How often should you tweet? How often should you Blog? How long should a Podcast be? How many friends should you have on Facebook?
Businesses and individuals ask this question all of the time as if there is some sort of real/true answer. As if the success of an initiative is relative to the quantity of content being published. It should come as no surprise that there is no silver bullet. The truth is, there is no right answer to this question (or, more appropriately, the answer is: "it depends" - which also happens to be the running inside joke answer for every question ever asked to both Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson on their amazing audio podcast, For Immediate Release). Should a Blog post be long or short? Should you tweet every thought that enters your cranium?
It is one of the trickiest things to figure out.
My term for this is, The Pulse, of your publishing. It is in incumbent on all of us as content producers and publishers to be so inline with our community that we can figure out the right amount, flow, quantity and quality balance that we're pulsing out. Understanding how often to pulse out your thoughts have two intertwined components to it:
- The appetite of your community. Namely, how much they are willing to take and engage with from you.
- Staying true to yourself. Your ability to not focus on how many people are coming or going, but rather the quality of the content and those who are inline with your values and decisions.
This Blog should be a lot more popular.
It's a comment I often hear from those who are connected within this community. It's also one I tend to ignore. I'm not interested in shorter posts that say nothing. I'm not interested in spending my time trolling through creative commons photos because Blog postings with pictures gets more attention. I try not to create a provocative headline with the sole intent of linkbaiting or tweetbaiting. I have a pulse and flow to what feels right (to me) and I'm hopeful that it connects with enough smart people that will pass this content around, add to it and help it to mature (by adding their own perspective in the comment section below or by starting their own conversation about this content on their own Blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc...).
Anything else would be fake.
Avinash Kaushik is a busy guy. Along with being the Analytics Evangelist for Google, he's also the author of two best-selling business books (Web Analytics - An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0) and he has his own start-up (Market Motive). Kaushik also has one of the best Blogs on the intertubes called, Occam's Razor. His post are long and well thought-out, and he only posts once a week. That's his pulse. It works for him and it works for his community. Layer that against a similar busy person like Chris Brogan, who has one of the most popular Blogs out there, has authored two books (Trust Agents along with Julien Smith and his recently published, Social Media 101), has his own company (New Marketing Labs), and still manages to both Blog and tweet at an amazingly frenetic and frequent daily pace, and you'll soon begin to realize that the quantity of the content that these two individuals are producing has little to do with their overall success.
It's all about how they pulse out their content and tweak it as the community evolves and engages.
The only way to really figure out what the right pulse is for your content and commentary will be through trial and error. You can't be afraid that people will no longer follow you or stop caring as you experiment. You must have faith in the quality of your content, and you must recognize that your community and audience will evolve and flourish as your pulse develops to it's optimal pace and speed. Then again, your mileage may vary.
What's your pulse like?