computer“The Experts” used to say that posting every day was the best way to engage readers and increase your following. But at the last conference I attended, Jason Brick told us that twice a week was more than sufficient. And according to John Locke (no, not the philosopher, and definitely not that weird character on “Lost.” This guy) in these fast and furious days of the 30 second news cycle, you needn’t post more than maybe once a month, or less. As both of these writers are well into the “successful” category in a highly competitive field, I think they might be worth listening to, and my own experience confirms my suspicion.

Despite following a fairly large number of blogs, I don’t stop in at every one of them every day. No matter how much I might like to, I just don’t have the time and I don’t think I’m alone in that shortage. So, when I know that I’ll have another chance tomorrow, I procrastinate. I think, “Oh, I’ll catch them next time.” Two things halt this decision making process and make me click the “read more” button. One, if the opening paragraph is pertinent to something I’m doing or thinking about right then, I’m likely to click over. And two, if I haven’t seen a post from that blog in awhile, the “read more” button gains a stronger attraction. It’s like having an old friend who you haven’t seen in years show up at your door. What do you do? You drop everything and fix a pot of coffee. You bring out the cookies. Why? Because the minute you see their face you remember how much you like them and are grateful for the the rare opportunity to hear from them, especially if you know they always have something interesting to say.

I don’t want to be the newscaster spouting recycled information that his station just aired for the third time thirty minutes ago. I want to provide fresh, interesting perspectives that are useful to my readers every time they view a post. That probably means narrowing my scope and making fewer posts, but I’m hoping it will mean better ones as well.

How about you? What makes you click on the blog posts in your inbox? If you are a blogger, how often do you post and why?

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17 thoughts on “Absence Makes the Heart…

  1. Oh man did I need this post Cheri. I’ve come back to my blog fast and furious (mainly because I don’t have nearly as much writing in my job over the summer months and I have more time for book reviews). I’m also more actively looking to reconnect, but…
    I need to figure out a more realistic schedule once my schedule picks up.
    I would rather write content that engages a reader even if it means fewer posts. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. lol, happy to help! I know what you mean. Occasionally I feel like I’m being run over by my schedule and that gets tiring very fast. It seems unlikely that I will be able to bring good work to the table if I’m pulled in too many different directions. If I’m spread too thin, everything I do suffers.

  2. Personally, I feel that if I don’t post every day? I would lose the ability to write the things I do, my poems or my thoughts. It would just feel weird I guess?

    1. Hey Andy! I know a lot of people who post several times a week and it seems to work well for them. Especially when it is their main writing venue. I guess it depends on the goals and purpose of the blog? I think you are right. Some blogs need posts every day to engage readers, but perhaps others can benefit more from a less frequent schedule.

      1. True, I’ve come across blogs that pop up on my reader way too often (Like 4 or 5 times within a few short hours) those so could benefit from posting at a lesser frequency for sure :O

      2. lol, I know, right? I just can’t keep up with those. I generally find that bloggers who do that have an agenda that is supported by multiple postings, but I don’t know how well it works. If I’m at all typical, most of those posts get deleted without being read, just because I don’t have time. But there are some I save and then I visit several posts at once. Poetry blogs I do that with a lot.

      3. That’s just it, so many blogs that aren’t about poetry show up far too often and it’s often it’s just random stuff, if those have agenda as you say, I’ve sure yet to discover what it is 🙂

  3. I post once a month so that visitors to my website get the feel that it’s “fresh” and that my presence is just around the corner. I hate going to a website of an author I like and realizing that they haven’t updated in months. I think: well, if THEY’RE too busy to come here, why should I? I’ve also discovered that, for me, more than once a month is unnecessary. (I used to post three times a week.) Plus, it means when I post, I have something to say. The bloggers I tend to read are the ones I count on for good, unrecycled content (Russell Blake, for example) mostly having to do with indie publishing and title promotion. Good post, Cheri!

  4. I agree, Cheri, and this has been my experience too!

    Frankly, of the many blogs I subscribe to, I have set most of them not to deliver to my inbox at all, knowing I can find them in my reader if I have time to catch up with them. For the ones I consider very pertinent or dear friends, I set for weekly delivery.

    I appreciate your sharing these findings – it also reassures me that it’s okay that I don’t post as often as I used to. 🙂

  5. Cheri, I post when I feel the motivation or when I have something to say, which is usually 2-4 times a month. Having said that, I love going to certain blogs that post three or more times a week just to see what’s going on there. I visit a lot of self-sufficiency blogs. Those ladies always have interesting posts with pertinent info that I learn from.

    *Tracie

  6. I love this post! It really makes me thankful to know that some people believe that less is more. I think that posting once a week (but writing all the time) improves a writer’s ability rather than throwing every scrap of paper at your audience.

    1. I agree. This month I’m doing a blog tour with 14 other writers, so I have a couple of posts set up for each week. But from there on out, I probably won’t post more than 2-3 times per month. I think its better to put out good work, than to put out lots of work that one hasn’t had time to make good.

  7. Sorry for the late reply… 😛
    I try to post once a week, but lately, I’ve been confronted to those very same questions: “Does absence really make the heart? How often should I post to best attract (and retain!) readers?” Your post does make a point: most of us lack time in the leisure/hobby sphere of our lives. Perhaps shorter, yet more frequent posts are best? I have this fear that, if I post only once a month, I’ll have to come up with some real pertinent stuff to say; I cannot just vent! Also, I know that if I stick to the monthly thing, I’ll write longer-than-long posts… I tend to write a lot on a normal basis and have a lot to say (rarely brilliant, mind you :P) so I guess, for me, once a week is a nice pace.
    But I think the real answer is that there is no universal answer to these questions. To each his/her own, right? ^_^

    1. I think everyone’s blog style is different and thats a good thing. There are guidelines – some say that 300-500 words per post is the max, others suggest longer or shorter posts. I think you have to find the formula that works for you and allows you to be your creative best. That includes frequency, length and content type. Your point about trying to have something relevant to say is a good one. But again, if its relevant to you, its probably relevant to your readers. I think it comes down to this: Follow your bliss and you won’t be sorry.

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