Whenever we tell a client that they’ll need to start a blog, one of the first things they ask is: what it will take to make it successful? Of course, what they really want to know is how often they’ll have to publish new posts. Whether they’re putting their own employees up to the task or they’re relying on our services, it’s important that they know how they’re going to allocate their resources and how they’re going to benchmark their success.
In a perfect world, we’d tell our clients that publishing multiple new posts a day would earn them the best results. However, we know that’s rarely possible. Not only do most companies lack the resources to do this, but their niche industries also don’t generate enough new information that allows them to write several new posts a day without sounding like a broken record. It’s also unlikely that their audience would be interested in reading several new articles a day.
In reality, every business will be different when it comes to determining their blogging frequency. Every business has a unique audience, a specific set of resources, and different subject matter to write about, so it only makes sense that they follow their own frequency. To help you determine the perfect blog frequency for your business, here are 4 steps that will help you figure it out:
Step #1 – Publish on a Consistent Schedule
For starters, no matter how often you end up publishing, the one thing you should always do is publish on a consistent schedule. Whether you publish every day, every week, or every month, it’s crucial that your audience AND Google know when to look for you. For example, if you publish one post a week, just pick a day and always publish on that day. It’s hard to maintain a consistent following if you publish sporadically, and Google will place less emphasis on crawling your site if you don’t update your blog often enough. The more frequently you update your site with new information for Google to crawl, the more you’ll be seen as a valuable source of new information, and you’ll rank higher in the SERPs. Of course, this all depends on the quality of your content, as low-quality posts won’t ever help you rank higher – regardless of frequency.
Step #2 – Evaluate Your Resources
Whether you’re writing new content yourself or you’re paying a third party to help, you have to know what you’re capable of creating. If you’re writing it yourself, take the time to write the first few posts from your editorial calendar. See how long each blog takes, and try to determine how much time you’ll be able to commit to writing each week. If you set unrealistic expectations from the start, it’ll be easier to get discouraged and quit. Try to include as many employees in the writing process as possible, so you can share the load more evenly and publish more frequently.
If you’re relying on a third party, like an inbound marketing agency, determine your budget and see what’s realistic. A consistently updated, high-quality blog is one of the most important pieces of your overall inbound marketing strategy, so the more you can allocate towards creating new content, the better.
Step #3 – Evaluate Your Industry (Especially Your Competitors)
If you don’t know where to start with your blogging frequency, take a look at your closest competitors and take note of their publishing habits. If they’ve been publishing for a while, there’s a good chance they’ve already figured out their optimal frequency. And because they share a similar audience (maybe even the same), you should be able to use their frequency to ballpark yours. Whatever you do, don't look at successful blogs outside your industry and convince yourself that you need to compete with them.
Let’s say you work for a wholesale industrial distributor that specializes in pipe fittings and plumbing equipment. One of your larger competitors, who supplies both plumbing and electrical equipment, publishes one new post at the beginning of each week along with a monthly industry/company round-up at the end of each month. Even if you don’t have the marketing resources to maintain a similar schedule off the bat, you can still start one step below and use their frequency and success as a benchmark for your own blog’s goals. Start by posting a new blog every other week, and try to improve your frequency as traffic and sales start to roll in.
Step #4 – Test, Test, and Test Some More
If there’s one thing you should know about inbound marketing, it’s that you can never be sure about something unless you’ve A/B tested the crap out of it. Unless you’re psychic, you can’t read your audience’s minds, and for all you know, there could be a better way of doing things. Maybe you underestimated your audience’s desire for new content. Maybe you overestimated their desire for new content, and now you’re oversaturating them. Whatever the case might be, make sure you play with your frequency a little bit to help you find the sweet spot. You can also experiment with different publishing days and times to further optimize your blog for success.
When you’re just getting started with a blog, even the most basic tasks can seem daunting – especially if you’re blogging for the first time. When it comes to frequency, however, don’t spend too much time fretting over getting it perfect. Find a cadence that works for you and your audience, and go for it. The worst thing you can do is publish inconsistently, so just make sure you choose a frequency you can keep up with. The more frequently you publish, the greater the chances of improving your SEO, so try to publish as often as possible – without sounding like a broken record.