There is unfortunately no magic formula that works universally when it comes to the length and frequency of posts for your business blog. Every business is different, and more importantly, every business has a different customer base, which means that reaching that audience and keeping their interest in your content varies pretty widely for each blog.
There is some method to it, however, and you can get pretty close to the perfect length and posting schedule if you keep the following parameters in mind.
Post Length Will Depend on Multiple Factors
When deciding how long you want your blog posts to be, there is more than one factor you will have to take into account, including the obvious point of who your target audience is, as well as the type of blog it will be. Take a look at the following points to better understand what length is more appropriate for your business blog:
Your target audience should be primarily your potential customers because those are the people you want clicking on your headlines in a Google search, bringing them to your website, and then ideally converting to paying customers. You should learn as much as you possibly can about those people.
Are they the type of people who regularly consume blogs? Do they depend on the content you’re giving them as a resource for information they can use? Is this a new blog that not many people know about yet, or do you already have a large readership? Learning more about your audience will teach you how much content they really want.
Different types of blogs call for longer or shorter posts, due to the varying number of inches on the page that are required to cover your topics. Here are some examples of blog types used by businesses and the post length that you can expect for each.
Product review blog: short to moderate length
Tips & advice: somewhat long
Technology reports & explanations: long
Free-form editorial style blog: moderate to long
Entertainment: short to moderate length
These are merely recommendations, not hard-and-fast guidelines, to give you an idea of how much content you’ll need to produce for each post. Once you get started, of course, you’ll be able to tell what you should add to or subtract from it.
Depending on who the writer(s) of your blog will be, they will be able to turn out more or less content. For example, if a business owner is writing all of his or her own posts, then they most likely won’t be able to devote a great deal of time to it because of how busy they are.
If you have a professional individual, team, or outside agency writing for the blog, then they will be able to devote a lot more time to it and create longer and more frequent posts as needed for your industry.
Use Analytics to See How Much People Are Reading
This is essential for figuring out how you should design your blog. There are now plenty of tools at your disposal that will allow you to see all aspects of how people are interacting with your blog posts, including how much of it they’re actually reading.
The best and simplest metric you can look at is how long people spend on the page. First, you should probably figure out how long it takes to read your posts, to use as a baseline. If readers only spend 30 seconds on the page, then you may want to make a change. The content may not be interesting enough or not geared to your audience.
They might also be scrolling down to see the length and immediately decide that it’s TLDR, then click away. On the other hand, if people seem to be reading the full article, then you may want to start lengthening them. This is the next point.
If You Produce Great Content, Posts Should Generally Be Longer
When you find that your readers are usually getting through your full posts, or are liking and sharing them on social media, then it’s probably a good idea to make them longer. When someone reads an article all the way through to the end, it’s a pretty big deal.
When they consume the entire piece of content like that, it means they really enjoyed it, and you’ve left them wanting more. And you should give it to them. If you see that they’re not quite there yet, here are a few ways you can make it more interesting.
Make sure you are creating content that lines up with what your audience is into by looking at what they already consume, which you can easily find out by looking at what they engage with on social media. Most importantly, be sure that everything you’re producing is original, creative, and genuine. For more on creating highly interesting content, check out the following article, as well:
Listen to Feedback from Your Audience
If you are just starting your blog, keep in mind that you probably won’t get much unsolicited feedback at first because when you don’t have many readers yet, there obviously won’t be many comments.
It actually takes a pretty large readership to get unsolicited feedback, as it’s a small percentage of people who actually offer comments; however, it’s a good idea to add a comments section directly to the blog page on your site so that they can use it if they want to. A good comments manager that you can use is Disqus; their service is fairly ubiquitous for blogs.
Don’t forget to watch your social media accounts for feedback and questions, as well, since that is where most people are going to comment, anyway. Google Alerts is another great tool you can use to set up an alert that lets you know when people mention your content.
Finally, if people don’t offer feedback, then just ask for it. In fact, most people won’t give it to you unless you ask them to.
WHEN TO POST
When You Should Post Depends on Your Content Goals
To begin with, the days on which you want to publish your blog posts will depend on what you’re trying to do with the blog; that is, what you want out of it for your business. For example, if your goal is to get the most traffic to your website as possible, which it probably is, then there are specific days when your content will perform better for this purpose.
If your goal is to generate inbound links (backlinks) to your business’ website, then there are also days that work better for that. Studies have shown that Monday is the best day to post for optimal traffic, but others say that Tuesday and Thursday are the best days for this. Many businesses see more backlinks coming in on Thursday morning than other days of the week.
Of course, this varies based on the industry you’re in, the average age of your audience, how well your articles rank in Google search, and many other factors. You really need to keep posting regularly and building your audience, and then watch when your posts perform the best.
How Many Posts Can You Publish Every Week?
Aside from how much content you SHOULD be publishing, you need to consider the obvious, too–how much are you ABLE to publish? If you don’t have the time or manpower to post very often, then you might be starting with only one post per week.
That’s better than nothing, to be sure, but you will most likely want to up the frequency as soon as you can because one post a week is going to take you forever to gain any kind of traction. Two posts per week is pretty good and will help you grow the blog a little faster, and depending on your audience, that may be all they want from you each week.
Ideally, most blogs will perform a lot better if you’re posting around four times a week, on whichever days you find to be the best for your specific goals. This will do a fairly good job of keeping you on your customers’ radar
Posting Every Day
So we can reason from this that if four posts per week is good, then posting every day should be even better, right? It’s tricky. On one hand, your brand will always be in front of your audience and subscribers, but you have to remember that people are being constantly bombarded with content from all directions.
The last thing you want to do is alienate them by exhausting them with blog posts, which could happen if you post every day. There also may not even be sufficient traffic or engagement on certain days to make it worthwhile. In some cases, posting every day ends up working very well.
If you do have success with that posting frequency, then it’s a good practice to write posts in different categories, so that your subscribers aren’t getting the exact same kind of blog post every single day. You can also create regular series such as the one you’re reading right now, to break it up and keep it a little more interesting.
The primary takeaway here is that you have to get rolling with your blog, if you haven’t already, and watch when it performs the best and what content is performing the best, as well. Longer posts are usually going to work better, as long as the content is interesting to your readers, and you have to look at your own analytics to find out what days you should post.
As with any form of writing, everybody loves different kinds, which is why your main goal should be learning about the people who read your blog and design it accordingly.
What’s Next? Check out all of the articles in our series, Building Your Blog 101:
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Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.