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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. MJ Ray says:

    @doktorthomas – no, life doesn’t always follow your plans. Unexpected absences are a good reason to post ahead (using the post timestamp feature in wordpress, or the publish embargo feature in Chronicle – most good blog software has a similar ability, or you can rig one up without much effort).

    Then if news breaks and you want to change the schedule, it shouldn’t be too hard to either add posts or swap the news post for another one.

  2. Meangreen says:

    I think considering page rank is once a day the minimal frequency, I can not afford to skip even once a day habit. I didn’t wrote for a month on all my blogs. Because of the fact I started to move out. And My online income went down by lots of amounts. because the page rank went down. That is the bad part of not frequently posting. I am challenging my self to write more than once a day on every each blog. Thanks for sharing, great post. Darren !!!!!!!!!

  3. I must say this is a very good approach to settle this issue, Darren. Once and for all, we learned that posting frequency depends on many things and it is important that bloggers should realize this.

    I admit, I cannot post everyday due to my office work and of course, having quality time with my family. But I try to post at least 3 times a week for both of my blogs, and long enough to make my readers enjoy them and not get bored waiting for my next post.

    Consistency is what readers like from us, next to the quality of our posts, I think.

    Thanks.

  4. Ulla says:

    I try to post thrice a week – sunday, wednesday and friday. More than that would be outside my capacities. The days between I comment on other blogs, am active in Flickr, and think about new posts. I always prefer quality over quantity – and I have decided not to read feeds when I haven’t got the time, instead of keeping them for later. I’ve got a 8-4.30 job and all my blogging and blog-reading has to be done in my free time. It may be different for other people. Just my 2 cents.

  5. I try to make a useful post daily.There is more to blogging than just posting, so one per day is enough for me.

  6. moonburst says:

    I write about 3 – 5 articles a month, or at least try to write more if I can handle it (full time job etc.). If I feel that my posts made were instant classics or timeless articles, they would hold their own pretty much even if it was 5 articles a month. Daily posting is good if you have a news or media blog. It actually depends on how strong your writing skills are and the theme of your blog that would govern your posting frequency.

  7. Stanley says:

    My blog is celebrity news, that I draw-daily! So, not only do I have to come up with a post idea , but I also have to spend time drawing it and writing the daily dish. But I’m happy to say that I have 1 post everyday(even the weekends) since Feb!

  8. Absolutely amazing. you have discussed very important point regarding blogging here

  9. george tomas says:

    While I don’t recommend it for everyone, I have only made a few posts in the last four weeks.

  10. zestycook says:

    Hey – Awesome article and I love your blog. I read it all the time. At http://www.zestycook.com, I started out posting everyday only mon-friday and it seems to be working well. For a food blog, do you think that weekends would be beneficial to try posting on. Also I have been trying to post a big crowd pleaser on Fridays but now after reading yout blog I am wondering if that should be moved to earlier in the week. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    Cory

  11. tip says:

    Hi, just surfed in. I enjoyed looking around your web site. This site has been very useful to me so far and I have barely scrathed the surface of it.

  12. Are you disposed for the summer vacation? Sun should be sizzling as not in any degree in front!!:) Daydream my ac need give up on me! Any plans?

  13. Bo says:

    People buy newspapers daily and magazines weekly or more often monthly. Content is different and readers know it. So frequency must depend on the blog content. Nothing more, nothing less.

  14. elite gamers says:

    Quality beats quantity everyday of the week, and even on sundays. Filler post are ok some of the time. There is no way someone can pump out 3 – 4 college level articles, including research, pictures and videos everyday. I would rather take 3 – 4 days and write 1 high quality article, which is written on a college level. Then to pump out 3 – 4 low quality articles everyday.

  15. System says:

    well I post when ever i’m free and feel like postiong. some times 10 posts a day and some times no post in weeks