Feeling like the only thing your company blog does well is drain your budget? This simple change might be all you need to turn the ship around.

Most companies that invest in digital marketing understand, at least in a general sense, that a blog can be a valuable tool when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) — but how many actually know how to wield it properly?

A lot of the companies we end up working with have been running a blog for years — either internally or with a content agency — but haven’t seen any sort of return that, in their opinion, justifies the investment. In fact, during early sales conversations, I often find myself explaining how blogging works and why it’s so important to people who were toying with the idea of ditching the thing altogether.

If you’re feeling disgruntled or disenchanted and considering doing something drastic, I’m here to talk you off the ledge.

properly executed blog strategy should do three things:

  1. Bring highly targeted, conversion-oriented traffic to your site via organic (i.e., non-paid) channels.
  2. Guide those visitors through your entire marketing funnel, ultimately convincing them to take some sort of action that’s valuable to your business.
  3. Generate consistent growth over time.

Attaining these kinds of results requires real expertise — things like persona-based keyword research, properly implemented calls-to-action (CTAs), optimizing on-page SEO elements like title tags, URLs, meta descriptions, etc. will contribute to your overall success in the long-term; however, there are even more basic changes that can actually make a big impact in a relatively short period of time.

The one I want to talk about today is publishing frequency.

How to Achieve Sustainable Success

When you fail to gain traction with your blog, it’s often an issue of consistency and quality. Erratic or infrequent publishing and/or poorly crafted content just isn’t going to generate results.

Over the years, we’ve found that, with a few exceptions, three posts per week is the optimal publishing cadence. Publishing daily can sometimes overwhelm or even irritate your current subscribers, which can lead to audience attrition.

Conversely, publishing fewer than three articles per week will make it difficult to (a) generate a noticeable uptick in organic traffic in the first three to four months — which your bosses will be looking for to feel good about their investment — and (b) provide a steady enough stream of content to establish yourself as a go-to resource for information and news within your market.

Example: A partner in the insurance space launched a new blog with L&T in February of 2016. Prior to launch, publishing had been erratic and site traffic had plateaued at approximately 2,000 visitors per month. Over the course of the first year, a consistent three-times-per-week blog publishing strategy boosted organic traffic from a baseline of 2,005 visits per month (Feb 2016) to 6,447 visits (March 2017).

Related: 3 Ways to Jumpstart Your Executive Brand

Quality Is King

At this point, you may be thinking to yourself, “Hmmm…our current content partner publishes two to three posts every week but we have yet to see a real uptick in our KPIs.”

In that case, it’s probably an issue of quality, both in terms of keyword strategy and the content itself.

To reach your target audience, your keyword strategy must correspond with their search habits. No one is ever going to reach your site organically if you’re not showing up in the search results, plain and simple.

Secondly, your posts need to be authoritative and genuinely interesting. This will not only help boost search rankings and social shares, in turn making your articles more visible — it will reduce bounce rates and motivate visitors to seek out more information on your site.

Example: A partner in the IT networking space was previously working with an agency that had a limited understanding of their space. Through a combination of knowledge extraction and self-guided research, L&T was able to both elevate the quality of the content and the breadth of the keyword strategy. By reaching a wider audience with improved messaging, organic search traffic increased from 998 monthly sessions (June 2017) to 3,702 monthly sessions (August 2018).

Blogging Success Requires a Long-Term Commitment

Remember, blogging is a long-term strategy. As you build up a library of content, you’re creating more and more potential pathways for your target audience to reach your site. But the best part is that this growth isn’t just cumulative — it’s exponential.

As you publish new posts and your website becomes more robust, your older posts gain authority and climb in the search rankings, boosting your brand’s visibility even further. You can accelerate this process through smart SEO tactics, such as updating old posts with new information, interlinking between related posts as they’re published, and more.

It might take three to six months to start seeing a real and consistent uptick in your organic traffic, but if you make a real commitment to your program and stick to it, I promise you, it will happen.

But don’t take my word for it — the results speak for themselves.

Example: A partner in the medical space had been managing their own blog program but lacked the internal bandwidth to consistently meet their own editorial standards and maintain an optimal publishing cadence.

Before partnering with L&T in January 2016, monthly organic traffic were more or less flat at approximately 500 session per month. By maintaining a three-article-per-week publishing cadence, coupled with keyword research, post optimization, and improved editorial quality, organic traffic increased from a baseline of 576 monthly sessions (Jan 2016) to 4,729 organic sessions (August 2018).