Pattern recognition

11Sep08

One of my favorite blogs structures their articles around a recurring set of topics, sort of like how newspapers have certain columns that repeat on a weekly basis. The blog even incorporates the day of the week into their post titles, e.g. “Fun Facts Monday”. This works great from the reader’s point of view, since you learn to expect and look forward to the same type of posts on certain days.

There’s just one problem, though. If the blog or certain authors take a break, the lack of posts is even more glaring. Not only is the blog quiet, but the stuff you expect to see every Monday, or Wednesday, or Friday isn’t there either. As a result, daily post naming can backfire and lead to higher unsubscribe rates during periods of low posting.

How do you fix this? Easy: just publish a stub post on the dates of the regularly scheduled columns. For example, “Fun Stuff Monday won’t be published this week, but we’ll return to our normal schedule next week.” That way, readers know that you’ve got your act together, and the missing post no longer works against their overall perception of your blog.



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