You’ve learned the benefits of why you should blog to market your small business and decided that it would be a wise course of action for your marketing plan. However, this has raised more questions, such as how often you should blog.
The short answer is that you should be updating your website as often as possible. The long answer, however, is a bit more complex than that.
You Need Both Quantity And Quality To Roll With The Big Dogs
In a nutshell, the higher you rank on search engines, the more traffic you’ll get. When you do a search on Google, what are you more likely to click on: the results on the first page of Google…or ones on the tenth page? Now you understand.
To rank high, you have to write high-quality articles. That is because search engines rank content based on how credible and grammatically correct is, etc., not just how often you update it. Though that matters as well. The more frequently updated blogs have higher chances of gaining more traffic.
Google bots scan and weigh virtually every imaginable aspect of your website and its content. They do this to judge how high they will or won’t rank you above your competitors, thus determining the kind of traffic you’ll receive. And the more traffic you get, the more sales you ’ll be able to make.
And don’t just think about bots, but also humans. Never underestimate your audience.
If you just put out thousands of fruitless words of fluff out there, that could and would have worse of an effect on your branding efforts and the reputation you build. It’ll turn people away and you’ll lose credibility.
This is why it’s absolutely imperative to design a content marketing plan before you start writing anything for your blog. This way, you can make a set schedule that you determine ahead of time, keeping you on track of what you’re going to write.
Write well so that your audience is moved by your work enough to give you their trust. Thus, they’ll be more likely to invest their money into buying your product or service.
If You Can’t Produce At The Rate Full-Time Professionals Can
If you don’t have enough time to write full-time to build your audience, or if you don’t have the funding to hire a marketing team or a marketing strategist to do that for you (or at least give you part-time support), it’s totally okay to set more realistic goals.
Remember, you don’t actually have to write that much and that often. It’s just highly recommended that you do if you want to keep up with the competitors who are that intense. You shouldn’t fool yourself for a second:
…yes, you have competitors. No matter what industry you’re marketing your product or service in.
There’s always another business that is trying a little harder, gaining a little more ground, making a little (or a lot) more sales, in the same industry that you’re in.
The goal with blog marketing is to establish yourself as an authority online in whatever niche that you specialize in. Use your content to build your audience, level up their trust in you over time, and then to leverage that trust to sell to them.
Time and attention is a currency that people invest in your blog, so why should potential customers choose to read your blog over someone else’s?
What’s more important is to just post as often as you can, at the highest quality that you can, as consistently as you can.
Don’t worry about posting 1,500-word articles every day. It isn’t actually a requirement. The Internet doesn’t mandate you to do anything.
So, just do what you can. Post 800-word articles three times a week. Twice a week. Once a week. Once every two weeks. Or even once a month. Whatever realistically fits your schedule and the budget of time and money you have to put into it. This varies for everyone.
Stay Consistent And Keep Posting
Just…whatever you do: keep posting.
Keep being active and letting the Internet know that you’re alive. Keep giving readers a reason to come back to your site. This will increase your mindshare with them and build trust as they digitally spend more and more time with you and your content.
You’ll eventually develop this into a habit. Especially as your typing speed gets faster, your style solidifies, etc. And, over time, you’ll accrue some kind of a following. Even if it’s small.
If you’re working on a guerilla budget for marketing (or have no budget at all), then don’t try to be something you’re not by attempting to compete with the big dogs. You’ll only burn yourself out, and fail completely if you quit.
Instead, take baby steps if that’s all you can handle at the moment. But just make sure that you keep taking them. Because the Internet is a merciless place. Any free market is.
Following The Pareto Principle
There is another approach that you could consider when updating your website that I think important for you to be aware of, depending on the resources and tools that you have available.
Internet marketers like Derek Halpern suggest that it’s not so much how much you write, or how often you post, but how well you promote it. He suggests following the Pareto Principle with your content production and marketing.
It means that you should spend 20% of your time making content and 80% of your time promoting it.
He believes that you only actually need to write two or three good articles. Then, you should just get them in front of all the eyes within your target audience. If your content is good enough, they’ll follow you. And voilà, you only need to update your website every once in a while.
He criticizes bloggers for working too hard, instead of working smart.
Derek Halpern is indeed a successful marketer. Yet, his style didn’t work for me. His logic is sound, in theory, but the deepest truth of what works for him is not what will work for everybody.
Because the nature of everyone’s market is a little different, depending upon the psychology and culture of each demographic group. And as Nilofer Merchant said in her brilliant article about marketing strategy: “…culture will beat strategy, every time.”
This means that for some audiences: sure, you may only need a few articles to hook them in. For other audiences, however, you need the library worth of articles to demonstrate your wealth of knowledge.
We also shouldn’t forget that, statistically, more frequently updated blogs do indeed get more traffic.
It’s a fine art, gaining the trust of your audience. And if you don’t, you won’t be able to make any sales.
There Is No Silver Bullet In Marketing
Derek Halpern presents a strategy that’s actually completely correct and sound for what pertains to him. But you should be aware that there is no silver bullet. No one universally correct way to market.
That’s why we’re called marketing strategists, to begin with. And strategy is both an art and a science. Strategy requires both imagination and analytical thinking, which is why games like Chess light up both hemispheres of the brain when you play them.
Use All Of Your Cards For Optimum Results
You may be an extroverted person who’s natural at networking. Or you may be an introverted person (like me) who’s better at creating content from your imagination.
Everyone has different cards to play, different strengths and weaknesses that they could apply to their work and their custom marketing strategy.
Yes, there are set algorithms that your work and website are measured by that determine your rankings. But don’t stress yourself out if you can’t keep up with all of them—nobody truly can.
The algorithms are intentionally designed that way for a reason. to create a free market of content in which only the best content ranks.
The key is to know yourself, what your strengths are, and to play those strengths to the maximum. As a result, you’ll find that you’ll start developing your own unique style that works for you and no one else. That’s the sweet spot.
Just make sure that you don’t lie to yourself, that you stay disciplined, and you always put your best out there as often as possible. If not every day, then whenever you can to keep your audience coming back to you, spending time with you, building trust with you, and, eventually, buying from you.
Mike Norton is an American award-winning marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also a writer, entrepreneur, and a physicist studying part-time at the University of York who is a veteran of the United States military and the 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays about world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.