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Do you have to blog every day?

Your blog's content strategy is about more than the type of content you plan to write. It also includes your blog post schedule -- when you post, and how often you post.

Should you post daily? Just on weekdays? Once per week? Monthly? There's no right answer to cover all blogs. You have to find the right post frequency and schedule for your blog.

Picking Your Blog Post Schedule: What to Consider

Here are some of the things that should factor into your choice of a blog posting schedule.

Your Availability

Any way you cut it, your general availability is your number one consideration. You can only blog when your schedule allows you to do so.

Don't tell readers you'll post every day if you know you don't have that kind of time. Commit to something realistic. You can always increase your posting frequency later.

If you aren't sure what kind of schedule is realistic for you, run some tests over a few weeks. Try a few schedules on for size, and pick what works best.

Reader Expectations

While your own schedule is important in choosing your blog posting schedule, so are your readers' expectations. You have know your audience.

If they're not big readers, a weekly or monthly post might be ideal for them. Posting more often might overwhelm them.

On the other hand, if they're voracious readers, a daily post might be the best fit (or even more frequently than that).

Quality Implications

Another important consideration in choosing a blog posting schedule is how that schedule will impact the quality of your posts.

For example, would increasing frequency from three posts per week to five per week cause you to churn out faster, sloppier articles? If so, you're probably better off staying where you are.

Would cutting back give you more time to come up with well-researched or actionable posts? Then consider giving that a try.

As a reader, do you prefer quantity or quality? If quality posts matter more to you, then they probably matter more to your readers too.

Ways to Increase Your Blog Post Frequency

If you feel that increasing your blog post frequency would help your blog, there are several ways you can do that. Choose the options that work best for you, your schedule, and your readers.

Write More Posts (Preferably Ahead of Time)

If you're going to write all of your own posts and you don't want quality to suffer as frequency increases, consider pre-scheduling them.

This is when you come up with a list of blog post ideas early, and you can work on one or more drafts well ahead of their publication dates.

For this blog, I usually have a list of around 40 ideas saved as drafts. I don't always pull from that list for new posts, but I know they're always there if I need ideas quickly.

My preference is to cover a topic that's currently on my mind first, but if you focus on evergreen content you might be able to pre-write most, if not all, of your blog content.

Currently I don't pre-write many posts, but with my more frequent posting schedule at All Freelance Writing, that will probably change in the near future.

My goal is to start with saved outlines and later move into saved rough drafts that I can pull out and revise when I don't have something more timely to talk about (like answering reader questions as they come in).

Bring on Regular Contributors

If you want to increase your posting frequency on a regular basis but your schedule won't allow for it, consider bringing on other regular bloggers. You might ask colleagues to contribute and convert it into a group blog, or you can hire freelance bloggers.

Accept Guest Contributions

Guest posts are another way to increase posts without having to write them all yourself.

This is when you accept one-off posts in exchange for an author bio (usually with one or more links included). Guest posts are unpaid (anything paid is technically a freelance contribution), and they're submitted largely, if not wholly, for marketing purposes.

Because of the marketing slant with guest posts, you have to be careful about how many you accept and who you accept them from. Make sure authors can write competently about your blog's subject matter. And make sure any links in their bio are relevant as well.

Google is cracking down on large-scale guest posting campaigns organized largely to acquire links from high-value sites. They consider it an attempt to manipulate search rankings.

That doesn't mean you have to stop writing them or accepting them. It just means you have to be more cautious about who you accept posts from. Be as selective as you would be if you were vetting freelancers to become regular contributors.

The upside of guest posts is that you get a diverse collection of content. The downside is that sorting through pitches to find ones worthy of posting can sometimes take as long as writing new content yourself.

I've found that you can cut down on spammy guest post pitches by calling them something different so you don't get hit by the automated bots looking for any site with guest post guidelines. Here I refer to them as "guest contributions" instead. Not perfect, but it has gone a long way towards cleaning up the garbage from SEO folks.

Also, consider publishing your guest post guidelines. That helps to weed out manual pitches that aren't right for your blog.

Update Old Posts

If you have a large collection of posts in your archives, you might be able to increase your posting frequency by republishing older material. This works well for evergreen posts that only need minor updates. Just touch them up a bit and set a fresh publication date.

This is ideal if your blog doesn't include the date in the permalink structure. Otherwise you might need to change the permalinks to reflect the new publication date. That also means you might need to set up 301 redirects, or you could potentially lose backlinks and traffic.

This post, in its current state, is an example of this. It was written for one of the three sites that merged to become this one, and I've updated it to reflect changes that have occurred since it was first published.

What is your ideal posting frequency on your blog? How did you come to that schedule? If you could make changes, would you post more or less often, and why? Do you have any other tips for creating new blog posts even when your schedule is tight? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Note: This post was originally published on March 12, 2013 at Writing for Bloggers -- one of the three blogs merged to create All Freelance Writing. It was revised and re-released on its currently-listed publication date.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, NakedPR.com, and BizAmmo.com.

Jenn has 18 years experience writing for others, around 13 years experience in blogging, and over 10 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is also an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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