Most bloggers will come up with this question some time in their blogging career. The question you often ask yourself is this – should I blog more frequently or should I focus more on content.
The answers are not simple.
There are plenty of websites or blogs that vouch for good but frequent content. There are businesses that stand on making sure that you stick to a schedule ( I am looking at your CoSchedule) when churning out new posts.
Of course, sticking to a schedule is great. It certainly does help out the readers.
But if you look at it carefully, the readers who are going to benefit the most from regular updates are those who are already your subscribers. Only those folks will type in your blog address, or click on the newsletter that you send them and make the effort to read what you have to offer.
The vast majority of users who are going to land on your website or blog will or should come from the search results page. For them it really does not matter if you write once a month or twice a day. As long as your content is useful for them, they will read it, bookmark it, share it and link to it. That is how it works. And this is what you should ideally aim for.
What kind of blog do you write for?
There are different types of blogs in the world. On the most basic level there are only two.
There are big blogging corporations (yes, you read it right) and then there are those that are run by you, or you along with a few of your friends.
Big blogging companies have other products that they sell as well (like ProBlogger).
Quality Blogging is Resource Intensive
These guys have the resources to invest in the following:
- Content research teams to find everything that is required to know about a particular topic. They will do all the references and keep them handy for the writers to refer to when the actual writing is to take place.
- Image editors and graphic designers – Good content should always have good graphics to go along with it. Even if you are writing with a very serious crowd in mind, you should still have some interesting infographics that will make your post stand out when you post on social media channels. Creating vector images, special cutouts for Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc take time.
- Content writers – These folks will put everything together – put essential internal and third party links to ensure the SEO juice flows nicely. The images will be put where required, videos will be embedded and so on. They may even have dedicated SEO teams to further optimise the content – setting the alt tags properly, bolding text, setting new paragraphs and the like.
- Editors and Publishers – Once the content is ready as a draft, it is proofread and prepared for publishing. Consider this similar to a regular publishing house. Mistakes are corrected, business requirements are aligned, these drafts may even be sent back to the writing team if things are not nearly as good as they should be. From here it gets published. But that is not the end of it.
- Content Managers – Okay. These guys have it easy. Any popular content will have pingbacks and comments or queries. A good blog will have staff who will respond to these comments to build better user interaction and engagement. In some cases, the content writers or the research team can be set to do this.
- Plus there are technical folks managing, upgrading systems so that the blog platform runs smoothly. Same with their marketing teams that share the content.
As you can see, blogging on an enterprise level is not child’s play. It requires a lot of planning, meticulous research, technical expertise, marketing, monitoring and so on.
And in their place, what you have?
With the infrastructure, they can afford to churn out content as fast as they can. You cannot. Good thing is that you can still compete. Backlinko founder Brian Dean showed that it is possible. But you have to throw the existing preconceived notions about blog frequency out of the window.
Long story short – one super useful post a month is way better than 10 okay posts in a week.
Okay, that sounds good. But there is a problem.
What if big blogging firms churn out 10 great posts in a week?
There is still a way.
All you have to do is to pick a topic or keyword for which they rank very well. Assume you want to rank better than them. Read and research the topic. Read what they have written on the same subject including how they link to other pages. Check what comments they have got and what other important websites have linked to that page.
Now write a post better than that. This is what Brian calls the Skyscraper technique. Comment on the original post saying something like this – ‘This is a great post. I have done some research on my own and found some additional information that may help you all’. Follow it up with the link to your page. Write to the blogs or websites that have connected to the previous site and inform them that you have an updated and perhaps a better version of the same content. They will be glad to guide their users to your page as long as yours is original non plagiarised content. This may seem a bit mean to the original content creator, but that is how one page can rank above another. If your conscience hurts, you can drop a message to the original author for feedback so that they know that you are on the scene. Chances are that you may get a job offer from them in no time.
The other and most important part is that you have to target a very specific niche when you write. And cover everything about it. Leave nothing to chance. Picking a niche is difficult and convincing oneself to write with a very narrow focus is a challenge. But that is where you have a higher chance of beating a more established brand. It is easier to be known as the best ‘Brooklyn keyword researcher’ than an okay ‘USA SEO agency’.
Average blog frequency – what research says should be
Traditional research will point you in a particular direction. Search ‘average blog frequency’ or terms like ‘how often should I create a new post’ and you will be inundated with suggestions from CoSchedule, hubspot and so on. The typical answers will be that you should post at least 3 to 4 posts a week.
I won;t even link them here. That will be irrelevant. All you have to do is search and the vast majority of the posts will say the same thing. Blog frequently and consistently.
There are major assumptions in there.
- They assume that you do your blog full time. This is all you do. If you have a day job, like I do – it is impossible to put in the requisite amount of quality in a post.
- You have a team. They work with you or for you and help with your post. Again, this is a big assumption. This works for established blogging agencies but for solopreneurs (most bloggers), this is clearly not an option.
Easier said than done, obviously!
It is not a coincidence that they want you to post more. They have blogging products to sell. That is THEIR incentive.
Are they bad?
Of course not.
But do you need them from day one, or day 365?
It all depends how you want to do your thing. To keep things organised, as you walk your blogging career path – some additional services will certainly help. CoSchedule does offer some very useful tools to do that. I have not personally used HubSpot, so can not vouch for that.
On the other hand, we have a real life example of Brian Dean’s Backlinko. I will only point you to a third party review of the same by BuzzSumo. Then, you may proceed and check our backlinko’s own seo case studies.
There is a good argument stating that Brian is an outlier.
There really are not many successful bloggers who are doing it. The vast majority of popular bloggers who make money out of this profession blog often.
But again, the question is not what they can do. But what can YOU do?
Remember the list of stuff that is essential for creating a decent blog post above?
Can you do that quickly? I doubt it is possible to do even in a week’s time. Even that is considering you do it all day long.
If you have a day job like me, or are a student – you have no option to sacrifice a higher frequency of blog posts if you wish to keep your quality content intact.
That is what I have decided to do.
A note of caution though – this may not be applicable to all genres of blogging. Educational blogs, career blogs or any blogs with a temporal context will require regular and short posts. Same goes for photographer’s posts. A long form photography post with hundreds of pictures will load like a snail and most of the viewers will end up skipping your latter images in a page. Who scrolls all the way down?
But mine is a how to blog at its very core. It works for me.
Will it work for you?
Either way, we know a crucial fact. Google (or any other search engine for that matter) DO NOT care about how often we blog. They care about what we write about. The function of our posting frequency is dependent on OUR ABILITY to push great relevant content that search engines can rank for queries. This ability is constrained when you are blogging alone. Hence, it makes sense to push out less but great content than vice versa.
What should be your blogging frequency?
Let us look for a slightly more quantitative method of finding YOUR requisite posting frequency.
We have a number of factors that may affect your outcome.
For instance, we have the following :
- Team size (say TS)
- Market demand for the post (say D)
- Current monthly pageviews (say M)
Assume the frequency of post is f.
It is obvious that more content (assuming quality) is directly proportional demand and current monthly page views.
Any team size less than 4 requires everyone to work extra hard to get everything done. Since this takes time, I will recommend only one or two posts a month to get started. When you see how you rank and how much traction you get, you can scale.
Teams larger than or equal to 4 have the luxury to post more frequently.
I don’t have a method yet to integrate the demand and your current page views in the equation. That requires research that has never been done. But here’s how it looks as of now.
An easy way to find that out is to ask your readers.
Create a simple survey and put a widget (if you are using any of the standard blogging CMS) on each of the posts or the landing page so that they can give you feedback. You will have your own opinion. Check what your followers on social media say. Do a Twitter poll. You have many options.
Once you know what your readers want, you give them that. Your reputation is helped immensely as well in the process.
To summarise, Brian published (and continues to) a single post a month that is the equivalent of a full research paper. The quality is so great, the information is so new that other sites just love to link to him. The authority gets established and viewers pour in. It is pretty simple. You won’t have to actually navigate away from the page when you read a topic by him. He covers it all in one single post. It makes sense!
If you are starting out blogging and SEO, this is what I will always suggest you do. Even today, there are a few posts of mine that actually rank the best. Most of them are long form content and that is the type of post that I do now.
It is ultimately entirely up to you and more importantly to your potential readers how frequently you need to post. But it should never come at the cost of quality content that anyone else would love to share with their friends or family.