One of the most common questions for beginners is: “How many articles should I be publishing on my blog every month? What’s the optimal number of blog posts for SEO?”
The short answer is: Publishing frequency doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you publish 20 articles in one day and none for the next month. It doesn’t matter if you publish one article per week for the next year.
How often you publish doesn’t really make a difference.
However, HOW MUCH (quantity) you publish does make a big difference, especially if your blog is brand new.
Frequency doesn’t matter
By frequency, I’m talking about how often you publish – the time intervals between each blog post published.
This does not matter for SEO. For established blogs, it does help to create some consistency and trains your audience to expect new content at a certain time each week. It also helps get your site crawled more often, and your new content can get indexed faster.
But other than that, frequency is unimportant. Doesn’t really affect your SEO.
Publishing less often doesn’t hurt your traffic. It just slows down your growth because you’re not putting out that much content.
For example, ever since I started RankXL, I’ve only been posting about once per month. This hasn’t negatively affected my growth, except for the fact that it grew slower than it could’ve if I gave it more time and attention.
Think about it… Posting just once per month is 12 articles in a year. Compare that to something like posting twice per week, which is 104 articles in a year. After a year or two, which blog do you think will have more traffic, considering content quality for both sites were equal?
Obviously, in a vacuum, the correct answer is the blog that posted twice per week considering quality levels are consistent for both frequencies.
The only way you can really succeed with posting just once per month is if each time you publish it’s absolutely amazing content that people go crazy over. But as you can imagine, that’s extremely difficult to do and you need to get a lot of things right, not just the content quality.
If you’re starting with a brand new blog, place more importance on publishing volume over publishing frequency.
It doesn’t matter HOW OFTEN you publish. What matters is building up your content on your site.
For the first 200 pages, it’s not a matter of how you divide up the frequency.
It’s… how fast can you publish 200 articles on your site?
The only challenge is doing so while creating quality content.
It’s all about how fast you can get 200 articles published on your blog while still maintaining quality.
Of course, you’re going to have to divide that up with a frequency that makes sense to you.
For example, if you have to write them all yourself, writing once per week may be all that you can do while still maintaining quality.
If you’re open to hiring writers and have a large budget, writing once per day is the better option.
How much you publish does affect traffic
I know that a lot of people like to argue that publishing less is better than publishing more. The craze these days is all about quality over quantity.
And I do agree with that, but only under specific conditions.
That rule only applies if you’re already at a higher publishing volume than you can handle. Meaning… you’re publishing too much and it’s affecting your ability to maintain quality. It’s for blogs that publish thin articles once (or multiple times) per day. In that case, they would really benefit from publishing less, and spending more time on each article instead.
For sites like RankXL, where I’m only posting once per month, ramping up is the better choice.
This has proved to be true for every single blog that I’ve worked on, especially ones that have built up decently strong domain authorities.
And bigger blogs than mine have also landed on the same conclusions.
When Neil Patel experimented with publishing 2 posts per week instead of 1 post per week, he saw his traffic grow from 46,134 visitors per month to 59,787 visitors per month.
He’s taken that even further and at one point was publishing every single day.
HubSpot analyzed their 13,500 customers and found that companies who posted 16+ blog posts per month got 3.5 times more traffic than those that only posted 0 to 4 blog posts per month.
Not only that, but their research showed that the total number of posts published made a huge difference, since a lot of traffic came from older posts. They found that B2C companies that published 401+ total posts generated 4.5X as many leads as B2C companies that published 0 – 100 total posts.
The race to 200 blog posts
I’ve experimented a ton with the blogs I work on, and talked to a bunch of successful bloggers on what they think about this as well.
My conclusion is that frequency doesn’t matter – volume does.
Your goal should be to get 200 blog posts published as fast as you can while maintaining quality. After 200, you can reassess your strategy, go back and see what articles are doing well, what can be improved, which ones can be merged together, etc.
I know a lot of people will say: “But I have only 30 articles on my site and I’m successful!”
And good on you for that. A lot of blogs have few articles but drive a lot of traffic.
However, that’s not a consistent, repeatable model across different industries. If you built 10 blogs and wanted all 10 to be successful, the better strategy isn’t to create a content plan for 30 pages. The better, more reliable strategy is to create a content plan for 200, and target a much wider range of keywords/topics.
99% of sites that have under 30 articles but are driving a bunch of traffic got there because one page took off for them. That’s one page that got to page 1 for a big keyword. That’s one page driving all their traffic.
Now scale up that content by 10x, and see what happens.
So what’s the optimal number to shoot for, realistically?
It really depends on your personal situation, how much time/money you have to spend on it, and how seriously you’re taking your blog.
My answer for this “optimal number” has changed a lot over the years.
For me, I’ve found that the best number if publishing 3x per week. That’s 156 articles per year.
For starting out with a new blog, that’s a good frequency to start with. It allows you publish a lot of content, target a wide range of keywords, and build up your blog quickly while still being able to maintain quality.
It also allows you to build a backlog of content and give you time to focus on other growth strategies like building backlinks.
Anything over 3x per week is difficult to manage and maintain. It requires a larger team with more writers and editorial managers.
If you have the budget for it, then go for it. But I’ve found 3x per week to be the magic number.