sly : marketing

The Virtues of Posting Less Often

This is a guest post from Rachel Walker:

Rachel Walker

During the course of blogging events it seems that everyone began to believe that the best way to blog is by posting as often as possible. I often see blog posts where the blogger shamelessly admits to forcing themselves to write something to post that day. I don’t know about you but as soon as I see something like that I stop reading.

Posting for the sake of posting, or for the sake of the search engines, is just an example of blogging gone wrong. Blogging is not about posting quantity at the expense of quality. If you don’t have anything awesome to write about today, don’t just take a picture of your greasy lunch to write about. Be patient.

Over-posting

The two reasons that I can think of why people over-post are the following…

Fear

Bloggers fear that if they don’t force themselves to post an article at certain intervals they will fail to build a respectable blog. For bloggers that are experiencing this, I recommend setting a goal to write a set amount on a regular basis, such as a 500 word post a day. Once completed, don’t necessarily post everything- post just the best stuff that you can come up with.

Ambition

Bloggers who really want to have a successful blog will often force themselves to post regularly. They are often under the impression that they will end up seeing better rankings in the search engines as a result of producing more content. In reality, the best thing for getting exposure through both the search engines and social media is by providing phenomenal content. If you end up posting only once a week because you are only able to produce one fantastic article per week, that is much more valuable than posting mediocre content every day.

Why Post Less Often?

Better Writing: If instead of spreading yourself to thin you devote the same amount of time to posting less articles you will have more time to spend, and more time for structuring the articles and editing. Imagine how much readers will appreciate what you give them then.

Quality Content: How much research do you currently do in order to write a fantastically authoritative post? What if you were to double the amount of time you spend on researching. Wouldn’t your content be that much more helpful?

Keep Your Subscribers: For your subscribers there is a big difference between receiving an update in their inbox with really fantastic content once in a while vs. receiving something pretty good every day. Subscribers are much more likely to remain on your list if your updates are in the first category.

Get Better Social Media Buzz: According to my experience, and the experience of my colleagues, producing content which is just a little bit better gets posted exponentially more in social media.

In conclusion

Certainly ever niche is different, and the types of readership that each blogger attracts is also unique to that blogger. Therefore, I am proposing a general idea that posting less often could be a good idea, and why. Whether and how that applies to your niche and your readership is entirely up to you. What do you say, have I convinced you to post less often in order to give your readers more per post? Please explain your answer.

Author’s bio:

Rachel Walker is a FastUpFront Blog contributor and business consultant. Fastupfront offers an alternative to business loans based on future sales.



66 responses to “The Virtues of Posting Less Often”

  1. Absolutely!

    I would ditto what you mentioned as I really don’t think you can really write good quality content everyday. It’s any-day better to write once or twice a week and make that content valuable to your readers.

    But yes, some people believe in posting daily or alternate days, and that makes me wonder as to how they really manage to handle the social media or really spread the word around for the post they have written. The content posted hardly has any time to stay on your blog, and if it’s not of value it would attract few people as well.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      I don’t know many people that can write and publish brilliant content every day, but I know a few. On the other hand, if they should be spending that much time to write and publish their content every day, that’s a completely different story. Sometimes doing the marketing and networking is a much better thing to do, because then your content will be read. On a different note, it all depends on why they are doing it. If they want to make a living as a writer, and that’s it, then they might have a point in doing it 🙂

  2. Ashvini says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I was always in the conundrum about the posting frequency. A lot of bloggers do post very frequently. Frankly I have not been able to do that. It feels like a chore if you post very frequently. And if it is work then its not fun.
    I post two times a week and rest is spending on networking. This is a frequency I have settled upon .
    Thanks for insightful ideas.
    Ashvini

    • That’s what I have been feeling as well. I started out with a blogging schedule, and when I discovered that I couldn’t keep it up, I started publishing three times a week. And now, I try to keep publishing two times a week. But I write every single day. I just don’t publish it 🙂

  3. Aasma says:

    Hey Rachel,

    Totally agreed with your points. Don’t post to increase the quantity, rather focus on creating quality posts which impress huge audience and people don’t mind to share it.

  4. Robert K says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I agree 100% with the points you’ve made in this article, and I just wanted to add that another benefit of posting articles 1 – 3 times a week instead of aiming for a blog post a day is maintaining the motivation of the blogger.

    Basically if you commit yourself to constantly creating new content and keep your blog updated frequently, you may lose your desire to keep the blog running because of that constant mental pressure!

    • Agree with your Robert. We should never let the desire to post frequently turn into a stress – and cause tension. In that case, it is better to write as you like (which is good – Your posting will not be predictable for the readers and therefore they check your blog for new content; In this case, your readers must be loyal to you. It is also bad in that, we can easily tick of people who are not that loyal to our blog.

      • Robert K says:

        Proponents of regular posting argue that your blog readers will get used to days of the week when you publish new articles and will therefore read them more often etc. Personally I wouldn’t care too much about it, I just use Google Reader to follow my blogs and whenever there’s something new, I check it out.

        Other folks might do it differently though, so it’s all guesswork and it’s hard to say whether posting on certain days 3 times a week is more beneficial to you blog than posting just twice weekly on random days.

        Well… Considering I never post on a weekend because of lower traffic volumes (I think it’s quite common across all niches) it leaves me with 5 days a week; also I like to leave a couple of days between the posts which means the most random posting pattern would be Monday + Friday and then Tuesday + Thursday. It can be hardly called chaotic because with a certainty of a day my readers can definitely expect a new blog post.

        So the point is – even posting randomly will result in quite a regular posting schedule and it’s definitely best to keep it natural and a bit random than sticking to a rigid schedule and lose sleep over it!

        • Jeevanjacobjohn says:

          There are many good arguments in both sides. I used to stick with a regular blogging schedule, but then I realized the power of just random posting and keeping my visitors curious – to build anticipation in their minds.

          Yeah, it all depends upon your visitor. I think a loyal visitor will read our blog, no matter when we post.

          • I am actually not so sure if my readers knows about my schedule, well, mostly because I don’t have one, but I never think about when other bloggers are publishing their posts. I read most of them via my RSS reader, and I visit their blogs when I see a new post, that’s it 🙂

    • Hi Robert,

      I used to have a schedule where I posted once a day, and when I couldn’t do that, I created another schedule where I posted three times a week. But like you said, it’s a lot harder to keep motivated when you are forcing the posts. Now, that I just write when I feel like writing, it’s a lot easier to keep the content coming. I’m still publishing 2-3 times a week, but I don’t feel like I have to do it. And that’s a huge difference 🙂

      • Robert K says:

        Just goes to show how strangely our mind works in terms of dedication and motivation. We tend to develop a subliminal aversion towards tasks and duties and yearn for activities which aren’t forced upon us… So no wonder that by making it feel like it’s not a chore we find it easier to get stuff done!

  5. TravelTaster says:

    Good post. I firmly believe less is more, and quality rather than an avalanche. In the age of info overload, making it count has never been more important. Best wishes.

  6. Sarah says:

    Great article. I have been saying this for a while, less posts i think keep your readers wanting to come back for more. Thank you for pointing this out, definitely need to share this with some people.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback.

      I am actually not sure what the best frequency is. I believe that it all depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to become a better writer, and make a living as a writer, it might be a good thing to publish more. But no matter how much you publish it’s very important that you market your blog posts and network with other bloggers.

  7. Peggy Baron says:

    Nice post, Rachel.

    When I start out in a new niche, I post more often because I’m trying to beef up the site so when people visit, they can find articles that will interest them. I want the user experience to be a good one. Once I feel comfortable with the amount of content, I back off.

    As far as my personal IM blog, I don’t even post once a week anymore. Two reasons – 1) While I love my blog and blogging, it’s not my primary source of income. I’ve got to spend more of my time doing what brings in my online income. 2) It gives my readers more time to read the latest post and leave comments. They don’t feel so rushed.

    Thanks for sharing, Rachel!
    Peggy

    • Hi Peggy,

      I have been thinking a lot about the business part of blogging lately. And especially since I’ve started my own business. Now, I’m trying to make an income doing what I love, and I truly understand that I can’t spend many hours every single day on things that won’t bring me money 🙂

  8. Eugene Farber says:

    This is a great post with a great point. I listened to a webinar by Derek Halpern (of Social Triggers) recently and he made a great case for writing less often. He mentions the 80/20 rule and that most people spend 80% of their time writing, and 20% of the time promoting that content. But if you flip that ratio, and spend 20% writing and 80% promoting, you will get your content in front of more eyes (and have more time to create better content). I’ve been posting a lot less often on my blog lately (although I haven’t really been promoting either – terrible schedule right now :)).

    • Jeevanjacobjohn says:

      Thanks for pointing me to that direction, Eugene. It has been a while since I checked Derek’s blog (Right now, I am focusing less on posting and more on networking. I guess I also need to do some marketing).

    • The 80/20 rule sounds good. I am not spending 80% marketing right now, but I’m trying to get there 🙂

  9. Carolyn says:

    Hi Rachel, You convinced me! Last year I went from posting 5 times a week to posting 4 times a week and that went much better. Now I may go to three times a week. Sometimes I think important posts need space to breathe. If you post too soon after an important post, then they get lost in the shuffle.

    What really hit me was your point about wanting to do more research. I research every post I write but there are posts I haven’t written about important tech because I know the research will take some time. If I cut back to 3x a week, I could gain that time.

    Thanks for your great post. You really made a difference.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      That’s exactly what I’ve been experiencing. They do need space to breathe.

      Once in a while, when I have written a post that I’m very satisfied with, I have been waiting 3-4 days before I have published another one, and that’s just because I want as many people as possible to read that single post. Now, I’m thinking that I should probably spend more time writing each post, and more time marketing each post. This way the quality will be higher (at least I think it will be).

  10. Bill Dorman says:

    A lot might depend on how much time you have to devote to writing and whether you are making money for your efforts. Personally, I think 2-3 times a week is plenty and I do think it can improve your quality. Too much just becomes a blur at times to me…….

    I like Eugene’s comment about flipping the 80/20 rule to spending more time promoting than writing. I could easily see where this would drive better results for you.

    I’m a twice a week guy for the most part; it certainly works with my schedule.

    Good to see you at Jens; hopefully he didn’t offer you that leftover pizza he had from this weekend.

    • Hey Bill,

      I was thinking about Jack when I first read this post. His posts never suffers from lack of quality even though he is the one I know that posts most frequently. But, like you said, it depends on how much time they have to devote to writing, and the passion. If writing is what they’re doing, that’s what they should be doing.

      By the way, there are never any leftover pizza when I’m around 🙂

  11. Jack says:

    There is not single way to do this. We all have to find the way that is most comfortable and then follow that.

    • You’re a great example of why there’s not a single way to do this. When I read your posts, I never think about how often you publish, and that you should have spent more time writing the post. To me, it all depends on your goals. If your goal is to be a business blogger and earn money as a blogger (or by creating your own product and market it via your blog), then you should have one strategy, and if you have a different goal, well, you should have a different strategy 🙂

  12. Okto says:

    Hi Rachel,

    This is so me, fear and ambition to create 3 posts in a day. I am getting frustrated back then.

    Until now I just post once a week or in two weeks. There is one more advantage I can add. having less post frequency give me more time to do another things which are also important. (hanging with friends, my 9-5 jobs, social media engagements, ect)

    Great post Rachel. thanks.

    • Hi Okto,

      The biggest challenge many people faces is fear and ambition. We believe that we have to post every single day in order for our blog to become really popular. And especially after reading about how the search engines rank blogs with a lot of new content. But, in the end, it’s all about quality not quantity. So, if you are really passionate about it, and you can’t stop writing, well, then you should keep on writing and publish often. But, if you want to keep doing other things as well (like market your posts, and create products etc..) you need to have time for this too 🙂

      • Okto says:

        Hi Jens,

        That’s so right about posts more to get better SEO. But I feel more enjoyable post less for now. Let’s say I can produce 4 article in one week, I won’t publish all of them in a day, I’d rather scheduled it for publish per weeks. With that methods I can relax for the hole month and do other important things.

        But maybe it all will depend on ourself too. Well, I am a part-time blogger thus my time to develop my online business is so limited. I don’t want to leave my 9-5 habits since that is my main source of income for now (my online income is not enough to support daily expense, it just good for side income, at least for now :)). With all that conditions, it is reasonable enough for me to post less frequency.

        • That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about. If you’re blogging as part of a business, you need to do what helps you make money. And there are many things that might be better than blogging every single day when it comes to earning money. For instance, networking every single day with other fellow bloggers might be a lot more important than publishing your own posts when it comes to earning money. And we do have limited time, so we have to do what works best for us 🙂

  13. kimberly says:

    Its true that many bloggers keep posting just for the sake of posting. People have a notion that if your blog has more posts, it will earn more money. But i agree with you that we need to write quality articles even if they are very few in number. Good quality content will get more exposure for sure.

    • Hi Kimberly,

      I believe that it might be because of the search engines are ranking blogs with new content higher than blogs/sites with static/old content. And when people understands this, they’ll try to keep the content as fresh as possible to get more traffic from the search engines. And to many people, traffic = money.

      But, like you said, it’s all about the quality of the content. So, you should never post, just to keep your blog updated with new content.

  14. Anita says:

    One way that you can get a little more confident in your writing is by reading it out loud to yourself. Go over what you’ve typed and read it as if talking to a friend. Does it make sense? Are there parts you want to change? Try a few times.

    • Hi Anita,

      I always read my posts out loud to myself. I am not sure why, but it might be because I’m Norwegian and I have to look at my posts 2-3 times after I’ve finished writing them in order to check for errors. I’m not sure if I would do that with a Norwegian post, but it works great for English content 🙂

  15. Ana says:

    A lot may depend on just how much time you may have to dedicate to creating and no matter whether you’re making capital for your efforts. Personally, I feel 2-3 occasions a week is plenty and that i do think it can strengthen your high quality. As well considerably just becomes a blur at occasions to me…….

    I like Eugene’s comment about flipping the 90/10 rule to spending far more time advertising than creating. I could simply see where this could drive much better outcomes for you personally.

    I’m a twice per week man for essentially the most element; it undoubtedly functions with my schedule.

    Very good to determine you at Jens; with any luck , he did not provide you that leftover pizza he had from this weekend.

    • Time is definitively an important part of why you should or shouldn’t post every day. Me, I could probably publish a new post every single day. And I wouldn’t have any problem writing it, but then I wouldn’t have the time to do a lot of other things, like market the posts, and comment on other posts, and chat with people on social media (networking) and keep writing on a novel etc – and from a business perspective, there are so many other important things we need to keep doing as well.

  16. Laura says:

    In sports, where many athletes are not virtuous yet values are the essence of the games they play, knowing the distinction between athletic value and athletic virtue is tantamount..

  17. Hey Rachel,

    For the most part, I agree with you. It is better to post less often. But, I think it also depends upon the niche that we are working. For instance: If we are working with Tech, then it is more likely that we can deliver 4-5 quality articles per day (after all, there is some kind of tech improvement happening every day). But, for the blogging about blogging niche, things are different. When I started my current blog, I was working with 3 posts per week schedule, then I switched to two (and now, I am posting 1 post per week). I am a firm believer in quality. Quantity matters too, but quality can certainly produce more results than quantity itself.

    Thanks for the awesome post,

    Jeevan

    • Absolutely. I haven’t given the tech niche much thought (well, other than reading Carolyn’s blog as often as I possibly can), but there are so many things to write about when it comes to tech. There are tech improvements happening every single day. I’m thinking that it’s fairly easy to write about blogging, but that’s probably nothing compared to tech 🙂

  18. Adrienne says:

    Great advice Rachel and I so agree.

    I’m often asked how often people should post on their blog because they’ve gotten the advice that they need to write a post every single day. That will bring in the most traffic and I don’t agree. Quality over quantity is the key in my book.

    I think you need to stay true to yourself and enjoy this writing experience, not get overwhelmed because you can’t keep coming up with content to share on a daily basis.

    It also gives you plenty of time to promote your post and get more readers and interaction on each of them.

    I say less is more and I’m sticking with that.

    ~Adrienne

    • Hey Adrienne,

      That’s what I have come to believe as well. I used to have a schedule, but now I just write when I feel like writing, and I publish when I feel that I’m ready. Some weeks, I publish 3 posts, others 2, and I have even had weeks where I’ve published only one post. It all depends. I do write every single day, but most of what I write shouldn’t be read by others 🙂

  19. Andrew says:

    very interesting post thank you for sharing this with us i really enjoyed reading all about this and all the great tips, this post will be helping so many people including me. Great post.

  20. Michelle says:

    Hi Rachel, great post. Well done Jens on allowing the Guest Posts. Guest posting is all the rage these days and rightly so. It allows our readers to be exposed to different content, it allows you to look at different writing styles and allows you to build a relationship with fellow bloggers.

  21. Jonathan says:

    Hi Jens!

    I really don’t know about this one. One of the top bloggers, right now, is someone named danoah. He writes every single day without breeze. I think the key componenet is how you market your posts, and your quality of your posts. But, in general. I think it’s more of consistency than anything else. It’s something I fail at (consistency). Also, a successful blog usually sticks to one direction, one brand, (not danoah). I guess some are an exception to the rule. I do hope you have a beautiful week!!!!

    • Hi Jonathan,

      That’s very interesting. I don’t think that I have heard of danoah. Does he write on a single blog, or multiple blogs, and what niche? Can you send me a link?

      I believe that it all depends. I know of several bloggers who are successful and publish posts every single day, and I know of many bloggers who are successful, but only publish once a week or once every two weeks. But, the thing is, they are spending their time marketing their posts, or creating other products and marketing the products. They are doing what helps their businesses (if they have a business). One of my friends used to publish every single day, now he is way more successful (when it comes to business) by publishing once every three weeks or so. And that’s because he is writing books for the Kindle, and so far he has written three books in just a few months. And he couldn’t have done that if he had been blogging every single day.

  22. Hitachi Wand says:

    One more reason bloggers over post can be coz they have so much to talk about and can’t hold it back. No matter how often you post, the posts should be marketed enough to get visits. Otherwise, there is no point in writing.

    • Absolutely. I understand that, as a blogger, we want to tell people everything. And it all depends on your blog (and the niche). Sometimes telling people everything is a good thing, other times we should focus and keep only the best stuff for our readers 🙂

  23. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Rachel (and Jens),

    Posting for the sake of posting is a downer for me.

    I do believe in a posting frequency and I honestly don’t have a rule of thumb for this but I strongly think it just depends on many factors.

    – Is the blog going to have multiple authors?
    – Is the main topic based on subjects that change daily such as news?
    – What is the main purpose of the site?
    – What is the traffic strategy?
    – What’s the budget?
    – Etc

    Those points are from the owner side, as for the reader goes, normally if they come back to a site two or three days later and it has seven new published posts, they’d pick one (or two with some luck) and just hop to another site.

    I have seen this happen numerous times before (bloggers posting daily for a given time) and for the majority of them, the results are that this is not a recommended practice.

    Sergio

    PS. Hey Jens, is it possible that you can create a discount code for your Gravity Forms affiliate link?

    • Hey Sergio,

      I highly agree with you. I don’t have the time to read every single post on a blog that have new posts every day. So, I do a quick overview and find the one or two posts that I find the most interesting, and I read them. To me, it’s a lot better to be subscribed to a blog that publishes new posts 2-3 times a week (at a maximum), this way I feel that I can read everything and not just some.

      But, I guess that it also depends on how long the posts are. I am reading every single post that Seth Godin publishes. But most of his posts are very short, and it takes 20 seconds to read

      I’ll take a look at Gravity Forms and see if I can find a discount for you. I haven’t started promoted it yet. But, Gravity is one of the best things I have bought as a blogger

  24. Ralph says:

    Hey Jens,
    No lack of opinion here. Great stuff Rachel. I agree that it is up to you really. What works for one blogger doesn’t necessarily work for another. I post 2 times a week and always on the same days. I have followers who have asked me why my Friday post came late in the day (i.e they were expecting it at the same time in the morning as usual). Personally, I don’t think I can ask for more than that.

    My only issue is that if I start to get content form a blogger everyday I tend to start to ignore them. Too much too often and I get bored. Anticipation is sometimes a winning formula. Hey, it all depends on how much time you have, I suppose.

    Great topic. Great discourse. 🙂

    • Hey Ralph.

      Yes, lot’s of interesting opinions here, and I love it 🙂

      Some of my friends blog every single day, some once a week, and as you said, it all depends on how much time you have, and what you want to achieve. I would love to blog every day, but I just don’t have the time to do it, especially now that I have started a business. I need to earn money every day, and blogging is not how I currently earn money 🙂

  25. rose says:

    As google points out, we should not write for the search engine but to cater for our readers. Sometimes we try to make articles just to have a high ranking and we forgot that the most important is the quality of our work.

  26. James Martin says:

    We should write always considering the quality of our article because its the only way to keeping readers coming back to your site. Nice post!

    • Yes. It’s always about the quality. But, many times it’s not about the length of the post, and many times I’ve read posts that are more or less one question, and the question is so interesting (and all the comments) – it turns a few sentences into a brilliant post 🙂

      – Seth Godin is a master at this.

  27. Andreas Pazer says:

    Totally agreed with your points. Don’t post to increase the quantity, rather focus on creating quality posts which impress huge audience and people don’t mind to share it.

    • I have tried to write and publish posts every single day, and I was happy with the results, both the quality and the comments and the traffic it received. But, when I did, I didn’t have time to do all the other things I wanted to do. Like comment on other blogs, reply to the comments on my blog, and market the post, and write on other projects.

      So, that’s more or less the main reason why I am now only publishing new posts 2 – 3 times a week.

  28. Jeff Hopp says:

    Consistently adding content is important, but quality is most important. Unfortunately the same thing happens to people when they speak. They often say something because they think they should, not because they have something to say.

  29. Elaine Salt says:

    This is a post that made me think. Interesting! Posting more with low quality content will not get reader’s interest, thus, posting less may keep their enthusiasm while waiting for new posts. More posts will not definitely provide the good quality. Worth pondering for!

  30. Totally agreed..!
    Don’t post to increase the quantity, rather focus on creating quality posts..!
    blogging means to write for peole not for money ..!

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