Friday, April 24, 2015

A to Z of Blogging: U - Updation

There is a never-ending debate in the blogosphere about the update frequency on your blog. Some bloggers say you should blog daily, some tell you to blog not more than thrice a week, and some advice a posting schedule of several times a day! So whose advice do you follow?

You decide for yourself, based on the points mentioned below.

First, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of high updation frequency on blogs.

Pros of High Update Frequency On Blogs:

  • Better Ranks.
    Google loves fresh content. Blogs that get updated frequently are better ranked on search engines, provided you’ve taken care of the SEO aspect of your posts.

  • New Visitors.
    More new content means that there are more of your posts on search results pages, i.e. more “entry points to your blog” for new visitors, who find your blog through search engines.

  • Repeat Visitors.
    If a news channel showed the same news for a week, how often would you watch that channel? Same way, if you don’t give new content to your readers for days on end, why would they visit your blog repeatedly?

Cons of High Update Frequency On Blogs:

  • Writer Burnout.
    Posting too often on your blog can affect you as a writer. It can drain you physically and mentally. It can affect your writing quality too. This is known as “writer burnout”.

  • Reader Burnout.
    A severe case of “blogorrhea” can affect your readers as well (i.e. the regular ones). They might not be able to keep up with your update frequency and opt to unsubscribe. (So, if you plan to increase your blog update frequency for a temporary duration, then it’s best to inform your readers about it. If they know it’s only for a short time, they just might put up with it!)

  • Reduced Engagement.
    Too high update frequency doesn’t give much time for conversations to happen in the comments forum. The “commentariat” are forced to move on to your next post. You are also busy writing your next post instead of replying to comments on your last post.

Based on the above pros and cons of high update frequency, here are 6 pointers that should help you decide how often you ought to update your blog.

6 Points To Help You Decide Your Blog Updation Frequency

  • Blogging Goals.
    How fast do you want your blog to grow in readership? For slow growth, post weekly or fortnightly. For moderate growth, post 3 times a week. For steady growth, daily posts are recommended. For fast growth, you need to post 3-5 times a day.

  • Blog Age.
    If your blog is new, you need to focus on marketing more than content and readership. You must spend time finding other blogs in your niche and commenting regularly on them. You must submit guest posts on other blogs and article directories to establish yourself as an expert and gain some “backlinks”. Moderate update frequency is good during this period.

  • Content Diversity.
    A blog on diverse subjects and many categories performs better with update schedule of more than once daily. Readers expect such blogs to be updated more frequently. Besides, these blogs usually offer selective subscription options. You can subscribe to a specific category only if you like.

  • Traffic Source.
    If you depend on search engines primarily for your blog traffic, then it makes sense to have a higher update frequency for your blog. (As discussed in the pros above.) But, if your readers are regular subscribers or those who have bookmarked your blog, then you should try to keep it moderate or steady.

  • Post Length.
    If you write long, detailed, informational posts on a regular basis, then a posting schedule of once a week is good. It gives you enough time to write and it gives the readers enough time to absorb what you’ve written and have their queries answered via comments. Shorter posts can be published more frequently.

  • Number of Blog Authors.
    Group or multi-author blogs can have a higher update frequency, as there is less likelihood of writer-burnout. Single author blogs should stick to slow or moderate growth. Even daily posts can result in fatigue.

Whatever blog update frequency you decide eventually, be sure to maintain consistency with it. If you’d like to experiment with it a little, don’t make the changes too abrupt, or at least inform your readers about what you’re doing. You can even conduct a poll and ask for their opinions directly.

Do you have a fixed blogging schedule currently? How often do you update your blog? Is it working for you? Or do you think you ought to change your update frequency?

This is my 21st post for 2015 AprilAtoZ.
Link to the previous post: A to Z of Blogging: T - Types.

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the little princess said...

Daily blogging does take its toll!! For instance take this a to z itself!! All my routine has gone for a toss and I'm not sure the quality of my posts are not taking a hit..added to that the burnout like u said!
I think thrice or twice a week would be good gives u time to visit other blogs u like and comment

blogoratti said...

Nice of you to share that, very informative!

Chicky said...

Princess, I think all of us are exhausted! I agree, twice or thrice a week is best for us.

Chicky said...

Thanks blogoratti :)

Sanch LivingLife said...

Apart from challenges like this, I tend to blog about 3 to 4 times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. For me, one of the biggest problems if I update too frequently is not getting the chance to reply to comments.

Chicky said...

Sanch, I think 3 is okay... 4 sounds too much at the moment! I'm totally exhausted with this A to Z! I'm not even getting the time to read people's posts! :(

Vinay Leo R. said...

I do not for one moment think that better frequency of updation means new visitors. It's a mix of frequency, plus how often you read blogs that make new visitors arrive on blog :)

Yes, burnout and such is common. What I feel is to update when you want to. The most important factor to decide that is "want" to post. When want becomes "need", then it actually brings down quality, I think.

Chicky said...

I don't know, Leo. I think committing to a schedule works better for most people. If someone wants to get into serious blogging, then he needs to have a disciplined approach about it. Whimsical is okay only as long as you're just blogging for yourself and you don't much care about being read or your traffic stats.

Vinay Leo R. said...

But shouldn't it be even more important to write when you want to even when you are writing to be read? When you stick to a schedule, and commit to it, you are having a need to. So on that day, if you don't have something worthwhile to say, you'll just end up writing something for the sake of. And for a reader, that will show.

Rajlakshmi said...

Long posts scares me, unless it's a story... else I read them if I have good amount of time on my hand. I feel twice a week is more than enough, and too many posts exhaust me - both as a writer and a reader

Chicky said...

Not necessarily, Leo!

All through last month, there were very few days when I actually wanted to write. I'm sure it was the case for all of us who didn't pre-schedule their posts. Yet, most of us managed to write good posts... posts that offered some value to our readers, didn't we?

I think "want" is over-rated. I think the fact that we have a blog means we have something to express. The soul wants to say something, even if our mind doesn't. I think we are born to express. The nature is always expressing itself in one way or the other. We have chosen to write.

Having a schedule will stop giving our minds excuses to not do what our soul wants to do. This is what I feel. Of course, there are some days when we're genuinely tied up in other stuff, but I don't think it's ever got anything to do with "not wanting" to write.

Chicky said...

Raji, long posts don't scare me as much as posts with long paragraphs! My eyes just blur everything out when they see long paragraphs on the screen. I don't mind reading 1000-words posts if they're properly spaced out and have a few pictures or lists and stuff. Too many posts do exhaust me, yeah.

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