We recently answered the question, how long should my blog post be? Now it’s time for us to answer an even more popular question: How often should I blog? Should I blog every day? Weekly? Monthly?
Of course, it depends. But depends on what? Let’s break down the factors so you can answer this question for yourself. You may find it’s not as often as you thought.
1. How long is your sales cycle?
In some industries, it takes months for people to make a decision. In other categories, they make decisions quickly. We recommend aligning your blogging frequency to the length of your sales cycle.
Ask yourself this question…
How long would it take your audience to meet, fall in love with and hire a competitor?
If it’s monthly, you should consider blogging every other week so you can stay top-of-mind. The minimum frequency is shorter than the sales cycle.
2. How long is your buying interval?
Some products and services, people buy regularly. Other things, we only need once in a while. Some products are seasonal and purchased once per year. Others are purchased weekly or more. We recommend aligning your blogging frequency to the buying interval.
Ask yourself this question…
How much attention does it take to stay top of mind for my company, until the moment when my services are needed?
If it’s twice a year, you should consider blogging at least quarterly. The minimum frequency is shorter than the buying interval.
3. What are your goals?
The above recommendations are for marketers that are using blogs and content marketing to drive results. They’re using blogs to build awareness, create demand and ultimately, revenue. But some marketers have other goals: some small, some big…
Lots of marketers are not trying to get results from the web. They’re active in offline marketing, but not online. These marketers just need a brochure website and a minimal blog to give it a bit of a pulse.
How often should these marketers blog? Quarterly or bi-monthly.
The Media Empire
A few marketers have big dreams of fortune and glory. This tiny minority are not looking to generate leads directly. Their goal is to build the largest audience possible, build a community, and dominate their niche. Eventually, they monetize this audience through premium content, events, book sales, affiliate marketing or advertising.
How often should these marketers blog? Daily or multiple times per day.
Set your expectations and effort at the same level, and you’ll always be happy…
4. Blogging Frequency vs. Email Frequency
Blogs and email marketing go together. An email is really just a way to invite people to your blog. If the blog were a magazine, the email would be the cover. Make sense?
The goal of email is to drive traffic to the website. This is why emails include only subject lines, headlines, and a teaser paragraph. If they included the full article, the reader may never visit…
But email frequency and blogging frequency don’t need to be the same. Blog posts may be published and promoted through search engine optimization best practices and social media sharing, but not email marketing.
This makes sense when you’ve committed to an email frequency, but you have higher expectations for SEO and a surplus of relevant content. Example: this blog publishes new content twice a week, but sends an email every other week. Our readers like it that way!
HubSpot research from 2011 suggests a high frequency for customer acquisition: 2-3 times per week. The results relative to the efforts begin to level off at that point.
We asked Barry Feldman, our friend and content marketing consultant what he thought. Here’s what Barry has to say:
|“There’s no denying HubSpot’s advice and data, but the formula falls apart if each and every post doesn’t rock. The answer I like to give clients is blog as often as you can post really great content that supports your marketing objectives.|
Give yourself a minimum interval—whether that be weekly, monthly, what have you—but commit to creating something inspiring each time out. You certainly want visitors to your site, but more importantly, you want subscribers.”
5. Consistency Beats Frequency
If you don’t blog often that isn’t a bad thing; blogging randomly here and there is terrible. The biggest mistake is committing to a specific frequency, then not delivering on your promise to your audience. Amazingly, 85% of corporate blogs have five posts or less! (source: IBM)
|“Think like a traditional publisher. Publish content on a consistent basis so your audience comes to expect and anticipate your information. Make it the same day and time every week or month. If you wait too long between posts, your audience will forget you.”|
– Heidi Cohen, who sheds light on a related topic: when to publish.
So for most marketers, this is the bottom line:
The minimum blogging frequency is whatever you can reliably commit to.
That’s it! Hopefully, these are useful guidelines for answering that common question: how often should I blog. Once again, we have a quick favor to ask our readers with blogs…