How often should you blog? The ultimate answer.
Bloggers and businesses who want to blog have been asking the question, "how often should I blog?" for years. Internet marketing consultants and strategists like myself have always provided a rather vague and stock answers like, "the more the better" which, by itself, is not very helpful. Now, however, thanks to some timely research and findings from Hubspot, we can provide business owners with a much more complete and helpful answer.
While it is certainly true that the more you blog, the better your results will be, it sure would be nice to know some more specifics, wouldn't it? How much more? How many blog posts per week? How many blog posts should I have on my site, in total, before I can expect to see larger gains? HubSpot recently surveyed over 7000 businesses and corporations who are actively blogging and using social media.
First, in order to set reasonable expectations and see measurable results, every business must set goals. What are the goals of your blogging and content marketing campaign? As a business owner, it's critical that you understand that "more sales" is not actually a reasonable goal. While that may be the ultimate goal of your business, a blog post will not bring you more sales directly. A blog post CAN potentially bring you more website traffic and more leads, but then those leads need to be converted into sales by you or someone else, resulting in a completely different metric (leads vs. sales). So, for most businesses, an appropriate goal for a content marketing initiative is Increased Web Traffic and Increased Leads. Improved Brand Awareness and Improved Customer Service are also not uncommon goals.
Now that we know what your goals are, what is it going to take to achieve that goal? The following graphs will illustrate what the survey found.
How Many Blog Posts Per Week?
You'll note that the traffic value is an index, rather than raw numbers, in order to make meaningful comparisons among varying sized companies. What's readily apparent is that all companies began to see substantial growth in site traffic once they increased content production to 15 or more articles per month.
How Many Blog Posts Total?
We have discussed how search engines are looking for content, so the more content you have, the better your site will rank for certain keywords, which results n more traffic. This graph illustrates that fact.
As you can see, companies that get to 50+ blog posts begin to see a dramatic increase in site traffic. A company that goes from 100 articles to 200 articles will likely see a 59% increase in traffic.
How do more blog posts affect leads?
Just as with traffic, businesses who post more often, and have a higher total number of blog posts on their site, can expect to see greater increases in their number of inbound leads.
Companies that increase their blogging from 3-5x per month, to 6-8x per month almost double their leads. Companies that only blog once or twice a month still receive 70% more leads over those businesses that don't blog at all.
So how often do I have to blog, really?
In order to finally answer this question, a business owner must first decide how much more traffic and leads they want. Using the data above, a business can look at what they're getting from their website now, how much they want to improve, and quickly determine where they need to be with their blog campaign. If you're currently blogging a couple of times a month, and you want to double your site traffic, you'll need to increase your rate to 6 - 8 posts per month.
Another way to approach this question is to ask, how many leads do you need to have coming in? Look at your current total number of site articles, see where you need to be, and decide how long you want to give yourself to get there.
For example, let's say you currently have ten published blog posts. You would like to see your lead rate double, and you'd like to see that happen within two months. According to the final graph, you would currently be around the 100 index for leads and to get to 200, you will need to have at least 50 articles on your site, resulting in a need for 40 more articles.
While 40 blog posts sounds like a lot, and it is, that breaks down to about one post per weekday. All of the data confirms that the businesses that blog nearly every day see dramatic increases in both traffic and leads. Our next article talks about what does it take to blog 3 -5 times a week?
How often are you blogging currently? Do you think that if you blogged more often, you'd see more website traffic and leads as a result?
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."Follow @Mike_Allton