Newbie Blogger Initiative 2016 - How Often Should You Blog?
“How often should I blog?” is a common question new bloggers ask. It's a very simple enquiry but the answer is quite the opposite. There are multiple factors to consider many of which are unique to the blogger trying to determine a writing schedule. Ultimately there’s no one definitive answer. Bloggers have different aims and interests as well as differing opportunities to produce content. However, despite the complexity of the question, I think it’s important for bloggers to establish a practical publishing schedule and stick to it.
What type of blog do you write?
The nature of your blog may well determine the amount of content generated. If you are in any way reporting on the news or at least aggregating press releases, then there's a need to blog daily. Furthermore news, controversies and dramas usually have a specific lifespan. Therefore if you write about something a week too late then there's a good chance that you'll have missed the boat. In some instances, you may want to respond to a story immediately, which raises the question of writing several times a day. This is very demanding and therefore impractical for many bloggers, especially those who are trying to maintain a healthy work, family and lifestyle balance.
If you write game specific guides then your timetable may well be driven by the game developers. Reviews of specific titles also need to be prompt if they wish to capitalise on the interest associated around launch dates. For bloggers focusing on their own personal gaming experiences, a far more flexible timetable is available. This can be done weekly, fortnightly or even monthly. It affords the writer time to plan and collate their assets and fine tune their material. Podcasting or video content also benefit from an organised schedule. These mediums often take longer to plan and produce so organisation is paramount.
How much time do you have?
This is one of the most important factors to consider with regard to your blog. Exactly how much spare time do you have to dedicate to your writing? My domestic and work situation affords me far more time than most people, so for the present I have elected to blog on a daily basis. However this can be hard at times as the creative urges ebb and flow. However you'll find this happens regardless if you're blogging daily or monthly. Therefore planning ahead and keeping material in reserve can be beneficial. Some writers work well with deadlines so setting yourself targets or allotting specific times to write can keep you focused and producing content.
As a blogger you have to take a long hard look at your available leisure time and be realistic about how much of that you can dedicate to your writing. You can either use the time you have to do specific things well, or over extend yourself and fail across a range of projects. One of the hardest lessons we have to learn in life is that we cannot do everything, although I still regularly see people striving to do so. One well written blog post a month will bring people back rather than a dozen, rushed or poorly conceived articles. Blogging is also not a competition and you do not have to match your peers with regard to producing content. Just do what is right for you.
Once you have established how often you can write it is important to be consistent. If your readership knows that new content will regularly appear then they have a reason to comeback. If you blog in a haphazard fashion following no schedule then you'll find that traffic will vanish. Readers are fickle creatures who crave and consume content voraciously. If you aren't providing it then there are plenty of other sites that will.
Now we're all human (well -pretty much most of us) so naturally real life events can come along that will interrupt your writing schedule. It never does any harm to inform your readers of these. If you are taking a week's vacation the simply post a short note to that effect. Then people will not think you've abandoned your blog. I was recently introduced to the concept of "podfading", where a podcast becomes so irregular, that the listeners slowly drop off and assume the worse. Rather than take a break, or resume with a viable schedule, the show simply fades into oblivion. This is also relevant to blogs and happens a lot. I hate to say it but a percentage of the new blogs that have sprung up around the Newbie Blogger Initiative will fall by the wayside.
The benefits of an organised schedule.
As a writer a well organised schedule will allow you to manage the creation of content for your site and plan each posts. This will hopefully make the act of writing less stressful and your material more engaging. If your readers know that posts will be forthcoming then they'll continue to comeback. Continuously adding new content is also good for your Google ranking if you have aspirations in that direction.
Blogging is supposed to be a fun activity among other things and finding the right posting pattern and publishing schedule will greatly enhance that. Ultimately all you have to do is be honest with yourself and decide on what you can realistically do with the time you have. It can be hard when you wish to do more but real life doesn't allow for it. However contentment lies in embracing what can be done. It's very much a case of cut your coat according to your cloth.