In today’s post (and podcast), we’re going to analyze how to nail down the perfect blog post schedule for your blog…and we’ll take a look at how the pros post!
Tell me this…
What’s the most difficult part about blogging?
No matter your answer, the entire blogging process can be feel super overwhelming some days…and then seem like the dream-life the next day.
If you want consistent blog growth (and I know you do), there is a simple (but not easy) task you need to complete.
You need to nail down the perfect blog post schedule.
- Post and promote too frequently, and you could burn yourself out (and annoy your email subscribers by blowing up their inboxes)
- Post and promote too infrequently, and your traffic could drop faster than Will Ferrell’s pants.
Working out a proper blogging schedule is going to save you headaches and result in a consistent flow of traffic and followers.
3 key points for nailing your blog post schedule
We’re going to dive into…
- Applying Silicon Valley startup-world thinking to your blog
- How often are other bloggers posting?
- 3 “actionable” (I kinda hate that word) tips for finding the perfect schedule
Here’s the podcast episode:
or listen on \\ iTunes \\ Sticher
Applying Silicon Valley thinking to quickly scale your blog growth
In my interview w/ Dayne Shuda (releasing soon), he brought up a HUGE point: feedback loops.
- “Fail fast, fail often!”
- “If you’re not embarrassed by the 1st version of your product, you’ve launched too late”
- “Move fast and break things.”
Any entrepreneur worth her weight has heard these time and time again.
The purpose of these quotes/mindsets is to encourage fast growth and scale by shortening feedback loops and iterating as fast as possible.
Here’s the process:
- Ship product as fast as possible
- Collect feedback, criticism, and data as fast as possible.
- Re-shape product, pivot, iterate
And here’s how that works for blogging:
- Produce content
- Collect feedback and analyze performance (page views, shares, comments, newsletter unsubs, etc)
- Re-shape and optimize content
So Dayne’s argument was “the more frequent you publish content, the faster you can move through this feedback loop and get to the A+++++++++ content your audience really craves.
If it takes you 100 blog posts to really nail down the content your audience wants, you could produce
- 1 post a week and reach that point in 2 years, or
- 3 posts a week and reach that point in 8 months.
- 7 post a week and reach that point in 3 months.
There’s just one problem…
The speed of producing content can be a direct trade-off w/ quality.
If you spent an equal amount of time producing 4 posts a month vs 15…which posts are likely to be better quality? And which posts would you potentially have more time to spend promoting?
There’s no correct answer, but I DID want to throw you this idea of quick feedback loops.
Keep it in mind as we move forward.
How often are the pros posting content?
Here’s a blogging pro tip that 99% of “successful” bloggers have utilized: copy what’s already working.
Look to those bloggers above you on the food chain, and analyze what they’re doing (preferably those within your own niche!)
Let’s start with the high frequency posters, and gradually work our way down to low-frequency.
Tim Schmoyer (YouTube)
Schedule: 10-14 times a week. This is what he calls “spray and pray!” The idea is to produce a TON of content, and see what performs well (or goes viral), then you can reverse-engineer those successes later on.
Niche: Video Marketing
Takeaway: posting schedule and frequency depend highly on your medium (video/podcast/blog)
Schedule: 7 days a week for YEARS. Don’t try this at home. Seth packs more info and insight in 1 sentence than anyone else on the internet. He also doesn’t try to “optimize” at all…but has instead listened to what his audience wants.
Nice: Marketing (but I’d say self-improvement)
Takeaway: Know what your audience wants.
J Money (Budgets are Sexy)
Schedule: 4-7 times a week, but he couldn’t care less about “optimization.” J blogs how he sees fit, produces good content, and let’s the rest take care of itself.
Niche: Personal Finance
Takeaway: Blog how YOU want to, and again…see what’s working in your niche…
Rosemarie Groner (Busy Budgeter)
note: Check out my interview w/ her here. She was BRILLIANT.
Schedule: 3.5 times a week. Busy Budgeter covers a wide array of frugalness, budgeting, and mom-lifestyle topics. Rosemarie also has a small team now, which is part of the reason she’s able to produce consistent, high-quality content several times a week.
Niche: Personal Finance
Takeaway: Leverage ghost bloggers or actual staff…if ya got the dough.
Bobby Hoyt (Millennial Money Man)
note: interviewed Bobby too.
Schedule: 3 times a week like clockwork, BUT 1 of those posts each week is a guest post! This saves him tons of time…but it does require some guest post request inbound…
Niche: Personal Finance
Takeaway: You can leverage guest content to maintain higher frequencies!
Ms Adventure Rich
Schedule: 3 times a week. She’s relatively new to the blogging game, and she revealed how important it is to publish more often when you first begin. You need to build trust as quick as possible, remind people how consistent you are, and also build up a solid portfoilo.
Niche: Personal Finance
Takeaway: You might want to publish more frequently in the first several months of blogging. This will build up a nice “portfolio” of posts and help you get into the swing of content production.
Bryan Harris (VideoFruit.com)
Schedule: 3-4 times a month. Bryan’s posts are LONG, and filled w/ real examples and data from his own entrepreneur ventures. Though this is incredibly powerful, it does take a lot longer than simple round-up posts.
Niche: Digital Marketing (blogging, hustling, email subs)
Takeaway: Have damn compelling content, and use PERSONAL examples/data for illustration (it serves him well even though it takes longer)
Sarah Peterson (Unsettle and Sumo.com)
Schedule: 2-4 times a month. Unsettle is the best example of quality content, regardless of blog post schedule. Her audience is super loyal, and they’d probably read every piece of content at 25/week too. She’s a phenomenal writer.
Niche: Self-improvement and digital marketing (blogging, writing)
Takeaway: Create a strong brand w/ loyal followers, and they’ll stick around despite posting frequency.
Brian Dean (Backlinko)
Schedule: RARELY: He has roughly 40 posts total spread over his entire blog, and each post is page 1 of Google. As one of the top influencers of SEO, it shouldn’t be surprising why. He crafts A++++ content and spends the rest of the month promoting it.
Niche: Digital Marketing (SEO)
Takeaway: Create the world’s top content on a given niche, and who the hell cares what your blog post schedule is like.
3 “actionable” tips for optimizing a posting schedule for growth.
1 – Switch to a consistent schedule. Today
Consistency is the #1 predictor of long-term blogging success (Click to Tweet!)
You don’t want to send 7 emails in one week linking to 18 pieces of content…and then go silent for 3 months. It confuses people, and you’ll have massive unsubscribers.
(as if you didn’t sending 7 emails in one week already)
2 – Research the mega-influencers in your niche, and double-check their schedule
Note: I didn’t say “copy exactly what the top influencer is doing.”
I said “research” and “double-check.”
The idea is to get a general sense of what your target audience wants, and hopefully the well-established influencers have already figured that out.
Take an average of 20 other bloggers in your niche, if you want to.
3 (optional) – Experiment for 1-2 months at a time on your own blog
For those of you fully committed to full-time blogging, and a long-term strategy for growth…here’s what I’d recommend:
- Grab Google Analytics
- Choose a metric
- Experiment in 1-3 month cycles.
#1 should be simple, and you’re probably already staring at your GA stats, but you SHOULD pick a few key metrics to track over your experiments.
Here are a few:
- Page views
- Tracking views is ok…but should NEVER be considered on it’s own merit. It’s one of those tricky stats that needs to be used in conjunction w/ other data.
- Same as page views above.
- This is my top recommendation, as it’s a great indicator to content quality, and you need to make sure you’re never upsetting content quality at the cost of frequency.
- I’d ignore everything except email subscribers. Pro Tip: Increase and decrease the rate at which you email your list. You might have a few more unsubscribes during the experimenting, but you’ll learn way more about your audience and how often they enjoy being contacted.
- Any other cool blog metrics you think would be great for experimenting with your blog post schedule? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Warning: You can’t do it one week
Like I said earlier, this would be a long-term experiment, and one only the nerdiest of nerdy blog nuts would care to experiment with.
I recommend choosing a consistent blog post schedule and committing 3 months. The longer the better, in fact.
Pro Tip: When you do decide to switch things up in your content production…it needs to be a drastic one. You want to be able to say “YES this worked, or NO this didn’t work.”
Going from 6 to 7 posts a month isn’t going to show you anything.
Finally, the easy way to set a blog post schedule
Quite frankly, I’d ignore the optional point above, and focus on this:
- Commit to a consistent posting frequency
- Try not to sacrifice quality
- Analyze 15 influencers in your niche, find the average, and strive for that.
You can’t go wrong w/ this approach.
How about you? How often do you post content (and what type of content do you produce?)
Comment below and chime in!
Great tips. Wish I could write more quickly and produce 3 to 4 quality articles a week. Haven’t found my groove yet and I will not sacrifice quality over quantity. Thanks!
You and me both :/
I love writing and publishing 2 posts a week on Blogging From Paradise – Tuesday and Friday – but also publish 2 guest posts daily to the Huffington Post and Blogging Tips. I got my volume covered but on different blogs Pete 😉 I have found that consistently publishing at least 3 posts weekly since 2014, save a stretch of 1 weekly post for a few months, helped me find a schedule I could work and my readers loved. It really is about: am I posting from a place of fear (not enough frequency? not enough traffic? not enough profits?) or from a place of peace, calm and clarity?
When you publish posts with clarity – few humans do – you can succeed with any schedule, although most bloggers only feel clear on publishing meatier posts with less frequency. Excellent post 🙂
Thanks for the info, Pete. I’m enjoying your posts. As a new blogger, I find it very useful.
FYI: “Consistency is the #1 predictor of long-term blogging success (asdf add tweetable link)” I won’t be offended if you delete this from the comment 🙂
haha! Guess my “move fast and break things” strategy isn’t always the best.
Thanks a TON for pointing than out Dylan, and for the kind words 🙂 🙂
This is a lovely podcast. I do agree, copying influencers is not good and coming up with goals and a time period you are going to experiment on a particular strategy before analyzing if it did work for or not is the best way to find out what works for you or doesn’t.
Another thing I have found to assist greatly in improving the quality of what you write is by practicing. You do not always have to publish on your own blog or guest post. You can practice on other social platforms and forums
Totally agreeing with the practicing comment! Thanks for reading Muthoni! 🙂
Good post. As a new blogger I think I found a new blogging bible in form of your blog 😀 I did what you said about analyzing other bloggers frequencies and picked to aim for two posts a week, but I will be happy with only one if forcing to produce two reduces quality. Posting more frequently on the start is a great advice, but I think it is also important to stick to reality and accept that when you do this on the side and have other circumstances around which leave you with limited time then you should do your best even if thats only one post a week. Anyway, thanks for the tips, keep up the good work.
Couldn’t agree more. Fitness folks say “the best diet is the one you’ll stick to.” Same thing here: “The best blog schedule is the one you’ll stick to.”
Thanks for reading HCF, and I appreciate the kind words!
Some of my favorite blogs were posting every M, W, and F. There was less content to consume on the “off” days.
I decided to start publishing my content on Tues, Thurs, Sunday. Seems to have worked.
Oooooo I love this approach. Once had someone tell me the same about the weekend.
Very few publish on weekends, so they were hoping to capitalize on that.
Super helpful to the point. Made an entire page of notes- awesome!
Beginning: hard to focus on your words as the music went so long. Was hard to concentrate. Had to go back several times to hear what you were saying. (May have been a bit easier if the music hadn’t had words)
My editing skills have gotten better since then 🙂