There have been many discussions amongst bloggers over the years over how often one should update their blog. In the past I have advised people to choose a posting schedule and then try and stick to it. I realise that many blogs do not follow this advice and publish articles when they see fit.
Many blogs that post infrequently encourage readers to subscribe to their email newsletter. This makes some arguments of the post frequency debate irrelevant, though not everyone wants to view content that way. Some people follow blogs through newsreaders and others continue to just check their favourite blogs for new content whenever they have time. I do have my own preference for posting frequency on my own blogs, however I do not think “one size fits all”, so my previous advice of always sticking to a posting schedule is perhaps not the best advice for everyone.
In my recent article, “Why Good Content Should Be at the Heart of Your Link Building Campaign”, I spoke about the need for bloggers to publish quality content (i.e. quality over quantity). This seems to back the concept of a lower posting frequency, however the internet tells a different story. All of the top blogs on the internet have a high-posting frequency, with blogs such as Engadget, TechCrunch and Huffington Post publishing more than twenty articles per day.
All of these blogs can be considered news blogs, and when it comes to news blogs, more content equals more traffic. More traffic means more page views, and more page views equals more revenue. It is a simple formula that many blogs are following….and it works.
Before we discuss the concept of high volume posting, let's look at three websites that have become successful using this strategy.
Engadget was founded in 2004 by Peter Rojas, the founder of many other successful blogs such as Gizmodo and Joystiq. Gizmodo was a hugely successful blog at the time (still is) and Rojas was able to develop a blog that was even more successful. It is now the most popular tech/gadget website on the internet.
I am a regular reader of Engadget as I love checking the latest mobile phone, laptop and gadget reviews. They report on absolutely every tech device that is released. There is nothing they don't cover. Most major news websites such as BBC and CNN report tech related stories days or even weeks after the story has appeared on Engadget.
Engadget is a little different to other high volume posting websites. They post around 3 or 4 new articles every hour, which is usually around 50 new articles per day. Most of their posts are short news stories which include some photos, a description of the news story, and a link to the source. They also produce long in-depth reviews, videos, galleries, podcasts, and even their own show.
I imagine that they now have a lot of staff, however Engadget founder Peter Rojas wrote on his blog that at the start of the blog's life he was writing up to 30 posts per day. Even if you consider most of these were short news stories, it is an incredible work-rate for any blogger.
What I did not know until recently was that another one of my favourite tech blogs, The Verge, was set up by former writers of Engadget who were disguntled with AOL's policy of placing a priority of page views over anything else.
Mashable was formed by my fellow Scotsman Pete Cashmore in 2004. The blog originally focused on social media. It covered all aspects of social media: news, reviews, tutorials and more.
Over the last few years the blog has grown considerably. It now covers a wide range of topics including technology, business and entertainment (i.e. everything a traditional news website would cover). The current design of Mashable was obviously inspired by Pinterest. A lot of blogs are following this lead and simply linking to posts using images and post titles.
I recall reading Mashable when it first started. Most articles back then were quite long, however most of their stories now are much shorter. There are many posts which are nothing more than a YouTube video and four or five lines of text.
Social media continues to play a huge part of Mashable's success. At the top of every post is the number of shares the post has had in social media. The total number of shares is shown for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon. There is also a graph that shows the timeline of shares.
Mail Online (Daily Mail)
The Mail Online is the online edition of the British newspaper “The Daily Mail”. Whereas many news publications around the world have struggled to transition to the digital world, The Daily Mail has strived. They are now the most visited news website in the world.
So how did this do this? Well, it only takes a few minutes of viewing their website to see that they are not same as other news websites. They do still post about serious topics, however the majority of their content focuses on entertainment. Most of their content would not feel out of place on an entertainment website such as TMZ. They post a huge amount of news from the United States, despite being the online version of a British newspaper.
The Daily Mail is one of the most interesting examples of a high volume posting website. Their focus is clearly on page views and reader retention. They have the biggest home page on the internet….seriously, it scrolls forever! Every page on their website has dozens and dozens of news story images displayed on the sidebar, with each article having a title that is designed to encourage the user to visit.
They also have one of the best mobile news applications available on iOS and Android. It is just unfortunate that their content is so poor. The Daily Mail is a great example of lazy journalism. They sometimes publish several articles about the news story, frequently copying and pasting exactly what was written in the previous article and then adding a slightly different twist to the headline.
Their writers are obviously under pressure to write a lot of articles every day, as just about every time I have visited the website in the past I have seen images with captions such as “Insert Caption Here”. Most articles have spelling mistakes and are poorly researched. Clearly, proofreading is not a priority for them. Despite this, they get huge amounts of traffic.
The Concept of High Volume Posting
Publishing dozens of articles every day is a legitimate way to make money online. It is clearly more suited to news websites where short posts can be written quickly (and cheaply). The fact that a trashy online newspaper gets more views than more respected sources such as the New York Times, CNN and BBC, is perhaps a reflection on our society as a whole.
People have short attention spans. They do not want to sit and read long articles; they prefer to just read the headline, look at some pictures, and get a general idea of what happened.
Bloggers will always debate over what posting frequency is best for blogs, though it is clear that publishing dozens of news stories every day can bring in a huge amount of traffic. High volume posting does seem to suit news blogs better as there are always new interesting stories appearing every day. However, if you can create a blog and ensure that all of your articles are relevant, I see no reason why it would not be a success if you followed a high posting frequency.
Here are some things to bear in mind if you want to launch a website with a high posting frequency:
- Social Media is Vital to Your Success – Social media plays a huge part in the success of blogs with high posting frequencies. Each article can potentially get thousands of shares, therefore it is vital that social media sharing buttons are displayed prominently alongside your articles.
- Think About Your Blog Post Titles – Articles will get viewed more and shared more if they have enticing titles. Think about that before you publish your article.
- Stay on Top of Trending Topics – All of the blogs mentioned in this article follow trending topics very closely. They find out what people are talking about and they write about that. It is a simple formula but it works. Find out what people are searching for and write articles on that subject.
- Authors Will Be Your Biggest Expense – Staff will be your biggest expense. You will need to find a healthy balance between getting writers that are affordable and writers that can write good articles. If you pay too much, your blog may be in the red within a few months of launching.
Even if you do not plan on using high volume posting to improve traffic to your website, I do feel that many great ideas can be taken from successful websites that do. Look at how they integrate social media into their websites and how they use things such as related posts to keep visitors on the site.
Have you ever launched a blog or content website with a high posting frequency? Was it a success? I'd love to hear your views on the subject.
Thanks for reading.