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Frequently Futile – How Often Should You Blog?

Busy at SXSWi, not blogging

Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned. It’s been 6 weeks since my last post and I feel guilty about it.

Wait, no I don’t.

The topic of “blogging frequency” has always been something that gets bantered about. The quest for the magical equation of “how often” one should blog has never been answered perfectly. Which is the way it should be. There is no magic number. Daily, weekly, monthly, blogging is not dependent on how frequent, but more on how impactful.

Let me make this clear before going forward, I’m addressing blogs where you want more readers. If it’s something that’s a diary for you, a way for self-expression and not related to wanting to increase readership, this isn’t for you. Blog on!

I’m a huge believer of blogging with passion, whenever that strikes. I rather blog once every two weeks and really care about the topic, than put out a post every other day with some of it filler, because I’ve been told it’s “better for search engines” and “familiarity creates trust”. Making people blog out of a set frequency instead of out of passion for a point is a load of bull-jobbies, and here’s why:

1. Frequent futility can decrease readership. When I read someone like Jay Baer, I know every post is going to be a grand slam. Every one. If he started to write one everyday just to stay in front of me and “mailed a few in” his impact would be less. I would stop jumping to read them. Seriously, when I get an email saying he’s written a new blog post, I read it. Immediately. Shouldn’t that be the same reaction for readers of your blog? Not “I’ll get to it” not “that might be a good post I’ll read soon” but “I HAVE TO READ THIS NOW!”

2. Obligation doesn’t drive passion. I don’t know about you, but when I feel I “have to” do something, I don’t, or I mumble some obscenities then get it done. That’s the issue. Writing “something” is not better than nothing. I didn’t start my own business to hate doing it. It’s the passion and my own take on a subject that brings readers, and even more importantly sometimes, gets those readers to tell others about it. You don’t tweet something that is “meh” for the most part, you tweet awesomeness.

3. You’re hurting the reputation of your most loyal readers. (Ok, so it may not be so extreme, but a blogging course taught me to write compelling bullet points. Taa+Daa!). If you’re a loyal reader of someones blog, to the point of fanboy/girl level (meaning you say “ZOMG!! He/she wrote something!! SQUEEE!!”) and you tweet out a post from them that’s more filler than anything, just based on the fact that it’s “anything” and one of your followers clicks to read it, you’ve hurt your rep. It’s like crying wolf. The more you call something “EPIC” when it truly is not, the less people will click through something you recommend. Plus, when a new person reads your “obligation” post, that’s their only impression of you. Every post needs to be the one you want people to be introduced to you.

4. Search engines like relevance. Now, I’m no SEO expert, but as far as I know, one of the main things Google uses to rank relevancy is how many other relevant sites are linking to your post. People don’t highlight and backlink to things that are “ok” they link to great stuff. Write content that make people say “yes!” or even “no!”. Passion attracts passion.

5. Life happens, it’s only a freaking blog people. One of the reasons I haven’t blogged in 6 weeks is life happens. At the end of the day blogs, Twitter, Facebook are just sites. Sometimes the world is more important than the digital one we live in.

This isn’t meant to put pressure on you that every post has to be “epic”, but it kinda does. It’s a representation of your business and opinion, shouldn’t it be the best you’ve got at that moment?

I know the more I blog the more it generates readers, reputation and business. With the UnMarketing book coming out, I know I need to blog more. But it’s the quality of posts that generates that along with quantity. That’s the goal, blog as frequently as you can that generates quality. For some, that’s daily, others weekly and for people like me, it’s when life lets you. And I’m ok with that.

What say you? Comment below!

  • http://twitter.com/MyIslamicLife Kristina ElSayed

    This is a great way to approach blogging for the reader. My Blog is fairly new (just about 2 months now) and I struggle with trying to figure out readers, getting people to comment, and creating interaction. I guess it’s a learning curve and I’m at the bottom.rnrnThanks!

  • http://twitter.com/MyIslamicLife Kristina ElSayed

    This is a great way to approach blogging for the reader. My Blog is fairly new (just about 2 months now) and I struggle with trying to figure out readers, getting people to comment, and creating interaction. I guess it’s a learning curve and I’m at the bottom.rnrnThanks!

  • http://twitter.com/MyIslamicLife Kristina ElSayed

    This is a great way to approach blogging for the reader. My Blog is fairly new (just about 2 months now) and I struggle with trying to figure out readers, getting people to comment, and creating interaction. I guess it’s a learning curve and I’m at the bottom.rnrnThanks!

  • http://twitter.com/MyIslamicLife Kristina ElSayed

    This is a great way to approach blogging for the reader. My Blog is fairly new (just about 2 months now) and I struggle with trying to figure out readers, getting people to comment, and creating interaction. I guess it's a learning curve and I'm at the bottom.

    Thanks!

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  • http://www.homeloanartist.com Brad – Home Loan Artist

    Great post about the frequency of blogging that I have never read elsewhere before. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/createtheinno Andrew Corliss

    Great post, I am currently in an E-Marketing class where we have to blog at least 6 times about out “passion” but I would like to continue with it after. I was wondering how should I blog and how to make a great blog post. But I believe the answer is just pack it with passion and your opinion. @createtheinno

  • http://twitter.com/alleyjack Kay Whitby

    I say yay. I’ve come across blogs that are years old and have closed down, and didn’t even notice until I read all the posts, because said posts were just that freaking awesome (eg. DoshDosh.com). Meanwhile, I’ve followed other blogs that seemed good at the outset, but I wound up tired of having to read similarly-themed articles week after week and eventually just drifted off.

    An extra advantage to quality-over-quantity blogs is that as a reader, even if you don’t go to the blog for a while, you don’t have to slog through 16 entries when you get back in order to catch up.

  • Kristen Lamb

    Excellent post and I do agree that all posts should be quality. But, I do have to say that your bio even says that you were ranked as one of the top influencers in the world. In the blogging world you are a big deal. I believe that leaves you a tad more room for leeway when it comes to leaving weeks in between posts. New people trying to carve out a reputation must post great content regularly. We must earn the right to be slackers, :D.

    Sort of like Oscar-winning actors can be high-maintenance, but new actors can’t.

    I don’t say this to be contrary, but I am currently posting a blog series to help authors create a platform. Too many authors post ten times a year when the whim strikes and that is just not a strong enough presence to generate a solid platform. I have recommended that blogging is a great way to transitions from “hobbyist” to “professional author” and learn skills of self-discipline that will serve an author’s career. We now are beholden to deadlines and to putting out quality content regardless of what is happening in our lives or our mood.

    But I wholeheartedly agree that if we are going to post, then we need to put out best work out there.

    Thanks for an excellent post.

    Kristen Lamb

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  • Christine

    Ya know – this hits home! I love being different, but spent the past year trying to “fit in the marketing box”. Yuck! Thanks for being real and helping people get out of their own way!!!

  • Divawithafork

    Thank you for these helpful words of encouragement. Its nice to hear that quality is better than quantity.

  • http://www.prissymommy.com/our_first_baby/2011/01/w.html Yakini @ThePrissyMommy

    After putting way too much pressure on myself (to blog 3-4x per week) for too long, and failing at this self-imposed goal… I decided to stop being so uptight and, as you stated, blog when I feel moved.

    I now try to do at least 2 a week, but one of them is a Wordless Wednesday post – and I’m okay with that. I agree, quantity over quality ANY time. And yes, I definitely think it has my readers eager and excited to read what I do put out. They know now that the wait will be worth it.

  • http://www.prissymommy.com/our_first_baby/2011/01/w.html Yakini @ThePrissyMommy

    Omg, I meant “quality over quantity” anytime. Hahahaha! Just read that over. Whoops!

  • Jjarratt

    Some of the assumptions about frequency may come from old media expectations. People came to anticipate the thump of the daily newspaper on their doormats (I still do!) expecting their features, news, games, comics, etc., to be there every day. Do you think those column writers never got tired of having to have a new column every week, if not every day?

    New media has to find new ways of managing expectations that they create. It may be easier to manage regularity, if not frequency, by being part of a bloggers’ group.

  • http://twitter.com/SteveAntonelli Steve Antonelli

    I am relatively new to twitter and writing my own blog. What I

  • http://twitter.com/SteveAntonelli Steve Antonelli

    I am relatively new to twitter and writing for my own blog. What I have come to realize with you Scott is that I am naturally attracted to what you write and what you have to say in a couple of videos I recently viewed. I guess that confirms what you are saying. It is all about the quality of the content, which you are very good at.

  • http://twitter.com/7wavesCathy Cathy Rodgers

    Thanks for not apologizing and putting things into perspective. Reality is much more important than digital.

  • http://twitter.com/chrisdowsett Chris

    Great blog post and takes the pressure off – I was actually going to write a blog today about a fairly good (but not great) topic. Now I’m going to wait – I may write tomorrow, or I may write the day after that. Whenever it is, it’s going to be about something great … not just good. Thanks for the invigorating post!

  • http://www.flairminute.com/ FlairMedia

    Did you read my secret journal of guilt-ridden mea culpas? This is one of the main reasons my mobile radio posts (name withheld to protect very nice people and business) have ground to a near halt. It takes time to create a thoughtful blog, vlog, or any other log series. Even a single post takes time away from family, friends, pets, clients…oh…and sleep. So unless it’s something I just gotta say out loud, I’m going to be kind to myself and not sweat it.

  • http://www.flairminute.com/ FlairMedia

    Did you read my secret journal of guilt-ridden mea culpas? This is one of the main reasons my mobile radio posts (name withheld to protect very nice people and business) have ground to a near halt. It takes time to create a thoughtful blog, vlog, or any other log series. Even a single post takes time away from family, friends, pets, clients…oh…and sleep. So unless it’s something I just gotta say out loud, I’m going to be kind to myself and not sweat it.

  • Mark Nunez

    Great post. I’m a new blogger and I was asking someone this questions the other day, can’t remember who or what the answer was, lol, but I will remember this. Thanks :-)

  • http://www.gitanablog.com Gina SuuperG Stark

    THANK YOU for this! I post a blog about 3-4 times per month. I don’t like uninspired writing and my own writing suffers terribly when I’m not jazzed about sharing something – be it a good hike, food, travels, or whatever strikes me at the time. One can easily detect the “frequency motivation” from bloggers with frenetic schedules, ironically trying to keep our interest when really, they’re losing it.
    You summed it up so well..thanks again! Gina

  • Elizabeth Crocker

    Yes! To all of it! I agree & hate when I feel a blogger I follow is not writing with passion. Thanks for the tips, reminders are my inspiration.
    http://www.thewayiseeitthroughmylens.blogspot.com

  • fengshui
  • http://twitter.com/thehamsam Sam Soares

    We recently started a blog this year (http://www.wdmgroup.com/blog/), and I completely agree it needs to be done out of passion.  My question is how relevant does a post need to be in the industry? How does this affect reputation, traffic, etc?

    Great article by the way, Scott

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree. I’ve found that most of my blog posts get repeat reads and references months, even years after I post them because when I write a blog, I write it with the passion and insight I have and when I want to do it. I do not blog regularly and never have. I have, however, felt guilty about not blogging regularly and now I don’t. Quality over Quantity. I also write for other outlets, so I just can’t. Your readers will appreciate the quality.

  • http://naturalmomstalkradio.com/blog carrielee

    While I agree with what you’ve said *in theory*, as a reader I want daily posting (or at least 5 days a week) from the bloggers I truly admire. If I find a blogger and become a fan, I become frustrated if their frequency is not high enough. I’ve unsubscribed from several blogs for this reason. Maybe it’s unique to the person, niche or target market? Or perhaps the reason is because ALL their content is quality to me?

    • http://www.twitter.com/unmarketing unmarketing

      Wait, so you will stop reading a blog if they only write a great post twice a week?

      • http://naturalmomstalkradio.com/blog carrielee

         Yes. Does that mean I have rabid ADD? Haha!

        • http://www.twitter.com/unmarketing unmarketing

          I’ve just never heard of that. Loving someone’s content but refusing to read it because it doesn’t come out at an arbitrary frequency.

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  • Emily

    Yes, agree with you completely! I aim for 3 times a week to post, but sometimes it’s less, sometimes more. It all depends on whether I am happy — really happy — with what I’ve written. Thanks for confirming what I feel is the “best” way to blog, at least for me.

  • http://twitter.com/IDaughterofMaat Daughter of Maat

    I’ve been wrestling with this for some time now. I manage four blogs on topics that I’m very passionate about, but I can’t write for all four blogs every day. I’d be just “mailing it in” as you said. Your post has made me “okay with that.” THANK YOU!

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  • Phillip Evans

    Man, good common sense advice. I agree. I would rather read a blog with a few great posts, than a blog with a lot of crappy posts. Right on.

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  • Theresa

    great stuff!

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