When I speak to various groups about social media and specifically about blogging, I am regularly asked, “How often should we blog?”.
I used to give a fairly standard, generic response along the lines of “at least once a day for five days when you are starting out, then at least three times a week once you’re established”.
But a few conversations with people in professional services firms led me to think that response was a bit too generic and not necessarily helpful for specific firms.
So I did some research to see what others had to say on the subject.
I found there is certainly no shortage of blog posts on the topic, going back years. And, on the basis of the research I’ve done, I would not be encouraging anyone to expect finding a conclusive answer on the matter.
And as marketing expert Seth Godin comments, “This discussion is usually filled with superstitions, traditions and half-truths”.
A few more observations
Jim Connolly on his Ideas Blog writes about the search engine optimization (SEO) benefits of posting daily (or more frequently) and then immediately qualifies that with the comment that “This fresh, daily content needs to be of a standard that makes it worth reading and sharing!”
Jonathan Fields in a very interesting post, concludes that “Post size and frequency don’t matter nearly as much as Post-Fungibility”. Yes, I had to look it up: The word “fungibility” comes from Latin fungibilis from fungi, meaning “to perform”. So as I understand, it’s all about whether the posts actually perform the function you want them to perform, which in the context of a professional services firm may well be about, for example, establishing thought leadership rather than about promoting specific products or services.
Meryl K. Evans in a very thoughtful post observes:
If your web site itself is the income generator, then you’ll need frequent fresh content. If the blog is for promoting you as an expert in your field, which in turns supports your consulting business, then you probably don’t need to blog daily.
Seth Godin’s post How often should you publish? offers a valuable insight from observing the book publishing model of the “front list” and the “back list”. His “key assertion”: you don’t publish it unless it’s good.
So is there any reliable guideline available, specifically for professional services firms?
Not a clear-cut, one-size-fits-all guideline, but some indicators or criteria.
In that vein, my take on the question now is that a really helpful answer will take account of at least the following key factors:
- considering what your readers might expect, e.g. short, snappy posts or long, thoughtful ones
- whether you are promoting products or wanting to establish thought leadership or build community
- level of your commitment to quality over quantity or frequency
What works for you?
What sort of frequency have you found works for you? Or, if you haven’t really got underway yet, what sort of frequency do you believe would be appropriate for your business?