One of the most common question new bloggers or book bloggers ask is: How often should I publish a blog post? You may get different answers to this question, but here’s mine, which is based on my own experience and the advice I have been given by a variety of successful bloggers and professional bloggers.
When you begin blogging your book (or simply blogging), commit to publishing a blog post a minimum of twice per week. If possible, publish a post three to five times per week. Even better, publish a post seven days a week. The more often you post in the beginning, the faster you will get traffic to your blog. Traffic could mean both actual readers (unique visitors) or it could mean spiders and bots, the automated programs used by search engines to catalog your content and the keywords and keyword phrases you use in your blog posts. The more traffic you get, the more readers you will get.
Gina Trapani of Lifehacker started out writing 12 times a day every day for 9 months. (I’m not sure how often posts appear on the blog anymore, and I don’t think she is the only writer–or even writes the blog–anymore.) She landed a book deal at that point because she had so much traffic and so many readers. Now…I admit…that’s a bit excessive, and not all markets will stand that many posts per day. But it proves a point: Frequency and consistency will create readership and traffic.
Think of it this way: If you place a billboard ad on a road that few cars drive down, you won’t attract many people to the business advertised on that billboard. If, however, you place the same ad on a billboard on a busy highway, that business will attract more customers into its doors. You want traffic to your site. The more traffic, the more possibility that some of that traffic will actually stop and read your blogged book, subscribe to the blog (or to your email list) and later purchase your book (or products and services).
Keep up this post publishing pace for six to nine months or for a full year if you possibly can. It takes that long to develop steady and increasing traffic for your blog.
At that point, you can slack off a bit. If you have been publishing posts five days a week, cut back to three days a week. That’s what I did on Write Nonfiction NOW! For the first five months I wrote sporadically and received little traffic and few steady readers. Then for 10 months, from June 2010 until March 2011, I wrote and published posts five days a week. Traffic and readership increased considerably. Then I switched to three times a week, and I have been doing that for the last year and a half. My readerships–unique visitors–have been growing steadily. In fact, they’ve doubled in the last year. The 10 months of blogging five days per week gave me a foundation to build upon.
I can tell you that it took longer to build a readership for this blog because I posted sporadically three or four times per week for only five months. Then I slacked off after I finished blogging the book. I picked up again a few months later and began publishing posts religiously twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ve kept that up ever since and my traffic and readership has steadily grown.
Once you’ve got a large, loyal readership you can back off to once or twice a week. Some successful bloggers just post when they “have something to say”–once or twice a month sporadically. I don’t recommend that. I think keeping to a schedule is a good thing; it keeps your blog’s Google ranking high and keeps you fresh in your readers’ minds–and it keeps you and your blog successful. Don’t rest on your laurels. Once a week is the minimum I’d recommend after many years of blogging and acquiring a very large and loyal readership.
Photo courtesy of Ambro