Bloggers often debate how often should they publish. “Should I blog every day?”, they ask, “Or should I blog twice a week or once a week?”, they add. Every blogger has the same quest – finding the perfect frequency of blogging. They are seeking a “magic pill” kind of answer; they want some expert to say “Once a week is the perfect frequency”, for instance.
But here’s the truth; there is no “perfect” frequency of blogging. It’s a bit like asking “how often should a newspaper be published” or “how many times should there be an episode of a soap opera each week on TV?”. There is no perfect answer, except “it all depends”. It depends on what the audience wants; it depends on how much information or material there is; it depends on how much resource you have to put it all together.
Rather than look for the perfect frequency, instead look for the perfect time. The Sunday Times, for instance, only comes out once a week – every Sunday. No matter how much interesting material they may have on a Wednesday, for instance, they don’t say “OK, let’s produce a special mid-week edition…!”. No, they save it up until Sunday. Equally, even if the script writers for Coronation Street have a brilliant idea for a new story line, they don’t say “let’s do a special episode next week and get it out as soon as it’s done”. No, they plan the story into future episodes for the regular Monday, Wednesday and Friday cycle of their broadcasts.
Bloggers, however, tend to go “here’s an idea, let’s blog about it now…”. They do this with little regard to their own time management, or to the demands of their audience. The reason we watch the 10 o’clock news is because it is broadcast at 10pm each day. If the news was on at 10pm one day, 11pm the next and 9.15pm the next, we’d soon give up watching because we would never know when it is on. Equally, if the Sunday Times came out Sunday this week, Friday next week, Wednesday the week after, we’d give up buying it because it was no longer regular.
Regularity of blogging is more important than frequency of blogging. If you blog every Friday, you audience will know you blog each Friday. They will get used to it and even begin to look forward to it. If you blog monthly on the 1st of each month, say, that too will win you more regular readers than blogging each month, but on different days.
People get used to regular cycles in their life and if you can be part of those cycles by publishing regularly, you will gain reader loyalty. However, if you blog when the muse takes you, or when you get an idea, the chances are you will annoy your audience as they never know when to log on to your blog, for instance. Or they get annoyed by the sporadic nature of your RSS feed.
Set yourself a blogging schedule and stick to it; that way you will keep your readers for longer and find it easier to attract new readers as well because they will know your blog is regular. Get them to set their watch by you…!
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+