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One of the questions I get asked the most from those starting out in the blogosphere is how often they should be writing blog posts. If you have the time to blog a few times a week – and can make a newsworthy post each time — then go for it. But even if you can only commit to one piece a week, it’s still possible to build a strong following and earn an income from your blog. Here are some considerations to bear in mind as you plan your schedule… 1. Stock up Before you publish your first piece, it’s wise to have a stockpile of posts (at least three…and ideally five) ready to release over your early days or weeks. This gives the impression that you’re serious about your blog and not just testing the waters. As you schedule those pieces, work on the next three to five posts, and have them ready to go fairly promptly. This gives your readers the opportunity to get a good feel for your writing and to share favorite posts with friends and colleagues. 2. Be consistent Whether you blog every 15 minutes or every 15 days, readers will soon figure out what they can expect from you. If you jump around too much, they’ll get annoyed that you’re not living up to the expectation they built for you. Remember — this is a budding relationship with your reader. Park your blog for two days or two weeks too long, and it will be noticed. Your readers may become annoyed or lose interest. Post frequently all of a sudden and you might see the same fate. From the start, it’s far more important to be aware of your limits and not over-commit. Better to have killer content appear once a week that your community can’t wait to see… than to slap random posts together because some blogging “guru” on the Internet says you must post at least three times a week. 3. Size matters(ish) So, how long should an individual blog post be? Approaching this scientifically, one of the criteria used by search engines, as they decide how to rank your post, is the amount of content (your word count) and how relevant that content is to the search terms. Research has shown that blogs with between 1,000 and 2,000 words get pushed up higher in search results. A study last year cited 1,500 words as the ideal number. Good to keep this in mind as you write. But all rules are made to be broken… If you’ve written 900 compelling words of a post and have come to a natural ending, leave it there. While evidence suggests that very short blog posts get pushed down the search engine stack, that’s no excuse to ramble on in the name of optimal length. One successful blogger I know rarely writes more than five paragraphs. Remember, relevance is important, too. Search engines are trained to figure out when you’re just trying to fill space. This will also hurt your success. I share all this so you can launch your blog with your best foot forward. But don’t get completely hung up on the numbers. The main thing is to get started. Blog…and blog consistently…and the rest will fall into place. Share on Facebook