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Be Consistent and Useful – Thoughts on How Often to Publish on Your Blog

In the last task of our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge I encouraged bloggers to set up a plan for the next steps in their blog. As an example I set up a hypothetical Blogging Calendar with an activity for each day of the next month. Here it is again (click to enlarge):

blog-plan.png

The calendar was only ever supposed to be a hypothetical one (although a few bloggers have adopted it) but one of the pieces of feedback I had from numerous bloggers was that they felt they’d never be able to keep up with the type of posting frequency that they saw outlined on that plan.

How Often Should You Post to Your Blog?

The question of blog posting frequency is one that I see bloggers grappling with a lot. I’ve written a couple of pages on the topic in the ProBlogger book but let me touch on it again here.

There’s no ‘Rules’ when it comes to Post Frequency

Every blog is different and will be able to sustain different levels of posting. A variety of factors come into play (including):

  • Bloggers Available Time and Energy – depending upon your situation you might only have 15 minutes a day to blog or could have hours up your sleeve.
  • Style and Length of Writing – if the majority of your posts are ‘link posts’ where you’re linking to breaking news with short posts then you can probably get through more posts per day than a blog with more in depth original thought type articles.
  • Topic – blogs on topics with lots of breaking news or wide scopes of topics will need to post more frequently to be taken seriously as a source of information on those topics.
  • Reader Demographics and Thirst for Content – some blogs seem to attract readers who either have a thirst for a lot or a little content each day. Readers can burn out on too much content – watch out for their reaction to you upping your post frequency.
  • Source of Traffic – some blogs get the vast majority of traffic from search engines while others are much more about building loyal readers. Those with loyal readers will probably need to consider post frequency more than those with search traffic as if they post too much they run the risk of alienating readers. On the flip side, if your blog is largely visited by search engine readers a higher rate of posting can work in your favor as each post creates a new entry point into your blog.
  • Reader Participation – if you have a blog with a high rate of reader participation (eg. in comments) then you may find that as you increase your rate of posting that the amount of reader interaction decreases as readers have less time to interact before content falls off the front page.

My main advice on posting frequency is to be consistent and keep the quality of your posts as high as possible.

There are successful blogs who post 20 times a day and others that are lucky to post 20 times a year – any level of post CAN work.

The problems tend to occur for bloggers when they either

  1. change their frequency (by either suddenly upping their frequency drastically or disappearing completely)
  2. or when the posting frequency begins to impact the quality of the posts

Develop a rhythm of posting that readers will become accustomed to and that you are able to sustain. If that means you post 10 useful posts a day and readers love what you’re doing then that’s fantastic. If that means you post one high quality and thought provoking post a week that gives readers something meaty to think about then that’s great too.

Further Reading: What is the Ideal Post Frequency for a Blog?

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. SEO Tips says:

    Good post, I have been blogging for almost 2 years and although I always preach to my readers that keeping a blogging frequency is crucial I have never been able to keep to one myself.

    I think bloggers also need to understand that you cannot forecast ever month accurately, that it is just a prediction and you never know whether your going to have enough time each month to write your posts so it is better to plan ahead. The ultimate goal of mine at the moment is to be writing posts for a month ahead.

    I have gone from writing 7 posts a week to writing 5 posts a week to writing 1 post a month to writing 5 posts a month to writing 12-16 posts a month so as you can see its hardly consistent. However I am planning on sorting this out once and for all by setting a lower frequency however maintaining the high quality posts that I believe I have.

  2. venkat says:

    I try to post daily ,so that readers wll come to read posts everyday ,I am in no hurry to post articles when I have not enough intreest in writing or don’t have that much knowldge about topic I am writing on.

  3. Chris says:

    I think that it is quality over quanitity when it comes to posts. One superb article per week is better than 5 mediocre. ones. Of course both methods is valid, and neither is easy.

  4. Agent SEO says:

    Great advice! This will be really helpful in helping me organize my blogging efforts! I see how important it can be to get your thoughts in line and set up a schedule…

  5. Darren,

    Does hanging on to RSS subcribers have anything in relation to posting consistantcy? I’ve been trying push up my RSS subscribers count but just can’t seem to get and stay over 50. I post on my blog Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. I have been thinking about posting another pillar artical on Friday just to see if I could get over that 50 mark.

    Any tips would be great.

    Chris
    Stumble Forward

  6. Great Post. I was never sure how often to post to my blogs. I thought that daily was to much, but know I know that if I am consistent and provide quality, that is the most important. Thanks.
    Mike

  7. I go by the rule atleast 2 posts a week, if not more. However consistency is the key as you have said.

  8. Prevail PR says:

    I am a true advocate of planning your blogging campaign months ahead of time, my only problem is that when I fall behind for one reason or another, I find it nearly impossible to catch back up. Some days it’s just impossible to find the time to write a great article and don’t want to half ass it just to fit the schedule.

    I’d have a hard time posting a full schedule because the minute I couldn’t maintain that schedule, I’d feel I’ve let everyone expecting that schedule down.

    Any advice on keeping up with your ambitions when dozens of other life needs are sapping your time?

  9. alone says:

    I agree that consistency is an element to be a successful blogger. Some readers can’t accept the drastic change of your blog and as the result, you will have problem in getting back your loyal readers.

    I have my own small notebook where I list the topics that I want to post. Sometimes we got many interesting ideas but don’t use all the ideas on the same time. I update my blogs once per day if unless there’s an emergency but I currently preparing backup posts for the emergency time.

    I believe that if a blog is consistently being updated and has a good and unique, there’s a great potential to gain both traffic and loyal readers at the same time.

  10. If it is your only blog, you “should” be posting to it at least once in a few days. If you have other more demanding projects, once a week is ok and there is nothing wrong with that.

    BUT then again,

    A lot of you may not believe it but there are MANY “dead” blogs with a ton of traffic, still. I wrote a post about two blogs as an example that were never updated in a long time and yet have a lot of traffic (and these are not the only ones).

  11. myddnetwork says:

    By the way, thanks for publishing the calendar with the scheduled tasks. It will be useful for me as a guide in order to manage my blogs.

  12. Since Im working full-time and blogging part-time, trying to get 2 or more posts a week is a stretch.

    So, i focus instead on quality posting and to interact with the responses from comments – I’m trying to build loyal readers.

    I think if you link too much news in your blog, it makes the blog less sticky. What do you think?

  13. The quality of the blog is far more valuable than the frequency of the blog. You need to provide keyword rich content on topic and the search engines will love you. Then you have to make sure you are writing real content for your human visitors or your blog will fail.

  14. "H" says:

    It is a nice schedule, Darren. I will just adopt it as mine.

  15. Good points; some blogs can sustain with sporadic posts, while others need constant nurturing. It does depend on the # of followers, and their participation. If you have a few people that drop in from time to time, then I would say a couple times a week, but others that get hits constantly throughout the day, they should have daily posts of at least one article if not more. Keep your readers happy, let them be your motivator to get the blog done.

    The schedule you have is a good model. Thanks for sharing it.

  16. Sounds like I am in the minority. My blog is three months old.
    I post twice a week. (Haven’t misseda post yet)
    My schedule is Tuesdays and Fridays. I figured working people are too busy on Mondays, and they are winding down on Friday with time to web surf.

    I promote my posts on Facebook and Twitter on the days they come out. They also show up on my Linkedin page.

    Sometimes, on an “off day” I will do a tease saying tomorrow’s post is about ……

  17. Lately I have been posting once every ten days or so. I have been getting new ideas but I don’t know when I should post them. I guess I could post 3x a week if I have the ideas. I don’t know I need to be consistent which is why I have been sticking to the once a week or so.

  18. sky says:

    I forgot to mention, I make it a rule to not post on weekends. I keep that aside for family and friends. I can always schedule a post if it’s really important I get it out there though.

  19. ITrush says:

    Wow, 20 post a day is really hard to do, I hope I can implement that kind of frequency.. I think it’s just a matter of setting goals and time management. Nice example Darren and thanks for sharing it to us.

  20. I guess I’m slightly different.
    Being a bricks and mortar business I us my blog to announce new stock deliveries or seasonal offers etc. rather than having a strick regime.

  21. Yes
    Darren,

    Does hanging on to RSS subcribers have anything in relation to posting consistantcy? I’ve been trying push up my RSS subscribers count but just can’t seem to get and stay over 50. I post on my blog Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. I have been thinking about posting another pillar artical on Friday just to see if I could get over that 50 mark.

  22. Ikenna says:

    For my money, i think i prefer a rich and interesting posts like once in a day or two. its not all about posting but about the quality of your comtent.

  23. I’d like to post more often, even daily, but it hasn’t been possible. Right now I’m able to post 2-3 times per week. I also guest post on 2 real estate blogs and a social media blog every 2 weeks so that eats up some time. However, those guest posts help drive traffic so I’ll keep it up. My core business is home staging and interior design. I blog to get more jobs.

    Your calendar is inspirational. Thanks.

  24. Mark Fuller says:

    Hi dArren,

    You are one of the very few real marketing experts with accolades who offers me valuable information. The average so called experts repeats information that is said a million times. Your blog advice is useful and I will share it with members of my forum

  25. I’ve been blogging since 2002. For several years I posted 2-3 times a week then last year decided to increase it to every day. I kept it up, however, individuals wrote saying it was too much. So this year for the “Out of the Blog, Into the Light” blog I’ve decided to really plan mine out, reduce the frequency and improve the content.

    Thank you for showing your Google calendar schedule and items. I see now mine is much too complicated and I can rewrote it so it’s easier.

    I also started a 31 day challenge myself but decided it would not include weekends. People wrote in to say thank you allowing the break during the weekends. It allowed them to catch up and also take a break to balance their personal life as well. Which was my thought for doing letting go of the weekends as well.

    Once you get into a rhythm and it’s sketched out, including your goals/objectives, who is your reader, and a schedule (I have an editorial calendar for each blog and website I have) it becomes easier. Except there are some days it just needs to be done. With the flexibility though I just allow it to be moved. For instance if I plan on writing it on Wednesday and I don’t get it up to Thursday, I don’t panic or scold myself. I just make sure it doesn’t become a habit. However, when I set my schedule sometimes I find a different publishing schedule feels better so I rework it to fit that rhythm.

    Everything in life works best with a system. Take the universe for instance, without its system we wouldn’t be here (chuckle).

  26. balaji says:

    yeah its good, but i post 5 articles per day, but confuse where to find real article, but followers and visitors impress wit my blog’s format

  27. Ralph says:

    Nice!

    My issue seems to be frequency. I dedicated myself to writing great content and lengthy (1,500-3,000 words)articles. I figured shorter common post can be found in a lot of places but if I could write about unique ideas in detail, then I may have the upper hand.

    It has paid off as far as loyalty from my readers goes but it has made it harder to write every week since I do a lot of research as well as fact checking and proof reading. I do like the schedule you have posted. I may need to break down my week like that.

    If anyone has any suggestions on how to post more often I’d love to hear it.

  28. I’m blogging since December 2008, and I often updated my blog. But, when my Adsense is banned, I do not have any spirit for blogging again, but now I’m on fire again!

  29. Bryan says:

    I had wondered about this quite a bit and really didn’t know what was right or wrong. I can’t really find a perfect schedule. I try to post two high quality posts a week and sometimes just one. I hold down a full time job and am married, plus run a valued social network, therefore time is really a luxury and I don’t want to post just to post. Seems to work out because when I do post I can send a message to our ADHD social network…

    Bryan

  30. I was wondering about the frequency of newsletters. Right now whenever I post a blog an email newsletter of the post is sent to my subscribers.

    In the past few months I have increased my posts but have noticed readers unsubscribing. I think the emails are becoming annoying b/c of their frequency, but my content is time sensitive. Does anyone have any recommendations?

  31. Another tip if you are going to change your posting frequency, drop your readers a little note to say why – you may be going on vacation and only have one post per week future posted, your readers will usually be okay with this.

  32. Thank you for bringing this important factor back to the top of my list as my last blog post was over a week ago. I definitely see the benefit of having a schedule for your blogging time and keeping it consistent!

  33. Mikes says:

    I agree. I think my 1 per day is okay. i’m getting at least 5 to 10 comments per post

  34. Ray says:

    I started this year out posting about my goals for this year and so far, I have not even come close to posting once a week. I basically thought I could post once a week but I seem to get writer’s block. Reading Darren’s post has opened my eyes to focus on what my original goal was for this year. I also realized that I need to write my post as soon as I think of it instead of forgetting it like I have been doing lately. I encountered a serious PC problem that I solved pretty quickly but I forgot to post about it and now I seemed to have forgotten most of the details and anything I do remember will not help anyone out there with the same problem. Anyway….I’m starting to ramble……great post Darren.

  35. Dean Saliba says:

    On my personal blog I post almost once a day. With my MMO blog I post maybe once a week, I really need to post more often on my MMO one.

  36. Nick Thacker says:

    I’ve noticed that a recent trend is to write longer (between 1-3000 words) posts that encompass a full, broad topic or problem/solution.

    Tim Ferriss does this well, and I go back and forth as to whether I like this style or not.

    Either way, I think a “good” benchmark for a blog is to post something at least once a day, do a longer post 2-3 times a week, or split longer posts into series’ posts (which will also help build returning visitors).

  37. This has given some great insight. I’m just starting to blog and it seems like once every other week is going to be about how much I can handle at the moment. It’s good to know that that can work.