photo of a Google bot - maybe
We know what Google wants from us bloggers.

They like (in part) to see blogs that are updated often (it appears more often is better), inbound links from reputable sites and the use of SEO (search engine optimization) so they can index our posts correctly.

That way, when someone types in a search string, they (the search engines) will look good by providing THEIR readers exactly what they ask for.

Today’s Lesson

As bloggers we often fall into the trap of wanting to please the search engines. After all, it’s the search engines that can bring us the most traffic plus visitors who may click on our ads. It’s also search engine traffic that can drive up our rankings. 

Hence, we crank out search engine optimized posts and the bots smile down on us, reward us with more traffic and everyone is happy.

Or, are they?

By posting too frequently are we missing out? Are we pleasing the bots but deterring loyal readers from sticking around?

Are we closing the door to comments because we’re not giving our readers enough time to think about what we wrote and then write a response?

Are we forgetting about OUR readers?

When Ann-Marie, co-author of Wilma’s Blog contacted me, she shared what she sees happening.

With her permission, I’m quoting what she said/asked in an email:

Myself and Wilma have been talking about how many times a week we post on our blog.

We recognize that a post is the starting point of the conversation and it is in the commenting that the conversation takes real form.

As other bloggers get involved we begin to see an opportunity to really ‘nut out’ our thoughts.

The dialogue begins to flow and with it comes new understanding and learning for everyone.

It ends up being an interactive discussion about a subject in which people have something to say.

So if we post too frequently, are we in danger of stifling this existing conversation and stopping it before it comes to a natural end?

Ann-Marie and Wilma are concerned about what THEIR readers want; not what the search engines are looking for.

They realize if they slap a new post on top of one that’s still alive with conversation, they could kill it.

And in the process of killing the conversation, they may also lose their loyal readers.

So, what’s the best route?

Today’s Assignment

What advice would you give to Ann-Marie and Wilma?

If you have a post and the comment section is buzzing, do you throw a new one on top of it, or do you let the conversation on the older post die down?

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  1. SamarNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent question. I would suggest setting days they’d publish their posts on. If they decide to publish two posts a week, their readers would know that there’s a time limit to the discussion and they might post their comments before the next post publishes.

    Setting a publishing schedule also doesn’t necessarily mean that the conversation on the other post has to die. If Wilma and Ann-Marie make sure that they’re responding to comments left in previous posts by their readers, the readers won’t have to abandon a discussion in a previous post.

    More than one conversation can happen in a blog.
    .-= Check out Samar´s awesome post: Major changes ahead! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Samar,

      That is very true – more than one conversation can happen on a blog.

      I like your idea of setting a posting schedule and alerting readers of what it is. Like you said, if a reader wants their comment to be available on the most recent post, they’re more apt to get it in “on time”. (not that there is a time limit on commenting but some do worry their comments won’t be seen if they are on older posts – which is often true).

  2. My advice is not the same as I would have shared a year ago, when I felt the need to pump out posts at least 3-4 times per week.

    Post when you have something to say.

    I’ve done the blog award posts. I’ve done the endless memes. I’ve posted to apologize for not posting.

    What I’ve come to realize is that if you truly share when you have something to share, the readers will come. They will understand the passion in your writing and will read it. (And memes can do this, on occasion, if they are something new or interesting, but many of them repeat the same questions over and over and over and over… How much do we really need to know about you?)

    If you post just to post, you will lose readers – specifically the repeat readers, with whom you can build a relationship (an online friend-type relationship or more).

    Many of us (those who read and/or write blogs) are busy people. If you have good thoughts, we will come to read them – at any time, and yes sometimes I want additional time to reread a post before I will comment. If you post just to post, you have added another chore to my day, and I’m less likely to visit and less likely to join the conversation.

    These are just my thoughts. I don’t read and write as much as I used to, as I find it is simpler to do small updates on sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc…

    Also, I believe my writing suffers when I feel compelled to push out a post.
    .-= Check out RC – Rambling Along…´s awesome post: I know what we did this last summer… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi RC,

      I know exactly what you’re saying about your answer being different now that it would have been a year ago. The longer we blog, the more we settle into a routine that works for us. And I think when we’re in that comfort zone, like you said, we’re less apt to just push out posts – just to post.

      What you said about many of us being busy is very true. And yes, sometimes we do need time to think about how we want to say in a comment, so if a post is up for more than a day, we’re more likely to go back and share our thoughts.

  3. p.s. I also like Samar’s comments and I know that works for a lot of my friends with more of a “professional” blog.
    .-= Check out RC – Rambling Along…´s awesome post: I know what we did this last summer… =-.

  4. Jay SchryerNo Gravatar says:

    This is something that I found out by accident. I had been posting several times a week, but then one day, I missed a post. And I got a lot more comments, and the discussion really took off. I had thought that once the first few people commented, that the discussion was really over, and it was time to move to the next post.

    What I wasn’t taking into account was the fact that not everyone can manage to get around to all of their favorite blogs every single day, and so a post has to be up for at least 2-3 days in order to give everyone a chance to join in the discussion.

    Through trial and error (mostly error), I have found that leaving a post up for about a week gives everyone enough time to mosey on over, read the post, and comment if they feel like doing so.

    Then again, my posts are usually very long, and very dense. Most of the time, you have to settle in and get comfortable with my posts, they’re not quick “10 tips” type posts. That might have a lot to do with it…
    .-= Check out Jay Schryer´s awesome post: New Banners =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jay,

      How ironic you found this out by accident. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      You do bring up a good point. When blog posts are lengthy, many bloggers will wait and go back to read them when they have more time. Plus, with a long post, often the author brings up issues we really want to think about before having our say.

  5. Hi there Barbara
    Wilma and I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to you for writing this post. To us your blog is a haven for new learning and meaningful conversation. So we appreciate the opportunity to ask your readers their thoughts. We’ve found the responses thus far valuable and are looking forward to hearing more…
    Bye for now
    Ann-Marie & Wilma
    .-= Check out Ann-Marie Fagan´s awesome post: What happened to my Integrity? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re very welcome Ann-Marie and Wilma,

      And, thank you for your kind words.

      It’s an honor to be able to share your concerns. With this blog being about blogging, and many bloggers having questions, it gives me great joy when I can put your questions out there and gather responses from fellow bloggers. Together we learn and together we grow. And in the end, we’ll all become better bloggers.

  6. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    For new blogs, I recommend a more frequent posting. Let’s say three times a week? If you can afford it, go five times a week. In my case, in my first month of blogging I posted everyday.

    In my second month, I let my posts breathe a little by posting every other day. Now, I’m posting three times a week. The important point is that you show up at the appointed hour. It’s like a date with readers for me. Everybody hates being stood up, right?

    The first months – it’s the blogger’s baptism of fire. Never mind the loneliness. Stand your ground. Good things come to those who are patient and faithful to what they do.

    If one is so anxious about instant gratification go get a dog and have your face licked. Now, isn’t that just grand? You get instant validation that you rock from another friendly creature? lols.

    I’d guess, I’d hold back when the current post is creating a buzz with readers. But generally, I’d stick with my schedule. If a post does well, it will show up in your Popular Post widget anyway. If you don’t have it, you can always make a follow up post about it or link to it in your new post.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: When a Blogger Just Wanna Have Fun =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      What you shared is very true. When we’re brand new to blogging and are working to gain recognition, posting more frequently is our baptism of fire. Plus, at that point, not many may even be reading, let alone commenting.

      I’m glad you pointed out how a popular post will show up if we use a widget, or how we can link to it in a follow up post. That technique could reignite the conversation and keep it going.

  7. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    It really is a good question. I don’t mind nearly every day posts as long as the site has got something to say. Yet some don’t post for weeks at a time and I don’t find those posts to be any more special or necessarily insightful than a daily blogger. It really does come down to content I think.

    I looked at my archives and I post an average of about 13 times a month. That feels about right for me.

    This is a good conversation starter and I’ll be interested in seeing what folks have to say.

    .-= Check out Tumblemoose´s awesome post: The World’s Strongest New Blog of the Week =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you George,

      Good point. It does come down to content. Like you said, if the content isn’t good, it wouldn’t matter if we posted once a day or once a month. But, if we offer our readers quality work, they’ll continue to come back and even look for (and comment on) the posts they missed.

  8. My answer is a mixed one. When you begin, post away! Almost nobody is going to read your first few posts, especially if this is your first blog. That will make the bots happy. And there are ways to have many posts of good quality: mini-posts: quotes, haikus, photographs.

    But when you have like 50 posts or so, just one post a week will fit the bill. Concentrate then in your content; your regulars will still come, courtesy of RSS and new readers will still find you. Let them find something they love.
    .-= Check out Miguel de Luis´s awesome post: ¿Vives la vida zombi? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Miguel,

      Isn’t that the truth? In the beginning we’re lucky if someone finds our blog, let alone, read it. Getting an inventory of posts in our archives is a great way, like you said, to satisfy the bots. Plus it gives us blogging experience and we find out if we like blogging or not.

  9. Oh, do I have lots to share about that!!!!

    I have two blogs, my teaching blog, and my personal blog, .

    For the past 2 months, my personal blog had simply, well, personal entries, ideally posted once a day.

    Conversation plummeted….but during that time, the structure met my own personal needs (Barbara the Mom and Barbara the Entrepreneur and Barbara the Moose Wrangler and …)

    Now, during the past week or so, my eyes were opened to another aspect of building up one’s site online (the process that is) and I realized…it’s okay to be BOTH in one blog too (how’s that for a rambling answer). And to be both…sometimes you post more than once a day.

    So…I’m in it for the long-term. If readers find me valuable, they’ll stick around and sign up for my RSS…if they don’t, I hope they were able to glean some great tips and the like and wish them the best for their future. You never know when they’ll pop back in again.

    Wow, that was virtually incoherent. But hey, I have yet to have my first cup of morning coffee…. 🙂
    .-= Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s awesome post: How to make and write a Provocative ebook Table of Contents TOC =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara,

      I know what you mean about writing a comment (or a post) before that first cup of coffee. 🙂

      Your comment is a great reminder that we do need to satisfy our blogging needs first – whether others are reading and/or commenting or not. And you’re right, when we know we’re in it for the long haul, even though what we write doesn’t please everyone (at that time), in the future it may be just what they’re looking for.

  10. […] The Web for Small Business Business Internet Internet Marketing Status Report | The Money Cult Readers vs Bots – Making Everyone Happy | Blogging Without A Blog The World’s Strongest New Blog of the Week | Tumblemoose Writing Services Five More Reasons To Love […]

  11. Wow, these are all great comments. I find myself agreeing with what others have said so far and going for the old “less is more” mindset. There are some people who blog once a week that I’ve noticed and not only are their posts fantastic, but they tend to get 30 – 40 comments on each one. I always love seeing that.

    I cut my posts down to twice a week because I was having a tough time writing genuinely and with passion. Twice a week works well for me now, although I’m wondering if I need to space my posts out and switch to Monday and Thursday instead of M/W.
    Regardless, I care less about what the bots think. I write for me, and hopefully for other humans who I believe will find me if it’s in all of our highest goods. Don’t you just love us faith-based people? (And to think I used to be in marketing…)
    Jay has me thinking about that schedule, though! Well, actually you all do! (smile)
    .-= Check out Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s awesome post: Resentment Is Ridiculous =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      *smiles* Megan,

      Yes. Our mindset also has a lot to do with it. Like you, I think we attract that which we put out “there”.

      It does seem like spacing out our posts can make a difference. Before my latest schedule change, I posted MWF. Now it’s Sundays and Thursdays. Not only does that give my readers time to read and respond, but gives me a little more freedom to concentrate on work and my other projects. Like you, posting twice a week is working well for me, too.

      And what I also found was by not having a rigid schedule (I used to publish around midnight – my time), I’m a lot more relaxed and actually feel more creative.

  12. Barbara,

    I posted several times a week when I started, and now about once a week. I’ve stopped caring what Google thinks and you know what? The quality of my life has improved tremendously! I do notice that comments continue to come for days after a post, and am quite happy to let the post sit so people have time to comment, sometimes more than once.

    “Post when you have something to say” is probably the best advice I’ve heard and would give to any blogger.
    .-= Check out Daphne @ Joyful Days´s awesome post: My Baby Turns One =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Daphne,

      That is very good advice – stop caring what Google thinks. Eventually the search engines will find us. If we can get the search engine factor out of our minds, we can relax and concentrate on what we want to present to our readers, and not to a bot.

  13. HI Barbara,
    Through a whole lot of trial and error i stumbled upon this fact..that the posting adn commenting ratio are in fact intertwined.
    So i personally have kept it at Mondays Thursdays and Saturdays. And i usually keep the weekend post short cause i dont want the readers to tax themselves by reading too much…but getting a bit of happiness in just a few lines so that they can enjoy their weekend with other activities they have been meaning to do.
    I also love it that the conversation really does go to totally different level in the comments..and i have my readers to thank for that. All are so insightful…you cant help but love their comments.
    WIlmas blog is one of my favorite blogs…i just cant do without my dose of Wilma&Ann Marie every week. Beautiful and insightful posts written with so much compassion.
    Bottom line-Google bots are great but my readers are the BEST! 🙂
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Love Will Truly Set You Free =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      That is so true. Our readers are the BEST, and it’s them who we should be writing for. And it’s them we should consider before we hit the publish button. Keeping some posts short is a great idea. Like you said, our readers have busy lives so by mixing up the length of our posts, we can get the word out, but yet not be taxing on our reader’s time.

  14. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I reduced my posting frequency this summer and I haven’t seen an increase in the number of comments I get.

    I do know that there is so much stuff out there that I want to read. Others feel the same way, I’m sure.

    So that’s why I have stopped posting 5 times a week and now only do 3 or 4 posts a week. I’m not sure if it helps readers but it has been helping me.
    .-= Check out Chase March´s awesome post: Everyone is a DJ =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      I hear you. There is a lot of stuff out there.

      I like how you mentioned by reducing your posting schedule you’re helping your readers plus yourself. The blogging journey should be fun, and when we put too much pressure on ourselves to crank out posts, the joy can quickly leave and we could easily get burnt out.

  15. The frequency of your posting is perhaps slightly better for the bots yes, but the search engines also look at how many people respond to your post or how many visitors you get from it. Its realy hard to determine wether u should post more frequently or not.. I think posting less is better for the visitors.

    What would you do Barbara?
    .-= Check out willem vakantiehuis haamstede´s awesome post: Vakantiehuis Haamstede heeft een nieuwe website! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Willem,

      Yes. Posting less is better for our visitors.

      As was mentioned in a following comment from Laurie, it can also depend on the type of blog we have. If we’re just spitting out information and it’s not the type of blog that needs comments, then frequent posting may be fine.

      What would I do? When I started blogging I worked on building up my inventory (of posts) and posted up to six days a week. Comments were few and far between. I then reduced it to five days a week and am now down to two. I agree with the concept of doing what works in a bloggers schedule, not worry too much about the bots (they will show up), listen to our readers, and lastly, have fun.

  16. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I was posting like twice a week previously. But due to too much work in other areas, I have to cut down my postings recently to once a week. I also care less about writing list-type articles. I enjoy having some variety in the way I write.
    .-= Check out Evelyn Lim´s awesome post: Angelic Reiki Healing with Angels, Archangels and Ascended Masters =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      That’s true. When life keeps us busy, we often have to adjust our posting schedule to accommodate that. For bloggers who plan to be in it for the long haul, finding that balance is key, and like for you, posting once a week works well. And I’m guessing you haven’t lost any readers because you reduced how many posts you’re publishing.

  17. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, Wilma and Ann Marie –

    I was advised as part of a small group to start off daily – it sets the pattern, you (me) as the blog owner get into the habit of posting everyday .. ie creating. During that time you can check if it’s what you want to do and you’re happy with with your words and your idea; also you’re learning the blog & how the particular medium (Blogger in my case) works .. or you get to the point where you’re happy with it, but realise that you probably need a website to develop it, or expand it. I know people can do that in bloger too.

    As we were a few – we had comments on our blog from the early days – that encourages, we posted back .. if you don’t comment – you don’t get …

    To get new commenters and to feel part of the community even if your blog isn’t of the same ilk, you need to be a part of it, & accepted as such; We need to understand each other and become friends as such – we can learn so much.

    As we become part of a larger group and our readership and commenters grow, then they will have less time and so perhaps it is sensible to settle into a routine of 3 – 4 times a week. I’ve now done 186 posts in less than 9 months – so I have a good basis to go forward on.

    If we enjoy this medium and our baby (as Daphne of Joyful Days says) and we are offering others information they enjoy and where the conversation can develop .. which I love.

    Then if we want to progress with perhaps another emphasis building a business of some sort, then perhaps we should separate the two out .. so those of us here enjoying our conversations, comments, blog writing can continue in peace, while we can elsewhere pursue other avenues.

    There are so many tricks and tips, ie to save time etc out there and by building our blogs we are building a catalogue as such.

    I recently heard that Stephen King always wrote 1500 words a day regardless how long it took .. then that was it .. and he didn’t edit, he edited later … and then re-edited .. but he had that store cupboard full of chapters …

    Interesting idea – I thought ..

    Thanks – great post from you three ..
    Have good weekends .. Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Where are Pelicans? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      You know, that is so true. In the beginning when we’re learning our blogging platform/software plus getting used to writing, posting often can be beneficial. Like you said, it gives us practice and lets us know if we’ll even like it.

      And after awhile we do start to settle in to a schedule that works for us. Then, as you said, when our communities expand and/or we take on new endeavors, we may settle into yet a different routine.

      It’s ever changing, isn’t it?

  18. JeanneNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, Barbara — great topic, especially useful for the likes of me. As a newbie, I’ve been posting daily per instructor’s guidelines. I have the time, stolen from the time I used to spend watching stupid reruns on TV, and I’m finding my ears are more often “to the ground” listening for subject matter.

    My posts are short (I guess I have short thoughts 🙂 ) — does this make me a mini-blogger?

    Reading other blogs is my new addiction, and hugely a beneficial one, and my fellow commenters are right on — with the longer blog, time is needed to digest before responding.
    .-= Check out Jeanne´s awesome post: Open Minds = New Adventures =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Oh Jeanne, you’re funny – a mini-blogger 🙂

      That may a good way to label a blogger who does shorter posts, as Twitter is known as micro blogging.

      As mentioned earlier, posting often as a new bloggers is actually a good habit to get into. The only thing I would say is if the day comes when you begin to feel pressure to publish daily, start cutting back. It’s often burn out (from posting often, not getting comments and/or seeing growth) that causes new bloggers to give up.

  19. Laurie PKNo Gravatar says:

    I think it also depends on the type of blog you have.

    My “Quips & Tips” blogs are very information-based, which means that posting frequency isn’t a consideration. Most of my readers find me through Google searches — especially for my biggest blog. Some blogs aren’t about relationships as much as information, which changes what bloggers write about, how much SEO they incorporate, and how often they post.

    Also, since blogging is about voice and personality, I think it’s important for each blogger to find his or her own stride — and that takes experimentation and practice 🙂
    .-= Check out Laurie PK´s awesome post: 8 Ideas for Blog Posts or Magazine Articles at Halloween =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Laurie,

      Thank you for bringing that up. You’re right. Some blogs are not about relationships, but about sharing information. In a case like that, like you said, posting frequency doesn’t become a consideration.

      I like what you said about bloggers needing to find their own stride. Not only does that increase the enjoyment we get out of blogging, but it give the readers a glimpse into the blog author’s authentic self.

  20. Hi Barbara – I agree with post when you have something to say. Frequency in my reader is sometimes an invitation to skip to the next post. I think it’s pretty easy to spot the posts that are attempting a formulaic overlay: list posts, survey posts, link-fests, and carnivals. I find that a few of the so-called “A-list” bloggers aren’t delivering content as frequently as in the past (working on other things?), and a few of those seem to be just going through the motions.

    I’m thinking about my posts on PassingThru more, and they’re less frequent. I’ve not seen a change in the number of comments; it’s holding pretty steady. I do know that I’m enjoying writing them more, and, with other projects competing for time, that hasn’t always been the case. I’ve seen frequency drop in some of the other blogs about our age as well, too.

    Conclusion: prevailing wisdom on anything is a take it or leave it. What works for you is best. You’ll deliver higher quality content that people actually want to read. If you’re an outstanding, top of the heap writer, then by all means, people will read you every day. For most of us, that’s not reality. But we do have quality to share, and if it’s less frequent, that means busy people might be more inclined to read.

    Thanks for a provocative topic. 🙂
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: LOVELY LEELANAU =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Betsy,

      I hear you. With most bloggers leading extremely busy lives, we do learn which posts are going to be quality, and which ones are “formula” type posts – posts where blog authors feel they need to get something out, but may not be delivering quality content.

      As I was reading your comment I realized what you said is true. The longer a blog author is active, the more we see them settling into a “posting less” routine. I think we get to a point where we realize if we don’t find a good balance between blogging and our other commitments, we’ll burn out or quit.

  21. Don’t you just love what Zeenat says? And I feel the same way. My readers are the most important and I love Wilma and Ann-Marire ‘s blog.

    Advice? I would have to ask what their goals are professionaly and persoanlly. If they want to grow their business I would post often and regularly. Because there are two of them I would think this would be easier.

    When I’m in a rut, real busy or tired I post less. Right now I’m posting 3 times a week and that works for me.

    I also have people commenting on posts from a month ago so sometimes the coversation doesn’t end!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      Agreed. 1) Our readers are what’s important. 2) Ann-Marie and Wilma write a fantastic blog.

      That’s a good point about what our goals are. Depending if a blog for professional or personal reasons can make a huge difference in not only how often we post, but also if some, if not all, posts are search engine optimized.

  22. It’s a tough balancing act. I can’t say I have found my balance yet.
    .-= Check out Vered – Blogger for Hire´s awesome post: Lizzie Miller in Glamour Magazine: I Just Wish This Photo Wasn’t So Special =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      You’re right. It is a tough balancing act and finding what works perfect for us can continually be changing.

  23. Posting every 2-4 days is my balance, with posts that are hitting some soul-nerve in my buddies left up the longer amount of time.

    My plan is slowly-and-surely building a long-term readership, so posting for Google every day will probably never be my plan. I’d rather have a loyal and steadily increasing core of readers coming back regularly, than have hundreds (or thousands,) of new bounces daily because I pumped out some schlock with the search-term-of-the-moment in the post’s title.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Ridiculously Green — Austin’s “Ladybird Lake” Hike & Bike Trail =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      I like your advice of building a blog slowly, but steadily. If we’re in it for the long haul, success can be ours and our loyal readers will be cheering us all the way. Can’t beat that.

  24. My girl Zeenat, has the right view on this. I have decided to post once or twice a week depending on the post and its value.
    Zeenat helped me with this decision although she may not know this. She guest posted on my blog and it was such a wonderful article that I decided it was best to let the readers feeling her inspiration.
    I feel posts may be lost in transition and aren’t read but over looked.This is something I am more concerned about. People benefiting from the messages in articles that are being streamlined so often by others. Less posting is best when the content is valuable, as far as I am concerned.
    .-= Check out Bunnygot blog´s awesome post: Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Human Needs =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      I read the guest post by Zeenat (on your blog) and you’re right, by leaving it up for a longer period of time gave your readers a chance to absorb the message.

      Being concerned people benefit from our message does weigh heavily with many bloggers, and like you said, in those cases it’s best to post less often.

  25. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    When I first started writing a blog, I wrote everyday because I to had tons to write. Now with a business blog, I write every 4-7 days until I’m out of the Google sandbox. I don’t know how much conversation my type of blog can generate. Most commenters at this point have been bloggers I met through my first blog (thank you all!). I know there is a tribe of parents, new martial arts students, and emergency services people who will eventually find me. Once they do, they comments might heat up as people bring specific experiences to the subject.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Why the new ‘Surviving Disaster’ TV series can save your life =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      That’s true, isn’t it? When we’re new to blogging we have so much to share, we can’t stop publishing.

      I don’t know who will be happier when your blog hits the mainstream – you or me. The valuable information you share about self defense tactics and how we can save our own life (by using your black belt techniques) needs to get out there. And when it does, anything buried in your archives will begin to breath new life.

      Seeing into the future of what will happen to your blog is a wise move on your part. I admire your patience. It will pay off.

  26. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a fan of finding reference models and seeing what works. It looks like all patterns work to some degree, but some are more effective based on what you want to accomplish. The common pattern for growth seems to be more frequency (more chances to show up somewhere.)

    One thing that surprised me was that for some of my friends to stop by more, they wanted me to post M to F. They didn’t want to have to remember which days I posted. They also asked me to mix it up with shorter and longer posts.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: You’re the Average of the 10 People You Spend Time With =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      Yours is a great argument to post more often. Like you said, if we do, we have a better chance of getting our work found.

      You also bring up a good point about expecting our readers to remember when we post. If we post Monday through Friday and our readers know that, like you mentioned, they don’t have to remember our schedule.If we don’t post five days a week, your comment is a good reminder to keep our readers informed of when they can expect new material from us.

  27. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I like that this post was on the weekend so I can come back and read it again and maybe respond again. This is what I have been wondering, would I get more comments and bigger conversations if I left the posts up longer – I always choose my Friday post with care to cover the whole weekend of visitors.

    The second thing – I have been all over your archives Barbara and I do not think I am coming anywhere close to understanding SEO..well how to use it – I am a step by step person…just like Hunter had to keep emailing me step by step to get me on Twitter and I had to take Caroline’s tutorial to make a running start on Stumbleupon. Could you do a step by step post about SEO, not just assuming that we know how to use it?

    I would so appreciate that – I don’t think I am alone.

    I want to read all the comments carefully on this post, I think this is something I need to know and do not understand it.
    I also see that blogs that partner are often making better inroads into the world of blogging? Am I wrong about this?
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: Pictures Worth a 1000 Words? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      By reading all of the comments, this seems to be an issue that concerns many, so you’re not alone. As some have said, it depends on what our blog goal is. Do we want conversation, or do we want traffic. And, can we have both?

      With regard to SEO (search engine optimization), I am no expert on it but will put writing a post about it on my list. I’ll dig around the internet and find articles to link to, plus show a few examples. Although I use the term “SEO” on this blog, I rarely use it here. Go figure!

      Blogs that partner may be succeeding faster as they are combining the subscribers from two blogs into one and are utilizing that expanded reach. It does sound like a great technique to faster growth as long as the two (or more) bloggers have the same goals in mind and can work well together.

  28. I think it depends on your ultimate goal and what you want to get out of blogging.

    Do you simply want conversations and you’re not worried about selling anything or getting your site indexed better?

    Or ultimately what you want to do is make money with your blog?

    Socializing is great, but we still need to pay the bills or reach that goal. Darren Rowse from Problogger once mentioned on his blog how he noticed that traffic to his site increased as he kept pumping out more and more posts. Heck in my FeedReader, when everyone else has 3 posts unread, his shows 31!

    There are many ways to engage readers outside of blog comment sections (Twitter, Newsletters, etc.).

    Even though it’s not a straightforward answer, I think the answer lies in what exactly do you want your blog to do for you.

    If you’re not sure about the post frequency, write an article and ask your readers what they think.
    .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: SEO Tips For WordPress Bloggers by Matt Cutts =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      Like you, when I was paying attention to my reader, I would also notice how Problogger was pumping out a lot more posts than others. I don’t know if his readers expect that, or if that’s what works for him. But then again, in his comment section, the readers leave their thoughts with or without his participation.

      I like your idea of us asking our readers what they think. Although we might get conflicting opinions, at least we would know what’s on their minds.

  29. I think a person has to be true to what they feel. If someone posts something just for the sake of posting, the readers can sense that. People aren’t stupid. They know when something is written from the heart and when it is written just for the sake of writing something.

    The best advice, in my opinion, is to listen to one’s heart and be true to who they are. That way you can write really excellent content and in the end that is what readers want.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: The Unity of Words, Thoughts and Deeds =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      That’s very true. When we listen to our heart and are true to ourselves, our readers will sense that. And when readers know the author is being authentic, they’re more apt to dig through the archives and read posts even if they’re buried. And with that, they may even reignite the previous conversation.

  30. WalterNo Gravatar says:

    I think the solution is to reference the previous blog to the new post. This way their blog will still be in the mainstream because it is being linked on the new post. Also, posting should never be rushed. You have to set the mind of your readers as to the schedules of your posting.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Walter,

      I like that idea. If we let our readers know that on the “xyz” post the discussion got interesting, heated, or whatever, those reading a new post may very well click on the past post and read that, too (plus the comments).

  31. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and everybody.

    Thank you all for commenting and I am sure Ann-Marie’s and my cheeks are red from your kind words and acknowledgments.
    This blog of course particularly shows how comments can contribute and that we need time to digest it all. Thank you Barbara for giving us such a great opportunity to share and learn, as always.

    What I am getting from this is that the main thing is NOT to get dominated by the blog by trying to pump out posts for SEO reasons. Phew, great to have that validated as that would not appeal to Ann-Marie and me at all.
    Posting a blogging schedule is an idea, so that people know your frequency, when to expect a post and know that we are not out to overwhelm them. I personally like time to digest a post and I do go back sometimes and I feel guilty if I see too many unread posts.
    I know how much work goes in writing them so I love that a lot of people here do mention to go for quality rather than quantity and to pace themselves. AND I am not surprised as their blog does reflect that.
    A popular widget is another option but that is more about a past discussion. This is more about keeping a current interest going rather than cutting it off and saying this is enough, next.
    I also love that I get that people are still figuring it out and that we can listen to our heart and we do not have to follow the rules, when we feel the rules are not serving us.
    I agree it is all different for different blogs, good point, use discernment.
    As I said in the beginning, thank you all for your comments, especially as they make so much sense and make quality a priority. Once again, phew.
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: What happened to my Integrity? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Wilma,

      As you saw, the readers have given you and Ann-Marie many options. I think now it’s just a matter of deciding what will work best for the two of you. And keep in mind, you can always experiment with a technique. If one doesn’t work, try another. With blogging nothing is written in stone – thankfully. 🙂

      • Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

        Thankfully indeed, it gives great freedom to experiment and change when it doesn’t work rather than thinking that it must work because others can make it work. That sure has given me grief in the past, so experimenting we go.
        Once again Barbara, thank you for giving us the opportunity to have our questions answered and receiving all these wonderful comments. Once again you all who commented, thanks very much as well.
        Love Wilma and Ann-Marie.
        .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Forget unfair and luck, integrity is what counts. =-.

    • Hi Wilma. Hey no problem. That’s why we’re all here, right? To help each other out in this thing we call life (and blogosphere). 🙂
      .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: SEO Tips For WordPress Bloggers by Matt Cutts =-.

  32. HarryNo Gravatar says:


    I think its more a subjective thing rather than ‘eiher this or that’ kind of thing. It depends what a blogger has in mind and what is the pusrpose of a particular post.

    Also, posting a new one may not mean an end to previous post and discussion may continue in several posts at same time. For example, say there are three posts – first on US economy, second on Stimulus plans and third on Healthcare. In my opinion there can be different readers and different participants at the sae time for these three posts and conversation can continue in all three without any interpost-interference. Moreover, as in this example, the posts’ subjects are similar and so there can be even a cross-discussion that would further enhance the overall discussion.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Harry,

      That’s a terrific idea. I like how you mentioned a cross discussion would enhance the overall discussion. Not only could that add value to each post, but more of the readers might be inclined to join in on all of the discussions.

      And you are correct. A post can be written using SEO but still hold tons of value for the readers, as well.

  33. […] Readers vs Bots – Making Everyone Happy […]

  34. DaphneNo Gravatar says:

    I think it depends entirely on why a person is blogging in the first place. If the goal is to start conversations with your readers, know your readers and their habits. Personally, when I find a new blog to follow, I go back and read older posts. This means that the conversation on past posts can still continue as people discover them and comment on them. It’s like coming across a good book from a chapter somewhere in the middle and going back to the beginning to see how the story began and evolved. I think the authors should write when the spirit moves them. If readers want to keep commenting on a subject, they will.
    .-= Check out Daphne´s awesome post: Ripples =-.

  35. […] the comments of the  Readers vs Bots, Making Everyone Happy post, Patricia of Patricia’s Wisdom asked if I could write more about SEO. I promised her I […]