Sep
17
2008

Temporarily Increasing Post Frequency – Does It Matter?

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Does post frequency matter anymore? In a nutshell, it matters for some sites and not for others. Overall, its not as important as you would think. My typical posting rate is once every week or two because I manage other websites. Time is at a premium. However, I tried an experiment here in which I posted four articles in one night to see if it would effect traffic on my blog.

Here are the four articles that I put up with this test:

  1. 17 Ways To Increase Advertising Income On Your Website
  2. Double CTR In 5 Minutes – Random Advertising Prevents Banner Blindness
  3. Intrigue Your Visitors – Make Your Websites Goals Clear
  4. HowTo Avoid Merchant PayPal Fees On Your Website

Traffic Results

Day 1 & 2 – This is where you might expect a post with a graph and a sudden incline in visitors, however, its not needed, since the increase wasn’t all that much higher. It was about the same as if I posted one article for the week actually!

Day 4 - Minor self provoked social bookmarking exposure. Traffic is up slightly, but nothing to hoot and holler at. The article “17 Ways to Increase Advertising Income On Your Website” takes the lead, but that’s because I entered it in a title contest over at problogger.net. The day would have been below average on traffic otherwise.

Day 7 - The week went by and stats were noticeably slightly above average. with the exception of a nice 50% peak from day four’s efforts. Day five climbed down to slightly above average again. Posted another article: WordPress Custom Home Page Design – Widgetized Front Page

Day 14 - Another week goes by. Average site visitors increased by about 5-20% as the week went on. No major spikes. A lot of the new traffic I’m getting is mostly from the search engines. Each article mentioned above is getting a bit more attention from the search engines and social bookmark sites than the older content. Three of them took turns on various days between day seven and day fourteen of being the top article viewed on the site. This includes the new article I wrote on day seven.

Day 25 – By now I’ve also released:

Today’s top viewed content finally landed on “HowTo Avoid Merchant PayPal Fees On Your Website”. It was a competitive article for a while before it finally came in first. It mostly likely won because it’s getting an increase of search engine queries on and off. It must be ranking fairly well.

Experiment Results

By releasing a lot of content all at once, I lost a bit of exposure for the first two articles I posted:

Neither of these ever made it as the a “top viewed article” for a day until late in the game. Which, by then probably wasn’t as highly exposed as it could have been.

Its typically that any new content I post becomes a top resource on the site either the first or second day after its released. Keep in mind, that’s when I post a single article at a time.

Multiple posts at once:

  • Had a similar traffic spike size as posting a single article.
  • Over the course of a month (and beyond) improved traffic overall – Perhaps because there was more content indexed in the search engines for my site.
  • Are probably OK to do as long as you only post twice a day max. and continue your old frequency after that.

The Best Posting Frequency

As a rule of thumb I would never post more than once a day. I think the “best” frequency from all my experience on any site I’ve run (blog or not) is to post once every 3 days (about 3 times a week). I’d also recommend this post frequency if you’re starting a new blog. Its frequent enough to be pumping new content into the search engines, and a very nice medium setting which you can adjust later to tailer your lifestyle and blog topic.

If you find you’re producing too much, just have a long list of scheduled posts. That way you wont get burnt out either if you want to take a break one week.

If you already have a blog up, you might be able to narrow down a perfect personalized posting frequency with the following tactic.

How To Find Your Sites Posting Frequency

I challenge you to find your own frequency based on your current visitors response. Don’t worry, no need to run a poll or ask them any questions. Do the following:

  • This works best on a site that is getting at least 200 hits in order to gauge stats accurately. If you’re not at that point, I think its fair game to pump out as much content as you want, as often as you can in order to gain a presence in the search engine and establish an archive of quality information in which users can judge you on.
  • Continue to post at a consistent frequency for a month and watch what your top article is everyday. Track this in analytics in the default dashboard. Make sure you specify a single date instead of a range which defaults to a month.
  • Assuming you have a following, check when that piece of content starts and stops being #1 for the month. If you post something new on Monday, it becomes #1 on Tuesday, and falls back to something else on Thursday. A great post frequency for you would be once every four days.
  • You also might find your posts take five days to circulate, become popular, and then remain popular for only on that fifth day. In this case, your post frequency would be great if you posted once every four or five days. I say four days because if a post is “circulating” then its a perfect time for a new post. You may be able to catch the visitors attention with your new post as well. Thus starting a chain reaction of loyal readers. As they come to look at one post, the newest post on your sight might also catch their attention.
  • Do this over a month or two and obtain an average. Its hard to make this an exact science because the quality of articles you produce might not be the same. They also might have a different audience range. Factor in what is and isn’t normal for your a typical post. If an article gets dugg or stumbled from a social bookmarking site, take it into account. Be a bit bias as you explore results in analytics. Especially if you have an article from a year ago that hit the right nerve in a search engines and is number one every day.

Better yet, if you already know you post on Tuesdays only, you can easily analyze your stats in the past and have an instant answer. Share your results in the comments below! What is your best posting frequency?

Keep readers on edge. Always be just one step ahead of them. If you jump too many steps ahead its like skipping them as a player in a turned based game. You can always catch up if you’re up for the challenge, but its frustrating! Dont make your blog a challenge.

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6 Responses to Temporarily Increasing Post Frequency – Does It Matter?

  1. Thanks so much for the in-depth analysis. I just started, and am still working on my blog(Marketing , online business) and at the moment don’t have the time to post every day, so this information comes as re-assurance that I’m ok at the moment.

    I did have a blog on Music, and I had so many RSS feeds coming in because I wanted content, but found out that all I was doing was adding duplicate content to my site. This blog will not fall prey to the same tactics.

    I subscribed to you feed, as I look forward to more valuable marketing tips!

  2. Good article, you write some interesting posts. Frequency is affected by the type of niche, too. I’m writing insights into the Mayan Calendar, and since it changes each day I must post daily.

    Other sites I own are posted to only 2-3x per month, and their stats continue to climb, but there is always an increase immediately after a posting. I think you make good points.

  3. Agreed. Sites with a niche audience are going to have better frequency. I sell custom fortune cookies over the web and I live off of frequency. Great article!

  4. Yet another good post. Blog post frequency is not the issue with getting a solid readership. It’s actively listening and participating in the conversation that drives readership loyalty. Depending on what niche you target, it could really be the turning point to your business.

  5. Good article with some interesting ideas. The good news of posting regularly is that google will start crawling your page more to gather all of your updates. However, as you said, you can really cause your articles to lose focus and get a lot less presence on your main page. I think you’re right aiming for once every 3 days or so as it shows google you’re active, but also gives time for articles to lead the main page.

  6. some think it’s worse..some it’s better..i guess one post in 4 days it’s normal!

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