One February day I went out to the mailbox as usual. I didn't see any mail, but I figured that I might've hit it too early, so a couple hours later I went out and check it again. Still nothing. That's not unheard of, naturally, but I couldn't help thinking, "Maybe he's just running slow today. I'll try once more time later on." So about 5pm I checked one more time. Well, I guess I just wasn't fated to receive any mail today....
Then it hit me: nobody got any mail that day. It was Presidents' Day.
The funny thing, I'd known it was Presidents' Day, and I'd known that mail didn't go out on federal holidays. What's more, I'll bet the other dozen or so people who were out there checking their mail along with me also knew it was a no-mail day.
So what were we doing out there? Obeying habit. We robotically went to the mailbox because we had been programmed to do that. Most of us have even learned to count on the postman showing up around the same time of day every day. We've been trained to respond through the sheer consistency of the post office, and it trips us up completely when something breaks that routine.
That's why you want the same kind of consistency in your marketing schedule. Whether you're blogging, publishing a newsletter, pumping out podcasts, mailing out print pieces, or working any other channels in your overall marketing strategies -- you must repeat that process regularly and consistently if you want to (1) get noticed, (2) develop interest, and (3) train your target market to look forward to more. Nobody sends out a single flyer or direct mail postcard and expects the phone to start ringing; it takes multiple touches, often with the exact same piece, to get any kind of response. Your client may throw the first few postcards in the trash, but as long as you get that eventual "Okay, let's see what these people are so wound up about" response, then you've succeeded.
These schedules aren't so hard to work out. (How often does a monthly newsletter or weekly blog post appear?) It's simply a matter of scheduling the content preparation and distribution. However often you decide to blog, keep up that routine, rain or shine, and before long you'll see that spike of anticipation in your web traffic -- loyal readers trained to come back for the next round of insight, special offer, or whatever other goodie you've got for them.
Yes, consistency requires commitment and responsibility. But if you're pressed for time or you don't have the necessary personnel on staff, you can always outsource the content creation or other necessary grunt work. Don't let your audience start wandering away in disinterest -- keep them coming back for more!