Ask a Managing Editor: How to Get More Than ‘Just Words’ From a Content Marketplace

Ask a Managing Editor: How to Get More Than ‘Just Words’ From a Content MarketplaceIn our Ask a Managing Editor series, we’re answering your content marketing questions — with the help of marketers we admire. Got a question? We’ve got answers.

How often should I blog?

It’s a question we hear from marketers all the time, and our answer has changed over the past four years.

If you’re looking a simple answer, here’s my advice: Blog at least once or twice a week. Make a plan and stick to a schedule.

Content marketing is an art, not a science, so there isn’t one universally correct blogging frequency for every company blog. But there are some best practices and things you should consider when you plan your editorial calendar.

For a little more nuance, let’s look at some expert opinions on blogging frequency.

What the Experts Say

When it comes to content and its impact on SEO (What Would Google Do?), I always start with Matt Cutts, the Google expert who translates the company’s algorithms into advice for marketers.

His short answer is simple: Quality > Frequency.

The Short Cutts | How important is the frequency of updates on a blog?How important is the frequency of updates on a blog?
Quality > Frequency
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In all of our research on this topic, quality came up as a common theme. That’s not surprising to me, since the accepted blogging best practice has moved over the years from “blog as often as you can” to “blog as often as you can do so in a way that’s helpful for your audience.

ProBlogger, another source I bookmark for blogging advice, also pushes for usefulness and relevancy rather than frequency:

Unfortunately there isn’t a single number that will work for every blog — instead I suspect it really comes down to the relevancy and usefulness of the content you’re producing. If what you’re writing is going to solve problems and be valuable to them, they will forgive a lot, whether that’s lots of posts or a long period between them. One question to ask yourself on this front is, “What do my readers need?”

There’s a caveat to all of this emphasis on quality, though. How often you blog DOES still matter. A lot.

A 2015 HubSpot survey found that more posts per month led to more inbound traffic. While traffic for its own sake doesn’t mean anything (are those visitors actually going to read what you’ve written, stick around, come back and eventually buy?), blog traffic is still a key factor in successful content marketing.

Here’s what the HubSpot team shared:

One of the best things about business blogging is that your posts will continue working for you long after they’re published. If you’re producing relevant, valuable content, then people will find your old blog posts in search, on social media, and through links on other websites — and some of those visitors could convert into leads.

For instance, when we analyzed our own blog’s lead generation, we found that over 75% of our blog views and 90% of our blog leads came from old posts. Pretty crazy, eh? Turns out you can generate real results from old content — and the more you publish, the more old content you’ll have that’ll get you traffic and leads over time.

I think there’s a healthy middle ground between posting a ton of mediocre content and periodically posting a perfect gem. Aim for helpful, professional posts you can be proud of, but don’t get too precious about any specific post. Ten good published posts is better than one perfect draft any day.

Aim for helpful blog posts you can be proud of, but don’t get too precious about any specific post. Click To Tweet

I asked other marketers how often they blog and how they decided on their blogging frequency.

Marketers Weigh in on Blogging Frequency

 

Andrew-ChocoPostAndrew Choco, Directive Consulting

Directive Consulting takes a quality-over-quality approach. Andrew shared this tip:

The important question to ask yourself when blogging is “what questions are my customers asking, and how can I answer them?” A way we do this is by using a tool called Answer the Public, which generates actual queries based on keywords. If there’s a keyword you’re trying to rank for organically, the best way to start is by answering the questions people are asking about that topic.

 

Beth-CarterPostBeth Carter, Clariant Creative

Beth says that blogging frequency definitely matters. To come up with the right frequency for a given business, she says she considers factors like:

How in-depth are your blog posts? A big buzzword in blogging right now is the skyscraper technique, which involves creating extremely detailed, extremely high-quality blog posts and sharing those blog posts in very strategic ways to maximize reach. This means that each blog post requires extensive effort — you might only manage one a month if you’re following this trend. On the flip side, if you’re writing short, 500-word opinion pieces that are a snap to write, daily posts might work out just fine.

She describes a shift her team made to fewer blog posts, just like we did at Rep Cap earlier this year.

At my own agency, we’ve just recently reduced our frequency from three posts per week to two. We were concerned that our focus on quantity came at the cost of quality. That small change has freed us up enough to be able to really focus on making sure that every post we publish is the very best it can be. The workload is more manageable, the traffic we generate is still solid, and we are now offering just enough content to keep us top of mind with our prospects without being overwhelming or annoying.

 

James-LinternPostJames Lintern, RotaCloud

As co-founder and chief marketing officer of a software-as-a-service company, James says he has focused his team on quality, not quantity.

At RotaCloud we post 1-2 articles per week. This might not seem like much, but we focus on quality first, then quantity. We could quite easily churn out 5-10 articles a week, but then quality would take a huge dive and nobody would want to read them. You could get away with this a decade ago when there was little competition, but as more and more companies jump on the content marketing bandwagon, the quality of your content will make or break your efforts.

 

Peter-SeenanPostPeter Seenan, Leadfeeder

Peter says his team is rethinking some of the conventional wisdom about B2B marketing. A few helpful tips he shared:

The frequency of new blog posts isn’t nearly as relevant as what you do with the blog content once it’s out there (this would be a revelation to many CEOs, and I can’t stress this point enough to anyone starting out with their company blog). We probably spend about 30 percent of the time preparing content and 70 percent on content outreach. Most companies still do it the other way around.

Do you think blogging frequency matters? What rules and guidelines do you follow to keep your blog on track? I’d love to hear on Twitter!

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Reputation Capital Media Services is a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, email newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.