Many entrepreneurs are confused about how often they should be blogging for their business. As with all things, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. But some general guidelines can help you figure out the proper schedule for your industry and your business model to maximize your time on blogging and your impact on your audience.
One of the most common questions every business has is, “do I really need a blog?” The answer to that is an unequivocal “yes,” which leads to the next question: How often do you need to blog?
Let’s dig in!
Is There One Right Answer?
First of all, we have to address the elephant in the room. There’s no one right answer for how often you need to blog. It changes based on a ton of different factors, including:
- The kind of content you’re producing.
- The depth of content you’re producing.
- The goals you have with your content.
- The resources you have to promote your business in other ways.
Blogs of all different levels can be successful.
For example, consider one of the top marketing and SEO blogs, Backlinko. Backlinko is an industry-recognized name with some of the best SEO resources in the business, and is a site with over a million sessions every month, according to traffic estimates. How often do they publish new content?
As of this writing, the most recent three posts were:
- April 2, 2022
- October 12, 2021
- August 10, 2021
As of when I’m publishing this, it’s mid-May 2022. That means, in the first half of the year, Backlinko has published one blog post.
Of course, Backlinko has a ton of SEO power and marketing wisdom behind it and has built up all of this value over a decade. It took a lot of work, time, and resources to reach the point where they have the luxury to post so infrequently.
You see this often in other high-profile, low-update blogs. The people running them typically have other sources of traffic or value, or they contribute to other sites and build their name recognition with outreach and other forms of marketing.
Of course, on the other side of the coin, you have blogs that publish daily or even more than daily. A site like SearchEngineJournal gets 5-10 posts a day and is one of the industry-leading sources for SEO and marketing news, among other topics.
The trick is that these sites have multiple contributors. They aren’t a small business with one or two freelancers writing for them; they’re large sites with dozens of contributors writing once or twice a week.
Are There Diminishing Returns?
Here’s a premise for you.
If a blog gains traffic, awareness, and SEO value from each blog post, and there are no rate limits or other inhibitions on posting, why not just post dozens of times per day? Are there diminishing returns?
Publishing content is a game of quality today. In years past, before Google spent time analyzing the quality of content and only cared about keywords and links, it was entirely feasible to spin up thousands of posts a week and rank among the top sites in a matter of months. Since 2011, however, Google has put a much greater emphasis on the quality of content, so a sheer volume strategy doesn’t work.
The higher the quality of your content, the better it will do for your site. There are no real diminishing returns here; if you publish five Backlinko-tier posts every day, the critical mass of excellent content will shoot you to the top in short order.
The trouble is, that kind of quality takes time and investment. You may need to do case studies, you may need to do serious research, and you may need to consult with subject matter experts. It takes a long time to produce such high-quality content, and you can only expedite it so much with money and other resources. So, you end up needing to hire dozens of people to create content for you, which gets extremely expensive, extremely quickly.
If you can afford it and sustain it, sure, you can accelerate your business blog’s growth substantially. Most businesses can’t afford to sustain it.
The other option is to go with a bare minimum amount of quality in favor of attracting a maximum amount of short-term interest. You may know of this as a news site. Search Engine Journal, above, is one such example; most of their posts are simply news reporting, often cribbed from other sources. It can be useful to have it all in one place, and sometimes they offer unique insight from experts, but most of it is equally obtainable if you read Forbes or SEO Roundtable or Twitter.
Being a news aggregator for your industry, niche, or location is a perfectly viable way of running a blog. However, it’s a very different kind of content marketing that values short-term, high-value topics over long-term value and absolutely requires a constant, high-volume flow of content to survive. It’s extremely difficult, and it’s why I, and other experts, generally recommend against it.
What’s A Good Range?
Let’s talk more specifics. Everything above is, basically, theory, after all.
If you’re running a business, you have a lot on your plate. You’re here because you’re probably considering outsourcing your blog. So, you have to determine what resources you have available and how you can spend them most effectively.
For a business, your goals are to build awareness, grow traffic, create link bait to bring in backlinks, build authority and trust, and keep an active presence online.
How often do you need to publish, at the bare minimum, to accomplish those goals?
You can think of it as a balance scale; the less often you publish, the higher the quality of the post you need to create to see benefit from it.
A better baseline is something like once a week. 52 blog posts per year is easily achievable and within the budgets of most businesses. You don’t need to invest quite as highly in quality because quantity helps to make up for it. But, a reasonable level of quality is still both expected and easily achievable. You won’t be writing the industry-leading guidebook to every subject you cover, but you don’t have to.
Many bloggers recommend 2-3 blog posts per week. This puts your business somewhere between 100 and 150 blog posts per year, which is still achievable and offers you plenty of opportunities to earn backlinks and traffic.
On the other hand, if you’re publishing daily, you need to be able to support it with high-quality standards. Daily posting is fine if you can handle it. However, many businesses find themselves cutting corners in quality to meet their daily posting goals. This hurts the site as a whole.
Likewise, publishing more than once per day is often unsustainably expensive. Large brands can do it, but at the same time, large brands often don’t need to.
Is Frequency Even Important?
I often say that blogging frequency, while important, isn’t the most important part of blogging. What’s more important?
You need consistently high-quality content on a regular schedule, and it doesn’t really matter how frequent that schedule is. Many blogs get away with blogging on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis, but since everyone who follows them knows exactly when new content is coming, they build a following. Publishing weekly is similar; everyone knows there’s a new blog post every Monday, and they can expect new quality content on a regular basis.
It’s all about your ability to sustain it. When you’re paying freelancers to write for you or paying bloggers to handle everything from topic ideation to publishing, you need to be able to budget consistently for it. You will also need to pay for additional aspects of content marketing, like image creation, paid advertising, and outreach. Remember, blogging is about more than just your blog; it’s about the community you become a part of.
How to Get Started
When you’re first getting started with content marketing, I recommend starting small. Don’t set your sights on overly-ambitious goals, because you set yourself up for failure, disappointment, or sunk cost fallacy.
My general recommendation is to experiment with the content creation process, and don’t worry about publishing anything right away. Hire people to create content for you, develop a process, figure out what you need out of a style guide, and where you’re comfortable with the division of labor. That is:
- Are you fine being completely hands-off, or do you prefer some control?
- How much of a consistent style guide do you need?
- Are you going to hire multiple writers, or just one?
- How deep and niche are the topics you intend to cover?
Once you figure out where you want to stand, you can invest more heavily in blogging.
Additionally, the content you purchase is still yours to publish down the road. It’s always a good idea to have at least a month or two of backlog ready to go, if not more. Insulation against scheduling issues and unexpected problems is always a good thing. Evergreen posts that don’t need to be released with time sensitivity are great for this.
At this point, 1-3 blog posts per week is generally a good place to be. Once per week is affordable, reasonable, and easily doable with most freelancers and most topics. Three can be pushing it for a single freelancer, but if you have more than one working with you, it’s a lot easier to handle. You may have to consider the cost of buying content on an ongoing basis, as well, to determine what your budget can support indefinitely.
Over time, you can decide if you want to invest more in a blog. Putting more money into it and getting more posts per week – four or five, for example – can be one way to accelerate your growth.
However, remember that your money can be spent in other ways as well. For example, consider:
- You can spend some of that money promoting the content you’re already producing.
- You can buy content to use as customized outreach to other blogs for guest posting rather than publishing on your own site.
- You can focus extra money on producing “extra” content, like the occasional high-profile flagship post or an eBook you can promote as another form of content marketing.
These alternative forms of content can augment your content marketing in ways above and beyond “another blog post”, and you can get quite a bit more value out of them. It’s worth considering that there’s more to content marketing than just your own blog.
Regardless, the key is sustainability. You need to be able to handle the commitment of time, money, and effort every week for however many blog posts you need to publish, and if you fall off the boat, the decrease can be worse for you than having never reached the frequency you had.
How often do you think is a good frequency for blogging? My recommendation is 1-2 posts per week for most small businesses, but the choice is ultimately your own. Be sure to leave all your thoughts in the comments section down below! I’d love to hear what you think!
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.