Producing original blog content is a proven way to build brand awareness, boost your website traffic, create leads, and increase conversions.
Which makes “how often you should blog?” a common question in content marketing and a highly debated one at that.
Some bloggers say more content is better, and they’re not wrong, while others swear by posting less often. And they’re not wrong either.
Truly, many agree that blogging on a regular basis (2-4 times a week) offers you the greatest return. Between 11-16 posts a month is the goal according to several studies with some indicating 11 being the sweet spot.
Then again, Neil Patel provides evidence of those benefiting from organic traffic and touting strong search engine optimization results despite producing blog content well below the monthly average.
So, where does that leave you?
Reading between the lines, it can be interpreted as finding the balance between maintaining quantity without sacrificing quality – posting multiple times a week only effective with great content.
Easier said than done.
Determining your editorial calendar comes with experience, a byproduct of trial-by-fire, and blogging takes careful planning.
It requires experimenting with different tactics to learn what works and what can be sustained, and it demands a deep understanding of your target audience and how they consume your content.
And don’t forget, the benefits of blogging are gained by aligning your content strategy with your marketing objectives and business goals.
When looking for direction to how often you should post, ask yourself these 5 questions:
Let’s examine these questions and how they impact the amount of blog content you produce.
“What Are My Resources?”
And how far can they be stretched?
Arguably the number one deciding factor on how often you should post is the size of your team and their capacity to create valuable content on a consistent basis.
A solopreneur or small business owner with less than 10 employees is hard-pressed to pump out 11+ blog posts a month – large companies face a different dilemma: some meet the required quota but don’t get the expected results.
Plus, not everyone’s a writer, or wants to be one, and producing lackluster content won’t cut it.
Without value, without powerful stories, and without information that resonates with your audience, figuring out how often you should post isn’t going to solve the problem.
When you write useful and entertaining posts, people are more likely to share them on social media and visit your website.
Once again, it’s vital you identify the number of articles you can publish without sacrificing the quality of your content.
If that means only posting to your blog once a month, be sure to put your best foot forward:
- Optimize your content – increase visibility to search engines and improve readability for the audience
- Provide undeniable value – offer solutions to the target audience and make your blog posts worth being consumed
- Add a call-to-action (CTA) – give readers the next step and keep them engaged with your brand and social channels between posts
As important, play to your strengths and set your employees up for success.
It’s tempting to delegate blog posts among your entire team to manage the demand of your publishing schedule and developing high-quality content.
But your graphic designer might feel a little uncomfortable sitting in a wordsmith’s chair, and the store manager is busy organizing staff and managing unique customer interactions.
Some businesses (maybe yours) go without a dedicated content writer – that’s just one of the many hats you wear. Or you learn which team members are passionate about writing and appoint them as the company bloggers on top of their daily tasks.
Forcing an unsuitable task on yourself or an employee is less effective than a reduction in weekly blog posts. The same is true for adding the job to an employee’s full workload.
So, if you have one writer who only has time to crank out one killer post a week, quality over quantity is the approach you take.
“What is My Content Strategy?”
And how does it compliment my marketing strategy and business goals?
Without direction and calculated tactics, building an audience and increasing conversion rates is a shot in the dark.
Once you’ve determined the bandwidth of you and your team, the focus turns to planning your content strategy and establishing benchmarks to measure your progress.
The answer to how often you post each week, month, and quarter is easier to determine when you tie it to something tangible.
For instance, if you practice email marketing and the goal is to double your subscribers by the end of the quarter, increasing your post frequency from twice a week to four makes sense.
Conversely, if you’re nurturing loyal readers, an article or two a week is more appropriate.
One case is about building awareness and generating leads at the top of the funnel; the other communicates further down the pipeline where the aim is consistently offering value without overwhelming your subscribers.
Overdelivering with too much content causes ‘reader fatigue’, and your audience disengages because they’ve been inundated with more posts than they can handle.
Find your audience’s threshold for consuming content, document the data in your strategy, and let that guide you to how often you should post.
Another element to consider is the recency of your posts and its relevance to where they rank in search engines.
Freshness of your content matters, especially if you’re in the business of news and media. Google’s algorithm includes a QDF (query deserves freshness) metric to determine search rankings.
But authoritative content, blog posts with real value, remain high in the SERPs (search engine results pages) long after their original publishing date – editing past articles and updating previous content has proven to outperform that with a higher QDF score.
Another interpretation suggests regularly revising your archived posts while consistently creating relevant content.
Knowing 70% of their traffic comes from older posts, HubSpot’s strategy involves spending a significant chunk of time reviewing past articles
Speaking of traffic, the volume of content you have published correlates with the number of visitors landing on your site.
The more content available, the greater the chance somebody finds it, right?
Again, HubSpot comes through with an important indicator. After analyzing over 13’500 of their customers, they found that blog sites with 400+ published posts received twice as much traffic as those with 301-400.
What’s the takeaway?
If you’re new to the blog scene, stack up cornerstone content by turning up the frequency of your posts.
Once you’ve published over 400 articles, you can ease off the pedal and switch your focus to updating previous posts and developing new content within a manageable schedule.
“How Do I Distribute Content?”
And when do you publish it?
Another factor for how often you should post is how you market your content.
An effective strategy can be publishing within a social platform such as Facebook or LinkedIn, but the drawback is a short shelf-life for your content.
Social media is rented space with millions of bloggers constantly hitting the publish button – to maximize on the channels’ potential reach and stay on top of the timeline, be prepared to post more often.
Alternatively, publishing on your own blogsite allows you to adopt a patient and methodical schedule. Search engine optimization is foundational to this approach, so take the time to increase each post’s visibility online.
Similarly, your purpose behind writing articles and producing content offers direction on how often you post.
As an example, HubSpot developed a tactical execution to their successful blog after going through a series of tests.
In the end, they found that frequently posting short articles was effective at generating leads for promotions, launches, and events. Likewise, publishing longer, in-depth content less often was more useful for nurturing current readers.
Now, that’s not saying you’ll achieve positive results by adopting the same strategy. In fact, it’s likely you wouldn’t.
The key is to:
· Experiment with different tactics and monitor the outcome
· Document the trends both positive and negative
· Recalibrate and repeat until you find a suitable approach
Beyond where you distribute your posts, identify when you deliver your content to capitalize on social shares.
With some fluctuation, Tuesday-Friday from 9AM-3PM is when Facebook users are most active, while Twitter’s peak usage is more selective (just by a tweet).
If you’re publishing three blog posts a week, boost your potential by spacing them out and circulating content when your audience is most engaged – review the analytics of your blog and social media accounts, and plan your content calendar around peak traffic times.
“Who’s Engaging with My Blog Posts?”
And how often are they reading?
How well you know your audience determines the quality of your articles.
And the number of times you blog depends on how much content is being consume and how it’s digest.
Deep dive into your current readers’ behavior and identify how they interact with information online. If they enjoy reading and are actively engaged with your blog, publishing 3-4 weekly posts is the goal.
However, your audience might prefer listening to podcasts or watching videos over reading.
Here, a wise tactic would be to satisfy occasional readers while sustaining your web traffic with 2-3 articles a month – sometimes just a single blog post will do.
As in the HubSpot example earlier, updating past articles and working towards an archive of 401+ published posts is another smart approach.
Of course, the performance of your blog relies on how well you optimize your content for search engines and how easily you solve the reader’s problem.
So, when it comes to writing your blog post:
- Bold or italicize information that deserves emphasize
- Get to the point quickly with short sentences and tight paragraphs
- Break up the text using subheadings, bullet points, and quotes
- Support each blog post with a carefully crafted meta description, title tag, and URL structure
- Focus on one keyword/phrase and identify internal linking and back-linking opportunities
Speaking of focusing on a single topic, let’s move on to the fifth and final question that determines of how you often you’re blogging.
“How Much Content is Needed to Solve the Problem?”
And is there enough value in your blog posts to become a trusted authority?
In his book, This is Marketing, Seth Godin revisits how to be recognized as a thought-leader online. He points out that it’s not up to you or how ahead-of-the-curve your business is.
The audience determines your level of authority by how well you solve their problems.
In the context of how often you should be blogging, consider the topics you’re writing about.
Complex subjects or promoting time-sensitive events can benefit from being broken into a series of posts delivered throughout the week – give the audience the information in easily digestible chunks rather than blogging about it all at once.
Alternatively, a simple topic might only need a single, 800-word article to provide the reader with the answer they’re seeking.
Determining how much content is required to solve your audience’s problems means looking ahead in your calendar and looking back at your content strategy.
If your plan is to be blogging twice a week but you’re hosting a fundraiser at the end of the first quarter, try increasing your output to four weekly posts. Suitably, don’t force a third article out of a topic just to hit your monthly quota.
Remember, quality over quantity better serves your readers.
How often you’re blogging will vary quarter-to-quarter depending on several variables unique to your business.
Keep the big picture in mind and be flexible in your content marketing.
Your audience is searching for solutions, and the complexity of your subject matter, special events, and future promotions play their part in providing the answers.
Publish your content accordingly.
How Often Should You Blog: The Answer
If you go strictly by the numbers, the aim is to write 11+ posts per month.
In fact, publishing four posts each week generates the highest amount of traffic according to HubSpot.
That makes the real goal 16.
But that might not be completely accurate for you and your business. And your resources might not allow that kind of output.
Which means the magic number isn’t universal.
One number that is unanimous is how many posts you have published on your blog. The evidence is clear that having a rich archive of articles boosts the amount of traffic directed to your site from search engines.
This functions as a reminder to produce as much great content as you can until you’ve published over 400 posts to your blog. Doing so increases the number of indexed pages on Google and improves your inbound marketing.
The answer to how often you should be blogging comes with finding the balance between maintaining quantity without sacrificing quality – it’s found when you analyze your audience’s behavior, identifying the amount of content they consume and the ways they digest it.
The answer comes by:
· Aligning your content strategy with your marketing objectives and business goals
· Developing blog posts based on topic complexity, promotions, and special events
· Experimenting with different tactics to discover your blog’s best practices
Finally, fresh content is appreciated, but good content doesn’t expire – if you optimize for search and write for readability, there’s opportunity for success long after the publishing date.
In the end, blogging is essential to content marketing, and producing quality posts remains a key component to any strategy.
How often you’re blogging will vary depending on your digital marketing strategy. But when you define your goals, your resources, and your target audience, the answer becomes a little clearer.
So, how many posts a month will you publish?