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Audience

Keyboard 2I’ve always felt that I’ve been an under-performer when it comes to updating my blog. Unlike some of my more prolific colleagues, I’m in general  a once a week poster, both on this blog and my personal site. I like to take my time, collate references, and create a thoughtful 800-word essay. I suppose it comes from being a professional writer (you can see my portfolio here).

Now it turns out, I’m not such a bad boy after all. I recently stumbled across this article on Leo Babauta’s Write to Done blog. A guest writer (with the improbable name Bamboo Forest) suggests that it’s not posting frequency but the quality of the content that’s key. “People don’t line up to subscribe to a blog (just) because it’s spitting out three posts a day,” Forest says.

Here are 7 reasons why less frequent posting is not only OK, but may be better for your blog’s traffic. These are important lessons for publishers and media companies that maintain a blog but don’t have the staff (or available hours) to keep up a daily routine.

1. More posts mean you can’t weed out the duds.

When you’re rapidly posting several times a day, not all your posts are going to be top notch. Some will be mediocre at best. And that not-so-stellar article is going to be at the top of your blog, at least for a while.

2. Your blog is judged by the front page.

If you post too often, it won’t be long before some of your posts drop off the front page of your blog, relegated to the “previous posts” button or even into the monthly archive. Not a lot of people go trawling through back articles. So you want your best posts to be at the top, to give your readers an incentive to keep coming back.

3. Posts improve with time.

Whenever I write – whether it’s for this blog or a document for a client – I never submit it the moment I’m done. I’ll put it in the digital drawer for several hours, maybe even wait until the morning to finish it. I’ll always find something to change or add to make the piece that much more compelling. Don’t your readers deserve the same attention to detail?

4. People read many blogs.

The people who follow your blog are also perusing many others. If they use an RSS reader, it’s even worse. If you post too frequently, your busy readers may miss some of your posts – perhaps even your best ones. Give your fans the time to consume all of your great writing.

5. Less frequency generates more comments.

The longer a post stays on your front page, the more comments it can collect. A post without comments can be damning – it says to readers that no one is really visiting, so why should I?

6. Open up your blog to guest posts.

Guest posts on your blog let you fill in gaps when you get too busy (hopefully with paying clients) to blog that day or week, and the cross-linking is a great way to build traffic. If you’re doing all of the posting yourself, several times a day, there’s not much room for the out of towners.

7. Readers do not unsubscribe from too few posts.

Your followers won’t unsubscribe if you only post once a week. But if you publish uninspiring content, you’ll drive away readers you could have otherwise retained.

If you’re maintaining a blog, check out the Write to Done blog. Bamboo Forest blogs at Pun Intended.

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