The Tortoise or the Hare approach to blogging?

September 27, 20092 Comments
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If you are blogging for traffic and increased exposure, you’ll know that the more you write, the better your website will perform. But how often should you post on your blog?

From talking to (and reading) a few other bloggers, some people choose to publish often, but with shorter posts (the hare approach), other’s take a slightly longer, more substantial approach (the tortoise ) that takes a few days to either research or write up blog posts. There are benefits and pitfalls to each methodology from a site traffic perspective, with the end goal being the same; increased visitors, increased subscribers, and ultimately more business as a result.

The Hare Approach

speedie

Benefits

You are likely to accumulated a greater percentage of subscribers faster than bloggers who leave it a while before they post, and your statistics are likely to reflect a greater number of repeat visitors from people hunting for your freshest content.

Negatives

Every post that you add, is an extra post in Google’s index. You can play the numbers game and churn out a couple of posts every week to increase long tail searches, but ultimately to get higher traffic  (and hit a few short tail keywords) you are going to need incoming links to those posts. Collections of links are unlikely to obtain many incoming links compared to say, a short snappy newsworthy piece, but will provide visitors with entertainment.

Prior to the google update that SEO folk termed “The Florida update” – having lots of pages on your site was a perceived indicator of authority – once this was out of the bag, spammers abused the priviledge, and churned out buckets of auto generated content, with the result that it wasn’t long before Google canned this in the algorithm. Having a large site no longer means that you will generate more organic traffic from the search engines, so posting for the sake of it doesn’t help you anymore. A good thing for the web on the whole.

Its an extremely slow process to try and increase traffic through the long tail by just playing the numbers, and increasing the number of posts you have indexed in Google, so persistance and commitment are the key here. (BTW to find out how many you currently have do a “site:domain.com” search on Google). Eventually, you will stumble across a few decent keywords that generate a nice level of traffic for your site.

Maximising your posts if you post short and snappy.

If you are a discoverer or a collector, you’ll need to supplement existing finds with either summary posts (that people are keen to bookmark or share on social bookmarking sites) – or do some lists of the best finds for the year.

For example, if I ran a blog in the niche of “fashion trend” and collected items from various retailers daily that I though my readers would enjoy – a summary post would consist of something like “Winter fashion for 2009″  – including a collection of the garments that go well with each other to create an outfit. Likewise if a collection of posts are on a similar topic, pulling them together into one place can make their combined value much more linkable to.

The Tortoise Approach

slow-mo

Benefits

You are much more likely to become authoritive in your niche if you are a tortoise. Reason being, that a comprehensive post which covers everything on a particular topic is linked to more, and referenced than five smaller ones which are disjointed. Incoming links are statistically more plentiful on a post which has been worked on longer, researched and polished.

Negatives

Slower posting patterns can put some subscribers off. With social media being used to promote many blog posts now; the slower you post, to a degree, the less people you’ll  be getting in front of. Writing long posts also takes more time that may be better spent working on your business itself.

Maximising your posts if you post long and length.

I’ve spoken before about the need to pimp your shit yourself. If you run a small site, even a linkbait article is unlikely to get links unless you promote it around the web yourself. Once you’ve got an audience, this balls starts rolling itself.

There are plenty of places to do this and seed the content initially. Your goal should be to get your content to go viral. This will give you the greatest reach, and in turn more incoming links.

Overview

Mixing up the different styles allows you to benefit from both, with some short posts some weeks, mixed in with longer more comprehensive posts the next.  Knowing the differences between these styles will help you to become a better blogger, and hopefully wack you in the side of the head if you are stuck in a rut only using one technique or the other.

What do you guys do from a technique point of view? Are you a tortoise? Or a hare?

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About the Author ()

Paul is a regular 30 year old web bloke / programmer with a penchant for online marketing. This blog is a personal outlet, with an eclectic mix of articles.

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  1. My approach to blogging. | August 30, 2010
  1. Dawn Baird says:

    This is a really useful analysis, thanks Paul. I try to write short and often and now and then write a longer post that will have lots of people linking to it. Takes a while to get into your swing.

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