One of my Stack Exchange communities started a blog recently. The content is of a good quality and from a variety of authors. Some posts are one-shots and some are parts of series. There is a good variety of content.
What we're trying to figure out is pacing.
In our first month, fueled by interest in something new, we had 20 posts. In the second month that fell to 9 and there was one point when there was a week between posts, so we began maintaining a buffer. (We now usually have 2-3 posts ready to go at any given point.) We also fell back to posting twice a week even if we had more posts available than that.
Recently we've seen more activity again and have just bumped it up slightly to posting once every three days. Even so, people sometimes have to wait a week or more to see their submissions "in print" (so to speak), and I worry about the effect of that on new authors in a new blog. The stability we get with the buffer and the conservative schedule comes at a possible cost of timely gratification for authors.
To mitigate that, our most-frequent posters have a policy of deferring to less-frequent contributors. So the regulars have their posts wait in the buffer longer, but we can get a new author's contribution out more promptly. That feels like the right approach to build engagement, but we don't want the regulars to get frustrated either.
Currently there are 9 people who have posted: 2 are prolific (9 posts each), 3 have posted 3-5 times each, and 4 have posted once each so far. A few more people have expressed interest but haven't completed their first posts yet. There are four "series" going right now, though some other posts could end up having sequels too.
Because this is a new blog we don't have long-term data about trends. We use a chat room to organize the buffer and the "pre-buffer" (people tell us what they're working on even if it's not ready yet). Sometimes people produce posts in a day or two from telling us, and sometimes they take much longer. This is a hobby for all of us, so we understand that sometimes things come up.
We don't have a lot of data about readers. Our direct followers have been steadily increasing and I know there are people following via RSS (no way to measure that). Most recommendations (think "favorites" or "likes") come from within our SE community, as you would expect at this stage of development, but we have followers I do not recognize. We get almost no comments.
Given all that, how should we decide how to pace our posts? is it better to be consistent or to respond to ebbs and flows in submissions, publishing more when we've got it and less when we don't?