So, you’ve launched a website to attract more people to your business. But now that the site is live, how do you continue to draw visitors? The answer is content — and not just any content. It has to involve quality and compelling stories that promote your business while speaking to your supporters’ interests. That might lead you to ask, “How often should I post?” There’s no straightforward answer to this question, however: it all depends on your business, your schedule, and your audience.
If you’re already busy handling the day-to-day challenges that come with running a business, regularly creating and posting content may not be something you want to add to your to-do list. But don’t worry, there are ways to make it easier. Here are some helpful tips to figure out a publishing rhythm that works for you.
Establish a beat
Research has shown there’s a connection between how much a company blogs and how much website traffic it gets. One study by marketing company HubSpot found business marketing companies that publish 16 times per month (around four times per week) get 3.5 times the traffic of companies that only post up to four times per month.
But what works for a big marketing company might not be the best fit for a small-business owner or blogger who’s simply trying to build an audience. To get a better idea of how often you should publish, take a look at what your peers are doing. If you’re a stylist who’s launched a blog to build your clientele, you may want to look at other style blogs to see how often they post. The clothing company Anthropologie published 10 blog posts in April 2017, most of which were short and photo-centric. On the other hand, The Fashion Guitar — which Marie Claire named one of the best fashion blogs to follow in 2017 — published four posts in April 2017, with a total of 70 comments.
It’s clear that even though The Fashion Guitar posted less frequently, the quality of its posts were so good that readers felt compelled to leave more comments — a great indicator of engagement with a brand.
If you have the time, try to publish four or five blog posts per week and take a look at your site’s analytics using a tool like Insights, which is part of WordPress.com Stats. Check out how many people read your posts and how many comments you received. If your traffic hasn’t gone up, you should probably scale back the number of posts. But if you see a connection between frequent posting activity and more traffic, you might have found the right publishing tempo — so long as you can sustain it. It can be a little difficult and time-consuming to sustain a quick pace, however, so having fewer, higher-quality posts may ultimately create the right balance.
According to the HubSpot study, small companies (between 1-10 employees) that publish at least 11 posts per month have much higher traffic than companies of the same size that publish less frequently. Small companies that had the highest number of published posts (over 300 in total) also received more traffic than their counterparts. HubSpot even discovered on its own blog that older posts often received the most views, indicating once again that quality does matter.
For example, if you run a fitness store and launch a blog to promote your business, think about publishing content that gives readers helpful information that they’ll want to revisit year after year. Posts like “Training for Your First Marathon,” “Running During Pregnancy,” or “The Best Running Songs of All Time” fit perfectly into this category. And though post volume is important, that doesn’t mean every post has to be a magnum opus. No one will think twice if you skip that 1,500-word article in favor of a photo gallery or a 30-second video clip you shot on your phone. Sometimes bite-size features can be more engaging than a longer post.
Sketch out the rest
Wondering when you’ll find time to post all this content? That’s the beauty of scheduling. If you launch a blog on WordPress.com, you can schedule blog posts to automatically publish whenever you want. All you have to do is select a publishing date and time. Some business owners take advantage of scheduling features by dedicating a few hours on one specific day to draft a bunch of posts. Once they’re done, they schedule all the posts, spacing them out over several weeks to keep their site fresh. This tool is especially useful if you plan to take a long vacation, but don’t want your site to appear stale.
If you’re a small-business owner or blogger, take some time to plan your editorial calendar for the next few months. Then, each week, write some posts or upload photos and videos that you can schedule to go live in the coming weeks or months. This up-front investment will save you a lot of time later on.
So how often should you post? The answer to this still depends on you and your business goals. As research shows, however, there’s a clear connection between how often you publish, the volume of blog posts, and the number of people who visit your site. Posting too often may eventually lead to diminishing returns — where readers tune you out because you end up cluttering their inboxes or feeds. But posting too seldom may lead potential supporters to ignore you.
The key here is experimentation. See what works and what doesn’t, look at your analytics, and adjust from there. It’s sort of like taking the Goldilocks approach to your content strategy — in the end, you’ll figure out what’s just right for you.