How Often Should You Post on Your Blog? One Answer You Don’t Often Hear

Posted By on May 1, 2013

Photo of brilliantly-colored humminbirds hovering

Don’t sacrifice the beauty of your writing to publishing like crazy. Photo copyright 2013 Cynthia Hartwig

If you Google the question about how frequently you should post, the answer is about two to three times per week. But many blog advice columnists forget one thing. I’ll tell you what it is in a second, but first let me explain why their general recommendation makes sense.

Frequency Aids Findability

The rationale for publishing 2-3 posts per week, especially if you’re just starting out, is that the more times you publish, the more people will find your blog. It’s the numbers game: the more pages you publish, the more topics you present, the more likely you’ve written about something that people are searching for.

This means you’re opening many doors (entry pages) to your blog. Over time, you’ll experience the “long-tail” effect—-many pages get only a few hits, but the sum total adds up. Your web traffic increases.

Exceptions to the Rule

Let’s say you’re in a field where there’s not a lot of social media hoo-ha and your audience, made up of let’s say scientists, only wants to learn the latest new ideas or trends. In that case, you might only write three to five times per month.

A good example is Real Climate, “a climate blog for climate scientists,” which only publishes, on average, four posts per month. While that’s low, the blog is consistently ranked among the top ten science blogs. It not only summarizes the latest research but debunks the latest myths reported in the popular press.

To help figure out your publishing frequency, make sure you know what your audience wants.

Don’t Over-do It

Unsubscribe is my friend. I often am intrigued by a blog, sign up for their posts, and—wham-mo!—my inbox fills up. If you see a bump in people unsubscribing to your blog, lower your publishing frequency to a simmer.

The onslaught of posts (and advertising) on the most popular science blog, named of all things, ScienceBlogs kept me from subscribing in the first place. Then there were its internecine duels that saw even its bloggers abandoning it.

The Other Answer?

All of the advice-dispensing bloggers always seem to forget one thing—how long it takes to write a post that people want to read. Great writing takes time. But it’s worth it. Readable posts get shared, linked to, printed, and pinned to cubicle walls.

At Two Pens, Cynthia Hartwig and I tag team to achieve this goal. We believe turning out well-written posts under deadline pressure (yes you must publish frequently) happens more smoothly if you collaborate. We brainstorm ideas for posts related to our current goals, which could be anything from writing an e-book on how to write tweets to joining an online debate. Then one of us writes the post, and the other reads and comments.

We pass our writing back and forth until we’re happy, and then we take one more step—we hand it over to our wonderful copyeditor, Sherri Schultz. Since we teach people how to write, our writing better be close to perfect.

Publish and Polish

So are you saying publish as much as you can without writing crap? Not really. I suggest identifying topics that you care enough about that you’ll want to spend the time needed to craft them. Your goal: to get people reading all the way to the finish line.

You can also vary the length of posts to give yourself a breather. We keep our posts relatively short (see Short, Shorter, Long: What’s the Ideal Length of a Blog Post?“) so publishing one or two per week doesn’t seem like an impossible task.

Send us your opinions on what frequency works for you. We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Emily Warn