How Many Blog Posts Do You Need?

A fellow writer asked this question about the freelancing business: how many blog posts do I need to start generating followers and return visitors?

8032439407 f01e49118c n How Many Blog Posts Do You Need?It’s a tough question to answer. Some people are happy to start a blog by posting regularly a couple of times a week; others won’t even TELL people about their blog until there are at least 20 posts there. But I think focusing just on the number of blog posts is not the right approach. It’s more important to think about the purpose of your blog and who you want to attract. If your blog is to promote your freelance business, then you only need return visitors and followers if they are the right people. Another key question is: where are your potential clients hanging out?

I firmly believe that your blog or site should be a hub for your promotion efforts, but once you have created the content, then you need to share it in the places where the people you want to work with are to be found.

Advice to Clients

Getting back to the question of blog posting quantity or frequency, here’s what I tell my clients. If a blog is part of their content strategy, they need to focus on good content that showcases their expertise and good content that answers visitors’ questions. In other words, a balance of the information people are already searching for and the information you think they need to know. And it’s hard to quantify what that might be. A client aiming to be a news authority will need to publish as it happens, which could mean multiple times per day. A client who just wants keep the blog active (see the sections on search engines below) might find a couple of times a week will work. As I mentioned above, quality is what brings people back to your site and gets followers.

Case Study

Years ago I did a website for a will writing and estate planning company in the UK. As part of that, we promoted the site with some articles based on the issues we felt were most pertinent. We wrote just eight articles and submitted them to article directories, which was the thing to do at the time. Seven years on, people are still looking at those articles. That was one case where the quality of the information was more important than the number of articles.

Pandering to Search Engines

Having said that, there is one reason to post regularly – and that’s to maintain some search engine prominence. If you are an intermittent poster, you could find that your site is invisible online. But if you are also doing other things to promote yourself, you may not have to post that often, in my experience. If people search for me by name, my professional site is near the top of the listings, and I post there once or twice a quarter. But I’m active on social media and forums and I write regularly on many other sites, usually linking back to my professional site.

So How Many Posts Do Writers Need?

So, back to the original question. I’m not a guru, but here’s what I think:

If you are using your blog to showcase clips and samples, then you need to post regularly at the beginning (maybe a couple of times a week) to show that you’re an active writer. BUT you also need to share that content where potential clients will see it.

If you are already an established writer, then your site is a showcase which confirms your expertise. An occasional post to bring clients up to date or to provide information you think they need is probably enough.

I hope that answered your question – and I’d love to hear from any experienced writers who have a different take on this.

Image: John Sutton

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been mentoring writers here at Get Paid To Write Online since 2005 to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Check me out on sharonhh.com. Feel free to connect with me online on Google+.

Comments

  1. I’ll agree with the advice. I will say that when I only posted 7 times in November, my audience – my regular audience – didn’t do as much with the site, which is only natural. If you’ve got plans for the people visiting your site, probably need to keep them engaged unless (as stated above) you’re in touch with them already.
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    • Yes, and there are lots of different ways to keep them engaged. However, keeping your own blog as the hub is important, because sometimes the profiles you carefully nurture on other sites can disappear overnight. It happened to a friend of mine over the holidays for no reason at all – she’s still trying to fix it.

  2. Interesting point you made there about;
    “In other words, a balance of the information people are already searching for and the information you think they need to know.”
    I read that as, write some posts you know they are looking for in order to “draw” them to your site, and then write some higher quality “hook” content on things they will be very pleased to discover are on your site.
    I suppose the next problem is how do you get them to browse over to the “hook” content after landing on the “draw” content.

    • Hiya Andy. :)

      I suppose that’s where related post plugins and sneeze pages come in. I keep a list of popular/useful content in the sidebar of this blog (which admittedly I don’t update as often as I should), but it gives people a starting point for finding the valuable stuff.

  3. I am becoming more regular in my postings. Twice a week seems doable. I read an post yesterday that nearly stopped my heart? 5 aday minimum he suggested to get the traffic you need. I bet that guy always pays, who could find time to do 5 aday.
    Anyways, its not just the post its, backlinking and since I do that myself its like writing other articles to point to you new post. Takes lots of time. Challenging tho..
    Thanks
    Rob

  4. Nice job on a tough subject, Sharon. Our needs are so individual that it is difficult to offer a number that makes sense for the individual.

    I think the important thing is Just do it. You are right on about being clear on the purpose of your blog. If you’re not, your readers won’t be either. Then, just start writing, and keep writing consistently (whatever number that figures out to be). I’m at the stage now (years later) where I am figuring out ways to revitalize the content, market it in various mediums, and shed light on what might have been missed by readers. Because everything we write is brilliant, right? Maybe, just undiscovered. :-D

    Nice post, per usual, Sharon. :-)
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    • Brilliant and undiscovered – I love it, Cathy! :)

      I think you make a good point about sharing content in different ways – it’s about reaching your audience where they are and in the way they’re most comfortable with – and that might not always be a blog post.

  5. Oh, this is a tough one to answer. I started a blog a year ago with the intent of coming up with one good post every two weeks at the most. So far, I’m a little behind, but it’s because I want to provide targeted info to a select audience. I did, however, start with four posts just to populate it. I figured any more than that and it would look like no one ever visited, what with the lack of comments.
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  6. I think it was Yaro Starack (sp?) who taught that about 10 was the number to have before going public. OTOH, my first start from scratch blog went live with the first post… don’t you love specific answers.

  7. Hi Sharon
    I suppose a big advantage when posting a couple of times a week is that it more than keeps your site up to the present and keeps your audience engaged. My blog is young and I am just starting to get some exposure so I think I will just keep trying to produce posts on a regular basis to build it up.

    Thanks for info lee
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