To blog or not to blog? That’s not the question. I don’t care who you are, what you sell, who your audience is. To not be blogging on a consistent basis is to:
- Not care about Google noticing or possibly ranking your site better
- Not want your customers to develop a bond with you
- Not want to be seen as an authority in your industry
- Not ever want to increase traffic to your website
So no, blogging isn’t the question. The question is more likely – how often should you be blogging?
This is a hard question to answer, because it can depend on your industry and your audience. But the common consensus among experts is that you should be blogging at least once a week, bare minimum.
Crafting a long, detailed essay kind of blog post and only posting them once a month is a wasted effort.
To build a predictable, regular audience, you need to behave predictably and regularly yourself. That means blogging more than once a month.
Don’t let that scare you, especially if you are a newbie blogger. You can refer back to this post on how to have a fun stress free writing time to get your creative juices flowing on what to write about. It need not be a 2000 word photo essay every single week. Don’t let the idea of a weekly or more-than-once-a-week post overwhelm you. Let it excite you!
If you haven’t yet, I recommend you download a fabulous HubSpot PowerPoint presentation based on an impressive study. It’s called “Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000+ Businesses” and it’s an inspiring, energizing overview of what consistent, clever content marketing can do for your business.
Now though this study was published in 2012, that shouldn’t cause you to dismiss it. In fact, since 2012, Google is constantly telling businesses that blogging is more important than ever. And that great content = great traffic.
So, while I recommend you download and look at the entire study, here are a few key points from it.
If the above chart doesn’t literally connect the dots between blogging frequency and increased traffic, nothing will.
Look at that uptick! You’d think there would be a plateau effect somewhere in there, but not so! Overall (and later we’ll get into finding your specific blogging frequency sweet spot) the more you blog, the more traffic you can expect.
Same goes for getting leads, too. Look at this chart, below…
Again, if you’re a small company, you can’t be expected to blog every single day of the week, all year long. No one person has the time for it. But I hope that those charts show you that blogging is no longer just a silly, ‘online journal’ indulgence. It’s an absolute key component in your traffic and inbound lead strategies.
Finding Your Sweet Spot
You have to experiment. I love looking at those charts above to illustrate how blogging can help your business, from a “20,000 foot view.”
But that’s a very blended average of a huge variety of businesses. It doesn’t take into consideration how often a B2C business should be blogging vs. a B2B one. Or if the size of the company factors in.
Only you have the tools necessary to figure out exactly how much you should be blogging. And how much might be wasted effort. You’re going to need to find that cadence that brings you to critical mass but not much more. If blogging four times a week brings you a boatload of traffic but when you add another day, you don’t see an uptick, then maybe four is where you need to stay.
To determine this begin with one blog post per week. Let that frequency run for a two to three weeks, and then carefully inspect at your traffic data. Find out when – specifically when – each post was published and look at the traffic data during that time and immediately after.
See if there is an increased ‘returning visitor’ count. Track unique visitors and particularly where they came from. You may find that some of your blog content ‘pulls’ better from Facebook, some from Pinterest, and still others from Twitter. Track it all. Put it all in a spreadsheet.
Now bump your weekly post count to twice a week. Let that run for 2-3 weeks. Monitor, track, record.
Was there a noticeable difference in traffic? If you saw a distinct jump, time to try for 3 times a week. Again, let that run for 2-3 weeks. If you see another jump, go to four, if you can. Remember you can keep your blog posts short and sweet and not time-consuming.
Personally, I find that nothing motivates me more to find time to blog than watching those traffic and visitor numbers rise!
Finally…A Note About Timing
As you are slowly ramping up your blogging cadence, it’s important to publish your posts on a regular basis. I don’t mean post regularly, you already know that. I mean to post at the same day of the week, and ideally even same hour, every single week.
You want your readers to know when to expect the next blog post from you! If you jump around from Monday/Wednesday, to a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, you risk losing people.
We see it happen all the time in the world of TV. When a network moves a TV show from one night to another, it can be a death knell for that show. Viewers are used to watching that show on a certain night. Your readers are the same creatures of habit. So keep it consistent.
There’s a great infographic about ideal blog timing that you can find here. It’s by KissMetrics and I encourage you to check out the entire infographic.
Here’s a handy excerpt from this very informative piece:
Interesting, isn’t it? It’s a great starting point for your blog testing. Now, again, there is no one size fits all solution. I can’t stress the importance of testing frequencies, topics and times for your own specific audience.
But with a little research and a lot of monitoring and tracking, you should be able to find your perfect blogging frequency. And in doing so you’ll find loads of brand new traffic, customers and eventually…profits!
How often do you blog? What days are ideal for you? Have you ever posted more than you do now? Less? What made you change your frequency? Tell us in the comments below…
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