When it comes to blogging, one of the most common questions posed is "How often should I blog?"
Many sites provide specific answers and techniques founded on an assumption that the goal of a blog is to drive traffic to your site. While it's true that blogging by nature should only be undertaken if this is one of your goals, your technique and the blog's usefulness to your customers will depend largely on whether the principle of more traffic is your primary goal. Today, I want to explore a few situations that will help answer more definitively this vexing question.
Who is reading your blog?
There are primarily three types of people that will read your blog, regardless of the topic:
- Customers: These people know you, love you, and want to ensure they've made the right decision by choosing you. Build their confidence in your expertise and keep them informed regularly of things that change or might be important for them to know. You're their expert---blog as often as you can to maintain that perception.
- Fans: These might be prospects or people in the same industry. Either way, they like what you have to say. They're thirsty for the information you provide, and if they could read your information every single day they would (sometimes multiple times a day). Small business owners don't always have time to blog daily, but you need to keep readers interested with regularly scheduled blog posts. If it's not you blogging every day, adopt a plan that speaks to readers through the collaborative voice of the company.
- Friends and Family: It may sound silly, but friends and family are the first people you tell about your new posts. They are probably your biggest fans, and they can help get the word out with social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Leverage that network when you can, and ask for feedback so you know whether or not you're giving readers enough information.
Work on identifying how many people you have in each of these categories and let your perceptions of what they need help drive your decisions regarding frequency. If you're not sure, write a few articles and then ask. People, especially people who will emphatically follow you, will LOVE to give you feedback!
Is your blog money machine?
If you are a professional blogger, then frequency is key to winning followers and the advertising and affiliation money that comes with it. But if your purpose is not simply to blog but to provide insight into your company's core business practices, then it may not be clear why blogging frequency might bring in more customers.
Your blog can be a powerful sales tool for your business, and it can demonstrate what happens when a customer engages you. Use your blog to:
- create case studies (you can see an example of what we did for Integrated Marine Systems here)
- publish client interviews
- announce new products or services (and tell people why they're great!)
These three general topics can potentially give you a lot of content to generate, and your readers will get a good sense of your business and where it's going. As the CEO of Avelient, I occasionally like to write about what's going on in the company. I think seeing things from the perspective of the management of the company gives people a certain level of comfort.
There are certainly other strategies and factors to consider when determining how frequently you should update your blog. But these are the big ones that I consider when I'm setting up a business with their own blog. Getting the right mix of frequency and consistency will be key to drawing readers to the valuable information you provide without taking too much of your attention away from your core business.
Please tell us how you use your blog and what techniques you employ to reach your readers!