Many new bloggers will rightfully wonder how much content they should have ready to go before their blog goes live. Is it five articles, ten articles, or fifty-two? Is there a magic number?
Asking veteran bloggers is of little help, as each will have their own ideas about an ideal number of blog posts. However, most will agree that any number provided will be arbitrary and primarily based on a blogger’s experience.
New bloggers rearing to go will likely have a bloated Excel file full of blog post ideas, while some will be staring at a blank screen with no idea how to start.
Writing without a plan is unproductive, so here are a few tips on how to grow your blog from a good foundation that will keep your visitors coming back from week to week.
How Many Blog Posts Do you Need to Get Traffic?
One of the most significant concerns new bloggers face is how many blog posts they will need before seeing results.
After all, coming up with post ideas and publishing articles may not be the most challenging job, but it is still hard work. You eventually want to see some financial gain from your effort.
The best way to answer how many blog posts you need is to examine the stats.
Jon over at Fat Stacks published some interesting statistics on his Fat Stacks YouTube channel. A 15-month old site with 608 published articles and an average article word count of 2,294 receives an average of 386 views per article per month.
Jon paid for most of the content on the site, a figure he puts in the vicinity of $32,000, which he says is a conservative estimate.
That figure may seem like a lot for a new blogger yet to make their first dollar online, but the site is now worth well over $100,000. It’s a decent return however you look at it. The best thing is the site will continue to bring in revenue, even if Jon stops working on it.
One common estimate for the number of blog posts you should have ready at launch is at least 10 to 15 posts. Another study reveals that more than 24 blog posts can boost traffic to your site by 30%.
How Often Should You Publish
A blog publishing schedule will be critical to your blog’s success. Sporadic publishing with a blog post or two every couple of months won’t get you much traction in the search engines.
Publishing regularly is more important than quantity, but you don’t have to publish every day. Many professional bloggers start with one or two blog posts a week.
When the blog starts earning, they re-invest the funds into promoting the blog or paying content writers to publish more frequently.
Trust me when I say you are doing well if you can publish two blog posts a week by yourself while working full-time and raising a family. Only one in five bloggers publish more than once a week. Remember that consistency is much better than randomly spaced posts.
Try to get your posts out on the same day of every week. Your audience will get accustomed to your schedule and come back when they know new content has arrived. The Google bots also learn to come back regularly to index your new content and rank your site for even more keywords.
How Long Should Blog Posts Be for SEO
It’s one thing to worry about how many blog posts you should have, but another is the article length. Should you publish short articles that get to the point or create long-form articles for more depth.
Whatever the length of your content, the number of words doesn’t matter much if your content isn’t great.
Ten thousand words don’t add any value if the content and quality are crap. Your content won’t get ranked, and if it does, it won’t take long for the search engines to realize their error.
Word count matters, but only when you combine it with excellent quality.
For a long time, the holy-grail of article length was around 500 to 700 words, but that hasn’t been true for a while.
Studies reveal that long-form content dominates the search results pages. It also appears they attract more social shares than short ones.
In the previous study, articles of 3,000 to 10,000-words attracted the most shares, but this study found that the ideal length seems to be around 2,450 words.
And just to show that nothing is ever simple, Backlinko’s study revealed that the average word count for a first page Google result is 1,890 words.
There’s no correct answer for how many blog posts you should have ready before your website goes live, nor is there a magic number for how often you should publish.
In general, more is better, but we should all work to a comfortable schedule that won’t cause burnout.
I always recommend deciding on a weekly publishing schedule you know you can handle and then sitting down and working out all of your blog posts at least 3-months in advance, but much longer if possible.
You can spend a weekend in front of the computer with capable keyword research software to quickly develop tons of ideas. Do this every few months, and you will never get hung up wondering what your next article will be about.