How Much Content Does Your Blog Need?
There’s been much talk regarding content in the internet marketing and blogging communities of late. Google’s Panda, Penguin and EMD updates have affected the way we build our websites, and has put a lot of the emphasis on larger, authority based sites.
If you look at the blogs of some of your industry competitors, you might see thousands of pages of content. A daunting prospect for anyone starting out or looking to expand a site, so how much content does your blog really need to be competitive, rank well on Google and make you some money?
Well, the first thing to be considered is your niche and audience. If you’re writing a blog or building out an ‘authority site’ about say a special type of plumbing equipment, you might really struggle to write a lot of new and exciting content. The pillar articles on your site may be really good quality and stand the test of time, but you simply may not be able to build out to thousands of pages. On the other hand, you may have a sports blog in an area where there are hundreds of newsworthy stories happening every day, as well as match reports and player profiles you can write. It is very possible that you could make a full time job out of writing this type of content, and constantly uploading it to your blog, but it would take a lot of upkeep and could be redundant pretty soon (nobody is looking for year old match reports).
So where can you find the ‘content sweet spot’? The magic amount of posts, or regularity of posts to keep your blog ticking along nicely and competing. As recent Google updates have suggested, the future of sites is probably in larger, more authority based sites. People have been making a lot of money out of Four and Five page websites in recent years by putting them on an exact match domain and working on the content and link profiles, but these kind of sites are seemingly being weeded out by the search engines.
In some cases, such as a non-competitive niche, small sites could still win the day, but in general, Google and the other search engines are looking for more. The chances are they are more likely to rank a post on a large site, rich in good quality information than a small site, obviously built to game its way to the top of the SERPs.
I know, I know, I still haven’t answered the question. Well, in my experience, I have always aimed for three posts a week. My search engine traffic off the back of this is okay. It means that there is a regularity that I’m sure is taken into account (Google love new content), and my site doesn’t sit there for months on end without being changed or updated. However, the niches I’m in are very competitive, and I believe I still have a long way to go in my blogs to get to the level of authority needed. If you’re making a site about Football, there are a lot of competitors, and if you’re not posting regularly, the search engines will probably trust another site over yours. A niche such as mine will take a long time, even at three posts a day, to become one of the main authority sites on the subject. Prepare to work hard.
Content or Posts?
I’ve focused a lot on the written aspect of a blog in all of the above, but that isn’t your only option, and I’ve seen bloggers have immense success with huge databases of video, photos and infographics, which can drive traffic from other sources such as Flickr and Youtube rather than just Google.
Based on the amazing Pat Flynn’s “Be Everywhere” advice, I recommend a good variation of all of the different types of content you can possibly create.
A Parting Note
It can be really tough to feel like you’re doing enough when you’re putting out say three posts a week and it isn’t hitting the dizzy heights you’re hoping for, but remember that when you start out in blogging, or even if you’ve been doing it for a while, it takes a long time to build up the content you need. For some subjects, 3 months might see you ranking, but for others you may have to work hard for years. Don’t be disheartened and keep working hard, as you learn and you implement more and more techniques, you’ll get there in time.