In case you still need to hear this in 2021, blogging is important. In addition to engaging your target audience and generating new leads, a well-rounded blog is packed full of high-value keywords and content that is great for search engine optimization (SEO).
Why does your business need a blog?
We won’t go into all of the benefits here, but we invite you to check out our article on this very topic later.
For now, we want to focus on an often downplayed and little-discussed truth:
Starting and maintaining an effective blog requires a significant commitment of time.
Any business can slap a quick and dirty blog post up on their website, but it takes real work to maintain that blog with steady and vibrant content and let it do what it’s supposed to—which is expand your digital presence, improve your brand and ultimately drive more conversions and revenue for the business.
A small business that already feels pressed for time might be wondering how often you should blog in order to see the SEO benefits. Not to worry…here are a few tips for determining and maintaining the ideal blog post frequency.
Tip #1: Consistency is key
When asked this question, typically the first factor we consider is what kind of business you are and what your target audience will expect.
For the sake of this discussion, we’ll assume you’re not a content publisher by trade. You don’t need to meet The Huffington Post’s impressive benchmark of churning out an article every minute (roughly 1,600 and 2,000 articles per day!). We’ll also assume you’re not interested in attracting an army of low-paid, low-quality writers the way many content mills do.
On the flip side, you shouldn’t be cavalier about the way you treat your developing audience. They might not expect you to have content that keeps up with a 24-hour news cycle, but you will be expected to provide content consistently.
And here’s the first nugget of wisdom:
Content consistency isn’t just beneficial for your human audience, but also for search engine algorithms.
Search engines assess how frequently a website is being updated when determining what to present in their search results. A regularly updated site is presumed to be more likely to offer a searcher what they are looking for.
Tip #2: Be realistic about your limits
Consistency… got it. But what steps can I take to start blogging?
A good place to start is to do an inventory of what you have to say on major topics of interest within your industry. Talk to your sales and customer service teams to find out what questions clients and prospects are asking regularly. Talk to the rest of your team about industry topics and news they find interesting. Develop a comprehensive list of blog post topics that address these topics.
Next, make an honest determination about how much time you and your team can put into this content. Is hiring an in-house or freelance writer more realistic? The one thing you absolutely don’t want to do is publish a low-quality blog post just for the sake of updating the blog. We’re not saying your content has to be the end-all, be-all on the subject matter, but you need to take the time to ensure the content provides true value to the reader.
Tip #3: Focus on quality, not quantity
Search engines (and people, generally) prefer quality over quantity when it comes to content. So rather than killing yourself trying to crank out blog after blog of mediocre content, consider slowing down to produce more substantial and unique content that is truly valuable.
What is valuable content?
High-quality content answers a question that people in your space are likely to be asking, or provides good information on a subject that you think people should be asking more about.
As the saying goes: work smarter, not harder.
A short 500-word blog post can perform better than a 3,000-word whitepaper if you’re smart about how you approach the topic and what information you provide the reader. By knowing your business and target audience, use this knowledge to ensure that every post provides value.
Tip #4: Break large topics into small bite-sized posts
Don’t be afraid to write on narrow topics when it comes to blog posts. One obstacle that some writers have is they’ll start working on a blog post or article for the next day, only to discover that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
For example, let’s say your business is a personal injury law firm and you want to write a post about what a plaintiff needs to do in order to win a lawsuit. That’s certainly a relevant question in your space; it’s something that many prospects and clients probably ask about.
But it also might take a novel to answer this question really well, given all the variables that might come into play.
Rather than trying to stuff all the information into 1 massive post that will be intimidating to blog readers, or trying to condense all the information into 1 short post that misses many of the important nuances, consider turning this broad topic into a blog series with 5-10 smaller posts.
From a workload perspective, this approach allows you to make the content a little shorter and appealing to readers without compromising its value. From an SEO perspective, you can target more specific keywords and keyphrases in the various posts. And from a marketing standpoint, you can present them as a series and generate greater reader interest.
Then, once the blog series is completed, you can coalesce all the information onto a single landing page, whitepaper or article—thus competing for the broad base of keywords you were thinking of to start with.
Tip #5: Consider a shortcut with video content
Perhaps you dread the idea of sitting down to write an entire blog post, but you or a coworker are comfortable getting on camera and talking for 5-10 minutes about a subject. By all means, go ahead and use video presentation. In fact, video content is tremendously popular on social media platforms, and they have real SEO value.
If video marketing helps increase the efficiency of your output without compromising the value of the value, so much the better.
Just be sure you’re still producing some “indexable” content for the search engine algorithms to crawl—that way they know what your video is about. Consider featuring a transcript of your video in the post. There are plenty of automatic video transcription services out there that’ll help you do this in a matter of minutes.
Is there such a thing as over-blogging?
What about the reverse side of the blogging frequency question:
Is it possible to blog too frequently?
Theoretically, sure it’s possible. But in practice, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever reach that threshold.
A Hubspot analysis of over 13,500 businesses revealed that businesses who produced 400 or more total blog posts generated at least 3 times as many leads as businesses with under 200 posts.
So take a moment right now to log into your content management system and figure out how many blog posts you’ve published to date. If you’re at 400+, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, make a note to celebrate when you reach benchmarks like 200 or 400 posts.
Where you do need to be careful about blogging overload is if you are emailing your blog posts out to a subscriber list. If you’re consistently posting several times a week or even daily, sending out an email to your subscriber list every time a new post is published is a quick way to get tossed in their Spam folder. If you’re consistently posting several times a week, a better approach is to send out a weekly summation that includes the links to that week’s list of blogs.
Another area to watch is how often you update your social media profiles to promote a new post. Even if your social media followers don’t “unfollow” you, they may get numb to your presence if it’s always showing up in their feed.
What’s the blog post frequency sweet spot?
As we mentioned before, determining the ideal blog post frequency rate depends a lot on your target audience, industry and capabilities.
Ultimately, the ideal frequency of blogging for your business depends on your business’s unique needs and goals.
In general, though, 1 blog post per month is the bare minimum your business should be publishing. This will help with your site’s organic SEO performance, but if you want live human beings to make your blog a part of their regular reading rotation, you’ll probably need to step it up further.
Many small businesses have achieved success by posting 1-4 blogs per week, while larger companies can easily publish a post (or multiple posts) per day.
Finding the sweet spot for blogging frequency is just like any other facet of your business. It takes commitment, some trial and error and adjustment.
But done right, it will be worth it.
If you need help reaching this goal, have you considered outsourcing your content marketing objectives?
Contact SEO Advantage to find out how we can help you achieve the rankings you desire through our comprehensive SEO copywriting and content marketing services.