Many small businesses start blogs to increase SEO, to keep in touch with customers, to create community among people in their industry and to show leadership in their niche. I am working with several clients to create blog posts, and they always ask me, “How many times a week should I post?”
One of my new favorite blogs, Men with Pens, announced yesterday that they are cutting back on the number of posts. “We’ve realized something very important: People are busy. They try to keep up with favorite blogs but they become overwhelmed. That’s pretty normal – it’s tough to read 30, 100 or 300 blog posts a day and absorb everything.”
Men with Pens is going to four days a week instead of six. “We want you all to have time to read our posts and enjoy them, and we feel this decision is the best route to take. It gives us more room to continue to offer readers good lessons, strong messages and creative content.”
The MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog includes the top ten reasons why posting daily is “so Web 1.0.” Eric Kintz said many bloggers can’t keep up the pace (they like their families too much) and abandon blogs after 3 months or so. He added that the pressure to post daily can keep corporate leaders from becoming respected thought leaders because they don’t have time to post, and the duty often goes to a PR agency (or your friendly neighborhood copywriter).
Marketing guru Seth Godin talked about RSS fatigue on his post, “The noisy tragedy of the blog commons.” Godin said, “Over time, as blogs reach the mass market, the number of new readers coming in is going to go down, and the percentage of loyal readers will increase. The loyal readers are going to matter more.
“Blogs with restraint, selectivity, cogency and brevity (okay, that’s a long way of saying “making every word count”) will use attention more efficiently and ought to win.”
Thus, it sounds like I can offer this advice: posting regularly doesn’t mean every day. We bloggers can post twice a week, four times a week or whenever we have something real to say without losing our loyal readers, perhaps even increasing the number of people who value our content.
Here at Avenue Z, I’ve decided to heed my own well-researched advice. Although I’ve really never had much trouble coming up with a post a day, I’m cutting down from five posts a week (one each weekday) to three: Tuesdays, Thursdays and once over the weekend. I hope my blogging community (joyously discovered yesterday) will still find value in their visits.
I’m taking this step for two reasons. First, I think the blogging gurus are right… most of my readers don’t have time to visit daily, and I want to respect their time and keep them coming back.
The second reason is a little more selfish. After the analysis of how I spend my time, I realized I put in an hour or more (sometimes much more) messing around with my blog: writing posts, watching stats, generating traffic… all those things suck time from what I do for a living, and, more importantly, what I want to do for a living. Now that I’ve created a real daily writing habit, I can use the three free mornings per work week to write non-copywriter things such as book proposals and magazine article queries. I can spend a little more time on a marketing plan for my main business or a life plan for my future as a writer.
Although I’m cutting back on the regular posts, I reserve the right to post little random things as they pop up, like the news about the recent Southern California earthquake that shook my desk and rattled my nerves, or assaults against the English language such as the call from an academic criminologist to abandon those pesky spelling rules. And, of course, I’ll keep you abreast of cupcake emergencies.
See you all Thursday!