Building a Consistent Blog Readership

Many bloggers dream of writing that epic blog post. One that drives so much traffic, links and shares that the front page of Reddit is a foregone conclusion.

blog readers

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

Common wisdom suggests that to write anything even kind of like that you must plan and toil and slave over the writing until you’ve packed so much in there people must flock to it.

Well, the reality is most people don’t need to blog to create uber-popular blog posts or become popular bloggers.

The utility in blogging for the majority of businesses is the eventual creation of a body of work that covers the chapters or keyword themes that attract readers, prospects and customers.

In that regard, consistency, usefulness, value, education and sturdiness all trump epic.

I recently revealed what I call a Total Content System that addresses a “themed” approach to mapping out monthly content, but today I want to talk about another element that can help establish a daily and weekly rhythm for your blogging.

One of the ways to develop a loyal following is a consistent pattern of content features that can help your readers know what to expect when they subscribe, share and look for your new posts.

An easy way to do this is to break your week down into standard features. You can go as far as describing or even naming your features or you can just use this idea as a loose framework for yourself.

Here’s an example of how I do this:

  • Monday – Usually reserved for something bigger picture, theme related post – usually something that people need to digest and adapt to use.
  • Tuesday – This is when I do my “5 Ways to Do X kind of post” or “How to use X kind of tool” – lots of links and teaching and usually pretty prescriptive. I publish an email newsletters on Wednesdays and I often use one of these first two posts as my featured article.
  • Wednesday – This is podcast day. I publish a new episode and write some commentary related to the subject.
  • Thursday – This is guest post day. I run a post written by someone I’ve invited to add a new perspective to the monthly theme
  • Friday – I usually do something on the lighter side or at least not straight up marketing
  • Saturday – I run a feature I call Weekend Favs. It’s just a quick highlight of three new tools I’ve discovered during the week. Funny, but I sometimes get more feedback on this than anything else I do
  • Sunday – No post on this day, but truth be known I often work on Monday and Tuesday’s posts

One of my readers shared a routine he is planning for new site recently and I think it helps shed some light on how flexible this approach is.

Here’s how Bruno Coelho plans to break his daily posts down.

  • A question worth answering
  • An action worth doing
  • A lesson worth learning
  • An Online Dreampreneur worth following
  • A week worth remembering

This aspect of a Total Content System further allows you to plan and build your content knowing that you need four lessons, questions, interviews, etc., each month.

But, perhaps the most important aspect is that it also allows your readers to get a feel for what to expect day in and day out.

Ask your readers or customers what they want, use tools like Survey Monkey, Wufoo or Qualaroo to gain insights into what people are looking for and then experiment until you get the mixture that feels right.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • jaybaer

    Great post John. Blogs need to be treated like magazines, with planned features. Here’s how I do it at Convince & Convert:

    Sunday/Monday – post from me about a trend or big picture item
    Tuesday – guest post
    Wednesday – Baer Facts video post from me
    Thursday – Social Media Image of the week post
    Friday – Social Pros podcast

    • ducttape

      Hey Jay – thanks for sharing your routine – always great to get more examples and views.

  • Jeremy Floyd

    Nice post John! I’ve been reserving Saturday or Sunday for more inspirational posts, but I haven’t been focusing on specific posts for each day of the week.

    Did you arrive at this content calendar based on analytics? Have you ever tested it to see whether moving big picture to Fridays, for example, has a higher readership? Just curious.

    • ducttape

      Jeremy – I think I’m always testing, but maybe not in a truly scientific manner. I’ve been blogging for 10 years now and have developed some pretty good instincts about my readers. I do, however pay very close to analytics and that aspect has a great deal to do with my findings as well.

  • Genevieve Lachance

    I totally agree, consistency, usefulness and value is the best way to build blog readership. With all the noise on the web, writing epic posts is pretty difficult. By the way, I always enjoy and look forward to your “Weekend Favs” on Saturdays!

  • Dave Crenshaw

    Very valuable post! Thanks for sharing John.

  • Sheetal Sharma

    Great post, we can actually implement these steps and build readership among blogs. I work for content management team at Synechron where my role involves regular blogging about my company and my work, this post will definitely help me in organizing my weekly content on blog.

  • Chris Lanclos

    Thank you, this is great information!

  • Danielle Holdman

    Currently developing my editorial calendar, and I actually stumbled upon this article after listening to the Total Content System podcast via my phone. Both articles give some valuable information that I can put into action right now! Thanks!

    • ducttape

      Thanks Danielle – I’m always trying to figure out how to do things more effectively and efficiently so thus the desire to create a system for everything :)

  • Wayne Liew

    Thank you for sharing this, John. We are trying hard to implement a system like this over at Sprout Geek so that I can at least get a steady stream of quality content published on the blog.

  • Jim Reardan

    It’s interesting how structure and discipline enable creativity much better than their opposites.

    • ducttape

      I know it’s true. A lot of creative people resist process and documentation too when it can be the most freeing thing creatively.

  • Animesh Roy

    I really liked your concept of Total Content System. As a new blogger sometimes I face this problem to maintain consistencies. But If i make a routine of each day in a week for every task then entire process of managing a blog will be very streamlined.Thanks for this helpful post.