Pick Your Perfect Blog Post Schedule

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.

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.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter to get freelance writing updates from Jenn in your inbox.

15 thoughts on “Pick Your Perfect Blog Post Schedule”

  1. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, Jenn. On my writing blog, I’ve experimented with posting every day (unsustainable given my workload), having guest writers (works if you get the right quality), having a semi-permanent co-writer (this works well) and more. And on my client blog I post once or twice a quarter. All the approaches seem to work.

    • I’ve been able to take a more relaxed approach on my client blog too Sharon (every other week now). It doesn’t seem to do much when I increase the frequency. I imagine it’s because clients aren’t there predominantly to read a blog. If I were just starting the client site now and it wasn’t already ranking very highly in search results, I would definitely blog more frequently for the SEO benefits though.

  2. Great post!

    I need to great a guest blog guidelines because I have a project that is taking up most of my time, but that’s a good thing. 🙂 Plus, it would be nice to have a variety besides my writing.

    • The guidelines should definitely help. They can attract the right kinds of guests who look for opportunities by searching for those guidelines, but also cut out the spammier variety by putting rules in place that would make it not worth their time to query you.

  3. Hi Jennifer, This is a great article. It is important to build up a realistic schedule that you can stick too. Inviting Guest contributors is also a really great way to not only beef up your content schedule but to bring fresh perspectives to your reader.

  4. I started out posting three times a week at my business site, with the Friday post being a summary of the two business site posts + my health care blog (my niche) + my personal blog.

    It got to be too much – for both me and my readers. I am now down to once/week at my business site. I find outlines planning the posts work best for me to keep me on track. I often go with themed posts.

    Sadly, I have all but eliminated guest posts due to all the spam. I only accept guest posts from people I know.

    I have a stupid question. When you update old posts, how do you do it? Do you leave the original intact, then copy and edit the new one? I know there are Google issues with duplicate copy.

    I have old posts that definitely would benefit from updating. Thanks, Jenn.

    • I don’t blame you for cutting back on guest posts Cathy. I’ve had to take a similar approach here. If I don’t know you and haven’t seen you taking part in the community, I probably won’t accept a guest post from you anymore. That’s not to say everything else is a spam request. I’m just tired of spending so much time weeding out the decent ones from the garbage and link spam.

      With old posts, I edit the old ones and include a brief note about when it was originally published. Ideally you want the same permalink. You don’t want content that’s too similar in two different posts, and you want to bring new information to readers coming from your existing links to the original. I have a client who leaves the old content alone and adds new material above it. I’m less a fan of that approach because it becomes more difficult for readers to sort out.

      The only exception where I would do a new post or add material without touching the old is if my opinion on something changed drastically. I don’t believe in hiding your old views just because you’ve changed your mind. I consider that deceptive. So my preference is to post something new and link back to the older post with an explanation as to why my views changed over time.

  5. Great post! It amazes me how people like you are able to post daily and still maintain a high quality level. But it’s not for everyone. I definitely wouldn’t recommend blogging daily if you don’t have the time to, especially if that affects the quality of your posts.

    I also like the tips you gave on how to post more frequently when you don’t have the time.

    • Thanks Alicia. It certainly isn’t easy, and I have several other blogs to manage on top of this one. I suppose you can say it’s one part planning, and one part knowing when to toss those plans aside when they’re slowing you down.

      Daily is a fairly new schedule for this blog, and there’s no guarantee it will continue. Right now I’m going through a series of tests on various areas of the site. If this schedule seems to work out best, I’ll stick to it as long as my schedule allows (I generally work through Thursday, so if I can’t have the weekends’ posts ready ahead of time, I probably won’t continue posting then). So far, so good though. It’s just a matter of allocating my time a bit differently, taking time away from smaller sites while I work on building the new brand here.

    • Apparently it’s not always for me either. ;Just a bit ironic that I put this post up right before taking a weekend off from posting. 😉 Sometimes it just comes down to a judgment call. I wanted a bit of downtime due to some health issues last week, and I didn’t have anything ready to go early. Plus I had to squeeze in a bit of unplanned maintenance yesterday. Sometimes the most important part of choosing a blog schedule is to make sure you remain flexible. 🙂

  6. I recently learned that blogging more frequently can drastically increase the flow of traffic to your website (it seems a straightforward idea, I know, but was still an eye-opener).

    Right now, I blog only once a week, but I think I will increase that to 3 times a week.

    • It depends a lot on your niche. Some blogs do better with more frequent posting, and others don’t. Different niche audiences respond differently. My guess is that on this blog it will help because writers tend to be big readers too. But on the blog tied to my business site, once per week has been enough to get search rankings back up and keep prospect referrals coming. On my newest blog I write for busy authors. The whole point is that I understand these people already have too much on their plates and I’m trying to help them get more productive. So it wouldn’t make much sense to post daily and become yet another burden regularly competing for their attention. My goal there is once per week, twice at most, although I’m still figuring the plan out there.

      I say go for it. Try three posts per week. See how you feel writing that often, and see how your audience responds. 🙂


Leave a Comment