This is a discussion on Moving up Stakes within the online poker forums, in the Cash Games section; How quickly should you move up stakes im finding it much harder moving up, but at same time feel im learning more because the players
That depends on each player. There is no set time to rise in stakes, since a series of factors intervene, such as the level of play you have, your previous experience, the tables where you move, luck, tilt control, degree of aversion to risk, etc. .
The ideal is to ascend in stages and in that there seems to be a general consensus. For example, if you play 2NL, you shouldn't play 10NL without first accumulating profitable hands volume in 5NL.
You should never jump from the stake, when you do not have a sufficient volume of hands in the previous stake and you have been able to know and control it well.
You must know how to recognize your best game. That way you can make more accurate decisions when it comes to ascending the stake.
For a lot of people it will work well to use some sort of bankroll scheme like always having at least 30 full buyins for the limit, they play. In that way you will not move up, before you have won a significant amount of money at your current limit, and you also force yourself to move down again, if you hit a big downswing.
So assuming you are playing 5NL, you should have at least 150$ in your poker account. If you drop below that number, you should move back down to 2NL to recover, and when you reach 300$, you can start to gradually transfer to 10NL. Maybe in the beginning you only play half your usual number of tables, and you focus more on table selection, when you play 10NL. Then if it goes well, and you are solidly above 300$, its time to quit 5NL and grind 10NL full time.
When you reach 750$, repeat proces with 25NL / 10NL. Or at 480$ with 16NL/10NL, if you play on Stars. And so on and so forth. Of course you can also use some other number than 30 depending on, how large swings to your bankroll and how much moving up and down, you are willing to tolerate.