It doesn’t matter if you sell vegan cupcakes for cats or you’re the head of a major corporation—blogging works. Well, it can work. When done right, you can drive more traffic to your site and vastly improve your search engine optimization (SEO), which is where you rank in Google searches. One of the first questions new (or fledgling) bloggers ask is, “How often should I be blogging?”
The answer—consistently. Numerous studies have shown that regular, high quality blogs are the ticket to continuously improving your online reputation, brand image and site traffic. Not happy with such a vague response? Between two and four times a week has proven to be the magic number for SEO purposes.
Hitting the Sweet Spot
Blogging is partially a numbers game. The less you post, the less the search engines scour your site for new, fresh content. This doesn’t mean you have to post on a daily basis, but squeaking by with one post a week is taking a gamble. A steady flow of traffic can be snared if you aim for the two-to-four range. According to the marketing firm HubSpot, companies posting between three and five times per week enjoy double the traffic of their “competition” who only post once per week.
To sweeten the deal for small businesses, the research also showed that these companies get the biggest traffic increases when “adding blogs more often.” In other words, just by virtue of your smaller stature, you’re already in a better position to enjoy those blog-driven traffic surges. However, this can take a wrong turn if consistency isn’t in place.
Strong and Steady
It’s not enough to just commit to a certain number of blogs each week—you also have to stay consistent with timing. Your fans will start to look forward to those new posts, and we’re creatures of habit. If you usually post during the week at around 10am, a random Saturday post at midnight isn’t going to fly. HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist (yes, that’s really his title) Dan Zarrella says, “The time of day (or night) that you post blogs also impacts the traffic it receives.” Timing really is everything.
According to this not-so-mad scientist:
- Posting blogs around 9:00 a.m. EST gets Facebook shares (so post as soon as you clock in)
- Posting the same blog on Twitter at around 4:00 p.m. EST leads to more retweets
- More Facebook shares happen when posting on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays—but posting on Twitter on Friday can also lead to more retweets
- Posting more blogs means more traffic and incoming links
Quantity vs. Quality
So more is more, right? Not necessarily. If the blogs are full of typos, clearly rushed or lack direction, that’s not doing you or your business any favors. Each blog should be well researched, have a purpose and give readers a benefit, takeaway message or both. Most importantly, the blog should give them a reason to come back for more. Whether it’s informative or for sheer entertainment, you’ve got them hooked—but you haven’t reeled them in quite yet.
Writing a blog requires prep work, just like a great meal. Choose a hot topic, one that solves a problem or one that addresses a new issue. What does your reader need to know about your industry, and how does it serve them? The blog should be direct, concise, engaging and around 350 to 500 words. A pinch of wit works at times, too.