Originally published February 03, 2020
Blogging is recognised as one of the most important tools and investments for modern marketers providing a highly valuable point of contact for new customers and leads and a strong source of traffic for many websites. Blogging frequency is a point of great discussion within the marketing industry with hundreds of articles from different authoritative sources providing sometimes conflicting opinions on what the ‘ideal’ blogging frequency is.
So how frequently should I be blogging?
The best blogging frequency for your business will depend on several factors that will vary between your goals, resources, blog size, the typical length and depth of your blog as well as where your traffic will likely come from. Our discussion below based on new research will help you determine the right blogging frequency for your blog.
Identifying the goal or goals of your blog is the first step in determining a blogging frequency. You might be blogging to raise awareness of your brand online or to attract traffic to your website to capture leads and promote your products or services.
Building brand awareness relies less on frequency and more on the topic, its relevance and the depth covered. Diversifying your content and topics will help you reach a larger audience by providing information to a range of different possible search queries.
Posting frequently is important for driving traffic to your website, the more blogs published the more traffic you’ll receive as a rule (more on that later). HubSpot’s data suggests that smaller blogs should publish 3-4 times a week and larger blogs 4-5 times a week to build organic traffic. For brand awareness, smaller blogs should publish 1-2 times per week and larger blogs should post 3-4 times a week. It’s important to note these are a good guideline but not a fixed number required for you to meet your goals. There are many more factors (arguably more important ones) covered below that will help you determine the best blogging frequency for your circumstances.
There are many different goals you might have for your blog in addition to the once listed above and these don’t necessarily operate in isolation. If blogging is significant to your overall marketing strategy then you’ll want to be posting frequently as a source of awareness, traffic, and leads.
If you have sole responsibility of your company’s blog then you’ll have less capacity to write as frequently compared to a company with a dedicated blogging team. Businesses with larger marketing teams will be able to allocate more resources to a blog and therefore have a greater capacity to publish at a higher frequency. Single person blogs posting around once per week still have the ability to attract visitors in the hundreds of thousands if their blogs are of a high quality.
Beginner bloggers are unlikely to be able to write at a high quality as frequently as experienced bloggers. As your blogging experience develops you’ll be able to write more frequently while maintaining quality. A single person blogging daily might easily drain your energy and might not be the most effective use of your time as blogs need promoting as well. Smaller blogs will likely spend more time on activities related to promoting a blog than writing them until their promotional channels are more established. Whether this is sharing your blog across social media platforms or a mail-out to your subscribers, these are tasks you must consider when determining the best blogging frequency for your business.
Businesses with an established blog don’t need to post as frequently to attract traffic. HubSpot found that 10% of blog posts are compounding, meaning they attract a steady flow of traffic over time. Compounding blog posts are high-quality pieces of content that remain relevant for many years and can create as much traffic as six decaying posts. Supporting this, HubSpot found that over 90% of their leads and over 75% of their page views were attributed to blogs published earlier than the reporting period.
HubSpot research has shown that companies with 400+ pieces of blog content published received twice the traffic compared to those that have published between 301-400 blog posts. It also found that B2B companies that published 401+ total blog posts generated almost 3X as many leads as those that published 0 – 200 total posts. In line with this research, HubSpot also concluded that smaller businesses tend to have the biggest gains in traffic when increasing their frequency. If you’re part of a smaller business and building up a new blog then it’s best to post more frequently (if your resources allow) to further establish your blog and benefit from compounding traffic.
Producing quality blog content should always be your priority as a blog writer. The length of your blogs and the amount of depth covered on a topic will impact your ideal blogging frequency. Your blogs should provide high quality, well-written content that is relevant and engaging for your audience and properly addresses the topic or question in the title. It can be hard to fit a quality piece in only a few hundred words and a long-winded blog can easily bore your readers. A good benchmark to work with is around 1,000 – 2,000 words. Research from Backlinko indicates that long-form content performs better than short-form content however, there are diminishing returns past the 2,000-word mark. Blogs that dig deep into a topic and are well written naturally take longer to create and will therefore limit your frequency but can be worth the effort if they create compounding traffic.
Neil Patel states that “more content doesn’t mean more traffic. It’s really that simple” and although some data contradicts this, there is definitely a point at which producing more content provides diminishing returns. Neil claims that more content is more maintenance and that updating older blogs to maintain their quality is better than producing additional new blogs after finding that more than half of his content barely generates 80 visits a month.
Backlinko publishes high-quality blogs on search engine optimisation at a lower frequency and acquire a high amount of traffic. They’ve noted the importance of refreshing older blogs to maintain relevancy over time which reduces the need to publish new blogs more frequently. Updating older blogs is a great way to ensure these blogs remain relevant to readers, especially if a few years have passed since initial publishing as it’s likely there will be new examples and statistics to include.
When determining your blogging frequency, consider where most of your traffic will be coming from, this is either social or search or a mix of both. Blogs reliant on social media distribution and shares (Buzzfeed is a great example) post 100’s of pieces per day to sustain traffic and popularity. However, many businesses will find that sharing more than three blogs each day will have a negative effect on traffic.
Great quality blogs that rank highly on Google with search engine optimisation (SEO) are likely to stay there for some time (ie. compounding blogs as discussed above) therefore your blog is able to attract decent traffic on a lower blogging frequency. Blogs with quality keywords that match the reader’s search query will rank highly and will continually attract traffic. Think of every new post is another entry point for people to discover your blog via search.
Data from a study of 13,500 HubSpot customers to test the connection between blogging frequency and traffic found that companies publishing 16 or more blog posts per month received more traffic than companies that only published four (or less) posts. Broken down by company size, small companies (1 to 10 employees) with 11+ posts per month received twice the traffic compared to the same-size companies with only 2-5 posts each month. This strongly supports the benefits of a higher blogging frequency.
HubSpot ran an experiment with three different blogging frequencies, their usual ‘benchmark’ (23 posts per week), HVLC ( a high volume, low comprehension, 34.5 blogs, 50% more than their benchmark) and LVHC (low volume, high comprehension, 11.5 blogs, 50% less than benchmark). The LVHC frequency resulted in 32% less traffic than the benchmark blogging frequency whereas the HVLC frequency only received 5% more than their benchmark frequency.
This demonstrates that increasing frequency doesn’t guarantee an increase in traffic proportionate to the frequency increase. These diminishing returns are likely a result of reader fatigue (there are only so many blogs your readers are capable of and willing to read) and that blogging too frequently may deter your audience from engaging and come off overwhelming and spam-like.
Although HubSpot, an established blog with a team of content producers, found a sweet spot at 23 posts per week, this isn’t a number every blogger can aspire to. Bloggers much choose a frequency that aligns with the resources they have available.
Consistency is equally, if not more so, important to your blogging strategy as frequency. Consistent publishing, at any frequency, supports habitual reading and creates a greater sense of trust and authority for your blog. Readers won’t return if the quality of your blogs differs with each post and will likely lose interest in your blog if you go months at a time without publishing.
Planning your topics in advance is a great way to help you meet your chosen blogging frequency. Don’t choose a blogging frequency you won’t be able to deliver on consistently.
You don’t have to post every day to be successful but your posting should be consistent and high quality content. There is no one size fits all approach to blogging frequency, don’t let the different statistics overwhelm you, you’ll be the best decider of what blogging frequency is best for your business. Take time to plan and reflect on the purpose of your blog and the resources you have available.
Ask yourself the following questions to help determine your ideal blogging frequency?
If you’re still unsure which blogging frequency is right for you, consider the common blogging frequencies below in descending frequency; multiple times per day, daily, weekly, multiple times per week, fortnightly, monthly. Choose a frequency that you feel is within your capacity to commit to publishing consistent, high quality blogs. If you find that you’re able to write more, then increase your frequency and review after a few weeks.
If you’re wanting to publish blogs at a higher frequency than you’re personally capable of then a blog writing service could help you. If you’d like to know more about blogging frequency and content writing – we’d love to hear from you. You can contact us here!