I see this question come up almost every week during blogchat. Throughout the week, a lot of people also ask me why I blog every day, and is that something that everyone should do.
The easiest answer to give is that whatever you choose to do, you should try to be consistent. Create an expectation with your readership. I think one of the best things that could happen to a blogger would be for a reader to say, “Aw, you usually have your blog up by this time. Where is it?” If you don’t blog every day, create a general day and time so that your readership can come to expect a blog. If you do things right, they and you will look forward to that consistent “date.”
The answer really goes beyond this matter of consistency though and extends to the kind of blog you want to have. Ask yourself what you want to give you readers, and ask what you are hoping to get out of the experience. Once I found my voice for blogging, I knew that I wanted my blog to be a place of conversation about things having to do with marketing (and sometimes loosely related things like life and the world). I seldom get into details because that’s not generally how I talk. I’m not a big stats person, I’m not a big reader of case studies, so that’s not the kind of thing I talk about here. This means that it’s easier for me to post a blog a day. It’s easy for me to talk every day, and this is just writing some of my thoughts down in a way that I hope you find interesting.
Now I’ll tell you a secret. I am horribly jealous of the posts that Stanford Smith (@pushingsocial), Suzanne Vara, and Brian Solis write. Their posts are so intuitively helpful, and you can just see the work that went into the crafting of the posts. And yes, their posts really are works of art. If I was trying to write posts like that, there is no way I’d be able to blog as often as I do. However, my mission does not necessitate such posts, and besides, those folks do that kind of post better than I ever could.
Another good idea to factor in when deciding how often you want to blog is the time that you are willing to invest not just in the blogging, but also in the response to comments (and if you say, “Oh, that’s easy, I don’t get any comments,” don’t worry. That will change). All told, it takes me about half an hour to write one of my blog posts. Since I like to blog once a day, I know that every week, I will be investing close to 4 hours in writing my own blogs. Now, the #30Thursday posts I do actually take several hours throughout the week so that needs to get added in for my particular scenario. You need to look at your schedule and see what you can maintain on a weekly basis – again coming back to the consistency thing.
Now there are a few tricks in this regard. For example, I tend to write most of my blog posts for the week over the weekend because I simply don’t have the time to write that much during the week. I edit the posts so that they will publish at 6 AM, which enables me to post them to Facebook and Twitter before I go to work. Some people even automate the publishing to Facebook and Twitter so that they don’t have to touch it at all. You can also gauge things by your work cycle. If every other week your work levels shift, you could write more during the light week so that you can store up for the heavy week.
So to recap, here are some questions I would throw right back at you if you are debating how often you should blog:
1. What kind of experience are you hoping to create for your readers?
2. What kinds of blog posts will you need to write to create that experience?
3. What would be a sustainable level that would enable consistency of output?
4. How much time are you comfortable investing into your blog?
5. What would make the experience most enjoyable for you?
I hope that helps!
Image by Hilde Vanstraelen. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/biewoef