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