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Why bloggers post every day!

Ever wondered why some bloggers write blog posts every day?  Well, I did too – So I tried a 14 day experiment, and I am going to share my results with you.

Usually, my blogging schedule is erratic; often just a handful of posts in a month.  However, as regular readers will have noticed, I have been updating this blog with fresh posts every day, for the past 2 weeks.

Why?

I wanted to measure for myself, just what the value to a blogger is, of updating their blog every day with new posts.  I assumed (rightly as it turned out) that 2 weeks would be a long enough period, for me to get some worthwhile data for you.  The results have been VERY interesting!

In brief, here’s what I have found:

RSS Subscribers

One of the biggest differences (in percentage points) has been the increase in new RSS subscribers to the blog.  New subscriber numbers are up an amazing 400% on the 2 weeks previous!  I was expecting to see some increase, but this was far, far higher than I imagined.

Blog Comments

The number of comments per post varies all the time, literally from post to post, making it very hard to measure over such a short period.  Equally, comments are often added to blog posts weeks, months and even years after a post is written.

Comments in total during the past 14 days are up by around 300%.  This is less impressive than it may sound, as there were many more posts for people to read and thus comment on than usual.  Also, regular readers have been visiting the blog more often and sharing posts with their friends more often, which increases comment numbers.

This leads me on to the biggest difference I have noticed with the comments, over the past 2 weeks.  The biggest (and most interesting development for me), has been the number of new people commenting here.  I have seen a lot of new commenters, many of whom have said that they have only just discovered the blog.

Blog traffic

The number of unique visitors here increased by just under 30% during the 2 weeks.  That’s a significant increase, especially as most of it came over the past 5 days.

Interestingly, the number of page views here increased massively.  This seems to be from new visitors having a look around and established readers visiting more often, in line with the number of new posts.

There’s no doubt whatsoever that daily blogging, even for a relatively short period of time, has significantly increased ‘traffic’ into the blog.

Conclusion

The biggest revelation for me has been how much fun I’ve had! I have REALLY enjoyed putting the posts together.  More than this, the increased activity on the blog from commenters and those discussing posts on Twitter, has been amazing.  The whole ‘atmosphere’ of the blog has been improved in every way.

However, it is very clear from the significant increases across the board, why so many bloggers post fresh content every day.  Daily blogging has improved literally every metric I have measured – not just those mentioned in this brief post.  It’s also improved areas that are far harder to measure, like making the blog a lot more ‘alive’ and vivid.  These things are harder to plot on a chart than RSS subscribers or traffic, but they are massively valuable to anyone who genuinely cares about their blog and it’s community of readers.

My dilemma

I strongly believe that the only time to write a blog post is when the writer has something VALUABLE to say, which is worth sharing.  I don’t believe in having a blogging schedule. As a professional writer, I have found it relatively easy to publish fresh content each day – but what about the quality of that content?

I see zero point in posting dross occasionally, just so that I don’t miss a day!  That material will live on the Internet forever, with my name attached to it. My 4 year old son will see it when he’s older – I don’t want him thinking his daddy writes pedestrian, generic bullshit occasionally, because I’m a slave to some self-imposed, daily blogging schedule.

I occasionally read posts by people considered to be GREAT bloggers, which seem ‘pretty average’ at best.  The thing is, these guys are NOT average writers; they are the top of the blogging pile.  I always wonder if the reason I find those posts average, is just that the subject is not of interest to me, or if it’s because the blogger wrote an average post, just to maintain his or her daily blogging schedule.

The bottom line for me, is that by blogging here each day, the value of this blog has improved in every way.  So, I’ve decided to aim for blogging here on a more regular basis than before, but only when I have something I believe is worth sharing with you.  If that’s daily, then fine. If not, then I assure you, you will be missing nothing worth reading.

What do you think?

Did you find any of that data useful or interesting?  What has your experience been?

Photo credit: UnSung

About Jim Connolly: I help small business owners attract more high quality clients, make more sales and boost their profits. To see how I can help you and your business, read this.

53 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this post. BTW, this is my first time reading your blog. I just read Crush It, re-starting my blog about my passion and already have one advertiser on board before I even started!

    You helped me just decide how often I should post, everyday. Thank you. How do you feel about posts such as “quote of the week”? This would help cut down the time of writing a lengthy post.

    • Hello Archie.

      I believe that whilst there are obvious commercial benefits to daily blogging, these will be lost if the QUALITY of the posts drops. Personally, I believe if anyone needs to start writing ‘quotes of the week,’ they are probably blogging too frequently.

      Quality………then quantity. The numbers alone won’t do it, IMHO.

  2. I’m in the process of starting a new blog, so your timing here was ideal. I agree with you that the time to blog is when you have something worthwhile to say and not to just hit a publishing target.

    @Archie – I would not write those kind of posts as I think they are of little value and show your readers that you have nothing original to say. Use your own stuff.

    • When you get the blog started Nate, ping me the URL so I can take a look.

      Your advice to Archie is spot-on, in my opinion.

      Thanks for the comment.

  3. I started blogging about a year ago, and gradually worked up to around one post per day simply by having so much stuff to say – but once I was writing almost every day, I felt a great deal of pressure to write daily, and I started to feel it was hard work. Since I don’t make any money from my blog, it’s purely a personal thing, so there’s no point in doing it if it’s not fun.

    I’ve subsequently cut back to one post every three days, which is just enough that I always have too much to say, and I have extra posts occasionally. I haven’t seen any decrease in my traffic, yet, and it’s been a couple of months. But it’s very interesting to see your statistics.

    • Thanks for sharing such useful information here – I appreciate it!

      I think you sound like you have the right balance FOR YOU and that’s extremely important. If you blog for fun and the pressure of daily blogging stops it being fun, it would be nuts to continue.

      Equally, I think that if you were blogging for commercial reasons, your readers would soon know if the posts were becoming a chore.

      I don’t think that daily blogging is right for most people in most situations – in fact, the total opposite is true. Very few people can blog daily and still deliver great content 365 times a year. In my honest opinion, it’s about getting the correct mix for the individual. There are so many factors that determine how often we can (and should) blog.

  4. What a GREAT post, Jim! With all that has taken place over the past few months, I’m rededicating myself to keeping current and posting in my blog starting next month. I know that my schedule shall remain hectic (and will have even more hectic peaks), so I think that I will post about three times a week.

    And for the record, I always find that your posts are full of quality information and I’m appreciative of them. I appreciate the timeliness of your words!

  5. Hi Jim – I’ve been keen to see what your findings would be after you told me you were testing for this.

    To go off-topic a little, the question I have relates to your RSS findings… My understand of how RSS feed subscribers are measured is quite minimal so maybe I am asking the wrong question. However…

    Sometimes I subscribe to blogs by email, other times through my RSS reader. I always read the emails but tend to be less timely about catching the news that comes in via RSS. So even though some blogs are counting me in their RSS feed numbers (presumably), I can’t say I am an avid reader.

    Do you think this is typical behaviour and if so is there a way to track if RSS subscribers are reading the content? Or is this already reflected in the feedburner statistics?

    • Good evening Reeta my friend!

      That’s a great question.

      I have my RSS emails delivered (via Feedburner) between 9am & 11am (UK time). However, those who subscribe via their RSS reader get bthe post shortly after it’s posted.

      This means there’s often a long gap, between when the different people see new posts.

      I usually see a far greater response after the emails go out.

      BTW: Like many people, I have an almost 50-50 split of feedreader subscribers / email subscribers.

      Hope that helps.

  6. Great post and very useful findings. Thanks for sharing them so openly with us.

    I think I am speaking for many here, when I say I really hope you continue to post here every day. This is one of very few blogs that I have never found a duff post on.

    More, more, more.

  7. Thanks Jim for sharing this useful post. I have not found enough room yet for consistently blogging. I have been quite engaged in other platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and FB. I will get there.
    I agree with the main principle you have stressed in your post about sharing content of quality no matter the frequency.
    Furthermore I do share Reeta’s experience and I was wondering, like she is, if people tend to read more easily email feeds rather than RSS feeds.

    Fiorenza

    • You’re right, Fiorenza – Quality first. As I said in my comment to Reeta, I see more engagement from people, who subscribe to the blog via RSS. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Well Jim, I’m happy you’re going to be blogging more often! I’m not a serious blogger myself, but I am serious about sharing valuable content to the various communities I’m part of and your posts are always loaded with great insight, ideas, inspiration and real world information that can be implemented immediately. I’m going to keep this short so you can get back to work : )

    • Thanks for stopping by the blog Mark – it’s always great to see you!

      I’m glad you still find my posts interesting. I’ll do my very best to ensure they stay that way.

  9. Love the fact that you point out that while it’s great to blog every day, if the content is merely average does it count? When I say average, I mean deliberately average just to get a blog post up – a video book review that doesn’t really review the book, for example, or a list of your week’s tweets…

    I’ve been enjoying your blog a lot, Jim, and the increased output seems like a nice bonus – here’s to it continuing!

    • Thanks Danny. Actually, one of the things I love about http://dannybrown.me is that you only seem to blog when you genuinely have something worth sharing.

      I notice that you miss the occasional day, but I respect that far more than sending out something that’s less than you are capable of, just to ‘be active.’

      Thanks for the kind words and for your friendship.

  10. One of the reasons I unsubscribed from chris brogans blog was that he seems to be all about posting every day but I read him for the value. I dont care if he misses a day. Some of his book reviews and such are toe curling awful.

    • I like Chris’ blog myself and agree that it’s a little hit and miss at times.

      For me, the question is whether when I read a post there (or even on Seth Godin’s blog) and I think it’s below par – is that because the blogger is keeping up a schedule?

      I know from feedback that some posts here get a lot more feedback than others – And that was when I was blogging once a week or so!

      There will always be a fluctuation in post quality on every blog. My point is, as Danny Brown said earlier, that it’s important NOT to DELIBERATELY write below par content – just to keep the numbers up.

      Thanks for the comment.

  11. Funny, I was just musing on this over the weekend. I’ve been writing my blog for five years now, and it was this year—the year I made and kept a decision to post 5x/week—that I’ve seen spectacular growth across all metrics, even the squishier quality and style ones.

    For me, it was because I made the blog a priority. I firewall time to write every day, and good time, not ZOMG-I-can-barely-keep-my-eyes-open time. Yeah, sometimes I find myself writing in those times; it’s harder to write and takes longer, which drives me back to my morning writing.

    I’m agreed on the quotes posts. I think that with rare exceptions, they’re cop-outs, and that those exceptions (i.e., when you have a quote you really want to share) are better served by a secondary format: a Posterous blog or Tumblog, or highlighting text in a delicious link, or even a tweet. (Although quotations in that format really run the risk of sounding like pontificating, so use judiciously.)

    I don’t use quotes on the blog (anymore—I did, briefly, several years back), but I do have what I’d characterize as features: Book Review Tuesday, Poetry Thursday, Referral Friday. I don’t do them religiously, but they can help when I’m too exhausted for another meaty essay. I’m careful to maintain the quality level there, too, and not use them as an excuse to slack off.

    Ultimately, I think your point of quality being job 1, as the old ads promised, is the salient one. Whatever it takes to do that, do it. For me, regular posting and a firm schedule have helped enormously.

    Thanks for this important, honest and open post, and for fostering this discussion.

    • Oh great – you come along and write a comment that’s better than my post :(

      Seriously, thanks for the excellent comment Colleen and all those great points.

  12. I respect anyone who gets up to post on their blog everyday.
    The throw anything on the wall and hope it sticks approach doesn’t do justice to a good blogger/blog.
    I’ve seen quite a few people become jaded and exhausted from trying to hard.

  13. Hi Jim. Interesting post. Thanks for taking the time and effort to change your own routine for 2 weeks to give us this great information.

    I agree that you shouldn’t post just to post. That being said, I think you can provide great quality posting every day. As Colleen said, sometimes its about the extra effort that you put in to it.

    I know for me, the more I write, the easier it is. One idea always triggers another. And when a blogger is very consistent, the posts may not be as polished, but its like being part of a conversation.

    That being said, its okay to miss a day here or there. The key is consistency, not quantity. Be consistent in sharing and in level of quality.

    • Hi Bradford. One of the points you made there is something I forgot to mention in the post.

      I also found it a lot easier to post more frequently – the more frequently I posted. In fact, I ended up with several ‘extra’ posts. I will probably cover that on in a dedicated post.

      Thanks for the feedback as always sir.

  14. I switched to blogging daily a few months back from a few times a week. I found the practice writing, and the added engagement from commenters too compelling a reason not to.

    I have plenty to write about, and find that my posts do fluctuate from big hits, to quiet notes. I’m comfortable with that. I hope that none of my daily posts are mediocre, but I know they need to resonate with the right crowd.

    • The added engagement is a massive pull for me too Mark. It’s added a whole new dimension to the blog.

      I think the very nature of blogging is that some posts will always be better than others. We’re only human.

      Thanks for the comment!!

  15. Susan Weinschenk

    December 1, 2009 at 05:31

    I tried this too. And saw the same trends that you saw. I’m now trying to write a post every day. I don’t get one out every day, but I’m close. It follows what we know about habits. It takes 30 days to make a habit (well, sometimes longer the research shows)… if you write a post every day for 30 days you will have established a habit and writing one each day will be easier. In order to make sure I have something worthwhile/valuable to say every day, I put together a list of topics I want to write about. I keep that list updated all the time… so when it’s time to post a new blog I just open my list and pick what I feel like writing about that day.

    • Like you, Susan – I also take regular notes. I use an audio recorder that I carry in my pocket. Most posts are ‘written’ on that whilst I’m out walking.

      Thanks for the comment!

  16. I can definitely see how posting on a more frequent basis can lead to increased subscribers (and all around increased statistics). The trick of course is finding a good balance in your post frequency such that you don’t diminish the quality of your posts.

    Personally, I go through phases which isn’t the most disciplined approach I know… Sometimes I post frequently, sometimes I don’t. What I do notice is the obvious decrease in site visits when I post less then the sudden spike when I step it up.

    Anyway, I’ll be posting more frequently and with something to say…that’s for sure!

    • Thanks for the comment.

      You are totally right Ricardo – quality is the key. The aim is to get quality AND quantity; but there’s a balance.

  17. Heather Torres

    December 1, 2009 at 15:50

    I just discovered your blog today, Jim, and I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed. Like you, I have a professional blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to post everyday but I still find it extremely satisfying when I do. Thank you so much for sharing your results! You’ve inspired me to give my blog more attention and I hope to see similar results. Cheers!

    • Welcome to the blog Heather.

      I’m not sure many professional bloggers are time rich. It’s a matter of prioritising what’s important for the individual.

      Good luck with your blog – I’m off to check it out now.

  18. One of the things I love most about blogging is the non-competitive vibe and sharing of valuable information. Such a simple exercise and it tells so much. I am also one who wants to post more but won’t to bandwagon a topic or when I really don’t have anything of value to say. Thanks, Jim!

  19. It’s a tough order to expect people to blog every single day unless of course they are professional bloggers.

    I have done it to launch a blog, but i wouldn’t consider the fact that I was blogging daily to be the deciding factor in why I get so much traffic to the site these days.

    There are plenty of mediocre post that get good coverage and likewise plenty of decent posts that get little coverage. I think at the end of the day you just need to write at a sustainable rate, publicise the posts and try and get as much of a conversation going between you and your readers as possible.

    personally I value the relationships I have built more from sites where i blog less frequently and more for pleasure than the blogs where I write day in day out on technical issues.

    Each to their own I suppose, and the mantra that we should all be writing interesting and useful content as engendered by Google, is one tat needs to be repeated often.

  20. Thought-provoking post, Jim – thanks for this.
    @Fiorenza mentions the distractions of other SM – I’ve kept FB personal from the beginning, but find Twitter doesn’t satisfy the writing itch. Setting up the blog, and committing myself to posting regularly – your post is making me rethink the frequency. Hmmm….
    Bradford, Mark, Susan – all commented on the benefits of daily writing, as you found, rather dramatically. I had a painting teacher who quoted one of his teachers: “Out of the act of painting comes a painting.”
    Works for writing, too – nothing is as certain as the fact that my outline, goal, or best intentions will change once I actually start writing!

  21. Jim
    Really very useful. I am working in a company that is considering how to approach the blogging issue. I think the key issue is quality content as you say so will certainly consider posting as often as there is something ‘quality’ to say. Thanks very much for your insights.

  22. Thank you for this post. I’m one of the ones who just found you in the last couple of weeks, but I have to say you’ve had good posts every day. That’s why I come to read whenever you link a new post in Twitter.

    For my own blog, I’ve been trying to post every day since I started it, but I might take this to heart. I’m not going to make progress towards getting my business going every day, as things like this take time. Better I post when I do make progress, then posting just to say I haven’t.
    .-= Fobok´s last blog ..Business Plan Update =-.

  23. Found your points really interesting. Especially as I am a “virgin blogger”. Started blogging for the first time ever this week and my blogsite just going live. Am going to give some serious thought to the balance between posting regularly but making sure it is something worth reading. Thanks for raising it.

    By the way, I am also a newbie to your site. Saw someone else post your stuff on twitter and as your name popped up a couple of days running thought I would check it out.
    Ali

  24. Hmm, I try to blog once a day because I find, that if I don’t, I loose readers. Funny that because I would have thought that people might get annoyed with too much information. But that’s probably the reason why the number of new visitors increase because there is so much more information. Bit of a balance.
    .-= Phillip Gibb´s last blog ..Director Interviews: Steven Spielberg =-.

    • Thanks for that Phillip. Balance has been the key thing for me too.

      I miss some days, purely because I have nothing I believe to be of enough value. If I wanted to I could blog several times every day – but the quality would drop.

      Yep – Balance!

  25. Saw this post on twitter and wanted to see what it was about. I’ve been blogging daily since 2005 prior to that it was more erratic. I also take photos every day for my blog posts. Sometimes they are good sometimes they suck but I writ and continue to write to improve, gain readers and get the thoughts out of my head.
    .-= BenSpark´s last blog ..Brightest Ray of Light in my Day =-.

  26. Really interesting stuff here Jim, thanks for sharing your experience!

    I would love to write every day. The two things stopping me are:

    1) as you shared, a lack of quality content. Even with posting 2-3/week, my posts flop on occasion. If I were to write every day, the quality of my content would definitely decrease.

    2) Time. If I were a full time blogger, I would make a point to try to post every day. I’m not a full time blogger though, and if I tried to write every day, it would either negatively impact my full time obligations, or leave me with very little personal time.

    I wonder if I just did this for 2 weeks, as you did, if I would find long term benefits from it.

    It reminds me of the “guest post marathons” I see others doing too. It sounds great, but half of the posts that come out of them are crap…so is it worth it?

    David
    Community Manager, Scribnia.com
    .-= David Spinks´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  27. Hey Jim,

    great blog post. As a regular reader of your blog I’ve noticed a recent increase in frequency of your posts and had actually commented on it today at lunch as to how you’ve been a “Blogging Machine” lately!

    The findings of your test are quite interesting and leads me to believe that we may have to increase the frequency we blog.

    Keep the good advice rolling!

    Eoin.

  28. Very interesting stats Jim. And fair play to you for managing to post every day for 2 weeks. While it must have been fun, I know I would find that very difficult to sustain without coming out with some less than average posts which turn people off. You seem to have managed it well though:)
    .-= Barney Austen´s last blog ..Run your Football Club Like a Sales Team =-.

  29. Kelli Stretesky

    February 18, 2010 at 20:08

    Hi Jim!

    Your research is great! Thank you for this post. You would definitely be doing us all a favor to stick to your method of blogging only worthy content. That is not a personal statement, that goes to everyone. Weather it’s art, writing, news, or shoes….., the world is definitely over saturated with junk and clutter. Creators should not cloud the minds of consumers with such useless material. Time to clean house.

    Keep up the great blogs! :D
    Kelli

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