Blogging: it’s the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy.
With blog content, you can build brand awareness, increase website traffic, and generate leads and sales for your business.
But how often should you post to your blog?
This question generates some controversy among marketers.
On the one hand, the more you post on your blog, the more opportunities you’ll have to get your audience’s attention & drive those important KPIs.
On the other hand, when you publish too frequently, there’s a potential trade-off in your content quality.
However, based on the available data, as well as my own experience, the benefits of posting more frequently far outweigh the risks.
In fact, the reason many people don’t see success with their blog is because they just aren’t posting often enough.
But what does that actually mean for your business? And how do you take that idea and turn it into a reality?
Glad you asked.
Let’s dive in and find out.
What Does the Data Say About How Often You Should Post?
As with any marketing question, the best place to start is with data.
According to a number of sources, consistent, regular publishing seems to result in a corresponding increase in traffic and leads.
In 2018, Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media conducted a 2018 survey of 1,000+ bloggers to get to the bottom of this question. In the survey, he asked a series of questions:
- How long is your average blog?
- How much time do bloggers spend on an article?
- How often do you publish blogs?
In an effort to correlate blog frequency to an increase or decrease in effectiveness, he found that bloggers who publish weekly were 2.5 times more likely to report “strong results” than their counterparts who posted monthly or less:
- More than daily: 68.8%
- Daily: 62.5%
- Two to six posts a week: 42.5%
- Weekly: 32%
- Several times a month: 23.1%
- Monthly: 17.5%
- Less than monthly: 12.9%
But what are these “strong results” exactly?
While the Orbit Media report doesn’t offer much more insight, a similar study conducted by HubSpot does. In fact, this study is far more comprehensive, spanning 13,500 companies.
According to their data, HubSpot found that companies who posted 16X per month ended up generating a 3.5X increase in website traffic over those who post less frequently.
What’s more, their most recent research recommends that some companies should post even more than that:
- If your primary goal is organic traffic, you should optimize for quantity
- If your primary goal is brand awareness, you should optimize for quality
Now, keep in mind that these two things aren’t mutually exclusive. You shouldn’t post s**tty blogs just to get your traffic up.
Nor should you post once every other month because you’re too precious about the quality of your blogs.
But with that in mind, here’s what HubSpot recommends:
This may seem like an intimidating cadence at first.
But if you don’t put in the work, you aren’t going to see the results. The more frequently you blog, the faster you’ll start to see it make a difference.
How to Figure Out How Often to Post
While the chart above gives some good recommendations, there are a number of factors that could impact your organization’s blogging frequency:
- Your goals
- Your existing content
- Your customers & their expectations
- Your team & willingness to invest
Let’s walk through each of these in turn.
Determine your goals.
The most important factor in setting your blog frequency is determining your goals.
If you don’t take the time to get your priorities in order, then you’ll just end up creating a bunch of content that doesn’t get you where you want to go.
Worse, that content could be detrimental to your success.
So take some time and get clear on what you want to get out of your blog.
Website traffic & lead generation.
If you’re focusing on organic traffic, you want to post as frequently as possible. However, if you have a small team, then posting 3-4 times a week is going to be a little tricky.
Here are some tips for scaling up your blogging frequency:
- Plan blogs around your other marketing campaigns
- Set time aside to invest in content work (e.g. brainstorming, outlining, writing, posting, promotion)
- Delegate, delegate, delegate — spread the work around your team as much as possible
- Hire someone who has expertise in content writing and can help you scale faster
Also: keep in mind that your content shouldn’t be monolithic. Some of your content will be shorter, and other pieces will be more long-form.
By varying what you write about, it can make it easier to stick with it — because you (and your audience) won’t get bored.
Brand awareness & elevation.
If your ultimate goal for your content is brand awareness, then diversification and quality are key.
Think about what you want your audience to know about your brand. This should be the North Star that guides every piece of content you create.
Search engine optimization.
This isn’t necessarily a separate goal, but an important factor to consider regardless of whether you’re running a lead- or brand-focused campaign.
By taking the time to optimize for search, you can increase your content visibility, and make sure you’re not getting your website penalized.
Audit your existing blog content.
When it comes to figuring out how often you should post to your blog, one of the major factors to consider is the amount of content you’ve already posted.
That’s because the amount of traffic you generate depends less on how frequently you post versus how much content sits on your site.
Again, according to HubSpot, companies that have published over 400 pieces of blog content receive twice the traffic as those with 301-400 posts.
And B2B companies who’ve published over 400 blog posts generate almost triple the leads as those with less than 200 posts.
So if you haven’t generated all that much, then you’ve got a bigger hill to climb, so you need to kick things into high gear.
But if you have a backlog of close to 400 posts, you can probably slow down a little bit and focus on your quality.
The other thing you need to look at: how is that content performing?
Because if you’ve got over 400 posts but not the corresponding traffic or leads, you probably have one of the following issues:
- Your content sucks (sorry, but it’s the truth)
- Your content doesn’t align with your intended audience
- Your content is outdated, and you need to optimize it
- You haven’t optimized for SEO
- Your website has other underlying issues
So don’t just look at how much you’re publishing, but be sure to examine what you’re publishing and how good it is.
Talk to your customers.
No matter how much content you produce, if it doesn’t resonate with your customers, then it’s going to fall on deaf ears.
So let’s say that you increase how much you post on your blog.
But at the same time, you start to see your subscriber count fall through the floor.
That’s a good sign that you’re boring your audience with poor quality content.
If you’re wondering whether you’re creating content that your customers will enjoy, there’s an easy way to figure that out.
Pick up the phone and call a customer.
- How frequently do they want to receive content?
- What kinds of publications do they read on a regular basis?
- What areas do they want to improve their skills in?
- Are there any specific turn-offs that prompt them to unsubscribe from something?
If you don’t take the time to have these conversations, then you risk shooting yourself in the foot just as you’re getting off to a running start.
Determine how much you’ll invest in content.
Like any other marketing activity, content is an investment.
The more you put in, the more you’ll get out.
So you need to be clear-eyed about how many internal resources you’re willing to devote to content marketing.
And if you don’t have those resources in-house, you probably need to look for them elsewhere.
Some companies may be hesitant to outsource their content to a third-party, as it’s yet another expense to take on.
But regardless of which path you choose, you’re going to spend money. In fact, trying to do everything in house may prove more costly:
- Inconsistency, as your team will get pulled in many different directions
- Poor quality, as your team may not be experts in content production
- No progress toward a specific goal, as content strategy may not be top of mind
- Wasted time and energy on content that does nothing for your business
This causes you to fall into a vicious cycle: you produce poor content in-house, then that content doesn’t perform, and then you say “content doesn’t work.”
And as a result: you miss out potential traffic, leads, and brand equity.
Now, you may have a stellar content writer and marketing team. If that’s the case, then you’ve probably got everything you need to scale up your efforts.
But most businesses can’t afford a full-time content team.
This is why outsourcing your content production can be a helpful route. Keep this in mind when figuring out how much content you can afford to produce.
The Benefits of More Frequent Posting
There are some who would argue that high content quantity means an inevitable decrease in content quality.
I think that’s a false dichotomy.
Now, let me be clear: increasing your posting frequency can result in a decrease in quality.
But usually that happens for a select number of reasons:
- You have one person (or a very small group of people) trying to do too much
- Your marketing team isn’t skilled in producing content at scale
- Your team isn’t planning ahead, and rushes their content
All of these things can be solved by expanding your team, either through direct hire or bringing on a content agency, and partnering with people who are experts in content production.
What’s more, the benefits of increasing your content quality far outweigh the risks.
Let’s take a look at what some of those benefits are.
1. More website visitors & leads.
We’ve already walked through the data that support the fact that more content on your website means that you’ll get more visitors & leads.
However, keep in mind that more traffic won’t necessarily result in more leads unless you’re doing the following:
- Generating content that aligns with your customers’ needs (and the solution that you provide)
- Providing high-quality conversion offers so visitors will convert
- Creating engaging nurture campaigns through marketing automation
- Maintaining regular contact with your leads to keep your business top of mind
So focus on creating as much killer content as possible, and optimize the entire user experience to drive conversions.
2. More audience touches.
Not only will you generate a higher volume of visitors and leads, but creating more content helps you increase the number of touches with each individual person.
It takes anywhere from 7 to 13 touches in order for a prospect to become a true lead. That means that conversion really is a numbers game: so long as you aren’t posting anything actively harmful to your brand.
Keep them engaged and your product top of mind. That way, when your buyers are ready, they’ll be primed, educated, and anxious to do business with you.
3. Audience anticipation.
Wouldn’t it be great if your audience was looking forward to your next piece of content, ready and waiting with bated breath?
While it takes a while to build this level of anticipation for a new brand, you can start laying the groundwork now. The powerful combination of quantity + consistency trains your audience to expect new content when and where you want them to see it.
Let’s say you publish a blog every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. That’s when your audience is going to expect you to deliver them — even if it’s just on a subconscious level.
However, if you only post every other week, you’re going to have a hard time building this level of anticipation. People’s attention spans just don’t last that long.
And keep this in mind too: your competitors are also churning out content.
So if your audience isn’t hearing from you, they’re certainly going to hear from them.
4. Content diversification.
When you post frequently, you’re able to comment on a wider variety of topics—by virtue of the fact that you have the space to do so.
If you post only a few times a month, you’re limiting yourself to that many topics, when you need to be getting as much information out to your audience as possible.
Now don’t get carried away here. That doesn’t mean you should post about anything and everything.
The point is to focus more on the questions and problems your audience has, not to randomly write about topics that have nothing to do with your business or expertise.
Think of it as honing in. There’s an incredible amount of detail and nuance that can come into play when speaking to your audience.
Even something as simple as segmenting by industry can get complicated when there are multiple sub-verticals within that industry.
Posting in quantity means you can experiment with these niche topics.Look at the analytics to see how it tracks:
- Did it have wide-range appeal (pageviews)?
- Did people keep coming back to it (average pageviews per user)?
- Was it interesting enough to entice them to take action or look for more (bounce rate)?
When you post more frequently, you can take these kinds of chances because there’s more “real estate,” as it were.
In fact, there’s virtually unlimited real estate, so go ahead and produce as much content as you can.
5. Faster success.
Bottom line: the more you post, the faster you’ll reach your business goals.
Each piece of content is a tool that simultaneously attracts leads, entices them to convert, nurtures them along the buyer’s journey, and continues to educate after they become a customer.
All along the way, it’s building up your brand authority and visibility.
Each piece of content you publish is a separate webpage—whether it’s on your website or on a social media platform—dedicated to topics relevant to your audience.
Even if you get 10 hits a month on that page, if you have 100 of those pages, that’s 1,000 extra hits each month.
Content also compounds in its effectiveness over time. Each piece builds on the next, so the effect isn’t cumulative, but exponential.
Remember HubSpot? They found that 70% of their web traffic for a particular month came from content that wasn’t even posted that month.
The idea of generating 2-3 blog posts per week may seem overwhelming, especially if you have a small marketing organization that’s already overrun.
But that doesn’t mean you can discount the simple fact that the more often you post, the more results you’ll start to see.
This is why you should post to your blog as often as possible.
But that raises another question: how do you keep up with this volume?
There are two options: build an in-house content marketing team, or hire an agency.