Blogs serve multiple purposes for a business. A great tool to help educate people about products and the industry, they can be an excellent means of generating leads. Essentially, blogs help form a connection between businesses and their customers, where the former can exchange a wide range of information with the latter.
So, then the question arises: how often should a business make new blog posts on their website? How much should you utilize this tool to give you the best possible results? Well, it depends. A good blogging strategy takes into account multiple factors that are crucial to formulating a plan that best meets your requirements.
Before we dive into the details, here is a quick list of what these factors are:
- Why Are You Blogging in the First Place?
- New VS Old Websites
- Capacity, Strategy, Resources, & Goals
- Competitor Strategies
The fact is, there is no magic formula that works for all blogs. Different businesses will have different answers for the above-mentioned factors, and each should plan their blogging schedule accordingly.
Let’s take a detailed look into the factors that influence a blogging schedule.
Why Are You Blogging In The First Place?
Before charting out a blogging schedule, ask yourself what the purpose behind your blogs is. Are you blogging it to build a fan base, or do you simply want a platform where you can share your work with the world? Or perhaps you are in it for more professional reasons?
The most common reason why many businesses post blogs is to utilize the search engine optimization (SEO) tool. SEO is an excellent way to rank your website on search engines, helping generate leads for the business.
Therefore, if SEO is your goal, the rule of thumb is ‘the more the better.’ This is because more blogs mean you are dropping more information in the market. And if your information is authentic and has useful content, the search engines would deem your blog beneficial for those browsing for information, and would eventually rank you high.
Studies show that companies that post twenty or more blogs a month experience the most traffic on their website, consequentially allowing them to generate more leads. However, it is essential that you maintain a standard between all your pieces and the information you give out is solid.
If, on the other hand, your purpose is to appease your core readership that expects you to publish a certain number of quality articles in a specific period of time, that would factor into your blogging frequency. On most occasions, it wouldn’t take more than one quality piece to satisfy your customer base.
New VS Old Websites
Google is a machine, and with a brand new website, the machine doesn't know what your website about. You could call it “everythingcamping.com”, but Google doesn't know what exactly that means. Should they rank you for RV camping? Solo camping? Female camping in the mountains? Family camping? They can't just give you authority on everything right out of the gate.
If you have a brand new website, more blogging is better. You get more content out there, indexed, and maybe even ranked. This allows Google to figure out what you're writing about (more words = more data).
You also build a base of content to internally link, share on social media, and use to promote your brand.
Just 3 articles published per week can be over 15o articles for the year. That's a lot for a brand new business! One article per week would leave you with just 1/3 of that content, and 1/3 the chances to rank.
Of course, you must maintain quality along the way, but volume is very important in the beginning. You've got a lot to cover in order to be an “expert”, or authority resource in the eyes of the top search engines.
For older blogs, you have more options to you. It's quite possible to have a popular website and just publish a few times per year. Viper Chill and Mr. Money Mustache are great examples of this. They already have gian networks for followers they gained from previously publishing content, or being active on social media.
I'm not sure with how Viper Chill grew their audience in the beginning, but they are quite famous now in the SEO community. Mr. Money Mustache maintains social activity on Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook, and his rabid fans (a good kind of rabid), will share his content all over the web. When he posts new content, the comment section on his website explodes.
These people do not need to publish daily, or even weekly.
Since there's no pressure to pump out content, they can do more in-depth pieces, and that adds to the value of what they publish. They get more links, and more fans, and the authority of their website grows.
The point is, once your brand is established, you can tweak your publishing strategy if you want. Many brands do fine just publishing awesome content from time to time. However, they usually don't limit themselves to just publishing for promoting their website. They have other channels and strategies in place like social media, email lists, or an ecommerce store.
Are you a local shop with a website and just want to get more traffic to your shop? Blogging frequently about local activities related to your industry is a great strategy to put in place. Local knowledge of your area is a great way to gain local fans who recognize that you're one of them!
Capacity, Strategy, Resources, & Goals
Even the most amazing blogging strategy is of no use to you if you haven’t taken your capacity into account. If your strategy requires you to churn out four quality blogs a week, and your capacity is to only produce one, you will soon burn yourself out.
When considering your capacity, you must also take your resources into account. While multiple blogs are great for lead generation, for some, it is almost impossible to handle that kind of workload on their own. There will come a point when you would feel the need to hire other people to write for you. So, before setting up a blogging schedule, you must always consider whether you have the resources to go for that option. If not, you can always limit the number of blogs.
At the end of the day, only content with substance stands out. Even if you can produce a large number of blogs, but can’t maintain quality, you will face a high bounce-rate on your website. Such a blogging regime will only do you more harm than good.
Therefore, it is important that you maintain the set standards, and cut down on the number of blogs, instead of disappointing your core customer base.
Latest Developments Blog Posts
This basically refers to a scenario where there are number of developments taking place in your industry. In such a case, you may feel the need to put out more content in order to educate your readership, or even to seize the opportunity and generate more leads through writing about those developments.
For instance, if your blog is about developments taking place in IT industry, you would naturally have infinite topics to write on due to the frequent app updates, fluctuations in the world of cryptocurrencies, and general technological advancements.
In comparison, let’s say your blog focuses on agricultural farming in the Middle East. Since, that particular industry is extremely small and very specific to that part of the world, you would often find yourself short of content and the frequency of your blogs will be quite low.
Leveraging Competitor Strategies For Guidance
This is an important factor to consider when you are deciding on your blogging frequency. If your competitor is producing content in large numbers, you could also try and match, if not beat, their numbers to stand a chance in achieving your goals with blogging.
This is especially true if your competition is bigger in size than you. Larger operations are more likely to invest a lot of resources into the research that results in their blogging strategies. This research, and the data collected from it, help create digital campaigns that work best for the industry.
So, for example, if your competition consistently publishes twenty blog posts a month, it means there is abundant content to write on and the strategy is bearing fruit for them. Not only can you take lead from your competition in terms of frequency but can also learn a lot from the information they share.
You must, however, bring your unique flavor to your blog posts and not blatantly copy what your competition publishes. If you would do that, you can get penalized by the search engines instead.
In fact, I'm not even saying that you need to match their frequency. I'm just saying that it's working for them, so it's worth considering. Doing the opposite of what your competitors do could also be a way to differentiate your brand!
So, How Often Should I Blog?
Well, it depends.
Blogging more frequently could mean that you publish 3-5 times per week, even up to 10 times per week is not abnormal. The world of the internet operates 24/7, so publishing one article in the morning and another in the evening would not be overkill. If you are working full time from home, have a passion for the topic, and are focusing on writing, you could potentially keep up this schedule by yourself.
If you are outsourcing content and have a budget, then 10 articles per week is even more achievable.
However, some websites only publish on their blog a few times a month and do fine. They manage to generate traffic and leads by other means, like social media or collaborative activities. Just one hard-hitting post per week could be enough in that scenario.
In general, my advice is to publish more frequently as a new blogger to establish authority in search engines and cast a wide net. As you grow larger, you can tweak your strategy to increase publishing frequency and widen your net, or decrease the frequency with more in-depth, original pieces that can make your brand stand out among others in your niche.