If you're new to blogging, you may be looking for that magic number which ascertains how many times should you publish your blog posts in the first month to grow your traffic exponentially. In this post, I will first share some insights based on the analysis of my previous blog's traffic for the first month. Then, I will share what my personal opinion is in regards to that magic number and also what the industry experts have to say about the ideal frequency of publishing blog posts.
First Month: Blog Traffic Analysis
For those of you who might not be aware, I started my blogging journey with www.non-engineer.com. I will be sharing its traffic data from Google Analytics and showing you how many Page Views was it able to gather corresponding to the Number of Blog Posts that were published in the first month.
The graph above shows the Page Views across one month beginning 28th Dec, 2019 running up till 28th Jan, 2020. Now, I will be sharing the Number of Blog Posts that were published during this time:
28th Dec - 1
29th Dec - 6
30th Dec - 7
31st Dec - 4
1st Jan - 13
2nd Jan - 6
3rd Jan - 1
4th Jan - 2
5th Jan - 5
6th Jan - 1
7th Jan - 16
8th Jan - 1
9th Jan - 11
10th Jan - 0
11th Jan - 1
12th Jan - 2
13th Jan - 2
14th Jan - 2
15th Jan - 4
16th Jan - 0
17th Jan - 0
18th Jan - 0
19th Jan - 1
20th Jan - 0
21st Jan - 2
22nd Jan - 0
23rd Jan - 0
24th Jan - 1
25th Jan - 1
26th Jan - 0
27th Jan - 0
28th Jan - 1
Note: If you feel overwhelmed due to the number of posts published on some days like 1st, 7th or 9th Jan, please don't worry. I used to write on Quora before blogging, so I had a couple of posts ready with myself before I began blogging. They are not necessarily quality posts.
I would like to share three simple yet important insights that I could draw from this data:
1. The more you blog, the better the traffic - In the first month, the more you blog, the more is your traffic. If you notice the Page View peaks of the first month, they would correspond to the dates when I published more number of posts, e.g. this is 7th Jan's traffic: 1,782 Page Views with 16 Posts published.
2. It is important to maintain the frequency - If you blog a lot in the first few days and suddenly stop publishing posts in the middle of your first month, you are going to see a dip. This is what happened with me from 16th Jan to 22nd Jan, getting my lowest traffic on 20th Jan i.e. 241 Page Views with 0 Posts. That entire week, I published between 0-2 posts per day, while before that I had been publishing at least 2 posts everyday. This resulted in a deep fall in the traffic during that week:
3. There will come a pick-up point - Here I'm using the term 'pick-up point' to refer to a sudden jump in the traffic that you will observe despite not publishing many posts that day. This can happen if your blog catches your target audience's attention or it gets discovered by Google. In my case, it was the latter. If you notice, there is a pick-up point from around 24th Jan onward, with the highest amount of traffic observable on 27th Jan: 2,216 Page Views with 0 Posts published:
In fact, that entire week, I didn't publish more than 1 post per day. This happened because my content got picked-up by Google. The industry experts refer to this point as the 'Legitimacy Point', where Google finally thinks that the blog is legitimate and regular in its content publishing.
My Personal Experience
Based on my personal experience with my previous blog, I have learned that you must produce as much content as you can in your first month of blogging. Yes, quality is the most important factor and it will always remain over and above the quantity of posts. But, if you don't post a lot of content in the beginning, you will miss out on the following:
a) Internal Linking - It refers to giving a link to your other blog posts within the post you're writing. If you don't have enough content, you will not be able to achieve this. Internal Linking helps in Search Engine Optimization and hence, increasing your website's chances of getting featured on Google.
b) Pages per Session & Bounce Rate - These terms can be found in the Google Analytics tool that tracks your website's traffic. For your reference, I have defined them below:
Pages per Session - In a particular session, how many pages does a user visit.
Bounce Rate - % of visitors who left the page without checking any other page.
Now, if you have lesser number of posts in the beginning, the pages/session are going to be fewer and the bounce rate of your website is going to be higher. That can affect the ranking of your website on Google.
c) Retention Rate - It refers to the number of people who revisit your website out of the total number of visitors. The higher this number, the more your traffic will sustain. But, in order to achieve that, you need to serve your readers with fresh, original and quality ideas every day.
d) Google Search and Discover - I already shared with you how the pick-up point came for me in the very first month. By that time, I had published 88 Posts in total. That's when Google Discover picked up my content. The same was true for Google Search. If you notice the graph of organic search for my blog, which I pulled out of Google Search Console, the more the number of posts, the higher was my Search Traffic:
e) Better Engagement - There was a contact option in my previous blog. Often whenever a user asked me a query, I sent the link to one of my existing posts to address the user's concern. Now, this was possible only because I had enough content to share. Else, I would have been writing longer messages, in turn, a higher waiting time for the user to receive a response from me.
Industry Experts' Take
Upon researching the web, I found that most industry experts tend to agree with the fact that there is no magic number which assures an exponential growth in traffic. Having said that, they all tend to agree that:
You shouldn't publish posts unless they qualify to be called quality posts.
You should publish as many quality posts as you can generate in your first month.
Some points of reference for you given by the experts which can help you determine the magic number:
Google has a Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) ranking algorithm which states that if there is a surge in a particular topic's search in the recent time, then Google will try to feature the newest information on the topic by quality bloggers. For example, Covid-19 related posts. Hence, you must aim for regular fresh content to rank higher due to the QDF algorithm.
The 'Legitimacy Point', when Google believes that a blog's content is legitimate and regular enough, is said to be between 50-70 Blog Posts.
You must try to write as many posts as possible and schedule them in advance for the month. This helps you ensure that the deep falls due to lack of consistency don't take place.
You must also try to promote your content on social media and other forums, for which you will have to take out time from writing. This time should also be spent on improving/updating your existing blog posts for SEO purposes.
The choice of frequency also depends on the topic you write about. If it is an entertainment related blog, then the frequency would certainly need to be higher.
The bottom line being that you should try to focus on the supply side i.e. how many quality posts can you write in your first month. If you are yet to start blogging, creating a repository like I did on Quora can be a good idea. It really worked for me.
I would also suggest that you try publishing your first 30 quality posts as soon as possible and then take your tally to the 50-70 number suggested by experts by publishing 2-4 posts every week. This will allow you to spend your time on promoting your content and improving the SEO, which are equally important tasks that a blogger needs to perform.
Hope this post gave you some insights on how many posts should you publish in the first month of your blogging journey. You may also like to read the following posts: