If you run a website with a secondary blog or news feature (i.e., it’s not the main reason for your site exists), you may be wondering how often you should be posting updates. Of course, the the knee-jerk response here would be, “as often as you have news,” which isn’t necessarily a bad answer – but there’s a bit more to it than that.
The problem with “as often as you have news” is that blog-worthy updates probably won’t occur on a regular basis. You might have a week where you hire a new CFO, launch a product and get featured on Good Morning America. Then, the following week, the closest thing you have to news is that you’re switching from paper to plastic cups in the water cooler. Ain’t that always how it works?
So, why do we recommend that companies update their blogs on a regular basis?
- It gives the impression that your business is alive and active. If someone hits your site and sees that the last time you made an update was six months ago, they might begin to wonder if maybe business isn’t going so well for you.
- It’s good for your SEO. Google and other search engines will consider how recently or regularly a website is updated, when determining where you should rank in search results.
- It can help you establish a reader base. People are going to be more inclined to take the extra step to subscribe to a blog or news feed if they know it’s going to be worth the payoff, but also not overwhelming – for example, if you fall behind on your updates, and then every couple of months, post fifteen times in a single day, it might be more annoying than useful.
When we say “regular,” how often do we mean?
For a lot of companies, we’ve found that about once a week is generally a good goal. Of course, the right number for you may be more or less than that, depending on factors like the size of your company, your manpower/availability to generate quality content and your industry as a whole.
If you typically have a lot going on, you may want to go for several posts a week. If you’re a small organization and you don’t have much time, every other week might make more sense. Or, if you really wanted to push it, even once a month could still be beneficial. If that still seems like too much, it may be worth considering whether or not you should even have a blog. Its absence may be less conspicuous than abandonment.
What should you write about?
Once you’ve settled into a regular posting schedule, you may find that, in terms of internal news, some weeks are slower than others. Rather than just skipping a week, or scraping at the bottom of the barrel for anything at all (sorry, re-painting the break room doesn’t really qualify as newsworthy), you can get creative with your posts and use your industry expertise to answer frequent questions, or address something relevant in the news that might affect your clients. You may even want to focus on these types of posts.
On this blog, for example, this is pretty much all we do – and it works great. Resources like this are often more helpful for our clients at large (or potential clients) and it provides us a much better supply of topics than if we simply waited around to announce when we had picked up a new project or revamped a website.
If you’re really not sure what’s right for you, try starting out with once a week. You may have to “force” yourself to churn the first few out, but once you’re in the groove, it should get easier.
- It’s a good idea to build up a backlog of posts, for weeks when you’re too busy to write anything new.
- It may be helpful to always post on a certain day of the week. That way it becomes routine, both for your readers (so they know when to expect updates), and for you (you’ll be more likely to remember to do it).
- When you have an important, timely update, don’t feel like you have to wait to put it out there – scheduling is intended as a guideline to help you, but should never prevent you from sharing something big.
It may take some time to find out what works best for you, and you may not see instant results – but don’t get discouraged! Keep checking your website analytics and, if you stick to regular updates, you can bet that you’ll see a difference.