The right frequency for blogging

Tim McAlpine posted some excellent points for success in social media and blogging today. I agree with most of the points; however I disagree with some of his points about frequency.

In the early days of blogging (about 3 to 4 years ago), most “experts” recommended that in order to be successful, bloggers should post one article per day. That was important back then because blogging as a concept was new, and the big difference between blogging and virtually every other type of web site was that blogging was more “alive.” You could tell that there was a real human behind the words because you could see a new message every time you checked in, unlike corporate web sites that updated once every couple of years.

But in today’s world of 81 gabillion blogs (yes, it’s a scientific fact that there are 81.679 gabillion blogs out there), the noise level in the blogosphere is high. In 2005, Adweek estimated that between 10% and 20% of blogs are actually a splogs (splog = spam blog, a blog filled with machine-generated nonsensical content) than human-written blogs. That percentage is likely far larger now.

So that means you need to cut through the noise. But yelling louder or more frequently in this ultra-crowded field is not going to do it. In fact, I recommend the opposite tack.

As far as I’m concerned, there is only one correct frequency for blogging: Post a message only when you have something meaningful to say. If that’s once per week, once per month, once per minute, it doesn’t matter, so long as when you DO have my attention, you don’t waste it by giving me something less-than-stellar. In other words, NEVER post filler just because it’s been a while since your last message. My favorite blogs seem to never post frequently enough, and blogs that I am marginally interested in seem to always be publishing too often. For people who are busy, and have limited opportunity to read blogs, publishing frequent drivel is going to hurt readership more than publishing gems only infrequently. If you publish dreck often, people are going to remove you from their RSS reading lists.

I will post insights into best practices for blog promotion in a future entry.

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3 Responses to “The right frequency for blogging”

  1. Tim McAlpine Says:

    @Morriss – Good point.

    I am not advocating pumping out crap just so you can say you have a big pile of crap (sorry for the lovely metaphor). I am saying that to legitimize the practice of social media within a credit union’s marketing and communications strategy, there has to be a plan.

    Posting once in a while is fine for a personal blog. Personal blogs typically don’t have an agenda. Quite often they are simply the random musings of an individual. Credit union leaders are questioning the value of social media. To prove ROI, social media efforts need to have a strategy that set up an expectation for frequency.

    What I am talking about here is a corporate blog. The voice of a company. And, I feel there is a big difference. I feel strongly that a credit union that is investing in a social media strategy needs to treat their blog (or whatever you want to call it) like a publication. If you don’t have anything meaningful to say, it needs to be your job to find something meaningful to say on a very regular basis.

    Otherwise these blogs will continue to float along and provide very little return on investment.

  2. xeper Says:

    Thank you for proving why less frequent blogging might pay off better.

    @Tim: I understand what you mean, but you should have advance content and half-cooked content to post in such times. Content that was started in a time of creativity. This way you can have at least half-good content on a more frequent basis. Moreover, you need to recruit the right people. Use many freelancers if you must & only post the best presented.

    Another point, a blog’s creative output is not only needed in the post but in the marketing. when you feel less capable to write, use the time to review posts, market to new ones, read and get ideas and form opinions.

    I am starting a professional blog beside my personal one, and will try the high-quality-seasonal-posts approach. However, when I get a particularly creative time, I write a few posts and schedule them to the future.. this way you get the best of both worlds.. it wont work with news blogs etc, though..

    Thanks.. I’m linking to this post..

  3. The True Voice of Your Blog (or How to Boost Traffic Permanently) « XEPER Says:

    […] Fifth: Show your personality. Be the blue cheese of your niche. I have read several articles about web traffic and blog promotion etc. How many of them have near the very top a story like mine? None. Is that good or bad? Well, I won’t suit the taste of many, those are Mr. Neighbor’s visitors. And I do have links for Mr. Neighbor’s place, but those who have been to Mr. Neighbor and found the info without the story, and wanted the story, those are my true visitors. Guess whose article they would seek first next time they want to ask about something? Blue cheese might not be everybody’s favorite, but it doesn’t get out of fashion, and its absence is missed, unlike cheeses with less presence. People come to your blog for your ideas and your style. For your originality. What do YOU think? Let this always be your question. [don’t write if you have nothing to say] […]

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