If you take time out to analyse what the successful blogs and bloggers are doing online, one thing that will stand out is the various blog posting rhythms that you will find.
And yes, the posting rhythm actually means something – it’s a clear indication of how the blog relates to its audience. If you can understand what different posting rhythms accomplish, you can match the right posting frequency with your blog objectives and write accordingly.
The 4 Blogging Rhythms
There are 4 main rhythms / posting frequencies on blogs (you might find more – in that case let me know in the comments):
- Morning Ritual
- Heavy Blogging
- Light Blogging
- No Rhythm
The Morning Ritual
1 post a day, with special updates if necessary. The easiest blogging frequency to adjust to. Your readers know exactly what to expect and the format allows you to pack a lot of meat into one article or keep it light depending on your mood. For bloggers looking to build their personal brand, this is probably the best option.
It’s tough to take this route at the start, but there are ways to make it work. Great for ‘personality’ bloggers – entertainers and people who enjoy the limelight would fit perfectly into this mould.
Positive: Over time you can build a daily ritual where your blog becomes a watering hole and your readers use the daily post to discuss different topics.
Negative: Limiting if you stick only to one post a day (what if you want to talk about more things?) but a) sometimes less is more and b) there are ways to make it work (add more through updates to the post or in the comments, or even start a forum).
Several (2+) posts a day, either following several columns or just putting out regular news updates. Usually have a daily roundup as well.
Easiest way to start a blog (plus the frequent posting gives you good leverage in search engines), but it might be hard to maintain in the long run. Could require you to hire a blogger / get readers to submit content down the line.
Positions your blog as a niche authority – if your angle is to build yourself as the primary source of news in a crowded niche, this is the best way to do it.
Positive: A proven and effective strategy to the top of any niche. Establishes your blog as a reliable source of information / news and if you can keep up the quality and frequency, builds authority fairly quickly.
Negative: Takes a lot of effort, especially in the long run, and will cost you if you go ahead and hire bloggers. The ideal scenario would be to make your blog big enough so that people contribute their freely in order to build their brand, but that’s an exception.
There’s a real danger of compromising quality for quantity, which is why you should have a clear plan for bringing in help or managing it yourself.
Average of 2-3 posts a week (maybe 4-5, maybe just 1). You typically see this trend in ‘hobbyist’ bloggers or the those who are very experienced and successful (two opposite ends of the spectrum).
Positive: No daily stress of posting – gives you time to write meaty posts. There is great potential in this approach to launch a successful blog and carve your own niche because of the time you have to create flagship content and pure linkbait.
Negative: Your content has to be exceptionally good, and you need to be good at promoting it. In other words, it’s tough to make this work, but you’re an experienced blogger (or your content is world-class), this is a strategy that can work well.
Varied posting frequency – sometimes no posts for a couple of days, sometimes 4-5 posts a day.
I wouldn’t recommend this approach although this is how most blogs start out – and this what most of them end up doing as well. The lack of structure leaves out the possibility of establishing a special relationship with your readers, and it may hinder your blog’s success if you feel it’s OK to skip blogging for a few days if you don’t feel like it.
However, many blogs using this method are successful – primarily on the strength of their content, marketing and community-building efforts around their blogs.
Positive: You’re free to set your timings and structure your blogging day accordingly.
Negative: There’s no ‘clear’ negative here – just that at this point you don’t get the benefits of the first two methods nor the time of the third method, so you have to get your community building and quality content ‘just right’.
Example: Soccerlens – I have to admit, I used to suffer from this although in recent months I’ve made a concerted effort to change things around and go in a specific direction.
What’s your blogging rhythm?
Overall, it’s a good idea to set your posting frequency before you start your blog and stick to it unless there is a drastic change in plans. If you plan to do a daily column, setting a pattern and knowing what you will cover and more importantly, not cover is recommended. If you’re following the ‘heavy blogging’ routine, make sure you can sustain it either by yourself or by hiring someone else.
And while you’re planning your blogging rhythm, you might want to link this with ‘blog focus’ and decide in advance what you will talk about and not talk about on your blog.
So, what is your blogging rhythm?