Re: How often to update?

I started by updating once a day for the first two weeks to build followers, and now I update every M/W/F. Try to match your update schedule to your writing speed, if you set a schedule, then you need to be able to keep to it. If you always break your update pattern, it can cause readers to lose trust in you. My chapters sit around 2-3k and I always try to have a buffer of 3-5 chapters. 

It's a good idea to post your update schedule with the blurb, this lets readers know you're serious about providing frequent updates. 

Re: How often to update?

 I say post a bit less often than you write. Why? To build a backlog. Life will happen. Something is going to cause you to need to take a break, and that can lose you followers if you're not big. A backlog will mean you can still post even if you can't write.

 So I say if you can write daily, post every other day. If you can write 4 chapters a week try to post twice or three times. However the less you post the slower your growth. Etc etc. But the biggest tried and true update "rule" for new stories is post as often as you can. (Though if you post several times in a day be sure to spread it out to maximize your time on Latest Updates)

Re: How often to update?

How fast do you write good quality material?  That is your long term answer, it is different for everyone.

Some people release too fast and quality suffers. Some people sit on good works fearful to let the world see them.  Both of these are bad.

Some people have family, a day job, other hobbies.  Some people think/type slow.  Some people have other issues that slow them down.

Everyone is in a different situation, you need to find what works for you.

If you are more than a few days since the last release you need to do a review as your readers will have forgotten what happened.  If it was only a week, then just a quick review is needed, while if it has been months you need to go deeper in review.

Make sure you finish.  (this is a plea - I suspect most popular ongoing works will just stop when the  author loses interests or dies - and the average work is even more likely to just die)

Note that above is all about continuing. The idea that you should build a backlog and release more often from that has merit.

Re: How often to update?

On the contrary, a review of what happened would honestly just pain me, unless it was just the optional authors note at the start. Readers are smart, they do not forget that easily.

Also, as my first drafts are horrid, I'd never even upload them here. So the story is finished, just needs a lot of polishing and that is, I think, a great way to post. Because the author will probably not get bored halfway.

Re: How often to update?

hank Wrote: If you are more than a few days since the last release you need to do a review as your readers will have forgotten what happened.  If it was only a week, then just a quick review is needed, while if it has been months you need to go deeper in review.

Almost every part of your story will be forgotten by most of your readers. Most readers will remember a larger part, but everyone remembers different parts so that very every single part a large part of possible readers will have forgotten about them.

Especially for web serials it is thus vitally important to remember readers about what your story and its cast it about. (Though it is not only serials that is important for. That might be one reason why some of the most popular classic works of literary were originally published as serials, as those required qualities for serials also help other fictions).

Fictions with more frequent releases can get away with being bad at it, as the shorter times between chapters keeps people's memories a bit more fresh, but in the long run even there not reminding readers about what is going on will severely limit the possible reader base.

Finding out about how good or bad you are at it is also complicated, as it is hard for people to realize why they do not like to read your fiction and even if they do they will likely never admit to not remembering something. While reminding a bit too much will usually have large hordes of people complaining for complaining's sake people shouting out. Also your biggest fans (that are most likely to reply) are usually the most blind about this.

The most important part is usually the start of the chapter. People might be following your fiction and thus get shown your new chapter in the list. Or they remember the fiction name or cover as something they have read and thus read your chapter. The task of the first parts of the chapter is too welcome them back. Once they remember some parts, later details will become easier (human memory is largely associative). Don't assume that every reader remembers your characters just by name (except when they are really obvious names like He-Man or Skeletor) without any context. Make your cast recognizable. Something like their introduction jingle, be it catch-phrases, some repeating physical description, some catch-phrase, or anything that subtly reminds readers what they are reading about.

And though I say subtle, don't fear to overdo it. As long as you are asking yourself if it is subtle enough or if readers will recognize it you are still safely on the subtle side. It's really hard to overdo it. Even if you think every single reader might find it strange and too much on the nose, chances are less than 10% will even realize it.

(And once you are done with the start of chapters, don't forget that the end of chapters is serials is also very important. You can't just stop thematically. Most chapters should have some emotional conclusion. Or they just feel too short. If you have a hard time with that, try cliff hangers. People like to complain about cliff hangers but they are much more satisfying to read than chapters without a proper end, as absurd as that might sound on first glance).