How Often Should I Blog?

Filed in Blogging by Matt McGee on May 21, 2013 20 Comments

The tweetable answer to the “How often should I blog?” question is this:

Blog as often as possible, as long as you’re writing content that offers value to readers.

But obviously there’s more nuance involved in answering this question, so let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits of regular blogging.

My Usual Advice: Two Posts per Week

When I began working with Dr. Cynthia Bailey way back in 2008/09, I encouraged her to aim for at least two posts per week. With the exception of a few vacation breaks, she’s done that and her skin care blog is now driving traffic, product sales and earning her interviews with trusted outlets like USA Today, Glamour, Self and other big-name media publications.

Why two posts per week?

  • Regular publishing helps get bloggers in the habit of writing.
  • Regular publishing helps get readers in the habit of reading.
  • Regular publishing of quality content, in my opinion, helps create a sense of trust and authority in readers.
  • Regular publishing helps search engines get in the habit of crawling and indexing.

That last point is important: I’m a believer in the concept of “training the crawlers,” especially when launching a new blog or website. By getting search engine bots in the habit of making regular visits to your website, you’ll be able to get new content crawled and indexed much faster than, say, a site that only adds new content once every month or two. I wrote about this in one of the earliest articles on this blog:

Training the Crawlers

If Dr. Bailey was able to post three articles per week (instead of two) without sacrificing quality and without interfering with the regular demands of being a small business owner, I’d encourage her to do it. I believe that there’s no such thing as too much quality content on a blog or website. (More on this at the end.)

Exceptions to the Two-Posts-per-Week Rule?

blogObviously not all small businesses are the same. Two articles per week is my usual advice, but some SMBs might actually want to publish more.

Small restaurants or food trucks might want to post every day, sharing updates about what items will be on the day’s menu and/or where the truck will be and when. (A lot of food trucks use Twitter and Facebook for shorter posts like that, but they can also be shared on a company blog.)

Other SMBs may want to post regularly during a week when there’s some local news or local event related to its customers or industry.

Other small businesses may decide to publish less often, and that’s okay, too.

All other things being equal, less content probably means less website traffic, fewer inbound links and less of the regular benefits that a blog brings. But one great blog post a week — or even one per month — is better than none.

Whatever the Amount, Make Sure It’s Quality

Last point: Don’t publish crap just because your editorial calendar tells you it’s time to hit the “publish” button.

Quality content doesn’t mean that every blog post has to be epic. I’ve said before that blogging a variety of article types is important, and not every blog post needs to be a “home run.”

Whether you aim to blog twice per week or once per month, make sure you’re publishing quality, helpful content that offers value to your readers.

(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)

Comments (20)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Aaron Weiche says:

    Matt-

    For me, it’s less about the number of posts and more about a frequency you can commit and execute. Many small businesses have a 10 to 15 page website and if they can even post once per month on their expertise, offering, niche subjects or completed work then they will double their web footprint in a year as wells as provide good content for prospects. I’d even argue that a quarterly post in many industries will make a healthy improvement to your online marketing.

  2. Phil Rozek says:

    Excellent stuff, Matt – thanks.

    I think there’s a distinction to be made between what is ideal and what will help business owners move the needle – on traffic, engagement, being helpful, etc. “Ideal” (if there is such a thing) is probably about 2 posts per week, as you say.

    But I also think Aaron nailed it: Even a little blogging is way better than nothing. The bar is just so low in terms of helpful, useful advice written business owners themselves that I’d say “Well, it would be great if you could get 2 posts out every week, but if you can’t, no biggie; it’s totally still worth your effort.” Not that you were saying otherwise :) … just my two cents.

  3. Matt McGee says:

    I’m not going to disagree with you guys because you’re basically repeating what I said in the first two sentences of the article — the tweetable answer. :-)

    That said, I think there’s more than enough evidence out there that says the more you produce quality blog articles, the bigger the rewards. Once a month? Sure, go for it. But if the competition is doing once a week (or more), that’ll probably win in the end.

    Ultimately, like just about every SEO/marketing-related question, the true answer is “it depends.” The bar is definitely not low in Dr. Bailey’s field, Phil — there’s a ton of healthcare info on the web, maybe too much. So I don’t think she’d be anywhere near as successful if she was doing one post per month. But yes, perhaps some local bike store owner could get away with that.

  4. Hubspot did a study on this. I’m not sure how accurate, but it shows a significant increase in traffic when blogging two ore more times per week.
    http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33742/12-Revealing-Charts-to-Help-You-Benchmark-Your-Business-Blogging-Performance-NEW-DATA.aspx
    Kris

  5. I am with you two consistent post per week is efficient. I think it is important to be consistent. If you put out posts on Mon and Wed. you build a culture with your readers and they will know when to look forward to your next one. I have seen the article by Hubspot but if you sign up for their posts they will bombard you with blog posts and ebooks. Now i do read some but I end up deleting more than reading.

  6. Ian Baldwin says:

    Blogging more than twice a week is too much as a general rule. But if something is worth saying then it should be wrote about. Some if the content is useful blog as much as you want.

  7. Andy Beal says:

    It’s a tough question to answer, but always gets asked. My advice, publish on a frequency that you can maintain consistently. Some blogs post once a month, others 5 times a week. Each is fine, but you have to maintain that frequency–and quality.

  8. John F says:

    We blog every few days. Keep the content fresh and you will be considered relevant. Why do you think wikipedia ranks first for everything?

  9. Michelle says:

    Frankly, I’d be happy to convince even ONE client of the value blogging. Each time I mention it, they make a comparison to mommy bloggers or don’t want to have visitors have the ability to comment on their site for fear they may say something negative.

    • Matt McGee says:

      I can understand the frustration, Michelle. I’ve said before that, if I was taking on clients right now, I’d refuse to work with anyone that didn’t have or plan to start a blog. I think it’s that important.

      • Lynn says:

        I have a blog, I have a facebook page, I have my ecwid shopping cart on both, I have a twitter and linked in account that I don’t know how to use.

        I write a blog post. Do I just share it on facebook, or write a new version for facebook, twitter, linked in, etc ? I am having a hard time understanding what is helpful or not. If I just share my blog post on facebook, it goes nowhere, no one sees it. so that’s not the answer.

        what’s the right flow to make it all work the best ? I can think of good blog topics but I don’t want them to go to waste and just languish there.

        thanks!

        • Lynn:

          You can post the link and a brief headline (for Twitter) or a brief summary (for Facebook and G+). No need to repeat what you’ve already said. The idea is to put out a great teaser and then to get it out there in front of your followers.

          Gathering FB followers can be slower than G+ and Twitter, so you may want to focus there to start. Then be just as consistent with your sharing as you are with your blogging. Also if you’re taking the time to share other people’s stuff and commenting on it then you’ll find that people do share your info in time.

          • Lynn says:

            Thanks, Carmen .. I had them set up to auto share on twitter and FB, but read somewhere that those do not get as much visibility etc

            Your response is encouraging!

        • Matt McGee says:

          In addition to Carmen’s excellent reply, I think patience is a real key, Lynn. Social media in general takes time (and a lot of hard work). You don’t just show up and suddenly have a huge list of fans and followers waiting to hear from you.

          There’s really too much to say in a comment reply. If you have some time, browse through the social media category archives here where I think you’ll find a few helpful articles:

          http://www.smallbusinesssem.com/cat/social-media/

          Hope it helps!!

          • Lynn says:

            I can definitely be patient if I know I am on the right track of what I should be doing / how I should be sharing etc.

            I will be reading and reading some more, I have already learned so much from your articles and comments. Really appreciate your reply, Matt!

  10. Robert Black says:

    I actually think if you’re serious about blogging you ought to be blogging daily. At the very least every weekday (Monday-Friday). That’s what I aim to do. Apart from anything else, more content equals rankings for more keywords.

    There are about 10 blogs that I visit daily, on a variety of subjects. All of them have at least one new post per day, often more. If a blog doesn’t put up a new post for a few days it tends to fall off the radar. That’s me, but I would imagine I’m not the only one who does that.

    • Matt McGee says:

      For some publishing-based blogs (news, trends, etc.), daily may make a lot of sense. For a lot of small business owners (bike store owners, insurance reps, real estate agents, clothing shop owners, etc.), I think every day is probably overkill. I also think it’s a rare small biz owner that has the time and resources to write great material every day.

  11. CWP says:

    I think quality is the main deciding factor. Put out quality content as often as possible. The next question should be what is good quality. I tried posting 2 times a week with good material and got a few visitors and steadily increased. Then I switched to 2-3 posts per month focusing most of my time and energy on 1 big super great original blog post. The first one received the same traffic in 1 week my entire blog had 6 months previously. Since then I’ve stuck to that format. I put out a few good posts a month and one really great “Money” post. This way you please both the crawlers and regular visitors with fresh content and can drive in the numbers with the great post.

  12. I think it’s very important to constantly be posting things on your blog. It’s a good way to keep saying to people, “HEY! I’m Here! Look at Me!” It gives more opportunities for people to find you and what you have to offer them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *