When new clients reach out for support with their blog, the number-one question they ask me is how often they need to blog. While there’s no set-in-stone answer (wouldn’t that be lovely?), there are a few things to take into consideration as you decide on a pace that works for you, your workflow, and your overarching marketing goals. Today, then, I’m breaking down five questions to ask yourself as you consider how often your brand should blog. Read on for my top tips—you content queen, you.
1. What can my budget realistically support?
Before you decide how often you’re going to publish content, it’s important to start with a little reality check (so not fun—I know). Ask yourself what can you actually afford. I happen to believe a one-off blog post here and there doesn’t do much to drive a marketing strategy forward, so I don’t offer a-la-carte blogs. Instead, my blog offerings come in packages designed to help clients build an effective library of engaging content. They’re priced as follows:
5 optimized posts - up to 500 words each | $750
5 optimized posts - up to 1,000 words each | $1,000
10 optimized posts - up to 500 words each | $1,400
10 optimized posts - up to 1,000 words each| $1,900
In addition to paying a professional to write your posts, there’s also the content management piece of things. Are you paying a photographer to capture hero images for your blog or sourcing stock photography you’ll have to purchase for each post? Are you paying someone to upload the post to your website, format the content, and set the SEO? Are you paying someone to post on social media to promote the blog? These are all things to keep in mind as it relates to your blogging budget. Sit down and decide on a realistic number you can spend on blogging each month—then work backwards from there to determine how much each post will run you when all is said and done and how many posts you can afford.
2. What can my schedule realistically support?
Time and resource constraints always come into play when you decide how often you can blog—even if you have an infinite budget. Small business owners often assume blogging will be a breeze—after all, the term blogging just sounds casual, doesn’t it? (You’re picturing someone with super dewy skin writing from home in their pajamas, aren’t you?) But, in reality, maintaining a blog takes work, energy, thought, and—above all—time.
Blogging can quickly turn even the most well-meaning, ambitious business owner (“I’m going to publish three times each week...and still make it to pilates on Friday!”) into one who might just chuck her [insert expletive] computer across the [insert expletive] room if WordPress doesn’t stop being so [insert expletive] stupid (not that I would know anything about that).
When you’re developing your editorial calendar, take some time to think through how many hours you can afford to devote to blogging each week and each month—and then take inventory of the resources you have in place (everything from assistants and interns to software and scheduling programs) to help you do so. From start to finish (i.e. from brainstorming a post topic to promoting your final published post on social), I’d estimate anywhere from 2-4 hours of work goes into a single blog post.
3. What are my overall goals?
While every brand’s editorial schedule will vary based on budget and available resources, analyzing your business goals is a great way to get a solid idea of how often you should post. If you’re blogging purely for rankings (i.e. you want to reap the SEO benefits of blogging), you’ll want to post frequently (at least once each week). If you’re using your blog simply as a library current clients can turn to for more information (i.e. you’re a wedding planner, and you want to post things like a wedding checklist or FAQs for your couples on your blog), then you can opt for a slower publishing pace (once each month).
4. Am I launching a new blog or simply adding to an existing one?
Publishing requirements will be different for those who are launching a brand-new blog versus those who simply want to add to an already existing library of posts. Launching, obviously, takes far more posts. Before you launch and promote your blog, you want to ensure there’s a solid library of content currently on it for readers to browse. (The longer visitors stay on your site, the better for your search rankings.) For those launching a brand-new blog, I recommend having at least 5-10 live posts published on your site, a backlog of at least 5-10 posts, and at least 10 brainstormed titles/topics for future posts ready to go before you launch and promote your blog.
5. Is blogging a key piece of my marketing strategy?
While blogging is one of the most common services I’m tapped for, the degree to which each of my clients uses blogging to grow their business varies greatly. Some business owners use blogging as an aggressive part of their marketing strategy and are willing to dedicate more time and money to it—whereas others treat blogging as more of a marketing side-dish, if you will (bring on the French fries) and, therefore, are happy with publishing content once every few weeks. Think through your entire marketing strategy and determine how much of a role blogging plays in that overall strategy—then allocate resources in proportion to its importance (i.e. if it’s 80% of your marketing strategy, it should get 80% of your resources. If it’s only 10% of your marketing strategy, it should get only 10% of your resources.)
Ready to churn out killer content for your blog? Reach out to me today and let's get to blogging, beautiful.