How Often Should I Publish Posts on My Blog?

How Often Should I Publish Posts on My Blog?

One of the most common questions people ask me during speaking engagements and webinars is:

How often do I have to publish blog posts on my site?”

There is often a hidden question within this query, though.

Sometimes I get the feeling people are really asking, “What is the absolute bare minimum I need to do, to create a successful blog?”

That is a slightly tougher question, of course, and one that requires me to ask a lot of follow-up questions about the person’s target audience, their niche, how much time they have to dedicate to marketing, etc. etc..

And just to be clear – there are no “right” answers here. There’s a huge spectrum of what constitutes “right,” “good,” or “ideal” when it comes to blogging.

But as a beginning blogger, or someone who has been blogging for a little while, you still need a number. You want a number to use as a guideline.

So in that spirit, I’ll do my best to answer the question.

How Often Should I Really Be Publishing on My Blog?

I Used to Tell People to Publish a Lot

Six years ago, when I first started coaching people who wanted to create popular blogs, I would give them a really clear, simple answer to this question.

My answer was, “You should blog at least 3 times a week – or more, if you can.”

Back when blogging first become popular, publishing often was a good way of attracting traffic. One of the ways to get the search engines to notice and rank you was to publish a ton of content (even if some of that content wasn’t very high quality).

I told those bloggers – publish a lot on your blog, even if the posts are short.

Fast forward a few years. Around 2010, it was starting to get harder to attract traffic as a beginning blogger.

It was still important to publish content on a regular basis, but publishing 3 or 4 times a week wasn’t the magic bullet it used to be.

So around 2010, I started telling people, “Publish as much as you can without killing yourself. If that’s twice a week, great. If that’s once a month, that’s fine, too.”

My Current Answer to This Big Blogging Question

Today, when people ask me this question, I give a very different answer.

Now I say:

“You should focus on quality, not quantity. Publishing one truly amazing post once a month will get you far better results than publishing crappy posts every day.”

In pretty much every niche, across all industries, what readers really want is high-quality content that answers their questions, teaches them something, or entertains them.

So before you sit down to write a post, I want you to give some thought into coming up with a top-notch idea for a post. Ask yourself:

  • Is this post going to teach my readers something they didn’t know before?
  • Is this an original idea (even if it’s simply a new spin on an old idea)?
  • Is this idea compelling and interesting for my ideal reader?

If it’s not, take some time and brainstorm some new ideas, until you come up with one that is truly high quality.

And don’t publish a post just because you feel like you’re “supposed” to publish something on a particular day. It’s better to publish a post a little bit late (and make it great) than create a low-quality post that you’re rushing to publish.

Taking the attitude of “I was supposed to put up a post today, so I just slapped something together” is a good way to get yourself exiled into Google purgatory.

Always Focus on Quality Over Quantity

Here’s my best advice: Write really good blog posts.

If you publish a great post once a week, that’s great. If you only publish a high-quality post once a month, that’s okay, too.

When you focus on the quality of your quality of your content, the following things will happen:

  • Your search engine rankings will rise
  • You’ll be more likely to rank for the terms you really want to rank for
  • Your readers and subscribers will appreciate your content far more
  • More of your readers will share your content on social media and comment on your posts

That’s my best answer to this difficult blogging question. Next up, I’ll tackle another difficult online marketing query:

How long should my blog posts be?”

For now, I want you to go out there and write the best possible content you can — even if that means giving up your regular three-times-a-week publishing schedule.

I give you permission to focus on creating amazing, attention-getting, praise-worthy content, and to create that content on whatever schedule works for you.

Do that, and everyone wins.

Comments

  1. Hi Beth,

    It’s great to be at your blog…I actually followed you down from Jon Morrow’s.

    Like you, I have reached the same conclusions: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY – NO MATTER WHAT.

    While this wasn’t an easy conclusion to reach, the benefits in the long term are far more worthier than the instant gratification one feels when one publishes daily – or 3 times a week.

    Presently, my schedule is once a week. However, there are a few weeks when I had nothing up for 7 days! Does that mean I was/am lazy? By all means, no! It simply means I’m smart enough not to insult my readers.

    Usually, when I publish – finally, I keep getting phone calls and ‘thank you emails’, long after the week has fizzled away. Now, that’s what I call ‘blogging for authority’.

    Do make the day great…your writing truly rocks!

    Always,
    Akaahan Terungwa

  2. Hi Beth,
    like Akaahan I have come to a similar conclusion. I was pushing myself to post every day, after all, all of the pundits said that I should! No matter how often I posted my engagements failed to increase! Popular opinion seemed to be that a base level of about 100 posts was needed before the search engines started to notice. However I have noticed no change in comments (nil) or in readers so I have started tapering off in frequency, I’m now only posting every second or third day and I will be dragging that back to weekly very soon.
    I just wish I could generate some excitement or even interest in my small flock of followers.
    Chris

  3. Hi Beth. I started blogging in June 2011 and I remember the advice from seasoned bloggers of writing like it was going out of style. 🙂

    It just wasn’t feasible and I elected to blog once a week and it worked well for a blog that won first prize in a reputed blogging contest and a nomination for best new self-improvement blog the following year.

    I personally prefer writing quality well researched posts but it happens, even though rarely that I have nothing to write about. If the Muse decides that she will not inspire me one particular week, I accept it because the next week, I write content that benefits the visitor.

  4. This is a question I’ve been struggling with as I work on taking my blog from hobby to business. I’ve settled on publishing twice a week.

    I’m subscribed to a well known blog that publishes two or 3 posts a day and I know I probably only read one in 5 of those posts, if that. Seems like a waste of energy… It’s a successful blog though, so what do I know?!

    Time will tell, but as I said, I’m comfortable with two posts per week. I’d rather post less often and have quality work out there than post just for the sake of it. Thank you for the confirmation I’m on the right track!

  5. Great post, Beth. I started blogging when Bill Bellows was advocating every day until at least 1,000 posts. I did this at leftcoastvoices.com and have the same stats from elfwriter.com where I blog 3-4 times a month.

    However, my author website – alonshalev.com – and traffic to Amazon Author page and others has declined. It feels, between book releases or awards, that traffic becomes more static.

    I am wondering whether this is because I blog less.

    Thanks for the helpful (and comforting post).
    Alon Shalev

  6. Hi Beth,

    Ah, you bring back memories of the good old days just a few years ago! My first website got a ton of traffic due to the sheer volume of content i put out there. I like to think most of it was good (I’m a professional writer, after all) and I got lots of warm feedback. But that wouldn’t happen today.

    When blogs first came out, I used to hear the same advice – blog a LOT. For me as a writer, it was music to my ears. I write fast and easily. But many people were discouraged because they just couldn’t keep up the pace. I don’t even try to do that today.

    Blogging is a compelling way to demonstrate your expertise, so posts need to be engaging, informative and (especially) credible. Recycling the same-old, same-old will backfire.

    So I like your 3-question test before blogging. If your post doesn’t teach something new – something they can’t get elsewhere – it’s probably not going to bring value to your readers or, ultimately, your blog.

    Cathy

  7. Hi Beth,

    It’s so amazing how many opinions you would find online as regards to this particular topic. Many experts would tell you to publish as much as you can to make the search engine crawl your blog as much as possible.

    Other would tell you to publish once a week or a month, but be strict with the scheduling of the post. etc. There are so many advice and it’s easy to get confused.

    I once read sometimes ago that Darren Rowse of Problogger published about 11,000 post in his first year of blogging, thats about a decade ago anyway, and I don’t think it’s necessary at this current age.

    Then there was little information on the internet, so it’s easy to come up with original post idea and develop it into a master piece. As at today, a larger percentage of those topics have been discussed from different angle, hence aiming to publish as much as that would result into content recycling which will hinder the quality of the blog post.

    With that said, I also identify with you on the fact that bloggers should focus on quality over content. Richard Marriot of clambr.com has a blog post on one of his blog that is as about 10,000 words count. Obviously you can’t publish something as lengthy as that and do it quite often.

    So yes, time and quantity is inversely proportional when it comes to blogging. I got here from Terungwa’s blog where he listed your blog post as one of his blog hop for September.

  8. Thank you so much for this post! I agree that one must post quality and not quantity.

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