At my brother’s 40th birthday party last month my father came up to me and said I was looking podgy, just like my great aunt Margaret. Well, that raised my ire (if not my blood pressure), partly because my great aunt was morbidly obese and a hypochondriac, and partly because it was true (ideally I should lose three stone or 42 pounds).
So since then I have been down the gym every week day (can’t quite manage the weekend), pounding away on the treadmill in the hope of losing a bit of weight, the spectre of my terrifying relative looming up to goad me to keep wobbling on…
Treadmills are great places to think, and I wondered if all this consistent activity was doing any good (though the scales said otherwise). With my brain switched into blog mode, I remembered I’d recently read that blogs become more successful the more you post. This is obviously true, as all this new material constantly being churned out is like a continuous buffet for the search engine spiders, who feast on this content before returning it to be indexed.
Prolific bloggers post several times a day. Woah, why? I hear you ask. Well, if your blog’s purpose is to make money through the advertising and affiliate links it contains, this can only be achieved through a constant flow of traffic, and continuous indexing of your posts, combined with your audiences subscribing to RSS feeds and newsreaders, traffic alert systems and social media scrutinising, will bring in the necessary quota of readers to make your financial ventures successful.
But what is the optimum minimum? Three times a week – quite a respectable and achievable goal. I manage this for my boss’s blog, but not my own, partly because I have other commitments after work (going down the gym for example) that take up my time. You can see from your blog stats that consistent posting will easily maintain your traffic and readership loyalty much more than a flurry of activity followed by a period of famine. Spiders are hungry and need continuous feeding, and if neglected may easily search their nourishment from elsewhere.
And what if you want to start up a blog or resurrect it from a period of abandonment? Then you need to publish as many days as you can (a bit like me going down the gym) as consistently as you can manage with the correct kind of content (or diet) that will sustain interest and build up a following. Reduce the size of your blogs (I’m sure mine are far too long) by breaking them down into many subjects that can be posted independently, and keep an editorial diary to stimulate and store new ideas to prevent a post drought. Watch out for another post about what to write about soon – there, I’ve given myself another subject to research and deliver to you!