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How Often Should I Blog?

Typewriter

Once the concept of business blogging is understood, the most common question I hear is: How Often Should I Blog?

Before answering the question, we need to examine what the benefits of regular business blogging are and how to realize them

1. Search Engine Seeding

Consistent blogging (at least once a week) helps you seed the search engines, making them regular visitors.  Hence, the content you write is being spidered and indexed, creating a longer 'tail' of exposure for your blog.  Take a few weeks off, and you will fall out of favor with the search engines, and the effectiveness of your efforts will diminish.  Your relationship with the search engines can be recovered however through greater participation and a renewed fervor for article posting, but the best strategy is to maintain.

2. Maintaining and Building Readership

Similar to the effect your regular blogging has on the search engines, a consistent delivery of articles to your audience will maintain their interest and readership.  The more content you offer, and the greater authority you become on your subject, the wider your influence will spread, and your readership will grow.  Keep in mind, everyday, someone new is embracing the business blog as a marketing tool, and if you aren't feeding your audience, then someone else is.

3. Feeding the Habit

Blogging is like exercising.  Unwavering routine is crucial. If you are a busy person, schedule your blogging.  By all means, don't break the habit if you want your blogging to be a successful marketing strategy.  Vacations are no excuse: Either secure some guest authors or write a few blogs to post-date while you are gone.  If you truly see your blogging effort as marketing, then you will make the sacrifice (time) to make it work.

Related Articles:
8 Ps to Blogging Success 
To Blog or not to Blog
You Need To Lose 25 Pounds And Your Blog Is Dead

What is your primary goal with the marketing strategy of blogging?

1. Be a top blogger in the industry?

The effort that the top bloggers in the industry have made and continue to make is for most out of reach.  5-10 blog posts a week is their pace, which will translate to at least that many hours of effort.  In most cases, the success of their efforts is their muse, but the community and creative outlet are just as addicting.

2. Catch the wave and join the party?

The real estate blogging community is still a friendly place, as long as you have something to contribute, both in quantity and quality. However, if your motivation is based on 'everybody's doing it,' then don't expect to be 'doing it' for long.

3. Generate leads otherwise missed?

A real estate blog is a business blog.  You should be blogging for the growth of your business.  If you do your research, plan for success and execute properly, the leads will come.
Just setting up a blog and failing to plan for your success will be nothing more than a waste of your time.

4. Educate your audience?

Repetition is very necessary when introducing new ideas to your audience.  Find several ways (multiple articles) to 'drive the message home.'  Write articles that reference related posts.  Keep them on the path with regular advice.  Stay on top of the answers to questions you most often hear online and offline. 

5. Network within the industry?

Whether you are looking to network for referral business, backlinks, your own education, or all of these, you will need to be a contributor.  Write quality articles, leave quality comments, and do both consistently.

What is consistent or regular blogging? No less than once a week, preferably 2 or 3 times.
What's quality blogging? Content that contains: original ideas, clear instruction, flow, backlinks, breaking news, relevance, defended opinion, research, discovery, etc.

Doing research for this article, I came across a blog that observed that the less often their blog is updated (written to) the more often that their regular readers participate (leave comments).  My opinion:  If the quantity of content is overwhelming for your participating audience, then yes, the comments will diminish due to the fact they they can't keep up with your pace.  However, you should always be looking to reach new readers as well as develop as much content as possible for the search engines.  Cutting down your blogging rate, just to cater to your regular readers' participation seems counter intuitive.  If you are truly providing a high quality 'product,' your readership will continue to grow in spite of your regular readers' participation schedule.  Business blogging is ultimately marketing, not community.

What about overwhelming readers via blog blast emails?
If you are a heavy blogger (5-10 articles a week) then I recommend that you educate your audience on the benefits of using an RSS News Reader to stay connected to your blog.  Your daily emails will become bothersome in an already cluttered email inbox.  Nonetheless, it is the audience most hungry  for your offerings that you are looking to work with anyhow.

In conclusion, what needs be most clear is that although consistency is the key to supporting your blogging success, the quality of your content must not be compromised.  Create as much content as you can, keeping in mind that this is a marketing effort that needs to reflect your best impression.

P.S.
Don't tell your readers how often you plan to blog... just do it, they'll come back when you've produced something worth reading.


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Comments

Great post Jim. I often get asked how often people should blog and how long blog posts should be. I think you hit the nail on the head with your post: regular quality posts are the key to blogging success.

I guess I could have saved a ton of time and just said that :)

I'm in a heavy "content creation" cycle - building up that first base of material that can be the basis for the ongoing work. Ideally when a new reader visits the site they should get a decent supply of basic "how to's" easy to find and navigate. Building that takes time.(and I have much to do) The intent is you get so busy with clients you have to peg back on the post-a-thon somewhat.

Blogging can be a substitute for food...and sleep, and exercise, and work, and play.

I agree that blogging is much like anything else; you need to practice, practice, practice.

In the case that you have a lot of content building to do before you feel that the site accomplishes its task for new visitors, it may be the best idea to hold off on making any announcements until there is the foundation of content that wins over the visitor to become a reader.

It may look like I post to my blog at least once a day. I don't. I write articles ahead of time and save them or set them to post at a later date. I once went almost a week without posting yet everyday there was a new post on my blog. There are just some days when I can't do it and days like today where I could probably crank out 10 posts. - - I would never send out and email for each post, but I do send out a newsletter every other Tuesday that contains links to a couple weeks worth of posts.

Habits. Consistency. Habits. Consistency. You've made a great point, and it helps to put numbers to that. I've been guilty of neglecting my "real" blog while I've been doing so much on ActiveRain, and will now set a schedule to get back to consistency on that. Thanks for the push.

Teresa (master blogger),

The idea of a Tues newsletter is slick, vs. having one go out every post. I hope it's an automated service like Zookoda or Feedblitz...

Great post and thank you. Being new to blogging, I appreciate any and all tips from fellow bloggers.

Great post, I like how you reference real estate blogging to exercise. If you don't exercise regularly you gain absolutely no benefits other than saying that you workout. In many aspects of business it can be said that consitency often beats out skill, and if throw skill and consistency together your in good shape.

Thanks for the info. I'm new to blogging and I want to start my own own blog in the near future. Thinking of blogging as exercise sounds like a good idea. Thanks for sharing!

Joe Almirantearena
Community Financial
Mortgage Consultant
http://www.findmyloanonline.com

Hey. Thanks for your advice. I am addicted to reading blog and comments that I haven't had the time to write a blog. Do you have any advice on breaking the addiction? I like the www.crispe.org blog. They have a lot of interesting issues that I am trying to over come and working on since I was a kid and my parents divorced.

Great information! One thing that I have to ask though (kind of unrelated to this particular post) is 'Why doesn't your URL for this article display the article's title?' Is this a limitation of typepad?

Yep - That's a typepad thing.
But as you can see:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=how+often+should+I+blog
It doesn't really matter SEO wise. We're #1 regardless.

Search engine seeding and blogging for readers are not always the same thing. Dropping the occasional press release in to your blog can do the former, but is unlikely to appeal to the latter.

Thanks for the voice of experience. We've been trying to pick up our pace, and use better blogging habits. The results have been positive so far!

John

Still learning from this one. Jim C, yes, I write them up also and distribute as needed as some days are just too busy. It needs to happen regularly, like showering or brushing your teeth. It should be routine. Although its best to shower and brush your teeth on a daily basis and not once a week! :)

Jim, I like your advice about not overwhelming your readers with too much content. They may not be as addicted as the rest of us. Is it also true, though, that when beginning your blogging life, you should try to get as many posts onto your site as possible, to start letting the Search Engines know you're here and have good content on your certain topic?

I just started my blog last month and have been posting once a day almost, so after 3 weeks I have 16 articles relating to my business. I suppose once I get subscribers and regular readers I won't be able to post as much, and won't have to if I'm near the top page of Google. Thanks for the info as always!

This blog is really very nice.
Thanks.

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