Is Your Posting Schedule Hurting Your Blog?

posting-scheduleIf growing your blog and reaching more readers is at the top of your blogging to do list, you’re not alone.

You’re also in good company if the concept of growing your traffic gets more confusing the longer you research it.

One of the reasons it can be tough to get your blog off the ground is that building traffic goes against what nearly all bloggers feel naturally inclined to do: post as often as possible.

Doesn’t it feel like running on a content hamster wheel half the time? Frantically writing a post to get something up on the blog because everyone else is posting daily – so you feel that you should do it too. But then you start to notice that your posts really aren’t saying anything useful, so what’s the point?

Posting frequency is definitely something you need to figure out as part of your blogging strategy. BUT you certainly don’t need to post everyday.

The only reason I even suggest defining a set posting frequency is so you can build a routine for yourself about when you write so it becomes a routine in your life. It’s also vitally important for your readers so they know when to expect content. When you consistently post when you say you’re gonna post it builds trust between you and your audience which is a big part of growing a community.

Another issue with posting everyday (or multiple times per day) is that it can quickly lead to blogger burn out and the dreaded “blogging hiatus“. Chances are you started blogging because you’re super passionate about your topic. When you feel forced to post content you’re not thrilled about day after day, it will quickly erode whatever thrill you first felt when putting up a post.

If you’ve ever just stopped blogging without explanation, you’ll notice how this degrades the relationship you have with your audience. They don’t feel “in the loop” and after the initial worry about where you went, they move onto other blogs and it’s even harder to regain those readers later.

What’s the Perfect Posting Frequency?

If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll no doubt see this coming but there isn’t a perfect frequency for everyone. You can, however, figure out your magic number by asking yourself a couple simple questions:

  1. How long does it take for me to write a quality post?
  2. How much time do I have each week to write?

Expecting more questions? That’s really all there is to it. Creating quality posts that teach, inspire or entertain your readers is the main goal. If you take approximately 3 hours to write a great post but only have 9 hours a week to blog, then you should be looking at a 3x a week schedule. Got 5 hours a week and can churn out winning posts in under 60 minutes? Then 5 posts might work for you.

Ideally, when you’re actively trying to grow your site, blogging at least weekly should be the goal. This keeps you in front of your readers enough to be remembered but gives you ample time for other things (like writing amazing posts that shouldn’t be missed!)

Is Once a Day too Much?

Maybe you’ve asked yourself the tough questions and you can post between 5 and 7 days a week. The question now becomes, should you actually post that often?

There’s a few things you need to consider when answering that question:

1. Are your daily posts truly offering value to your audience?

Our blogs are intensely personal creations (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard them referred to as people’s babies!) and it can be difficult to objectively gauge the value of your posts. It’s important to honestly evaluate what we’re putting out in the world, because bad content cannot be fixed by more tweeting, status updates and commenting on other blogs. Bad content kills blogs.

Asking an honest and trusted friend can work to find out if your posts are providing valuable or you can look to a blogging coach or copywriter who can give you more objective feedback.

If you feel that you need to post less so you can post better, then pick a new posting frequency and stick with it for a few months so you can measure traffic and your reader response.

2. Is your traffic increasing steadily over time?

When your traffic isn’t growing and you keep posting daily, that’s kind of the definition of insanity. You know, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

If you’re stuck in this situation, you’ll know first hand what the content hamster wheel is all about, constantly posting and never really getting anywhere.

The answer to this problem is to actually post less and promote more. I have a complete lesson about this in the Traffic Roadmap that you can read for free until March 30 if you’re having traffic or content issues be sure to check that out this week!

Tweet: Sometimes posting less means you can post better & better content grows blogs faster

3. Are your blog subscription number increasing steadily over time?

There’s 2 parts to your blogging subscription numbers: the number of people that subscribe and the number of people that unsubscribe.

You will always have unsubscribers and that’s not only ok, it’s awesome. People who don’t want to read what you write about shouldn’t be getting you content. The time that unsubscribers become a problem is when you see marked increase in the rate at which people are leaving or people unsubscribe at a higher rate than new people are signing up.

One of the main reasons that people unsubscribe from a blog is actually that the blog posts too often. You know how it feels to look at your reader and see a million unread posts? Even if someone loves your content they may unsubscribe if you post so much they can’t “keep up.”

I’m not saying you have to cater to the preference of every subscriber since that’s impossible but do watch for trends in your numbers, if you increase post frequency and see your numbers dip then that might be the reason. If you post less often and have less unsubscribes then you’ll likely know why too.

Now What?

We covered a lot today, so here’s the run down to help you move forward:

  1. Decide on a posting frequency that fits your lifestyle and writing habits (this isn’t set in stone, just start somewhere that makes sense for you)
  2. Evaluate your posts to ensure they are of high value to your audience. Don’t post filler more than you post value.
  3. Review your traffic for trends over the past 3 months to a year. Do you need to promote more & blog less to grow your blog?
  4. Dive into your blog subscription stats to find out if your posting frequency is helping or hurting your subscriber numbers?
  5. If you want to learn even more about traffic growth be sure to check out the Blog School Traffic Roadmap this week. It’s open until Sunday and totally free.

Use the information you gather to make informed decisions about what you’re doing. The only way to really know if what you’re doing is working is to make changes, measure the results and then make adjustments based on those measurements. Guessing doesn’t work!

Have you ever struggled with the “right” posting frequency?