Monthly Report #7: Why Posting Less Frequently Can Drive More Traffic to Your Blog

Welcome to the seventh monthly report here at Think Traffic. If you’re new to these, each month I recap how many visitors this site attracted and what I did to grow the audience here.

This report covers the period from September 16 2010 to October 15.

This site is meant to be a case study on building traffic. I try to be completely transparent about everything I do to attract and retain visitors. If you have any questions at all about this site or growing website traffic in general, please feel free to ask in the comments.

You can follow these reports from the time I launched this blog to see exactly how it has grown from 0 to over 12,500 monthly visits in just seven months. Check out the new summary page for a full list of monthly reports.

In each report, I also try to tackle a topic on traffic building (say that seven times fast) that relates to what happened here over the past month. In the past, we’ve talked about whether spending time on twitter and blogs is valuable, how I created a thriving business around this blog in five months, and how to maintain traffic while taking time off.

Why Posting Less Frequently Can Drive More Traffic

This month, we’ll be talking about the elusive question of how frequently you should post new content to your site.

Conventional wisdom usually says you need to post frequently (3+ times per week) to a blog to be successful. There are two problems with assuming that’s true. First, conventional wisdom is often wrong, and second, it depends on your topic, your audience, your goals and your definition of success.

When I started this blog back in March of this year, my intent was to publish 2-3 posts per week. I managed to do that for the first six months. During that time I published a total of 55 posts, or an average of over 9 per month.

Last month, I decided to scale things back considerably and see what happened. I mentioned in the previous monthly report that I might publish less frequently and cited one important reason why: I want to consistently say things that matter here.

Pushing out a constant stream of posts no matter if you have something to say or not can result in some low-value posts. I decided to focus on quality over quantity.

I published just 4 posts last month. One of those was a simple announcement post for my new manifesto. One was a monthly report, and the other two were super in-depth, value packed posts weighing in at an average of over 2,000 words.

Obviously this isn’t a scientific sample. This is merely anecdotal evidence, and as they say, the plural of anecdote is not data. But the results of this experiment were interesting enough to share and continue experimenting with.

So, what happened when I posted 56% less times than average last month?

Traffic was up by 24%.

Where Did the Extra Traffic Come From?

Two particular pieces of content drove the majority of the extra traffic this month.

First, the post 5 Extraordinary Blog Post Types that Will Grow Your Audience Faster became very popular and drove nearly 2,500 pageviews itself.

Second, the manifesto I released through my other blog Free Pursuits ended up sending a lot of traffic to this blog from links at Free Pursuits, on Twitter and within the manifesto itself.

Would the blog have attracted more visitors this month if I had published 8-12 “regular” posts and not pushed out the manifesto? It’s impossible to say. Realistically, it could have gone either way.

I’m not trying to prove that posting less frequently by itself will drive more traffic to your site, but it is a strategy worth experimenting with.

When you post less frequently and focus on quality content, you have a better shot at creating something that rises above the typical blog / social media noise. Your average blog post has a hard time standing out from the crowd.

By packing more value into fewer posts, you’re more likely to create something worth sharing and something worth linking to.

Sharing and linking are the lifeblood of building an online audience.

This is a strategy you might recognize from some of the biggest, most successful bloggers on the web.

Tim Ferriss of the Four Hour Workweek and Glen Allsopp of ViperChill are two excellent examples. Each posts just 3-5 times per month on average and yet both command huge audiences and attract hundreds of tweets and comments every time they post.

Will posting higher-quality content less frequently drive more traffic to your blog? It’s a question worth exploring if you ask me. I’d love to hear your experience or results in the comments.

Full Results from This Month

Here are the overall visitor numbers for this month:

We had 2,466 more visits than last month (+24% month over month).

Other Stats:

  • New subscribers: 432 (+52% month-over-month)
  • New comments (including my replies): 183 (-46% month-over-month)
  • Retweets of new posts: 193 (-25% month-over-month)

Note that comments and tweets were both down even though visitors and subscribers were up. No doubt publishing fewer blog posts will have that effect.

4 posts (vs. 8 last month) published here this month:

Top Traffic Sources

Top Search Terms:

  1. think traffic: 291
  2. thinktraffic: 110
  3. most popular blogs: 99
  4. unique selling proposition: 85
  5. unique selling proposition examples: 71
  6. most popular blog: 37
  7. corbett barr: 30
  8. lady gaga has a positive influence: 17
  9. examples of propositions: 14
  10. 12

Top Content

As you can see, the 5 Extraordinary Blog Post Types post was a big hit. It has already become the #5 most popular post of all time here.

Goals for This Month

I like the direction I set last month. I chose to focus on two specific things:

  • Use this blog to connect with and highlight other excellent related blogs. Linking out to other blogs is a great way to spread the love and get on people’s radar. It’s also a great way to provide even more value to your audience. I’m going to work to share more great content from around the web this month that will help you grow your own audiences.
  • Say things that really matter. Quality over quantity.

Let’s continue to push that agenda and see where it takes me next month.

Questions? Feel free to ask anything.

Once again, if you have any questions about this report or about growing website or blog traffic, ask me anything in the comments below. I’m happy to help! I hope these reports are still useful.

If you liked what you read here, please sign up for email updates every time I publish. You’ll get quality information about how to grow your own thriving online audience.

Published by

Corbett Barr

Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.

69 thoughts on “Monthly Report #7: Why Posting Less Frequently Can Drive More Traffic to Your Blog”

  1. Interesting findings Corbett. I wonder if the findings would be similar on a blog that has a history of 3 posts a week? I think regular readers might drop off because of the lack of posting. I think it’s a good concept though, and the quality will easily outweigh the quantity. I encourage new bloggers to worry more about consistency than quantity. I think whether you post once a week or 3 times a week doesn’t really matter as much as being there regularly so people know what to expect from your site. What do you think?

    1. From everything I’ve experienced and heard, the idea that readers will drop off because you post less is a complete myth. Readers want value, and if you provide more value with each post, they’ll probably actually read your blog more often.

      Yes, consistency is important in the beginning, but after you’re established, I think quality is more important.

    2. Interesting discussion! I post three times a week on the blog, and if I were to post less frequently, I’m not sure if my traffic would drop off, but I can guarantee that people would complain that I missed my usual posting time. I’ve been just a few hours late at times, and have received tweets asking where my latest post was!

      That’s a good thing I guess, because people are dying for new content, but it does add pressure to make sure that content is good to keep people feeling that way. Like you said, Corbett, quality is the most important thing.

      I think people enjoy the fact that I’m pretty consistent and reliable. I think that consistency sets the tone for how I am and why people should trust me. Just an idea.

      Great report Corbett…like I said on the podcast (which is having a GREAT reaction today!), very impressive!

    3. I wonder, if you have a membership site where the big draw is “you” if posting less often and giving people a little less access to you would encourage more people to join the membership/forum? I currently post 3 times a week for one blog and 2 times a week for the other I do. I generally write long posts 1 to 3K words each. I would love to spend more in depth time in my membership site giving my members even more of me ~ but after all the blog writing I don’t always feel like writing a bunch more. Hmmm… something to really think about.

    4. The #1 rule with any question like this is to test it out. It’s impossible to say how changes will turn out for your specific situation. Give it a try and closely monitor the results.

  2. Posting less frequently but making each blog post really valuable and packed full with information will naturally result in longer blog posts. Say, if I post every other day I’d probably crank out 1200 – 1500 words. But if write less frequently I’d try to make each blog post at least 2000 word long, maybe even 3000+. That in turn will result in more traffic being sent in by Google since search engines might give a slight edge to longer articles.

    Also considering the blog posts would be longer if you post them when you really have something to say, the overall textual content of the blog will probably remain about the same. So the long-tail keyword combinations that can be picked up by Google will result in at least similar traffic volumes as if you posted more regularly with shorter blog posts.

  3. This post happened at the perfect time. I’m sitting here in front of a few blogs I write and was hesitant to write.

    The thoughts I had were…

    1. Am I just posting to post?
    2. Could I do a more in depth article?
    3. Wondering if everyone is getting too familiar with me?

    I’ve actually cut down on tweeting, FB fan page statuses and now blog posts. I believe in quality and presenting more value.

    Doing less and giving more value is a good concept. You’ll increase your earnings per hour, have more time and a deeper connection with your sphere of influence.

    Just like dating right? :) Note: It’s been years so I may not remember correctly.


  4. I’m going to give this a shot once my current queue of posts runs out in a couple months. They’re all good posts, but nowhere near as good as they could be if I spent more time on them.

    1. I developed the idea a bit and ended up somewhere more interesting. I’m going to go magazine-style and have an overall theme for the month with four big anchor posts, and the occasional post during the week.

      Once I laid down that goal, I sat down to write. I’ve got 3/4 of the anchor posts, and they’re turning out great. It seems like just the act of setting a higher standard has made it easier to achieve.

      I don’t know whether it was the theme or the standard though. I think having a theme to focus on is probably the biggest factor.

      That’s something you might want to try adding on to this experiment.

  5. This is so good to read. I scaled back my posting too and I’ve gained more comments, subscribers, visits, and pageviews, and a lower bounce rate, in this month than in the last 9 months. For some reason I felt that if posted less than 3 or 4 times a week readers would leave, but the opposite seems true.

  6. Looks like you did well with passive traffic as well. Interesting concept of alot of residual traffic being sent from your manifesto as well.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  7. Hey Corbett, the development looks great, congrats for that! I really hope more people follow your example. Only a really small minority of writers have the time, skills and dedication to permanently produce high quality content in order to post three or even more times a week, so I love the approach of quality over quantity and try to pursue it on The Friendly Anarchist. While my blog is a lot smaller than TT (and more “eclectic” in content, to call it like that… :-P), this has worked really well for me over time.
    Of course, news and gossip blogs are another story, but for many other niches, focus on blogging less and providing highest quality might well be a winner in the long run. Glen is the perfect example for this!

  8. Hi Corbett,

    I agree that quality is more important than quanity. I am just starting out and I think that the trap that a lot of beginners fall into is thinking they have to post something everyday in order to “establish” themselves. Granted it may take a little longer to build your audience, but ultimately if you set the standard of quality as your foundation I feel your blog will have long term staying power and not be a flash in the pan.

    Also in the current atmosphere of everyone, everywhere publishing content 4-5 times a week, I believe you actually can stand out a little with fewer post. Not only do you have a couple of extra days for research and development of your content, but you also build up anticipation of the next article. I know that when I haven’t seen anything lately from one of my favorite blogs, I am thrilled and really devour the information when it does come out.

    On a quick side note…I just wanted to thank you for the time and effort you put into your sites, even if you are a slacker that only put out a couple of posts last month…:-) I appreciate the opportunity to look over your shoulder as I learn.


    1. In the beginning, I think it is important to get posts up on a regular basis for a while, just so readers know you’re serious about helping them and maintaining your blog. It’s easier to post lots of good value in the beginning usually anyway because your head is filled with lots of fresh ideas.

      Thanks for the encouragement Alan. Sorry for being a slacker 😉

  9. It seems to me if I fight the urge to post something and just work on one thing instead of trying to post everyday I do without a doubt end up with some of my better material. This is something I need teach myself to start doing, or figure out some sort of posting schedule and just do 1-2 detailed posts a week instead of the 5 posts I do post. Very inspiring and interesting post, thank you!

  10. Love the transparency Corbett!

    I noticed something similar last fall, but for a few different reasons. I was writing 5 generic fitness posts per week, and frankly none of them were that in-dept (or any good in my opinion).

    As soon as I switched to only two posts a week, that freed up a lot of my time to start writing guest posts, connecting more with others, etc. It also allowed me to do more research and write more in depth articles.

    Best decision I ever made, and now I can’t even imagine going back to 5 posts a week.

    Another important thing to factor in – I’d rather have readers expect only 1 or 2 posts a week than 5. Three years from now, after you’ve built up a HUGE following, it’s going to be tough to make a switch and not upset many. However, if you set expectations from the start (or early on), you’ll take a lot of pressure off yourself in the future.


    1. Great example, Steve. And I know it’s worked out for you as I’ve seen your name all over the place in the past few months.

      And you make another great point. Spending less time worrying about keeping a breakneck schedule and more time networking and guest posting will always be a good trade. Content is king, but promotion is prime minister. If you build it, they won’t come unless you get the word out.

  11. Hi Corbett,

    I totally agree with you about quality over quantity. Considering posting in-depth and value based posts only few times a moth is more worthy than posting ‘regular’ articles each days.

    I was totally impressed by your mainfesto, so I would like to congratulate you for writing such a great book!

    To your success,

  12. Great findings Corbett,
    Building traffic isn’t an exact science and this post proves it (if it were, we would all have a hugely successful blogs, right? :) )!

    One idea for Think Traffic; How about making a Think Traffic Yearbook when the blog is 1 year old? I would absolutely love to see the content of this site in a structured eBook format, covering different traffic building topics, your monthly reports and so forth. That would make a fantastic bed time read and even further – making it also available as iPhone book app (maybe for Android too) would make it even more valuable. Jonathan Mead made an free iPhone app of his “The Zero Hour Workweek” manifesto and it’s been great to read it while having lunch, traveling and so on. Just a thought!

  13. Quality trumps quantity for sure. Blogging can make you feel like a hamster in a wheel, especially when you are made to feel you need to pump out post after post… Good stuff, Corbett

    1. Yeah, Clay Collins has called it the “hamster wheel of death.” It depends on how much you enjoy writing I suppose. Either way, you need to be thinking about what’s best for your business. A blog isn’t a business, it’s just a great way to reach people.

  14. Good concept. I do agree that quality is much more important than quantity; however, I got several questions I would like to ask.
    1. SEO-wise, would posting more content generally mean more pages being indexed by Google, which supposedly lean to more traffic?
    2. Do you think longer content (like your > 2000 words report) would rank higher in SERP or shorter content (300-500 words)?


    1. Hey Steven, as far as SEO is concerned, the most important ranking factor is how many quality backlinks you have pointing at your site. Longer more value-packed posts tend to attract far more links than the typical short / schedule-driven post. Length and quantity of posts aren’t nearly as important to Google as backlinks.

  15. Hey Corbett,

    I post 3 times a week. I am often inspired and have a lot to say, but it is important to set a post schedule at least in the begining because success in anything online requires consistency and discipline. A schedule helps set this.
    Once you are established however, it does seem post frequency matters little (depending on niche obviously) as you already have a build in audience to support you. The focus shifts from consistency and quality to just quality, or am I mistaken?

    1. That’s a good way to look at it, David. But even in the beginning, you need to focus on quality. Just because you’re consistent doesn’t mean people will want to read your stuff. I think consistency is overrated, even for beginners.

  16. Very good points made. It makes complete sense too, if the quality of posts is down of course everything else will drop too. Increase that post quality and the traffic increases too, having the ability to have 7 quality posts in a week would of course be great.

  17. Awesome stats Corbett,

    It is really great to see how traffic went for think traffic this month.

    Concerning the posting frequencey, I am also working on reducing my posts to two posts a week: One high quality, in-depth post and the other will be an interview with an expert. I’d watch to see how everything goes.

    Thanks so much for the awesome report,

  18. Corbett,

    Just a quick question on defining your terms. Your stats show 12,589 “visits” and then you say you had 2,466 more “visitors” directly underneath. Are you counting a visit as a visitor? Thanks!

    – Jason.

    1. Thanks for catching that, Jason. I meant to say “visits” and have corrected it within the article. Visitors is a confusing concept. I think some people use visits / visitors interchangeably. I like to refer to visitors commonly as unique monthly visitors.

  19. Just wondering, do you think that your initial posting more often gave you the opportunity to build a following of people which allowed/helped you in cut back and get the increase in traffic?? Would this have happened if you hadn’t been posting more often/building the following in the initial phase?? What are your thoughts??


    1. Honestly, I think it could have gone either way. If I had posted less frequently but with more value-packed posts since the beginning, I could just as easily have more visitors today. That strategy has worked for other people online. There’s a balance for sure. You want to make sure people know in the beginning that you’re serious about maintaining the blog for the long-haul. Consistency helps prove that. However consistency for it’s own sake can backfire if you post a lot of fluff.

  20. I guest posted an article on FamouBloggers called Tuning Your Posting Frequencies where I stated one should not blog every single day and should give reader time to digest your content.

    This post sparked an enormously large number of comments especially when I had the audacity to suggest deleting the dates from your posts!

    Nice report as I am glad to know someone is on my side 😉

  21. Great timing for your article Corbett.

    We post 2 pretty short articles per week and have been discussing posting less often but with more in depth information. You’ve inspired me to give it a try… maybe not every week but definitely for a few “mega articles”.


  22. Great work Corbett,

    I’ve enjoyed your monthly report series here at Think Traffic.

    I did have one question; I’m trying to understand at what point to introduce an E book to my audience. Like you, I’ve cut back on quantity of posts and focused on quality.

    Are there visitor / subscriber metrics you took your cue from before releasing the Manifesto?

    1. Hey Michael, great question. Are you talking about a free or paid ebook? In either case, I would release something sooner rather than later. Putting out a manifesto or product will help you grow your audience. I don’t know that there are specific metrics to watch for before releasing something. I found a much bigger audience with this manifesto than I did with my first one, but my base audience was bigger to begin with.

    2. Thanks for replying to my question, Corbett.

      I think I’m going to run with your advice and publish my first e book (I’ve been writing 3 simultaneously since I began blogging)

      And I credit Think Traffic with helping me rank better than when I started in 2009. I’m grateful you’ve started this blog and sharing your results with us.

  23. What great timing that I find another great website about building traffic, right after I finish reading every post by ViperChill. Incredible read. I love the anecdotal perspective when looking at things. I’ll definitely be on my way to read more of your posts, I’m aiming at reading the Does Spending so Much Time of Twitter… one next.

    Thanks for the knowledge.

  24. I always love reading the Monthly Report, and this on specially hit home, I decided about 2-3 weeks ago to cut down on posting on all my websites.

    I found myself posting just because I thought I had to have new stuff all the time, I was surrealistically trying to compete with news websites, where I should be focused on making the best posts I can, people come to blogs to keep in depth information not the latest news.

    Anyways keep up these reports, they are helping people, me included!


  25. quality always beats quantity. i am presently not posting so many times on my blog . i strive to build great content even if it is 4 times a month. it is better to 1 great post that 4 posts that suck.

  26. Another popular blog, ViperChill, published monthly reports as well, and showed that his traffic went up after he only posted one post in a month. As a reader, we may want more content to read than one post a month, but I won’t drop them from my readership because of that. After all, I read Harper’s and Atlantic Monthly, and they only publish once a month, too.

    I often drop blogs because they post too frequently and I simply can’t handle that much information, so I’m thankful that you’re trying to convince people to write less, not more.

    (PS: You’ve earned a new reader)

    1. Great point, James, ViperChill is a constant source of inspiration. Oh, and Harper’s and The Atlantic? I’d better step up my writing if I plan to keep you as a reader 😉

  27. Think the analysis doesn’t take into account many variables. By posting 3 times a weeks regularly for 3 months you built a base and the spiders came to crawl your site regularly. You may have been reaping the benefits of that work with your posts now. I assume you have also been marketing you blog. if we don’t know exactly what you have done or changed over the time period, we can’t asses any causality. If you reduce posting frequency and improve marketing efforts it’s possible for traffic to go up. I get more traffic naturally if I post valuable content more often. That being said it’s better to post things people want to read less often that crap more often. Also some types of blogs require necessarily that you post more frequently than others. So I’m with you on that. I am no SEO or anything like that, I have just been blogging a bit an prefer common sense analysis of things..

  28. That is a good question, Corbett.

    This would probably depend more on the niche the Blog is within.

    There is such a variation out in the Blog-o-sphere regarding post frequency, and the results being obtained.

    For example:
    A particular political Blog I visit from time to time, has a whole collection of fresh posts ready to to roll, daily. That particular blog is the number one blog in that country. Though, to be fair, the person who runs the Blog has his own high rating TV show, is part of a radio duo and writes numerous articles for high end newspapers.

    Note: The above Blogs popularity was mainly built upon the actual Blog, with additional help from the various newspaper columns(The TV and radio Gigs are recent additions).

    Okay! back to the world of Blogging.
    As far as Blogs based around Blogging, SEO, traffic Generation, Social Media, Web design and all other blog related concerns, It would probably depend on how well established the Blog is to begin with. As another commenter has mentioned, a new Blog would be better off getting a few posts built up before easing back a little once a strong support base has been established.

    A very well established Blog may be able to ease off for an extended period, due mainly to(The linkage they have built) the name(Rep) they carry(People will keep dropping in to check for any new posts) .

    Though, if a blog community has become accustomed to X number of posts being delivered daily, weekly, monthly etc and this suddenly changes on a permanent basis, this may steer regulars or semi- regulars away from that particular site.

  29. In my case, the results of posting frequency was slightly different. On months I post daily or almost daily, I see much better overall results. As long as I don;t post more than once a day on social media as when I do that my traffic and follower bases seems to be negatively affected.

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