The difference that posting frequency makes when blogging

Some time ago, I gave the advice that it doesn’t really matter if you post every day or not.

I think my rationale was that quality matters more than quantity, or at least it should. And although I still believe that in an ideal world, quality should matter more than quantity, now I have around 18 months of data that I can look at.

Here are the trends that I see.

Doubling the number of entries I create in a given time frame appears to increase my traffic approximately 20 percent. So if I posted once a week and changed to posting twice a week, I would expect about a 20% bump in traffic. Going to 4 times a week would give another 20% bump, and so on. I try to post daily; when I post twice a day, I see a 20% jump in traffic.

I think this is why I see a large number of low-quality blogs that shovel 6-10 short and very unoriginal updates each day. Frequently only one of the entries is worth reading and that particular entry isn’t very thorough. But any two given people may disagree about which of those daily entries is the one that was worth reading, so by casting that wide net, they can gain some readers they wouldn’t otherwise.

And search engines do appear to favor sites that change frequently.

So between those two things, one can almost justify posting 10 short, low-quality entries per day instead of one longer, higher-quality entry. You’d get 80-100% more traffic that way.

The question is whether you want traffic, or regular readers. The only indicator I have of regular readers is the comments people leave. I make no other effort to track readers, so if there are people out there who’ve been reading me for years but never commented, I don’t know about them. Since I don’t have any way to come by that information honestly, I don’t want to know.

But it logically follows that the higher quality your content, the more loyal your regulars will be.

So if your goal is loyal readers, it’s pretty easy. Find the balance between frequency and quality. If you’re able to do 2-3 times a day, that’s fine. If that means once a week, that’s fine too. To some extent, your readers will adapt to you. To some extent. I learned my traffic increases if I post in the morning rather than in the evening, probably due to my typical subject matter.

If the goal involves advertisers, then it’s murkier. I can only observe that the sites that post a large number of mediocre entries per day do have advertising, and conclude that they must post with the frequency they do because they’ve found that frequency is the most profitable for them.

2 thoughts on “The difference that posting frequency makes when blogging

  • May 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm
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    Loyal reader here. I’m happy with once a day, if I happen to check before you’ve posted I’ll usually come back later on. I like the variety of subject matter, knowing that if I’m not particularly interested one day I likely will be the next. Thanks for being here.

  • May 14, 2012 at 7:09 am
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    Loyal reader here as well. I like the mix of content and that you post frequently. I only visit once a day to read the posts.

    thanks for everything from trains & money to writing and security.

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