If you’re subscribed to my email list, you’ll already know that one of the things I have planned for this blog in the new year is to experiment with content publishing frequency.
For the past few years, I’ve been publishing blog posts very infrequently and sporadically.
To date, I only have 60 articles published on RankXL, not including the bulk upload of content last year for WP Academy. That’s an average of around 1.7 blog posts published per month.
Quality vs Quantity
RankXL is the only blog I own where 100% of the content is all written by me. I don’t accept guest posts and I don’t hire any content writers. It’s still very much a personal blog, and will continue to be so for the next few years.
Maybe it’s because of this, but I’ve become overly picky about the quality of content I publish here. I have dozens of articles in my drafts folder that have never made it live here on the blog. If I felt it wasn’t extremely high quality, unique, and original, then it never got published – even if I spent hours writing them.
Unfortunately, these high personal standards have really limited my ability to increase the quantity of content I can publish. This year, I plan to change that… or at least temporarily until I can get enough data to see if this is the right move.
I’m going to be lowering my standards a little bit and publishing a lot more content here.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to be publishing generic low-quality content. You won’t see random thin articles titled “5 Social Media Tips To Grow Your Traffic” or anything like that.
I’ll still be publishing big guides like this one. And they’ll still be high-quality (to my standards, at least) and related to my own experiences and results with SEO and digital marketing.
The goal is to get to 3 blog posts per week by the end of the year
It’s a big change to go from 1 blog post per month to 12, and it definitely won’t happen overnight, as I need to work it around the other projects I have going on at the same time.
I’ll likely start at publishing once per week, then try to ramp it up from there.
New content formats
Another thing I’ll be testing out is broadening my scope of content types and formats.
At the moment, 99% of the content I write on this blog are in-depth tutorials. This year, I’ll be testing out some newer “types” of content. I won’t get into any specifics right now, but you’ll probably recognize it when you see it.
Part of the reason for doing this is to experiment more with how content frequency/consistency/topics affects traffic and subscriber growth.
How publishing frequency affects 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.
Today, he’s ramped that up even more and is publishing over once per 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 as well, 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.
With RankXL, I don’t think I’m ever going to get to more than 3 articles per week, unless I hire writers OR if I drop everything else and work solely on RankXL full time.
So while I won’t ever get this blog to 16+ blog posts per month, increasing my publishing frequency by 4x to 12x should definitely increase my traffic quite significantly, both short-term AND long-term.
Short-term and long-term benefits of publishing more often
The short-term benefits are simple: I get more opportunities for promotion.
I email my list every time a new post is published. That immediately brings in a spike in traffic.
Each spike in this graph is from me emailing my list about a new blog post.
At the moment, because I only post once per month, I only email my list once per month.
And as you might have noticed, the spikes are inconsistent. That’s because there are times when I don’t publish anything for over 2 months.
Bumping this up to once per week, will allow me to get more of these traffic spikes on a consistent basis.
At the same time, each time I email my list, I get an influx of new subscribers.
Because my articles are being shared and linked to, which brings in new readers. That means, the next time I send out an email, it will be to even more people, which ultimately means more opportunities for links and shares with each new blog post published.
The long-term benefits are obvious. More content means more “stuff” for the search engines to crawl and index. That means more long-tail keyword rankings, and potentially some new rankings for bigger keywords as well.
As my domain authority increases, the amount of organic traffic driven from these pages will grow over time.
Traffic on RankXL
Traffic on RankXL is pretty bad at the moment, and I’m fully to blame for this as I haven’t been actively growing this site out.
Currently, it gets around 20,000 visitors per month.
My goal for this year is to grow that to 100,000 visitors per month – primarily through content marketing.
It’s an aggressive goal to be setting in a niche like digital marketing, but if I devote more time to this blog, I think I’ll be able to hit it. I’ll also be testing out some new traffic strategies, as well as paid traffic to build my email list, so those will also count towards this goal.
The ultimate goal
Increasing traffic doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t translate to leads. The whole goal with developing this content strategy is to attract the right audience members into my email list.
If that didn’t matter, I could write about any miscellaneous trending topic about health, celebrities, politics just to drive more traffic.
But the underlying goal with doing all of this is to drive more targeted traffic that will convert to email subscribers.
Currently, RankXL is getting about 20 to 30 new email subscribers per day, so I’m doing a decent job at converting a high percentage of my traffic. The only thing left to do now is increase volume.
So what’s coming for RankXL?
Content. Lots of it.
Well… at least more than you’re used to seeing. Again, and I’m being really strict about this, this does not mean that I’ll be posting thin, generic articles.
I’ll still be writing in-depth articles over 3000 words like you’re used to seeing on RankXL, like my recent 10,000 word link building guide or my serires of blogs posts on tackling competitive niches. However, at the same time, I’ll also be publishing a wider range of content that I otherwise wouldn’t have published before – shorter articles on topics that I think are interesting, even if they’re not giant articles.
Please let me know in the comments if this is something you’re excited about. It’s a pretty big shift for this blog, and in some ways – a risk. Over the years, I’ve noticed a few blogs attempt to boost their publishing frequency and end up posting a lot of thin, uninteresting content in the process – which I’m sure has hurt them in the long run.
But I think I’ve gotten pretty good at determining what kind of content is interesting/unique/worth publishing for this blog over the years, so hopefully I’ll be able to make this a positive change.