FineTuning – Question One


There is no question that maintaining a blog requires new material which is delivered on a regular basis. Anyone who writes an advice column on blogging will always mention this. It is also the top reason given for why people stop blogging – the burnout.

I think RSS has changed the need for posts every day. With the time saving component of RSS readers, people don’t care as much about frequency.

So two questions –

1. What is the acceptable minimum for blogging frequency? This answer should contain a number (i.e. once per day, once per week, etc).

2. What are the factors that control what the acceptable minimum is? My first thought is the age of a blog. Older blogs with established readership can post less often. When you are first starting out, providing lots of new material is very important. The topic of your blog can also dictate frequency.

So, comments and trackbacks are on. What do you think?

20 thoughts on “FineTuning – Question One

  1. 1. I think the acceptable minimum is once per week. If one of my favorite blogs gets more sparse than that, I lose interest.
    2. The key factor in establishing an acceptable minimum is faithfulness to the frequency you’ve selected. If you can’t meet your minimum, you need to post to explain why you won’t be posting. I don’t think that older, more established blogs are necessarily off the hook for predictable posting schedules, unless the blog owner doesn’t mind a drop in readership.

  2. Hey Todd,

    1. While I still feel that daily posting is ideal (though not always practical), 3-4 times a week feels like the minimum to me. You are correct though that RSS has made posting less often more acceptable because readers don’t get discouraged by bouncing from blog to blog only to find fewer posts. With RSS, the reader gets the posts when there are new one and they are out nothing if there aren’t any.

    2. I do think maturity of a blog can have some impact on tolerable frequency of posting. I think a newer blog needs to hook readers with quality and frequency. As people get to know a blog and will want to read it anytime, the quality must remain, but the frequency can be reduced to match when items that meet the quality standard are available. I know as my blog has matured, I have become a more selective about my posts because I have become more focused, whereas earlier on I was just trying to find my voice. If readers know that you post less frequently, but that your posts are always good, thoughtful and interesting, they will respect that.

  3. 1. I agree that once a week is the bare minimum, but I think that 3-4 times a week will reflect that the material is fresh. Then again – I am very new to the process so am only just figuring this out for myself.

    2. For me, it has been more about figuring out my style, as David mentioned. In writing articles or newsletters in the past, I would take much more time to write, re-write and start over. With my blog, I tend to want to get it down and share the fleeting thought as quickly as I can. Maybe I don’t want to overthink what I find interesting, because that is the fun and spark for me in keeping a blog? As time goes by, I certainly expect to post a bit less frequently, and, hopefully, my style will mature to a point where it can be consistent and meet readers expectations.

    I look forward to learning what other folks feel about this topic.

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  8. The ideal minimum number of posts for a new blog is one per day. That is not always realistic, however. The trials and tribulations of real life have a way of slipping into a blogger’s time, reducing the number of posts.

    The fact remains, however, that a minimum number of posts is still essential. Without a bottom line level of posting, it is very difficult to build a regular reading audience. The last thing a visitor wants to see is a non-updated blog. Another blog is only one mouse click away.

    After all of that rambling preamble, we need a minimum number of postings. For a new blog, I say 4 days per week is the absolute least that is helpful. That leaves 3 days as a sufficient margin of error, for other events.

    That said, a new or experienced blogger should strive to write a daily post (or more) if at all possible.

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  12. I believe the objective of a blog is determining the timing of posting. If you want to post about everything you do – live your life in a blg, like Joi Ito – you need to post more than once a day – which can be high quality, but also about day-to-day thoughts. If you want to post once in a fortnight or even once in a months, you need to post more than just some “rambling thoughts” (I am not saying that Ito is rambling, but there are bloggers which ramble along, just to get soething out). If you post at lesser frequencies, your blog entry should be of quality (see your story blog, which was great).
    So I believe the posting frequency should be around the objective of your blog, and, subsequently, about the quality of your thoughts. Honestly, I like a mixture of both.

    And you are right – it is great to reach out to people via blogging. That makes the world go around. Hehe – I also posted this comment at Jon Strande’s Business Evolutionist, since a similar discussion is ongoing there.

  13. In an ideal world a daily posting would occur, but I agree that 3-4 times per weeks is the minimum for most applications of blogging.

    I also agree that readers make the requirement a little less stringent, as it would be less noticeable if your blog didn’t update as often. But you can’t count on everyone using a reader (yet.)

    I think it is not the age, but rather the application of the blog that determines frequency. I do all of my political posting on the Santa Clara County Democratic Party web site. There are new stories and issues cropping up every day, and I post every day…usually multiple posts. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be keeping up.

    I write two blogs for local theatres as part of my marketing consulting business. I feel that those must be updated about every other day…in a way I’m trying to train the audience to keep the theatre in their mind, and to do that there needs to be fresh content often.

    With this higher priority blogging for politics and blogging for business, my personal blog and my consulting firm blog postings have slowed down, but I nonetheless make sure I post several items every week.

    Maintaining this many blogs is a bit of a burden sometimes. I always do feel pressured to write something somewhere. My mind tends to think in blog entries now!

  14. I think minimum frequency depends on the content and focus of the blog. If you use your blog as a place to post essays, which require in depth thoughts and re-writing, then you can be very infrequent, maybe as little as once a month. But you better be good, or people will forget about you.

    If you are writing about a particular topic, like photography or computers, you need to post as often as things change. If that’s once a week, then once a week is the minimum.

    If you are blogging about your life or the news, you have to post every day. Because those thing change every day.

    I don’t think older established blogs get a break because of their age. I think they are often more thoughtful in their content and people are more willing to wait.

    And RSS readers do have an impact. If I’ve got you in my reader and you don’t post for a month I may forget you, but your next post will show up and I’ll look at it because the reader forces me to.

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  16. It’s my belief that frequency is “whatever it takes” to convey the message or deliver the news — relevant to your blog’s objective.

    That said, I have deleted subscriptions to feeds where an unknown blog hasn’t updated in weeks. I figure even bloggers are allowed sickness, emergencies and vacations, but with no visible notice to that effect, I think most of us would just assume they’ve lost interest.

    Obviously, I wouldn’t be so quick to do that if it was a well-known name or guru, who isn’t likely to just dissapear.

  17. I believe that once a week is a good rule of thumb, however I don’t believe that you should force a post or work to “deadline” this is why both blogs I write for are collaborative. There are three of us on the one and four on the other that can post anytime, removing the need for any one of us to post all the time.

    A funny thing I ‘ve noticed re my own reading habits: if a writer only posts once every two weeks, it is almost a sure thing that I’ll read his every post, others that post 5 or 6 a day will get scanned and often overlooked. Less can be more…!

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  19. Ron was very wise when he said that the frequency depends on the subject. Listen to Ron.

    My blog covers a wide variety of subjects but it generally focuses on military, law enforcement and politics. That means that I like to post about 3 times a day.

    This isn’t as difficult or time consuming as you might think. I generally spend about 30 minutes per day on the blogs, either reading others or writing my own. It helps that my typing speed is pretty high.

    I also write for a few collabortive blogs, like Rich does. The main advantage to them is that they get linked to more often so they generally have more readers.


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