To Update Or Not To Update Every Day
A Penny For... is asking (1) how often a blog must be updated and (2) what the factors that control the acceptable minimun are.
This blog is quite new so I thought I answer based on the first corporate blog I started.
Some background: I started the blog the summer of 2000 - and stopped publishing January this year (others at an former employee of mine is running the show now). As I've described before I was maybe overambitiously persistent. But it gave good results, more and more readers found it. For a year and a half or so I published 3-4 new posts per week, and I gave my visitors options to subscribe to an e-mail newsletter with the posts or syndicate the headlines to their sites (mostly intranets).
The weeks I didn't find time to post more than 1 or 2 new things, there was a visible downturn in contacts with readers and less courses ordered (which was the main income source the blog resulted in).
But - and this I found interesting - once the blog and I was established it didn't matter how often I published. At the end I actually didn't feel like publishing anymore, I had said what I could say on the subject. It could take 6 or 7 weeks between postings, but I still got new customers from the site. That was partly because it was more than a blog with good static content. But I think the most important factor was that the blog/site was established.
So, to answer Todd's questions,
1. What is the acceptable minimum for blogging frequency?
When you're establishing your blog - as much as you possibly can. Today there's much more alternatives to whatever blog you can think of, so no less than 5 days a week.
2. What are the factors that control what the acceptable minimum is?
It all comes down to how established you and your blog are. If you make it to the top of your business you don't have to worry that much about frequency. You know that you've reached the top when most relevant sites link to you, when magazines refer to you, when even competitors must qoute you to be credible, when it's more or less impossible to write or speak about your subject without relating to you.
From a business perspective that leaves us with another question: How long should you try to reach a position like that before giving up, saying "We won't make it, it's not worth the effort anymore". The answer is individual, depending on what you hope to gain by blogging. But if you're not willing to invest 12-18 months... why bother?