What is best practice for scheduling posts? If you’re not going to post 5 days a week, should posts be scheduled consistently for the same days of the week e.g., if you’re posting 3 times a week Monday-Wednesday-Friday? How do you feel about mixing up posting days? One week post M-W-F and the next week post T-TH-F. Or does it really matter? For the most part are the only blogs that are doing a consistent schedule the networks?What a great question! And what great answers from the group. So great, in fact, that it evolved into a podcast group Skype-conference call that we conducted just yesterday. The 53-minute audio recording should be ready soon. I’ll post it when it is. In the meantime, my take on the issue is this: as far as retaining your readers, frequency is not nearly as important as recency. A couple weeks of inactivity makes the reader feel like nobody’s home. Conversely, having the latest post be only a day old makes the blog appear “fresh”. Personally, I don’t like keeping feeds in my newsreader that haven’t had recent activity. It also depends on the type of blog you have. A “writer’s blog” (as defined by Seth Godin) doesn’t need the same level of recency or frequency as a “news blog” (also defined by Seth in the same post). Relevance overrides both recency and frequency. Searchengineblog.com recently posted (paraphrased) “I’m going to stop posting about SEO for several months but I’ll post about my vacation”. Making such an announcement wrecks even more havoc on recurring readership levels than two months of inactivity, because the blogger is in a sense inviting his readers to unsubscribe from his RSS feed. After all, how many of them would want to read irrelevant I’m-touring-the-world posts? My guess, in this time-pressed world of ours, is not very many. As far as gaining new readers, the trick is getting noticed by the “connectors” (using Malcolm Gladwell’s terminology) in the blogosphere and then getting them to link to you. Again, this isn’t necessarily an issue of frequency. One blogger could post to his/her blog once per week and be more successful at getting coverage by A-list bloggers than a prolific blogger who posts many times per day. This could be achieved a number of ways. Linking to other bloggers can get you noticed by them. Mentioning their names could get you noticed by them (see my recent post where I described the name dropping tactic). Already having some of them as friends helps too. 😉 A lot of the blog entries floating around in the blogosphere strike me as “filler.” I strive to have this blog be filler-free. I only blog when I have something I believe to be valuable for you, my dear readers. I won’t blog about “Adobe acquires Macromedia” unless I can come up with a unique angle that would deliver real value to marketers who read my blog. Unique commentary, I believe, is key to the value proposition. Last week for example I blogged about “how to search engine optimize your podcasts” – something I believe has not been adequately addressed by bloggers. This I’m hoping will get some coverage in the blogosphere because of its uniqueness. “News blogs” can get away with less unique and practical posts than “writers blogs”, but they tend to make up for it with volume – increasing the frequency. Finally, posting too frequently increases the ephemerality of your blog posts. Mike Davidson made the insightful comment:
“The relative importance of the feed vs. the site depends almost entirely on the ephemerality of the posts. Scobleâ€™s posts are extremely ephemeral because he a) has so many of them, and b) only comments briefly on each item. Their place in history is rather fleeting, in other words. In the case of a more traditional blog, you have far fewer posts with more in-depth writeups. In this case, the site is of utmost importance and the feed is merely a notification technology.”With all that said, Wayne Hurlbert has an interesting case study to share of how he doubled his blog traffic by doubling the number of posts per day from one to two. Have a read. Bottom line of all this: the blogosphere is still the Web and the basic online marketing principle of testing everything, rather than just believing whatever I say, still applies.
Tris Hussey says
Hey Stephan! Great summary of both your e-mail and discussion from yesterday! And while I’m still a posting rebel on my own blog–okay I won’t blog about my vacation, but almost anything on the Net is fair game–I do have an editorial calendar now to manage publishing to the blogs I contribute to.
And, to your faithful readers, I’ll be working on the audio recording today. All 53 mins and 10 megs worth!
Tris Hussey says
Psst, I might be brazen, but…I’m not quite a hussy ;-).
Stephan Spencer says
Hi Tris! Haha, oops, sorry about the typo in your name! I’ve fixed it in the post.
shel israel says
How about posting whenever you have something interesting or useful to say, and not posting when you don’t?
“Searchengineblog.com recently posted (paraphrased) â€œIâ€™m going to stop posting about SEO for several months but Iâ€™ll post about my vacationâ€?. Making such an announcement wrecks even more havoc on recurring readership levels than two months of inactivity, because the blogger is in a sense inviting his readers to unsubscribe from his RSS feed.”
Heh heh. I resemble that remark 🙂
Wrecks havoc? A little strong, perhaps. I give the audience more credit – people can and do start reading again if they like what you write, and those that don’t, probably weren’t that attached in the first place.
For me, the most interesting stories exist in the tangents. See Zeldman, Winer, et al. I like when real life intrudes on the writing in such a transparent way. I find readers value honesty in blog writing over anything else.
Otherwise it’s just journalism, and no one wants that 😉
Business Growth says
Great points that you bring up.
Define the outcome you want, and then test, test, test.
I’ve noticed that some bloggers post to increase traffic, and some post because they have something important to say.
I suggest that anyone that has a blog should define what they are trying to accomplish by having it.
Then look at ways of accomplishing by the frequency/relevance etc of their posts.
Knowing the end result – should help answer the question(s).
By the way, great site Stephan
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Your blog makes very interesting reading. I’ve played around with different posting days, content and frequency.
I know that posting about 4-5 times per week for me is about right. If I post more than once in a day my traffic goes through the roof.