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In last month’s blog, I talked about how blogging is one of the most effective marketing tools in the digital realm. I probably get more inquiries from prospects about blogs than I do any other type of marketing writing.

There are many potential marketing benefits to blogging. The three biggest are that blogging can generate more website traffic, convert more of this traffic into sales leads, and help position you and your firm as experts in your industry among your customers and prospects.

Knowing vs. Doing

OK, so we’ve established that blogging is an important marketing activity in today’s digital world. But for many companies, knowing they should be blogging and actually doing it are two different things.

So what is it that keeps businesses from committing to creating and publishing quality blogs on a consistent basis? Usually it’s a combination of two things: First, an aversion to — or outright fear of! — writing, and second, the amount of time required to write and publish quality blogs consistently. These two factors are the main reasons why I get lots of calls and emails from businesses asking if I can help them with blog writing.

But maybe you’re the exception: You actually like to write, and you’re pretty good at it, too. And you think you can carve enough time out of your schedule to write your own blogs. If so, you’ve come to the right place — because I’m going to share some tips with you for successful do-it-yourself blog writing.

But first, I want to try answer what is probably the most common blogging question I hear: How often do you need to post new blogs to be successful?

Well, It Depends…

Ask 10 different digital marketing experts this question and you’ll probably get 10 different answers — because a whole lot of “it depends” goes into the answer. But I did a little digging to try to find some quantitative numbers with regard to blog frequency and came across some research done by HubSpot. They compiled data from more than 13,500 of their customers (both B2B and B2C companies of all sizes) to create some blog frequency benchmarks.

Not surprisingly, the research indicated that the more frequently companies publish blog posts, the more traffic they drew to their websites. Companies that posted 16 or more blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more website traffic than those that published between one and four blog posts per month. Publishing between five and 10 blog posts per month resulted in about 0.5 times more website traffic than publishing between one and four monthly posts, while publishing between 11 and 15 blogs per month resulted in up to 2.5 times more traffic.

More traffic is nice, but what about leads? Again, higher blog frequency results in more leads — up to 4.5 times more for companies that posted 16 or more blog posts per month compared to those that posted between one and four blogs per month. Smaller companies with between one and 25 employees saw the highest return on leads for blogging more than 10 times per month — they generated nearly twice as many leads as those that posted between six and 10 blogs per month.

Some Numbers to Benchmark

I hope I didn’t lose you with all of those statistics, but I wanted to share this data for all the numbers geeks out there (like me) who want to see something that’s measurable when it comes to blog frequency. So now you have some hard numbers you can benchmark.

In short, if you can publish at least 11 new blogs a month — or about three per week — you could generate a significantly higher volume of website traffic and leads than if you just publish between one and four blogs per month. At this point, you might be thinking, “Three blogs per week??? We’re lucky if we can get three blogs a month written and published!”

This is where I will add my qualitative analysis to the discussion: If you can publish three or four blogs per month, you’ll probably do just fine. Note: I’m talking specifically about businesses in the financial services industry, which is my area of focus. If you’re blogging about celebrity gossip or a local pro sports team, you’ll need to post much more frequently.

One of my financial services clients posted two blogs per week for a couple of years, but all of my other clients have posted once a week. This seems to be a realistic and affordable blog publishing schedule for most organizations, and it’s usually sufficient for realizing the main benefits of blogging: generating website traffic and leads and positioning yourself and your firm as subject matter experts.

Next month, I’ll share a few do-it-yourself blog writing tips so keep an eye out for my next post. (How’s that for a blog tease?)