Close
Close

Tips on Finding Your Blogging Rhythm

Today I had this question from a reader about their struggle with posting daily on their blog:

“Darren I am a new blogger and I really want to be posting every day, but I just can’t keep up. I find it takes me so long to put each post together that to do 7 a week would take me 7-10 hours (I am writing ‘how to’ type posts). While I’d love to dedicate that much time to blogging each week I have a full time job, family and social life to keep up. Do you have any tips?”

This is a great question and one that I know a lot of bloggers struggle with – particularly in their early days.

Finding a posting rhythm is important to do – but it doesn’t just happen. In this post (and the next one tomorrow) I want to make a few comments that may assist in the finding of your posting stride.

1. There is no Right Posting Level

One of the common misconceptions that new bloggers have is that they are somehow failing as a blogger if they don’t get a post up every single day.

The reality is that there is no posting schedule that is right for all blogs. For some blogs a post a day is just right, for others posting 20 times a day is ideal, for others it is one or two posts a week. The ideal post frequency for your blog will depend upon many factors including:

  • Your topic (how wide the niche is, how much news there is on the topic etc)
  • Your post style (for example posting tutorials can take longer than posting short ‘news’ posts)
  • Blogger time (how much time you have available for blogging)
  • Your audience (some blogs readers seem to love lots of short posts each day while others are after something more meaty)
  • How Many Bloggers You have (a blog with multiple authors can sustain a higher number of posts)

There is no optimal posting level for all blogs. Last time I surveyed ProBlogger readers on how many posts they published a week I found that on average they were doing 8.9. However, as you’ll see from the chart below (showing the spread of results from the poll) the most common answer was actually 5 posts a week.

Posts-Per-Week-1

2. Start out Slow and Work Your Way Up

My advice to new bloggers is to start out slower than what you’re aiming for, to work hard on quality of posts and then over time increase your posting frequency as you’re able.

This was the approach that I had with my photography blog. My initial goal was to post 3 quality posts per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Once I had consistently met this goal for a month or so I added a 4th post into the schedule and then a month or so later a 5th.

At 5 posts per week (each weekday) I stopped increasing my posting frequency (I couldn’t sustain any more) until a reader actually came to me and offered to post a summary of the activity on the forums every Sunday. I then decided to make Saturday a ‘reader question’ type day where I simply started a discussion (a fairly easy post to write) and suddenly I was at 7 posts a week.

This process of getting up to daily posts took me over a year to achieve. In more recent times I’ve hired writers to take on 4 of the posts per week and have weaned myself off writing them all. This will enable me to concentrate on expanding other areas of the site in coming months.

The beauty of this gradual increase of posts was that I was able to work up to daily posting and not over stretch myself (or have quality of work suffer). The analogy I use to describe this is that when you’re training as an athlete for a long distance event, you don’t suddenly go out and start running the eventual distance you’ll run. You need to work up to that distance over time, get yourself in condition and get your body used to the distance. Too much too quickly can mean you burn out.

It also meant that there was no sudden change in posting frequency for my readers to have to deal with. I doubt any of them would really even notice the changes.

3. Monitor Your Readerships Response to Your Posting Levels

As you increase your posting levels pay careful attention to how your readership are responding.

What I’ve found is that there is generally a ‘sweet spot’ where a blogs audience is most content. This sweet spot will vary from blog to blog.

Watch what your readers say about your posting level – but also look for other signals and signs that you might be posting too much (or not enough).

For example watch what happens to your traffic levels on days when you post more as opposed to days that you don’t post (or post less).

Another thing to watch is comment numbers. I find that if I post too much the numbers of comments on a post will decrease while if I only post once a day the comment numbers go up (conversely if I don’t post for a couple of days comment numbers slow on a post after a day or two signaling that my readership are done with the topic and want more).

4. Consistency is Important

What is probably more important than ‘how many’ posts you do a week is that you establish some kind of consistent posting rhythm that readers can expect to get from your blog. The only time I’ve ever had readers complain about how many posts I do on my blog is when I’ve suddenly changed things in one way or another.

For example there was a week a couple of years ago where I simply found myself with a lot to say and where there was a lot of breaking news on the niche of blogging. As a result my posting frequency here at ProBlogger leapt up from twice a day to 4-5 times a day. Readers pushed back because I’d been consistently producing 2 posts a day and suddenly they were needing to find time to digest double that.

The same thing can happen when you suddenly decrease your posting frequency – readers come to expect a certain level of posts and suddenly it is gone.

If you do make changes to your posting frequency consider doing them gradually and/or explaining what is going on to your readers.

4 More Tips Tomorrow – Have Your Say Now

This is just the first part in a two part series on finding your posting rhythm as a blogger. As I began to write this post I realized that there was a lot to cover so wanted to hold the second half of this post (with 4 more tips on finding your blogging rhythm) until tomorrow.

In the mean time – I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on a couple of things.

  • Firstly – how many posts do you do a week? Is this your goal or do you struggle to meet your goal?
  • Secondly – what advice would you give to bloggers on posting frequency and finding your blogging rhythm?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing more of my own tomorrow.

Update – See the second post in this series at Finding Your Posting Rhythm Part 2.

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.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. MLRebecca says:

    Great advice! Your readers need to know what to expect from you so they will return, and consistency plays a big role in that. Thanks so much for posting this!

  2. Przemek says:

    Hi Darren,

    I’m polish blogger and I’m writing about my way to be an owner of the Porsche Cayenne for three years from now. My blog exist for month and I’m publishing one post per day since monday to friday. I think this is good for start for me and I agree that every blogger should start out slow, work on quality and then looking for his own rhythm.

  3. Mary Corbet says:

    I post once a day, generally, unless there’s a quick news item to make available to my readers. But it’s sometimes really difficult to keep up the once a day posts.

    Editing photos, writing tutorials, and working up samples to blog about all take a ton of time, and this is where hobby bloggers have (in my mind) a slight disadvantage when it comes to posting frequency. They not only have to write and photograph and edit for their blogs, but many also do the hobby-related activity themselves. This means they’re always making up samples and working on projects to write about. At the same time, a good hobby-related write-up will include not only photos, tips, tutorials, etc., but also research and resources. All of this keeps posting frequency rather low – once a day can be a struggle.

    For new bloggers, I’d say commit yourself to a schedule first. Find out how much time you can commit to blogging, then schedule yourself so that you can post at a given time, until you get the hang of a routine and get the “feel” for the kind of content you want to publish. But schedule yourself! Make the committment; if you’re too sporadic, you risk losing readers, momentum, and your own interest.

  4. michaelkpoh says:

    Darren this is a timely post especially for me. I have just gotten into a ‘posting-rythm’ on my blog; Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. This was after considerable soul-searching. I identify with the questioner who got you going with this post. Like him I agonized over how many posts would be adequate and announce to readers that I was serious and had something substantive to say.

    However I made a decision several days ago to post three times a week.

    Why? This posting schedule would give me time to properly organize my posts and give much time and thought to post content.

    It also frees me from the pressure of posting regularly and probably diminishing the quality of my posts.

    I also chose the three day format to allow readers time to digest posts; I write a ‘how to’ blog with poetic embeds. So I compose poems and then explain the Mindset Optimization Principles in the poems in commentary form.

    I think new bloggers should establish a posting-rythm that gives them adequate or sufficient time, does justice to their posts and serves their readers well.

  5. I have a problem where one day I will post like 7 or 8 times and then take off a week. I don’t think I should but I do

  6. Kegnum says:

    I post once a day. I work full time, so for me, its a question of time. If I had more time i might write a second post once in a while.

  7. Kegnum says:

    Swim,

    There are days when I write four or five articles. You can write a few, save them and then post daily.

  8. Brad says:

    Great post with very helpful tips! Thank you!

    My goal is at least one post per day during the week. The exception to this is usually weekends. But my posting frequency can really bounce up and down, depending on what else I have going on in my life (my blog is still just a hobby), and if I’m all dried up of ideas or not.

    Personally, I tend to prefer blogs that post a few times a day, especially if the blog is about a topic I find really interesting. I am easily turned off by too many posts – it clogs up my reader and I start not reading them. On the other hand, one post per week is probably too little and I’ll quickly lose interest.

  9. Jodith says:

    I currently post 3 times a week on two different blogs, and as much as 4 or 5 times a week on my personal blog. I’d like to increase that, but between working full time and finding time to do the work necessary to bring readers in to the blog, I just don’t have time to do more. I’d really like to get the first two blogs to the same level as my personal blog, but those posts take a lot longer to research and craft than the opinion type posts that generally go on my personal blog. So for the time being, I have to be content with 3 times a week on them.

  10. Whitey says:

    On my new comics/cartooning blog, I’m currently posting 3-4 times a week. I think I’m still at the stage of finding both an audience and a voice. Early on in the life of a blog, I think it’s more important to focus on quality over quantity. If you give your readers something good to chew on, hopefully they’ll come back for more, whether it’s the next day or the next week.

  11. Robin says:

    Posting less frequently not only allows the number of comments to build up, it allows a development of real discussion – the discussion can become a really interesting part of the post.

    I only post once a week – I realised early on that I would not be able to sustain my blog if I posted more than that, even though I think the ideal frequency for my blog would be every 4 or 5 days. I often feel disappointed when bloggers I interact with move on to their next post too quickly (for comments to build up). I’m talking about the smaller blogs, here.

  12. I started off trying to do about 3 posts a week, but now that I’ve been blogging for a year and have built up 100+ articles, I’ve pulled back a bit and am now publishing about 1-2 HIGH QUALITY posts per week.

    I’m concentrating more on QUALITY now – instead of QUANTITY!

  13. Vincent says:

    Nice post by Darren. I am a starting blogger and I am blogging quite frequently now. Due to the new blog lacking content, I have a need to quickly fill it up with content to capture the readers. As Yaro suggested, quickly fill it up with pillar articles and when your readers visit the site, they will have more content to browse through and eventually higher chances they will subscribe to your blog.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  14. Denise says:

    Very helpful post. I have a few articles set aside for posting in the near future. Lately I’ve been concentrating on setting up some sort of time management/scheduling for research, writing, reading other blogs, etc. My current frustration is with the plugins and getting them to work properly; so this is where my focus is right now. I wanted to post 1-2 times a day, but I absolutely do not want the quality to diminish. I feel quality content is too important of an area to sacrafice in.

  15. Dee Stewart says:

    Wayne, I read your comment and felt like you smacked me in the gut. My readers dropped significantly this week. I hadn’t been posting as regularly as I once were. My blog has positioned me to have a small business, so my time to devote to blogging has shortened. However, it is my blog that got me the clients and the success that I now have. So I am taking your words in(although I know you’re not a subscriber to my blog.) As of now I am back to my old blogging schedule that worked.

  16. L-Jay says:

    I av. 5 posts a week on mylittlenorway.com – a blog about everything Norway. Things are happening all the time in norway so its easy to blog so much and I am also building up a kinds of guide for travelers, expats and learning norwegian – like a one stop blog to Norway – so it keeps me busy.

    I aim for 1 post a week for dancetank.com – a blog about teaching you to dance social ballroom. It’s mainly a video blog so it takes time to video, edit, upload etc. but I do get the feeling people want more so I might have to up the anti.

    Advice: Go with the flow. If you have too much on in your life you don’t have to post. And you don’t need to apologise to readers – but also do what you promise. Like in learning to dance – you need to use your natural life rhythm. It takes good time and practise to train yourself to get up to the pros – the best thing to do is make a realistic goal – something that you can easily achieve and know you will achieve. Too often we make goals on what we wish to do rather what we can do.

  17. I have the same problem! I started my blog more than two months ago and sometimes I write a few posts per week, but sometimes I don’t write a single post in two weeks! Sometimes I’m not inspired. What can I do then?

  18. joe gelb says:

    i noticed in analytics that traffic goes down for blogs that stops posting but it can go back up in the long tail so the posting rules in the ‘memos’ seem a bit overhyped

  19. SEO UK says:

    Great tips, since I have arrived at University I have almost stopped posting which is scary to think because I want my blog to succeed. However I am going to get back in to a rythm of hopefully 3 decent posts a week.

  20. Tressa says:

    Hi Darren
    As always love your topics. I find when I first launch a website, I am the opposite, I want to get as much out there for content as possible. Than once I feel I have a strong enough database, I slow down on the posts.

    I do strive for at least 3 posts a week though. It would be nice to post 7 days a week, but as I work full time, this just isn’t possible right now. Eventually I would like to get there, but I am happy with 3 posts a week.

  21. Tracy says:

    I really like the idea of a weekly summary of forum highlights. I think I will give it a shot. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Right now my goal is to try and be more consistent in my posting patterns and to save back material instead of posting it all at once.

  22. Jo says:

    Hi Darren
    Have just started my first blog so am new to the business and want to thank you for this info. For starters I aim to do 3 posts a week and hope to build up a steady supply so that I can start posting on a daily basis 6 months from now.

  23. Joel says:

    Getting a post rhythm in my opinion is the hardest part of blogging, also getting to know your readers is even harder. I liked the part of this post where encourage the blogger to pay attention to the fluctuation of visitors when posting frequently, less frequently, or 1 quality post per week.

    My blog is a technology blog and I try to post at least every day, while I also provide with computer tutorials.

    And by the way great post darren.
    Thanks

  24. The Style PA says:

    I try and have a post per day for my main blog and at least 3 per week for the two spin off blogs I have.

    With a full time job this is not easy so I usually queue some up from my Sunday afternoon writing sessions and that keeps things ticking over nicely.

  25. Indexmy says:

    Thanks for your tips .. very helpful .. TQ

  26. Phew! I thought it was just me that’s been a little confused about how often to post. I’ve been blogging for a few months and I’m finding 3 or 4 times a week works well for me to keep it fun.

    Thanks so much for the great tips!

  27. You’re right, Darren. I also think that instead of worrying about the writing frequency, we must worry about the consistency and how we make posts.

    I try to post every other day since I became a professional blogger. This is for me to have time to promote, read other blogs to learn more and for my readers to relax and breathe.

    I think the best tip I can give to those who are finding their blogging rhythm to consider what readers would feel while reading their posts.

    If they are writing interesting but very long posts everyday, you are putting too much pressure on the readers. Remember that readers have a life and other important things to do too.

    Thanks.

  28. tyler says:

    i like this. im just starting to find my blogs “rhythm”

  29. Joel Drapper says:

    My problem is that I am running out of ideas of what to write about. Do you have any tips on content ideas?

  30. JB says:

    You are head-on with the number 4 tip: being consistent IS very important in blogging. If you have dedicated subscribers to your blog, and you start having drawn out periods without posts, it is very hard to recapture the subscribers that become agitated when they check your blog for updates and there are none. Great tip Darren.

  31. Great article. I’m doing 5 a week – every work day. Been holding steady for about 2 months and finally starting to get blogging time down – seems at first it is harder but gets easier the more you do it. I’m quicker to have a topic to blog on than before too. But I admit, it still takes more time than I want.

  32. TaskF0rce says:

    You have a great site and alot of excellent advice. I try to post 1 a week on my photokraze.wordpress.com. but my coffeeattick blog has been suffering because myproblem is I have always been good at poems but, I don’t want to limit myself to one area. And I can’t come up with other subjects . I have posted 1 article about politics and such but i was told that it wasn’t wise to post such things never received a comment through the blog but i have received a verbal compliment about it. only after i deleted it.

  33. Mika says:

    I am new blogger, and post 1-2 times per week. I love to write storys and have no problems with the content. I write about crafts and it takes time to do make things I’m writing about, that’s why my posts are rare. Nevertheless my trafik is consistent!

    My advice: to blog constantly, not to frequantly. There are plenty of INTERESTING blogs that Your readers want to read. Give your readers a quality Post, not a Frayday-Aternoon-Post about… just You.

  34. I have a site that combines bike commuting tips with advocacy news. I try to post 3-4 times a week, but sometimes the news comes fast and furious, and since it’s a little more timely I have to post it quickly.

    I find that using Blogger’s ability to set posts to release on a timed schedule in the future quite handy in these cases. My tips posts are scheduled in advance as I write them, so that if I do two or three tips posts in one day, I space out their release to go into the future. And if I find that the news posts are coming all together, then I can push the release of the tips posts out a bit so that my readers aren’t overwhelmed.

  35. Darren, it was one of your best posts to me. It shows you are not writing only for the sake of getting popularity or anything else but you are doing a social service along with. Thanks a bunch dude …

  36. Michael says:

    I find it interesting to see how often people blog. I personally Don’t really have a set pattern down, although I really think I should.

    I try to post at least 3 times a week but my posts are more “how to” type posts or informative posts about computers and software and such.

  37. Stephanie says:

    Darren, this is a great answer to a common question. It was helpful to read your experiences with your photography blog. We are currently putting up a blog post a day at peachygreen.com, which is do-able with 2 authors and so many topics to discuss. It is a good rhythm for now and we have a number of draft posts in the “hopper” so that we can each take a day or two off each week. Thanks for your advice.