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blog publishing How Often Should You Publish a Blog Post? : Blog Promotion

This question is a community favorite.  It’s usually one of the first questions I tackle when working with a new blogger or content creator.

How Often Should I Publish A Blog Post?

There are several points of view ranging from the aggressive to the absurd.  We’ll talk through each, see if you can find which one I believe is…well…less than ideal.

Blog Publishing Options:


Monthly: Average at least one post every 30 days
.  

Monthly publishing used to be the norm in the Wild Wild West days of blogging.  This is how I started.  The rational was – I’m not sure how much time it will take to write a decent post so I’ll just plan for one every month. Solid rationale but times have changed.

Content is created within hours and published everyday on top sites.  Monthly publishing makes your blog look sluggish and abandoned.  While I wish monthly publishing still worked, I can’t see how it makes sense for most publishers.

The Exception to the Rule: There is always one.

Glen Allsopp, the founder of ViperChill.com averages one post every month.  Recently he’s managed 2 a month. Glen is successful and a bona-fide authority in his niche.  But I want you to notice something in the stats from his last 4 posts:

How to Build a Billion Dollar SEO Empire
# of words: 3,922

Dr. Houzz Reveals a Widget-Flawed Google Algorithm
# of words: 2,763

$100,000 in One Week, a Viral Nova Follow-up
# of words: 4,908

How to Reach 1000,000,000 Unique Visitors in Just 6 Months
# of words: 2,791

Glen is averaging 3,596 words per post!

He is well known for thoroughly researched and incredibly comprehensive posts.  It usually takes me a month to read and digest the information.  Once a month is plenty if you blog like Glen Allsopp

Weekly: Average at least one post every 7 days

Now we’re talking.  Weekly publishing is the beginning of a successful strategy.  New visitors to your blog will see new information and your readers will be able to regularly enjoy your insights.

But, You’ve probably noticed that it’s getting harder to find new readers. The problem is that every other blog in your niche are publishing weekly too.  I for one don’t like a fair fight. Everyone publishing weekly means there are too many lookalikes competing for the same sliver of reader attention.

Start with weekly publishing.  But look for a better strategy as soon as you can.

When You Have Something to Say

This is the party line from the campfire and rainbows crew.  This bit of advice is the #1 killer of blogs.  That’s a shame since many people with amazing stories to tell have been disillusioned by the failure “Post When You Have Something to Say” delivered.

On the surface, this notion seems logical.  After all why write when you don’t feel like it or have something to write about?

The problem is that creating content is a means to an end.  It requires work.  Some days the words flow like milk over rice crispies.  Other days, every word is as harder to find than an single cricket on a summer’s night.  But…the prize, more readers, money, authority, goes to those who create when they don’t feel like it.  Winners find something worthwhile to say.  It’s just how the game is played.

I wish this advice on my competition.

Modified Daily: Publish a post every weekday

Publishing daily is the path to rapid growth.  Case closed.

It’s hard as hell to pull off if you are a single-author publisher.  It requires organization, discipline, resourcefulness, and creativity.  But, I’m sure someone wise told you that the reward comes after hard and smart work.

You’ll find that the top blogs are ramping up their publishing schedule to 7 posts a week or even 2 posts a day.  They know what I’m trying to tell you – quality content is always in short supply.  Find it, write it, curate it, publish it, get bigger faster.

Publishing daily may not be for you.  That’s fine.  Weekly or maybe even twice a week will keep you ahead of most of the pack for a little while longer.  Just a little while though.

The Exception to the Rule: There is always one.

You might be trapped in a narrow and shallow niche.  There might be regulations, ethics, or codes of conduct that prevent you from being a prolific content creator.

For example, I have a client that must get every public document cleared by a gaggle of lawyers before it can be published.  It is darn near impossible for them to publish weekly let alone daily.

Another client provide medical care.  Legal regulations prevent them from sharing anything but the most homogenized prose.

I recommend finding a complementary subject that is wide and deep to mine for content.  My financial services clients can talk about money management, budgeting, and other topics that are interesting to their clients and prospects even though it’s not directly about investment planning.

A doctor could talk about preventative medicine, nutrition, and other regulation-free topics.  Offering a curated source of information is still valuable and effective.

Blog Publishing Best Practices

Keep these best practices (learned the hard way) in mind before you implement that weekly or modified daily publishing plan:

1. Start with a plan 

Understand what you will write, when you will write it and what you will do when you’ve run out of things to write about.  Make your plan as detailed as possible.  This plan is critical to the success of your blog.  Don’t wing it.

2. Pay attention to your readers

Monitor your blog update “unsubscribe” numbers.  Consider ramping down your publishing schedule If you see a prolonged spike in unsubscribes.  The initial spike is expected but a prolonged increase in unsubscribes means that your audience can’t digest the information you’re providing.

3. Experiment and Optimize

Every audience has a sweet spot where the frequency of posts and post length is balanced and encourages repeat visits and social shares (i.e. retweets, likes, etc.) Everything you’ve read here are guidelines to get you close to your audience’s sweet spot.  Experiment on your own to refine your mix.

Image credit: Typoretum


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  • http://www.globalamadeustravel.com LaDonna Farrow

    Hi Stan, I like the idea of curating content for my blog; but, what does a blog post with curated content look like? On social media, it’s standard practice to re-post someone’s photo, blog post, or video with no problems. But on a blog how do you curate someone else’s content without plagiarism becoming an issue?

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  • http://www.ektinteractive.com Doug Stetzer

    When I first got rolling, I actually shot for something in the middle. I figured if I posted twice a month then I would always have relatively “fresh” content anytime someone came across the site. In order to keep up the regularity, I found two topics that I could repeat month after month, then supplement with those random inspirations that come along.

    I started by doing a monthly “upcoming networking events in oil and gas” type post, but eventually found that chasing current events etc, is a treadmill that is hard to get off.

    As Hashim mentioned, it is important to find that greenfield (yes I’m a student of copyblogger) content that has a long shelf life.

    • Stanford Smith

      Excellent points Doug.

      Also keep an eye on what your reader base is accustomed to. Some verticals like Oil & Gas are fine with more infrequent posts. From what I hear from my man James over at TribeRocket – Oil & Gas is a an example of a shallow but wide niche that can only support so many posts a month.

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  • http://hashimwarren.com/ Hashim Warren

    Stan, I agree that daily blogging works. But I’ve seen that it works because it brings daily repeat visitors.

    I have a client whose conversion rate goes up by 43% if he can get the visitor to come back. Repeat visits = higher conversions. A loyal visitor easily converts to a customer.

    Here’s where give pushback on your advice. You do not need to publish daily to get daily visits. Instead you can create a resource that brings people back, over and over.

    The client I mentioned publishes a weekly blog post. But what really gets people coming back is his gallery of work, which is barely ever updated.

    Studiopress mentioned that they have people who come back to the same theme page over and over before they buy.

    The question for all of us is simple, but very difficult – how can you make your site a resource people want to bookmark and visit multiple times, without you having to continually create something new?

    • Stanford Smith

      I wish there was a solid standard here. I’m not advocating daily-only.

      I just see smart bloggers moving to daily publishing as a competitive move. Its tough to compete if you are getting outpublished by a competitor. Your readers will spend more time on the competitive blog, giving the other person more opportunities to turn that reader into a repeat reader or first time customer. This isn’t the dynamic in every niche but I believe that in a a year or so, it will be hard to compete with one post a week.

  • http://info.drillinginfo.com/wireline-blog/ James Hahn II

    I think a good baseline is at least once a week. And it doesn’t matter what day you choose, just be consistent. Do you remember when the Cosby Show was on? I do. 8 p.m. Thursday nights on NBC. And that show went off the air when I was 12 years old!

    Why do I remember that after all these years? Because it happened every week at the exact same time. You need to do the same for your audience. Even if you produce a minimal amount of content, as long as you set your tribe’s expectations and ship on time you can still crush it.

    • Stanford Smith

      I agree my man. I’ll add a cherry on top – consistently publish content worth reading!

      • http://info.drillinginfo.com/wireline-blog/ James Hahn II

        Absolutely. Anything that’s worth doing is worth doing better than anyone else. But don’t set the bar so high in your head that you get paralyzed. Just START. Like anything, “perfect practice makes perfect”, so you will never get there without hitting the keyboard on the regular.

        But no matter how frustrated you get or how much you feel like Mom is your only fan, stay on your hustle. Everyone breaks through who sees it through. Regardless of the outcome, you will be better off for having pursued your dream.

        As Jim Rohn said, “If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.”

        • http://www.globalamadeustravel.com LaDonna Farrow

          Great share James…thanks!

          • http://info.drillinginfo.com/wireline-blog/ James Hahn II

            My pleasure, LaDonna!!

  • http://clairification.blogspot.com Claire Axelrad

    You always have great advice Stan! So…
    1. What to do with the folks who unsubscribe with the message “Too many emails.”
    Ignore them? Decide they’re not really my target market?

    2. What to do with the folks who say they’d rather receive ONE consolidated email/week that includes links to all of that week’s posts (and, of course, my email software and blog platform doesn’t appear to be able to create separate lists with separate publishing schedules at the touch of a button).

    Just wondering… :-)

    • Stanford Smith

      Yo Claire from Clairification.com ! :)
      1. I think you’ve answered Question #1 in Question #2!
      2. Offer blog update subscribers a choice to receive daily updates or a digest. Check out my sidebar for an example of this. This helps readers decide the frequency of contact.
      By the way, Mailchimp and Aweber offers the capability to send on different schedules. I’m using Mailchimp segments for this.

    • http://www.globalamadeustravel.com LaDonna Farrow

      Claire, I’ve unsubscribed for that reason before and not necessarily because I was getting too many emails from the one I was unsubscribing from but just too many emails from everyone in general and somebody had to go.

  • Michaela Mitchell

    I agree that publishing daily (well, during the week) is the goal – unless you’re writing epic posts of 3000+ words. That’s what I tried in the beginning, and somewhere along the way, I lost my real voice and started posting cookie-cutter posts. I had a little wake-up call and am now committed to 2 posts per week while I work on my voice and find my groove.

    I’m a firm believer that the more you write, the more you find to write about – and the goal is to get up to 5 posts per week, but for right now, I’d rather write 2 great posts than 5 crappy posts. It’s all about finding the balance. :)

    • Stanford Smith

      I really like what you said “The more you write, the more you find to write about.” I’ve had the worst time writing after taking a break. A week of daily writing does put your brain into gear allowing the ideas to come easier.