How often can you really publish worthwhile content on your blog?
There is no question that a blog is a great way to share information, promote your business and connect with your audience. Having a decent amount of good quality website content is also a good thing.
Do you really need to blog every day like many SEOs recommend?
There have been a few times where someone at Google has said something about how the search algorithm favors “fresh, unique, quality content”, but a lot of people either miss the part about quality or don’t know what it means. Someone with an SEO blog then writes an authoritative sounding article about how you absolutely must blog every day, maybe even more often. Then, other bloggers who are too lazy to do their own work will cite that first article as if it is a golden nugget of irrefutable truth, webmasters find it, and the web gets filled with repetitive useless filler. Some may argue that Google brought this on by not recognizing this behavior and failing to be 100% clear about what “fresh” means, but I would guess that Google felt common sense would prevail. (Let’s see if anyone starts repeating that. After all, it is a guess on the internet so it must be true, right?).
Where content marketers often go wrong is assuming that quantity or even frequency is more important than quality. First, let’s look at what “quality content” means. Many seem to think that if the blog article has few spelling and grammatical errors, then it is automatically “good quality”. Google does consider those things, but remember that the search engine also favors things that are popular. Pages and sites become popular not because of things like good grammar, but because the message hits home, entertains, provides new information or a new take on old information.
Quality is more than just “no spelling mistakes”.
Uniqueness is more than “not plagiarized”.
Copying the content strategy of a competitor and churning out “me too” articles to match what they have done can also be a big waste of time. It has already been said. Can you say it better or add some value to it? Content that has a truly unique angle on a topic, or is somehow compelling is much more likely to be shared on social media and gain real, natural, editorially placed links that will help your site rank better.
How often should you really blog?
That depends on your site, your audience, and you. If you have lots of information about your business to share, blog whenever you have something to say. If you have some helpful tips to demonstrate your expertise, big news within your company, or have some special offers or coming attractions, these are all things that can be blog worthy. It doesn’t have to be often, and sometimes just one piece of content like an exclusive article, a really interesting video or even a useful PDF can be enough to get your website some attention.
Is Anybody Even Reading Your Blog?
If your blog does not already have a lot of regular visitors or subscribers, you will need to promote your blog articles in some way to get it in front of people who may be interested. This is where your efforts should shift from thinking up your next blog posts, to promoting what you already have. Reach out to other bloggers who write about similar topics – make friends and learn things. Just like real world networking, these people can help you get your message to more people. They may link to you from their website, or simply mention you in a Tweet, share your post on Facebook or Google+ or spread the word about you in some other way.
Use your content marketing time wisely. Instead of posting five uninteresting, easily ignored blog articles every week (or two weeks, or whatever will work for you), just do one really great article and work on getting those influencers to read it and share it with their following.
For more about why blogging every day can be a waste of time, see Why Posting Every Day is a Silly Strategy at BoostBlogTraffic.com
The Search Engine Results Pages are not a “Who Has The Most Content” Scoreboard.
The point of Google’s emphasis on “fresh, regularly updated websites” is not that Google wants us all to blog mindlessly in an attempt to put out the most content. It is just that they don’t want to send searchers to your site if it has been collecting dust for months or years. But even then, there are still valuable sites that have not changed at all in a very long time.
Many of the things Google recommends are not because Google wants to keep you busy, but because Google knows what readers want. They have a lot of data about that sort of thing. Many of the most popular websites and blogs are updated every day or more often, but they probably didn’t start out that way. Now, they have the resources and writers to publish several times a day and reach lots of readers with nearly every article. But if you are writing for your company blog and not planning on growing into a major online publication, it just isn’t the same situation.
Regardless of what Google wants, if you find yourself rewriting what is essentially the same message in a different way, your readers are not going to love it. They may even resent coming back to your blog for more of the same old same old. It is spam.
To rephrase what many of us in the online marketing industry preach so often: “Create great, unique content… as needed“. If you really can provide value every day, then do it. But you don’t need to keep writing the same thing over and over unless there is something new to add as a follow up.