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What Thomas Edison Can Teach You about Blogging

thomas-edison.jpgThomas Edison was one of the most prolific and influential inventors that the world has seen. Inventing world changing technologies such as the light bulb, phonograph and the motion picture camera – Edison is someone whose views on emerging technologies can inform what we do in blogging today.

Following are 11 Thomas Edison quotes and some thoughts on how they apply to blogging:

1. Start with a Need

“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

Blogs succeed when they meet a need – whether it be a need for information, entertainment, community or something else. The best place to start when building a blog is to think about a need or service that it might provide people. Once you know what that need is – start building.

2. Work Smart

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”

It is easy to fill your time as a blogger with many tasks that seem urgent – yet which are not important. Don’t become obsessed with any one task in blogging and put thought into your workflow so that you can concentrate on the important rather than the urgent.

3. Work and Wait

“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits. “

Most new bloggers quickly find that to build a blog to it’s potential takes time. In some ways it is a waiting game while the search engines index you, you establish trust with readers and build your profile in your niche. However it’s not just a matter of waiting – it’s about working hard – particularly in the early days of your blog.

4. It Takes Work

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. “

Coming up with a great idea for a new blog is just the beginning – to make it a successful blog takes a lot of hard work.

5. Failing Takes You Closer to Succeeding

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. “

Every post you write, every way that you attempt to promote your blog, every tool that you use – treat these things as learning experiences that shape your future. If something doesn’t work – you’re one step closer to finding something that will. Build on what you build and be willing to try new things – this is an important part of being a good blogger.

6. You are Capable of Astounding Things!

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. “

Don’t get trapped into limiting yourself as a blogger because you’ve not ‘made it’ yet.You have incredible potential, you are unique and have something in your that no-one else has. Tap into what makes you you and you’ll be on the way to building something valuable.

7. Sometimes Failing is The Start of Success

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. “

One of the wonderful things about the blogging space is that even when things don’t turn out the way that you plan them – they can still be a success. My first photography blog was designed as a photoblog – the problem was that no one ever looked at my photos – but instead read the little camera review that I also posted on it. That gave birth to something that grew into a full time living!

8. Don’t Give Up Too Early

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Most blogs are abandoned after a month or two…. the average time that it takes a blog to rise to the top of the pile is around 3 years (it’s now longer).

9. Make it Fun

“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”

Blog about something that you enjoy, that you have passion for, that you’d talk and write about for free. While this doesn’t guarantee success it certainly makes blogging a more pleasurable and therefore sustainable thing.

10. Have Lots of Ideas

“To have a great idea, have a lot of them.”

Put time aside regularly to dream, brainstorm and wonder ‘what if….’. Not every idea for your blog will work – so it pays to have lots of ideas!

11. You Don’t Have to Start with the Finished Product

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

Many bloggers get trapped into thinking that they need to start out with the best blog design, on the best domain with the best blogging tool. While it can help to start out with all the bells and whistles – most successful bloggers started out with the basics – a free blog on a free blogging platform with a default template. The key to their success was that they had a good idea and worked hard. Most upgraded overtime but what you see of their blogs today isn’t how they started out.

5 Tools that I’m Happy to Pay for as a Blogger

There are so many free applications and services available for bloggers that many of us get into a mindset of being anti paying for anything. However sometimes you get what you pay for in life and as a blogger wanting to build your blogging into a business there are some things that can be well worthwhile paying for.

In this post I wanted to look at some of the tools that I do pay for:

images-1.jpegSkype – Skype has become the backbone to my online communications. I use it as my primary instant messaging tool as well as to chat voice to voice with business partners and in networking. For the main it is free – however I pay for a couple of extras to make it even more useful.

The main thing I pay for with Skype is calls to landline phones and mobiles with SkypeOut. I regularly call overseas and the rates on Skype are considerably cheaper. I also pay for SkypePro which gives free calls to landlines within my country, free skype Voicemail and a discount on having an online number (something I also have). I spend around €20 a month on Skype.

aweber.gifAweber – For a long time I used a free newsletter service to send out weekly newsletters to many thousands of subscribers. However I increasingly found that you DO get what you pay for. Emails were not being delivered in greater and greater numbers and I was finding the service quite unreliable. Since switching to Aweber I’ve felt a weight lifted from my shoulders.

It works – every time. Emails are delivered in much higher numbers and the tools that Aweber offer are leave anything else I’ve used for dead. This is one tool I should have paid for years ago. Pricing varies depending upon how many subscribers you have but starts at $19 a month.

images.jpegImageWell – this image editor (for Macs) is amazing. It is a light image editor that gives you the power to do a whole heap of image editing quickly yet professionally. It is how I edit most of the images that I use here on ProBlogger and allows the adding of text, cropping, adding borders, reshaping and in it’s latest version the ability to change contrast, brightness, saturation and sharpening.

Yes you can do all this in photoshop – but this is a much lighter and easier to use tool. It used to have a free version but recently it became a paid only tool – well worth the $19.95.

pq128.pngPicturesque – this tool is similar to ImageWell as it is another Mac image editing tool. In many respects it leaves ImageWell for dead as it’s got some great extra features (it allows you to make images 3D, add reflections etc – however the only thing that it doesn’t do is add text to images (something I need).

Still – I’ve paid for this one too and am using it more and more. It costs $34.95.

Picture 1-17-tm.jpgecto – regular readers will know about this one already as I’ve been an ecto (for Mac) fan for quite some time. I’ve tried other Mac desktop editors and they are quite good but ecto ‘fits’ with my own posting rhythm so well. The only one that I’ve been playing with lately that I’ve found increasingly useful is Scribefire (a firefox add-on). However I tend to do a lot of offline writing so ecto works well for me. It costs $17.95.

Other Expenses

I’ve only picked out five tools that I pay for – but of course there are many other services and expenses that can come into blogging including hosting, domain names, paying writers, advertising, ISP costs, computer costs, blog design etc

With most of these you can find ways to do them for free – however sometimes the outlay can be worth it.

What blogging tools and services do you pay for?

The Main Difference Between Twitter and Plurk (to me)

Over the last week I’ve been experimenting with a social messaging/micro blogging service called Plurk. Over the last week I’ve seen many comparisons between it and Twitter – but wanted to show one of the main differences that I’ve observed:

To illustrate let me show you a ‘tweet’ and a ‘plurk’ message that I posted an hour ago:

I shot this question out to my ‘followers/friends’ on both services – “What is the #1 reason that you blog?”

The response was instantaneous on both services. I got great replies on both. There were many more Twitter answers than Plurk ones – but that is because I have around 10 times as many ‘friends’ on Twitter as I do on Plurk.

However there is one main difference….

The responses that emerged on Twitter were a whole lot of individuals responding to me in isolation. Your followers on Twitter don’t know what other people have answered.

On Twitter I saw this page a few minutes after I asked the question:

Picture 2.png

There’s some great responses there – (and there were another 60 or so) but the problem is I was the only person who saw them ALL.

On Plurk the responses are all grouped together – not only for you to see but for your followers to see also.

Here’s the beginning of the responses on Plurk a few minutes after I plurked:

Picture 6.png

If you scrolled down further you see that I added a followup question – something that people responded to in the thread:

Picture 7.png

You can actually view the full Plurk conversation on this page.

This style of conversation means that everyone benefits from the whole conversation – not just me. It means that it’s not unusual for conversations to emerge between your friends as well as between you and your individual friends.

The other thing that I like about Plurk is that conversations are contained and don’t get as mixed up as they do on Twitter.

10 minutes after asking the question on Twitter my ‘replies’ page contained all kinds of messages. Some were still responding to the first question I asked, some to the followup, others were responding to earlier tweets, some had moved on to new topics with me….

Which is Best?

This is the question I’m being asked more and more. Is Plurk ‘better’ than Twitter? My answer is generally that I think both are great. You see there are times where the more communal, multidirectional conversation that Plurk offers is brilliant – but there are other times where you don’t necessarily need it and where the more one on one conversation is more effective.

I also get the feeling that while there is a definite overlap between Twitter and Plurk in terms of who is using them – that there’s a different kind of person using each one. Plurk seems to have emerged out of a younger crowd than Twitter – perhaps this is more useful in some circumstances also.

Reflections from a Blogger on Writing a Book… about Blogging

problogger-book.JPGIt’s been six weeks since the launch of the ProBlogger book and it has been a lot of fun to see people’s reaction to it.

Last week Amazon sold out of it and a 2nd print run took place which was pretty exciting and we’ve begun to hear reports of the books hitting shelves of bookstores outside of the US (it should be available in most countries in the next few weeks).

Two questions that I’ve been asked quite a bit recently about the book have been:

  • How is Writing a Book Different from Writing a Blog?
  • Why Do You Need to Write a Book and a Blog?

Today I’d like to write a few thoughts on each.

How is Writing a Book Different from Writing a Blog?

While there are some similarities between writing a blog and a book they are very different beasts.

Size and an Overwhelming Task – For me the hardest part of tackling a book was simply that a book is a much larger job and at times can be quite overwhelming to write.

While ProBlogger (the blog) has ALOT more content than the book (over 4000 posts compared to 220 pages) bloggers don’t tend to look much further ahead than their next post or two when planning a blog. But from the day you put your book submission into a publisher you are forced to look at it as a completed thing.

Deadlines – most bloggers work to the beat of their own drum. They are their own boss and post what they please when they please. While our editing team at Wiley were supportive all along the way it is a different feeling to know that you have deadlines and people watching over your shoulder to ensure you get the job complete.

Editing – most bloggers (including myself) could probably do with some editing and proof reading – however it’s not always as easy as it might seem to have someone looking at your work with a critical eye. Again – the people we worked with were good at what they did but it can take some adjusting to have someone send what you’ve written back with critique – particularly if you’ve been your own editor for years.

Co-authors – I really enjoyed working with Chris on this project for a number of reasons. For starters it was just nice to have someone else to work with (blogging can be a lonely thing at times) but I think it also enhanced what we could offer. Two people tackling a topic means two perspectives, two skill sets, two sets of experiences and expertise. I think the book is richer and more useful because of the collaboration and considering that Chris and I have never met and that during the whole process only spoke voice to voice once on Skype – I think we did OK!

The Aftermath – one of the most satisfying feelings that I have as a blogger is hitting the ‘publish’ button on a new post. Hitting it fills me with a little relief (that it’s done) mixed with anticipation and a touch of fear ( as to how it will be received).

With a book the moment of finishing it has similar feelings – yet they seem to be amplified. Perhaps it’s the length of time that it takes to write and then get published or perhaps it’s the size of the work – but waiting for reviews and reactions to trickle in is a pretty amazing feeling. It’s also been a great feeling to watch the reviews come in (there are 20 really helpful ones at Amazon).

Why Do You Need to Write a Book and a Blog?

One of the most common questions that I’ve had in interviews about the book is people wanting to know what the point of having both a blog and a book on the same topic is. ‘Can’t people just read the blog?’ and ‘Isn’t it just repeating the same stuff?’ are two different expressions of this question.

The reasons that I always wanted to do ProBlogger as a book are numerous:

Logically Presented – when you write a ‘how to’ type blog one of the frustrations is always to come up with a way of presenting the information in a way that is accessible to new visitors to the site. With 4000 posts in the archives written in a chronological order it can be difficult to come at the topic in a way that guides a new blogger through the process of setting up a blog. Even with categories and pages like Blogging for Beginners I get emails on a daily basis for people struggling to find information in a way that leads them through the process. A book is quite linear in how it is presented – and therefore meets a different need to the blog.

Up to Date – another limitation of a blog is that it is written over a period of time and as a result dates. When I started writing this blog I was a different person, using different technologies, there were different trends and tools etc. I wrote for an audience who had different needs and out of a different context myself. Again this makes it hard for someone digging around in the archives of this blog to work out what is still relevant. A book will also date – but at least all the information in it is currently current.

New Audiences – over the last week I’ve begun to hear from a different kind of reader at ProBlogger – a reader who discovered this blog through the book. Most of the book sales that we’ve had so far have probably been ProBlogger and ChrisG readers finding the book through our blogs – but when you work with a publisher like Wiley and have your book appear in stores like Borders, Barnes and Noble etc – it opens you up to new audiences. Add to this the promotional activity you do with interviews and other publicity and a side benefit of writing the book is to discover new readers for your blog.

Different Mediums Suit Different Learning Styles – I had an email from a reader today that says:

“I have been subscribed to your blog for 8 months now and have always felt like I should be getting more out of it. But today when I read your book (in one sitting) it all ‘clicked’ for me.”

She went on to explain that while the book was written in a similar style to how Chris and I blog that she felt that it was that it was in a book that helped her to ‘get’ what we were saying. Perhaps it was the more familiar medium, perhaps it was that it was presented more linearly…. but a book just seems to work for some readers better than a blog.

WidgetBucks Secures $10M Funding to Expand Ad Network

A quick congratulations to WidgetBucks ad network for announcing their VC funding today.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the injection of funds helps this already promising ad network to grow in what they offer publishers.

Disclaimer – WidgetBucks is a sponsor of ProBlogger.

How Batch Processing Made Me 10 Times More Productive

Today I want to share a technique that has increased my productivity levels incredibly.

stress.jpgimage by estherase

“How do you fit so much in?”

This is a question that I’m asked a lot.

Yesterday I kept track of the work that I did. It included:

  • Researched & Wrote 5 blog posts (2500 words) – Planned a future series – Edited 3 guest posts
  • Moderated 150 comments (Lara did the rest)
  • Read 300 emails – replied to and wrote 50 emails
  • Twittered 30+ times (including private messages) – Plurked 50+ times
  • Participated in a b5 training chat (1 hour)
  • Read (scanned) my RSS reader (600+ feeds)
  • Used StumbleUpon, FriendFeed, Digg and other social media sites
  • Took 4 Skype calls – IM’d around 8 others
  • Oversaw the upgrade of DPS forums
  • Did an email interview to promote the book – Arranged to do a radio interview later in the week

It was a reasonably busy day (on top of all that I did the normal dad/husband things as well as managing to go out for beer with a mate) – but not untypical at all. In fact last night I went to bed at 11pm – I often work for another hour or two.

So how do I get it all done day in day out?

The technique that I’ve been using more and more is what I call ‘batching’ or ‘batch processing‘.

It’s not a new concept by any means and I’m probably not using the terminology correctly – but it’s what I call it.

Batch Processing 101

In my understanding of the term ‘batch processing’ it was always used to describe systems (usually computerized ones) where data was collected together for a period of time before it was processed. Instead of doing every small ‘job’ as it arrived jobs were ‘queued’ or collected until the computer was ready to process them all at once. This meant that the computer could do these ‘batches’ of jobs all at once when it would otherwise be idle.

My First ‘Discovery’ of Batch Processing as a Blogger

My own ‘discovery’ of batch processing was quite intuitive. I’d not heard of the term until this last term but when I did I realized that I’d already been doing it to some level.

I’ve written numerous times before about how I apply the principle to writing blog posts.

batch-writing.jpgimage by Karsoe

I generally set aside Monday mornings (and usually Wednesdays also) for writing posts. I take my laptop – camp out in a cafe – spend most of the morning off-line (so there are no other distractions) and just write. My goal is to write at least 5 posts that I can then use later in the week. Quite often I’ll write as many as 10 posts in a 5-6 hour period.

Having these batches of posts in reserve means that during the week my time is freed up to engage in other blogging activities. Of course I supplement these batched posts with others during the week but having the bulk of my writing done in one go enables me to be more efficient. It also means that my posts quite often build on one another as one will spark another idea. If I get on a roll it’s amazing how much can be written in a short period of time.

This was my first taste of ‘batch processing’. As mentioned above – I started doing it intuitively (I think the first time I did it was when the internet went down at our house for a week and I had to go to the library to use the public computers to post for short periods of time).

My Messy Life

The problem was that while batching my post writing helped free up the rest of my week – that the rest of my week was a jumble of activities – I ran from one task to another and never seemed to get anything done. My life felt like a traffic jam with tasks coming from all directions.

traffic-jam.jpg

A typical day would see me checking email 30 times a day, moderating comments as they hit my inbox, being interrupted by IM throughout the day, reading RSS when I remembered to do it between using social media sites and writing extra blog posts. The result was that my inbox had over 10,000 unread emails, I never cleared my RSS Reader and that I would get to the end of most days feeling like a nervous wreck.

My mistake was feeling compelled to deal with things as they came to me.

This only worsened as my blogs became more successful and as I took on more commitments (writing a book, speaking engagements etc).

Batching Everything

Over the last six months I’ve taken batch processing to the next level and applied it to many aspects of my blogging.

I have discovered that most of the activities that I do in my work can be ‘batched’ in one way or another. I have discovered that many ‘urgent’ things can wait and in fact to make them ‘take a number’ and ‘get in line’ brings order to mess.

queues.jpgimage by BenJTsunami

Siphoning off time for bursts of focused activity around a certain task means that I’m less inclined to flip from one thing to another. It means that I finish tasks. It means that I free up more and more time for the things that are important to do – not just the things that seem urgent.

Different activities need to be ‘batched’ at different intervals. Some are weekly (like my Monday morning writing sessions), others are every other day (like reading the bulk of my RSS feeds), others are daily (checking vanity feeds) and others I do for short sharp bursts multiple times a day (reading my A-list of of RSS feeds for breaking news, checking email).

Some of the tasks that I Batch Process

By no means are my processes perfect. I’m still a fairly impulsive guy so don’t have a set routine that I follow every day. I’m also fairly flexible and shift things around a lot – but here’s a list of some of the activities that I batch process and a short description of how I do each one:

Writing Posts – I’ve already described my weekly rhythm for this (Mondays and Wednesday mornings) but I also set aside other shorter times to write on a daily basis. This usually happens late morning on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and in these times I aim to write a shorter post for the day (often more news related).

Email – I’ve written previously about how I overhauled my inbox using Gmail but batching my use of email has helped me even more than the systems I put in place to filter my inbox. I generally do a very quick scan of my inbox first thing in the morning to look for anything genuinely urgent – but then do most of my processing mid morning and then in the evenings. Of course I scan it a few other times a day in case there are urgent emails (or if I’m expecting something) but attempt to get it right down to 0 every day (I don’t always succeed).

RSS Reading – I have two rhythms of reading RSS. I check my A-list folder in Google reader numerous times a day (my A-list contains just a handful of blogs that often break news in my niches). The rest of my RSS reading happens in less frequent batches. I do try to do it every day in one ‘batch’ but quite often I’ll only get through half of it and so ill do the 2nd half the next day. I tend to do this in 30-60 minute batches.

Twitter/Plurk/FriendFeed – These social messaging sites can be a time sucker if you let them so I tend to only allow myself to do them in 5-10 minute batches. On an average day I probably have 4-5 such ‘batches’. The reason that I do this numerous times a day is that it helps me to connect with different groups of people in different time zones.

Social Bookmarking – other time sucking services including Digg, StumbleUpon (especially) etc – I tend to do these for short sharp bursts – usually at the end of the day.

Editing Posts – At DPS I have a great team of bloggers who write weekly posts for me. They have taken a lot of the load off considerably when it comes to writing posts – but I still edit them (formatting pages, checking spelling and grammar, layout etc). I tend to do this in the evenings – but lately have tried to do 2-3 days worth at a time. So I allow incoming posts to queue up and then process/edit them in a sitting.

Instant Messaging – my old habit was to leave IM clients on all day every day and to respond to people messaging me as the messages came in. As a result I was constantly being interrupted. These days I have stopped using most IM clients and focus upon Skype and Gmail chat but don’t leave them on at all times. And when I do have them on I don’t always respond to IM’s straight away (I turn the sound off). Instead I let a few IM chat requests come in at a time and then respond to then all at once every hour or so.

Comment Moderation – I now filter all of the comment moderation emails that come in to an email folder dedicated to capturing them so that they never hit my inbox. I then moderate them periodically in batches throughout the day. The frequency between moderation batches changes depending upon what else I’m doing but also what is happening on the blog. For example if I’ve done a reader question post where I get lots of answers I moderate more regularly to keep the conversation flowing.

Book Writing – while I was writing the book I found it very difficult to fit it in to what was already a full day. As a result to get my part done I put aside extended periods of time just for writing. This included a few mornings at cafes but also one weekend away where I booked myself into a bed and breakfast down the coast and did nothing but write for the whole weekend.

focus.jpgimage by margolove

The list could go on

There are very few (if any) tasks associated with my work that I don’t batch process (or at least attempt to). As I’ve mentioned above – my system isn’t perfect – I still have days when I’m less disciplined and return to old messy habits – but in general I find that batching my day into different activities means I’m being more focused and as a result more productive. As a result I tend to fit a lot more in than I used to and am able to achieve more.

A Word About Personality Types

Perhaps batching works best for me because of my personality type – I know some would resist it because they work best when they’re able to be very impulsive and have freedom to jump from one thing to another.

I used to think that I was this way – I thought I could be more creative if I approached each day like a ‘choose your own adventure’ book and flitted from one thing to another as my impulses led me. However I found that this kind of approach only worked for me when I didn’t have as many things to do.

When life gets busy I need systems and structure to keep on track. In fact putting boundaries in place around different activities allows me to be quite impulsive and creative in those times rather than getting stressed because of all the ‘urgent’ things that I need to do distracting me.

What about You?

Do you batch process tasks in your blogging (intuitively or strategically)? What would you add to my list of tasks? What ‘urgent’ things take up your time that might not be that important (candidates for batch processing)?

Did You Find this Post Helpful? – Subscribe to ProBlogger for More Like It.

All You Can Eat Blogging and Social Media Posts

If you’ve got a little spare time today and are in the mood for learning about how to blog – you might want to check out Alltop’s Blogging Page. It lists the latest posts of 44 great blogs about blogging. Only thing I’d add to the page is the RSS feed of each blog (so people can subscribe directly) and perhaps even a mega feed that pipes all of the feeds on the category into one. Also at Alltop on a related topic is their Social Media page.

Win 12 Months of Professional Podcasting for Your Blog [COMPETITION]

Today I’m pleased to announce a giveaway/competition here on ProBlogger where you have the chance to win one of three prizes – a year’s worth of free podcasts for your blog from First Blog Media.

All you have to do to win is answer a question in the comments of this post (see below for the question).

FreeblogmediaThe sponsor of this competition is First Blog Media – a marketing company with the goal of helping bloggers transition from text-only sites to multi-faceted conduits of rich media.

Their medium of choice is the podcast and they offer a twice a month service where radio professionals work to create high quality shows from your blog’s text. Everything — recording, editing, hosting — is managed on their end. They then upload your production to their servers and let your blog’s readers stream the content straight from your site.

Getting started is as simple as installing a widget and letting the team at First Blog Media get working.

$100 Discount Offer

First Blog Media is offering $100 for all ProBlogger readers on this service – all you have to do is to sign up from this link (not an affiliate link).

They are also offering 3 readers 12 months of the service for free as a prize today.

How to Win This Competition

All you have to do put yourself in the running to win is answer this question:

Why would you like to have a podcast on your blog?

Please note – to be included please include the word ‘podcast’ in your entry – this will help us ensure we catch all entries in our comment spam filter.

The team at First Blog Media will choose 3 winners at the end of the week.

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: