Are you posting too often?

It’s commonly accepted wisdom that bloggers and other social media participants need to post frequently. But research from Jakob Nielsen seems to relieve some of the pressure.

In a recent user study on social media and RSS feeds, Jakob found that too-frequent posting was the biggest complaint. “If you post too much, you’ll crowd out other messages,” he wrote.

The need to avoid this crowding was also confirmed by Jakob’s research on email, another popular delivery mechanism for blog posts.

These findings don’t mean that we need to post only on special occasions. As Jakob advised, “If you post too rarely, your material will drift out of users’ active timestreams before they visit again.”

Often daily posters insist that quantity is more important than quality. But, as Jakob confirmed, quality does matter. You are eroding your brand if you post for the sake of posting. You need to have something to say and to say it well.

What a relief to find out that readers don’t insist on daily feeding. I can shrug off all that unsubstantiated advice. Large sites supported by ad revenue and sponsorship and fueled by a pool of writers have the resources to post daily. But most of us don’t.

On a good week, I can manage three posts. I update on Twitter and Facebook when I’m inspired or feel they’re an appropriate forum to promote a longer post.

But there are crazy deadline days when I can’t be distracted by social media. Then there are holidays and sick days when my brain needs the rest.

I write for readers. So it’s a question of finding a rhythm that not only works with my uneven schedule, but also my readers.

Thanks you for that insight on readers, Jakob. Now let’s hear what my readers have to say. Should I post more frequently or less frequently? How often do you think business people should update on Twitter, Facebook and other microblogging sites?

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16 Responses

  1. Barb, quality and content should come first for sure. And if you’ve found a rhythm that works for you, go with it. When I look through my Bloglines list and see that one of the bloggers I follow has posted 60 times since I last looked, that does not inspire me to read them all. And occasional tweets are all that I find necessary. I really don’t get why some people have arranged automatic tweets that are actually retweets of something they have already said at least once before.

  2. Barb, thanks for your post. I have been wrestling this one around myself. I have a long history of being a better writer when I take the time to prepare a thoughtful piece. For the type of content I’m publishing, I’ve considered the idea that my readers might prefer a weekly post. It’s nice to hear some confirmation that when push comes to shove, focusing on quality and value of the content is always a must. Let’s face it: it’s hard to be interesting, insightful and valuable in a daily post. I think about my little niche of readers subscribing by feed, getting e-mails of each post. I know from my own subscription habits that I sometimes simply delete a post from a blog I enjoy because it doesn’t immediately grab and I’m pushed for time. (Besides, I just read them yesterday!) Enjoying your work very much.

    Best,
    Crystal Hammon

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