Can You Get More Readers By Posting Less Often?
Attracting more readers to blogs used to mean producing more content more often. But those days have changed, one blogger says.
The man who created #Blogchat, the weekly Twitter chat focused on blogging, says he’s giving bloggers everywhere permission to post less.
Doing so might just get them more readers, Mack Collier says.
Collier blames social media’s constant stream of content and links for this relatively new challenge for bloggers. In the rush to generate more content more often — to pull in more readers from social media — that content isn’t always as well-produced:
If your writing team is hustling to write multiple posts a week, you’re probably creating a lot of mediocre content simply due to time constraints.
If your “team” is you, yourself and you, you’re probably under even more pressure to meet your own deadlines that could reduce the quality of your posts. But if you are producing sub-par content just to stay on schedule, Collier warns that sub-par content, freckles and all, is competing in a sea of better content being shared everywhere.
So there will be times when your average content has to stand alongside someone else’s great content.
If the reader has limited time, they may well remember where they found great content. You have to hope they will forget where they found the mediocre.
The posting frequency question
For years now, I’ve had a simple answer for newbie bloggers who asked the famous question, “How often should I post to my blog?”
The answer was another question: How often can you post? How often, given your schedule, your commitments, your life, can you produce quality content?
For some people, that’s once or twice a week. For some people, it’s more than that.
But the right answer to that question will never be the same for everyone. And if the honest answer for you, based on your obligations, happens to be two posts per week, there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
What I’ve always assumed — and hoped — went into that answer was the notion of “quality” content. If you only have time to produce two posts per week, but as a general rule, one of those two posts will be rushed and feel incomplete, then you really only have time to post once per week.
Yes, it really is that simple.
If you’re going through the motions of crashing a post together just so you can click publish that day, you’re not helping yourself or your blog. And you certainly aren’t helping your readers.
Mack posted some interesting stats on share counts versus blog post length. (He also gives a lot more insight into promoting those posts once they’re written, so you’ll want to be sure to check out his full post.)
I’ve said before that I’m not one to focus a great deal on blog post word counts. I try to make sure all of my posts are at least 300 words whenever possible these days because that seems to be the current sweet spot for better search engine optimization performance.
But once I meet that basic goal, I write until I feel I’ve said what needed to be said. Sometimes, that’s 500 words. Sometimes it’s 2,000. Rarely is it much more than that, because I recognize that people don’t have all day to spend on my site, no matter how much I might appreciate any attempt to do so.
And while I don’t doubt the stats that he provides that show that longer posts generate more shares, I’d caution about getting too obsessed about exact word lengths.
A post that makes a strong, valid, eye-opening point that happens to be 750 words might be more valuable and more easily-digestible for a reader than a blog post that takes 2,000 words to reach the same point.
It depends on how much homework the writer has done, how well he crafts the post and how much it resonates with the reader.
Do you feel you’re generating your best content each day? Do you feel you’ve set for yourself a reasonable posting schedule that gives you time not only to meet your quota but also to meet that quota with quality content?
If not, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how often you actually are posting.
There have been days when I go back and look at a post and wish I’d taken the time to do more with it. I think all of us feel that way: most writers tend to be their own worst critics, right?
But if you’re feeling that way more and more often, if you feel like you’re not talking to your audience and giving information that could be useful or thought-provoking or entertaining at all, that could be a good indication that it’s time to take a long, hard look at your posting schedule and readjust a bit.
I don’t think your readers will mind if you post slightly less often…if what you do post is better content.