I decided to post once a week. I wanted to publish five days a week, but that feels too stressful and who would read something like that every day anyway? Seth Godin pulls it off, but Seth is Seth and he's been practicing writing much longer than me. I'm not comfortable pressing publish every day. Yet.
Sean McCabe, who offers a course on building a daily writing habit, teaches that with writing like walking you have to crawl before you can walk and you have to walk before you can run.
Posting weekly like is a nice morning walk. Daily feels more like running and I'm not in that kind of writing shape yet.
How often you write versus how often to post
Writing every day is amazing. Building a content list makes it easier to do and sitting down each morning to write has led to a big word count and lots of blogs I can publish when the time is right.
But my writing isn't usually ready to publish until I've had a chance to re-read it and edit it. The Weidert Group, a leading Inbound marketing agency specializing in working with businesses in complex industries (think large-scale manufacturing), favors quality over quantity:
A daily or weekly blog frequency is only going to help you increase your traffic if the content is unique, thoughtful, and helpful to your readers. When creating any type of content it's always better to follow the rule of quality over quantity, as long as you're not posting only one blog article per month.
Quality is the goal, but Weidert notes that posting too little isn't going to cut it. For big businesses that can invest in quality and quantity, the decision is easy. Invest in more quality content. For smaller teams or the solo-prenuers, publishing quality articles as often as possible is likely the best bet for getting more readers.
I publish once a week to ease the pressure, to make sure blogging fits into my schedule, and to build a consistency muscle. You may find it easier to publish more often. If you do, go for it. More posts means more traffic. Just remember that quality comes first.
Planning for quality and quantity
This post is one in a series on building a daily writing habit. Writing every day has given me 100,000 or more words that I could publish. But all of it needs to be edited.
When deciding how often to post, factor in how to edit and focus on quality. I batch writing and editing on different days. Publishing once a week gives me the time to write and edit.
Here are some thoughts on finding and setting your posting frequency.
Pick your posting day
Pick a day and time to post each week. For me, it’s Wednesdays at 8am AEST. Whatever you decide, schedule all of your posts to publish on that day and time.
Sure it's nice to think people will sit and wait for my next post to publish, but this is actually more about building my own habit of publishing on time. Consistently showing up is what we're after here.
Automate your posts
By routinely publish on the same day and time you can automate a lot of your posting and sharing tasks.
Start with one simple automation: scheduling your post to go live. Any blogging tool will let you schedule a publication date and time.
I like doing promotion “by hand" and posting to LinkedIn manually because direct posts (i.e.: the ones I publish myself as opposed to using Buffer, for example) seem to get more reach and engagement. The jury is out on this, but my unscientific experience so far says direct posting works.
Automate as much as feels right to you.
If you want to publish with a social media scheduling tool, here are a few that I’ve used and why I like them:
Buffer - simple and inexpensive if you want to upgrade from the free plan. Buffer makes it easy to build a routine posting schedule.
Edgar - Meetedgar.com helps you create multiple versions of your social posts so you never have a "dry" feed. I especially like this feature because social posts reach only a small part of your audience and there’s nothing wrong with re-sharing good content to get more eyeballs on it.
Google Calendar - yup, this one is still very manual. But I find that if I schedule posts on my calendar I’ll take the time to write them better and, again, posting directly to a platform gets more reach.
Sticking with manual posting for now
There’s evidence social platforms reward you for being on their in person. I also feel that if you're going to share things for other humans, you might as well be human about it and share it yourself. Again, that's my feeling for now.
Logging on to LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram helps build another habit of engaging with the people who read what you write. Show up in person and see what happens. The more you’re around your audience, the more you’ll understand what motivates them and what they want from you. And the more you’re around them, the better you’ll understand their language, which leads to more engaging content.
Pick a schedule and stick with it
Quality content is the number one priority when building a blog. I think that's pretty clear. But how often you publish is a close second.
More posts means more traffic. More traffic means more potential influence, leads, authority, and other good things for a brand. Weidert's post is about how many posts it takes to grow traffic and while they don't publish a magic number, they suggest aiming to publish at least 55 pieces of quality content. The more often you can post, the faster you get there and the faster you can expect results.
Whether it's daily, weekly or monthly, hit me up on LinkedIn and share your posting routines.