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8.9 Posts Per Week – Too Many? Not Enough?

Over the weekend I asked ProBlogger readers to tell us how many posts they’d written on each of their blogs last week.

142 comments were left referring to a total of 181 blogs. Here are a few of the figures:

  • The average number of posts that bloggers posted to each blog was 8.9 for the week.
  • The most common response was 5 posts for the week (27 blogs had this number of posts – or 15%).
  • 50% of blogs had 6 or less posts posted to them (and 50% had 7 or more posts over the week – or 1 post per day)

Here’s how things look when we graph them. The bottom axis is the number of posts written and the left axis is how many blogs had this many posts.
Posts-Per-Week-1

Note: I’ve excluded a couple of the responses because they didn’t give enough detail on a blog by blog basis.

An observation
My initial reaction to the figures was that it fit pretty closely with what I’d expected. The average blogger is able to get around 1 post out per day (or at least per weekday).

However my curious little mind automatically wonders what would happen if we did a similar survey on a list of more prominent and successful blogs? On previous occasions I’ve spent time surfing through the Technorati Top 100 to find out how often they post per day. On one occasion I found that the top 50 posted around 20 times per day (140 times per week) and on another found that the top 10 posted an average of 30 posts per day (210 times per week).

If someone’s got time to do a more recent survey of how many times they post I’d love to see it – but I suspect that the graph would look quite different to the one above – with a much higher average and a shape that had a higher proportion of blogs at the right hand end of the graph.

What is the optimal number of posts per week?

By no means am I suggesting that post frequency is the key to successful blogging. There are many factors that come into play when we analyze successful blogs.

Comparing ProBlogger readers post frequency with the Top 100 at Technorati is not a fair comparison. For starters, most of the blogs in the Top 100 at Technorati are written by full time bloggers (or teams of bloggers).

When thinking about the optimal number of posts to write per day a blogger really needs to think carefully about a number of factors:

  • Blogger Time and Energy Levels - How much can you sustain as a blogger? Posting too frequently takes it’s toll on you as a blogger and will impact the quality of the posts that you’re able to produce.
  • Reader Energy Levels – Bloggers are not the only ones that can burnout from producing too much content – most readers have an upper limit of posts that they are able to consume.
  • Post Length – Many of the Top 100 blogs that are producing high numbers of posts are doing so with shorter posts. This makes it easier for both bloggers and readers.
  • Topic - different blogs tend to lend themselves to different styles of blogging. For example a blog like Gizmodo which covers the very wide topic of ‘gadgets’ has a lot wider scope than a blog focussing upon a single type or brand of gadget. As a result Gizmodo gets away with a lot more posts per day.
  • Reader Type – different blogs attract a different type of reader. To use Gizmodo again as an example – it’s readers are information junkies whose thirst is the latest information on anything gadget related. They are tech savvy and able to consume large amounts of content – partly due to the large amount of time that they spend online. Other blogs might have a completely different type of reader. For example on my digital photography tips blog I seem to have attracted a lot of older, less tech savvy, beginner level digital camera users. I find that they are less willing to interact with lots of posts each day – so I keep it to a more manageable level (5 posts a week on average).

The optimal number of posts per day or week will depend upon the blogger, the blog’s topic and the reader. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ number and to find the number that suits your situation will take a time and a little experimentation.

The key is probably less about the number of posts and more about the consistency. A blog which regularly posts 200 posts a week that suddenly drops to 5 will probably find it’s readers pushing back and complaining – similarly, a blog which posts 3 posts a week that suddenly moves to posting 80 will probably find itself with a reader revolt.

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. Matt Jones says:

    Consistency is also important for maintaining Feed subscribers, the trick is to increase or decrease posting frequency gradually.

  2. I try and do at least three a week, although with client work it’s getting harder and harder.

    I hope people don’t come away from these figures thinking quantity beats quality, although it’s nice if you can have both.

  3. Hari says:

    Greats stats Darren. Can you tell me what program you use to create that graph ?

  4. Neena says:

    From a reader perspective, I cannot keep up with prolific bloggers, no matter how interesting the material is. It becomes a bit stressful when my Google Reader is overflowing.

  5. At Home Mom says:

    Consistency in quality is also very important, whether you write 5 posts a week or 10 a day. One of my favorite blogs recently began to post far more frequently, which would normally be a good thing, but the new posts are either ads or very uninformative, as if the blogger is just trying to keep the number of non-sponsored posts up in order to get more paid reviews! I unsubscribed.

  6. Amit says:

    Since mine is a new blog, i usually try and post 2-3 times daily. This amounts to 14-21 posts per week. Once i start getting some traffic I’ll reduce my posts count to a smaller number of around 10.

  7. Bruce says:

    Interesting. I strive to do 5+ per week, but wonder if my audience would be better served if I did 3 and made them more in-depth.

    As with At_Home_Mom, I have gotten burned out on, and have unsubscribed from, some of the 20 post- per-day blogs: out of the 20 posts there might be 1 that is worth reading, if that. Some of these sites churn out so much because they are paid per post, and, as you mentioned, it’s easier to churn out more posts when you have a staff of bloggers. Frankly I am surprised they continue to rank high.

    Anyway, I am surprised that the highest rated sites consistently produce several posts per day. I would have thought that folks like Leo at ZenHabits would rate high because his posts are of top-notch quality, even though he is prolific in the number of posts per week.

  8. Ramkarthik says:

    I post around 2 posts a day. As my niche is a wide one(Gadgets and web 2.0), I post 2 per day. I have an idea of getting a domain and then blogging more frequently.Ill be getting a domain this month end with my earnings. As a new blog, ill get many visitors if I post many. Once I get many visitors Ill reduce the number of posts one by one and leave at one post a day. After getting a domain, Ill probably be posting 6-7 posts per day.

    Let me see how things go. Good stats Darren. Thanks.

  9. I am a big fan of one a day (and I say this as a reader rather than a writer).

    I like checking my Google Reader every morning knowing that there is a high probability that most of my blogs will have a post that is useful.

    Three or four less useful posts throughout the day is not as relevant to me.

  10. The Reviewer says:

    Places like Gizmodo, that do 50+ posts a day. I just skim, I read 1 out of 100 articles, where places like problogger, and some ones where 1 or 2 posts are made per day, I have a lot higher likely hood of reading the whole article. I think hitting us with more than 1 or 2 a day seems like a lot. You are gonna go from a read most of the time to read some of the time blog. I have a lot of those, but I like the ones with less posts, better content.

  11. It seems that some of the popular blogs may post 20+ times per day, but how much of it is actual original content? It seems that a lot of blogs are simple “Hey check out this interesting article on another blog I found” and then they link to it (like life hacker, etc.). It would be interesting to count the actual unique content that these blogs create, and have some more numbers on how many authors they have.

    I think for a blog that is run by one person (I have a partner on my, who hasn’t posted in months) one post per day is excellent. Especially if it is a high quality post, like the ones feature on problogger.

    I could easily write 10 of those “check this out” type posts, but I think it would really kill the value of my blog. It seems to work for the “big boys” though.

  12. Danielle says:

    Consistency and quality in my opinion far outweigh the number of posts per day. If I write what I consider to be a good post, I’ll wait until my regulars have read and commented before posting another.

    I return to a blog based on the quality of the writing not the frequency of their posts.

  13. CristianR says:

    From my point of view , quality is more important than quantity . Larger sites like Gizmodo , post 50+ articles per day because they also have user support , users submit articles and they are published in matters of seconds . Nevertheless , as i said , quality not quantity matters . If you shorten a post , just so you can write several other small ones , you’ve taken out of it’s quality .
    I am the adept of writing longer posts but of higher quality .

  14. Tom says:

    I did a similar analysis for my blog, Neural Market Trends. I determined that the optimal posts per day is 2 for me and I data mined other blog traffic data to figure out the best topics to post per day and how maximize Adsense traffic vs Adwords marketing.

    I detail how to do this on my blog, stop by and read the posts in the blogging category.

    Tom

  15. Fanatyk says:

    I’m publishing 1 post every 2 days – it gives time for readers to comment ;)

  16. 60 in 3 says:

    The big blogs are more like news agencies. They push out a lot of information without much conversation or discussion. That’s great for some purposes, but I also like the smaller blog format of an article, along with some recommendations on how to implement the information and then a discussion of the contents. I don’t think I would really have the time to digest 20 to 30 blogging tips a day.
    Gal

  17. alam says:

    For quality I like smashingmagazine, bring full list that make me can’t sleep, so many thing out there that I don’t know :-)
    make me subscribe to rss and wait with patience for other post.

  18. I’m on a two a day schedule. I really find that post consistency is what maintains sustained traffic.

  19. Pua says:

    i go with ‘athomemomblog’…we get burnt out reading non-relevant, no content posts!

    i put quality over quantity. i want to keep my readers come back for more useful info for their hawaii vacation. of course, if we ‘little guys’ had the resources like problogger with many different authors eager to submit theirs posts, we could be meeting both goals…frequent posts at top quality. alas, not possible for us, i think. pua

  20. shedwa says:

    I think how many posts you write a week is also dependent on what type of topic you are blogging on.

    If you are blogging on politics, then there is a lot going on in the news to write about. If you are blogging about photography, it’s kind of up to you to come up with ideas for each post.

    I’d be interested to see a graph outlining what the average number of posts is per niche.

  21. Jarkko Laine says:

    As many commenters have already stated, I think quality and a consistent posting rythm is far more important than huge quantities of posts.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that if a blog is updated too often, I tend to unsubscribe from its RSS feed because I don’t have time to follow all the posts in that blog.

    I like to follow a broad range of different blogs so as a reader to me it’s perfect to get one or two posts per blog per day so that in total I read about 30 good posts.

  22. mdave says:

    When I switched my podcast site from just the monthly podcast post to blogging in-between which averages 6 entries a week. My traffic grew consistently every month.

    I blog with several other people which allows better posts and more variety of topics. You don’t have to keep the pace of something new everyday.

    The trend we saw like others I’ve read here is consistency. Get the reader to put you into their daily routine. We try to post Sunday-Friday morning before 9am.

    Also a regular theme post people seem to come back to more often. Our site does a Weekend “It” List for locals. It’s almost always the best traffic day of the week.

  23. Rob says:

    To be more scientific, you could overlay: ave. words/post, #feed subscribers, revenue? That would answer the questions of quantity vs quality in terms of real results but I think your gut feeling is right. About 1 a day of medium length is probably the average “magic formula”, but my no means the only “solution”

  24. ashok says:

    From above: The optimal number of posts per day or week will depend upon the blogger, the blog’s topic and the reader.

    Agreed. So much so I want to create a new stat, which is “posts read per reader per week.”

    It isn’t enough to catalog the times people actually respond or linkback to posts, because I’ll go through hundreds of posts before I find one I want to comment on immediately. What makes looking for a real-time response even more problematic is that I and a few others I know will respond to a much older post someone wrote when other topics come up later, sometimes months or even years later.

    The trick to knowing how much you might want to post, if you have no real feel for your audience, is to know how much they’re exploring the site, if they’re exploring it at all. If they’re enjoying what they see and seem to be wanting to respond to the logic governing your posts as a whole, then a few times a week might be the best. This may sound like a surefire strategy for having a small audience only, but there really shouldn’t be a reason why quality posts can’t attract a huge readership each time. It just so happens posting more tends to advertise your blog more.

    I am tempted to say that posting more tends to narrow what blogging is. It seems to push blogging in a real-time, news-oriented direction. What if one wants to create an encyclopedia of personal, difficult knowledge obtained and grappled with over time?

  25. Derek Brown says:

    I tend to post when the new news I am interested in (and think my readers will be interested in) happens. I also belong to allexperts.com and will generally write a post, or a series of post based on questions I might get there. It’s tough with a full time job AND I always want to come here to problogger, Yaro Starak’s entrepreneur site, and betterbusinessblogging at least once a day to get my daily “feed”. I am determined to be a successful blogger, and to one day meet yourself Mr Rowse, and Yaro if not in person, over the phone. I want to thank you both for keeping me motivated and on track. oh, back to the question. I guess I average from 4-6 posts per week, except for Carnival day, when about 7-10 post go out in 5 minute intervals.

  26. Darren Rowse says:

    Hari – i used keynote (mac’s powerpoint program) to make the graph.

  27. Rhys says:

    Definitely 5 for me. A lot of my readers read my posts in work, so it’d be pointless posting on the weekend.

    That’s not to say I haven’t posted on teh weekend, just try not to.

  28. Alex Ion says:

    I’m with shedwa on that one.

    When you blog tech you have to give lots of news.
    Take a look at techcrunch (in top50 on cnn). Lots of posts and they have 240k readers on RSS and this is mainly because they need to stay informed in the tech business life.

    To be honest if ProBlogger would be posting 20 times a day with the same quality it does now, if I could I would subscribe 100 times. It would be so much information.

    Many can do quality and quantity at the same time. Why do all the people need to say “I’m making a long post instead of more short one”. Take a look at Michael Arlington : he did 6 articles today (so far). I would have to guess that’s his daily average. So let’s all stop saying we sacrifice quantity over quality. NO. This is our/your rhythm. That’s how we/you blog!

    I’m going back to my blog now because this is something that can turn into a nice article! Cheers

  29. Fatgadget says:

    Hi Darren

    Great Article.

    It is interesting that you used Gizmodo as an example. I tend to find that the big technology blogs rush to get as many posts up per day as they can. Some of these larger technology blogs are starting to forget what made them successful in the first place.

    This has left a gap in the market for smaller blogs.

    They don’t seem to worry about quality of content, I have a simple rule for my blog, if it’s a new gadget, or piece of technology or software that I find interesting it goes on my website, and I try to add my own personal perspective to it.

  30. Quality is defiantly important, but I tend to not read blogs that post less than 5 posts a week. I feel like I’m not really getting to know the blogger, if that makes sense. (I also rarely read high posts like 20posts a day blogs. I guess I like the personal type blogs that share on a subject but make the subject somewhat personal).

  31. Brad says:

    I try to post about once a day, but that can vary widely week-to-week because of various other things I have to do that are non-blog related.

    I usually find it annoying when a blogger writes a lot of posts in a single day. I used to subscribe to a popular technology-driven blog because they were posting upwards of 30+ posts a day!!! I use Google Reader to keep up with the blogs I read and I spent a good hour just reading the posts from this one blog – all from the same day!!!

    At the other end of the spectrum, I am quickly turned off by bloggers who rarely post and give no explanation as to why. If I’m going to go more than a few days without posting, I always try to update my blog just to say I’m very busy and will get back to my regular posting schedule as soon as possible. At least this way people will know that I’m still alive, have not abandoned my blog and it’s just a temporary lapse in my blogging. I don’t know if my readers appreciate it, but I know I would.

    Thanks again for the great post!

  32. MAN! 30 posts per day?!? That’s just insane!
    Who can post that much? And who can read that much? Wow… *shakes head in amazement*

    The problem I have with posting is simple. When I find something that I like, I want to post about it as soon as possible. Normally I don’t put out as much of a quality post as I should. Similarly, there will be often times I’ll post three, four, or five times in one day – and then I won’t post for the next two or three days. :-/ Not good…

    But… this post and 10 Techniques I use to Go from 0 to 12,000 RSS Subscribers in Seven Months… post have given me some great ideas. I plan on making good use of those concepts.

    Thanks so much Darren and Trent for those two posts! They’ll help me very much!!!

  33. Gooner4ever says:

    At recent time IMO you are posing to many sports peer week.
    Can’t track them anymore.
    I needed to print all off these posts to read them before sleep.
    To much good content at such little time.

  34. Dojo says:

    This is my main problem now .. after reviving my blog I finally realized I need constant content. And I have to start small, as other “smaller bloggers” in the example with 1 article/day or per workday and maybe increase more as I find the time. The most important thing would be to try stick to this schedule no matter what and not let numbers drop again. I cannot dream of writing 30 articles per day since I don’t have the time, but 1 entry / day should be doable.

    Again a good article. Consistency is very important. As we promote our projects we also need to add up content on a regular basis.

  35. Cher says:

    Once in 2 days, so a maximum of 4 posts per week. To get a unique content, i think for a starter 4 posts in a week can be a good start.

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