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Sometimes Less is More – Post Frequency

Improve-BlogToday Skellie from Skelliewag.org talks about how she improved her blog in 2007 by reducing post frequency.

The best thing I’ve done for Skelliewag.org has been reducing my post frequency from (when I was able) 7 days a week down to 3 – 4 times a week. It’s allowed me to start freelancing, but it also doesn’t seem to have hurt the blog any. By posting less, I can pack a lot more into the content, making each post more link-worthy and more valuable for readers. It also gives the content more time to snowball on social media — and to gather comments.

It seems counter-intuitive, but posting less and packing more value into every post has given me more freedom with my time and allowed the blog to grow faster than before. That’s been 2007′s revelation for me, because I always assumed that as a blogger, you had to choose between one or the other.

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. Justin Dupre says:

    This is something I may be wanting to try. I’ve just transfered to wordpress, so a new year, new beginnings, everything.

    Justin Dupre

  2. I usually only post 3 times per week. Seems to be working fine for me. Although all of my posts are on the long side.

  3. Tess says:

    Skellie, I noticed this and for me it has two (good) effects: firstly I look forward to your posts more, it’s good to see when something new by you pops into my reader; secondly I can pay them more attention.
    We often talk about how many poor bloggers there are around, but, there are many really fantastic ones as well, and it’s impossible to keep up with masses of posts, no matter how good they are, and that can be frustrating.

  4. Mary Jaksch says:

    I like the posting rhythm you have now established on your site, Skellie. When you were posting just about every day, the site seemed a bit too busy for me. Before I could absorb a particular post, I was being hit with the next.

    I started with posting 2x per week, but I want to slowly extend the gap so that I end up with 1 post a week. The reason is that I’m getting some interesting comments to posts and a culture of thoughtful discussion is developing. I notice that as soon as one post is superceded with the next, the discussion is cut off.

    Another reason for a weekly rhythm is that I actually have a real life – not just a virtual one ;-)

  5. I forgot to ask: do you think that posts need to be longer if you post less frequently? Why?

  6. I personally have found that I spend more time reading blogs that less post frequencies, and unsubscribe from ones that post multiple times a day for the sake of posting.

    I usually post 3-4 times a week. Sometimes more for a quick announcement or if there is some news that should be discussed and timeliness is important.

  7. Skelli, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Spacing out posts to every couple of days, rather than daily, and really packing it full with great information (and images) makes your blog stand out from the rest.

  8. abasits says:

    I wish, I could manage to do the same -:)

  9. SpiKe says:

    This is something I’ve done this year, and I feel it’s had a positive effect. I was worried about it because there is so much blogging advice out there suggesting we should post very regularly. I’ve gone from 5 spread unevenly through the week to 4 posts on specific days and though It’s only one less post a week, that’s four posts a month. Considering the bulk of my posts are fairly lengthy, it’s really taken off a lot of pressure. Rather than struggling to think up new content, I actually have a backlog of ideas and because I have more time to think about my ideas it also results in better quality posts. They are also more evenly spread out so ideas, comments and discussions have time to formulate and grow.

    SpiKe, Organize IT

  10. Natalie says:

    As my blog launched only 3 months ago, I currently post 5 times a week to build up a good amount of archives. However, I will be reducing it down to 3 times a week, to allow for more developped posts. Additionally, I try to post one pillar post each week.

    I agree that if a post is very good, it takes time for the reader to take it in and as a reader of several blogs, I prefer it when the posts are long and developped, but not too frequent.

  11. Brad V. says:

    I try to post, on the average, once a day. My posting frequency depends a lot on how busy I am with other things (blogging isn’t my full-time job), and if I have a good idea for a post.

    One of my goals for 2008 is to streamline my posts more and include more regular features in my blog.

    Great post with some great advice! Thanks!

  12. This was interesting. I have been posting about once a day for a while, but I have also been thinking of reducing it to about 3 times a week.

    Sometimes I find that I rush my posts, just so I can get it out within the 24 hour limit. But by waiting a day, I believe that my posts would be a lot better and the content would be a lot more interesting for everybody, and I would probably enjoy writing them a lot more as well.

    Thanks… I guess I got some great advice in 2008 :-)

  13. Skellie says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone :-). Do feel free to email me the results if you try posting less to get more.

    @ Mary Jaksch: I don’t think length is necessarily the most important factor, but value. That being said, it’s a special skill to be able to pack a lot of value into a short post, so starting with longer posts might be a good idea.

  14. I’m currently a one-a-day poster, but have considered dropping it back to 4-5 times a week so that I can spend more time on the other blogs and magazines I work on..

  15. I post 5 days a week but recently toyed with posting 4 days per week. I’ve been going back and forth about this and haven’t firmly decided what to do. But I believe doing this would better serve my readers… and me, too.

  16. jhay says:

    Posting less has been the trend for me in 2007. Not that it was intentional, I had so much off-line work at school and at the local theater group.

    But since the trend will continue this 2008, might was well follow this tip and post more quality content that churn out a couple daily.

  17. Dive says:

    Interesting food for thought.

    I’ve been wanting to have “features” about 4-5 times a week, but have been also posting a “Photo of the Day” every day on my music blog to fill in the gaps and have some daily content while I get the blog organized and running (it’s a little over two weeks old.) Even though I try to include some commentary on each photo about the subjects or the shoot, I’ve been wondering if these posts might be “diluting” content.

    Maybe I should try to get my photography only blog going, and try to get readers checking out both. The photo blog would still be mostly music related as that is the bulk of what I shoot, but I don’t know, does that make sense as an approach?

    I’m very new to all this. Any input would be appreciated.

  18. Frank says:

    As my blog is very specialised, I tend to post when I have something new or relevant for my readers. This may be three times a week or once fortnight.
    I am relying on traffic looking for specific information which may be a mistake on my behalf , only time will tell…….

    As regards Skellie’s posting frequency, agree completely with many people here. Would rather read a good, sharp post three times weekly than something rushed out each day.

  19. Well, although I do not fell compelled to post daily, I can look back at my indicators (income, rss, standing in Alexa, Technorati, etc) and tell you that it is definitely true that when I do NOT post daily for long periods (such as dropping to 3 times per week), the effect does show, though it’s mild.

    If I really slack off, the effect becomes more pronounced..

    For me, it’s safe to take a break, it’s safe to cut back a little, but I can’t cut back too much for too long.

    YMMV

  20. Tara says:

    I only ever started blogging as a very part-time blogger just wanting to have a bit of fun so it amazed me when people started reading and subscribing (as it still does!).

    That being said, it is still very much something I squeeze in when I can (although I must admit it is all a bit addictive as I am sure many of you know) so I have never had the problem of posting too much.

    But at least I don’t feel guilty about that now and I can see it as part of my strategy – thanks Skellie :)

    I am aiming for 3-4 posts a week as I have found that the blogs I enjoy most have a similar posting schedule and anything else is a bit too ‘busy’ as others have mentioned.

    Tara

  21. Cat Laine says:

    This is the number one thing that I’m going to try to do this year to improve my blog. Woohoo for more time to network/connect with folks and write original content!

  22. In my mind, the balance absolutely tilts toward quality over quantity (both in terms of frequency of posts as well as length of post). When I’m reading or posting, I’m looking for a quick “lesson” or piece of useful information that I can either impart or take away over the time it takes me to drink a cup of coffee.

  23. Allen says:

    I believe that too but I believe in your first six months it has to be everyday or more to build content but you limit your post size o create quality and by the end of your six month period thenn i believe you can post not so regularly look at my blog I started 35 days ago http://www.livelymoney.blogspot.com it has over 53 post then I believe you can diminish it and when you are full time blogger one or two post a day can take you less hen 4 hours to get quality post.If you want to no more e-mail me people at [email protected] or my site http://www.livelymoney.blogspot.com and will help bloggers who need help because I am new too so I can probably relate with your problems

  24. I usually post 6 times a week, but I’m going to try to break it down to about 3-4 days now.

  25. Adam says:

    Its again a quantity Vs quality battle. Reading the comments, most of the community posts an avg of 3 to 4 times a week. Thats a good number I guess to keep the readers subscribed.

  26. pavs says:

    I disagree. This depends on the type of blog you have I am guessing most of your readers who reads your blog more or less blogs about the same thing you are blogging about. Either “how to blog” or “how to make money with blog” or “self help type” (ie, zenhabits). If you have a blog about politics (which I dont) during election year your blog should be able to keep up with immense amount updates going on with the candidates, or it’s not worth reading your blog. If it’s technical in nature (like engadget and my own website) you can afford to update it more often.

    I have days when I update my website 15-20 times with new posts. The point here is not everyone write for the RSS readers. Especially when you are at the early stage of your blogging with only 500-1000 feed readers. What you need in the early stage is more posts, alot more posts. So that you pick up readers from search engine hits.

    If you are already a established blogger like Darren is, than you dont have to worry about bringing more traffic in (there is a limit to how much your blog can grow), you just worry about maintianing the existing readerbase with less frequent quality posts.

    So here I disagree with both skellie and Darren.

    In december I had 110+ posts in my blog and my blog grew by almost 70+ feed readers more than any other months in my blog history. I posted a lot of quality contents in the early stage of my blog, Which itself would have easily made an e-book. But this did nothing good for my blog.

    You can see a relation of my post count to my feed readers gain: http://www.blogperfume.com/feed-analysis/index.php?months=6&uri=http://feeds.feedburner.com/linuxhaxor/zvzl&pro=1

  27. Andrew says:

    “Think quality (it counts) not quantity”

    I feel that this quote from Dr. David Swatch in his book, “The Magic of Thinking Big” provides sound advice for bloggers.

    I personally like the idea of posting on a consistant schedule, be it every day, three times per week or whatever. But I think that the quality of your posts is far more important than the quantity of your posts.

    I personally believe that it’s best to stick to a posting schedule which I can comfortably manage without in any way compromising the quality of my posts.

    Cheers

    Andrew

  28. CatherineL says:

    I guess consistency is the key. I posted less when I was ill and my blog did suffer. I suppose regular readers who use a feed reader won’t come back if there’s nothing new.

  29. I think if you can do quality posts with just as much content, then posting less won’t help. There needs to be a balance.

  30. Dee Copeland says:

    I’ve just moved to posted 3 times per week now that it’s a new year. I let readers know in the 1st post this year what to expect. I realized that interviews, guests and really hot issues seemed to get the most comments, so I plan to focus on those.

    I like the idea that it’s not the quantity of posts, but the number of subscribers and quality that counts. I’m glad that we’re moving to advocating higher quality blogs rather than the “just get out there and do it” mayhem.

  31. tarawat says:

    I usually post 7 times per week .
    but i don’t have original content!
    my site contains articles from the back issues of magazines, journals, trade publications and newspapers. :(

  32. Lex G says:

    I believe it really depends on the current situation of your blog … For example if you have a post that is attracting a lot of attention then it’s good to have it stick on the front page for a while to see what happens with it …

    I have found out that this way I can get a ‘feel’ of when to publish a new post … ( This way of working is really handy if you don’t have a lot of time to write posts for your blog …) …

    Lex

  33. Sangesh says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Skellie, since the more quality any given post is the more reader it attracts. No question about this.

  34. Binh Nguyen says:

    And I’ve been thinking I’m posting too infrequently. Thanks for telling.

  35. Ruchir says:

    Yes, feature articles do get more traffic and also reducing your post frequency certainly helps those feature articles gain more coverage. But the problem is not many of us can write 3 feature articles a week as many bloggers blog part time. I try to write about 1 feature article a week and sometimes I even fail to do that…

  36. LC says:

    I’m certainly glad to read that quality density may work better than a barrage of posts for some!

    I often feel that my site is at the end of a long tail, and there is not a plethora good 3rd party content readily available. As such, at least 75% of my content is original or from contributing writers. Fortunately, the subject of small shopping centers is of interest to many consumers as well as the industry groups, but the searches are about zippo so it’s definitely a push marketing effort and it starts with content of value.

    What I don’t like about 2-4 posts a week is that the RSS feed boxes can look pretty skinny and I’m sure I lose subscribers who see that as well. I’d rather not backfill with junk; we ‘re very new and I think in time the model of content depth will pay off.

  37. Sean says:

    I concur! I am working on getting more quality posts rather than having longer fewer posts.

  38. patticakes says:

    Hmmm, I’ve noticed that I get more traffic the more stories I post on http://www.hollywordz.com. It seems that when I don’t post as frequently, I see low traffic at the end of the day. Maybe it’s more about marketing my blog as opposed to always feeling like I need multiple stories each day…?

  39. pavs says:

    Taking things into perspective…
    techcrunch.com posted 14 articles yesterday (january 2). With 626,000 feed readers, I wonder how many they lost.
    On january 1st they had 8 posts with some of them having 100s of comments on a single post in one day.

    Techcrunh always post articles at that rate with huge turnover. Look at darren’s post count. He posts at the rate of 3-5 posts a DAY. Surely there is something he is doing right? And not all of them are even guest posts.

    The fact remains, more posts brings more readers. This also depends on what kind of blog you have. If you talk about how to make money everyday, No one is going to read it, or you do freelancing on a regular basis. But this is not the “norm” and definately doesn’t apply to EVERYONE.

    Especially if you have advertisers to keep happy. Lets be honest this is a blog about making money. And you will make money based on traffic, and your traffic will come, if you have contents for traffic to read; and you will have contents if you post more often. Simple logic

    Skellie doesn’t have any advertisement in her blog, she makes money mostly from freelancing, and having huge amount of traffic to her blog is leasts of her concerns. Because she doesn’t have to make advertisers happy.

    Try to ask darren to post 2-3 time a week of “featured posts” and see how he flips out.

    Honestly. If you want a succesfull money making blog you need to have contents more often. But if you blog “just for fun” than we are not on the same page and this is definately not the blog for you.

    Cheers,
    pavs

  40. RS says:

    I agree with this post. I think it is much better to post with content with higher content. It is to many blogs with to much non-interesting content. If blogs shall give anything else than the common newssites we have to work more with quality in content.

  41. Skellie,

    This is a revelation to me because in December I was posting 3 or 4 times per day to try to increase my traffic. The rate of posting meant that I was working crazy hours and I ended up spending the holidays sick like a dog. I did decide to cut back for 2008, but I was still aiming for one post per day with a couple quizzess per week.

    Based on your findings, I will go back and revise my posting plans and perhaps, I’ll just bring it down to 5-7 posts per week.

    That was very useful info.

    Thanks!

    Gisele
    http://www.mybeautymatch.com

  42. pavs says:

    Another update :)
    the guys from gizmodo just launched io9.com, in it’s first 24 hours it had 535,500 hits. Mostly because of all the promotion from gizmodo. But why did they post 40 articles in the first 24 hours, they will get the traffic regardless of whatever. They don’t need to make 41 articles.

    It’s because they get indexed by google faster and gets organic traffic from google alot sooner in more numbers. Thats why posting more is better.

    You can look at io9.com first 24hours traffic here:
    http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s31io9sf&r=12

  43. Thats good to hear, So if I take the day off from posting it wont be the end of the world?

  44. Thássius V. says:

    Sometimes I get myself impressed about the number of new items on my Google Reader. Bloggers think that the most they post, bigger are the chances of having more visitors.

    Maybe it works for some of these bloggers, but not for all of them. Users must have time to assimilate new information. That’s why reducing post frequency works.

  45. I can not agree with you more Skellie, less is defiantly more when it comes to quality over quantity. The risk of not being crawled as much is worth it with all the trackbacks and links you’ll get from consistent strong posts. It’s more important with a smaller range blog to earn a network and loyal readers, then just a one time (or short span) increase in traffic.

  46. Jason says:

    I find this true on my site. I have been spending more time at my full time job and less time writing posts, yet the blog income is increasing. I actually make more when I do 20 posts than when I do 30 posts. This may not be true in the future, but it seems to be the way it is for now. More people see your post at the top of your blog for a longer period of time and therefore your newest posts have a higher read rate. I just hired a photographer and I was going to hire an extra writer, but now I can use the additional money on other parts of the business. The other side to the story is the effect of more versus less posts. For example with more posts I tend to get higher Google search results, so even if I make more with less posts it may be better to write more posts.

  47. kelvin says:

    I am not sure if the more you posts, the more will it be indexed by google? Do u think it can increase search results?

    To keep ur content updated, I think better post at least 1 per day.
    Kelvin,
    http://whichuniversitybest.blogspot.com

  48. ITSPAUL says:

    can’t the readers choose between the category they want to be fed?
    This way you can post frequently in some categories and mantain the ranking on alexia etc. while post quality in some that you know your readers would be interested in.
    amature at this. kindly let me know if my assumptions are wrong.