How often should I blog?
Despite what you might’ve heard, this question does have a definitive answer.
How often you should publish content doesn’t depend on industry, circumstances, skill or time, and there is no need to endlessly test blogging frequency or schedules.
That’s right, do not adjust your set – I’m telling you that there is a blog publishing frequency that will drag you out of the average and into the excellent.
There are approximately 2.75 million blogs published every single day on WordPress alone (Source). Many of these blogs will be under-appreciated, barely read and left to rot in the depths of the internet’s filing cabinet.
A contributor to these blogs failure is their posting frequencies. Get this wrong and you can publish for years with little results. Get it right and you’ll achieve big results in a very short space of time.
Why Is My Blog Posting Frequency Important?
We’ll get into the nitty-gritty soon, and I’ll explain how and why the answer will work for you, but before any of that, you must understand why your blog posting frequency plays such a huge role in your success.
Time is NOT a regenerable resource. Once you’ve used it, you can never get it back. Your decisions, actions and use of your time will determine your success in any role – the same goes for bloggers and content marketers.
It’s up to you, as a marketer, entrepreneur or creator, to manage your time in the most effective way possible.
In other words, to understand how often you should post blogs, you need to look at the bigger picture.
The Bigger Picture
Blogging, whether you’re writing a personal travel blog or managing an advanced SEO blog for a link-building consultancy, is a form of content marketing.
There are two elements to balance for the perfect blogging publishing schedule:
- Content – time spent researching, creating and editing the content
- Marketing – time spent making more people aware of your content
The great thing is that content can be marketed very quickly – purely by dropping a link and title on social media, you’re marketing your content. And in reverse of that, content can also be created very quickly.
A blog that is 300-600 words can be created in less than an hour – and one blog can provide plenty of content possibilities.
‘That’s great, but what does it have to do with how often I should publish blogs?’
How Often Should You Blog?
The best blogging results are typically found at each end of the frequency spectrum, and that’s because they allow for a disproportionate amount of time spent on either ‘creating content’ or ‘marketing’.
In other words:
- When you spend all your time creating content you have very little left for marketing
- When you spend all your time marketing you have very little left to create more content
At this point, you’d probably think it wise of me to advise you to ‘find an equal balance’ between writing your blogs and sharing them – you’d be wrong.
As I’ll prove, the most successful blogging frequencies are anything but an ‘equal balance’.
A great example of this is the car manufacturing industry. Toyota is one of the most valuable car brands in the world, basing their model on the sales of a high volume of affordable cars (10.8 million sold in 2018) like this:
Daimler are also one of the world’s most profitable car brands, but their model is based on selling luxury cars (2.3 million sold in 2018):
These opposing strategies have propelled both of these companies to the forefront of their industries. Blogging is very different to the car industry, but the principle remains the same.
Here are the only two blogging strategies that you need to know:
- Go Heavy on Content
This strategy dictates that you should publish loads of content as often as possible, without spending too much time marketing it.
- Go Heavy on Marketing
This strategy dictates that you should publish very little content, but spend loads of time marketing it.
What Everyone Else Does…
Most brands, marketers and creators tend to split their time between creation and marketing. That might mean publishing a few posts every week and marketing them with the spare time that they have.
In other words, they create a little, and they market a little. This dilutes the quality of their content and their marketing, which means that neither ends up being very good. In fact, you might call content like this, pretty average.
Remember, there are 2.75 million blogs posted every day on WordPress alone. If you’re producing average content and you’re marketing is average alongside it, what hope have you got of becoming a top performer?
A Content Heavy Approach
Big brands with teams of 50+ working on their content and marketing are lucky enough to be able to produce tons of content, with exceptional marketing. But brands like that are not my audience – you are and believe me, you can win the day by publishing loads of content too.
Publishing a lot of content doesn’t have to be difficult, or mind-numbing – it can actually be a lot of fun. I’ve worked on projects with a strategy to flood the target audience with so much content that they simply can’t ignore us – and it’s worked, really well.
As a solo creator or small team of content marketers, it isn’t easy to publish multiple blogs every day, especially for those brands who use blogging or content creation as a form of marketing – but when this strategy is done right, it doesn’t have to be.
A Content Heavy Strategy
Content in itself is a form of marketing. Purely by having it online, you’re advertising who you are, what you do and how much you know.
Publishing a lot of content makes you more visible.
The strategy of this approach is to achieve your aims by using the content as your primary marketing tool.
Everything you publish needs to relate to your target industry, be clickable and present some sort of sign-up or offer to your audience.
By adopting this approach, you’re playing a numbers game. Sure, you won’t convert at a high level, but that won’t matter because you’re driving many more visitors to your content.
In other words, more content = more visitors, but lower engagement per post.
A great example of this can be found on the CoSchedule Blog, where they discovered that by posting 1 more blog per week, they’d receive fewer social shares, views and comments per blog, but more website visitors in general.
If you perform this strategy well enough, your blog (or website) will be seen similarly to a magazine or publication – and viewers will directly return when they want to discover more about your industry.
The Content Tactics
Publishing at least one blog post (or fresh content) every single day is a demanding task. It requires dedication, ideas and an unrelenting time commitment from day-to-day.
I’ve been there, and trust me, it’s tough.
…but it’s not impossible.
There are a couple of tactical things that will help you produce content in less time, with much less effort:
- Prepare: It sounds simple, but it’s very important. It’s much more difficult to start publishing content every day from scratch. Give yourself time to prepare for this new strategic approach to content marketing. Spend a few weeks building a large bank of content before you begin. It’s much easier to publish content every day if you have a buffer of 10 posts ready to go.
- Accept Contributions: Everybody wants links and most people are willing to pay for it. Many content marketing agencies are just link-building SEO specialists in disguise, selling their link heavy content to brands desperate for more organic traffic.
Create a page on your website for guest posts and explain how they can be sent.
Submissions might be slow to begin with (especially if you have a fairly low domain authority), but they’ll pick up and soon enough you’ll have 10’s or 100’s per day, giving you plenty of free content.
- Personalisation: By personalising your content on social media to specific audiences, you increase your individual content output. Gary Vee has a great video that describes this tactic at work:
When you have the content, all you have to do is distribute it. Remember, as this is a content-heavy approach, most of your time will be spent creating, editing and publishing the content, so you won’t have too much time left for marketing and distribution.
The fastest forms of promoting your content are:
- Social media posts – Post the link and some copy that sells your latest content
- Relevant feeds/magazines – In addition to social media, there might be relevant feeds and magazines in your industry that only require a link to your content. Drop your link here.
- Automated email – Set-up an automated email that is sent to subscribers every time you publish fresh content. This may result in a high unsubscribe rate, but it will drive new subscribers to your fresh content
Going Content Heavy
The most typical examples of blogs that publish high volumes of content come from magazines and newspapers.
In 2016, The Atlantic reported the following content publication numbers per day:
- The Washington Post: 500 new stories and videos per day
- The New York Times: 230 new stories and videos per day
- The Wall Street Journal: 240 new stories and videos per day
- BuzzFeed: 222 new stories and videos per day
In the last 4 years, these numbers have all gone up (I’ve read that Buzzfeed publishes as many as 700+ new articles per day).
To put that in perspective, by publishing 500 new stories and articles per day, The Washington Post is publishing something new every 3 minutes.
Their website received approximately 227,020,000 in December 2020 (SimilarWeb).
The Advantages of More Content
Following a strategy that relies on going ultra content-heavy, tends to result in the following advantages:
- Increase in traffic (and more leads/sales as a result)
- Increase in brand awareness
- More content medium exposure – video, audio, visual and written
- Greater reach
- More contributors and content perspectives
- Content acting as primary marketing material
The Disadvantages of More Content
Going after a very aggressive, content-heavy approach has some powerful strengths. However, you may also find that it causes the following disadvantages:
- Lower engagement per post
- Lower quality content
- Low-quality traffic
- Low conversion rates per post
- Viewed as spammy
So, Is More Content Better?
More content means less work marketing it. It generates more page visitors, which usually results in more leads and sales. So does it work?
Sure it does.
However, posting a lot of content comes at a quality cost – particularly if you’re working in a small team.
A Marketing Heavy Approach
If perpetual creation is your thing, go for a content-heavy approach. However, if you love to create high-value stuff less frequently, a marketing heavy approach might be the best solution.
With this tactic, you create awesome in depth content whenever you have something really valuable to say. By adopting this approach, you effectively spend a lot less time creating content, freeing up loads to market it.
This is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum to the aforementioned content-heavy approach, but it can be equally, if not much more effective.
Regular readers and subscribers of the Einstein Marketer blog will have noticed that this is a strategy that I have adopted (for the agency) at the tail-end of 2020.
I have worked with this approach before, so I am not surprised by these results, but in the first 6 weeks of using it, we have seen:
- An average of 4x more comments per blog
- 50%+ more viewers per post (our best performing is 162% higher than our previous average)
- 8% reduction in bounce rate sitewide (more visitors are taking action)
- 27 second increase in Avg. Time per page (which means more people reading more of our content)
A Marketing Heavy Strategy
This strategy begins with one word – quality.
By creating less content, you’re effectively syphoning your target audience towards high quality stuff.
When you publish lots of content, your audience has a wide choice, but when you publish less, you force your audience’s attention (provided that the content is worthy of it!).
The next part of this strategy is marketing.
As you have much more time on your hands, you’re able to effectively market your content. This means spending the majority of your time promoting the content.
By doing this, you guarantee yourself more views, higher engagement and more action per blog, video or podcast.
The more time you spend on marketing, the more successful you’ll be with this approach.
From 2017 to 2019, Le Monde reduced it’s total number of articles by 25%, whilst growing their content and journalistic team. During this time, their subscriptions and circulation numbers increased by 700,000 monthly visitors (Source: DigiDay)
The Content Marketing Tactics
In order to explain the most effective tactics for this approach, I need to split content marketing into two sections:
Your content needs to be awesome, otherwise this approach will not work.
That means either:
- Going beyond your competitors’ content
- Doing something completely original
An example of this is the YouTuber Mark Rober, who sometimes goes months without publishing fresh YouTube videos. His science and engineering videos are so entertaining and valuable, that they regularly pull in 30m+ viewers.
Here’s an example of his content:
You need to look at your content in the same way.
I do this by sticking to a list that I call my ‘content non-negotiables’. These are things that I must include in anything before I hit send or publish.
BTW: My non-negotiables are different for every brand I work with and they’re updated as the industry changes.
For Einstein Marketer, my current blog non-negotiables are a minimum of:
- 3000 words
- 5x headline drafts (following keyword research)
- 10+ images/visuals
- 1x video
- 3x quotables for social content
- 5x examples
- 3x stats/figures
These are my minimum levels. I will only miss something on this (shortened) list in exceptional circumstances.
If you want to follow a marketing heavy approach, I suggest that you make your own non-negotiable list. You’ll draw more subscribers, direct visitors and website returners, as well as creating shareable content.
It’s time to market your content – and you should have plenty of time to do so.
There are alot of different ways to market your content – and as you have more time, you should use as many as possible.
In addition to the quick marketing tactics used in the content heavy approach, here are a few more that I’d recommend:
- Social re-post: Posting your content is standard practice, but re-posting isn’t. This tactic is simple, post your content multiple times on social networks. Use a different image and text copy (caption) for each re-post and separate your posts out by a couple of days. You’ll get more clicks, guaranteed.
- Chunk down: Within every medium or long-form piece of content, there are 100’s of smaller pieces of content. By pulling out a quote, or a stat, or making a slideshow, you can chunk down your content into smaller pieces and engage your audience on social media, promoting your brand and your content again. Find out more about this in How to Create Months of Content From One Blog Post.
- Email Marketing: It’s our duty to ensure that all our subscribers hear about our content. We send a custom email for every new blog post, so our subscribers are the first to hear and read it. I also send out another custom email a few days later to all the people who didn’t open the first one. Nurture your list with great content and they’ll open your emails when you have an offer.
- Advertising: Promoting your content can achieve great results from as little as $5 per day, and they’re easy to manage when you’re publishing less. Try Facebook ads, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn ads. Spend some time learning more about advertising targeting, and you’ll see dramatic improvements.
- Link-building: A stepping stone towards successful evergreen content is link-building. By gaining more links, in more places, your content stands a much better chance of ranking on Google, particularly in the long term. Spend more time building links back to your content.
- Collaboration/guest posting: Tap into new audiences by collaborating with brands and creators in the same space as you. If they allow it, post on their page and use content to market your brand and latest piece of content.
- Re-purpose: In addition to chunking down, you can also repurpose your content into different mediums. If you have a blog, try reading it or recording yourself talking about on video. If you have a podcast, get a transcription or video recording. And if you make videos, create a blog about it and cut the audio into a podcast. These are all great ways to market your brand’s content platform.
There are many other ways to market your content, but these are a great place to start. You should have more than enough time to complete these tasks with a marketing focussed approach.
The Advantages of More Marketing
The marketing heavy approach offers many great advantages including:
- Clear brand voice
- Control of content quality
- Greater views, engagement and action per post
- Greater variety of work tasks
- More brand attention per post
- Potential for long-term results with link building and outreach
- Engaging social content
The Disadvantages of More Marketing
Not everything is plain sailing with this posting strategy, here are a couple of potential disadvantages:
- Less fresh content for regular followers
- More marketing expertise required
So, Is Less Content Better?
Posting less content can work wonders. It allows you to create better content, which generally means a better quality of visitor.
There is a lot more marketing involved in this approach – so be prepared to learn and put in the hard miles.
Personally, I prefer this approach, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right way to lean. Go with what makes sense for you.
What You Expect Me To Say Next…
This is the point in a content marketing article where you expect me to say things like:
‘…find a balance of these two formulas…’
‘…test these strategies until you know what’s right for you…’
‘…use these tests to learn more about your audience’s preferences…’
The truth is, if I was writing this several years ago I probably would’ve said something like this. Today, I wouldn’t advise anything of the sort.
No matter how small your team, how little your time or how inexperienced your skills, I advise you to look at your content posting frequency now, and either:
- Increase your production to post as much content as possible
- Decrease your content production so you can market it as much as possible
In my experience, these are the two strategies that get better results than anything else. Know what your aims are and tilt everything towards them with a publishing frequency at either end of this scale.
Creating and marketing content is a tough profession – especially when you’re new to the game.
One of the worst mistakes you can make is trying to be too rounded. Being average at everything is a lot worse than being really good at a handful of things.
Your content needs to get attention, try a publishing schedule that helps you achieve that.
How often are you publishing fresh content? Do you agree with these tactics?
Comment, share and subscribe!
For more awesome marketing content, check out these blogs:
- Social Proof in Marketing
- Priming in Marketing: Advertising Psychology 101
- 5 Steps to the Most Shareable Content on the Internet
Hi Josh, very interesting read. Do you think that this is the same for things like podcasts?
Thank you, Hurwa
Hi Hurwa, yes the same principle can be used in podcasting. If you’re a small team, pitch for one end of the scale. You’ll be surprised at the results – I’m sure.
The part about non-negotiables is really useful. I have been using brand guidelines for our clients but I like the way you have phrased ‘non-negotiable’.
Thanks Julie. I actually stole that ‘term’ from the manager of Arsenal FC. ahaha…I’m a very big fan and he has been using it a lot to talk about the players.
It transfers perfectly into my point about content though…
Thank you for commenting.
I am surprised that you don’t think it is best to do both the same amount. lots of content and lots of marketing. I guess this is only possible with big teams. You make some good points in this. I post two blogs per week and it is working for me but it might be better if I just post once and spend more time marketing it. i will try this for some weeks. thanks.
Thanks for the comment Larry. Two blogs per week is a sensible amount – but you’ll probably see better results if you increase it to 4 or 5 posts per week or reduce it down to one every week. Optimise your time as best you can!
Great guide Josh!
Some good points made in this blog and it’s good to see some evidence of it working. In the past I have posted as little as once a fortnight or month. We have seen less traffic when we have taken the content down to this level but that’s because we haven’t marketed anymore with the spare time. This is a very good idea, thanks. I will follow your marketing tips.
Really good read. It’s interesting that you think you should go one way or the other, and the reference about the car company’s make sense. But do you really think that this is the best way to grow a blog? Surely a balance of content and marketing is the best thing?
Hey Sam, thanks for the comment.
A balance is where most businesses sit – I advise to go for either end of the content marketing spectrum because it allows you to make big progress in one area. You can either out-market or out-publish your competition. I hope this helps!