Friday, May 18, 2007

Blog Averages

Dear Whore,

What would you say is a good average number of blog posts to publish in a week? (Or month or whatever.) I've read that consistency is good and I'm just wondering what level I should try to meet so I can schedule for my blog better.

Just call me "Curious"

Well, Curious, you're not the first to ask me about this...

I'm not sure what the average number of blog posts per blog is, let alone what makes for a popular blog; I'm not sure anyone knows, really. As noted, there's an awful lot of data to crunch (and that's just Technorati).

I admire your dedication, your desire to better prioritize your blog by scheduling time to blog, but even if I knew of some blog averages I wouldn't be able to give you a hard and fast answer to this. For one thing, I'm not sure what you want to achieve ~ and even "Greatness" (with a capital 'G') is relative.

The frequency with which a blogger blogs is largely based on passion, but a smart blogger must also take the following into consideration:

* audience
If your audience (and by this I mean not just your target market, but your current readership) is more of the "entertain me" crowd, then shorter, more frequent posts may be the best route. On the other hand, some readers prefer more meatier (and original posts). Hence part of the confusion on how often to publish at your blog.
* goals
It makes a difference if your blog is your business model (i.e. to 'be a blogger'), or being used as a tool for your business (i.e. to blog to market for your website/product/brand). Obviously, if you are busy creating content or managing a business, you neither have the time to devote nor the desire to dilute/replicate your real site's content. It's easy to start out with gusto, but if your regular gig (or even your day job) suffers, this may not be ideal (especially if you're not getting any income from your blogging efforts).
* amount of time available
You can't make more posts than you have time for, no matter what 'experts' say. Even simple posts (posts based on images or links to other sites) take time. You still have to 'surf, select and say.'
* amount of time needed to work the blog
No matter how often you write/publish, you're going to need to do some work to get folks there, so this must be a part of blogging duties. One post or 100 there's comment reading, comment posting, link swaps, emails etc. Call it 'marketing,' or call it 'continuing the conversations,' but overlook this and who's there to read?
I'd also like to point out that b5, one of the newer and more successful paying blogging networks out there, expects their bloggers to "write at least six to eight posts a week, and spend a lot of time checking out other blogs, reading news stories, and responding to comments." That's at a site, mind you, where most of the marketing, all of the tech stuff and design, as well as advertising revenue work are done for you.

On a related note, Modern Life's done some research into the length of an average blog post:
Taking the Technorati Top 100 as my sample, eliminating those which aren't in the English language, and those which aren't identifiable as conventional blogs, I took an average word count of the 10 most recent posts on each blog.

...the shortest average was a terse 77 words, and the longest a snooze-inducing 1,449. The vast majority of posts were over 100 words and under 500.
So, by this count not only am I likely "snooze-inducing," I'm not in the majority.

Is this the reason I'm not in Technorati's Top 100? Or is it my topic? (There are only so many interested in marketing, you know. And they likely don't out-number those who enjoy celebrity gossip.) Or is it that my marketing efforts with this blog have not been as effective as those who are in the top 100? Perhaps my blog is just marked NWS and therefore blocked. Maybe I just haven't been around long enough. There are lots of possibilities.

My point is that whatever the averages are for number of posts published per week, the number of words per post, or whatever other blogging average you seek, these are just averages. Wide, sweeping averages covering millions of blogs.

You'd have to look at your own niche to compare apples to apples... And before you go gather that data and crunch those numbers ask yourself one question: Do you want an average blog?

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