What your schedule is for posting can be a tricky thing to figure out. Everyone has an opinion on what is the right schedule and everyone has a work schedule that suits them better or worse. Ultimately I think the best schedule is regular – however often you’re posting, you maintain that schedule as much as possible and that it is on the days when people are most likely reading a blog – Monday to Thursday.
The OCCASIONALLY missed post is fine – I think you can go on vacation without necessarily having to schedule content for while you’re away. It’s best to post regularly as much as possible.
Posting When You Feel Like It
If your blogging is just for fun, it’s ok to post when you feel like it. It will throw off readers however. Some of your regular readers will come to your site (the ones who won’t subscribe) and they’ll get a feel for how often they can expect new content. If they can expect it daily, they’ll probably show up every couple of days and catch up. If they can expect a new post or two a week, they’ll probably show up once a week. Once they’ve had the experience of showing up expecting new content and not finding it a few times, they’ll fall out of the habit and you’ll lose a reader.
If you’re blogging hoping to make money, you want to avoid anything that might lose you a reader.
Often Infrequent Posting Is How Blogs Die
I find it amusing how often I got to a blog that has clearly been abandoned and the last post seems like a totally typical post that was written 2 years earlier. Even more amusing is when the last post is a promise to blog more regularly and an apology for not posting much in the proceeding period of time.
It’s absolutely ok to stop blogging, but I think people should stop deliberately if that’s what they want. Maybe try to sell the blog if you’re done with it.
Smoothing Out Varying Writing Output
If you find you’re not always wanting to write at the same rate, a good way to handle this is to write when you feel like it, but to schedule out the posts after you have a heavy session. Say you post twice a week, but one week are inspired and write 6 posts. Schedule them out for the next 3 weeks! Then, if you hit a dry patch two weeks later, you’re ahead of the game. This would be much better than posting 5 times one week and once the next.
If you find you’re consistently having trouble meeting the schedule you’ve set for yourself, ease off on it. Instead of daily, go twice a week. Instead of twice a week, go weekly. Instead of weekly, go twice a month.
It seems to be a natural progression that bloggers post more enthusiastically when they first start their blog and trail off as it gets more established.
Mix Up What You’re Posting
If you’re having trouble filling your schedule with new content, but still want to post regularly, there are a number of other ideas you can try, including:
- “Throw back” days where you republish an older post readers may not have seen the first time
- Guest posts where you invite readers or other bloggers to post on an appropriate topic for your blog
- Link Fests where you link to and give a brief description of things that you read that week that would be of interest to your audience
- Revisit past topics, either going into more detail or updating something you wrote in the past
Keep In Mind When People Are Reading
My former writing partner Mike once said that people read blogs when they’re at work instead of doing their job. Because of this, hardly anyone will visit your blog on the weekend – they aren’t at work. Also, people will be trying to wrap things up at work and Fridays will be a low-traffic day.
This has matched my experience – most blog traffic seems to arrive on Monday to Thursday. This means, whatever schedule you end up with, it’s probably a good idea to target Monday – Thursday over Friday – Sunday.
Quality Over Quantity
Obviously, the underlying assumption here is that you’re producing something that’s worth reading. If you’re posting on a set schedule, but what you’re producing is garbage, the regular schedule isn’t going to help you. Some bloggers will make the argument that it’s far better to invest massive amounts of work into each post, then post amazing content infrequently. I LOVE Paul Graham’s essays, and this is what he does.
How often do you post on your blog? What has worked better or worse for you in the past? How did you arrive at your current schedule?