While the TrackMaven study included some data regarding posting frequency, it didn't attempt to identify what posting frequency is best, nor did TrackMaven attempt to determine what blog post length is most effective.
After my earlier post was published, I discovered a blog post by HubSpot that provides several insights on these perennially important issues. This post describes a test that HubSpot ran on its own Marketing Blog to determine what its optimal editorial strategy should be. More specifically, the managers of the blog wanted to determine whether they should be publishing longer, more in-depth posts on a less frequent basis, or shorter posts on a more frequent basis.
To answer these questions, HubSpot conducted an experiment to determine how changes in blog posting frequency and content mix affected three key performance metrics - views, net new leads, and subscribers. To get the full flavor of what HubSpot discovered from its experiment, you need to read the HubSpot post. In this post, I'll focus on the findings that relate to posting frequency.
The experiment was conducted over a period of six weeks. During the first two weeks, HubSpot tracked the results produced by its existing editorial practices (the Benchmark strategy). In the second two weeks of the test, HubSpot reduced the number of posts published by about 50% and increased the percentage of longer, more in-depth posts. HubSpot called this the Low Volume, High Comprehensiveness (LVHC) strategy. In the final two weeks, HubSpot increased the number of posts published by about 50% (over the Benchmark number) and increased the percentage of shorter, less in-depth posts. HubSpot named this the High Volume, Low Comprehensiveness (HVLC) strategy.
Here's what HubSpot found:
- The Benchmark and HVLC strategies produced almost the same amount of blog traffic, but the LVHC strategy resulted in about 32% less traffic.
- During the LVHC phase of the experiment, the blog produced about 4% fewer leads than it did when the Benchmark strategy was used. During the HVLC phase, the blog produced almost twice as many leads, compared to the Benchmark strategy.
So, what can we learn from the results of the HubSpot experiment? Most of us would like to believe that content quality will trump content quantity. The HubSpot results suggest that, for blogs anyway, content quantity (posting frequency) has a significant impact on blog performance.
Note: As part of its experiment, HubSpot categorized its blog posts based on the type of content they contained and then measured the performance of each type of post. I found these results to be particularly interesting, and once again, I recommend that you take the time to read the HubSpot post. For me, the most important takeaway was that no single type of blog content excelled at both traffic generation and lead generation. So you need to publish several types of posts to maximize the overall performance of your blog.