Millions of new blog posts are published every day, and, let’s face it, much of that information is already available. With such huge volumes of content being released on similar topics every day, you’re likely wondering whether frequency impacts your growth.
The answer is, well, yes, it does. But what frequency your business needs will be completely different from another.
With more than 70 million blog posts published on WordPress sites alone each month, it’s easy to worry about not being “original.” However, you need to remember that you’re trying to reach your audience and connect with them. They want your perspective on a topic.
Remember that it’s unlikely that anyone is going to read every single post you publish. At least, not if you publish at the rate of news sites like the Huffington Post, which first gained traction from publishing a blog post every minute. That’s faster than most people can read an article, so how do you figure out what frequency is right for you? And does frequency even matter?
Does how often I publish blog posts matter?
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer here. Yes, no, and it depends all apply. Yes, you need to post to show Google that you’re relevant, active, and of course, to connect with your audience. No, because if you’ve got a blog with thousands of articles on evergreen topics, you may be able to keep your rankings provided no one does that topic better than you.
While some established sites can get away with almost no updating, it’s best not to rest on your laurels. Most SEO agencies recommend posting 1-8 times a month. Most content marketing experts also recommend updating old content from time to time. So, how do you figure out what’s right for you?
How do I figure out how often to publish content?
The frequency with which you should post blogs is difficult to answer. On one hand, Brian Dean (the founder of SEO blog Backlinko) gets more than 200,000 unique visitors to his blog each month, and he publishes a new article every five weeks or so. On the other hand, as we mentioned above, Huffington Post still publishes hundreds of articles every single day.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when figuring out how often to update your blog:
1. What can I realistically achieve?
It’s worth thinking about what you can realistically achieve in your time and/or budget. Even if you think you should publish a post (or more) a day, without the time or resources to publish high-quality content every single day your quality will suffer. You’ll also either get disheartened and demotivated or turn to fast-low quality content to get the volume.
(And quality is always more important than volume since it’s your readers you need to impress.)
2. Why am I creating content? What are my goals?
There is so much to do when formulating a clever content strategy, from content distribution and email marketing to social media marketing. If you want your efforts to get results, you need to know who will care about your content and why you want to reach them.
So, before you move forward, make sure you know the following:
- Who is my ideal reader?
- What problems do they face?
- Do they want to learn, be entertained, or both?
- What action do I want them to take after reading my content?
3. How many blog posts have I already published?
A blog’s traffic depends heavily on the number of posts published already. If your blog is brand new, you’ll likely want to focus more heavily on your content creation. This will help establish your rankings in the search engines and allow your rankings to start building on themselves.
While many blogs do well posting just once a month, it is universally true that more blog posts equal more traffic. A Hubspot survey found that blogs with over 400 posts generated 3-4.5 times more traffic than blogs with less than 200 posts.
However, note that if you’re creating podcasts or videos, you’re likely capturing your audience in other areas that you can channel back to your site. So, if you have a strong content marketing strategy overall with other forms of media, you may be able to dial back the number of blog posts you publish.
4. Am I blogging for overall visibility or as part of a marketing push?
If you simply want to maintain your blog for SEO purposes and slowly build your organic traffic, then a blog post a week or a month may be enough for you while you focus on other channels.
However, if you’re going to launch a new product in the next 3 months, you may want to increase your frequency leading up to the launch and ensure your blog posts are targeted to topics that lead up to that launch.
5. What are my competitors doing?
It’s not a good idea to focus on what your competitors are doing, but it’s worth checking out what they’re doing or what they did when they were at your stage in business. If they date their blog posts, how often are they posting?
Obviously, if you’re a 1-man blog and your competitor is a corporation, it’s not going to be a fair comparison, but if you know your competitors well, you can find those on your level and see what’s working for them.
While all these points will give you an idea of how frequently to post, there’s only one way to know for sure…
Experiment and Test
The only way to truly know what’s going to work for you is to experiment and test what works for your audience and your business.
If your current primary goal is to get paid ads working for you, then trying to publish a daily post may not be within your business’s bandwidth. However, if content marketing is your main focus, you’ll likely want to start with a higher frequency, such as 1-5 times a week, depending on your posts’ depth.
Your goal should be to find the balance between what your business needs and can achieve and your audience’s appetite. Not all audiences are going to be hungry for content all the time. Equally, it might simply not be possible for you to post more than once a week or month. If that’s the case – don’t stress. One blog post is better than no blog posts.
Alternatively, you may find that publishing and sharing more content devalues your content. For example, CoSchedule saw their number of shares drop when they increased their weekly posts from 2-3. (Their comments also dropped, though their pageviews increased.)
In some cases, more content might help increase views from SEO but may turn off your core audience. (Which is not a good thing to do.)
What if I already have an Audience?
If you have an established audience, there’s absolutely nothing to lose by asking them what they want. Set up a poll on a blog post or on Facebook and ask them how frequently they’d like to see new posts from your business that they’ll actually read. Not only will this get you a more accurate answer, but it will help give your audience a sense of ownership over what you do post, and they’ll be a lot more likely to take time out of their day to read them.
Of course, don’t forget to use analytics to see what’s happening as you experiment. Your tests should last months at a time – don’t make a change over two weeks and expect significant results. Give it a month or more, when possible, to see accurate data.
Great. Where do I start?
If you’re still not sure, posting 1-3 times a week is going to be best for you to see a good rate of growth month-on-month. Most sites don’t see significant traffic until they have 100 blog posts, but it truly depends on your business model and audience. If your site is primarily a blog, you’re going to need more. If your site is primarily a store, then it’s likely you’re using other traffic methods to drive the bulk of your customers to your site, and so your content strategy may take a back seat to a paid ads campaign.