blogging frequency

Blogging frequency is among the most common questions I am asked, and it occurred to me that I have never directly addressed this in a blog post. So here we go — how often should you post on your blog?

First, let’s start at a very high level and set the stage about blogging as a business imperative in general. I think that most businesses need to have a source of rich content to fuel their social media presence. Generally that means a blog, video series, podcast or something visual that can drive Instagram, Pinterest and/or Slideshare.

So blogging is an important and popular option, but not necessarily the only option for content creation. You have to consider your resources, talents, and customer needs when deciding what kind of content is best for your business.

What is the ideal blogging frequency?

Like almost every business question, the answer is, “It depends!”

Certainly consistent posting is a key element of success for a number of reasons:

1) Consistent posting “trains” your readers to expect something and builds an audience. It’s part of your content cadence.

2) Consistent posting contributes to higher traffic and search engine benefits

3) A regular blogging frequency enables you to dominate a content niche, which is at the heart of content marketing. I describe that strategy in detail in the post Ten Strategies to Battle Content Shock.

4) Committing to a schedule helps you to be a better blogger through practice.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to post frequency. Determining your ideal posting schedule needs to be a consideration of:

  • Your business goals
  • Your competitive environment and the content density of your industry
  • Content producing resources and budget
  • Customer needs and expectations

Minimum viable posting

If you’re just starting out and finding your way, shoot for at least one post per month as a minimum viable schedule. Have a goal of creating at least one “pillar post” — something original, thought-provoking and evergreen (meaning its message can be relevant for months or years).

As you get into a content groove, experiment by increasing your schedule to once a week. Try a video blog, commenting on something that’s in the news, highlighting a customer case study or having another employee try their hand at blogging.

For most business and personal blogs, great quality content coming out at a clip of once a week is an achievable goal that can result in real business benefits.

How much is too much?

I usually post four times a week on {grow}, using a combination of pillar posts, timely commentary, guest posts, video, Slideshare presentations, case studies, interviews, and podcasts. So there is a tremendous amount of variety and new perspectives in this space.

How did I decide on four posts? Why is that right for my business?

First let me assure you that I never, ever compromise quality for quantity on this blog. If I don’t have four excellent posts to share with you, I would not post at that rate. When people guest post for me, it is not unusual for them to go through two or three drafts before it makes it to the blog. Some of my own posts gestate for months before they see the light of {grow}.

My number one priority is to live up to a promise that if you spend time on this site, you will ALWAYS find something interesting here.

The business goal supported through my blog frequency is to establish a community through thought leadership so people can know me, trust me, and eventually hire me to conduct a workshop, consult with them on a strategy, or give a keynote speech at a meeting or conference.

A year ago, I was posting five times a week, including a {growtoon} comic on Fridays. I noticed that the number one reason people stated for un-subscribing was “too many posts.” Once I cut back to four times a week by eliminating the cartoon, the un-subscibe level dropped by 80 percent. So I used data and feedback from my readers to find a sweet spot.

After years of trial and error, four excellent posts per week seems to be the rate that is acceptable to my audience, it supports my goals, and it is within reach of my content-creating resources.

So yes, you can publish too often. And when you do, you’ll probably start getting signals that tell you! The social web is pretty good at delivering feedback.

I hope this overview has been useful. I’m sure you have additional ideas you can share about posting frequency and i would love to hear about them in the comment section!

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Alan Cleaver

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