Blog Posting Frequency; Beating A Dead Horse?

I’m always reading blog posts on the topic of posting frequency. It seemed like this was a topic that was so pervasive that I had to have talked about it tens of dozens of times over all the years of writing this blog. Turns out I’ve only mentioned it 8 times throughout more than 1,300 posts, and even then I only talked about it as a specific subject 4 times. Thus, others have beaten this dead horse (no, that’s not a picture of a dead horse; how morbid! lol), not me, but since I’ve been thinking about it lately I guess it’s time to bring it up again, since the last time I wrote about it was more than 15 months ago.

live horses of course
by Raymond via Flickr

There are multiple modes of thought on this issue. The most important mode is to at least write something every once in awhile, preferably at least once a month, more preferable at least once a week. If you’re not a bit more consistent with your posts it’s hard to both build up a following and achieve any SEO prospects you might be hoping to achieve.

Once you get past that stage though, what’s up next? Once again I was having a conversation with the ever lively and uber-smart Adrienne and at one point we got to the topic of how often one should post. She stated that she releases a blog post twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays. One, it gives her a consistent schedule that people get used to. Two, it gives her time to promote those posts by visiting other blogs and whatever else she’s doing to promote herself. And three, she feels it gives people time to find a post and to read it.

I countered with the fact that if one has a lot to say that writing more often isn’t so bad. I also said that studies really have proven that the more one writes the more traffic one gets.

After that I had nothing; what else is there to say?

Well, one of those things to say is that traffic really isn’t everything, even as I’m smiling because this blog finally has gotten back into the top 100,000 on Alexa after taking those stupid Google update hits. Someone’s going to say “Who cares about Alexa”, to which I’ll respond “If it’s under 100,000, I care!” Truthfully, as a statistic, it’s as valid a goal as any other.

As I were talking about this issue I mentioned that I’ve never had a single post in all these years that’s ended up with at least 100 comments. The most comments any of my posts has ever received is 73. Yet Adrienne regularly passes 100 comments, and yes, a lot of those are her responding to comments, but there’s nothing wrong with that; as a matter of fact, that says something positive about the blogger.

Still, I’ve never hit 100, and as I looked at some bloggers whose sites I respect in some way I see many of them end up with more than 100 comments on a consistent basis, and almost all of them rank higher than this blog, even if I have way more content. What’s that about?

There now, isn’t that relaxing?

It could be overwhelm to a degree. I used to follow Mashable but they had more than 10 posts a day sometimes; that was overwhelming. The same went for Lifehacker, and a few other mega-blogs. Sure, they had multiple writers, but the topics were still compelling. It was just way too much to process from one source, and it was every day. If it’s overwhelm then it would explain why the Analytics show that I have less than 20% of repeat visitors. My belief would have been that people would always come back because, with lots of content, there’s always something for everyone; maybe not.

I’m not saying that all my posts are winners, but I think a lot of them are. And, in retrospect, it’s possible that my brief blogging series on Better Blogging didn’t do as well as I thought it would became it was a total of almost 5,800 words in two days; that’s a lot to read or listen to, even for me, and they were in the middle of a period where I had written 32 days in a row; wow!

So, here’s the summer plan. I’m going to space it out so that there’s 3 blank days between posts for the most part. If something happens that’s kind of breaking news and I want to comment on it, then I’ll write a new post, but it will still leave at least a day between a previous post and a day after the new one. I’m going to that kind of schedule on 3 of my blogs just to see what happens with traffic and, well, comments. I want to see if I can get a post to reach 100 comments just once, and I also want to see what happens to traffic. Will my rate of return visitors go up; will traffic go down? Will both go in the same direction, both up or both down? I don’t know; let’s find out.

One last thing. I’m also going to re-up the Better Blogging series, but with a twist of sorts. I have another blogging series some of you newer folks might have missed in a page there to the left, the Blogging Tips series. It was popular back in the day when all those posts originally came out but I think people are missing them now. So, I’m going to use those tips as part of the reboot as well. When, when all of the posts have shown up eventually, I’m going to add all the new links to that page and build that sucker up. Can one say too much about blogging? I don’t tend to think so.

Of course, all posts won’t be about blogging, but a bunch will be. What else will I talk about? Whatever pops into my head; this is I’m Just Sharing after all. 😉

42 thoughts on “Blog Posting Frequency; Beating A Dead Horse?”

  1. I do believe there is a high correlation between number of comments left on other blogs and the amount received on ones own blog. I think of one blogger friend in particular who regularly passes the 100 comment mark, but I know that he is also leaving numerous comments on a daily basis. I used to leave a much larger number of comments on other blogs and my comment section would reflect that. Lately with other pressing issues, my commenting has been sharply curtailed and my own comments have as well.

    Unless a blogger is a super power personality with the must read blog that that everyone wants to leave a comment on, I wouldn’t expect too many comments unless one works hard to get them. I’m finding that this cuts deeply into time that needs to be devoted to other endeavors.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Arlee, you make a great point, and in reality Adrienne works a lot of blogs and does tons of commenting, and a lot of her blog posting frequency is based on the reality that it gives her time to work the community. It’s one of the things I was thinking about because I used to do both, work the community and also comment, and though I still comment a lot it’s nothing like what I used to do before I had so many blogs and did so much other writing.

  2. LOL Mitch, now I see the debate from the guest post I just did 🙂 I think we agree actually. You don’t have to post daily to drive traffic – you can skip some days and still have the same amount of traffic and if you post daily still have that same amount. It depends more on the quality of the posts. I would not post junk just to post daily. (Been there, done that) Comments: Do people only comment when you comment on their blogs? Is that really what it is about? I think commenting is being social at times. But it does’t always mean it’s a super blog. But if it really sucked I’m sure no one would comment either. Some blogs have closed comments and do very well too. Comments, Traffic, Google Rank, position in search and longevity count for something. Readers keep coming back also count too. (like I keep coming back here:)

    1. Lisa, I’d already written this post before I saw yours, and figured you’d be by eventually. lol Actually, I do believe that blog commenting drives traffic, and I’ve tested that a few times over the years and shared the results here. If you comment on some blogs often enough and people get used to seeing your name, they want to see what you’re all about. And if you have something for them that’s at least somewhat compelling, they’ll comment and then keep coming back. I’m certainly not going to name names but I’ve seen some horribly written blogs that have much better ranks than you and I do, and it’s often from those I tend to see on blogs that I might even be visiting for the first time.

      But really, the more one writes the more traffic they do get. I did a test a couple of years ago where I wrote two blog posts a day because Chris Brogan said he did it. My traffic actually increased a lot. However, comments on all my posts went way down, telling me it was just too much for “our” type of visitors, because people don’t come to us for news… at least not every day.

      So, the idea is to see if reducing posts and then having more time to comment, if I use the time to do that, increases visitors and comments. At the very least it eases my summer so I can concentrate on business more. 🙂

  3. Love the pic of the horse Mitch LOL. If anyone posts too frequently I find it overwhelming – with writing my own irregular posts and generally living, it’s not possible to keep up with every interesting blogger. Comments are great of course! but it’s not everything. There are so many reasons people might not comment – too long, too serious or brain fade. I’ll rarely comment if everything worth saying has been said, it seems pointless.
    Regarding my own blogging frequency, I enjoy writing my posts and am happy with my haphazard method. I wouldn’t notice if anyone else had a schedule or not so I’m intrigued that it’s considered important.

    1. Sue, it’s a conversation that really has been talked about so often that I was surprised it wasn’t me talking about it too often as well. When people decide to subscribe to your blog, they’re looking for some kind of consistency. How much, how little… each person decides that for themselves, both reader and writer. But I’m the experiment guy, thus another test.

  4. 1,300 posts! I feel so inadequate right now sir. Congratulations on your Alexa Rank. To be in 100,000 is no easy position to grab. I think do agree though, that more you posts the more traffic you get. But your friend, Adrienne has got some points too. I think it’s alright to post as frequent as you can as long as the posts have high quality content and readers can learn a thing or two about it.

    1. Thanks Paul. There are times when I go on a writing jag and just want to produce as much as I can, and when I go there… well, it’s just pretty easy to do, but I also then get competitive with myself. You know, you just can’t beat yourself in a competition. lol

  5. Great topic of discussion Mitch!

    There can be both kinds of people, those who are in favor of posting daily and those who prefer it to be just once or twice a week. And personally I feel twice a week, just like Adrienne and many others seems good enough. That does give time for the post to be absorbed by people, you get the traffic, comments, and there’s time to share it on different social networks too.

    Regarding comments too, again the views differ as I’ve noticed on various sites. Some people would or wouldn’t comment if or not it’s from their niche, while others do so just for leaving their links. But if you can get a good enough readership, and just like you also mentioned, people get used to see your face at your blog if you are a regular, you get those many comments, which does satisfy the blogger.

    But yes, if we are going to look for more comments on our blogs, I guess that works only when we also start commenting on the blogs that visit ours. Sometimes that works best, and I guess Adrienne’s secret lies a lot in the relationships she builds through the people who stop-by at her blog, by visiting their blogs too. Though again, that varies from people to people also.

    Above all, it is the content and what you write on your blog that matters most. In that case, even if you don’t have comments and get good traffic and are ranked well in the search engines, you are doing good. While in some cases, you get a lot of comments, but your content isn’t that worthy and doesn’t help you rank well. So, the best is to try and make a combination of both I guess.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Great stuff Harleena, and yes, I do believe what the content is matters most. One of the things I always say is that blog writers should write for themselves first, and not the other way around. It’s counter to what some other blogging people say, but my point is that if you wouldn’t go back and read what you’ve just written why would you expect anyone else to? And building relationships… very important as well.

  6. Mitch,
    I believe time is the enemy here. Keep your frequency shorten your blogs. People see long posts and say “I haven’t the time for that!” Go no more than 5 paragraphs. People read blogs in batches. Mine are usually around 60 to 70 posts at a time. If a post is lengthy it usually is uploaded to the Instapaper someday file. Try this for 6 weeks you may be surprised by the outcome.

    1. Bill, if this blog was dependent upon people only wanting short blog posts then this isn’t the place for them. That’s another debate, one I’ve addressed often as well, length of blog posts. Some people stick to a formula like yours and write posts that seem incomplete, like too many things were left unsaid. Some people write thousands of words and end up not saying anything. Frankly, that’s why I have the voice thing, so people can listen to the post if they don’t want to read it; seems that’s turned out to be more popular than I had imagined. No, I write until I’m done saying what I have to say; no more, no less. I acknowledge I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, so if that’s their issue, I won’t see those folks again and thus they’re not my real audience.

  7. Congratulations of getting back to 100k Alexa, you are right, many people may say that this isn’t important or that this is static classification, but for sure it is better to be there. About blog posting rate, I think this pretty much depends on the niche and competition and for sure it does apply only for blogs. About comments, I don’t think that it is healthy for any blog to have more than 30-40 comments on single page, few of my blogs are limited to number of comments.

    1. Really Carl? I didn’t know you could limit comments, let alone would even think of doing it. Frankly, I’ve always thought there’s a tipping point at which some people won’t comment because there’s way too many comments; I’m that guy. Interesting thought; I’m not going to do it, but very interesting thought.

      1. I am not sure that there is a plugin, but for sure can be done manually. On the main project there is flood control option and as well, how many level deep can go reply to comment, but the main project generally have problem with comments and I guess that the main reason is that it is not based on WordPress, however this blog get nearly 0 spam on comments, but forum is usually flooded.

      2. I also manage about 20 WordPress blog, I just checked, there is a plugin called “Limit Comments”, that can do the job, as well a good option is to check Settings”>Discussion, there are some good settings about flood control.

      3. That’s interesting Carl. I still can’t see myself ever doing it, although if I get rich and famous I might have to look at that policy again. lol

  8. I agree with Arlee in that some bloggers harvest many comments because they spend a lot of time sowing seed on other blogs and those bloggers feel obligated to reciprocate. We’ve had this discussion before (is *this* sort of traffic of any real value?)

    Also, it occurs to me that when you blog on a daily basis – and on a variety of topics, as you do – you are more likely to pique the interest of a larger number of people than if you blog only twice a week. If you always blog about one topic – say, auto mechanics – your audience is limited to those with an interest in that niche and frequency is not so important.

    Traffic on two of my blogs is pretty good and getting better, I’m even selling Kindle subscriptions, but comments are quite sparse. That worried me at first, but then I realized that I do the same thing a lot of times. I read several blogs for information or entertainment and rarely feel compelled to comment. You’re one of the *lucky* few that I feel compelled to jump in fairly often; I guess you’re just exceptional! 🙂

    1. Thanks Allan; I appreciate that. You know, the other day when I was thinking about this my mind really was centered on the comments thing moreso than the traffic thing. I guess part of my issue is that, though this blog does well, I look at some blogs and see their ranking and wonder how I haven’t achieved a much higher rank than them with all the content that I have. So I think of things such as blog commenting, writing fewer posts, writing more posts, etc. Then again, I also know a lot of people are using automation that I’ve stayed away from, as well as blogging networks that I’ve chosen not to participate with as well, and it’s possible that’s held rankings back some.

      Looking at traffic is still and interesting thing after all these years. Traffic means money, influence, and whatever else comes from being in a more prominent position, and that’s what I’m reaching for, as you know. So, I experiment. But your words have me thinking about things once again.

  9. Hey Mitch, I’ve often wondered about some of those bloggers who constantly get a lot of comments and I sometime wonder if perhaps they have a better grasp of the social media than I do? I mean other than tweeting or stumbling my own posts I don’t do any promoting of it at all. I mean I used to do a whole lot of blog commenting but I seldom have the time to do that these days.

    With Adrienne, I know she is a bloody hard worker and she probably works her butt off in those other 5 days getting the word out, but you just have to wonder whether she has a better grasp on the social media aspect? I say this because usually a lot of these bloggers with heaps of comments are women. Well, at least that’s the impression I got.

    1. Sire, you used to be that hard worker as well. Used to be if I got somewhere you’d almost always beat me there. And you have crossed the 100 mark on two very specific posts I remember, both somewhat controversial, and maybe that’s what I need. lol

      Actually, you’d be a good person to ask. Since you’ve reduced the amount of posts you have drastically, how has your traffic done?

      1. Only two? Heck, maybe I had pull my finger out after all 😀

        Seriously though, I’m still a hard worker, I’m just not devoting as much time to the commenting route as I used to.

        My traffic is still pretty good. My Alexa has gone up but it’s still under 100,000. I just checked the stats in WP’s dashboard and it’s dropped about 10% per month over the last 4 months.

  10. I guess you should try another formula. Why don’t you make your posts lean but mean. What I mean is do not flood your blog with posts, but make sure that the ones that get published are the best ones.

    1. Just asking Scott, but how does one really know which posts are their best ones? Even musicians never seem to know what’s going to be a hit or not. I tend to believe that almost all my posts are pretty good; otherwise, I wouldn’t put them up.

  11. I do not think I have ever reached past 20 comments! But I do not think that should discourage someone from writing. But the more comments, the merrier I guess! This was a very interesting read, thank you for this new perspective.

  12. Adrienne is really awesome at building engagement on her blog. The other thing that I notice that she does consistently is that she always comes back and leaves a comment on my blog when I comment on hers. I suspect she does that for everyone. That strategy always makes me want to go back to her blog to leave a comment and so on… I think that’s a big part of her key to success.

  13. Hey Mitch,

    Well, I enjoyed our chat the other day and glad you were able to create a post from that.

    I’ve read through the comments as well and I can’t speak for other people but I don’t just comment on people’s blogs expecting anything in return. So I would hope that people stop by my place because they enjoy what I share.

    The one thing I do well is build relationships with people. I take the time to try to get to know them at some point and I do think that people really appreciate that. If I could, I would spend all my days just reading blog posts and commenting but we all know that’s not possible if you’re running a business.

    I can’t wait to see how your experiment turns out but I also know you really enjoy writing. So, we’ll see what happens right.

    Thanks for being my friend Mitch and I so appreciate you. I’m really blessed that we connected and you’re a doll for writing this around our conversation.

    You have the best week ever Mitch and here’s to your success with this experiment.


    1. Adrienne, from one quasi-Texas to the real thing, I appreciate your information and thoughts more than you could ever know. At some point I’ll probably go back into my close to daily posting, but right now it feels pretty good to think that I actually have some free time to do other things; just need to figure out what those other things are going to be. 🙂

  14. Hey Mitch,

    I absolutely agree that it’s possible to cause overwhelm if you post too often. The same is true of being on lists when people send one thing after another after another. It just gets to be too much.

    As far as SEO is concerned, yes Google likes fresh content. But it doesn’t have to be every day. I think a couple posts a week is plenty to keep both readers and the search engines happy.

    I do think if you get on a set schedule it helps keep readers engaged because they know what to expect.

    1. Thanks Derek. As you can see from the responses here, opinions are all over the place with this one. To me, it’s the quest between commenters or traffic numbers. I’m thinking this post has lots of comments compared to my usual number, but I’ll have to evaluate traffic at a later time.

  15. Only one of mine reached over a hundred, and that one is just shy of 400. It will be staying that was since I had to turn off comments on older posts to limit spam. Those dirty dawgs!

    I don’t mind the frequency as long as it’s quality stuff. I had to unsubscribe from a couple of feeds because all they were doing was writing one paragraph and then linking to another more popular blog that I already read anyway.

    If all it’s gonna be is filler then you’re just hurting yourself anyway so you might as well cut back posting frequency.

    I think you do a good job of posting relevant interesting stuff so I don’t mind seeing that new post pop up in my feed.

    Also I don’t think this is beating a dead horse at all. There’s always someone who’s new and they might find this post and all the comments and gain something from it.

    1. Thanks John. Actually, that’s why I had to limit how far back people can leave comments as well, but I figure 2 years is a long enough time for someone to play the game. 🙂

      I’ve seen those posts that are only a paragraph and link to something else. I haven’t always seen those as a waste of time, but now I’m thinking that there could at least be some commentary on what people are being sent to. That’s what I do, as you’ve seen.

  16. I’ve noticed recently that several of the people on my blogroll haven’t posted in three months or more. I wonder if I should remove them, if for no other reason than maybe they don’t want to be bothered anymore. What do you think? I did delete one, and of course she published three posts within a week after that. Now it’s summer, so I’m expecting to see more people taking a break.

    About number of comments: sometimes back-and-forth conversations get started, and what may appear to be ten comments is really the same person and the blogger having an extended discussion.

    Any idea why most people read, but don’t comment?

    1. Charles, I have two responses for you on this one.

      The first is that I look at any sites I have in the blogroll to see if they’ve written anything in the last 3 months on a consistent basis. Except for a couple of my friends, if they don’t I get rid of them because they’re not doing anyone any good.

      The second is that has gone through some changes that are irking people wanting to comment; I’m one of those people. I finally figured out how to get a comment on one of those blogs using a throwaway email address, but since WordPress won’t ever tell me if there’s a response unless I do the double opt-in subscribe to comments thing, I’ll never know if anyone has responded to me or not. You know how I am about wanting the commenting process simplified. I’m not saying everyone’s like me, but I know a lot of people griped about it after I wrote about it some weeks ago. So, it’s possible that the majority of people commenting are fellow WordPress folks, who don’t have to jump through hoops to comment.

      Of course, I’m still reading your stuff, so if something really hits me then I’ll say something. But I really wish would deal with that issue for folks like you that write really entertaining stuff.

  17. Hey Mitch,

    it’s a really interesting post and really well written.

    The subject probably won’t go away any time soon either.

    I often wonder about this. There are bloggers who’ve experimented with posting every day for 30 days and seen great results – but for people on a list who get an email for every one of those posts (as I was with a very well known and successful blogger) it can just get annoying receiving those mails every day and it came across (to me at least) as self-serving from the blogger rather than reader focused.

    I guess it also has to be considered in context – i.e. it depends also on the type and length of the posts.

    I was posting 2 or 3 times per week but often one would be very short, one a guest post and one a longer post – all delivered to my email list in a single mail each week.

    I’m recently of the opinion that a single post per week is OK, particularly if you put a lot into it and it’s something you’re proud of and want seen – let it sit there for a week before it starts getting buried beneath more recent posts.

    anyways, that’s just about my 2 cents for the moment…


    thanks for sharing your thoughts on this…

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Alan. Overall it depends on what one’s goals are. If it’s associated with a website and you’re hoping to be ranked better on search engines, the more the better because search engines love new content. If it’s a stand alone blog, maybe it’s a different issue, but once again it depends on what your goals are. My goals for this particular blog are mainly to get it ranked higher. I know that more is better in that regard. But the secondary goal is to give people time to absorb some of the content, and to grow my influence if you will, and to that extent if too much is coming it might make it hard for that to happen, especially if it’s so much that people skip stuff.

      Now, what I’m risking is people seeing for this month at least, that my pace has slowed down and not checking in as often, since I don’t have thousands of people who subscribe to the email feed. That’s what experimentation is all about. At the very least, right now I’ve actually got the month of July completed based on the test, and if I can do that for all my blogs then I can concentrate on other things for the month, if I so choose. After all, I still have a book to edit. lol

  18. Hi Mitch

    For me and I don’t seem to attract many comments these days the critical factors are

    – tightening the niche so it is narrow enough to attract specific people
    – shorter paragraphs – no more than 4 line blocks
    – regular commenting on other blogs
    – plenty of images
    – short enough articles, if the article is too long over 600 words, publish in 2 parts.

    I’m not saying I do all these things because I don’t, though I know I should.

    1. Hi Peter,

      I’m not sure whether the number of comments will grow or not, or if traffic will grow or not, but I figure an experiment is an experiment, to a degree. Actually, if Alexa is any indication traffic has gone up slightly, but it could be the change in topics as much as anything else at this point. Still, yours is a health blog, which often doesn’t get lots of comments but sometimes gets lots of questions.

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