How often should you blog is an age-old question. You’ve started writing, and it’s flowing well. You’ve written some valuable, interesting articles and are getting good engagement from your customers.
But what now? Should you write more articles straight away? Should you post as often as possible or wait for a day, a week, a month? 44% of bloggers report publishing new content between three and six times a month (OrbitMedia, 2020), but is that the right frequency? Let’s dive in and take a look.
How often should you blog: The posting frequency conundrum
Posting frequency is one of the biggest areas of uncertainty for bloggers. You want to remain relevant and at the forefront of peoples’ minds, but you don’t want to overload your readers. Your website needs to look up-to-date and active but you have to work with the fact that you don’t have time to write thousands of words every day!
Bear in mind that the average time taken to write a 500-word blog post is 1-2 hours (Hubspot, 2015) and you’re potentially looking at a huge time commitment.
So, what’s the answer to the posting frequency conundrum? Well, the bad news is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to fit every blogger. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to figure out the best posting frequency for you!
What’s important to you?
A great place to start is to think about what’s important to you about your website. Do you want to position yourself as an expert in your field? Do you want to be the go-to place for the latest breaking news in your industry?
Each of these might lead to a different blogging frequency, as the first means writing longer, less frequent articles and the second may mean pushing out content on an almost daily basis. We’re talking thought leadership vs breaking news. If you like writing long articles with human-interest stories included (don’t ignore the interest that story-telling can hold for your readers, we think stories are key) then those types of article will take you longer than short, sharp news articles.
Do remember, however, that you don’t always have to write an essay each time. Check out our article about the joys of the short email to see the power that fewer, well-chosen words can have as a break from long-form text.
Of course you can do a mix of both, but just consider the fact that the style, length, and tone of these types of article may be quite different. One or two long-form, informative articles per week may contrast against a breaking news article every day or every other day.
Quality vs consistency
As every good blogger knows, Google is king. A mistake that many people make however is assuming that bombarding it with dozens of articles will have more ranking power. Not necessarily so!
The important thing is to make sure that your content is useful. HowStuffWorks has put together a great summary of the things that Google looks at, and they are pretty wide-ranging (HowStuffWorks, 2020). It’s not just about the number of posts that you push out, but also relevancy, reader experience, time spent on your site, keyword usage, all your classic SEO considerations. Check out our article about the key elements of great content to make sure you hit as many criteria as possible.
Search engines love a website that gives value to its readers, so only publish a post as often as you have something interesting to say!
Avoid burn-out, for your readers and yourself
Working out the intricacies of the Google ranking system is a great driver for calculating how often to publish an article, but we’re living in the real world so you also need to take into account how often you can physically write a post.
Yes, maybe you’d like to push an article out every day or two, but can you realistically write that much content? Choosing your topic, doing your keyword research, structuring your article, editing and publishing. These all take time and they’re not easy on the brain.
It might sound obvious but you need to avoid burn-out when planning your blog post frequency. An intense schedule that you struggle to maintain is probably not something you’ll be able to stick to long term. It’s way better to plan out a solid, achievable content plan that will stand the test of time than it is to rush out multiple badly-written, clickbait posts just to fulfill your quota.
Added to that is the risk of reader burn-out. Yes your readers love you and your brand, of course, but do they want to read about your services five times a day? Maybe not! Maybe they’d rather hear from you less frequently, perhaps once or twice a week, when you have something really valuable to share. There are around 70 million new blog posts on WordPress alone every month, and you don’t want your content to be lost in the noise (WordPress.com, 2020).
Plan your content…
One of the best ways to figure out how often you should blog is to plan out your content. This really helps you to work out how much you have to say, and how often you want to say it.
The Content Marketing Institute has found that the vast majority of successful content marketers have a documented content strategy (65% of successful marketers with a strategy vs 14% without one) (ContentMarketingInstitute, 2019). You want to give yourself the best shot at being in that successful bracket!
If you’ve got a big milestone or event approaching that you’d like to promote then spend some time thinking about the blog posts that you’d like to sit alongside. Writing a schedule down in black and white helps you to understand how much time you’ll need to commit to the writing process, as well as keeping you on track when the time comes.
If you decide to post daily then make sure you clear time in your diary to make those posts well-researched and well-written. If you decide that a couple of times a week or weekly is a more realistic timeframe for you then you can manage your time accordingly.
…and vary your content
Remember though, that blog posts don’t just have to be literal articles about your products or services. If you’re posting several times a week then you might find it hard to fill the word count if all you’re doing is describing what your company does!
Vary your content. Write about related products, offer how-to guide for new customers, share your thoughts on innovations in your industry. Create an authoritative collection of articles that your readers will keep coming back to.
This can all help make a frequent blogging schedule more useful and relevant to your readers.
Don’t forget what’s gone before
Once a blog article is written and published, it would be easy to just forget about it and move on. If you’re doing that then you’re shooting yourself in the foot though, because Google likes refreshed and rejuvenated content and it’s always a good idea to make sure your information is up-to-date.
Online marketing guru Neil Patel has some great tips on how to recycle your content (Patel, 2020). Go back to some of your older articles and make some tweaks to keep them relevant and fresh. This will help to drive organic traffic to your site and will have a positive effect on your brand awareness as a result. Also make sure you link to your old blog articles when you’re publishing your new ones. We’ve written a useful guide on internal links which sheds some light on the practicalities of setting up your linking structure.
Refreshing older articles will also help with your blogging frequency, as you’re not starting from scratch every time.
Try creating a few ‘evergreen’ articles that won’t age too quickly, and keep adding to them. Your readers want information they can trust and if you’re offering useful articles that remain relevant then they’ll keep coming back to you time and again.
Our tips for the perfect blogging schedule
Everyone is different, so you need to find what works for you and your business.
If you are time-rich and in a fast-moving industry then consider publishing a blog post every day, or every other day. If you want to focus more on long-form, in-depth articles then maybe once or twice a week is more suitable for you.
Either way, we recommend you consider the following:
- Create a content plan that maps out your posting frequency as well as your topics, and stick to it
- Write some ‘evergreen’ articles that will remain relevant over time
- Refresh and rejuvenate older blog posts whenever new information is available
- Draft in some help if you can’t publish as much content as you think your business needs
Your blog is an awesome tool in your business that should be a benefit rather than a chore. If your posting schedule isn’t working for you then it’s probably not working for your readers either! Be realistic with your blogging schedule, and always make sure you’re adding value.