I get different answers from different people. It is usually either 1, 3, 5 or 7 articles a week. And most of the time, it is no more than 1 article a day.
Let’s look at this from another angle. How many of you really read a particular blog faithfully? In my opinion, I think it should be close to zero, but probably returning the blog a few more times if they are hooked. This answer is based on my experience as a long time blogger and working on many blogs of different types since 2007. Even if there is someone who follows a blog very closely, he or she may just stop after some time due to other commitments or other interesting blog. So far, the most faithful read I know so far is Facebook newsfeed where we get to see several posts of others at the same time. (This is also why blog integration with Facebook Page is necessary.)
People usually subscribe to several blogs’ RSS feeds using apps such as feedly, NewsBlur, The Old Reader (which simulates the deprecated Google Reader) and Newsvibe. Some would read the RSS feeds on a daily basis, weekly basis, irregular basis or even seldom.
So what is the frequency of articles should we really need to publish on a blog? I think we should take a step back and understand the objective of the blog. Are we looking at creating brand awareness and/or generating leads out of the blog? What’s the kind of traffic volume we are looking at generating to our blog? Are we hoping to attract returning visitors (more qualified prospects) to our blog so as to generating leads?
You may ask what the frequency of articles have to do with all the above in the previous paragraph. I would see the frequency has to do with both search engine optimisation as well as readers’ loyalty. If they are seeing the dates that this blog is closely updated, the readers will start to frequent more often to satisfy their content crave. Search crawlers will also crawl more often to get the freshest contents so that they can put in their search results.
The more articles we have, it will also mean more contents indexed with search engines to attract even more interested visitors.
How about having low frequency as 1 to 3 articles per week? I would say that this is probably for blogs who have limited resources to maintain and that they don’t have high expectations of what their blog can bring them to. Thus, they will also get what they have expected with low frequency: Lower traffic volume, lower awareness and lower conversion rates.
A lot of people have now integrated their blogs with social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I think this is a very critical step for them to take for generating the social media traffic as well. As for social media, frequency of articles is even higher as we are competing with other people’s social media assets for the eyeballs of our acquired fans in terms of real time update. Real time update means that the article is being shown at the same moment when the fan is online. This is probably the first thing to capture on top of other variables. When it starts to get a good percentage of engagement (number of likes+comments over the total number of impressions), it should start to gain more traction on being shown on other fans’ newsfeed. I know of many blogs out there who compete by having a very high frequency of articles on every single day so that they can capture enough number of awareness. Another lousy tactic that they have done is to re-post the same article on their social media assets so that they can gain their fans’ awareness via realtime update.
So is the frequency of blog articles really that important? You have to decide.
Image credit: Christian Schnettelker