One of the hardest things newcomers to the webmastering community face is how often they should post content to their website. Commonly referred to as “Posting Frequency”. From this, we have a rather wide array of advice coming from multiple experts. Maybe you’ve heard it before? All great advice and it’s typically put on a plate and served to you in one of these scenarios:
- Post on a regular basis at least once a week. Once a week, Twice a week, Everyday, Twice a day. Whatever you can keep up with. Just keep it consistent.
- Post as much as you can in the span of a week but always post once at least once week. Some weeks will be more successful than others in how much you get done.
- Content is king – Only post when you have a worthy article. Your audience will be glued to the screen no matter when you post if the information you provide is that important, useful, and groundbreaking.
The reason you never get a clear answer on this (like many things) is because there are a lot of extra variables involved. The key is in the details. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to posting frequency. It’s based on what your goals are and the variables below can put an additional spin on that.
What are your goals? You should define this before you concern yourself with any functionality or presentation method of your website. Too many people skip that because they rush in with the rest of the herd that hypes “I’m going to score an extra income from maintaining a website”. Goal Example’s:
- Do you want to be known as an expert in your field?
- Provide a useful resource or service that even you could use? – Gary Vaynerchuck comes to mind. That “crazy wine guy” (winelibrary.com).
- Create an internet personally around a particular topic?
- Increase awareness of a brand or product you own?
- Learn more about a topic while sharing it with the world?
If you haven’t defined what you’re out to do, none of the following information is going to help much. Note none of the examples above comment about making money!
Specific Post Frequency Variables
Its possible to be fall within all of these to different degrees which is what makes finding your posting frequency so complex for some:
Newbie’s – If you’re new to the field (general niche or not) spend some prep time researching your topic. Spend weeks researching it even! While you’re doing this have a notepad out and jot down ideas for posts as you go. Bookmark and organize resources as you find them for easy access later. This ensures you don’t quit because you’re suddenly out of ideas. Once you get going, you should be able to post at least three to four times a week on the basics you’ve learned over the past few weeks. Spending about an hour on each post.
Experts – When you’re an expert in your field, you have a lot of flexibility in your posting frequency. It mostly comes down to the kind of website you want to have. There are some perfect examples of this in the blogosphere:
- Yaro Starak of http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com has posts with a lot of information. You will never see an article shorter than 200 characters on his blog. In fact, some of his articles look like essay’s I would have written in college. It’s obvious he puts a great deal of research into his work but has to sacrifice how many posts he puts up. Especially with managing the other sites he works on.
- John Chow of http://www.johnchow.com posts at least twice a day. Sometimes you’ll see an occasional post of his as a paragraph or two. There’s nothing wrong with that, because sometimes its very useful information. But it starts to become more of a news site than a site you go to, to learn the fundamentals about a topic. He also has a much larger responsibility to keep up with his site. If he dropped the ball and didn’t post for three days visitors might perceive something to be very wrong. Rumors of how John Chow died would probably start circulating since he has kept up with this post frequency flawlessly over the past couple years.
Quality Of Posts - The quality of post to me is the ability to reach the biggest chunk of your audience and have them walk away with something valuable. Spending time researching what you’re posting about can really help a new site get off the ground. But if you’re posting too often from things just off the top of your head, the quality of the post may lower. I don’t care how smart you are. Google the topic you’re posting about and find other resources for items you forgot to include or might not have known about. Doing this might lower your post frequency but is well worth it.
New Websites - This one is specifically for new bloggers. I would argue you’re actually doing your site a disservice by starting out and writing too much. It takes time to learn how to make posts effective and how the design and functionality of your website works with the content that you feed into it. Everything down to the words you use, the format in which you present it, and the design of your site are going to need tweaking over time. Keyword… TIME.
Length of posts – I don’t like to tie quality of posts to the length of it so much, because that’s not necessarily true. In more cases than not though, I find it to be. The longer your posts are the lower your post frequency will be. Which if it is tied to quality its a good thing. Other writers can get their point across very naturally and efficient with few words. To further that point, long posts are hindering if they have too much “fluff”. For the sake of content production and content flow, I would always try and write too much. You can break up the post logically later and even create an additional “Series” article later on which recaps everything.
Rare VS General Niches – The amount of competition you have could play a roll in how fast you pump out content. The more diluted your niche is with other websites the harder its going to be to stand out. At some point, this factor becomes less important as you start standing out from the crowd. I wrote a post about Rare VS General Niches a couple weeks ago that will explain additional tactics under each scenario.
Site Traffic – If your traffic is low, a lower time investment is warranted. Especially if you’re running other, more successful sites. How fast do you want the site to get off the ground? If you’re posting once or twice a day, even if its the best content in the world, people are going to miss it for a while. It would be better to post less and be doing proper research on keywords/titles. This makes the content appear higher in the search engines and gives you some long term exposure chances when a sites following is non-existent. Posting three well SEO tuned articles a week that end up getting 200 visitors in that week is more worthwhile than posting five articles and getting that same 200 hits spread out between them. Thus, I would shoot to post two to three times a week overall. Likewise If you have about 10,000 visitors a day, I would certainly try to post in more of a median where most of visitors will be able to keep up with all your posts, but there might be a percentage of regular visitors that miss a post here or ther
Day Job – If you’re not blogging for a living then you’ll want to create a website or blog that is specific at first, but is flexible in future content options for later additions. Try considering what these other topic areas will be in advance. Having multiple related sub topics to talk about can also serve as a savior to your blog if you find you’re running out of ideas.
No matter what you choose to use as a post frequency, its most important to practice these three things:
- Staying active within your community does not necessarily mean you HAVE to post every day or every other day. There are plenty of ways to appear active in this web 2.0 world. Get involved and it will show.
- Experiment! I recently tried increasing my post frequency by about 500% and shared my results here: Temporarily Increasing Post Frequency – Does It Matter? – This will give you a baseline and additional perspective on what frequency of post can and cant do. It is by no means the only thing you can try, or the only result in that scenario.
- Its adjustable – If you’re just beginning. Choose a posting frequency that’s about half of what you expect to be doing in the long run, as long as that number is still at least once a week. You can then adjust as you go. Its going to take you a few weeks to get into a stead routine with it all.
Entrupeners, Subscribe for the lastest tools, tips, and tutorials.