The following is part of Frugal Dad’s weekly series, “So You Want to Be a Blogger?” which chronicles the development and optimization of a blog’s lifecycle.
Now that you have identified a topic to write about, and an audience to write to, it is time to determine how often you will post updates to your blog. Some of this advice is topic-specific in that certain themes tend to take longer to research, write and edit. Others topics, such as household tips or parenting blogs, can be drafted and published in minutes. It is not uncommon for writers in these niches to publish several times a day. Personal finance blogging, like almost any topic, can be as detailed or generalized as you want to make it. I tend to publish a combination of very personal experiences (see How to Build a Square Foot Garden) to very broad, high-level posts (see Resisting Financial Peer Pressure). Both take time to write and edit, but the latter, high-level category tends to require much more research time.
For the first fifty posts or so, try to write something every day. Your audience is likely still quite small, and posting a simple “I’m not feeling well today, but will be back with another exciting post tomorrow” message adds to the closeness readers feel with you, the blog’s owner. Unless you publish a set schedule there is no reason to feel added stress to put out thought-provoking material every single day. I’ve used days when I was under the weather, or extremely busy in my full time job, to post a link roundup showcasing the outstanding work produced by fellow bloggers. To make this type of post easier to crank out on short notice, I keep a running draft article to accumulate links to favorite posts found around the web. When the time comes for a “roundup” edition the only thing left to do is write a short intro, hunt down any required graphics, and publish.
Let your work soak a while to let things really sink in. A daily posting schedule pushes material off your front page and into the archives rather quickly. This is not a big problem if your new material frequently reaches back to reference older posts. However, if you are like me, you tend to write about something and move on (this is an area I’m trying to improve upon). By spacing articles out a day or two you increase the chances of someone stumbling upon your latest work. In fact, some pro bloggers report moving to an every-other-day posting schedule actually increased readership. I guess in this case, less really is more.
Another related benefit of moving to a slower posting schedule is that each post gets more comments, increasing opportunities to interact with your readers, and for readers to interact with each other. This interaction amongst readers adds a lot to a blog and often becomes just as entertaining to read as the original post.
After your first fifty posts determine a schedule that works for you, considering your niche, your readers, and your offline schedule (jobs, family, etc.). It is not an absolute requirement to share that schedule with your readers, but doing so can build anticipation. The Wisdom Journal recently provided a new blogging schedule to its readers, and it serves as a great example should you decide to do something similar. Whatever you decide, lean slightly towards a schedule that emphasizes quality over quantity. Even if that requires a slower schedule, your readers will appreciate the quality content delivered and come back for more.
Ready to start your own blog? I host my blogs with HostGator–a great host with awesome support!