How Often Should You Blog?
5 questions to help you determine your optimal blog post frequency
There are many concerns that new bloggers face. One of the most common questions involves how often a blogger should be posting new content.
As you may suspect, there is no one-size fits all answer to this question.
The ideal frequency of blog posts depends largely on why you are blogging.
Individual bloggers and smaller businesses often find success posting one to four times per week, while teams of bloggers and larger companies can push out multiple daily posts.
Even then, the amounts of blog posts that best suit you will depend on the reasons behind your choice to blog.
Below are five questions to consider which can help you establish an optimal posting schedule.
Question #1 – What platform are you publishing on?
The platform on which you publish may be one of the best indicators how much you should be posting.
If you are writing your own blog using WordPress, you either need to post frequently to build up traffic (3-5) times per week or post 1-2 times per month, but produce high value and lengthy evergreen content.
In my analysis of the posting habits of the top earning Medium writers, it was clear that Medium writers, on average, tended to post more frequently than most other bloggers:
The average posts per day for the 100 authors I selected was 1.43.
A clear pattern quickly emerged as I examined the data. There are essentially two groups of writers — (1) writers who have large following outside of Medium and post content less frequently (2) writers who have large Medium-specific followings and tend to publish more frequently.
For the first group, posts are made quite sparingly. The average posts per day for this group is .14 (about one post per week). In an extreme example, Ryan Holiday has tremendous reach, post engagement, and presumably, high Medium earnings, despite making only a few posts per month. He also has a large audience outside of Medium, from his critically acclaimed books.
For the second group, the average posts per day seems to consistently average between 1–2 posts per day. At the low end of this group is Umair Haque, who consistently posts once per day. At the upper end is Brian Rowe averaging close to 4 posts per day in October. It’s worth noting that Brian posts include poetry, and these articles are typically far shorter than the others).
Interestingly, most of these authors seem to focus on producing content consistently as opposed to just maximizing output. I identified dozens of other authors who produced larger amounts of posts per month, but their earnings appeared to be far lower and their posts tended to be clustered together (i.e. posting 6 times per day for 4 days followed by a week with few or no posts at all).
It makes sense though why consistency is a key factor (once meeting the one post per day threshold). Anecdotally, Medium’s algorithm seems to favor content that is produced consistently, due to the fact that Medium seems to limit the distribution of articles by topic per day.
Although it is tempting to apply many of the same blogging principles to Substack, I tend to think that many premium newsletters should aim to post 2-3 times per week.
Unlike most other platforms, Substack subscribers are usually looking for very specific and targeted value. You can post 5 days per week, but only if all of those posts deliver amazing and insightful content.
Otherwise, I generally advise Substack writers to stick to posting only when they have content with clear value for their target audience.
This may mean posting once per week, or maybe even less. It really depends on your niche topic and the value you can bring readers.
Question #2— How many posts have you already published on your blog?
The traffic on your blog is strongly dependent on the number of posts you’ve already published and this metric can help guide your future posting schedule.
Look at publishing volume benchmarks as per HubSpot’s analysis of its 13,500 customers.
Overall, companies that have published 400+ pieces of blog content received twice the traffic as compared to those that have published between 301-400 blog posts.
But, traffic is a vanity metric. All that really matters is the total number of inbound leads received by companies against the number of blog content pieces published.
For B2B companies, those that published 401+ total blog posts generated almost 3X as many leads as B2B companies that published 0 – 200 total posts.
B2C companies that published 401+ posts generated 4.5X as many leads as B2C companies that published 0 – 100 total posts.
The pattern is clear:
If you’ve built up a large back catalogue of high quality articles on your blog, then you can probably make do with posting less frequently.
So, look at your content management system and find out the number of published blog posts you have. Then, jot down the dates when you reached milestones like 100, 200, 300 and 400 posts.
The goal of this exercise is to find the correlation between your already published pieces of great content and the increase in traffic.
Question #3—What is your perfect blogging routine?
As bloggers, we all have different skills, personalities, and constraints on our time and energy. Don’t force yourself to stick to someone else’s blogging routine—it won’t necessarily work well for you.
Your perfect blogging routine might be one post a week, or one post a day. It might involve writing posts when you’re feeling inspired, or writing posts to a set schedule. You might use a content calendar to help you plan ahead with all or some of your content—or you might have differently themed posts on certain days of the week or month.
For example, I have recently started using Notion’s free content calendar function to better manage my content schedule for the current month:
Even though I now use a content calendar, I still try to remain flexible in my posting schedule, so that I don’t feel pressured to produce subpar content.
There’s no “one size fits all” approach to blogging, and what’s important is that you find a routine that you can stick to over the long term—not one that leaves you burned out after a few weeks.
Don’t worry that readers will get upset if you change your posting frequency. I’ve experimented with post frequency myself on numerous blogs and publications—and I’ve never had a reader complain that they wanted five posts a week, not three, or that they wanted my posts to be on Mondays and Thursdays, not Tuesdays and Fridays.
When you’re experimenting with your blogging routine:
Don’t change things too abruptly: try going from five posts per week to three posts per week, for instance.
Consider surveying your readers to find out whether they’d like more or fewer posts.
Experiment with writing posts ahead of time, or with creating a content calendar.
Question #4—How often are your rivals posting?
A bit of competitive research can help you decide how often you should blog. While this should not be the only factor to consider, it's helpful to know what your competition is doing and how effective it is for their businesses.
Choose your top three competitors and check out the last 3 to 6 months of their blog posts. How many times per week do they publish new posts? How long are their blog posts on average?
In content marketing, producing better, longer, and more value-driven content can help you get better rankings in the search engines and to steal customers from your competitors.
However, you don't want to overextend yourself. You have to consider the amount of time you can devote to blogging so you don't disappoint your audience.
Question #5—What is the opportunity cost of spending your time blogging?
Blogging doesn't cost any money directly, unless you hire a writer to do it for you. However, it does cost time and energy that you could devote to other pursuits. When deciding whether you should increase your blogging frequency, consider your priorities when it comes to allocating your most valuable resource—time.
Remember, the total time spent blogging is not just writing the blog posts, either. You also have to add title images, promote the posts, and update older content so that it remains relevant.
If you decide to increase your blogging frequency, something else will have to give. If you know that you have some extra time, blogging more often might be a great way to increase your overall blog traffic.
However, if you are already stretched thin, and will need to turn down paying work to increase your blog posting schedule, it’s important to factor in this (very real) opportunity cost.
Until next time!
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