Yesterday a friend on BogJob sent me a message via status update thanking me for maintaining the BlogJob group “Writing World”. They explained that many group creators don’t maintain the activity on their groups so it’s nice to have a more active group. I would be lying if I said this didn’t boost my ego. More importantly, this message got me thinking about how often to post content. While this message referred specifically to posting status updates to BlogJob groups, I am expanding it to be any professional writing.
The obvious answer is “Post whenever. It’s your writing” but it’s not as simple as that when you are writing as a serious career. Your audience wants content and not creating anything for them runs the risk of them moving on to more consistent writers. Note that blogging can be more susceptible to this because the post is instant gratification while writing for a magazine (whether online or in glossy print) has understandable gaps between writing the article and seeing it published. In any case, professional writers have content commitments that casual writers are less likely to face.
I always check in with myself before writing an article concerning the time crunch. If I’m writing about Kindle Daily Deals or other offers that have a limited time frame, for example, I have to publish my article on the day I see the deals and it helps considerably to get the post published by early afternoon. While I can skip days entirely if there are no interesting deals, this kind of post needs to be written more often than not because I consider it a regular feature.
Are your articles focused on deals? This means you’ll want to post regularly to keep your readers in the loop.
“That doesn’t help me if I write about news and politics” you might say. That’s a good point. While there’s also timing involved in writing about an event as it’s still hot, the news media tends to cover breaking stories as new information becomes available. If your writing is current event based but you don’t even jump on the story until there’s more information, you can still write an article as an overview of events up to what you know. As for how often to post about the news, it really varies on why you cover it. If you’re writing in short blurb style to cover the daily news, you’re committing to writing daily posts. If you choose the most interesting-to-you stories to go in-depth on, you can choose what news and what days to report.
No matter what you write about, a good rule of thumb is to imagine yourself as the audience. How often do you want to see content from the writer? If you aren’t receiving regular posts, would you continue following the writer’s work or would you move on to a more regular writer? Your readers may be more understanding of gaps of time between articles, but using yourself as the guide is still a good way to figure out a good publishing system.