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If you’ve ever tried to run a blog for your business, you probably know how much of a struggle it can be to keep it going. Many businesses blog inconsistently or infrequently, publishing either on a very slow schedule, or else sporadically as they remember to generate content. Sometimes this is from lack of a qualified employee who has the time, skill, and passion to keep the blog on schedule. As often it is because businesses often deprioritize their blog, treating it as a side project, something to do on a slow day in the office.
However, many businesses simply aren’t sure how often to blog to get good SEO and social media results. Rather than look at results, they pick a schedule that feels reasonable, and often underestimate by a significant degree. So if you’re one of the folk who blithely assume once a month is a nice timeline for your blog updates, it may come as a surprise to you that you aren’t blogging nearly enough.
Before we start making specific recommendations for how often to blog, let’s take a step back and review why you should be blogging in the first place.
The most compelling reason to blog is to help draw traffic to your website. Google wants to see that sites are still active and have a lot of content. Blogs are a way to show Google that the lights are still on at your website and to build domain authority. They also allow you to target more keywords, giving you a chance to grow your organic search traffic.
One of the first things we do when we talk with a company about their blog strategy is to ask them for a list of customer FAQs. We then go through and write blog posts to target each of them. Not only are these FAQs likely to be things that company’s target audience searches for on Google, they also create a useful resource for sales and customer service teams. Instead of having to re-type an answer every time they get that question, they can direct the customer to one or two helpful blog posts, which tend to provide more thorough and in-depth explanations than a sales or customer service rep can provide. Everyone wins!
Someone recently asked me if blogs or social were more important for a website. I’m sure you can find some exceptions, but I believe blogs are a far more valuable resource for almost any business than a social media page. Or rather: I believe blogs naturally generate social media content, so by investing in your blog you get a certain amount of social as a side-effect. Social media on its own not only requires about the same amount of effort (or more!) to maintain a presence online, but all that content you generate is taken away from your website: it’s not helping your SEO, and it’s not easy to find and reference later if you want to. It’s also hard to share anywhere but on the platform where it was posted, while a blog can be shared almost anywhere.
From all this, we can see several things. First, to for your blog to gain some SEO traction, you have to be posting quite a lot and on various topics on order to grow your keyword rankings. Second, if you stop to think about your FAQs, you can probably generate a list of 10–20 questions without breaking a sweat. If you do the math, you can see right away that if you only post once a month it will take you over a year just to get through your FAQs. And finally, if you think about your blog as supporting your social media presence, you can see how a monthly blog isn’t much of a support at all.
The average business has a lot to gain for a twice-weekly blog. Does that sound intense? It should. But not only does that intensity demand priority among your marketing efforts, it also forces your business to go deep for high-quality information. The temptation of a monthly blog (or even a weekly blog) is to remain in a shallow, high-level frame of mind. Think of it like working out: if you only exercise once a month, every time you exercise will be painful. You won’t improve, and it will be mostly a waste of time.
A weekly blog can work, provided it’s a well-researched, long-form piece of content. But my experience is that the more you blog, the more you have to blog about. You hit a groove, and (contrary to expectation), it’s actually easier to maintain your blogging rhythm if you put extra time into it.
Obviously, many read the above and think: “but that’s a lot of time and resources, how do I know it’s worth it?” That’s the right question to ask: there’s no way you should invest that much time and energy in a marketing effort that isn’t yielding the ROI you need to grow your business. And even though a lot of people are doing it, that’s not necessarily proof that you should. Many businesses with tons of budget are happy to blow it on the latest fad, just to see if it works. And many others may have a business model that is well-suited to one marketing tactic and not to others. But when it comes to blogging, I have a hard time imagining the kind of business that wouldn’t benefit from a steady flow of high-quality content.
And the good news is: it is possible to measure the ROI for your blog posts and know if they’re paying off. Returning once more to your overall strategy of building SEO, providing resources for your sales and customer service teams, and generating social media content, we can find metrics to track blog performance in each of these areas. For SEO, watch your keywords and see what pages begin to rank in organic search. Then monitor page conversions, and ensure that each post has a CTA that moves visitors further along your sales tunnel. For FAQs, these blogs practically pay for themselves by saving your team the time it would take to repetitively provide the same answers to these questions. And you can use your social media metrics to track blog performance and conversions the same way you do your other social media posts. What’s not to love?