1, 2, or 3 Times A Day? Blogging Frequency, Content, and Quality

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Did any of you catch Zesty’s awesome presentation on Blogging 101 either at the summit or watching it online? You can check it out here if you missed it. I listened to about 4 sessions on Saturday afternoon while I worked. It was so fun!

This afternoon I am going to talk a bit about an issue that I started thinking about after listening to Zesty’s presentation.

Zesty gave some great tips on how to make our blogs successful. I am not going to reiterate everything he said, but I will just point out a few of the take home messages that I found most helpful.

1) Content is the most important aspect of your blog

Content is what keeps people coming back again and again. It’s so true isn’t it? We need to have good content above anything else. It is important to find your own niche and how you can make your blog unique.

2) Quality

Remember that every time you hit publish, you are publishing a post for the world to see. Each post you put up will be online forever (unless you remove it/edit it), so make sure that everything you publish is your best work and is the best representation of your blog’s content.

3) Make sure you have a catchy title

Zesty says your title can make or break your post. Make your title captivating and you will attract readers and make them want to click on your blog.

My thoughts:

One message that hit home for myself was the point about content and quality. As you may know, I try to adhere to the 3-times-a-day posting framework for Oh She Glows. Morning, afternoon, evening posts are the norm for me on most days, unless I am away.

With that being said, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t stressful at times. Given that the majority of my posts are writing-heavy posts (like my hot topics), the posts can take a lot of time to prepare and plan before it goes up. So some days I find myself in a rush to throw up the post so I can get back to my other work.

What is the result of rushing posts?

  • Poor content,
  • Lack of research,
  • Typos,
  • A generally ‘hurried’ or ‘rushed’ tone to the post.
  • Stress!

Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that some of these quick and rushed posts are real and reflect a real person behind the screen who is leading a busy life like the next person, but at the same time I stop and ask myself why I feel that I should adhere to this strict 3 times a day posting schedule. Is it because I think that I won’t have as many readers if I post less? Or people will think that I am not as dedicated to Oh She Glows?

I think that 3 times a day posting can work for a lot of food bloggers. They eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it naturally can work for many people, but for others maybe once or twice a day works the best. For about 3 months I was posting 3 times a day while working full time in the workplace. This meant posting before work, on my lunch break, and after work. It was insane and I can’t believe I did it that frequently! Talk about being in a rush to get a post up. Yeesh.

When I tell people about OSG, I don’t tell them I am a food blogger. I tell them I have a healthy living blog where I write about various health and food topics. Yes, I do post pictures of what I eat, but I also write about fitness, health, beauty, food issues that appeal to myself and readers. So why this need to feel like I should post 3 times a day? I know for a fact that I could write higher quality posts if I gave myself the proper amount of time.

I think of many blogs that I absolutely love that are hugely successful- Vegan Yum Yum, Smitten Kitchen, and Bakerella– and they post once or twice PER week. I know, I can hear your *gasps* from here. Their posts are not rushed, I never see a typo, and they read beautifully.

They post whenever they damn well want to post, but you can be assured that when they do post it is good, ohhhh it is good.

A while back I did a poll on OSG to gather your thoughts. I remember being a bit taken aback by a couple comments I received that went something like this:

“Angela, I don’t think you should post 3 times a day. I have a hard time keeping up and I hate missing some of your posts!”

And I thought to myself, my readers want me to post LESS frequently? Huh? I couldn’t quite understand it. But now I think I see what they were getting at.

I have also talked to other bloggers who used to adhere to the 3 times a day posting framework and they got completely stressed out about it. They said they stressed about when they couldn’t post and they started not to like blogging anymore. Once they eased off a bit they found that they had content coming out of their wazoo and they were much happier.

Much like running, when I take a step back, I come back renewed and refreshed with lots of energy to give back.

Now this isn’t to say that I am going to stop posting 3 times a day or vanish from all eternity (although some days that sounds appealing! haha), but I do think that I need to stop and reflect on things more when I do feel that pressure to ‘throw up a post just for the sake of posting’. I have such a strong research background, but I hardly ever maximize it on this blog because I feel like I never quite have enough time in the day to do actual research in scholarly journals anymore. Perhaps, if I gave myself more time, I could do this more often (as I so enjoy doing health research). Makes sense, right?

And I know I can’t be alone. I know there are a ton of you bloggers out there who feel the same pressures to post. I also know that there are many readers out there who can’t keep up with all the posts they want to read because us bloggers are just posting-so-damn-much-all-the-time-when-do-we-sleep!

Thoughts? :D

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Sheila Viers | Live Well 360 August 21, 2010

I totally went through this too. I’ve since settled into a place that feels comfortable for me, with the amount of things I’m juggling in my world. As with anythings, it’s so personal, there is no rule or certain way to blog. If you try to force it, that zaps the inspiration right out of you.

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Wei-Wei June 14, 2010

I’m almost a year late to this party, but I just have to say something: This post seriously speaks to me so much. I mean, I spend about 1-2 hours a day just reading and commenting on blogs – I think that I feel comments are obligatory, too. I don’t understand when bloggers reprimand themselves for forgetting to take a picture of what they ate and call themselves a “bad blogger”. I mean, they’re human, and if you feel a compulsion to take a picture of EVERYTHING you eat and feel bad when you don’t, I don’t know if that’s healthy.

I agree with what everyone said – honestly, sometimes I think that bloggers post too often. I live in China, so I have a different time zone; I wake up and usually I have your breakfast, lunch and dinner post to read! It’s hard to keep up.

This is such a late comment, but I just had to say something! I hate making rushed comments just because I have to, though. I like posts that make me think, and if you can’t always do that, then it’s no problem! It’s your blog, you’ve got great readership, and I think we’d love you anyway :)

Wei-Wei

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Cait (Cait's Plate) August 20, 2009

Oh how I’ve missed your blog while I was on vacation!

I TOTALLY understand your pain. I struggle with the “how-many-times-a-day-should-I-blog?” dilemma ALL the time! In the beginning I was so tense about blogging and I found I was actually making it unenjoyable for myself. I’ve relaxed much more since then and, while I try to get up a minimum of 3 a day, I don’t pressure myself to do so. I blog when I feel moved to do it and if it’s not until the next day, or two days later, I feel like that’s okay! I had to remember that I started this for ME and that’s who I need to continue to do it for.

PS – I LOVE LOVE LOVE Bakerella’s blog! Can you believe how talented she is!?

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Jen August 20, 2009

I love your blog, but I think 3 times a day is too much. Last time I went on vacation, I came back to 75 OSG posts!!! It’s really hard to catch up when I don’t look at my RSS reader several times a day :)

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Caroline August 18, 2009

Hey Ange! I don’t feel pressure to post three times a day because it would mean loading the pictures I take of breakfast and lunch as a draft in the morning before leaving for work and honestly, having to be at work at 7 AM I try to minimize my morning routine as much as possible! I do feel quite guilty when I completely forget to post (like Sunday!). I have yet to watch Zesty’s presentation though definitely plan on it ASAP. I do need to work on content though! And formatting… Hmmm. I think I see a project in the works :)

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Katrina (gluten free gidget) August 18, 2009

I haven’t posted since (gasp) Friday night. I just need the time to decompress. I sometimes feel I miss your posts because I don’t have time to read all of them. (sheepish) I do enjoy your blog, though. Thank you for your insightful posts and openness with your readers.

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Courtney's Concoctions August 18, 2009

I think we adhere to the amount we posted whenever our blog started…which is silly, really as we change just as much as our time constraints! I only started my blog a few months ago, but sometimes I pressure myself to post. Should is a dirty word!

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Oxidaisy August 18, 2009

Hey Angela! I totally agree with you. I have just started out my blog and I am still not even sure what it is about. Pretty soon I found myself not able to think of something interesting to say every day. So just when I was thinking about what to do with my blog, I listened to Zesty’s presentation. And then he said, hey it is all about quality you know! That is when it clicked in me. So now, I only post when I feel like it and when I have the time.
By the way, I really do love you posting several time a day because your blog is just so interesting! But I can totally understand and won’t mind if you post less or just want to skip a post every now and then

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Hangry Pants August 18, 2009

Hey Homey, I personally do not always post 3 times a day and I do not feel pressure to either. I never set the expectation that I would so I don’t feel like I am failing if I do not. Sometimes, I have nothing to say and therefore, I don’t post. It’s all about what works for you.

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Georgia August 17, 2009

I also feel stressed trying to “keep up” when some blogs I like to follow post multiple blogs in a day. I like the site so I try and keep up- but 6 out of 7 days I only skim b/c it’s simply too much. I’ve even unsubscribed to a few blogs, not because I wasn’t interested, but b/c it became too time consuming.

Posting once a day or even once a week is more than fine I think. You have to do what makes you happy. Otherwise, why do it?

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Ashley August 17, 2009

I am amazed by the bloggers who post multiple times a day consistently! I think you have some great content, but like other posters have said, I sometimes find myself skimming the posts when I’m behind. I read a ton of blogs and if my google reader has 100+ posts that are unread, I just don’t always have the time to read everything!!

You need to do what’s best for you, but I think that slowing down a little to focus on great content, less often would be allow you a little more flexibility and a little less stress!

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RunToFinish August 17, 2009

I was doing 3 times a day and realized that I couldn’t keep up with anyone else because I was busy only posting and it was stressful. now I try to do 1 a day, but honestly you have a much larger following and it seems like some folks really like to keep up with you throughout the day. I just can’t read that many posts

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molly August 17, 2009

great post. i use googlereader to read blogs and i will agree that when i log in and see 4968686 posts i tend to skim through a LOT of them. i find that the blogs that post the least are the ones i “savour” (because the content is less repetative.

i think as long as you set the expectation that you won’t be blogging 3x a day, readers won’t look for another post or mind.

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Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now August 17, 2009

I agree. I love love love your blog and your posts, but find it difficult to read three times a day. You do a great job, though!

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Rosey Rebecca August 17, 2009

This is such a great post!! I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I just don’t have time to post three times a day but when I DO have time, I really love it! I love posting. I also love reading blogs and it can get frustrating when I’m trying to catch up at the end of the day and one blogger has three new posts. On those days, I usually read the person’s most recent post and comment on that one and skip the earlier ones.

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Jenn (eating bender) August 17, 2009

Wow, look at this amazing post and the well written comments! This is definitely one you should add to the “top posts” list, Ange :)

I think maybe I had a little shout out in there somewhere with regard to being one of the bloggers you talked to about the posting 3 times a day to the point of exhaustion and the need to cut back – I remember our conversation on that very well! I’m glad to see that you have continued thinking about it and, while I NEVER think your posts lack quality or creativity, I do hope that you ultimately do what’s best for you, where you can produce content that you are extremely proud of and confident in.

You know I will read no matter how many times you post. And it’s so true what you say about blogs like Vegan Yum Yum and smitten kitchen. Sometimes less is more!!

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Victoria August 17, 2009

On the way home I could not decide to comment on this post or not, so I will keep this short:
The main reason I started to read OSG is because you posted throughout the day.
The content is fantastic; I benefit from reading every post! (OSG is my stress relief @ work!!)
I love the photography!
Do I want to read scholarly in-depth articles about health and fitness every single day….No.
Would I stop reading if you only posted once a day…HECK NO!!! :)

Do what feels right for you! We will all be here reading and enjoying OSG no matter what!

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Michelle (PinQue) August 17, 2009

I think in the interest of time for bloggers and readers, one well-thought, quality post is much better than several a day. I find myself not fully reading the posts and just scanning through photos when there are so many posts, and one post might lure me to read more content.

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angieinatlanta August 17, 2009

For me, blogging is a lot like my daily food intake – I have to do what feels right for me, not just what I THINK is right.

Sometimes my body wants fruits and vegetables up the wazoo and sometimes it just wants chocolate. I feed it whatever it wants when it wants it and it keeps me happy.

Likewise, I like to blog when I want to blog otherwise blogging isn’t fun anymore. Sometimes I want to blog daily, sometimes not so much. If I’m starting to dread blogging, then I’m doing something wrong. It should be an uplifting part of my life, not something that drags me down.

-angieinatlanta

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Kerry August 17, 2009

This is a great topic! Most times, when I read healthy living and food blogs I feel inspired, and love being exposed to new ideas. But sometimes I do feel inferior – I ‘only’ post once a day M-F, and ‘only’ recipes. That is what I can manage with everything else on my plate right now, and I need to learn to feel good about that.

Since you have a research background, I think it would be great if you talked about articles in academic journals. There aren’t as many blogs that reference those sources, and I would be very interested in hearing your reviews and thoughts on some of the studies related to psychology, nutrition, and fitness.

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amie August 17, 2009

i gotta tell you, bloggers posting more than once a day usually end up getting cut from my blog roll. it’s just too much! i leave my computer for a few days and i have a bazillion blogs to catch up on and the content just seems to repeat itself so much: i woke up, i ate, i ran, i ate, i ate, i went to bed, repeat. i’m definitely NOT cutting OSG though because i feel like the majority of your posts have high quality content, i know i will walk away having learned something new or having something new to reflect on. but that being said, give yourself a break girl! no one will be peeved at you for taking a break every now and then. you stress the importance of balance in our lives, don’t forget it in yours either! xox

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Rebeca August 17, 2009

Sometimes in the middle of exam week I’m stressed because once a day is killer… so I just don’t do it… I’d rather do a big recap later than just throw up so pics and have either my post or my work suffer

Honestly, sometimes I speed read your posts because if I have a busy day with my students (like the ones where no one takes a nap, ugh) and then have my own schoolwork later I can’t give them the attention that I want or that they deserve and even worse sometimes I have a million thoughts on your three posts but then I only have time to comment on one-

That being said, I can honestly say that your posts are exceptional- it’s rare that there isn’t one with something insightful,inspiring, moving, catalyzing, or all of the above in it… I’d hate to miss some wisdom because you were trying to fit it all into fewer posts

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Susan August 17, 2009

Wonderful topic! Personally, i have a hard time keeping up with those who post three times a day! If anything, it just brings up that number on my google reader and stresses me out. I’m also more likely to skip past posts when I have several to catch up on from the same blog.

Personally, I post once a day, sometimes two if I have a lot to say :P Since I don’t do a proper “food diary” I don’t need to be doing frequent posts with everything I eat. I was trying to post at the same time every night so it was at least predictable, but I found it was getting in the way, especially when my boyfriend is in town and I want to spend an evening with him! So now I just post when I can fit it in, and when I have some good stuff to share. It’s been working really well :)

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Michelle-pure2raw August 17, 2009

I am so glad I read over this post Angie. It was perfect timing because I have recently started a blog with my twin sister and between the two of us we have a hard time getting in 2 post a day. We run our own bakery (so you are an inspiration to us for that too), so we understand your stress of balancing your blog and running your company. I feel it’s really hard to not get stressed over posting but I do feel there needs to be a balance. It is a struggle for all bloggers, but the key is to keep it fun and worth reading!! The sis and I are still trying to figure out what schedule works for us.

Best wishes,
Michelle

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Meghan@traveleatlove August 17, 2009

Great topic! I only post once a day and maybe twice on weekends, but since my blog is so new and has such small numbers, I definitely feel pressured to keep adding posts so that people who expect something new will see it.
I loved Zesty’s session!

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Lainie August 17, 2009

Hi Angela! That is seriously funny you put up this topic, because it’s honestly something I’ve been thinking of all day today. Although I’m a new blogger, I find myself feeling guilty if I skip a post here or there. Blogging is SO MUCH FUN and SO REWARDING…but it’s also a ton of work and takes a ton of time. To be “my best blogging self” (as I said in my post today, LOL), I announced today I actually won’t really be posting at all on the weekends. For me, to keep my sanity – and to keep my content fresh – that’s what’s gonna work.

I think your content and blog in general is wonderful; all of your posts read beautifully and your pictures are always stunning. Additionally, you always have content that I find to be rather fascinating. That being said, would I read any less if you only updated the blog once or twice a day? Absolutely not – in fact, it may build the anticipation of your writing even more!

Wonderful topic! Take care! -Lainie

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Dana August 17, 2009

My blog is no where as good as yours, or as exciting for that matter, but I try to post once a day. I feel like if I get more into it than I will be spending my entire day on the computer and reading everyone’s blogs. I enjoy your blog, no matter how many times you decide to post!

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Beth @ CrossBorderCravings August 17, 2009

This makes a lot of sense! Aaron and I gave a lot of consideration about how often to post when we first began blogging. Because I work full-time in an office and Aaron is a full-time masters student, we decided to try once a day and see how it goes. I felt bad at first not doing more, but it’s the format that works best and I think it helps us enjoy the blog in a way we couldn’t if it became a chore.

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Courtney August 17, 2009

Wow, going back and re-reading the comments throughout the day has really given me some great insight into what blog readers want. I am currently jobless and so therefore have more time on my hands to read blogs…but I do tend to get a little annoyed when I get behind on my reading, don’t want to miss anything. I know if I had a full-time job right now I wouldn’t be able to read as many blogs as I do nor would I be on Facebook quite so much! :> I think keeping my blogging to once or twice a day and not on the weekends will continue to work for me. Leave em wanting more right?!

Thanks for the great hot topic, this has really been eye opening with my own blogging. Keep up the great work!
Courtney
Adventures in Tri-ing

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Kris August 17, 2009

Rest is soooooooo good….and an important part of living a healthy lifestyle :)

Less is more!

Go make a tea and take a break bella!

xo

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heather August 17, 2009

to be honest, i’m way more likely to stop reading someone who posts too often than someone who doesn’t post enough. three posts a day is about my limit–i usually remove people who post more than that–and even three is too many if the posts aren’t of good quality but only seem to be put out there to increase page views.

the most important thing is whether the content is worth reading. if you only post once or twice a week, but you offer readers something that’s interesting and that they can’t get elsewhere–people will stick around for it. if you post several times a day and the content is good, people will read it–but the more often you write, the less likely it is that you can maintain solid content for every single post. if you’re posting just because you feel like you should be, without purpose or quality . . . it’s no better than not posting at all.

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EatingRD August 17, 2009

I have yet to watch all the hls videos!! This is such a great topic. I honestly don’t know how you gals post 3 x/day! I try my best to get 3-4/week with everything going on and just wanting to take time for myself/family in general. I find it very stressful just trying to keep with all the blogs out there because they are soo wonderful :) I do find myself skimming at times just to get through them, or secretly commenting at work sshhh! I just feel it’s almost impossible to keep up with it all sometimes. I LOVE smitten kitchen too! Have you checked out la tartine gourmande? Amazing stories and photography! When they don’t post that often, I really look forward to them when I do get them because it makes them more special I guess? I do love your topics, and feel they are very well written even if I may not get to them all, but I think you should do what works best for you!

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Michelle Gay August 17, 2009

Ang,

I used to feel the same pressure as well. Then I thought to myself…who cares if I post 1 or 6 times a day. There’s a threshold..which I’ve been toying with ‘living in the present moment and living in the bloggin present moment’. I think that if blogging interfers, adds stress, to your life..you have to ask yourself if you’re ok with that.

The beauty of your blog and you, is that no matter how many or little you post people are going to read. Your words are genuine, honest, and interesting. It’s not about how much we get to read about..it’s that we get to read.

Relax and enjoy blogging. That’s why you started in the first place.

Live.Life.Fully ~M

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Rose August 17, 2009

I have been dealing with this issue a lot, as I have somewhat turned into a 3-times-a-day blogger without meaning to. Because quality is hugely important to me, I’ve been slowly changing some things and getting back to the basics of why I’m doing this and what I want to do with it, which is (ultimately) just good story telling :)

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gliding calm August 17, 2009

Similarly to you, I can’t imgine how I used to post 3 times a day. I look back on those posts and think they are so boring, and obviously many of them became… “because I felt as though I had to”. Of course in the beginning I was using it as a “fuel” log for skating, so it was partly that I felt that I couldn’t get too behind with pictures/posts…and let them pile up. It was helpful for me to follow and track my food intake for fitness performance on the ice…but that chapter of my blog did not last long.

I am so happy I no longer have the pressure to blog ___ times per week!!

I also feel like, though I ADORE Oh She Glows (without a doubt has always been a fav.), sometimes there used to be soo many posts that I’d miss even in a day or two, and thus I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them as much as I would have liked to…for I was rushed to catch up, etc.

Basically, one should blog for themselves.

Love you Ang!

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Darlene August 17, 2009

Oh sorry that 1. line should read 1. Blog early in the day and only once per day before 11 am.

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Sana August 17, 2009

I feel you!!! I think its amazing that you are able to do this while working. I don’t even have time to eat, I am so busy somedays. Write from your heart, and when you want to. This is YOUR blog :)

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Darlene August 17, 2009

I am in web development and marketing professional. From our research on blogs we find that a whopping 80% of people follow blogs once a day. If the blogger posts more often they either skip the missed posts or try to catch up over time. Most real blog followers follow 18 to 20 blogs daily or weekly. Most people are too busy on the weekend to follow blogs and get agitated when there are too many posts to catch up on.

The best forum of blogging from the research is
1. Blog early in the day and only once per day before.
2. Don’t bother with weekend blogging. Make Monday a weekend recap day.
3. Make your blog count. Link to research and articles about your topic.
4. Do silly or off topic blogs once in awhile. Too many of these and the readers move on as they only have so much time.
5. Keep it real but informative.
6. A great number of very successful blogs run a day behind the blogger. They will do blogs up in advance that are more technical or need research and will keep a data base of preformatted blogs to put up when they decide that is the topic they want to discuss that day.

These research results are taken over a 4 year span. The best blogging ways are a list of features from blogs that have high read counts for at least 3 years with special attention to blogs that have kept the same readers for 3 or more years.

I know this is general information but I think it makes a great forum to follow for your blogging.

Having a successful blog is all about content, not the amount of times you blog in a day

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Alex August 17, 2009

Angela,

I think once a day would be plenty. I tend to check your blog every morning (and sometimes again in the afternoons if work is slow) and that’s it. I rarely check on weekends because I’m usually too busy, or I forget. Sometimes I feel like “Ack, there are three (or more) posts to catch up on!” and I often really wonder how you do it without compromising your other priorities.

I have a blog too and I post once, maybe twice a week. What I write about tends to have a lot of thought and research put into it, and it usually takes me a couple of days to polish and revise every post. My readership isn’t huge, but I feel really proud about what I put out there. Some of my favourite bloggers only post once a week or so and they still keep my consistent interest and loyalty.

I REALLY love your posts (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You are one of the main sources of inspirations for ME to start blogging!), but I especially love the ones that seem like you spent more time on them. My favourites are always hot topics, for that reason.

Maybe your reader count will go down if you stop blogging 3x a day, but is that really what matters? I think once a day is plenty to capture your loyal readers (and any newcomers) to come back to you regularly for your insight, positive attitude, and heartfelt encouragemnt to improve our lifestyles too…Just don’t forget about yourself!

I’ll take quality over quantity any day! The same is true for my tastes in chocolate ;)

You’re doing a great thing, and you’re reaching a lot of people, but remember to keep your cup (or GM shaker as it were) full before you start sharing with your readers. It’s truly better for all of us :)

A loyal fan!
Alex

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