One question I think almost all bloggers have probably asked themselves (or Google, or other bloggers, or that man who came round collecting for charity that one time, and who said he knew “all about computers”…) at some point is just how often they should be publishing new content on their blog.
I’m not going to answer that question for you, though.
I don’t mean that in an “I know something you don’t know, haha!” kinda way, obviously: I really DON’T know. Er, I’ll just go and put the kettle on then, shall I, seeing as I’m not much use here? Anyone fancy a cuppa?
What I’m trying to say is that there is no “right” answer to the “how often should I post on my blog” question. It’s not like someone can tell you, “Oh, you should post 3x per week, and also every second Sunday, but only when there’s a ‘Y’ in the month. If you do that, your blog will be a huge success and you can buy Amber all that makeup she wants. Don’t tell anyone, though: it’s a secret!” There IS, however, a right answer for YOU and for YOUR blog. The trick is to find out what that answer is, and, to help you find it, I’m going to suggest a simple rule, which you can either take on board or totally ignore, as you see fit:
You should update your blog as often as you can without compromising the quality
The second part of that sentence is the most important part: quality should ALWAYS come first. A lot of bloggers (and I’ve done it myself) get really caught up in the idea that they MUST post every day, or have a certain post up at a certain time, and their blogs really suffer as a result, because in the rush to crank out content to a specific schedule, they end up publishing any old thing, just to meet their self-imposed deadline.
The great thing about blogging for a living, though (and one of the reasons it’s so attractive as a job) is that there are very few deadlines. There are some, obviously: if you’re doing a sponsored post or collaboration, you’ll often be given a set day on which the brand expects the post to be published, but other than that, you can do whatever you like. That’s not to say consistency isn’t important, of course, because it is – while I don’t think you should force yourself to stick to a rigid schedule, I also don’t recommend just dropping off the radar for weeks on end, because it will damage your blog traffic. Speaking of which, here’s a simple fact that no one really wants to hear, but which is true nevertheless:
The more frequently you post, the higher your traffic will be…
New posts bring visitors to your site. The more new posts you publish, the more frequently those visitors will come back, and the higher your traffic will be. If your revenue depends on traffic (and it almost always does: the higher the traffic to your site, the more people are willing to pay to appear on it…), you’re going to want to try to keep those numbers high. Again, this is one of the things a lot of bloggers don’t like to admit to caring about, but which I think most of them probably do, unless they’re TRULY just “blogging for themselves”. Even hobby bloggers often see traffic as a measure of how well their blog is doing, and if you’re blogging as a business, you’d have to be stupid to NOT want to grow your traffic and therefore your earning potential: it’s just good business sense. However, there’s an important caveat to the statement above. Yes, the more you post, the higher the traffic you’ll get…
…but only up to a point.
This is purely a personal observation, but one thing I’ve noticed from my own blogs is that there comes a point where more posts DON’T bring more traffic. My guess is that this is because most visitors will only check your site once per day at the most, so if you’re posting more often than that, yes, it will probably give you a few more pageviews, but it won’t be anything like the difference you’ll see if you go from one post a week, say, to four posts per week. This differs from site to site, too, and the only way to find out what the optimum number of posts per week is for YOUR site is to experiment and see what happens.
On this blog, for instance, I notice a big difference in traffic on the days when I don’t publish something new: even if I use those days to promote older posts instead. On some other blogs I’ve written for, by contrast, the traffic remains fairly steady, regardless of whether there’s a new post or not. I wouldn’t know this unless I’d experimented with it, so try out a few different posting schedules and see what happens: you might be surprised.
Does daily posting make a difference?
For a lot of bloggers, daily posting seems to be something of a “holy grail” of blogging – it’s often the thing people say they’re aiming for. Is it worth doing, though? Well, as I said, it all depends on your blog – and yourself, obviously. I’ve been posting on a near-daily basis since the start of this year, and it actually wasn’t something I planned: it was just that I’d scaled back the posting schedules on my other two blogs (having experimented with it, and discovered that I didn’t actually need to be posting on them as much as I’d thought I did…), and that gave me extra time to write posts for this one.
This blog has always been my hobby as well as my job: I genuinely enjoy writing for it, and it never really feels like a chore to me – basically, I have a LOT to say, and this is where I say it, so the extra time naturally led to more frequent posts, and, somewhat surprisingly, I’ve found that the more I write, the more I WANT to write. I wouldn’t have expected that to be the case, but I guess it’s testament to how much I enjoy blogging that my frequent posting schedule is something that evolved naturally.
With that said, daily posting isn’t for everyone, and it depends very much on the type of content you’re producing, too. I wouldn’t be able to do daily outfit posts, for instance: I’m in absolute awe of the people who are able to do that, because I don’t know how they manage to keep coming up with different outfits every day, or how they find the time to photograph them so well. I can, however, fairly easily come up with other content to write, so frequent posts work for me, although I’ve never actually made it an “aim” – if I don’t feel like posting one day, I won’t. (Most of the time I do, though, because just in case you hadn’t noticed, I write A LOT.) Oh, and yes, the daily posting DOES make a difference, by the way – it has helped increase the traffic the site gets, but as I said in my first point (Hey, remember that?!), I wouldn’t ever try to force myself to write something just for the sake of it: I think that always shows.
How your blog layout affects your posting schedule
Another thing to consider when it comes to post frequency is how your blog layout affects things. I talked about this in my post on how to choose a theme for your blog, but back when I had a traditional blog layout, with the posts appearing one after the other, in chronological order, it really put me off posting too often, because I hated the fact that each post was pushed down the page and forgotten about as soon as the next one was published. Because of that, I limited myself to no more than 3 posts per week, but with my current layout I have the freedom to post whenever I want to, without having to worry about the older content getting “lost”. So if you’re thinking about changing your posting schedule, you might also want to consider changing your layout to match it.
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Well, I’ve written a ton of words as usual, but I STILL haven’t really answered the question, so, er, SIXTEEN. The answer is SIXTEEN. Or possibly nine. Yeah, definitely nine.