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How Often Should You Blog? (Hint: The Answer Might Surprise You)

This guest post is by Ali Luke of Aliventures.

Writing

Image courtesy stock.xchng user GinnyLynni

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably come across advice to blog every day.

Perhaps you feel that you must blog every day—and you’re reluctant to even start your blog because you know you don’t have that much time.

Or maybe you’re already blogging, and doing your best to get out a post every single day—but you don’t seem to get many comments or tweets.

The good news is that you almost certainly don’t need to blog every day. In fact, you may well find that posting just a couple of times a week works better for you.

But before you dismiss posting daily altogether, here’s why it could be a good idea.

Why posting every day might work for you

Some bloggers do best when they’re in a steady routine—and you might be one of them. If you find that posting once or twice a week quickly ends up as posting once or twice a month, then you might actually find it easier to post every day. That way, you can build a strong writing habit.

Another reason for posting daily is if you’re writing a news-focused blog in a fast-moving niche. One weekly post just isn’t going to work if you want to be on the cutting edge of what’s happening.

There are also some SEO benefits to quickly building up a lot of posts on your site: all else being equal, the more pages you have, the more opportunities a reader has to find you through search engines. (Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that in practice—one high-ranking post will generally bring you much more traffic than five so-so ones.)

If you’re going to post every day:

  • Keep your posts short and to the point.
  • Plan ahead, so you don’t end up publishing sub-standard content when you’re in a rush.
  • Vary your post types: try video posts, or image-heavy ones, for instance.

Why one, two or three posts per week is usually better

Over the past couple of years, there’s been a shift in the blogging world. More and more prominent bloggers-on-blogging are moving away from daily posting—and reassuring their readers that you don’t have to post every day in order to be successful.

Five years ago, there weren’t so many “pro”-style blogs around, and readers were eager for content. Today, with a wealth of blogs to choose from, readers quickly get burnt out.

I once surveyed readers here on ProBlogger about the reasons they unsubscribed from RSS feeds, and the number one answer was “posting too much.” Respondents expressed that they developed “burnout” and would unsubscribe if a blog became too “noisy.” —Darren Rowse, You MUST Post Every Day on Your Blog [Misconceptions New Bloggers Have #2]

As a reader, I much prefer blogs that post once a week or even once every two weeks—but always say something genuinely useful—than blogs that post every day just for the sake of it. If you look at the blogs you read in depth versus the ones you skim, you’ll probably realize that you feel the same way.

As a blogger, posting once or twice a week lets me write in-depth, carefully constructed posts—ones that are more likely to get links and tweets. I also get more comments per post this way, and have the time to engage with readers over several days of commenting.

If you’re only going to post twice a week:

  • Look at which content on your blog is most popular, so you can make every single post a successful one.
  • Experiment with longer posts, perhaps 1,000+ words.
  • Focus on evergreen content, so that each post will stay relevant for years.

Finding your perfect blogging routine

As bloggers, we all have different skills, personalities, and constraints on our time and energy. Don’t force yourself to stick to someone else’s blogging routine—it won’t necessarily work well for you.

Your perfect blogging routine might be one post a week, or one post a day. It might involve writing posts when you’re feeling inspired, or writing posts to a set schedule. You might use a content calendar to help you plan ahead with all or some of your content—or you might have differently themed posts on certain days of the week or month.

There’s no “one size fits all” approach to blogging, and what’s important is that you find a routine that you can stick to over the long term—not one that leaves you burnt out after a few weeks.

Don’t worry that readers will get upset if you change your posting frequency. I’ve chopped and changed on different blogs—and I’ve never had a reader complain that they wanted five posts a week, not three, or that they wanted my posts to be on Mondays and Thursdays, not Tuesdays and Fridays.

When you’re experimenting with your blogging routine:

  • Don’t change things too abruptly: try going from five posts per week to three posts per week, for instance.
  • Consider surveying your readers to find out whether they’d like more or fewer posts.
  • Experiment with writing posts ahead of time, or with creating a content calendar.

Blogging shouldn’t be a chore: if posting daily isn’t working out for you, it’s probably not working well for your readers either. Today, take a look at your blogging routine and see whether you want to make any changes—and leave a comment below to let us know what you decide.

Ali Luke will be leading day-long blogging courses in London from September 2012. If you’d like to learn more about blogging, with hands-on exercises and one-to-one support as part of a small group, book your place today. (Numbers limited to 8 people per session.)

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Comments

  1. Greg Blencoe says:

    Ali,

    “There’s no “one size fits all” approach to blogging…”

    I completely agree with this. I know some bloggers like to have a routine whether that’s posting once a day or once a week. But I know I’m the opposite. I write blog posts when I am inspired to write them. Therefore, I may write many posts in a fairly short period of time and then not write very much for a while. This keeps me from being bored with writing the material.

    I think writing every day is pretty tough. It can be a challenge to produce great content day after day after day. It usually doesn’t allow much time to read and comment on other blogs. And reading other blogs is one of the best ways for me to get inspired to write new, fresh content.

    Also, I believe it’s important to have a life away from blogging. I think getting away from blogging helps us be better at it.

    Basically, my view is that each person needs to right the right balance for them of writing, reading and commenting on other blogs, and getting away from blogging.

    Thanks for the post and have a great day.

    • Ali Luke says:

      I think writing when inspired is a great way to keep up the motivation. And having a life is always good..!

      One thing you might consider (if you’re not doing it already) is to hold back some of the posts that you write, so you can publish them during dry spells. That way, your readers don’t get overwhelmed with lots of content at once.

    • True, every blogger has their own way of working. Some will like to post a everyday and others only like to post a few times a month. The key is to find something that we are most comfortable with.

    • Justin says:

      My method is that I will write whenever I’m inspired, take a break from that article for a day or two, revise it, and post it at a later scheduled date.

  2. Ashish says:

    Hey Ali,
    I think posting 3 times a week is best and producing high quality content on the regular basic is not easy,Anyway thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

  3. MarVeena says:

    That is a good plan and really nice article! I got several ideas that made me think of ways I can apply them to my blog. I really aim for two posts a week. Everyday would do me in!
    Thank you for all the cool ideas!!!

    • Ali Luke says:

      Really glad you got some good ideas! I think two posts a week is a great blogging rate — glad you’ve found a good routine for you. :-)

  4. Glynis Jolly says:

    I agree with you, Ali. I was blogging everyday and it burnt me out within 6 months. After a 2 month rest, I came back to it and am blogging 2 or 3 times each week. Blogging for me is a hobby still so the need for more posts is irrelevant.

    A wonderful and informative article. 4 thumbs up.

    • Ali Luke says:

      Thanks Glynis! I think burn-out is a real problem for bloggers … I’m glad you managed to get back into blogging after a break. :-)

  5. Earl says:

    This: “Blogging shouldn’t be a chore.” Most times, if you’re not really a fan of posting everyday – and yet your force it – you end up having an article that isn’t as good as you want it to be.

  6. Piper Scout says:

    Two or three times a week is best for me. I can’t spare the time to write every day, because even when I mean to just write a quick post I end up spending an hour blogging, what with finding photos and perfecting the tone of the piece. There’s no urgency for me to keep my blog updated either, since it’s only read by a handful of family and friends! But I do know that my favourite blogs are updated roughly once a week, maybe twice. I soon get bored of a blogger that posts every day – I tend to find that kind of blog repetitive. Unless it’s a photo-blog – I can look at photos every day quite happily.

    • Ali Luke says:

      That’s an interesting point about photos, Piper — I think photos (and perhaps cartoons) can work very well on a daily basis, since they’re so quick and easy to take in. Lots of people seem to be saying that daily posts are just too much for them as readers, and I think 2/3 times a week is emerging as a great middle ground.

  7. Muhammad says:

    As started blogging I post 2 article each day but it doesn’t work bcoz I just want to post frequently but not with good content so I reduce by 3-5 post a week with a good content and now my blog are getting steady visitors.

    • Sometimes we want to churn out articles for the sake of doing so and at the expense of the quality of the article, which may affect the quality of our blog. I have found that the a good method is to research and write up a list of article titles and arrange in the order of importance. This helps a lot.

  8. Amanda Prior says:

    I recently started a blog and was advised to post once a day for the first 60 days, after which I could post less frequently. I tried but it didn’t work. Not only did it take too much time, but I felt I was posting just for the sake of it and the quality suffered. I tend to write longer posts, so I’ve now decided to post less frequently which gives me more time to research the topic. I still need to work on driving traffic, but at least I’m more comfortable with what I’m sending people to.

  9. I used to post daily and someone told me that it was hard to keep up. So I backed it down to 3 days a week and I recently found myself heading up to 5 days a week – to much for my followers so I’ve been adjusting my editorial calendar to 3 days a week again.

    Bonus is that my calendar is scheduled through October!

    Thanks for your insights.

    Kimberly

  10. Kent Chen says:

    Your insights have enlightened me! I must admit, I am guilty for being lazy to do posting everyday… I know that is bad habit however I do love to read other people’s blogs that has fresh posts in fact it is almost like an addiction to find out what other people are doing on their blogs. I must change my blogging routine! Lol!

  11. Ganesh says:

    I am totally Agree with this post, it doesn’t matter how often we blog, Only matters Quality blog. Writing daily blog is not needed. Single post can drive traffic we can ever imagine, if it has quality. I used to write blog post when i get inspired by someone is the best time write some interesting post.

  12. Greg says:

    I think you should blog when you have something to say. Honestly this professional attitude with a posting schedule and all is just a burden for me (I tried it). I decided for my blog to be fun and not work. I think most succesful blogs started as a hobby and not as a business.

  13. Liz McGee says:

    Hey Ali,

    I’m with you, I much prefer reading 1 or two posts a week from my favorite bloggers.

    But having said that, there are bloggers I love that do post every day. I don’t read all the posts every day.
    When I want to tune in, I tune in. Because they post every day isn’t a reason for me to unsubscribe. Maybe that’s just me.

    But I also think that you have to know why you’re blogging. For example, if you blog every day, why are you doing that? Is it because you just LOVE writing and are doing your best to serve your readers or are you’re trying to impress the search engines? If it’s because you love blogging and you want to serve your readers better, then your efforts will probably be fruitful. If you’re trying to impress the search engines, your readers might see through that and become uninterested.

    I try to blog when I feel I have something useful to offer my readers. If that’s once a week, 3 times a week or every day, I don’t think it matters as much as, when you do write, you’re engaging and serving your readers as best you can.

    Liz :-)

  14. Drewry says:

    it would be a great idea to update a blog more than once a day, but less than 10 times a day, simple because you don’t want search engines thinking you’re spamming, nor, trying to just put content out there just to get links.

  15. Thank you for writing this post. I am a new blogger myself and absolutely struggle with finding the perfect balance. Because my blog is so new, I pressure myself to drive up readership however it also important that the posts have value. It is not my full time job though would like it to be “some day”. It seems that my target is two or three posts per week though constantly wonder if http://thehightechhome.com needs more to drive up traffic? Perhaps I should just stay at two or three per week to start and focus on quality?

  16. Di Hill says:

    Great advice. We are all trying to cope with information overload, so well placed posts are a good idea. Short and sweet with some interesting information.

  17. Dave DeWall says:

    I’ve experimented with daily posts and even one post a week during the three years I’ve been blogging since moving to the Philippines. As an old retired “geezer” of 60 years old, I have plenty of time on my hands and have gone back to posting every day. I was getting as many daily visitors on average with only one or two posts a week, but after a big drop-off during the Olympics, I boosted my daily visitors to over a thousand more a day with the daily posts. Just have to be willing to experiment with what works and what doesn’t. Wouldn’t be surprised to see me go back to the two or three times a week again, however, which enables me to deliver more quality content.

  18. This is an interesting read. I run a blog about a celebrity, and I post every single day. But these are small, easy-to-digest posts focused around images rather than text. It’s not much work to post daily, and I often schedule about a week’s worth of posts at once. I think content is one element that dictates how often you should blog, or that is true in my case anyway.

  19. Ana says:

    I truly admire people who can produce content daily.

    I think 3-per-week might be my maximum. (On a non-Tumblr blog, that is.)

    And yes, I unsubscribe when someone blogs too much. Burnout.
    + I can’t see anything else in my reader from those 10 daily posts.

  20. Personally I try for once a week as I am photographer primarily. I also try to post long informative articles rather than just a few photos like a lot of others do. Is this the right approach or should I adjust my strategy?