Monday, June 27, 2011

Blog Post Frequency: Quantity versus Quality -- The Math

united states currency eye- IMG_7364_webImage by kevindean via Flickr
After doing some research online, I have come across quite a few conflicting articles about whether it is better to have quantity or quality when it comes to posting blog articles. In other words, is it better to post a few very high quality articles, say once per week or so, or is it better to post several lower quality articles instead.

To try and come to a resolution on this point, I thought that I would run through some numbers. Here are my results.

To start out, let me just note that blog traffic can be divided into one of two categories: "front" or "back" end traffic. Now, front end traffic means the traffic that you get each time you post new content. Back end traffic means the content that you get from blog posts that you already posted and forgot about.

So, let's analyze this a bit.

Front end: Using the numbers from my blog, I usually get between 10 and 20 new visitors per post each time I publish. These visitors mostly come from Twitter; although, there are also a smattering of visitors from other social media websites and from search engines.

Back end; I use services like Tweet Random to continually recycle my old posts on Twitter, so my back end traffic is usually pretty good. Between retweeting old articles and some love from the search engines, I manage to generate about 1 visitor per day per two old blog posts. It may not be the greatest rate in the world, but it's much better than when I started blogging.

The Math: So, assuming that I posted 10 times per day with average quality articles and only got 10 visitors per post front end and 1 per every 2 posts per day on the back end, I would average about 250 visitors per day after one month.

By contrast, if I posted once per day and managed to get 30 visitors per article front end and 3 visitors per day per article on the back end, I would only be getting 120 visitors per day after a month.

Admittedly, these numbers are a bit contrived because it's hard to gauge how many extra visitors a "quality" blog post brings in. My experience: not that many more than a quick entry.

At the same time, however, the problem with only trying to post quality articles is that neither you nor I can know for certain which articles are going to attract a lot of visitors. We can both make guesses, and every so often hit a home run; but it's still just a guessing game until one of our articles goes viral on Google.

On the other hand, if we post a lot of quantity articles and the occasional quality article, each article has to carry much less of a load in terms of generating traffic. Note that by quantity, I don't mean posting something on your blog that you could have posted to Twitter instead -- 200 word minimum.

So, in the end, if I had to choose, based on the math I would choose quantity over quality. However, there are quite a few blogs out there to tell me how wrong I am for coming to that decision.

So, what are your thoughts on this? Do you go for quality or quantity on your site? How has each approach affected your traffic?
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  1. Hi Josh, thanks for your analysis. I not a detail person so I have no idea which way to go but I going to follow your experience since I know you get a lot of followers and I trust you based on our recent conversations. Thanks again. Oscar Carter



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