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What is the Ideal Post Frequency for a Blog?

Ideal-Post-FrequencyIn our current reader poll I’m asking readers to tell us how many posts they made on their main blog over the month of May.

It’s only been 12 hours since I posted the poll so it’s early days – however so far category with the most responses so far is 1-10 posts (currently with 30% of the responses).

A number of readers have asked me about ideal posting frequency today so I thought I’d put together a few ‘random’ thoughts (and they are random):

1. The ideal post frequency will vary considerably from blog to blog

Some blogs need a lot more posts than others in order to satisfy their readership. This depends upon a number of factors including:

  • The topic you’re covering - for example a blog with a wide niche with lots of breaking news each day will need a lot more posts to cover it all
  • The style of writing – short sharp posts mean you can get away with posting more in a day than if your blog is one that is all about producing longer and more in depth ones.
  • Demographics of Readers – the type of reader that you have can impact posting frequency. For example I interact with one blogger who has a very young audience who just love lots of short posts. The same blogger has a blog targeting a much older demographic and he finds that if he posts more than once a day with them that they feedback that it’s too much. I don’t think that it is always as simple as this – but it can be a factor
  • Blogger Numbers – if you have multiple bloggers you will obviously be able to increase the output that they can produce.

2. Increasing Posting Frequency CAN help grow your blog

More many blogs there is a relationship between posting levels and readership levels. This happens on a number of levels:

  • posting more creates more pages for Search Engines to index – every new post is a new doorway into your blog when it comes to search engines
  • posting more increases the frequency that your blog appears in front of subscribers – this increases the chances that they’ll read something you write (to a point – see point #3)
  • infrequent posting can cause readers to become frustrated - it can also hurt the momentum on a blog and give readers a sense of you becoming disengaged

It isn’t as simple as saying the more posts you write the more readers you’ll have – but increasing your post frequency can definitely add life to a blog that is struggling.

3. Posting too much can hurt your blog’s growth

On the flip side of point #2 is the fact that sometimes if you post too much you can frustrate readers and cause them to stop following your blog.

I surveyed readers last year on the reasons that they unsubscribed from blogs and two of the top reasons were ‘posting too much’ and ‘not posting enough’. Obviously there’s a balance that needs to be struck here – but do keep in mind that your readership will have a certain level of tolerance for consuming content – exceed it and they’ll begin to disengage and either unsubscribe or stop ‘reading’ everything you write.

4. Sometimes Less is More

One trend that I’ve noticed in talking to bloggers who have been around for a while (after their blogs become established) is that they find that ‘less can be more’. I’ve lost count of the number of bloggers who tell me that scaling back their posting frequency a little brings a new life to their blog.

In almost every case that I am thinking about the blogger is a more established blogger who has worked hard to build up an audience. They say that scaling back a little means that they are able to develop better quality posts, that they get more comments per post (the posts remain on the front page of the blog longer) and readers say that they appreciate it.

Perhaps this is part of the life-cycle of a blog when it reaches a stage of ‘maturity’.

5. Regularity and Rhythm Is Important

More important in my mind than actual numbers is that a blogger find a rhythm and stick to it. This is important as it helps their readers to know what to expect and to align themselves with your rhythm.

If you decide to post once a day then that’s great – stick to that wherever possible. If your rhythm is one post per week, then that can work too, but don’t suddenly put in days where you do 10 in a day (unless there’s some special reason). If your posting frequency is 5 posts a day, then keep to that rhythm.

There will always be days that you break your rhythm – that’s ok, but try to keep the majority of your days at a similar level.

For example – on my two blogs I’ve established two quite different rhythms:

  • ProBlogger – I try to post 2-3 times per day here at ProBlogger. I post one longer post per day (this would be that one for today) and one ‘lighter’ post. The first post usually explores a question, is a how to post or a deeper exploration of a topic. The second one is usually either a newsy post, a shorter post or something that is discussion oriented. The first post is designed to go deeper and the 2nd is more easily consumed quickly. I also throw in additional posts if news breaks on a topic relevant to the blog.
  • Digital Photography School – at DPS I only post once a day unless there’s something important that I need to get out about the site or some really massive news (very rare). On weekends we usually feature a reader question type post and a forum highlights post and on week days it’s usually more of a ‘how to’ type post.

A Suggestion If You are Starting Out as a New Blogger

I am aware that many ProBlogger readers are just starting out with blogging and that the question of ‘how much should I post’ is one that many grapple with.

Here’s what I usually suggest to a new blogger:

Start out posting slightly less than you think you’ll end up posting. I suggest this because it helps you ease into posting and can help you not to burn out in your first few weeks.

For example – if your goal is 7 posts a week I generally would say to a new blogger to post around 3 quality posts in their first weeks, aim for 4-5 in the weeks after and then to ramp it up to 6-7 after a month or so.

In this way you’re giving yourself room to get used to having to come up with an idea every day and you also give yourself a little more time to do other things that are important in the early days of a blog (networking, getting your design right, learning how to use your tools etc).

Further Reading on Posting Frequency:

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. Louis Liem says:

    IMO the frequency needs to be balanced with the “weight” of the post. Like you said earlier, people may unsub if they found frequent updates of articles with shallow depth. It’ll only cluttering their mailbox.
    On the other side, once every two days is good enough if the article isn’t just newsy but also adding more opinions and points of view.

  2. team ray says:

    idk how readers of engadget like 20+ post per day

    but in your you book did mention that geeks like more and more

    i actually find it spammy

    but in the end its whats the user wants and how much you can deliver

  3. Jacky Supit says:

    yea even i knew all the points already, still i can’t manage my self to work it on :D

  4. Jacky Supit says:

    oh but somehow my feed readers increase, and my blog is growing up fast. i guest i am lucky huh :)

  5. Oscar says:

    Hi,

    as a blogger I post once a week allways on Monday, it has given me very good results in terms of subscribers but in visits it decrease during the week as there is no new post.

    It is also true that the more post you have writen the more visits you have through google for instance.

    I also agree with Darren to steak to less post than you think you are able to. I begin with three a week and the success has arrived when I do one quality post a week.

    As a reader, some blogs are overwhelming, my reader receives everyday hundreds of post, so it is difficult to read.

    Keep posting! :-)

  6. Adam says:

    At devjargon.com we post 3 times a week. I feel that based on our content this is a good posting frequency. It really depends on the blog however.

  7. Nishadha says:

    The ideal for me is one post per day , but if you can’t find something worth while to blog about its better not to blog at all. I tend to plan my stuff now , I usually don’t post on Sunday and use that to read up watch current trends and to get ideas for future posts.

  8. lady coveted says:

    i have been scaling back, i used to do 2 to 3 posts per day, and now i’m doing one. but i just opened a shop, so i am considering going back to 2 posts per day…

    i mean, i don’t want to seem like every other post is about my shop. yikes!

  9. Mark Salinas says:

    Great information! I am always learning!

  10. Shanel Yang says:

    Re Point No. 4: How long is “a while” and what is meant by “established?” As a relatively new blogger struggling with the number of posts right now, I’d very much appreciate just a little more elaboration on these points. Thanks!

  11. TheMadHat says:

    Forget posting frequency, it’s irrelevant. Post when you have something good to say, don’t just post because it’s time to.

  12. sarah says:

    i definitely agree with point 5. i think more than anything else it makes sense to be consistent — so that readers know what to expect from you, and you don’t throw them off with a sudden onslaught or draught of posts!

  13. OldSailor says:

    I post minimum one post a day to make sure my readers don’t forget me.:)

  14. If i manage to add one quality
    post every 3 day i would be happy!

  15. I am in the group that gets overwhelmed with too many blog posts. I can’t keep up, feel like I am missing all the good stuff, and then have to stop reading. LifeHacker.com has great info, but they post A LOT and sometimes I really do get overwhelmed.
    On the other hand, I completely agree that I think regularity and rhythm is far more important. If a blog is silent longer than the usual break, I’ll wonder if it’s been abandoned. If they post too often, I’ll get overwhelmed.
    I have no problem reading blogs that only update once per week. If they give me valuable content, I will be faithful reader.

  16. Jayson says:

    IMO If someone is posting like 10 times or more a day, that is SPAM. Who can work and keep up with reading all that? lol

    Your suggestion about different length post is a good one, maybe a short one in the morning, and a long post in the evening when people have more time.

    Thanks.

  17. Frugal Dad says:

    I agree with your advice to start off with a routine slightly reduced from your anticipated post-per-day scheduled. Most new bloggers (myself included, a few months back) rush into blogging full of post ideas, only to burn through them in a week or two and then have a lull. Let your new posts “simmer” for a full day or two on the top, front page and attract readership. As you begin to see subscribers pick up you can pick up the pace a little as well.

    When you have a few hundred subscribers and are interested in changing the frequency, solicit their feedback. I did that about three months in and my readers thought I should blog “whenever I have something to say,” whether that is once a day or two or three times a day. I’ve stuck to a once a day schedule, with the occasional afternoon post to address big news.

  18. Eric says:

    Thanks for the suggestion for new bloggers. As a new blogger, well… I appreciate it ;)
    - Eric

  19. Edward Lomax says:

    Very interesting topic since I am just getting into blogging seriously. I tried a few times before but just never got the hang of it.

    To combat this problem, I look at my blog like a magazine with a particular theme. Then I focus in on one particular aspect of the theme for a month or so, exploring and sharing on that targeted topic.

    I’ve gone as far as to create a publishing schedule, which is a combination of a larger post once a week and smaller posts the rest of the days. Seems to work well so far and I do between 5-7 posts a week.

    I think it really depends on the frequency you can produce quality posts and how fast your particular topic is changing.

  20. How to DIY says:

    Darren, another quality post. This is something I’ve been having an internal struggle with lately. I’ve been wondering where that fine line between too much and too little is.

    I’d like to have a set frequency. Most of my articles are fairly lengthy how-to type articles so it takes a little while to get the details together and stuff. I have been averaging about 1 every 1-2 days. Personally I think this is enough but my RSS subscription numbers are very unstable and go up and down frequently.

    You’ve made a lot of good points and I’m gonna sit down and do some thinking about just how often I should get stuff out there.

  21. Eric says:

    @ Edward — quality over quantity – you are right that is important.

  22. I have been trying to post more frequently as of late. I don’t generally post daily, but I do try to post at least 3 or 4 times per week.

    The problem is that my niche is absolutely massive. There are probably a million blogs focusing on my niche, and it is hard to make my blog sticky enough to have them return.

    I am exploring the idea that I should not worry about these things, and just keep on keeping on, or so the saying goes.

    Perhaps if I continue to write (what I consider) quality content, things will start to happen for me.

    Good post though, it was interesting to read that people actually unsubscribe for bloggers posting too frequently.

  23. Eric says:

    @ Tech Juice: Regarding unsubscribing… I unsubscribe when I get to the point that I’m just not getting anything of value any longer from a blog or site. But that could be due to a variety of reasons though. So if you are posting a ton of material but it’s all worthwhile and valuable, then I stick with you (problogger great example). But if it’s just not valuable material to me, then I will drop it. And that doesn’t mean it’s bad material either – just means I am not getting value for my own needs.

  24. A perfect example are technology related blogs like Lifehacker, they tend to post about 20 a day.

  25. Pras says:

    Yeah. I feel posting frequency is very important. Especially for startup bloggers. Instead of giving 10 average articles,its better to write 5 quality articles per week. We should not forget the fact that ‘Content is the King’.

  26. Kirk Warren says:

    You should run a contest, or some other incentive-like reason, for readers to fill out an expanded survey where you’d be able to draw even more conclusions from the data.

    For instance, the majority say 1-10 posts a month, but I’d wager that they more than likely have personal blogs or not striving to be a “big” blog or what have you. Sure, some big bloggers can get away with 1 or 2 posts a week, but in general, the higher traffic blogs have a post a day or more.

    You could ask stuff like preferred platform, who has a domain name, how much traffic, default or custom layouts, post frequencies, and the list could go on and on.

    Maybe give out copies of your book and you could do up a detailed analysis you could sell to advertisers or others looking for detailed information on bloggers or use for future book material.

    The polls are great and all, but some make it difficult to gauge anything from as we can’t really put together if high post frequency leads to more traffic or low frequency leads to high or if there’s a threshold of posts we should stay in, like 20-40 per month, 4-8 a week, etc. that would come out in a more detailed survey.

  27. Alex Fayle says:

    Two sites I really like I almost stopped reading because of the frequency – Unclutterer.com and TheKitchn at Apartment Therapy.

    I decided to stick with both, but almost right away delete every post from TheKitchn because there are just too many coming in – I only stick around for ones that really grab me.

    When I mentioned my temptation to stop reading these blogs on my own blog, I received a comment from Unclutterer explaining their posting policy. What she told me made complete sense and I now know exactly what to look for in their posts.

    So for me, it doesn’t matter the frequency – if I know what the schedule is and why, then I’ll stick around. (Then again as with TheKitchn I might stick around but I won’t actually read anything).

    Cheers,
    Alex

  28. Jess Gordon says:

    I have found that when I write a long blog post containing lots of information, like a tutorial, it is best to wait a few days before posting again. This gives everyone a chance to read and digest the information. Also, sometimes people will have questions which I can answer right in the comments section. Other times people will try a technique and come back with a link to their example. If I post several other posts too soon, I notice that a lot of people just read the most recent posts and the one I spent so much time on doesn’t get as much attention.

  29. Biodun says:

    Really its depends, i normally blog 2/3 times a week. The more you update, the better really! But once you start adding posts at a certain rate Google will expect you to keep up that pattern and doesn’t really like when you slow down.
    I’ve seen positions rise when i have been building content but dip slightly when i leave it for a while.

  30. Strong One says:

    I’ve been struggling with this topic since I started my new blog.
    I like your suggestion of starting small and then ramping up if desired.
    My biggest problem is spending too much time researching and hashing over how each post should be. I have a ton of information to share, I suffer from the scatter-brain syndrome.
    Thanks again for all your helpful information.

  31. John Stewart says:

    I think it all comes down to readership expectations. If your audience know that you post once an hour / day / week (delete as applicable) then they will come to expect a new post to read within that timescale.

    When I think of the blogs which I look at regularly, I could tell you the amount of times they publish new posts, and I suspect the majority of surfers are the same.

    I would say that no matter how frequently (or infrequently!!) we post to our blogs / websites, maintaining a level of posting stability is important. Actually sticking to a posting plan, well that’s another subject entirely…..

  32. At my personal development blog, I aim for about 3~5 posts per week. However, my posts tend to be longer and greatly detailed (about 800 to 1200 words each) because I like to explore topics in greater depth than most people.

    I think for a blog like ProBlogger, 2~3 times is good, especially since blogging issues aren’t going to be explored rather deeply – like personal development – instead you’re going to be passing off quick bits of information on a wide range of topics.

    All in all, it really depends on the blog itself.

  33. MoneyEnergy says:

    I like Edward Lomax’s points and approach (above).
    I’m also in the camp that doesn’t want to read too many posts a day from a given blog. 2 is nice. That’s enough. I’d rather be inspired to think than just get new “updates” – like there’s anything of substance to update two hours later, usually:) There might be in the twitter generation, though:)

    But these are good points about updating and getting the search engine’s attention. Personally, I don’t think I will ever post more than twice a day. What would be interesting is to hear about blogger’s traffic stats and how they change over the week. Is Sunday the slowest traffic day for you, or Saturday? Does your blog run on a different schedule?

  34. Manish says:

    In my opinion posting should be done once a day atleast and I also agree with you that posting should be in a regular pattern.

  35. I generally try for 2 posts a week – Monday and Thursday. Being a photoblogger means I just can’t knock off a quick post, so usually I’ll work on Sunday afternoon to get the weeks’ posts sorted and spread them out over the week. I also work on project blogs so that if there’s a quiet week I will have something up my sleeve to post to try to keep to my posting frequency.

  36. Michael says:

    It’s funny to me because I try to post between 2-4 times a day, but a lot of times when I post 4 times in one day I may end up with less visitors then days when I only post 2 times in that day. I still haven’t found the perfect balance yet (one would assume that 3 would be perfect but there have been days when I’ve felt the need to post 5 times and I end up with a lot of visitors).

  37. Noobpreneur says:

    Darren,

    Good tips – I personally try to post once a day.

    I’m considering doing a meme or something, but right now I stick to post my thinking, not based on the current breaking news.

    Cheers!

  38. Muscle Post says:

    I definitely think it’s most important to maintain a schedule so your loyal readers aren’t coming back time and time again expecting new posts and getting nothing. Eventually they will get tired of this and stop visiting. It’s better to post a couple times a week on set days than 4 times some weeks and 1 time other weeks and 0 times other weeks.

    In general, I like there to be a post added every 1-2 days. I understand if a blog I read isn’t updated daily, but there should be a post at least every other day or every third day at the extreme.

  39. Ari Herzog says:

    @Shanel Yang – Just like there are different schools of thought on what constitutes sexual virginity, there are different perspectives on an established blog. Some define such by number of months/years, or number of posts with interactive comments, or number of subscriptions, etc.

    If you think your blog is established, sometimes the answer is in the eye of the blogger.

    @Frugal Dad – Good idea to occasionally solicit feedback through polls and the like.

    @Edward Lomax – Is that your real name?

    @The Tech Juice – Have you tried not worrying about other people stealing your niche by interjecting more of *YOU* into your entries?

    @Everyone – Do you comment in response to the poster or in response to prior commenters? Do you check off the button to receive emails of follow-up comments? If not, why not?

  40. We’re trying to establish a news resource for folks that have little time. Our goal is to post between 3-5 posts per day and then more depending if we have special content. For example, we love the One Question Interviews idea that we saw on this site and so those posts will go up as we get the answers back. It’s all very exciting but I do think it really depends on the strategy of your blog!

  41. Duckeldanny says:

    I think its important to look which posting is more interested. If I would take a big contest, I would not write anything else the next 2 days, because many people should see it on the first. But if you write a boring article, I would write more than one a day.

  42. Collin LaHay says:

    While I don’t recommend it for everyone, I have only made a few posts in the last two weeks, and my RSS went up by 45. Depending on what you blog about, readers will stay if you provide them a reason to. My techniques are worth subscribing to, even if they do not come every day.

  43. With regard to part of point 2 – “infrequent posting can cause readers to become frustrated”

    Why is infrequency such a big problem?

    If someone visits a blog every day and continually finds nothing new, I can understand that person getting tired of fruitless checking … but isn’t that what feed readers are for? … and subscribing to posts by e-mail? Or even just checking less often?

    With RSS or subscription a bloggers failure to post isn’t causing the reader any effort or anguish.

    I realise not everyone uses RSS, so an infrequent blogger probably needs to promote these tools to their readers and explain the benefits. Even then, some won’t subscribe … but if it’s a choice between losing a few casual readers due to infrequency, or posting when you’ve got little to say (or are too busy to write good stuff) for the sake of appearing regular, then I’d rather post good stuff less frequently.

    Posting “filler” lowers the overall quality of a blog’s content, which might also harm readership.

    If you can post quality posts AND do it frequently and regularly, that’s great! But many can’t always do both, due to life outside of blogging (not everyone reading this blog is a problogger). If it’s got to be one or the other, I’d rather have quality over quantity any day.

  44. MJ Ray says:

    Maybe another interesting poll question is: how often do you think you should post to your blog?

    @LintCollector – posting too infrequently still takes up some space, download and processing time in the collector, particular if your feed is “last 10 posts” or similar, doesn’t return a Last-Modified date in the HTTP header (wordpress usually does this right but not all software does) and never expires old posts. It’s only a little, but it soon adds up with dozens of feeds.

    One of my first checks when tidying up my subscriptions is “list feeds by last change date” (along with “list feeds with errors”) so it will lose you subscribers. If your site is really good, I’ll see whether direct email subscription is possible, but I think I’ve done that like twice in the last year.

    I have my feed reader set to only check the last 7 posts in a feed and only add a maximum of three to my start screen – if you post too often, I’m probably not reading everything you post!

  45. ajay says:

    as a new blogger , i post minimum 3 post per day and maximum of 5.
    is it good?

  46. doktorthomas says:

    While attaining perfection in blog post scheduling may seem like a worthy pursuit, no matter what an individual settles on it most likely won’t achieve the desired affect. Why? Imagine if you were to sit down right now and schedule, for the next week, the precise times you are going to interact with your significant other, your boss, your dog (or cat or other pet), your siblings and your parents. Can’t be done effectively. You can make dates for certain events or leave work at a certain time, but interactions are not mechanical and cannot be scheduled like a softball game or a hard drive back-up. Familiarity, relationships require vacillating attention. The same with blogs. When your significant other calls and says the dog got hit by a car, that won’t be on your schedule. You gonna skip it??? Doubt that. The same thing with your blog. Things will happen; the world will evolve in manner that will require imminent blogging; other times, a more relaxed pace will be the norm. Therefore, it will always be a juggling act. That is a performance that some will be better at than others and some will just be lucky and profit from the traffic. The ideal is give your blog a level attention that is commensurate with your personality…..that will be felt and appreciated by users. Passion and commitment are keys to success in blogging and in life.

  47. Previously, i little bit worried about my post frequency. I afraid whether users will stop reading my blog, if i post so much content.

    But your above information made me clear how much i need to post for each week. Thanks for providing such a valuable information to us.

    I usually do 2 post/day from monday to friday. So totally 10-12 posts per week. I am a beginner blogger. i will improve my frequency once my blogging days progress.

  48. My blog is about a month old. Before I started it, I thought about my other time commitments (work full time, gym workouts, etc.) and how much time I could devote to my blog.

    I decided that I would rather post slightly less frequently, but regularly, so I have established a schedule of posting Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon. So far, it’s working and I have been able to keep it up. I think I’m writing good length and good quality posts.

    I keep a running list of future ideas, so I always have something ready to write about. I haven’t had trouble yet thinking of something new, and I usually have several ideas in the can. But then, I’m new at this. I have yet to see if that remains true!

  49. I’ve been posting once a day Monday through Friday, and occasionally on Saturdays, once I saw through Google Analytics that I have a high readership on Saturdays. In a few months, once I feel I really have a solid readership base, I’ll probably move to 3-4 times a week.

    For me, shorter posts – or posts that are simple to read – are preferred, since my target reader is a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom with preschoolers. They don’t have more than 5 minutes at a time in front of a computer, so I need to engage with them quickly!

  50. Curt says:

    Thanks for the great ideas.