Is there an ideal blog post frequency that drives traffic?

How often should you blog?

You know what people say, publish more often and your traffic goes up. But is there any research to suggest it's actually true? HubSpot, looking at more than 13,000 companies and their blogs, determined that, “companies that published 16 blog posts or more a month received 3.5 times the traffic compared to companies that blogged less than four times a month.”

How many blog posts does it take to grow traffic?

They published their data, which included the suggestions to post 3-4 times a week for small blogs, and 4-5 times a week for larger blogs. Here's their image from that article.

So when we talk about an ideal blog post frequency, in order to drive traffic and growth, the answer suggests daily (at least on business days).

What mistakes slow down your blogging?

The problem with that blog posting frequency is that it means you can't spend days working on an article. It just doesn't make sense. And that's mostly because we all run into the same mistakes that slow us down everytime.

See if any of these mistakes sound familiar.

You're writing with your writing voice.
When you write with your writing voice, it's easy to get caught worrying about how you “should” say something. We rarely pause or fret when talking. So you need to learn to write with your speaking voice. And that's not easy. But the faster you learn to do it, the faster you'll write.

You're only writing when you're inspired.
How often do you find ideas that you've thought a lot about, even worked out full outlines in your head, but you're just not feeling it? You're not sure you have the whole post done right in your head. So you don't write. You're waiting for the moment to be inspired – which doesn't seem to come.

You're writing for everyone.
Does this happen? You write a sentence. Then look at it. Second guess it. Wonder where the caveats are and start to make them. Realize that there are edge cases you didn't address. And in the end, you're just exhausted? Does that happen? Because you're trying to make sure that you're writing for everyone. Don't do it. Write for one person.

You're writing and editing at the same time.
This is similar to the mistake above this. You write. Then edit. Then write. And the more you do this, the more you end up scrapping the whole thing. Nothing is right. And you get frustrated with yourself. Don't write and edit at the same time. It will slow you down. Just write. You can edit after you get to the end.

You combine your research with your writing.
This is a different angle on the writing/editing dynamic. It's when you start writing….then you think of the perfect movie illustration, research quote, or something. And off you go looking for it. It's research. And it will take you down lots of different side roads. None of them will help you get done with that first draft. So stop it. Don't research and write at the same time.

Are there tricks to speed up your writing?

If you want to speed up how often you blog, I think there are four things that aren't about writing that will help you.

Write in the same place – it's crazy but when I'm writing from a different location, on a different device, I'm always slower. But when I'm at my desk, in my chair, I'm ready to write.

Write at the same time – the same is true for my time of day. Evenings are best for me – sometimes right before dinner. Other times right after. But the routine helps.

Write when you're rested – one of the things that writing requires is a clear head. I can't write if I'm stressed, tired, or frustrated. So I try to take a break between work and when I sit down to write (I'm not suggesting I'm always stressed, tired or frustrated with work).

Connect your writing to another habit – I mentioned dinner. In the old days, it was my afternoon nap. But what I know is that creating a routine is hard work. It's easier if you connect your new habit to an existing habit. It will help turn your writing habit into a routine.

Kill your inner critic – there's no time to judge your writing. Don't do it. It will not only slow you down but hurt your feelings. Stop it. It's you doing it to you. You wouldn't talk that way to others. So if you want to improve how often you blog, then you're going to have to kill the inner critic.

What's the best trick increasing your blog posting frequency?

I once wrote about my blog post frames – structures I use to help speed up blogging. It's one of my best tricks. Think of it as madlibs. You remember those? We would play with them on long car rides. It's nothing more than fill in the blank worksheets.

Blogging is the same.

When I write a HOW-TO post, I structure posts in this way:

  • Problem
  • Objective
  • Tools
  • Steps
  • Results

If I'm writing a COMPARISON post, I structure posts differently:

  • Define Goal
  • Articulate Criteria
  • Define Candidates
  • Review
  • Conclusion

I have a ton of other frames, but you get the point. Once you know the kind of post you'll write, it's a lot easier to produce content more quickly. And if you can write more quickly, you can write more often.

Have you noticed my ideal blog post frequency?

I'm back to writing daily. If you hadn't noticed. And I love it. And yes, the traffic has jumped. From January to February the traffic has jumped 500%. All from writing daily.

And there's good news. I'm working on a course right now that I'll be publishing on WP101 for all of you that know the video training platform by my buddy Shawn. It's going to be awesome and I know you'll love it!

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

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