The Truth On Posting Frequency – Blog Article Schedule

by Robb Sutton

There is a lot of talk that goes around the net about blog article posting frequency and how many times a week you should keep your blog updated. In all seriousness, it is a real stress for beginning bloggers as they want to find success online and they are looking for input from other successful bloggers. It seems like the going rate around the blogging niche is expecting new bloggers (and experienced ones) to publish an article on a daily basis. At least that is what it seems like most bloggers are recommending these days…

The Truth On Blog Posting Frequency

While it is incredibly easy to throw out a stat like “post on your blog daily if you want to be a successful blogger”, it is actually more complicated than that, and – personally – I find that statement rather reckless. It puts an un-needed amount of stress on new bloggers as they feel they have to post on a daily basis or they are wasting their time blogging.

First and foremost…it is and always will be quality over quantity. If you are ever posting a subpar article just to satisfy some schedule you have set for yourself, you are missing the boat entirely. Blogging is about providing value online and connecting with people through your content…not about sticking to schedules and dropping in articles that could potentially put off visitors. If you are ever sacrificing the quality of the articles on your blog just to post something up that day…slowly step away from the keyboard…

Why Do Bloggers Say “Post Daily”?

Before we jump into how many times a week you should post articles on your blog, let’s take a look at why a lot of bloggers are telling you to post daily on your blog. In all reality, it is not bad advice for a number of reasons if you have the time and energy to make it work.

Even Your Most Dedicated Readers Do Not Read Every Article – It’s true…as much as you want to think that everyone that visits your blog is soaking up your content on a daily basis…they are not and never will be. You are in a constant dog fight for readers as you post your articles and potential visitors scan headlines to see what they want to read that day. That is why there is so much emphasis on attention grabbing titles in blogging. A lot of your readers might not even open their RSS feed reader that day (ever wonder why your rss feed count fluctuates…that is why)! When you post daily (about 5-7 times a week), you are increasing the chances of grabbing your readers attention. You are also more likely to hit on a subject they want to read. It is simply the law of numbers and the more quality content you have out there…the more it will get read.

More Content = More Search Engine Visitors = More Linked Content – This should be a pretty simple one to figure out…the more content you have out there, the easier it is to get found. You will be covering more subjects and releasing more search engine friendly articles. Just imagine if your blog had 5 articles hitting per day! Can you imagine the amount of growth you would see?! But…if that is all crap content, you are not going to retain any of those visitors…which should be your ultimate goal.

When You Say Post Daily, You Get Several Times A Week – When bloggers throw out advice like “post daily”, they know that only about 15% of the bloggers that read that line will actually follow through with it correctly. The rest will do something close with the excuse in their head that at least they are doing 75% of that. Blogging is nothing without action and a lot of times…throwing out a goal like posting daily gets a result of 3-4 times a week.

So…as you can see…there are real, valid reasons behind the advice of posting daily on your blog, but now we need to take a look at how you can determine how many times you should be publishing articles every week on your blog.

How Many Times Should I Be Posting A Week On My Blog?

The moment you have been waiting for…the secret to posting frequency that will bring you more blogging success than you could ever imagine. Ha! I wish it was that easy! But…here is what you need to look at on your blog to get the answer to this question.

Quality, Quality, Quality – If you can not post quality content (note: quality has nothing to do with length), then it is not worth publishing. You should only post as many times a week that you can publish quality content for your readers. Ideally, you want to accomplish this on a consistent basis every week. The idea is to give your readers something they can depend on (consistency) every week out of your content.

Prevent Blogger Burnout – Even if you are able to post quality content on a daily basis, are you going to be sick of it after 6 months and get to the point that you do not even want to blog anymore? The stress and effort that it takes you to blog on that schedule might not be worth the aftermath. You need to find a schedule that you can stick with and still enjoy blogging.

What Are Your Readers Telling You? – I am all about watching stats and seeing how different actions affect those blog statistics. If you change your blogging schedule, do you see more pageviews per article? There are documented cases where decreasing posting frequency actually increased the success of blogs (same is true of increasing), so you need to watch your stats carefully to determine what you readers want to digest on a weekly basis. If you are overloading them with content to the point they just leave and head somewhere else that is not so chaotic, then you are still not accomplishing your goal. Aim to please the needs of your readers, not other blogging about blogging bloggers.

Experiment With Post Length – As you experiment with post frequency, also experiment with post length. Your readers might do better with 400 word articles over 1,500 word essays. As always, you should only use the amount of words it takes to get the job done (ignore that word count in the bottom left of your draft screen), but…if you are finding that your readers are taking in shorter articles over longer ones, split the longer articles into a series for easier digestion. You will get more content and more of that content will actually get read. On the other hand, maybe your readers like 3 long articles a week over 6 shorter ones…it is all about testing the waters.

Final Words On Posting Frequency On Your Blog

As you can see by the info above, I consider a lot of factors when publishing articles to my blogs. Typically, I publish 5 articles a week because that is what I feel comfortable with given quality, frequency and statistical results. How many times you should publish articles on your blog is a factor you need to determine for yourself and the success of your blog. Before you just jump into hitting the publish button on a daily basis, take a good look at what will be the best for both your and your blogging in the long run. Just because someone else told you to write daily, that does not mean it is the best solution for your needs.

Image by Crashmaster007

31 comments

Related Posts

31 comments

Kimberly Castleberry December 22, 2009 - 9:14 am

This is a fantastic piece of advice to anyone struggling to figure out a posting schedule. Many people shy from blogs because of the “post daily” element and thus don’t end up with the 3-4x/week that works well for many blogs. Post daily has another benefit of building a good habit or routine which can make blogging easier for the blogger too! At the end of the day though, its about quality, and if someone is going to put poor quality out to attempt to meet a high-demand blogging schedule it would be better if they skipped a day. Thanks for this insight!

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:17 am

I do see a lot of people shy away from blogs because of what they think they have to do to succeed.

Keeping a workable schedule is what they really need to focus on and the rest falls into place!

Reply
Rob December 22, 2009 - 9:19 am

It is true. It is not about quantity, but quality. I’m subscribed to a ton of blogs but there are many I don’t read on a daily, or even weekly basis. It depends if the article matches what I’m looking for that day.

To me I don’t care if a blogger posts once a day or once a week. As long as I can leave that page knowing I learned something new worth value and interest to me.

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:18 am

It’s funny…you hear everyone say that (because it is true) but there is still that stress out there to produce a massive amount of content. It might take longer to build a really large following only posting 1-2 times a week…but if that is the only way you can product amazing content…the slow growth will be better in the long run.

Reply
Andreas December 22, 2009 - 9:26 am

Very true! Think you will loose more readers by putting up something rubbish. I personally tend to try and post Monday to Friday and then leave the weekends to other tasks. There just seems to be more interest on those days (people reading it from the office!) To keep to the schedule I have it written down and make a note of each type of post I make then I can alter the post mix until I find the perfect set of posts that people love.

Live and learn!

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:19 am

I keep the same posting schedule you do. It works for me and my readers.

Reply
Jt Clough December 22, 2009 - 10:00 am

I have set my mind to getting this blogging thing done in a way that it is as successful as other things I have done in the past…

Quality versus quantity is what I have been focusing on lately… and it has helped me push my writing abilities.

Great info, I look forward to learning more.

Thanks.

Reply
Elie December 22, 2009 - 10:23 am

Quality, quality, and quality are the most important components of any blog. Yes, there are other factors, but it’s like buying a house based on the color of paint used. It’s not that it isn’t important, it’s just that it won’t be the ultimate thing that makes the biggest difference.

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:20 am

Great analogy. I remember when we were looking at houses last year…ignore the colors! They can be changed!

Blogging is about getting rid of the fluff that doesn’t matter and getting to the meat and potatoes of the conversation.

Reply
Mike Crimmins December 22, 2009 - 10:51 am

One thing that I really like about posting daily is that it makes me focus every day on my blog and treat it like a business. I know that isn’t for everyone, but it was the kind of focus that I needed after many other lackluster attempts on blogs.

That being said, my next project I think is going to be less frequent, but still regular posting. I can write an article about coffee in less than half an hour. Writing about blogging is easy, but not that easy.

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:21 am

Absolutely. The same can be said about any set schedule as well. When you define the rules for yourself…you are forcing your mind to treat it seriously instead of just a hobby.

Reply
Jeffrey December 22, 2009 - 12:13 pm

This is really solid advice that is contrary to what you read on a lot of other “blogging blogs”. I follow around 30 blogs regularly, and guess what? Some post several times a day (techcrunch), and some post a couple of times a month (kaushik.net). The post frequency doesn’t matter, it’s the quality of the content that keeps me reading. I think the same thing is true of most people.

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:21 am

I think the same is true of most people as well…

Reply
Chad @ Tech201 December 22, 2009 - 1:39 pm

This is all very true. The #1 reason given by unsubscribers is too many posts. People don’t want to be overwhelmed by information. And, importantly, if you are going to ramp up your schedule from 2-3 times/week to daily, you don’t want to do it all at once. That can also scare readers away. Increase gradually.
Focus on quality and consistency, the rest will fall into place.

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:22 am

Any changes in frequency or content need to be done gradually. No one likes everything changing at once. Great point to bring up.

Reply
Jeff Moser December 22, 2009 - 2:32 pm

I read an author’s blog that only gets updated once every Monday. The articles are fantastic, and there is anticipation. He also receives a ton of comments. There is another bicycle site I read that machine guns the content…so much that I can’t keep up and I miss a lot of it. Writing 4 or 5 posts per week on my site is about right for me. Posts on the weekend are much lighter…maybe just a picture or linked news story or video.

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:23 am

I know of a biking site that machine guns the content as well. It ends up being a lot of “reviews” that are nothing but 3 lines of content, a couple of pictures and the manufacturers description. I don’t call that a review…it is a vain attempt at unloading as much content as possible.

Reply
Aaron Hockley December 22, 2009 - 4:22 pm

Another important thing is consistency: whether you’re posting daily, three times a week, weekly, or even monthly… be consistent. Readers will come to expect a certain pattern and when that pattern is disrupted you’ll see noticable (negative) changes in traffic and engagement.

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 8:24 am

Consistency is key. While we may not be completely aware of it…as you continue to be consistent, readers depend on that. When you go off the beaten path…it shows and puts people off.

Thanks for reinforcing that fact.

Reply
Suhail Algosaibi December 22, 2009 - 6:27 pm

Great *quality* post. Very informative. Thanks

Reply
Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny December 23, 2009 - 9:12 am

Very timely advice, Robb. Especially with the holidays gobbling up everyone’s time and attention. I’ve been posting 3 times a week. That seems to work well for me and my readers. I’m experimenting with changing the days I post from MWF to TFSun – not sure if I like it yet. I did it to match a blogging group’s theme for Tuesdays and Fridays. I feel my own resistance to changing already. I liked my MWF routine. Only way to find out is to experiment and see what works. Thanks for this quality post! Happy Holidays!

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 10:28 am

Happy holidays to you too Cheryl! You’ll have to experiment some, but – historically – you should have better traffic/commenting results with the m/w/f routine over using a Sunday. Weekends are far less trafficked (typically) days.

Maybe mon/tues/thurs day would work. Those are great traffic days as Fridays are historically lower than mon-thurs.

Reply
Bryant Evans December 23, 2009 - 9:28 am

i think you have some good points. But I wonder why stress is such a bad thing for new bloggers. Real success is never easy and work is the byword of every successful entrepreneur. It’s not realistic to think that you can build a blog to success and never have stress.

Now, posting frequency is only one piece of the puzzle. It is certainly better to post quality than trash. If you can’t turn out useful articles that give value to you readers then don’t. But aiming toward excellence should be our goal. I aim toward daily posts but rarely achieve it. But the goal drives me to work hard and that’s what makes a good blog.

Reply
Robb Sutton December 23, 2009 - 10:25 am

I consider stress to be counterproductive to success and goals. I like to call what you are referring to “productive anxiety”!

The point of this article is to illustrate how we shouldn’t be stressing a posting schedule based off of someone else’s recommendation. Posting is determined by the ability to produce quality articles while…at the same time…listening to the needs of your audience.

Reply
Consumption Roundup: 12/20 – 12/26 | Cory Chase December 27, 2009 - 4:42 pm

[…] The Truth on Posting Frequency – Blog Article Schedule – Rob Sutton MAXIMIZE YOUR BLOGGING POTENTIAL! Call me cynical, but I have a hard time buying into the whole blogging as a profession thing. I find Rob Sutton interesting because he seems genuine to me, but I think the whole concept of blogger entrepreneurialism is going to have to deflate eventually. I don’t think a bottom will fall out like the Tech Bubble, but eventually there’s going to be an acute over-saturation and advertising just won’t be able to pay like it has been. To get of my rant, the article was decent; Quality > Frequency. […]

Reply
David Murray January 4, 2010 - 8:46 am

Rob, That was an excellent post. As someone who spent several formative years of my career as a Quality Manager in industry I can totally subscribe the re-echoing of “Quality, Quality Quality”.

I don’t even attempt daily posting on many of my blogs. Several a week, yes, but not the slavery of “Daily!” However, where a daily timetable is appropriate one helpful approach is to have a schedule calling for different types of post on different days. For example, a substantial opinion piece on Monday, a product review on Tuesday, a helpful video (maybe a ‘find’ on YouTube) on Wednesday, and so on.

Each must be of good quality but, depending on the personality of the author, the variety of style can make it easier sustain the routine. I’m planning to extend this approach to more of my blogs during the coming month.

Reply
Robb Sutton January 4, 2010 - 8:56 pm

Quality is HUGE David. It is what drives every industry as you already know. I do the different themed posts throughout the week as well. Helps break things up.

Reply
Heather January 14, 2010 - 12:50 pm

I post 3 times a week, and I’m not exactly sure why I wasn’t taken in by the ‘Oh you need to post every day’ thing. It’s not that I think it’s a bad idea in general, but it just never seemed to fit with me.

Only the second week of my blog though, so I might change my mind later!

Enjoyed the article, definitely some things to think about.

Reply
Taylor Marek January 21, 2010 - 11:06 pm

Exactly, well said Robb. I’d also like to point out another “point”. That is regarding the ebbs and flows of life. If you can afford to publish on a daily/weekly basis, that is fine, but if there is a major life issue happening, don’t burn yourself out over posting something that day/week.

I also wrote about this on my blog in depth.
http://taylormarek.com/2009/09/06/what-if/

Enjoy,
-Taylor Marek

Reply
Bonnie Landau February 2, 2010 - 12:54 am

Thanks for another great post, Robb! I’m a personal survivor of that new blogger stress. I strive to post 5 times per week, but it does not always happen. As Taylor said, life happens. On January 6 my husband got called for a kidney transplant, and boy did that upset my new year’s resolution to stick to that blogging schedule — in a good way of course! At least I had 2 weeks of posts pre-written.

I wonder if there is a minimum amount of posting that should be done in order to be truly effective. My clients often won’t do a blog because of that fear of “I don’t have the time!” Yet so many know it’s a great way to connect with their customers, and they find themselves writing extensive emails over and over to different clients (this is what got me to start my blog — really to save ME time!). So what can I tell them about a minimum posting schedule. Is twice a month too little? Or is quality and consistency the true key, and frequency is what you decide?

Thanks!
Bonnie

Reply
seo January 31, 2012 - 6:15 pm

Have you ever thought about writing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Reply

Leave a Comment