 20+ times per day (I’m taking those averages on what they’ve done so far today – so it’s probably higher). So obviously there’s some disconnect between the reasons that ProBlogger give as a reason to unsubscribe and what’s going on in the blogosphere.

But enough of my thoughts – what’s an acceptable daily post frequency for you from 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.

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Comments

  1. Mike Panic says:

    Like everyone else, it really depends on the blog. Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Engadget, I’m looking for 20 posts a day, maybe move. They are always quality and always worth reading – OK not always, but for the most part. Other blogs I follow like BoingBoing post 25+ times a day and only about 1/4 of that is of interest to me. Others like The Raw Feed only do a handful and I find that to be more then enough to get my fill.

    I use the google custom homepage (google.com/ig) and some blogs I eagerly await new posts to be posted and read right away while others I’ll catch up on all at once, either early morning or late evening.

    The tempo and brand of the blog has a lot to do with how I read them, so there is really no cookie-cutter way to answer this question.

  2. engtech says:

    I like 1-2 a day.

    I’m in the same boat of when I’m busy I remove feeds, when I have free time I add feeds.

  3. Ashish Mohta says:

    I think it will depend on what kind of audience you are targeting.For blogs which target news need a frequent update.Other can be little slow.Moreover for new blogs they should have 1-2 post a day so readers can understand..

    I do like 1-2 max.I have to work too.

  4. Everton says:

    I don’t think it’s as simple as working out what’s the optimal number of posts for readers. If you posted more frequently Darren it would never make me subscribe – I would read less. The only feeds I’ve ditched for posting too much are Engadget and Kotaku as they were reaching crazy levels.

    60-70% of my traffic comes from Google so my 4-5 posts a day are designed to continue to grow this traffic, not necessarily to keep my regular readers happy.

    What I am finding though is that my readership recently appears to be big enough so that I have enough readers to ensure that I get sufficient comments on each new post, even if only a 1/3 of my regulars have the time to read each one.

    Darren can you please add a subscribe to comments feature. I never come back after leaving a comment as I don’t get alerts and I’m sure a lot of readers are in the same boat. You would probably double the number of comments and hold onto more readers if you do this.

  5. As a reader: one good post per day is enough. Even one per week is enough; I have other things to do in life besides read blogs.

    I think that people who believe they can create 3+ “good” posts per day need to raise their standards a bit–or admit that they are just creating spam for SEO.

  6. Sam says:

    3-5 posts a day is great range. One a week will keep it on my list. more then 15 a day unless it is a major blog gets it the boot

  7. TallFreak says:

    More than three a day is ridiculous.

  8. Gillian says:

    It depends on the topic — I happily browse through 10-12 posts a day on a blog about poverty because it is an international news roundup on a topic that interests me.

    Niche topics (like SEO, blogging technology, etc) are much narrower fields and I’m happy for 1-2 per day. Correction: I’m totally over SEO and linkbaiting, etc… so, zero per day would fit there.

    It has to do with my learning curve — as long as I’m still gleaning new info, I’m still interested. When I feel that I’ve heard just about all that the blogger has to say, I’ll drop them from my Bloglines.

    I was pleased to discover gliffy this week – a handy tool for adding graphics to webpages, including blogs. Darren, have you used it? I think you’d have fun with it and it would add a new dimension to your posts.

    On my blog, I try for one post a day, and I always include a photo, map, graph or image. I’m looking forward to playing with gliffy at http://schoolstjude.blogspot.com.

  9. Wow, 20+ posts a DAY!? I can only go on my own experiences but when I posted 3 or 4 times a day, people got fed up, and the blog comments reduced, so now I blog once a day, and occassionally, will blog twice a day.

  10. Sorry and ‘Everton’ makes a good point about comments subscription. I have found that this has increased comments considerably because people come back when someone else posts – a bit like a forum.

    I know you don’t have a problem here with the amount of comments, but I do forget about blog posts sometimes that I’d like to have come back and seen what else everyone has commented.

  11. Catherine says:

    Hmmmm I post once every three days. In telling life as a redhead, single mom, taxi, tutor, maid … there is only so much I want to write about in a given week. Maybe this is a sign I need to get a bigger life…?… (DON’T ANSWER THAT)
    But Postsecret posts once a week on Sunday, so I am probably ok with somewhere in the middle. I am impressed with those of you who find time to post several times a day.
    Oh to have that kind of time…
    C
    http://journals.aol.com/rapieress/Aweekinthelife/

  12. Trent says:

    I post six times a day and three a day on weekends (and most of those posts are more than just link-fluff) and my RSS subscribers have almost doubled each month since the site came into existence (now about 5,000).

  13. One thing that drives me nuts is to see many, many posts (like 10 or so) go up all at the same time (usually on a news-y type blog), and those posts are just quotes of other people’s posts, with a sentence or two of input from the blogger. To me, that reads as “phoning it in” and is a waste of my reading time.

    If a blog is going to be posting a whole bunch, I’d like to see each post look like some thought went into it. Also, if they’re going to post a whole bunch, I’d like to see it spaced out throughout the day, rather than a purge of 10 posts all at one time.

    For those bloggers who write essays, I could get by with 3 a week, or at most 1 a day.

  14. Linglom says:

    I’ve just started blogging only a month. I post once every 3-4 days. Is it too few? It’s about computer tutorials. If I post more often, will traffic increase?

  15. I used to write and publish a lot more than I currently do, about 5 or 6 posts a day, but the quality of the posts was lower and the posts themselves were shorter and didn’t go into much depth.

    These days I post 1 to 3 times a day, and on some days no posts at all, but the posts are a little longer (3-5 minute reads are average), go much more in depth, and seem to have been received well by readers. I’m more popular than ever.

  16. Kyle says:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with alot of blog posts. It’s the content that is important. A reader can smell “filler” from real content a mile away. If it’s all equaly great content then it doesn’t matter.

    It’s always quality of quantity, however, if the quantity is equally to the quality then great!

  17. Raymond.CC says:

    I agree to many post a day is quite annoying. I post 1 a day and that’s it. Human can’t learn too many things a day :P

  18. Trent says:

    I’ll read as many quality posts as a blog can throw out. In fact, I appreciate the ones that can do many quality posts in one day because I can learn quite a bit. What I don’t like is poor quality posts.

  19. Jacob Share says:

    I think that the most appropriate post frequency depends on the blog itself, its intended audience, and sometimes even other blogs.

    The blog – if the blog is news-oriented, it doesn’t make sense to only have weekly posts, since people are accustomed to the news being many bulletins throughout the day, like on radio or TV, so a much higher frequency would be needed. On the other hand, if the blog is about NFL football where there’s only one game a week, multiple posts per day would probably be excessive.

    The intended audience – most people can’t spend more than an hour a day during the week reading through their blog subscriptions and so an in-depth daily post that takes 30 min to read is out of the question and probably won’t be followed regularly. That same post would probably be fine as a weekly weekend read if the audience are mostly reading from home and not the office.

    Other blogs – this isn’t always an issue but if your blog doesn’t distinguish itself enough, it will be more susceptible to its competition. Although they aren’t blogs, take the Digg and Reddit homepage feeds as an example. They have similar content and a high posting frequency. Now imagine that Reddit lowered its posting frequency significantly. The readers who view them both as news sites would probably unsubscribe from Reddit and stick with Digg, since it would appear to be more on top of the news.

  20. RachelAPP says:

    I don’t subscribe to any blogs but bookmarks my favourites and check them out at least once a week, or every day, depending on how busy i am.

    When i check the blog, i like to see a few new posts but not too many, so i would say that 5 posts a week is a good number for me.

    But i’m thinking in terms of word count really. If posts are short (50 words), then i don’t mind reading a few of them at once. I guess i like to read about 500 words at once – more than that and i don’t have time, fewer than that and i might feel the blog hasn’t brought me/taught me much so i might drop it from my list of “blogs to check”, or i might wait one month before i check it next.

  21. Dave says:

    Quality almost always trumps quantity on a blog. I go for 2-4 posts a day on mine, and that seems to be the sweet spot. Except for today. I am running a gimmick that other blogs have used to varied success: the 24 Hour Blog Party. It started about 15 minutes ago and will go until noon tomorrow. Last time I did this, I got 47 posts done in 24 hours. I was typing like a madman for the first 8, then had to slow down to 1 an hour. People said they enjoyed it because my writing got really loopy in the early morning hours. The whole thing is designed to raise money for my server costs. I kept my goal low last time, and I met it. I am doing the same thing this time, so the challenge is striking that balance between quality and quantity. It’s really hard to do over 24 hours which is why I only do this twice a year.

    With that being said, I will hit the magic 500 post mark sometime later this afternoon.

  22. Will says:

    See, this is where I’m on the fence.

    Places like Lifehacker have a feel of just blogging for nothing but the sole purpose of whoring themselves out by having 10+ articles posted per day. I hate when I open my RSS reader every day and have to sort through 20+ new posts from the same website.

    I keep short posts only to my General annoucement section, and my News section. As they are both designed to brief the reader. All of my other posts are all in depth articles that I try to write for the expansion of my readers knowledge.

    1-3 New articles per day I think is fine.

  23. Josie says:

    For the average blog, I think one to two posts a day is fine, or maybe one or two posts per week, but on the same day. For blogs that have short posts, or posts that link to something, with a short description, I think five to ten is good.

  24. Leo says:

    The number of acceptable posts depends on the “weight” of the content and the topic of the site, for me. I can withstand a much higher number of posts from a feed like Digg, because a large portion of the links are quickly scanned and disregarded. On blogs that have much more knowledgeable writers who post frequent, in depth articles on things I would like to know, the number of posts can quickly become overwhelming. On those blogs I would like to see the number of posts be no more than 2-3 a day, at most.

    But this all really depends on the length and content of individual articles. More generally it will also obviously depend on the number of blogs any particular individual subscribes to and how much time they want to spend reading. I don’t believe there is a single answer to this question. All I can say is that I have unsubscribed to many blogs because there are too many posts, and I can’t say I’ve unsubscribed to any for too few posts, except those that are clearly defunct.

  25. More than frequency…I think word count is important…how long does it take for readers to read through your posts.

    5-6 posts of 100-200 words is more digestible
    than 2-3 posts of 500-750 words….me thinks.

  26. I agree with Leo’s comment about not unsubbing because of too few posts. Unless I go looking for them (I use Bloglines) I don’t even notice all those blogs that never post. I’m much more likely to unsub from a blog that generates huge numbers of posts that to me are off topic or of no substance.

    I don’t think the Technorati top 100 is an accurate tool to measure subscriptions. What it is really saying is that the content has attracted a lot of links by arousing the interest of other bloggers who want to use that original content to provide the basis of a post for their own blog. I sometimes wonder how many blog posts actually add anything original.

    Another question you might like to ask is how do we measure a blog’s success? Is it from income, through either direct sales, or advertising revenue? Or is it from reader satisfaction, if only by a few?

  27. Ades says:

    Here is a Guide on posting frequency. The posting frequency is directly related with the blog’s objective.

  28. I am still getting a feel of how many posts to post in a day. I usually post around 4-10 short posts mostly funny pics, music, videos. Is that sufficient or am I way off?

  29. Frank (China) says:

    Probably 3-5 per day for sites with a little depth, or a big issue. Sites that post once a day are often better because there is more depth.

    Sites with lots and lots of little links pretending to be posts don’t need a subscription because there is always something to see. For these, I go directly to the site….

  30. Giap says:

    i would post 1-2 a day=)

  31. CHARON says:

    I agree with Dave’s comment…. It’s really hard to do over 24 hours.

  32. Jen says:

    Know your reader. Then you will know your desired post frequency. I would go crazy if I were hit with 20 posts in one day to wade through, but that is because I’m not the target reader for the type of site that requires such frequent posting.

  33. Thanks for your information. Most of the posts in the blog is really valuable. Regards

  34. Maple says:

    Very nice post.I like your examples you use. It is nice to see someone confident enough to use their own sites to help others. Thanks again for sharing……

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