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Blog Post Schedule: When and How Often to Publish New Blog Posts

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calendar blog post schedule Editor’s Note: Guest Poster Bill Belew wrote briefly about this topic back in March. Check out his advice, as well as reading this different perspective from guest contributor Shanna Mallon.

Whether you’re a new blogger or an old veteran, one thing’s for sure: You’ve heard you should be blogging regularly. If you’re going to blog at all, everyone says, you have to blog on a schedule. But how often is often? What blogging pattern translates to regular? Likewise, do certain days of the week or certain times of the day bring in better results? How can you tell? When should you post?

To help answer these questions, here’s a look at blogging’s big “When?” question and what you need to know.

Basic Blogging Post Time Principles

Before we look at the possibilities for blogging frequency, we need to look at a few key principles that guide scheduling decisions. Understanding these facts makes it easier to decide how often to post.

  • Quality Trumps Quantity

No matter how often a blogger posts, one thing is certain: Quality trumps quantity. Readers care more about what you’re posting than when. If your content is empty filler content, readers won’t care if you post every day or multiple times a day: Your content doesn’t matter. If, on the other hand, your posts are legitimately valuable, readers are more likely to keep coming back, even if posts are infrequent.

  • New Content Invites New Views

The logic is the same as the logic behind daily newspapers—People like to read content that is new. So just like you wouldn’t buy the same issue of a magazine every week, your readers are less likely to come back to a blog that shows the same old content every day. When you post new content, you give new readers a reason to check it out.

  • Readers Like Consistency

Posting consistently—whether that’s every Tuesday morning, every day, or every hour—communicates an unspoken promise to your readers. They learn your schedule and come to expect new content will appear as usual. When you always post at the same time, you build trust with your audience.

Posting Every Week vs. Posting Every Day vs. Posting Many Times a Day

OK, assuming you’re creating quality content that actually benefits your readers and you want to do it regularly, what does that look like? Should you post every day? Every hour? Let’s take a look at the options.

  • Posting Every Week

Most experts agree that if you blog regularly, that means blogging at least once a week. There are exceptions, especially for celebrity bloggers or other bloggers with established reputations, but in general, once a week is the minimum. If you choose this routine, consider making your once-a-week post always on the same day—Mondays, for example. Over time, your readers will remember your posts always appear on Mondays and want to come back to your site accordingly.

  • Posting Every Day

Say you want to increase your content frequency to something more regular than weekly posts. Maybe you post every Monday and every Friday; maybe every other day; or, perhaps, you decide to post every day. Daily posting is pretty standard for large blogs, whether they’re run by individuals or groups. Keeping this schedule can be time-consuming, so if you decide to post daily, you may want to enlist other writers to help.

  • Posting Many Times a Day

The largest, most trend-focused blogs post many times a day. Like news outlets or television stations, they are constantly providing new content for readers to view. Running this sort of blog requires a significant investment of time and energy, so you surely want a team of writers, but it also offers many rewards. Constant content often attracts a larger following, higher traffic numbers, and more potential for advertising or lead generation.

Your Thoughts on Blog Post Schedules

How often do you post on your blog? Do you post on a specific schedule, or do you post when you feel like it? If you haven’t tried a schedule before, maybe it’s time to give it a shot—to build trust with readers, keep yourself accountable, and prime your site for growth.

Why “Blog When You Have Something to Say” is Bad Advice

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One of the most common questions I hear about blogging is this:

How often should I blog? Do I need to write a certain number of posts per month or week or day?

And commonly, the answer I see people giving is this:

Blog when you have something to say. You don’t have to stick to a certain schedule or routine. What’s important is that you blog when you feel passionate about the topic.

It certainly sounds like good advice, but in actuality, it can be quite dangerous, especially for new bloggers. Why is “blog when you have something to say” such bad advice?

1. It encourages laziness.

When you only blog when you have something to say, you’re encouraged to be a lazy blogger. It’s almost as though we’re giving ourselves a free pass to do less work. Something big happens in your industry? Meh. I don’t *really* feel passionate about that topic, so I’m not going to write about it.To be sure, you don’t have to write about everything, but sometimes covering a topic is what is best for your readers. If you give yourself a free pass to ignore certain topics, you aren’t giving your readers the best experience possible on your blog.

2. We aren’t forced to push ourselves.

When you only blog when you have something to say, it’s easy to fall into the trap of not looking for something to say. It’s not about blogging about topics when you don’t care about them. It’s about finding things to care about. When you’re forced to push yourself to find topics to cover, you might be surprised at what you find. The world is an interesting place. You might also be surprised at the work you do when you push yourself to find the interesting story in a topic you don’t naturally find interesting.

3. More posts lead to more traffic.

The more you write, the more your fans will visit your blog to read what you write. Maintaining a high quality is important, but if you do, you will see more traffic. Chris Brogan talked at BlogWorld New York about how he recently decrease the number of times he posts per week and he’s definitely seen a decrease in traffic. When having a conversation with Jared Polin about this, he told me that he attributes at least some of his own success to the fact that he posts six or seven times every week. I can also confirm from my personal experiences that when I post more, I see more traffic. So if you’re measuring success with statistics, posting more often is a great way to boost your traffic. And remember, readers are creatures of habit. If you post on a schedule, they’ll know when to expect new content. If you post sporadically, they might simply forget about you.

Going back to the original question – how often should you blog? If the answer isn’t “blog when you have something to say,” what is the answer?

Some people might disagree with me, but I think the best answer is this: Blog as often as you can while maintaining a high quality. Get on a schedule and stick to it, pushing yourself to blog regularly. Sometimes it might be hard, but as Jimmy Dugan says, “It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.”

How often do you blog? How often do you think people should blog? Tell us with a comment below!

 

Is this Little-Known Content Mistake Costing You Subscribers?

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When I was five years old, I loved candy. Okay, who are we kidding? I still love candy. But this story is about me as a five-year-old so bear with me.

Halloween was of course one of my most favorite times of the year, and after a particularly good “haul” one year, my dad decided to give me permission to do the unthinkable – eat as much of my candy as I wanted. I felt like Scrooge McDuck diving into his pool of gold coins every time I reached into my pumpkin-themed bucket for another handful of candy.

You might be able to guess what happened next. That’s right, I ate so many Snickers and Twizzlers and whatnot that I got very sick. It was several weeks before I could even look at candy again.

The lesson my dad was trying to teach me was that moderation is key in whatever you do. At five years old, I was happy to eat candy until I was sick, but I wasn’t ready to pay those consequences. It never crossed my mind that I could have too much of something so amazingly good. I didn’t understand that more isn’t always better.

Your blog or podcast content is like candy. (Well, hopefully!) In other words, it’s really good, and people want it. Readers come to your site for their virtual sugar fix, like five year olds on Halloween flock to the house giving out the full-sized Hershey bars. At least, that’s the goal, right? You want your readers to love your content.

Only, too much content can give your readers a stomach ache.

Okay, maybe not a stomach ache, but if you’re posting too much content and your readers can’t keep up, it’s like eating too much candy. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. I know you have a lot of ideas. I do too. But if you give people more content than they can handle, they’re going to unsubscribe.

How much is too much? That depends on your niche. Someone coming to a blog for news is probably going to want updates several times every day. That’s why a site like Mashable can get away with posting so often. In other niches, posting that often is obnoxious. People don’t have the time to read that much! For example, Social Media Examiner posts about once per day. They have a huge pool of writers, so several posts a day might be doable from a production standpoint, but their posts are so in-depth that it would overwhelm readers in a hurry.

You run the risk of getting boring too. For example, Jenny at The Bloggess posts a few times per week, but rarely more than once per day. Her blog is about her life – so she writes when interesting things happen. If she forced herself to post three times a day, half of those posts might be nothing more than, “Uh…so I had a chicken salad sandwich for lunch…”

It also depends on what your readers are used to. If you post once a week and then suddenly amp it up to post every day, people are going to step back in a very surprised way. This is especially true of your email subscribers. No one likes an inbox full of stuff they weren’t expecting, even if that stuff is really good content. So, if you want to start posting more content, slowly increase you post rate. Let people dip their feet in the pool and get in slowly rather than pushing them in when their backs are turned.

The bottom line: When thinking about post rate, the question isn’t always, “Am I posting enough?” Sometimes the question is, “Am I posting too much?” No matter how tasty your content may be, you need to practice moderation to keep subscribers around and interested.

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