The Beginner's Guide to Content Marketing for Small Businesses
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Companies that publish new blog posts just 1-2 times per month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all and leads from inbound marketing cost on average 61% less than outbound marketing leads. Learn more...

Are You Blogging Too Often?

(NOTE: the Link Roundup is beneath this post.)

This post is just a tiny appetizer from my forthcoming book "1,000+ Online Content Ideas for Your Business".

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Are You Blogging Too Often?One of the most often asked questions about blogging is how often to blog.

Unfortunately, it’s also the most often answered questions, too (if you search “how often to blog” on Google you get 1,590,000,000 results!) and therein lies the problem – whose advice do you follow?

None of the advice you find online is necessarily wrong, it's just the right answer for someone else's business.
Even cold hard facts don’t help here.  While it’s true that the more content you publish, the more traffic you’ll get (source), it’s also true that companies that publish new blog posts just 1-2 times per month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all (source).

None of the advice you find online is necessarily wrong, it’s just the right answer for someone else’s business.

You may ask, “Well, what’s so bad about following the advice I find online?” If you follow another business’ blog posting schedule, you run the risk of either:

  1. Not posting often enough to reach your business goals, or
  2. Posting too often, taking time and money away from the other parts of your business.

The fact is: You should publish to your blog as often as necessary to drive the traffic that your site needs to meet your business goals (whether those are leads, sales or some other end goal).

In other words:

You need to figure out the best blogging schedule for
your own business and this post will teach you how.

Figuring Out How Often to Blog

In order to figure out a blog schedule that helps you reach your business goals, you need to answer a couple of questions and then test schedules until you achieve the results you want.

2 Questions with which to Start

The first question to ask is:

  • How many good pieces of quality can your business produce over a certain time period (let’s say a month)
    • This includes the amount of content that you and your employees can create as well as the amount of content that you can afford to pay in order to have others create.
It makes no sense if the number of times you aim to publish content exceeds the amount of content than your business can produce.

This is a great question with which to start off because it makes no sense if the number of times you aim to publish content each month exceeds the amount of content than your business can produce in that time.

Answering this question helps you sets a bar that your business should not try to go over and that will prevent a content marketing meltdown.

The second question to ask is:

Your traffic target is the key to assessing whether or not whether or not your blogging schedule is effective.
  • How much traffic do you want to drive to your website using content over a certain time period (let’s say a month)?

This number will be your traffic target and it’s the key to assessing whether or not your blogging schedule is effective at reaching your business goals.

Testing Your Blog Schedule
Start testing your blog schedule by publishing half the amount of content that your business can produce.

With the answers to both of the questions above in hand, you should start testing your blog schedule by publishing half the amount of content that your business can produce within a certain time period (let’s stick with a month).

Let’s say your business can produce 10 pieces of content a month – start off with 5. If it can produce 3, start off with 1 or two (you can’t have half a post!). The key is to begin in the middle so you can adjust either up or down depending on your results.

A note on starting by publishing only half of the content you can produce:

I’ve often heard real-life stories about businesses that became very rigid about posting a certain amount of times per day or week. They were worried that if they stopped publishing that frequently, their traffic would drastically fall off.

Then a crisis hit somewhere else in the business and they could only publish half as much content as usual. The surprise? There was no drop in traffic after all!

The lesson: start in the middle because you don’t always have to kill yourself to achieve your goals.

Evaluating Your Blogging Schedule Test

After the month is up, take a look at how much actual traffic your content drove to your site.

Assess the results of your test by comparing the actual traffic number with your target traffic number.

You can do this by getting a count of how many of your site’s visitors entered your site by landing on a content page (I recommend using Google Analytics to track this – it’s free and very functional).

You should then compare the actual traffic number with the target traffic number you came up with in the second question above:

  • If the actual traffic number is lower than the target traffic number: try publishing more content over the next month.
    • If the actual traffic number is just under your target traffic number, add one or two more pieces of content and compare the two again the next month.
    • If the actual traffic number is way under your target traffic number, add three or more pieces of content if you can and compare the two again the next month.
  • If the actual traffic number is very close to your target traffic number: you’re publishing the right amount of traffic over that specific amount of time. Keep it up!
  • If the actual traffic number is higher than your target traffic number: good for you! You can publish the same amount of traffic next month or even increase the number of posts in order to drive more traffic.
    • You can also lower the amount of posts to save both time and money. You’ll get less traffic, but still as much as you need to meet your business goals.
Some Additional Things to Keep in Mind
  • Building traffic using content marketing can take time to ramp up so be conservative with target traffic number at the very start. You can always increase your target traffic number as your search engine and social media efforts kick in.
  • If the number of times you publish to your blog has no effect on your traffic numbers, then there might be a disconnect somewhere else in your content marketing plan.

    If the number of times you publish to your blog has no effect on your traffic numbers, then there might be a disconnect somewhere else in your content marketing plan.

    • In that case, you should stop trying to fiddle with your blog post frequency and try to fiddle with something else (e.g. changing the social media networks, or spots within those networks, on which you post links to your content).
    • Once you have that issue ironed out, you can go back to playing with your blog posting frequency.
  • If you cannot beat your target traffic number even with the maximum amount of content your business can produce, fret not. Remember the statistic I mentioned earlier: even one or two posts a month will benefit your business (source). As your business grows, you will be able to produce more content and that will bring you even more traffic.

Like this post?

This is just a tiny appetizer from chapter 7 (“Creating Your Own Content – Blogs”) of my forthcoming book “1,000+ Online Content Ideas for Your Business” .

Sign-up to receive news about, and more excerpts from, the book at the bottom of this page.

Link Roundup

Link RoundupEach time I write a post, I collect the 10 best reads from around the web and share them with you here.

These posts focus on content marketing strategies, tactics, ideas, tips and tricks for small businesses.

Enjoy!

How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy: This starts at “Why”, moves to successful real-life examples and then lays out a detailed approach to creating a content marketing strategy for your business.

9 Convincing Arguments to Win Your Content Marketing Budget: A great video chock-full of advice on how to construct an argument for using content marketing.

Content Marketing Best Practices: 8 Rookie Mistakes: A handy checklist of content marketing, “Don’ts”.

What Content Marketers Can Learn from Celebrity Branding: Interesting insights about your brand from the world of celebrity.

The Essential Key to Making Your Web Content Understood by Absolutely Everyone: A pointed look at getting your message across.

Content Marketing: It’s Not About Shock, but Good Storytelling: Love the real-life success and failure examples in this post.

How Do I Get Started With Content Marketing?: Basic, solid advice from a number of content marketing experts.

Time spent on website as an indicator of content marketing success: An insightful look at how to properly measure the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.

9 Content Marketing Lessons From Tourism Australia: Real-life examples of content marketing that works.

The Future of Content Marketing Revealed: A look at the up-and-coming trends in content marketing.

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Comments

  1. Traffic is one thing to consider, but what about how your readers feel? I blog 2-3 times/week (sometimes more — the ideas don’t stop!) but I’ve recently heard from one reader that it’s too much. She can’t keep up, even though she wants to! Not sure what to do but I plan to survey more readers to see if this is more widespread. Any suggestions are welcome.

  2. Matt, thank you for sharing great ideas on frequency about blogging: Answers to this question is often confusing and mostly we hear “it depends”! But you have provided excellent strategy on deciding right frequency about blogging. One more thing…

    “Each time I write a post, I collect the 10 best reads from around the web” – honestly LOVED this style! Keep doing this in your all future posts. Believe me it *doubles* the value of the post. Thanks again.

    • Thanks for your kind words Jignesh!

      It does depend, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a way to figure it out. My hope is that this post helps folks with that exact process.

      Also, glad you like the “Link Roundup”! I learn so much when searching for links to include. :)

      -Matt

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  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Are You Blogging Too Often?…

    Still not sure how often to blog? This post will teach you how to come up with the best blog schedule for your website – one that achieves your business goals….

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