How much to blog?

I recently received a question from Dan about ensuring the quality and quantity of his blog posts. With so many of us blogging I thought it might be an interesting areas to cover.

Over 66% of blogs have not been updated in over 2 months and anywhere between 60% and 80% are abandoned within their first month. It is very easy for a blog to go from a good idea to an embarrassment.

The main problem is that blogging is a lot more work than people expect. Regularly coming up with quality content over the long term is a significant challenge and many individuals and organisations find it hard to keep up.

Many bloggers struggle with getting their posts right. They feel the pressure to post regularly but also want to maintain the quality of what they put out. I think Dan reflects the feelings of many bloggers in the question he sent to me…

For as long as I can remember the prevalent thought has been that the key to success for blogging and podcasting is to post frequently and on a regular schedule. Now, this made a lot of sense because websites had to get visitors to comeback manually to find new content. But now in the age of RSS feed is this advice still as important as it used to be if at all? Also in terms of how web managers spend their resources is it more important to do a few updates with stella quality or to manage your time so that frequent updates are the priority?

I get the sense that Dan is keen to lighten the load and understandably so. However I think that by doing so he may undermine the effectiveness of his blog.

Let look at the two questions he raises.

Do I still need to post regularly and frequently?

Dan is right when he says the prevalent thought is that bloggers should be posting frequently and on a regular schedule. However, I believe this is about more than drawing people back to your site.

The amount and regularity with which you post depends very much on why you are blogging in the first place. If you are blogging purely for fun then it really doesn’t matter how often or how regularly you post. However, if you blog for more commercial reasons or even to build your personal profile then it does matter.

Blogging is a powerful way of continually keeping your brand (whether that be personal or corporate) in somebody’s mind. For example if I only posted once every few months the chances are you would soon forget about me and fail to include me in that invitation to tender for that great web project you are working on! Equally by posting regularly you build an expectation (either consciously or unconsciously) and users start to miss your when they are not there. For example, every time I take a week off of recording boagworld I always receive emails saying that the show was missed. Even the absence of a post can keep your brand in people’s mind if you are posting regularly enough.

Of course Dan’s point about RSS feeds is a valid one. In a world of RSS the need to constantly encourage people back to your site is less. However, you need to be careful not to make assumptions. Yes it is true that if you are aiming at the geek audience there is not the same need to post regularly and frequently. However, if you are aiming at a mainstream audience I wouldn’t be so sure. Feeds are still a long way from being universal and many users still do not know how to get notifications via RSS.

There are endless debates online about how often you should blog. To be honest there is no single answer. It depends on multiple factors including audience, subject matter and the popularity of your blog. However as a rough starting point I would encourage most people to blog at least once a week. Of course if you have a particularly popular blog that figure might be nearer two or three times a day!

However, blogging isn’t just a matter of frequency its also about the quality of the posts. That brings us nicely on to the second part of Dan’s question.

Is quality or quantity more important?

Should the emphasis be placed on posting regularly and frequently or on ensuring a high quality of post? Personally, I am not sure that this is the best question to ask. I think instead the question should be “how do I create something relevant to my readers?”

If you are writing a blog aimed at academics then the chances are the emphasis should be on quality. If you are writing to friends and family they are probably more interested in hearing from you regularly. However, for those of us who have an audience somewhere in between there are ways that you can have the best of both worlds.

Consider defining a list of several different types of posts you can add to your blog. Some of those types can have an emphasis on quality while others can be quick and easy so they can be used more regularly.

Take my blog for example. I post the show notes which tend to be very detailed and take a long time to put together. Then there are opinion pieces like this one, which are more frequent but not quite as detailed. Finally, there are links to other resources. It takes seconds to bookmark and comment on a link and so these appear on a much more regular basis. By using these different styles of postings you can ensure a frequency on your blog without losing the quality of what you are publishing.


Obviously, there is a lot more that can be said about blogging. Indeed entire books have been written on the subject. However, in answer to Dan’s question I strongly believe that posting frequently and regularly is still very important. The trick is to do this without overly compromising the quality. Having different styles of post will help with that but you may also want to get others involved in posting. The only downside of this in my experience is that a lot of people who offer to “help out” fail to deliver the goods.

  • really, man?

    You lost me when you used “your” instead of “you’re”.

  • Alex Subrizi

    At my company, where my role extends to corporate communications, we’ve been discussing the purpose and importance of our blog for some time. Yes it’s hard, as you point out, to get employees to contribute regularly, and over a five-year period we’re averaging only about 10 posts per year. More significantly, none of those posts has ever generated a relevant, serious comment (there are always spammers that always insert a URL after some bland bit of praise).

    So the question we are asking ourselves as we try to revitalize our blog is whether the lack of comments equates to a (near) total lack of interest in our blog, and whether this might be addressed by more frequent posting or more high quality posts. Having to choose between these last two, which ranks higher in your view?

    And yes, I agree that you could fix that “your > you’re” typo. It’s the first word of your fourth point. Having your ideas thrown out by a reader because of a spelling or punctuation mistake is short-sighted, I agree. But forgoing the chance to correct an error once it’s pointed out is odd. For those with an eye for such things, errors interrupt the flow of discourse: call it a harsh truth about written communication. Proofreaders have jobs for this reason. You didn’t “lose me”, I kept reading, and enjoyed and shared your post. But I find it strange that, once the error is pointed out, it remain uncorrected.

  • C.I.Agent Solutions┬«

    This is a great post full of useful information! I was recently tasked with starting a blog for my small company, as part of a newly implemented social media strategy. We offer secondary containment solutions for the utility industry, so consistently coming up with creative content for interesting posts catered to such a niche audience poses quite a challenge for me. Even more disheartening is the majority of our target market don’t find blogs to be a valuable content type, according to a recent survey by CFE Media and TREW Marketing.

    Despite these obstacles, I’m determined to keep at it in 2015, and your pointers will help me in this process. I do disagree with you on point 3. Of the blogs I follow and read regularly, I prefer ones with teaser menus. We’re rolling out a new website design in a few weeks, and my designer recently asked me how I wanted our blog laid out. I know you’re a designer, too, so I thought I’d ask you why you advise against the “teaser feeds.” We host our blog on our site, so a large feed of full articles (and the scrolling involved) would feel cluttered and disorganized, at least in my opinion. I looked at the 37Signals blog you referred to, and while I was extremely impressed with the quality and variety of posts it offers, I found the overall blog format too “text-heavy” for my liking (though they did a very good job of effectively breaking up the text with images, etc.).

    Thanks again for the post – I have bookmarked this article and will probably refer to it often through this corporate blogging journey. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

    • I think what Paul is saying about the teaser feeds applies for when people subscribe via RSS and get an email saying a new blog post has been published. He is advocating for blogs to provide the whole content within the RSS feed, so people don’t have to click through to the blog post hosted on the original website.

      (Having said that, I arrived here thanks to an email from Linkedin that told me Paul had shared a link via Linkedin. The Linkedin post was just a teaser!).

      I think you’re right to go for “teaser feeds” on your blog design – a simple headline, excerpt and a strong image should do it.

  • Hi Paul a company should have a blog. Beside that blog update people everyday, anywhere anytime. Blog have contributions on the social media.

  • Nicole

    If you think I’m one of the high-strung weirdos who gasped when you used “Your” instead of “You’re”– then you, sir, are totally correct.

  • I have a blog and i think that 50% success depend on planning. So it’s important to need know how to blog post properly and effectively. Thanks Paul for you kind and helpful tutorial. I apply your advice in my professional life.

  • Thanks for sharing…!

    Honestly, I’m using Excel to plan my content. However, I love the editorial calendar, and thanks for sharing, by the way. I’m impressed. When talk about the image, the most of bloggers are using Google images, specially newbies. My Adsense account used to get banned because using of Google free image. We should find great sources to get the right images, and be sure no copyright material.

  • i have a blog site…. thanks for tips …i am apply your tips.