Once you have a better idea of how you can be most effective, continuing to grow your blog and satisfying your readers will be that much easier. In this post we'll take a look at a number of different things that you can test to see what works most effectively.
If you visit 5 different blogs, chances are you'll get 5 different posting schedules. Some blogs post 5 or 10 times per day, others post one per day, others maybe 3 or 4 posts per week, some post twice a month, and still others post whenever they feel like it, with no consistency at all.
There is no right or wrong method when it comes to posting frequency, but many bloggers feel like they have to live up to standards set by other blogs in order to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each blogger should determine posting frequency based on what works best for that individual situation. Some blogs have a staff of writers, so you'll never be able to publish enough content to keep up with them.
To determine the best posting frequency for your blog, experiment a little bit to see how much writing you can handle on a regular basis and how your readers respond to the frequency. Try to focus on providing quality posts regardless of how frequently you publish new content.
Days of the Week
If your experimentation shows that you'll get the best results with 3 posts per week, now you should focus on determining when you should post. Try posting on different days and track the results to see what leads to the most traffic, comments, and new subscribers. Generally, if you're not posting frequently, you'll probably want to avoid publishing on the weekends, but don't take my word for it, try it out for yourself.
Times of Day
While you may think the time of day that you publish your post has no impact, you could be mistaken. Subscribers that have a feed reader full of unread posts may not even glance at posts if they come during the busiest times of the day. To avoid this, you could try to time your posts so they arrive after those readers have cleared out their overflowing feed readers.
If you're targeting social media, the time of day that you post could make a big difference. Most social media sites send the most traffic during the work day in the U.S., so you would want to give your post a chance to get promoted at this time.
Experiment and see what works best for you. It may make a difference, and it may not, but at least you'll know.
Guest Posts/Multiple Others
More and more blogs are publishing posts from a number of different authors. Whether you are accepting guest posts or hiring freelancers to write for you, this could impact the results. Most bloggers turn to others for content because they're not ably to write enough on their own, however, some blogs just don't work well with multiple authors.
It's a good idea to test out some guest posts to see how your audience responds and what happens to your traffic levels and your subscriber count. Many audiences appreciate a different point of view, but not all do.
Of course, one of the most important experiments will be to determine what topics you should cover on your blog. Over a period of time you'll notice that readers respond better to posts on certain topics. If you can put this into practice and give readers more of what they want and less of what they don't, you'll be on your way to a more successful blog with a more enthusiastic and involved community of readers.
Styles of Posts
There are so many different styles of blog posts that you can write, and you should experiment to see what your readers really appreciate. You could write short news-related posts, long and detailed informative posts, resource lists, opinion posts, you can use humor, cause a reaction by using controversy, and much more. Most blog readers prefer to see a mix of a few of these types of posts, but that will vary greatly from one blog to the next. Once you know what works well for you and your readers, try not to go out of character too often as it will confuse and frustrate some of your readers.
Different Social Media Sites
Do you use social media to market your blog? Do you submit all of your posts to Digg and get no results? Do you use voting buttons on your posts? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, try experimenting to see what brings the best results from social media.
I'm a big fan of niche social media sites because they're easier to have success with and they send higher quality traffic, but many bloggers ignore them because they don't send as much traffic as Digg.
If you use buttons or widgets on your blog to get votes, experiment with using some different buttons of changing the location (i.e. bottom of the post as compared to the top).
Do you use images in your posts? Why not experiment to determine the impact of images? Try publishing some posts with images, some with none, and also experiment with using different types of images or changing up the location of the images.
What Do You Experiment With?
What types of things do you test out on your blog? What have you learned from the experimentation?