Interview: Seth Godin on How Often to Post to Your Blog

The Key? Post When You've Got Something Good to Say

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B.L. Ochman B.L. Ochman also writes the popular What's Next Blog.

How often should you post to a blog? There's definitely no shortage of opinion and advice on the subject for what it's worth. And much of that free advice is worth what you pay for it. But when the eponymous Seth Godin talks about blogging, listen up!

Godin used to post a couple of times a week. His blog is one that I never miss because his insights are so frequently valuable. And although I never miss one of his posts, he's gotten harder to keep up with lately. That's because not long ago he began a seven-day-a-week posting schedule. I wondered why, and so I asked him.

Here's our email exchange (with Seth's permission):
B.L. Ochman: Can you please share with me why you changed to daily posts? You've been publishing shorter posts seven days a week for a while now, in contrast to your longer, less frequent posts of the past.

Seth Godin: My goals in blogging are:

  1. To spread ideas
  2. To put my ideas out there and get them out of the way of the next idea
  3. To encourage people to add alacrity to their diet

I find that I have about six bloggable ideas a day. I also find that writing twice as long a post doesn't increase communication, it usually decreases it. And finally, I found that people get antsy if there are unread posts in their queue.

Hence, the compromise on daily.

B.L. Ochman: What impact has that had on your blog readership or ranking? You were already No. 1 on most lists.

Seth Godin: I honestly don't measure this. I measure inbound email, and it has increased in quality.

B.L. Ochman: Do you plan out a week's worth of posts or write them as the spirit moves you?

Seth Godin: I write them as they occur and queue them up. If the queue is more than four, I get frustrated, though.

B.L. Ochman: Are you experimenting toward a goal?

Seth Godin: My blogging life is basically goalless. I like the zen nature of that, and paradoxically, it improves results.

An interesting fact, for what it's worth: Monday seems to be a good day to post a really viral idea

B.L. Ochman: i have noticed that too! But sometimes, a post on the weekend really takes off. Like the one I'm about to write about you. :>)

Post only when you have something to say
I've posted as often as six times a day and as infrequently as once a week. After six years of blogging, I post only when I have something I really want to say that I think will interest my readers. I try to stay away from the online echo chamber where everyone writes posts about everyone else's posts.

I don't follow a daily blogging schedule but every day I use Twitter, Google Reader, and Friend Feed to post asides, links and short observations. Seth's long-time advice about how often to post? "Key assertion: you don't publish it unless it's good." And he's so good that I never miss one of his posts.

The real bottom line is that, like Godin, you have to love writing, sharing information and conversation to sustain an effective blog over a period of time. Writing short and tight is icing on the cake. Add a dose of respect, goodwill and trust, and you're good to go.

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