How Often Should You Blog?

istock_000000977764mediumRecently my Aunt Jane started a business. She just launched her website and has wisely included a blog to position and promote her expertise and to help her search engine optimization. As she composed her first post, she sent me an email asking me the seemingly simple question — how often should you blog?

The short answer (read: cop-out) is that I’m not sure if there is an answer. Blogs, like all forms of media, are different and have varying relationships with their respective audiences. And often that relationship changes or evolves over time. Remember when people waited for the newspaper to find out what was going on? Now any real newshound gets immediate gratification from cable news and the internet. You need to know your audience (see Google Analytics) and establish a plan for conversing with them.

In place of a concrete answer, I sent my aunt the following blogging guidelines that I go by …

  • Don’t blog too little …
  • Don’t blog too much (it can happen).
  • Set a schedule that works for you. If you perceive blogging as a chore, your posts won’t be as good and eventually you’ll stop.
  • To elaborate further, you need to blog enough so you build habits both in your writing and your synthesizing of info for new blog topics. I’ve done it enough now that when I see something out in the world I am quickly able to recognize that it might make a good  post and I write it down in my little Moleskine I keep in my back pocket.
  • Once you find what works for you personally, you need to keep blogging so  your readers know that they need to stay up to date and hopefully feel the need to check back on your site regularly. Ultimately that’s why we made our blog our homepage on our new website.
  • Don’t force it. If you feel guilty — as though you must post something now — don’t stress about it. You’ll only make it worse and you’ll end up firing off a sub-par post.
  • So what do I do? Right now I am on a kick where I blog about every other day. Not always on that exact schedule. A few weeks ago on a particularly creative Saturday I wrote 4 posts and saved them up to dole out over the next few weeks.
  • What would I recommend to beginning bloggers? Try to do at least one a week. Then, once you feel comfortable with that, scale it up to 2 a week and so on. But more than anything I would follow the rules above and make sure you don’t get burned out.

This is very much a work-in-progress but that’s another reason why blogging is great. I can post this and get the conversation started. How often do you blog? Do you have post frequency rules that you’d like to share?