New bloggers often ask me, What should I blog about? Another question that seems to come up a lot is How often should I blog? Although many experts (self-appointed and otherwise) claim to have the definitive answer, you actually need to answer a few other questions before you can determine the blogging frequency that’s right for you.
1 – Why are you blogging?
If your primary goal is to improve your search engine optimization, the more often you blog the better. Every time you publish a post, it alerts the search engine robots to visit your site and add the new content to their index. This is especially valuable when your blog is quite new.
However – and it’s a big however – search engine technology has changed a lot in recent years, and continues to do so. As Google works towards providing information that is truly beneficial to users, the keywords in your content are no longer the main factor that influences your positioning in the search results. If readers don’t confirm the value of your posts by sharing, tweeting, liking, pinning, and +1ing them on social media, your blog is not going to do well in the long term.
2 – Who is your target audience?
You need to understand the habits of your chosen demographic. Busy executives don’t have a lot of time to read blogs, so if that’s who you’re aiming to reach, there’s probably not a lot of benefit in posting daily. On the other hand, online business owners typically spend hours on the internet every day, so if you only blog once a month, you may not get noticed by readers in this group.
3 – How much time do you have to devote to your blog?
You might love the idea of blogging several times per week, but if you’re busy with clients, it’s probably not practical.
4 – Will you have other regular contributors or guest bloggers?
Sharing the work with other writers can lighten the load, but only to a certain extent.
It takes time to locate and communicate with guest bloggers, proofread their work, and coordinate it into your schedule. And, if you want to build a team of regular bloggers, you’ll have to first find people you’re comfortable working with, and then train them in your expectations and possibly your blogging platform.
Which brings me to the next question…
5 – Will you require the services of a virtual assistant? How much can you afford to invest?
Whether or not you’ll be the only blogger, writing posts is only one step in the blogging process. Someone needs to proofread your work (because trying to spot your own errors is really difficult), locate one or more images and format them for your blog, and schedule or publish the posts in your blogging platform.
If you’re an established organizer, these tasks can easily be delegated and the cost offset by the extra time you’ll have for working with clients and following up with prospects.
If you’re still in start-up mode, a virtual assistant can still be a worthwhile investment, but you might need to start slowly, outsourcing only the tasks you find most challenging, and then backing out of the process as your client workload increases.
How often should YOU blog?
I recommend that you develop a regular blogging schedule based on your goals, your audience, your time, and your budget. Typically this will be once a week or once every two weeks, but if you can’t commit to blogging at least once a month, you’re unlikely to engage a loyal readership.
Be careful not to overextend yourself by committing to blogging every week if you can really only manage every other week. Even if you have a bunch of content right now, unless it’s time-sensitive, you’re better off spreading it out over the coming weeks or even months than to blog like crazy and then hit a dry spell. That’s not to say that you can’t throw in an “extra” post now and then!
Don’t ever post something on your blog just because it’s Wednesday or the 10th of the month. Most of your readers probably won’t even be aware of your schedule.
The purpose of the schedule is mainly to keep you on track. If you’re not committed to a regular schedule, you may find that weeks or even months are going by without publishing any new content. Even though your existing content is still out there working for you, if someone lands on your blog and sees you haven’t updated it in a long time, they’re not going to bother subscribing.
Do you have a blogging schedule or do you just wing it?