The #1 Factor For A Successful Blog To Boost Traffic

by Scott Bishop on September 24, 2009

How Are You Making Your Blog Succeed?

There are many factors that will help create a successful blog and it’s important to be proficient in all of them. But there is one thing that will have a huge impact on your traffic. The 1 factor for a successful blog is not one of the items highlighted bellow.

But I believe that the #1 factor for blog success is the frequency of your posts.  Mashable and TechCrunch are respectably the #1 and #2 most popular social media blogs. They average over 20 posts per day. I understand they both have teams of paid writers to continuously spit out post after post…but I am constantly checking out their sites because I know they have good quality, and I know that information will be new and constant.

It is not realistic and probably not appropriate for you to be writing 20 articles per day, but you do need to consistently be writing new content.  Social Media, more than ever, is truly an out of sight out of mind medium.  If you aren’t continuously contributing content, or posts, or tweets…you do not exist.

If you write the absolute most interesting blog posts ever, but only write one once a month…it won’t matter.  You can not gain new readers without continuously writing new content.  This blog is a perfect example.  Up until now, I have gained a respectable amount of readers per post average.  But I am not gaining new readers.  Most of my traffic up till this point has been from posting to Twitter.  That strategy does work, but it is inconsistent.  Without a constant publishing schedule, your blog will plateau.  It’s hard to say just how soon that may happen, but it will happen.

Your viewers will drop of like a rock and it is very, very hard to get them back.  There are currently more than 70 Million blogs…so if you are not taking yours seriously, and continuously and consistnetly adding content, there are literally millions to take your place.

What Do I Write?
Honestly, to some degree…it doesn’t matter.  As long as you are on topic with the theme of your blog, you can really write about anything.  Not every post needs to be a home run.  Not every post needs to be groundbreaking.  Not every post needs to receive tons of comments.  But in order to build an audience and fan base, you need posts… Period.

I am much more likely to subscribe to a blog’s RSS if they are consistently posting.  Very few people will agree to subscribe to your email list or RSS if they think the blog is inactive.  Eventually you will have enough articles where you can begin to market some of your previous posts.   Seth Godin, whom I would consider a Social Media Expert, explains this in more detail HERE.

How Often do I Post?
There is no statistic determining how many posts you need in a given time frame to be successful, but I say…the more the merrier.  People often disagree with this number but  I personally think the sweet-spot is around one per week, published the same day each week.

The one post per week at the same time each week will get people used to your posting schedule and they will eventually begin to look for them.  Tim Jahn’s video blog Beyond The Pedway does this brilliantly.  Each Friday, I know to look for a new video post, and each and every Friday I do.

I do think there is room to post more than once per week if you have time.  Darren Rowse of ProBlogger does offer a good warning of “Reader Fatigue” but for most bloggers just starting out, you do not have enough readers to cause fatigue.  Maybe someday I can get to that point, but I am definitely not there yet.

So, I have laid my case for consistent frequency of posts as the #1 factor to a successful blog.  Agree?  Disagree?  Please leave your comments, I am very interested in your opinion.

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  • mrapron

    Oh, no! The only thing that's good about my blog is the quality of the writing!

    I've even stopped hyperlinking to clever pictures because I thought it was cheap and tawdry!

    I'M DOOOOOOMED!!!!!!!

  • Scott Bishop

    Ha, thanks for the comment! Content is…and always will be king. It all depends on what your blog goals are. But if you want constant viewers, you should develop a consistent schedule to post content. Again, it all depends what your goals are.

    Thanks again for the comment.

  • AnotherGuy

    Obviously my schedule is a bit different than yours, but I feel like we are about on the same page here. I've started a Writing Experiment on my blog for writers to join with me on. It's basically just a way to give people topics to write about every day so that they can keep up with a steady schedule.

    Sure, not everyone will write a 400 word article every day (I am able to do it because that's my full-time job – copywriter) but for those that can write two or three of those articles a week, I think that having the chance to be a part of a group that is writing so often is really encouraging and inspirational.

    I look forward to reading more from you and seeing what other tips you bring to the table.

    Hey, maybe you could join the experiment too. ;)

  • Scott Bishop

    Many thanks for the comment. I'll def check out your new writing experiment and see what I can contribute. What's the URL?

  • AnotherGuy

    Not a problem. It's encouraging to see others writing about these types of topics and actually doing something about it. I know how it feels to get a few comments, so I always make a point to try and throw some out there on the blogs I like. :)

    Here is the info on the writing experiment.

  • Melvin

    I think its essential because your readers get used to it. I myself was posting 12-15 a month but when the intern strucked me from June to August, it changed.. And obviously my readers have to adjust and the decrease on traffic has become evident for my blog

  • Scott Bishop

    Wow, 12-15 posts a month is a pretty tough schedule to keep. The traffic for me is purely based on posts because I market them on Twitter and LinkedIn. Although some traffic has begun to come from Stumble Upon as well. Until I get more readers and a more consistent post schedule that will be the norm. What's the URL? I'll check it out. Thanks much for the comment!

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  • Ryan Bollenbach

    Hi Scott,

    I recently created, I love building it and now it's my dream to evolve it into something I can live off of.

    I really enjoyed your input on how to develop a successful blog and I agree. There's nothing more annoying than great blogs that never update and at the same time blogs that post way too much. I would like to try one post per week on a larger topic and it would be great to have another weekly post for a collection of video reviews.

    Thanks again,


  • sbishop

    Thanks for the comment Ryan. I wrestle with trying to have a blog post schedule, or just write when I have good content on my mind. I think the winning combo is to do both. It looks like you're well on your way with a rigorous posting pace. Nice work! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  • sbishop

    Thanks for the comment Ryan. I wrestle with trying to have a blog post schedule, or just write when I have good content on my mind. I think the winning combo is to do both. It looks like you're well on your way with a rigorous posting pace. Nice work! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  • Rosy Saadeh

    I think that posting once a week is simply not enough, but I do agree that consistency is key. Also, giving authors a face and personality is key. 

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