So you’ve started a blog. How exciting! You’re doing something new, learning how to write articles, and building a unique platform to showcase your work, demonstrate your expertise, and grow your brand.
But as you’re getting started, you might be wondering about questions like:
- How many articles should a blog have to get traffic?
- How many blog posts per week should you publish?
- How long before your blog gets traffic?
Here, we’ll help provide some context for you so you can set reasonable expectations for your blog’s performance and better work toward the success you’re looking for.
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The Stats Behind Successful Blogs
In the past, blog posts could show up on search engine results pages for a given query or keyword within days. But Google’s algorithm has since changed.
Today, the Google Sandbox effect keeps many blogs from appearing in search results for several months. How long before a blog gets traffic? Many bloggers find that it takes three to six months before they start seeing significant traffic on their blog.
Producing quality content and posting more articles can minimize this waiting time:
- The more posts you publish, the more topics you cover. When you cover more topics, your blog can answer more search queries.
- Well-written posts that provide value rank higher than low-quality content pieces that address the same keywords.
But how many articles should a blog have? To launch a blog that brings in meaningful traffic, we recommend starting with at least 10 to 15 posts.
Publish consistently after launch; one study found that having at least 24 blog posts can increase traffic to your blog by 30%, and having more than 50 posts can lead to a 77% boost in traffic.
In general, longer posts are better—both for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes and for your visitors. Studies suggest that blog posts that consist of about 1,600 words or take about 7 minutes to read are most reliable for keeping readers on blogs. Longer posts also get more shares and likes. Just be sure they’re actually helpful to readers—not meaningless fluff. Taking the time to research keywords in advance and produce quality content will be worth the traffic you build.
The Five Factors That Drive Blog Traffic
There’s more to blog traffic than simply publishing enough posts. To run a successful blog, keep these five factors in mind.
1. Website Integration
If you already have a website, your blog should be part of it. While it might be quicker to publish your blog posts on a different platform (for example, Medium) and connect it to your main site through a subdomain, putting your blog on a separate website isn’t great for SEO.
Make your blog a part of your main website from the beginning. This will make it easier to connect your blog posts to the rest of your web content—and vice versa—and ultimately help you rank higher in search engine results pages.
2. Content Quality
Your blog posts should provide value. That means, depending on your brand, your blog should educate, inform, or entertain.
The rule to live by in the blogging world is quality over quantity. It’s better to publish just a few well-written, helpful blog posts per month than it is to publish short, repetitive, or filler content more frequently. If you can’t write quality content, you won’t provide value to your readers. If you don’t provide value, there’s little chance your content will rank well in search results—no matter how many times you mention a specific keyword.
3. Publishing Schedule
Publishing content regularly is important. But how many blog posts does that translate to per week?
Many people publish one to three posts weekly when they first start their blog. Some writers publish more frequently once they’re more established and have the time and funds. But you don’t have to publish every day; only one in five bloggers actually posts more than once a week.
More important than how much you publish is how consistently you publish; you’ll build more credibility if you post regularly than if you post frequently but randomly. With a regular schedule, readers will get into the habit of checking your blog at the same time every week—publishing a new post every Tuesday is better than publishing a new post on a random day each week.
4. Social Media Presence
Organic search engine traffic is valuable, but you don’t have to rely on it entirely.
Use social media to promote your blog, find an audience, and boost your website traffic. Use hashtags and engage in conversations to share your posts directly to folks who care about your answers the most. You’ll generate more traffic and encourage more engagement from your readership.
5. Edge Over Competitors
No matter your niche, there will likely be at least a few other bloggers writing about the same topics as you. They’re your competition.
If you want to establish and maintain a following, you’re responsible for providing something better than what your competition can. This means posting more frequently, posting better content, or promoting more effectively.
Finding your edge over the competition is a must if you want your blog to succeed.
3 Launch Strategies for More Blogging Success
If you’ve just launched a blog and/or are looking for ways to build more traffic, here are three strategies to help you see success sooner rather than later:
Publish Your Posts Immediately
It’s best to start publishing your posts before inviting people to become readers. This strategy, where your blog goes live without being promoted, is known as a soft launch. It's different from a hard launch, where a site and all its content go public on a specific day and time.
Soft launches are a great choice for bloggers that don’t have audiences yet. Search engines like Google will have time to see and index your blog, meaning you can start building search engine traffic before you officially publicize your blog.
Publishing posts right away also helps to increase the amount of content on your blog. Visitors will see that your blog has numerous pieces of useful content, and this can help convert a random one-time visitor into a regular reader.
Wait to Promote Your Blog
Don’t make promises you can’t yet keep. Readers like consistency, and brand new blogs often can’t provide it.
When you launch a new blog, you’ll have to iron out some wrinkles such as:
- Revising early posts.
- Experimenting with and making changes to the blog layout.
- Organizing your posts and webpages.
- Finding the right voice for your content.
- Getting into the groove and determining a workflow that works for you.
While your blog doesn’t have to be perfect on release, waiting before promoting gives you time to experiment and make the changes you need to provide meaningful content to your target audience. Once you finally promote your blog, you’ll have a treasure trove of posts in your content library for readers to enjoy and a regular publishing schedule that will build anticipation each week.
Use Social Media and Email Marketing
Once you’ve published 10 to 15 posts, built a routine for yourself that lets you publish regularly, and decided you’re satisfied with your blog’s layout, you can begin promoting your content.
Social media is an excellent place to start promoting your content. Depending on your niche, consider using popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even YouTube to promote your articles:
- Post announcements and updates about your blog.
- Post links to your blog posts with interesting snippets or teasers.
- Ask followers to like, comment on, and share your posts.
- Engage in conversation—respond to comments.
- Use your social media interactions to inspire new posts—some folks might comment with questions, and you can answer these with new blog posts!
Social media also lets you personalize your brand, as you engage directly with your target audience on a platform they likely use to connect with friends and family. That said, while social media facilitates more casual interactions, be sure to stay professional and on-brand.
Email newsletters are another awesome way to promote your blog. Build an email list so you can reach folks:
- Send announcements and updates about your blog.
- Compile a list of helpful blog posts you’ve written about a particular topic.
- Send snippets or short teasers of new blog posts with links to your web page.
The goal of promoting your blog is to get your content seen by your target audience. There’s no better way to do that than to interact with folks directly. Social media and email newsletters are both tools you can use to dramatically boost your blog’s success.
Unleash Your Blog's Potential
Knowing how to write quality content is just the first step to running a blog. To find success with your blog, you’ll want to:
- Have 10 to 15 posts published when you officially launch your blog.
- Continue to produce meaningful content for your target audience.
- Commit to a consistent publishing schedule.
- Publicize your blog using tools like social media platforms and email newsletters.
- Follow SEO best practices in your website design and naturally weave in keywords in your copy.
As difficult as it may be, remember that patience is a virtue. In other words, give your blog time before deciding on any drastic revamps or content changes.
This article was written by Compose.ly writer Gabrielle Hass.