3 Good Reasons Why You Should Post Less and What to Do Instead

Why You Should Post Less and What to Do InsteadHow many posts do you publish per week?

How many tweets do you send out every day?

You see on this blog I’ve talked a lot about frequency and the importance it holds. I even went as far as to write a post about why you should publish at least two times a week.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the latter is necessarily wrong. Today however I would like to take a glance at the other side of the coin.

The reason for that? 

Lately I’ve been doing some testing with how often I share content on the social networks, which inspired me to get started on this piece. Besides over the last few months my free time is a bit limited, which results in me sharing new content less frequently.

Below you can read about some of my findings regarding content, frequency, consistency along with some other factors that also play a very important role in terms of:

  • More social sharing
  • More clicks
  • More blog traffic

Let’s get started!

1. Fewer Posts Equals More Time to Market


Over the last years there have been more than one or two posts about the importance of why you should publish new content frequently.

Here is for instance an interesting graph from Hubspot on an article at SocialMediaExaminer:

Blog Posting Frequency vs Traffic

So we clearly see that the more you publish, the more traffic you will generate. In fact up to five times more based on the data above.

But there’s one important question here…

Do the companies that post often owe their traffic to publishing frequently or do they publish frequently because they already have the capital to hire content marketers, who provide content on daily basis?

The problem for smaller bloggers is that they don’t really have a team. They work as writers, as editors and as markters all at the same time.

But then again there’s only so much time at one’s disposal.

If you choose to post every day from Monday to Friday, chances are you will need to devote most of your free time to producing content. In the end you will have five posts, but probably not much interaction on those posts (because you won’t have enough time to market them) plus you will probably feel burnt out. Additionally it might just be a bit more than your readers can handle, as  Michael Hyatt discovered.

While the last one wasn’t the case on my end, I decided to go down to one post per week (occasionally making them two when I also share an infographic), because I wanted to focus on:

  • More research and higher quality – looking for reference research data, other posts that backup the statements you make and when necessary preparing visual material to help visitors get a clearer understanding. Incorporating those elements takes more time but results in a much more shareable post.
  • More time to get in touch - that is important if you want to people visiting your blog more than once. Replying to comments might soon lose its priority if you write all the time. Fewer posts will allow you for instance more time to ask relevant questions those who retweet your content.
  • More time to answer your emails – have you happened to star important emails only to never come back to them and reply, thinking writing is your number one priority? Emails are opportunities – don’t forget the often times come from people interested in hiring you, in collaborating with you, in including you in an interview.

2. Less Social Media Posts Equals More Engagement


Sometime ago I believed that in order to get more traffic from Twitter you need to tweet more. I was sharing a tweet every twenty minutes or so.

In the end I was indeed getting traffic. With that traffic however every now and then I would also receive complaints from people, who were simply overwhelmed by the amount of tweets. I would also get at least a dozen unfollows every day.

And then I decided to start sharing less - from 3-4 down to 1-2 posts on Google Plus and Facebook and from around 35-40 tweets with links down to 15-25.

What I did was to…

  • Focus more on the tweets - I started carefully adding hashtags and images. I started researching on useful plugins and tools and created “DID YOU KNOW” tweets (which get a really good level of interaction).
  • Reconfigure Tweet Old Post – a really neat WordPress plugin that automatically shares your posts. I lowered the “
  • Worked on the post’s summaries – a detailed post summary is a great way to get more Google Plus interaction. The same works for Facebook too, although I’ve been seeing a lot less traffic after the notorious algorithm changes. The structure that works best for me is post title > related (rhetorical) question > short answer > post summary > link to the post > 2-3 hashtags.
  • Spend more time cross-promoting - including finding relevant Google Plus communities (more on that in a soon-to-come article) and resharing content there, resharing from my Google Plus account to my Google Plus page, pinning Google Plus posts to my boards with the Chrome Pinterest extension and looking for interesting material to mix up with my content.

So what are the results so far? 

My Buffer weekly digest (the number of tweets you see is consistent, because only the ones sent from Buffer are being measured) has been showing steady increases in number of retweets, number of favorites and number of clicks with the last one showing the following:

Interaction on Twitter increase

NOTE: The percentage increase you see is in comparison to the previous week. So in reality the 11% decrease on the last metric is still a big increase over the 83 favorites I received in the period between January 6th and January 12th.

Nothing big on Pinterest, since I’ve only been participating seriously for a month, but still:

Pinterest Traffic Increase

And CircleCount shows consistent followers growth even with less shared content:

Google Plus Account Growth

3. Fewer Emails Equals Happier Subscribers


Email marketing as we all know is probably one of the most powerful marketing tools.

And if you haven’t started with email marketing, I’d suggest you go to MailChimp (my personal favorite because its free for up to 2,000 subscribers and gives you pretty much everything you need) and get going straight away.

Aside from making money off of an email list, a lot of bloggers send emails to their subscribers to let them know when they publish new content.

While that is a sure-fire way to bring more traffic to your latest post it is not ideal if you publish often. 

You see something I’ve been observing over the last months is that fewer emails equal more interaction.

Going down from two to one emails per week I’m seeing an increase in both open- and click-rates from around 25% for the first up to 28% and from around 6% for the latter up to 7.5-8%. Also fewer people unsubscribe, both in general and per email (from 3-4 unsubscribes per email down to 1-2).

In addition the MailChimp team also concludes that less monthly emails result in more engagement and happier subscribers:

Less Emails More Engagement

So my advice is consider the above data, but do keep in mind that you should be consistent.

If you are going to do it twice a week, do it two times every week. If it’s going to be once a week, do it once every single week. Also keep in mind that if you post too infrequently your subscribers might stop noticing your emails, so I’d recommend at least once-a-week-emails.

Final Words


That’s pretty much it friends. All in all frequency is not always a decisive factor. There is no denying though – being active and participating is important. But aside from that you should also take the time to craft your content (blog posts, social shares and emails) so that it not only gets the point across, but it makes people want to share, click, take action.

Now on to you! 

Do you agree that less is more when it comes to content marketing? Have you observed similar results yourself… or maybe the opposite?

Do share your thoughts and this post with your friends if you enjoyed it! :D
Daniel

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  1. Daniel:

    As always thank you for providing and sharing some incredibly powerful and extremely well researched, food for thought. Some of the results you shared are quite predictable.

    Like, seeing an increase in your overall email open rates, when you email your subscribers less frequently. Or that you receive less un follows on twitter, when you tweet less.

    But other in depth aspects that you shared are (as always) extremely eye opening and good to know going forward!Great job.

    Studying your blog posts are always a priority for me! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have to agree, and have cut down from 7 to 5 days, but thinking about posting only on 3 which would give me more time to focus on other areas which will help me grow my following and increase traffic. Timely post – thank you!

  3. Nice post. I think that when you first start out it is about more traffic. So for the first 3-6 months you have to post as often as you can. It is about traffic at this point. However, once you have steady traffic coming in you want to have the time to engage with your audience. Now that you have the traffic, back off a little and see what is actually important to your audience.

  4. Hi Daniel,
    I find that if I post more, I get more visits and less comments. I increased my posts from 1-2 per week to 2-4 per week and have increased visits. The comments have gone down as I’ve had less time to comment on others posts. It’s a catch 22- it’s nice to have more traffic but it’s also nice to have more comments and learn what readers want out of your posts so you can create more for them, the ones that they NEED.
    As for social media I try to stay consitant on most days, some times life gets in the way, if I have a day like today where I was offline I rev it up the following day. I love using the Buffer to help too.
    It will be interesting to see which method works best for most bloggers.

  5. I started this strategy last year and love it. I am a community manager and I like building up my blog one person at a time. It does wonders for engagement and keeping people on the page. When I was publishing every day it was so easy to burn out. I also know that most people were not reading. Focusing on writing less at higher quality was worth it for me.

    I see the internet moving away from constant content to curation and long form content. I am trying this out on my own blog this year and seeing how it goes. I just re-did all my social media profiles for a fresh start.

  6. I follow the same strategy (these days, I do it mostly out of necessity…I can’t afford to spend any more time writing blog posts, especially if I want to maintain my commenting efforts). My original intention was of course, more time for marketing. I haven’t been able to do that, at least not yet.

    Hopefully I will be able to do more, in the coming weeks (I just transferred to another university…so, it has been pretty tough…I ride the bus, so commuting alone takes about 4 hours back and forth. I do spend it on other things, but those 10-15 mins wasted here and there…..like looking at other vehicles pass by, they add up!).

    I also email once a week (I use Mailchimp..do have a question though. How do you manage autoresponders? I don’t want to make that many autoresponders, already have 3 or 4 of them…but I also don’t want to waste my efforts. I want to reuse my emails for newer subscribers. I know, replication and segmentation allows us to do this, but is there any other way? How do you manage it?)

    I see that you have been making a few changes to the site, awesome :D Anyways, thank you for sharing this with us, Daniel :)

  7. I’m new to the blogging world, barely a two full months in as a writer. I’ve been searching for a balance on social networking to market myself. Want to get out there, but not be overbearing. I am looking forward to trying out your tips and seeing what happens. Thanks!

  8. Hi Daniel,
    Thanks for the nice overview. I haven’t been blogging long, so I have a lot to learn, but I do agree that in the end you should aim for creating ‘deep’ content: in depth long articles people will want to share naturally. Besides, who knows how important social signals from non-Google networks will become in the near future? The quality of your content is something you can always rely on.

    Cheers
    Alicia

  9. Hey Daniel,

    Great points! I personally post 3 times per week, sometimes more. That’s only because my website is a mini-blog and since the posts are short and to-the-point, I want to provide a few every week.That being said, I only send out a newsletter once per week as more of a summary, because I know I don’t like to get several emails per day about new blog posts.

    This article has been very informative and I like all the new design on your site!

    Kalen Bruce

    • Hey Kalen,

      Thank you sir!

      I see. In that case three posts a week makes perfect sense. A recap email is a good idea and from a subscriber’s perspective it would certainly be better than three individual emails for me.

      Thank you for stopping by and glad you like the design changes! :D
      Have a good one!
      Daniel

  10. Daniel, strong points! I will be a 5 post a day – or more – guy because it is in my blood. I feel that posting more and marketing less vibes with my personality and overall content sharing strategy. But each point you make holds real water.

    When I have pulled back I noted some similar trends….it’s just that creating like a machine feels wonderful to me, and my wallet prefers the frequent posting strategy opposed to the less frequent approach lol…..

    Thanks for sharing bro!

    • Hey Ryan,

      The one about the wallet is a strong point there man. lol It is great that is working for you. I believe it is working for a lot of other people too. I wanted to look from a different angle though – that proper marketing is as equally (and sometimes even more) important as quality content.

      Thank you for the comment and have a great day ahead! :D
      Daniel

  11. Daniel,
    There are a lot of great points in this article, and thanks for sharing your own statistics as a case study. I’ve experimented with posting frequency on a few blogs in the past and I rarely saw much of a noticeable impact on established blogs as long as I stayed within 1 – 5 posts per week.

    Of course, the type of content that you publish is a big factor too. If a blog publishes longer, detailed posts like this one it is likely to work well with just one or two posts per week. Blogs, like for example celebrity gossip blogs, that publish short posts that don’t take much time for the reader to digest will be more likely to work well with frequent posts. News related blogs also tend to need higher posting frequency.

    • Hey Marc,

      You are right – the topic of the blog does make a big difference.

      My advice probably refers to the little more technical (and “evergreen”) content out there. It is just that if you take the time to go through enough detail, a single post might bring you the same or more traffic, because it will be more useful. It won’t simply include general information that you can find anywhere and that’s what matters for sharing.

      Thank you for sharing your point of view! :)
      Daniel

  12. Hi Daniel!
    I have been playing with post frequency lately, too. I post once a week and was recently trying to do it twice a week with a second post that’s a little less intense to write. What it comes down to for me is: time management. I still haven’t quite figured out an editorial calendar system that works for me. Any suggestions? I feel like when I get that piece in place, I can be more productive not only with my promotions, but also getting off of the computer and enjoying life more :-)

    • Hey Steph,

      Two posts is definitely not bad if you have enough time at your hands. About editorial calendar, have you tried the WordPress plugin with the same name? It visualizes your content in the form of a calendar with easy drag & drop functionallity.

      Daniel

  13. Daniel, I’m really glad you posted this. I think there is so much pressure on businesses to ‘churn’ on social media – generate content, share content, just to try to be visible. I think of it as ‘social media suffocation’, particularly for small businesses, where they get pulled into ‘doing stuff’ which has a huge time suck but doesn’t benefit the business.

    I had a conversation recently with someone who was posting in a LinkedIn group – his posts saturated the group and he would send out one an hour through the day. His viewpoint was that he was sharing useful content but from my perspective, and others, it’s an instant turn off and just like those annoying telephone sales calls.

    I don’t want more social media contact, I want less but I want contact that is meaningful, intelligent and helps me to do my job rather than hinder it.

    • Hey Debbie,

      Great point there!

      It might be interesting content, but if you are sharing it every five minutes, people will look at it more like spam. They will feel more like you simply want to get more clicks rather than actually being helpful (which is probably the way it is).

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment!
      Daniel

  14. You raise an interesting point, especially for the self-employed or small business, where balancing the need to produce profitable business activity has to be balanced with online content production and promotion. It is a tough balance to get right – big business, of course, solves this conundrum by employing content producers or spending vast sums on outsourcing. Small firms or solopreneurs cannot afford to do either.

    However, this is more about attitude and where you see the centre of your business. The really successful online sole traders and small businesses see the web and online content activity as the centre of their business. Their product sales or offline business happen as a result of this. In other words, seeing the web as central, rather than peripheral changes the way people behave and work.

    Your analysis also includes some questionable data. For instance, the MailChimp study is flawed. You cannot set out in research to prove a negative. Besides the correlation co-efficient is very low, suggesting that the results are near to what would happen by chance anyway.

    Furthermore, what the focus on data ignores is the psychological impact of frequent posting and sharing. Studies show that the more frequently you post, the more people remember you. Even if they do not engage now, or this week, or next month, the constant refreshing of your brand name helps keep you “top of mind” in those people – even years later.

    That’s what those successful, web-centric, small businesses realise. That the frequency of posting is not aimed at immediate engagement, but long term brand penetration. Studies that look at this psychological factor demonstrate that the more you post and share the longer term your impact becomes. In other words, longevity in online business does appear to be associated with increased frequency.

    There are other psychological reasons for high frequency posting and sharing too, explained in my book, Click.ology: What Works in Online Shopping – http://click.ology.biz

    • Hey Graham,

      That is exactly the point I wanted to make there. Big companies can afford to invest and therefore can work on all aspects of their online marketing simultaneously. Not every self-employed marketer can do that however.

      The MailChimp guys have also presented an interesting equation that can help people decide what is best for them. Thought it’s a little too technical to share it though.

      About people remembering you – there is no denying that if you share something every once in a while you won’t be remembered. No need for study on that. But then again as I see it by posting too much subscribers and followers simply start ignoring your updates more and more. So in the end you get similar results in terms of traffic (due to the high number of updates), but you get less interaction per item shared (likes, shares, comments, clicks). So end up spending more time to see the same result.

      Of course I’m not referring to making drastic reductions in sharing. I’m still at around 20 tweets a day which however you look at it is a little less than once every hour.

      My message is more about being consistent, but not overdoing at the same time.

      Will definitely take a look at your book!

      Thank you for the comprehensive comment!
      Daniel

  15. I think you are absolutely right.

  16. Daniel,
    Great article, as always, and thank you for your invaluable insight. I didn’t see you mention Instagram–are you a fan of using that as a marketing tool? I use it quite often in my creative business and sometimes struggle with over or under sharing content, so I wanted to get your thoughts or suggestions on IG for those visual folks out there.
    Thanks!

    • Hey Stephanie,

      I haven’t really paid much attention to Instagram. I prefer Pinterest, so can’t really help you with that. As far as Pinterest, I do pin/re-pin 3-4 times a day, but maybe that number could be a little higher.

      Thanks for stopping by! :D
      Daniel

  17. I love that something I’ve always thought has now been proven. Great graphics and data, Daniel, thanks for the hard work you put into not only this post but pretty much all your other ones too. Always great insight.

  18. Interesting…I slowed down my posts and my traffic increased! Happily using extra time to market and tweet. I schedule mine 1 hr apart

  19. Hi Daniel, as you know my stream is always moving! There’s never a dull moment and sadly it’s just the way it is! I don’t mind if I send a ton of tweets they are sites of the users following me anyways so for the most part they don’t mind. As you know I don’t blog much as I spend most my time marketing and promoting my Blog Engage clients.

    Regarding my subscribers, I’m not going to be afraid to send three or four e-mails a week if it means 5 or 6 will unsubscribe, This is the reality of newsletters and subscriber lists. We just can’t make everyone happy.

    • Hey Brian,

      I know what you mean man. I was doing the same thing, sharing almost non-stop, but slowing down the phase (especially now that I started tweeting with images) did in fact increase the engagement on individual tweets. So I get more traffic with less tweets, which also means less people will be overwhelmed by too much information and hence unsubscribe.

      About subscribers, I agree, there is no way to avoid unsubscribes. But then again there are people who’d literally send emails every day. And as I see it, email marketing is meant only for the most important messages, unlike social.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your perspective!
      Daniel

  20. Loved it, Daniel. Your writing and graphics are superb teaching tools.
    Do you falsify your age as a marketing tool? Just kidding. So much wisdom for a guy your age.

    What do you think about Ben Settles daily email strategy. He begs people to unsubscribe and wants only committed, engaged followers. You probably know the rest.

    By the way, perhaps your first heading should read, “How *Many* Posts You Should Publish Per Week” I believe it’s more grammatically correct. I don’t judge….I’m a one language idiot in the US.

    Adios Amigo

    • Hey Steve,

      Thank you for the kind words my friend! And about my age, I’ve been asked that question a few times. lol No, I actually turned 20 a few days ago (on the 22nd).

      I’m not sure if I’d ask people to unsubscribe myself, but defintiely see the logic behind it. After all especially if you have thousands of subscribers, each of them means you investing more money. And why invest money in people who are simply not interested in your emails? No reason for that.

      Thank you for the heads up on the typos, fixed those.

      Have a great day ahead Steve!
      Daniel