If anyone has ever told you how often to post to your blog, this goes out to you: Did this person know about your business? Or were they schooling you without any knowledge of what you do, basing their answer solely on some omnipotent bloggish brilliance?
If it’s the former, then their input is likely to be valuable—well intentioned at the very least.
But if they told you how often you should post without any background on your goals, audience, offering, etc., please ignore them. They have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.
I don’t mean to get rant-y here, but I listen to small businesses stress out about this too often. (“Someone told me that I need to be publishing at least once a day. Is that true? I don’t know if I can do it every day. Does it even makes sense for me to blog if I can’t keep up with that?”)
Most of the time, this stress happens because
- You read something online, or
- You talked to someone who wanted to sound clever—or who truly believed he had a magic answer
But there are no magic numbers in the mysterious realm of blog-post frequency. (And there’s really nothing mysterious about it.)
Here’s a hint: there are people who can help you make a smart decision about how often to post to your blog, and these people won’t start with answers. They’ll start with questions. And you should, too.
3 Questions to Ask in Deciding How Often to Post
This isn’t about blogging best practices. It’s about how often you should post to your blog. And the answer is different for every person and every business.
So start here:
- Blog goals: what are the top 3 things you hope your blog will accomplish?
- Blog audience: who do you hope to engage with your blog?
- Blog team: how many hours per week can your content team dedicate to blogging?
1. Blog Goals
In all my years of working on marketing strategy, I’ve never seen a case where the end goal is page visits. More often, there’s a bigger objective driving this.
So, if you think you want page views, ask yourself why. What will those visits accomplish for you?
Do you think they’ll grow your audience? Then your goal is audience development.
Do you think they’ll help position you as a thought leader? Then your goal is to become a thought leader.
Do you think they’ll help you sell more advertising on your blog? Then your goal is about revenue generation—which, inevitably, isn’t really about revenue, but about what that revenue will help you accomplish.
You get the picture.
2. Blog Audience
If you’re like most of my clients, you don’t just want transient eyeballs on your blog. You’re looking for engagement.
So keep in mind that people don’t engage when they’re annoyed. And in today’s world of information overload, you don’t even have to be very annoying to become annoying.
To avoid this, start by thinking less about what you want and more about what your audience wants. Then (and this is important), compare what your audience wants to what’s realistic for them.
So, say you’re targeting CIOs, and you’re focusing your blog on emerging technology because you know your audience loves learning about this subject. You have enough material there to post every hour. But as much as your CIO is sincerely interested in your topic, she doesn’t have a lot of time.
So when she chooses to follow your blog, how often can she actually tolerate your notices appearing in her inbox? At what point do you start to feel like a chore? At what point does the extent of her engagement become delete, delete, delete, unsubscribe?
That’s the outside edge of your magic number.
3. Blog Team
I’m all for jumping in head first. But when it comes to blogging, the last thing you want to do is bite off more than you can chew.
If you’ve ever visited a blog that had 10 entries in March of 2009, 3 in September of that year, and none since, you know the impression it left on you.
Don’t be that blog. Be honest with yourself, and get specific. Most of us are small businesses, after all. Our resources aren’t endless.
So look at the start-to-finish time it takes to craft, refine, and publish a new post. Compare that to the amount of time each member of your blog team (even if it’s just you) can realistically invest in the effort on an ongoing basis.
Then, create a schedule and start building that backlog. If it’s too frequent for you to maintain, you’ll sense it pretty quickly. Again, tweak and test. And find your pace.
Very perceptive…as usual! If every blog I’ve ditched had thought it through like this, I’d still be their reader.