There are many factors that will help create a successful blog:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Quality of Content
- Intriguing Headlines
- Number of Comments
- Blog Design
- And many others…
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 off 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 consistently 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.
My New Publishing Commitment:
As someone who feels you can only gain credibility by practicing what you preach, I’ve committed to a new posting schedule. Real-Time Marketer will soon be publishing about 3 posts per week. My posts will consist of different themes so readers can get used to a consistent schedule and theme. I will have a Tuesday Tool (offering a new social media tool and review each Tuesday), a regular post, and a Follow Friday post. Although posting 3 times per week may seem excessive, the Tuesday Tool and Follow Friday posts have there owned theme and vibe to break apart reader fatigue.
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.